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Your Netflix Instant Weekend: POPATOPOLIS, THE GRAPES OF DEATH, RARE EXPORTS, SINT, and more

Brian Kelley

April 6th, 2012

The slew of Instant Netflix releases on April 1st was no joke. A huge number of great titles were added (or re-added) and there are many to get excited about. Most importantly are a documentary about a prolific B-movie director, a French horror classic, and a pair of holiday themed horrors from across the pond.


For 27 years director Jim Wynorski has had a colorful career churning out 90 movies of varying quality and notoriety. From horror romps such as CHOPPING MALL and THE RETURN OF SWAMP THING to skin flicks like THE BARE WENCH PROJECT and BUSTY COPS to recent SyFy quality CG-monster movies like CAMEL SPIDERS, Wynorski has always managed to keep busy. In Clay Westervelt's documentary, Wynorski sets out to make his latest film, THE WITCHES OF BREASTWICK, in just 3 days eliminating all unnecessary crew (including craft services) and keeping everyone working on the film in one house. It's a fascinating look at a gruff but loveable director at work and ends up being a surprisingly poignant statement on the death of the B-movie, leaving everyone but the A-listers to work in a Z-grade arena. (Available in HD)


Renowned French fantastique genre director Jean Rollin directs this beautiful and abstract zombie film about a pesticide used to protect wine grapes that has unfortunate and gory side effects. Élisabeth is traveling by train when an infected vineyard worker boards and begins bleeding profusely in her car. Fleeing from the train she ends up in a small village where she encounters locals at various stages of infection. As she fights for survival in this strange place, shirts come undone, breasts fly about and decapitations abound. Combining a surreal pace with a truly haunting score, THE GRAPES OF DEATH is a striking and sometimes disturbing (but always strangely titillating) horror film and an excellent introduction to Rollin's unique work. (Available in HD)


I don't know what's going on across the Atlantic but there's some truly morbid stuff infecting the Holidays spirit over there. You wouldn't think a feature length prequel to a pair of short films created by a Finnish commercials production company would be so damn good but you'd be dead wrong. RARE EXPORTS reinvents the Christmas legends, telling the story of an archeological dig that unearths the real Santa Claus. Incredibly shot and full of surprises, RARE EXPORTS is a clever and subversive holiday treat that would almost be family friendly if it weren't for dozens and dozens of penises. (Available in HD)

Similarly rewriting established legends with a leaning towards horror, Dutch director Dick Maas (DE LIFT, AMSTERDAMNED) has turned Saint Nick into a slasher star. In SINT (titled in the US as SAINT NICK), St. Nicolas is an evil bishop who steals children and murders them when there is a full moon on December 5th. It just so happens, this snowy December 5th in Holland is also the night of a full moon and it turns out the legends are true. Saint Nick arrives as scheduled and dispatches everyone in his path in spectacularly gory ways. It's a fun film that, despite some brief periods of repetitive talkiness, is full of numerous crowd pleasing scenes of mayhem. (Available in HD)

The Wildcard - THE CLINIC (2010)

I picked this one based solely on its striking cover, a titillating promise of fetus-based horror. In reading a bit about it, it seems like a bit of a variation on the stolen kidney urban legend that goes off in some truly bizarre directions. I had to stop reading a synopsis (and will spare you the details revealed) and queue this immediately when things were starting to sound truly weird. Australian horror has been knocking it out of the park in recent years, hopefully this one is no exception.


If you're looking for more...

Richard Ayoade's coming-of-age comedy SUBMARINE is not to be missed. UNDOCUMENTED is not only a brutally disturbing horror film, it's a very relevant and timely warning about the extremes of the immigration debate. THE MANITOU is a deliciously weird horror film about woman growing a centuries-old Native American spirit in a lump on her back. For those adventurous enough, the controversial, potentially-clever, and profoundly disgusting THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) can be beamed into your family's living room. Another Jean Rollin classic, FASCINATION, has been added. There's other foreign horror in abundance including a paranoia thriller-horror called SALVAGE from the UK, the unsettling Korean war-horror R-POINT, the incredible French oddity SHEITAN, and the beautiful and haunting fairytale-horror A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. Also from Korea is the revenge masterpiece OLDBOY. The abstract micro-budget comedy THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM has been added. Terrence Malick's impossibly beautiful DAYS OF HEAVEN is back. Tarsem's THE FALL is a wonderful fantasy film full of unforgettable imagery. Finally, the superb Texas ranch epic GIANT is a definite must-see classic.

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  • Kristalbailey

    Can’t believe THE FALL only gets a throw away mention here! Seriously in love with that movie. 

    Great list over all – THE CLINIC sounds intriguing! 

    • http://twitter.com/BTSjunkie Brian Kelley

      I love THE FALL too! However, it’s a re-add and I try my best to highlight films that are streaming for the 1st time. :)  

      • Kristalbailey

        Ah, makes sense then! 

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