Staff at the renowned video store and nonprofit archive highlight the best in this month’s new DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Lost in the wave of early 2000s J-Horror imports is possibly the greatest classic that subgenre ever produced, greater even than classics like Ringu. What presents as a simple cautionary tale about spending too much time on the Internet becomes a melancholy examination of loneliness. It’s scary as hell, with deep, inky black shadows where anything can hide, all filmed with precise, deliberate, often very lengthy static shots. That the horrors of ill communication eventually turn fully apocalyptic might seem quaint now—or eerily prophetic. —Matt Lynch
You Only Live Once
If this was not the first “couple on the run” movie, it’s certainly one of the first and one of the best. Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney are star-crossed lovers who can’t catch a break from the corrupt society around them. Made in the midst of the Great Depression, director Fritz Lang contrasts the greed and malice of those in power with the simple needs of those who are not. Eighty years old and still relevant today. —Mark Steiner
TV Party: The Complete Series
Bon vivant Glenn O’Brien was a mover and shaker in the New York City cultural scene. From 1978–1982 he teamed with Blondie guitarist Chris Stein for a free-wheeling gonzo TV variety show that combined sketches, interviews, music and more in an anarchic setting. The spectacle attracted an astonishing roster of special guests including David Bowie, George Clinton, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop. —Spenser Hoyt
The Zodiac Killer
This little ball of grime might be the perfect midnight soul pollutant for a trash cinema fan. Imagine a two-part episode of CSI but even lower on the moral responsibility scale and shot for the price of a used car. This Blu-ray was freshly restored from an original negative by the American Genre Film Archive, and it’s loaded with extras. —Matt Lynch