RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted.
Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
Again, lotsa local film and TV happenings are on the immediate horizon, so let’s run through them on the record so I can say, “I told you about that!”’’
• Count Gregore is returning to TV! Count Gregore is returning to TV! OK, so it’s only for one night, but still. The local horror host legend (and last year’s grand marshal of Gazette’s Halloween Parade) will grace the airwaves of KSBI TV 52 (Cox channel 7) at 11 p.m. on Halloween. The flick he’ll host? 1962’s sci-fi schlock classic “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.” TiVo, set.
• Ken Loach’s work doesn’t often play the Sooner State. Depending on your tastes, that may be a good thing. If you fall on the +1 side, you’ll want to catch “Kes” at Oklahoma City University’s free screening, 2 p.m. Nov. 6. The 1969 film about a boy and his falcon yielded praise from none other than Roger Ebert. Then again, Ebert gave “Garfield” three stars.
• On topic, City Arts Center screens the documentary “OT: Our Town” at 6 p.m. Nov. 3, followed by an open discussion on arts in education. The film follows high school students as they produce Thornton Wilder’s classic play on no budget and no stage. Not only is admission free, but so are popcorn and refreshments. Win win. To RSVP, call 951-0000 or email email@example.com.
• As Semisonic once sang, “It’s all about chemistry, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh.” It’s the International Year of Chemistry, and University of Central Oklahoma will celebrate your least favorite high school science class with screenings of two films: 1943’s “Madame Curie” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and 2010’s “The Illusionist” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in Pegasus Theater inside UCO’s Liberal Arts Building. The former is $6, the latter is free (not to mention just a damn fine animated film). For more information, call 974-5476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Remember the documentary about Wayman Tisdale we told you about? Before “The Wayman Tisdale Story” hits DVD, you can see it on the big screen, scheduled for Nov. 6 at Moorehouse Church in Oklahoma City, Nov. 9 at Oklahoma Hall of Fame in Muskogee, and Nov. 12 at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. No, I have no idea where Moorehouse Church is, either, but all the screenings are — recurring theme detected — free!
• Prepare to yell “Krup you!” to Officer Krupke all over again, as the Oscar-winning musical “West Side Story” hits theaters for one night only in a 50th-anniversary event. With 7 p.m. Nov. 9 screenings set at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24 and Cinemark Tinseltown USA, the film also includes a special discussion with producer Walter Mirisch and actor George Chakiris, moderated by Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.
• And finally, if you’re one of those people who’d rather make movies than just watch them, make plans to attend “12x5,” a presentation by the Cinematic Artists of Norman. Beginning at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at Mainsite Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main in Norman, the event gives a dozen film professionals five minutes apiece to share their knowledge. That’s a lot of shared knowledge for not a lot of money — in fact, it’s free! For more information, call 355-3226 or visit cinematicartistsofnorman.org. —Rod Lott