This is a week of the unusual with augmenting parasites, various paranormal experiences and a young woman’s untraditional introduction to love and sex.

Growth on DVDGrowth (DVD)
In 1989, a breakthrough in advanced parasitic research on Kuttyhunk Island gave scientists a jump in human evolution. Initial tests proved promising as subjects experienced heightened physical and mental strength and awareness. However, something in the experiment went horribly wrong and the island mysteriously lost three quarters of its population. Jamie Akerman (Mircea Monroe) fled the outbreak, which took her mother’ life, 20 years ago. She returns with her boyfriend and step brother to sell the family property, but uncovers the key to Jamie’s disturbing past and the horrifying secrets long suppressed by the town leader. Now, a new strain of parasite has emerged to threaten the island once again, while Jamie struggles to survive and escape the obsessive pursuit of the local islanders who know that she has inherited more than her ancestral home.

Burrowing parasites immediately bring to mind Slithers or David Cronenberg’s Shivers, but this is without the comic camp or sexual commentary. This is a thrilling tale of scientific enhancement run amok. One of the best elements of the film is the archival footage from the original outbreak 20 years ago, which simply displays their naiveté regarding their own creation.

Special features include: commentary with writer/producer/director Gabriel Cowan and producer Aimee Clark; another commentary with actors Monroe, Brian Krause, Christopher Shand and Nora Kirkpatrick; “Korea Online” shows how Cowan directed one scene shot in Seoul, Korea from Los Angeles via online camera; “Growth in development,” a behind-the-scenes featurette; deleted scenes; and the trailer. (Entertainment One)

The Outer Limits - Season 6 on DVDThe Outer Limits – Complete Sixth Season (DVD)
“There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture.”

The sixth season of the critically-acclaimed, science fiction series The Outer Limits has hit DVD. Like the classic 1960’s series of the same name, each episode is an imaginative exploration of humanity’s greatest hopes and darkest fears. It often pushes the sci-fi envelope, taking you to places, worlds and times you never thought existed. This season of the Emmy-nominated show pushed the limits of the paranormal, dealing with the consequences of such controversial and thought-provoking topics as time travel, alternate personae, UFOs and the afterlife.

Special guest appearances include: Gary Busey, Adam Goldberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Meat Loaf, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Antonio Sabato Jr. and more.

There are no special features. (Alliance Films)

Year of the Carnivore on DVDYear of the Carnivore (DVD)
Sammy Smalls (Cristin Milioti) is a 21-year-old tomboy who works as a store detective at Big Apple Food Town. Her job is to deliver shoplifters to her boss, who beats them up so they never re-offend. Sammy feels guilty over her part in the dodgy scheme and wants to quit, but she doesn’t have many options. She certainly isn’t moving back home to live with her unhappy and over-protective parents. Meanwhile, Sammy is head over heels for scruffy street musician Eugene Zaslavsky (Mark Rendall). He’s perfect for her: funny, irreverent and sensitive; but the problem is, he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. After a disastrous one-night stand, Eugene suggests they play the field to get more experience. Following his advice, Sammy hatches a plan that catapults her on a quest, taking her through her neighbours’ bedroom, the public swimming pool and finally the woods behind the supermarket where she blackmails shoplifters into giving her sex lessons.

This original portrait of unconventional sexual exploration in an attempt to obtain traditional love is from Torontonian director Sook-Yin Lee.

Special features include: a behind-the-scenes featurette and short films by Lee. (Entertainment One)

Micmacs on blu-rayMicMacs (DVD)
Bazil doesn’t have much luck with weapons. First a mine exploded in the middle of the Moroccan desert, making him an orphan; years later, a stray bullet lodged in his brain and holds him on the brink of sudden and instant death. Bazil is homeless when he’s released from the hospital, but he is luckily adopted by a motley crew of second-hand dealers living in a veritable Ali Baba’s cave, whose talents and aspirations are as surprising as they are diverse: Remington, Calculator, Buster, Slammer, Elastic Girl, Tiny Pete and Mama Chow. One day, walking by two huge buildings, Bazil recognizes the logos of the weapons manufacturers that caused his hardship. With the help of his faithful gang of wacky friends, he sets out to take revenge. Underdogs battling heartless industrial giants, the gang relives the battle of David and goliath, with all the imagination and fantasy of Buster Keaton.

