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Your JULY NetFIX
Get It On…

Once again, I’ve pilfered the INSTANT WATCH avails to suggest some of the more interesting under-the-radar releases now available on Netflix.

Beat the heat, crank up the A/C and stay indoors for these hidden gems now streaming on the service…

BLACKENSTEIN
Directed by William A. Levey (Skatetown, USA)
Starring John Hart and Joe De Sue

Also known as Black Frankenstein, in case audiences didn’t quite get the subtle Blaxploitation Frankenstein remix thingy.

Don’t go into this expecting the cool camp of American International’s classics Blackula and Scream, Blackula, Scream. This was a pure cash-in attempt at a very popular trend in the early 70s.

Still, you can’t fault a film for promising greatness with the tagline “To stop this mutha, takes one bad brutha!”

An interesting side note though is writer/producer/effects guy Frank R. Saletri owns only this credit in his short filmmaking career.  However, a follow up called Black The Ripper remains a mysterious lost movie.

Announced formally to Vartiety in the mid 1970s, film archivists continue to search for the lost classic.

THE ABCs OF DEATH
26 Various Directors including Ti West, Yoshihiro Nishimura and Angela Bettis
Produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League

Slightly more ambitious than V/H/S and this week’s new release V/H/S 2 is this 26 part Horror Anthology that covers “the end” from A to Z with gory glee.

One of the great unexploited tidbits of Netflix Instant currently is the arrangement with Indie distributors like Magnet/Magnolia that ensure quick additions of titles recently released on DVD.

Now’s a great chance to catch this one in its SVOD window.

Wikipedia has a good overview of the 26 chapters here, if you’re a little hesitant to explore the 26 ways to die without warning.

MIAMI CONNECTION
Produced and Starring Y.K. Kim
Distributed by Drafthouse Films

I took a film class at the University of Central Florida once, but it was never as awesome as synth rock band Dragon Sound and their crime fighting exploits.

Fortunately, I can dream that the course involved ninjas, cocaine smugglers and mad 80s fashion mistakes, now that Netflix has this gem on their Instant Watch.

Rescued from VHS obscurity by Drafthouse Films of Alamo, Texas, Miami Connection is a 1987 martial-arts action-adventure that must be seen to believed.  Time has not been kind to it, or has, depending on your point of view.

Wine coolers optional.

BMX BANDITS
Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (Leprechaun 4: In Space)
Starring Golden Globe winner Nicole Kidman

Here’s something of a dessert to go with your Miami Connection.  The equally obscure, equally dated Australian movie BMX Bandits is known for being the first major role for Nicole Kidman.

But it’s more.  It’s also a high flying ride to adventure.

Watch for Nicole’s stunt performer, an 18 year old boy in a big curly red wig.  You can hardly tell.

All KIDding aside, this launched Nicole’s career, as the film was popular enough in Australia to capture the attention of the television producers of Five Mile Creek, eventually gaining her attention for a major role in the feature Dead Calm.

Fun Fact: BMX bikes don’t actually fly.

THE BAD NEWS BEARS
Directed by Michael Ritchie (Fletch)
Starring Oscar winners Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal

No introduction needed here.

The Bad News Bears (the original, not the remake) is a Summer classic and has been since we experienced it first at the Drive In and played the hell out of it on VHS.

I remember it as being a shocking confirmation that kids can swear, drink beer and make vulgar gestures well above its PG rating.

You can check out its second sequel, The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, also on Netflix, but I’m not sure what happens in that one.  Kind of a mystery.

Stick with the original, kid.

DEAD MAN
Directed by Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise)
Starring Oscar nominee Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, and Crispin Glover

This summer’s The Lone Ranger is a hell of a mess of a movie, not without a handful of great moments.  Most of those moments are brought the by surreal take on Tonto played by Johnny Depp.

If you want to see the origins of Depp’s performance (and the origin of Jack White’s wardrobe), you need look no further than 1995’s Dead Man.  

It’s a Western unlike any other, and features a slam-bang cast that includes Iggy Pop, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt and Robert Mitchum.

* Author’s Note: all movies available to WATCH INSTANTLY on Netflix as of early-July and availability is subject to studio licenses. It is recommended to watch before the month ends!

 

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