This week on DVD and Blu-ray: the foreign action film that puts its American counterparts to shame; one of the most gruesome films ever to come out of Australia; Ben Wheatley's critically acclaimed follow up to "Down Terrace"; a Cuban zombie blast; a black-and-white vampire oldie; and a harrowing first person account of the Holocaust.
If "The Raid: Redemption" is anything to go by, the Indonesians do action way better than we do (with help from a Welsh director). A hit at the indie box office, where it did solid numbers despite opening the same weekend as "The Hunger Games," "The Raid: Redemption" revolves around an elite task force's attempt to permeate a safe house filled with criminals in the slums of Jakarta. As the battle rages on with Special Forces leader Rama (Iko Uwais) at the helm, the druglord watches from his top-floor lair via a group of monitors.
"Bones break, blood flows and swift, excessively complicated fight choreography puts virtually everything released in North America since 'The Bourne Ultimatum' to instant shame," wrote Eric Kohn in his glowing review. "'The Raid: Redemption' stands out not only because of the speed of its execution but also because of the number of onscreen deaths portrayed with relentless unease. Director Gareth Evans exploits violence for the sake of entertainment along with the best of them, but he never makes it easy to watch. I swear my face hurt coming out of the theater."
Extras: Audio commentary with Evans; 6 behind-the-scenes video blogs; "Behind the Music" featurette; "An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese" featurette; "An Anatomy of a Scene" featurette; "In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda" featurette; and "Inside the Score" trailer teaser for Mike Shinoda's first feature score.
"Kill List," Ben Wheatley's follow-up to critically acclaimed debut "Down Terrace," has been generating love from horror aficionados since premiering at last year's SXSW. Bloody Disgusting went so far as to dub it "the best horror film of 2011," while Indiewire's Eric Kohn called the film a "brutally unsettling masterpiece that you need to see twice." One thing's for certain: "Kill List" will rattle your nerves. The film follows Jay (Neil Maskell), an ex-soldier-turned-contract killer who is pressured into a new assignment by his old partner following a disastrous hit job in Kiev. As they set out on their latest series of hits, it soon becomes clear that Jay isn't in the best headspace to handle the job. All the while, strange things begin happening; among those, a number of his hits start humbly thanking Jay for taking their lives. The whole sordid tale builds to a horrifying climax that critics (for the most part) have been kind enough not to reveal.
Extras: Audio commentary with Wheatley; audio commentary featuring actors Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring and Michael Smiley; three interview segements with the producers; an the eight-minute featurette "The Making of Kill List."