Swamp Thing, My Amityville Horror, Rapture-Palooza 


click to enlarge Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing (PG) (Blu-ray)

Shout! Factory

In our age of Green Lantern and Thor and just about every other second-tier superhero property becoming a franchise, we forget that it was only 30 years ago when all you had was the occasional Superman movie. Comics were for kids, and they were relegated to Saturday morning cartoons. However, in 1982, horror legend Wes Craven brought DC Comics' backwoods bog monster, Swamp Thing, to the silver screen with memorably underrated results. Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise) is working on a serum that will help plants grow in the middle of the bayou when mercenaries blow up his lab, with him in it. Thus is born a marsh marauder, intent on seeking revenge. It's truly one of the best comic-book adaptations of all time, and deserves to be up there with The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 2 as a perfect example of how to do it right. — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Rapture-Palooza

Rapture-Palooza (R)


Clocking in at a mercifully short 85 minutes, black comedy Rapture-Palooza is about as stale as the festival its title references. (Lollapalooza, in fact, debuted the same year screenwriter Chris Matheson followed up his first big success, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, by taking those characters on a bogus journey.) If only Rapture-Palooza's hell on Earth, or the people we endure it with, were as much fun as this summer's This Is the End, which bizarrely also features Craig Robinson. Here, Robinson plays a horny Antichrist readying his post-apocalyptic reign. It's up to his would-be bride (Anna Kendrick) and her boyfriend (John Francis Daley), along with a cadre of alt-comedians, to battle back the Beast and redeem the world. But even with all that talent riffing as hard as they can, there's only so much they can do before the movie's shaky ground swallows them whole. — Justin Strout

click to enlarge My Amityville Horror

My Amityville Horror (NR)

IFC Films

The chilling story of the Amityville haunting is a permanent part of American popular culture, thanks to the numerous books and films that have been released to cash in on this phenomenon. However, as audiences get their screams on with each subsequent release, we get further and further away from realizing that this happened to a real family and left behind real scars that have never fully healed. This idea is the basis of My Amityville Horror, a moving documentary that focuses on the tortured psyche of Daniel Lutz, who was barely a teenager when he and his family were terrorized by demonic forces in their Long Island home. Answering old questions and dropping new bombs, Lutz has all the earmarks of a person with PTSD, making his story all the more honest and heart-wrenching. My Amityville Horror is my pick for the best documentary of 2013, thus far. — Louis Fowler

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