Special features include: an interview with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. (Entertainment One)

Supernatural - Season 5 on blu-raySupernatural – Season 5 (Blu-ray)
Two brothers and one fallen angel stand alone against all the might of Satan and his army. As the Apocalypse grows closer, threatening to turn Earth into a battlefield soaked with human blood, Sam, Dean and Castiel struggle against daunting odds. New foes arise, including the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; while old friends depart, consumed by the fearsome wrath of Hell. Through it all, the Winchesters are targeted by demons and angels alike, who warn that each brother has a special and terrible role to play in the coming devastation. Season Five follows Sam and Dean on their most terrifying journey yet – one that may lead them to the only ally strong enough to defeat the Devil: God.

Special features include: “Supernatural Apocalypse Survival Guides,” Bobby’s exclusive video collection; “Ghostfacers: the Web Series,” producer/writer commentary on episode four, “The End,” unaired scenes from episode nine, “The Real Ghostbusters,” and a gag reel, which never fails to be funny. (Warner Home Video)

Hatchet on Blu-rayHatchet (Blu-ray)
Victor Crowley is a hideously deformed boy, living in seclusion with his father (Kane Hodder) in an isolated cabin deep in the Louisiana Bayou. When a Halloween prank initiated by local kids goes terribly awry, Victor is accidentally killed in a vicious twist of irony. Years later, a tourist group visiting New Orleans’ “haunted swamps” stumble upon the remnants of that shocking event, transforming an evening of seemingly innocent fun into a horrific nightmare, from which there may be no escape.

This throwback to ‘80s slasher flicks includes horror cinema legends Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Tony Todd (Candyman) and Hodder (Jason Vorhees).

Special features include: commentary with writer/director Adam Green and Hodder; another commentary with Green, cinematographer Will Barratt and actors Tamara Feldman, Joel David Moore and Deon Richmond; a making-of featurette; “Meeting Victor Crowley”; “Guts & Gore”; “Anatomy of a Kill”; “A Twisted Tale”; a gag reel; and the trailer.

Mars Attacks! on blu-rayMars Attacks (Blu-ray)
When U.S. satellites photograph a bunch of flying saucers coming to Earth, the American President James Dale (Jack Nicholson) has a meeting with his advisers. He is convinced by Professor Donald Kessler (Pierce Brosnan) that Martians would be a developed culture and therefore peaceful by nature, in spite of the warnings of General Decker (Rod Steiger). The authorities, some civilians and the press prepare a welcome committee for the aliens, but they soon realize Mars is actually attacking Earth in this Tim Burton comedic romp.

There is so much good in this little alien package, it’s difficult to know where to start. There are lines you’ll be repeating days, weeks, even years later. The small extraterrestrials are funny and the human reaction to their arrival is equally humorous. The pint-sized green invaders endowed with slimy, humongous brains and armed with insta-fry ray guns take on an all-star cast in this sci-fi comedy.

There are no special features.

Matrix Reloaded on blu-rayMatrix Reloaded (Blu-ray)
In the second chapter of the Matrix trilogy, Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army. In their quest to save the human race from extinction, they gain greater insight into the construct of The Matrix and Neo’s pivotal role in the fate of mankind.

The brilliance of The Matrix waned somewhat in the subsequent chapters, but the Wachowski Brothers were building a world that made everything questionable and fascinating. This film delves deeper into The Matrix’s origins, revealing truths you would never have expected. In addition, the evolution of Mr. Smith (Hugo Weaving) is interesting.

Special features include: a written introduction by the Wachowski Brothers; commentary by philosophers: Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber; commentary by critics: Todd McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson; documentary galleries: “Behind The Matrix” with four featurettes, “Car Chase” with nine featurettes, “Teahouse Fight” with two featurettes, “Unplugged” with five featurettes, “I’ll Handle Them” with four featurettes, and “The Exiles” with two featurettes; “Enter The Matrix,” a view of 23 live-action scenes shot for the video game; “Enter The Matrix: The Game” documentary; P.O.D.’s music video for “Sleeping Awake”; theatrical trailers and TV spots; and the In-movie Experience, in which the cast and creative team guide you through a unique, interactive look at the filmmaking process.

The Player on blu-rayThe Player (Blu-ray)
“Movies. Now more than ever!” That’s the motto of the movie studio where fast-tracking exec Griffin Bell (Tim Robbins) works. But rumour has it a power play could push Bell out. And a rejected writer who’s sending anonymous death threats could push him under. Robert Altman directs this acclaimed and satiric love/hate valentine to Hollywood, and from the bravura opening tracking shot to the spot-the-star cameos (60+!) to the inside skinny of studio life to the gleeful finale, you’re in good, knowing hands.

Special features include: commentary by Altman and writer Michael Tolkin; additional scenes; “One on one with Robert Altman” featurette; and a theatrical trailer.


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