POPcinema/Shock-O-Rama Release date: June 24
Low-budget genre genius Brett (Bacterium) Piper is back, and this time he's unleashed ... get ready for it ... the Drainiac! What is the Drainiac, you ask? It's the sludgy, ancient demon that flows through the pipes of an abandoned old house, dripping its slimy evil down the faces of the unsuspecting, feasting on their flesh in the most spectacular stop-motion ways possible. Just watch what Piper can do with globules of slime as the requisite irritating teens are dispatched of, one by one, glurp after glurp. Originally released in 2000, this special edition has been re-edited and re-cut by the director, with newly enhanced effects. Piper is a master of B-movie horror, creating goofy, gooey fun sure to please the whole family. Just bring a mop. Louis Fowler
As a huge fan of Joy Division, I was excited to catch the Ian Curtis biopic Control. Filmed in stark, oppressive black and white by U2 photog Anton Corbijn, I expected it to document the story of the band, its rise to fame and its eventual downfall due to spoiler alert the death of lead singer Curtis. Instead, I got two hours of Curtis being a total dick and getting all depressed over it. He cheats nonstop on his wife, makes her feel it's not his fault, neglects his child, cries during sex and then hangs himself after watching a Werner Herzog film. It's pretty disillusioning cinema. I'd say stick with the ultimately more masterful 24 Hour Party People, which chronicles not only Joy Division, but the whole "Madchester" scene, with Steve Coogan as the affable host. Louis Fowler
If you take a look today at late '60s and early '70s counterculture films, you'll find most have become dated to the point of comedy, with every attempt at hipness inducing guffaws. Such is the case with the shaggy 1971 satire Simon, King of the Witches, directed by Bruce Kessler. While it tries to play itself off as a straight fright film, it's become something of a commentary on the hysteria induced by the rise of pop Satanism at the time. The film portrays witches and warlocks as hippie buffoons more interested in chasing the Yankee dollar and finding nubile, pill-popping chicks to seduce than actually, you know, performing magic. The titular Simon lives in a storm pipe and is vaguely magical, providing an ultra-trippy finale that proves you don't need acid to experience a monster trip. A fun document of a very silly time. Louis Fowler
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.