It's Thursday, which means the more rabid among you have already devoured Monika's New DVD Picks of the Week and/or my suggestions (Indies on DVD) and you're thinking: What's next? Well, my DVD fiend friend, may I suggest a trip to Asia?

We'll start with the one that probably has the broadest immediate appeal. Latitude Zero comes to us courtesy of Japanese director Ishirô Honda, the man behind Godzilla and Rodan, among many others. He also made Atragonin 1963, the tale of a renegade atomic submarine whose crew becomes involved with a colorful pagan tribe that lives under the sea. Latitude Zero appears to be semi-related; it revolves around a secret city under the sea (also named "Latitude Zero"). When the film was released Stateside in 1970, the New York Times commented: "The real virtue of the film lies in its charming and careful models, its ingenious special effects, its fruity interior décor, its elaborate network of television screens ... and in Dr. Anne Barton," played by Linda Haynes. (Free registration required to read the complete review.) Joseph Cotten and Cesar Romero star. The two-disk special edition DVD from Tokyo Shock features the US and Japanese versions, deleted scenes, crew interviews, and a trailer gallery.

The more adventurous might wish to check out Evil Dead Trap 2 (DVD from Unearthed Films, with photo gallery and trailers), described as a "surrealistic sequel" about a projectionist; "in her spare time, she's completely insane and bloodily guts prostitutes with a knife." (!) Along similar extreme edges, Raw Summer (DVD from Pathfinder Home Entertainment with a "making of" feature and biographies) follows "a salaryman [who] obsesses over a pretty teenage schoolgirl in first-time filmmaker Keisuke Yoshida's darkly comic tale of a man consumed by a truly twisted love." The cover looks exploitative (and is NSFW) but has positive quotes from Andy Klein of LA CityBeat; Klein is an experienced critic of Asian films, so this may be worth a rental.

For the record, I'll mention that Suffocation, whose import DVD proclaimed it was "China's first Psycho Film," has arrived on Region 1 DVD via Image Entertainment. I've tried to watch this twice, but have been defeated each time by the glacial pace of the proceedings and the lack of any spookiness. Potential renters, consider yourselves forewarned.
categories Dvds, Cinematical