Cinema Crazed 2020 Summer Movie Gift Guide

It’s been a weird, bizarre, scary year, but hopefully you’ve managed to keep safe, healthy, and entertained. With summer in full swing, we present you a gift guide of some releases for the season that should cure your boredom. Every year we’re given some titles to promote for our readers, and we come across some new releases that might make the summer season a bit easier to endure.

Also: Remember that every time you buy through us, you help Cinema Crazed!

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The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968) [Blu-Ray]

One of the most bizarre pieces of Mondo exploitation, “The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield” is archival footage of the model traveling the world that was intended to be cute for the sake of a weird travel documentary focusing on Manfield. Sadly though when Mansfield died she was further exploited by the trio of directors Charles W. Broun, Jr., Joel Holt, Arthur Knight all of whom used stand ins (the movie shifts awkwardly from black and white to a color shot of her stand in), old footage of her frolicking, and a voice over actress who came on board to narrate as Ms. Mansfield.

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TV on DVD: Head of the Class: The Complete First Season (DVD)/Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet – Season 12 [Blu-Ray]

After the end of the seventies series “WKRP In Cincinnati,” star Howard Hesseman went on to more downbeat fare that, while formula, was at least a different direction. “Head of the Class” is a childhood favorite, a series I fondly remember watching as it came to a close, and then re-watching in reruns. I loved the show then, and years later it’s perfectly fine. As an eighties multi-camera prime time sitcom, it’s a serviceable and occasionally funny series about a substitute teacher who manages to take charge of a group of mismatched students with high IQ’s.

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Gutterballs (2008) – The Plotdigger Collection: Limited Edition [2 Disc Blu-Ray]

Director Ryan Nicholson’s slasher throwback is thankfully a horror film that, while imperfect, has managed to appreciate in value since its release in 2008. While we may be well past the age of the eighties revival in horror cinema, “Gutterballs” is a nice look at the fad done well and with some semblance of substance over style. It’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely midnight movie fodder that should be appreciated with its cinematic contemporaries. Frankly I’m surprised slasher BBK’s signature look never caught on with the horror community, but I digress.

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Sixteen Candles (1984) [Blu-Ray]

John Hughes was considered the master of teen oriented cinema in the 1980’s, often depicting somewhat lower middle class kids on the verge of adult hood. While the movies were raunchy and funny, they were also intent on building characters centered on self reflection and facing potentially dead end adult hoods. While “Weird Science” has mostly been lambasted as Hughes’ worst, I think I’d choose his debut “Sixteen Candles” as the weakest of his eighties outputs.

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Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations [Blu-ray]

Approaching Stan Laurel’s 130th Birthday, from Kit Parker Films comes another in a vast library of shorts from Laurel and Hardy. For folks that love the pair of comedic performers and actors, “The Definitive Restorations” is a great set with some of the best shorts from the legendary duo. I love Laurel and Hardy, and digging through this set allowed me some great laughs, and a glimpse in to a very talented pair of comedians that brought fun to the big screen. The shorts and two features included were remastered and further restored for this set, allowing them to clean up a lot of debris and imperfections and preserve a lot of the integrity of the original masters and reels. It’s stunning to say the least, and contributes to an already worthwhile experience for comedy buffs and film collectors alike.

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Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) [Blu-Ray]

I pretty much grew up with Elvira as a kid, and I’m old enough to remember the bygone era of the horror host. Elvira was one of the last hold outs for a long time as Television changed formats and needed less filler with big personalities introducing us to movies. Elvira managed to live on as a cult icon, appearing in music, and on pretty much anything and everything that involved horror and or Halloween. It was only a matter of time until there was “Mistress of the Dark

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Horrors of Spider Island (1960) [Blu-Ray]

Most of my knowledge and experience with “Horrors of Spider Island” (aka “Body in the Web,” aka “A Corpse Hung in the Web” aka “It’s Hot in Paradise”) begins and ends with “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It was lampooned in easily one of the funniest episodes of the series, and as it was nothing but goofy thinly veiled porn then, it’s goofy thinly veiled porn today. It’s somehow become something of a cult classic today, which is shocking considering the movie has almost nothing to offer. Even in its original uncensored form, the narrative is non-existent, and the movie is teeming with uncomfortable rapey overtones and very obvious lesbian overtones.

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