We must admit, the last couple days have been tough here at MMC! and morale is lagging with things looking to get worse before they get better. I’m not sure if Wes Anderson’s new short Come Together (2016), a promotional work for H&M stores, helps the situation by offering some Christmas cheer or gives some further reason to mope by another of Anderson’s characteristic sad sack dollhouses, but we’re glad for it either way. Enjoy it now here, before it appears on the Criterion Collection’s eventual release of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and we’ll see you in December!
Next up, we offer a short film of short films – the indie-animated anthology Ghost Stories (2013). Containing 11 minimalist shorts, Ghost Stories is the product of various members of the Late Nite Work Club crafting these pieces between projects and classes. MMC! is particularly fond of Charles Huettner’s The Jump, Caleb Wood’s Rat Trap, and Alex Grigg’s Phantom Limb, although Ghost Stories is an impressively satisfying effort throughout. In fact, the omnibus format of Ghost Stories produces a convivial effect, expanding the regard for these shorts by placing them alongside one another and creating a whole greater than its parts.
MMC! returns to its program of seasonably appropriate short films with Maarten Groen’s Arrêt Pipi (2015), a gialli-inspired commission by VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster. Sarah (Bo Maerten) and Bram (Benjamin Moen) stop to use a gas station restroom in the woods of Wallonia and find themselves fighting for their lives. This slickly made short is inspired by the urban legend of Aka Manto, a ghost that haunts Japanese washrooms by offering visitors red or blue toilet paper with deadly effect. Arrêt Pipi had a dark, absurdist humour that invigorates its spot-on exercise in genre with a welcome sense of play and vitality.
FUCKKKYOUUU‘s artistic statement reads:
With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self. Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time unfolds onto itself only one of them can remain.
With that synopsis in mind, Eddie Alcazar’s short is a sensorial barrage that contrasts the sensual with the horrific and annihilates any comfortable, easily accessible relationship with the film’s concept. The sound design of Flying Lotus is chillingly ethereal and operates in brooding compliment to the film’s shadowy visuals and knife-cut inserts. FUCKKKYOUUU is a densely packed voyage into sci-fi horror with undeniable affect, one that gains depth and power with multiple viewings.
“A grey, horribly-beautiful vision of Hell.” – Simon Foster, SBS.
Now called Tasmania, Van Diemen’s Land was originally a feared and dreaded penal settlement, a final stop at the edge of the world for those convicts unwanted by the British Empire. In 1822, eight convicts escaped the brutal Macquarie Harbour penal station and were forced into the brutal Tasmanian wilderness when their plan went awry. With little food and equipment, these Irish, English, and Scottish fugitives battled harsh conditions and aching hunger in a merciless and unforgiving land – a land where God wields an axe. Director Jonathan auf der Heide and actor Oscar Redding create a grimly poetic retelling of Alexander Pearce’s infamous escape from Macquarie Harbour and the unthinkable acts he committed during his 113 days at large.
- Audio commentary with director and co-writer Jonathan auf der Heide, co-writer and lead actor Oscar Redding, and cinematographer Ellery Ryan
- A Journey Up River: Making Van Diemen’s Land
- Three additional featurettes: The Battle of the Beards, Subtleties of the Slate, and From Bailbo to Van Diemen’s Land
- Hell’s Gates, Jonathan auf der Heide’s 2008 short film
- Two Devils, Jonathan auf der Heide and Gregory Erdstein’s 2014 short film
- Theatrical teaser and trailer
- Original storyboards
- A 24 page booklet featuring production photos and a new essay by film scholar Roderick Heath
Deluxe Edition – Package Includes:
- Van Diemen’s Land on Blu-ray or Standard DVD featuring over 2½ hours of bonus material
- DRM-free Digital Download of the film on 1080p, 720p and mobile/tablet formats
- 27″ x 40″ Movie Poster
A HORROR THAT GROWS ON YOU!
After a yacht is damaged in a storm and stranded near a deserted island, its passengers – a psychologist, his student, a wealthy businessman, a famous singer, a popular writer, a sailor, and the boat’s skipper – take refuge on a fungus covered ship marooned on the island’s shore. With food scarce and the ship’s logs warning that the island’s plentiful mushrooms, called “Matango,” are to be avoided, the castaways find their characters tested, leading to private deals, sexual tension, and violence. But when the hunger of the shipwrecked party becomes too great and its members begin eating the forbidden fungus, the true horror of Matango is revealed, transforming the castaways in mind and body into hideous fungal monsters!
Famed Japanese director Ishiro Honda assembles an all-star cast from his previous sci-fi films and monster movies for Matango, featuring performances by Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Kenji Sahara, Hiroshi Koizumi, and Yoshio Tsuchiya. Captivating hallucinatory sequences, impressive set designs, and fantastically horrifying special effects by the celebrated Eiji Tsuburaya make this colorful B-movie a little known tokusatsu classic. Based on the 1907 story “The Voice in the Night” by William Hope Hodgson, Matango is one of the strangest, most horrific Toho productions to date and is presented here, for the first time, in high-definition presentations of its original Japanese version and its American cut, Attack of the Mushroom People.
- New high definition digital transfer of the Japanese cut of Matango and of the 1965 American version Attack of the Mushroom People edited for TV by American International Television
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD Presentation
- Uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Japanese soundtrack
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary by star Akira Kubo
- Interview with SFX cinematographer Teruyoshi Nakano
- Spoken word reading by screenwriter Masami Fukushima
- Vinyl Fungus – Artist Barry Allen Williams on Matango and its collectibles
- “Voice in the Night,” a 1958 episode of Suspicion based on the same source material as Matango
- Theatrical trailer
- Production sketches
- Collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by scholar Richard Pusateri and William Hope Hodgson’s original 1907 story “The Voice in the Night”