The Summer of Artsploitation
It’s going to be a hot summer for Artsploitation fans. Over the next few months, new releases include Rondo on June 4th, Blood Paradise on July 16th, and The Devil’s Playground on August 6th.
RONDO – JUNE 4TH
Twisted, kinky and violent, Rondo is a highly stylized pulp noir revenge/murder melodrama that relishes in the dark underbelly of civility. Troubled war vet Paul (Luke Sorge) is told by a psychiatrist that sex may be the solution to his dependency and drinking problems. She sends him to an apartment where he is to release his tensions by having sex with a beautiful young woman, all under the encouraging eyes of the woman’s husband. But deception is the name of the game as Paul and eventually his sister, are sucked into a bizarre criminal underworld where sex and murder are daily specials and revenge is served piping hot. Part black comedy, part slasher and part homage to the seedy films of 1970s grindhouse cinema, writer/director Drew Barnhardt has created a wholly unique American Indie.
BLOOD PARADISE – JULY 16TH
Unpredictable and at times drenched in sly humor, this thriller is Patrick von Barkenberg’s film debut. Reeling after her latest novel flops, best-selling crime writer Robin Richards (Andréa Winter) is sent by her publisher to the Swedish countryside to regain inspiration. Instead of relaxation, she comes across an assortment of peculiar and possibly dangerous characters, including her driver and most obsessive fan, his explosively jealous wife, and the progressively more unhinged man who owns the farm. The beautiful and stylish young woman soon discovers just how dangerous these oddballs may be. Think “Green Acres” as directed by Jordan Peele.
THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND – AUGUST 6TH
This Australian film classic, the feature film debut of Fred Schepisi (Roxanne, A Cry in the Dark), is a semi-autobiographical drama of a 13-year-old boy’s struggles at a Catholic seminary in the 1950s. Tom (Simon Burke) is a student gripped with Catholic guilt as he struggles with his nascent sexual yearning and his divine calling. The seminary, run by a group of Brothers also torn between their vows and human desire, follows a harsh code of religious discipline. The boys are lorded over by the obsessively watchful eye of Brother Francine (Arthur Dignam), who prowls the halls looking for evidence of “the undisciplined mind.” A lyrical, mordantly funny memory film about the age-old struggles of mind, body and spirit. This re-release is being presented in a brand-new high definition transfer.