Just too many titles to be curious about this week. Are they great, terrible, or both? You figure it out.
Savage Streets. When a gang’s harmless prank leads to the brutal sexual assault of her deaf little sister, Heather, and the murder of her best friend, Francine, Brenda (Linda Blair) takes matters into her own hands. Hitting the streets of Los Angeles, Brenda seeks justice with the help of bear traps and a hunting crossbow. John Vernon, Linnea Quigley and Robert Dryer co-star in this Charles Bronson-esque revenge thriller from director Danny Steinmann.
10,000 A.D.: The Legend of the Black Pearl. In a postapocalyptic world, rival human tribes, the Plaebians and Hurons, face extinction by the evil Sinasu. Trained by the mighty warrior Ergo (Raul Gasteazoro), young Huron Kurupi (Julian Perez), mankind’s greatest hope for survival, embarks on a journey to crush the enemy. But to defeat this powerful and often unseen foe, the Plaebians and Hurons must ultimately put their differences aside and join forces.
Dororo. In exchange for a seat of power, Kagemitsu Daigo (Kiichi Nakai) pledged 48 body parts from his unborn son, Hyakkimaru (Satoshi Tsumabuki), to 48 demons. Now a mighty Samurai warrior out for revenge, Hyakkimaru crosses paths with a young thief named Dororo (Kou Shibasaki). With Dororo by his side, Hyakkimaru grows more complete with every demon he vanquishes. Hitori Gekidan co-stars in this live-action adaptation of Tezuka Osamu’s manga.
Weenie Roast Massacre. Mentally disabled Marty Flaherty (David Prouty) watches an innocent gathering with his friends take a bloody turn in this slasher flick. Following a debilitating accident, Marty, a once-promising high school football star, is resigned to living an uneventful life in his parents’ home. When his friends organize a weenie roast to lift his spirits, the event turns deadly once a mysterious psychopath begins picking off the partygoers one by one.
Foot Fist Way. A pompous control freak, small-town tae kwon do instructor Mr. Simmons (Danny McBride) finally loses his cool when he gets wind of his wife’s infidelities. Facing meltdown, he sets out on a pilgrimage to see his hero, martial arts master Chuck “The Truck” Wallace (Ben Best), in action. But is the world ready for a meeting between these two black-belt egos? Expertly drawn characters and furious action make this a comedy that really packs a punch.
Alien Private Eye. Lemro (Nikki Fastinetti), a pointy-eared private dick from the planet Styx, takes a vacation on Earth, where he’s quickly drawn into interplanetary intrigue involving the recovery of an ancient Egyptian disc. On top of that, he’s also tasked with taking down a galactic crime organization in this sci-fi action adventure written and directed by Vik Rubenfeld.
This American Life, Season One. Ira Glass’s public radio show makes the transition to television with its focus intact (and netting three Emmy nods in the process), telling uniquely American tales through anecdotes and personal reflections. Glass, director Christopher Wilcha and the rest of the crew spent six months on the road compiling these stories, which take viewers from Iowa’s pig farms (where the “perfect” swine is being bred) to a Chicago hot dog stand.
Cinematographer Style. Cinematographer Jon Fauer interviews 110 of his colleagues — including Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now), Roger Deakins (No Country for Old Men) and Gordon Willis (The Godfather) — on their approach to the craft of motion picture photography. Shot on 35mm film and accessible to anyone who loves movies, the absorbing documentary reveals how style, experience and inspiration combine to make movies look the way they do.
Liberia: An Uncivil War. Filmmaker Jonathan Stack provides a fearless account of the Liberian civil war in 2003, chronicling the showdown between the corrupt regime of President Charles Taylor and the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of civilians pray for intervention by the United States, which has become newly preoccupied by the Iraq War. Stack’s unflinching film is an unforgettable portrait of a country in crisis.