What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray in August: ‘Crimes of the Future,’ ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot,’ ‘Pam & Tommy’ and More

Alonso Duralde spotlights the month’s best new physical-media releases, because you never really own a film or TV show if it’s on digital

Kristen Stewart Neon Crimes of the Future
Kristen Stewart in David Cronenberg's "Crimes of the Future"

New Release Wall

David Cronenberg plays the hits in “Crimes of the Future” (Neon), but there’s no other filmmaker today with hits like his. Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux are a pair of surgery-based performance artists whose interests intersect with a sect of plastic-eaters, while bureaucrats Kristen Stewart (giving the screen’s most divisive performance since Jared Leto in “House of Gucci”) and Don McKellar look on in fannish amazement. If you enjoy the auteur’s brand of surgical implements that look like insect exoskeletons and furniture that looks like tumors, this is your kind of movie.

Also available:

“Charm City Kings” (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): Denied a proper release during the pandemic lockdown, this saga of a young Baltimorean getting involved in the city’s motorbike culture is a powerful drama not to be missed.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (Marvel Studios): Audiences differed on whether Sam Raimi bent Marvel movies to his will or vice versa, but either way, there’s plenty to enjoy in this creepy, dimension-spanning saga (even if “Everything Everywhere All at Once” did the whole multiverse thing better).

“Lux Aeterna” (Yellow Veil Pictures): One of two Gaspar Noë films to get a U.S. release this year, this one’s the short starring Béatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg as “themselves,” swapping stories on the set of a movie that’s spinning out of control.

“Men” (Lionsgate): Audiences seemed either to love or to hate the latest from Alex Garland, but most viewers agreed that Rory Kinnear gives a bravura performance as, ahem, the title role in this creepy thriller.

“Mr. Malcolm’s List” (Decal/Bleecker Street): Fans of “Bridgerton” can turn to this glossy period romance to scratch their Austen-adjacent itch between seasons.

“The Phantom of the Open” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Mark Rylance plays one of the UK’s worst golfers, who nonetheless competes in the British open, in this Brits-do-eccentric-things comedy, co-starring Sally Hawkins.

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (Paramount Home Entertainment): The success of this sequel confirms that Paramount has a hit franchise of its own and that video-game adaptations don’t necessarily have to be flops.

“Vivo” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): The ever-present Lin-Manuel Miranda voices a kinkajou on a mission in this animated musical adventure.

New Indie

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “creepypasta,” the acclaimed indie “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair” (Utopia), from writer-director Jane Schoenbrun will bring you up to speed. Anna Cobb stars as Casey, a web-obsessed teen who goes deeper down the rabbit hole of a creepy urban legend, documenting the physical changes being wrought upon her. (Or ARE they?) This intimately unsettling film demonstrates how much can be accomplished with mood and concept, even if other resources are limited.

Also available:

“American Carnage” (Lionsgate): The captured children of undocumented immigrants agree to aid the elderly to commute their sentences, only to uncover a horrifying conspiracy in this comedy-thriller starring Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Jenna Ortega.

“The Enormity of Life” (Bayview Entertainment): Breckin Meyer stars as a man who hits rock bottom but bounces back with some unlikely helpers.

“Icon” (KDMG): A teenage pregnancy forces a young father-to-be to examine his relationship with his own dad in this debut feature from Tony Ahedo.

“Neptune Frost” (Kino Lorber): This Afro-futurist sci-fi musical from Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman is one of the year’s most highly-acclaimed films.

“The Oregonian” (Factory 25): Director Calvin Lee Reeder offers a twisted take on the Pacific Northwest in his 2011 cult fave, now on a packed Blu-ray that includes the filmmaker’s early shorts as well as essays by David Lowery and Craig Zobel.

New Foreign

Arguably launched to an international platform by the success of Yorgos Lanthimos, the “Greek Weird Wave” has gone on to encompass up-and-coming filmmakers like Athina Rachel Tsangari (“Chevalier”) and now Christos Nikou, whose debut feature “Apples” (Cohen Media Group) drew raves at the Venice and Telluride festivals on its way to becoming the Greek entry for the Academy Awards. A man suffers amnesia in a global pandemic and builds back his memories with instructions from his doctors and Polaroid pictures of his new daily routine in this haunting and surreal drama.

Also available:

“Ali & Ava” (Greenwich Entertainment): Two musicians at different places in their lives spark an unlikely romance.

“Cocoon” (Film Movement): A lesbian teen has an unforgettable coming of age one hot summer in Berlin in this acclaimed drama from Leonie Krippendorf.

“Fire in the Mountains” (Kino Lorber): The strength and agency of a determined woman in the Himalayas is constantly tested as she battles the patriarchy and fights for her child’s health in Ajitpal Singh’s directorial debut.

“Gulliver Returns” (Shout Kids): The big selling point for this animated sequel would appear to be the “from an idea by” credit for Volodymyr Zelensky (and, one assumes, Jonathan Swift).

“Jesus Kid” (IndiePix Films): In Aly Muritiba’s satirical fantasy (Brazil’s submission to the 2022 Oscars), a blocked writer is haunted (and taunted) by visions of a Western gunslinger, the author’s most popular character.

“The Old Man: The Movie” (Unearthed Films): In this Estonian stop-motion-animation comedy-horror tale, the titular dairy farmer has 24 hours to find one unmilked cow before there’s an udder catastrophe.

“Olga” (Kino Lorber): A young Ukrainian gymnast training abroad attempts to keep her head in the game, even as her mother contends with the 2013 uprising back home.

“A Tale of Love and Desire” (Icarus Films Home Video): A love of erotic Arabic poetry brings together a conservative native Parisian and an outgoing Tunisian immigrant in this contemporary love story.

“Tey” (Kino Lorber): “Neptune Frost” (see above) co-director Saul Williams stars in this poignant tale of a Dakar villager who has been chosen by the gods to die at the end of the day.

“Tremble All You Want” (Kani Releasing): Maya Matsuoka (“Shoplifters”) stars in this acclaimed Japanese romantic comedy about a woman whose notions about love are completely upended.

New Doc

Back when the medium was VHS cassettes and not YouTube, it was a lot harder for a short film to go viral, which makes the enduring success of “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” (Circle Collective) all the more impressive. This pioneering examination of fandom — specifically, devotees of Judas Priest, captured tailgating before a 1986 concert in Maryland — has endured over the decades, spawning countless variations, many of which are included in this new Blu-ray set. This two-disc collection features “Heavy Metal Picnic,” “Neil Diamond Parking Lot,” “Harry Potter Parking Lot” and more, in a hi-def, limited-edition release.

Also available:

“Are You Proud?” (Indican Pictures): Director Ashley Joiner examines 50+ years of progress for the LGBTQ+ community and explores the battles yet to be won.

“Cow” (IFC): Director Andrea Arnold gets up close and personal with the life cycle of a hard-working animal at a dairy farm.

“Fanny: The Right to Rock” (Film Movement): The all-but-forgotten original all-female rock band returns to the spotlight in this loving documentary.

“Faya Dayi” (The Criterion Collection): Jessica Beshir crafts a hypnotic and sensual portrait of her childhood stomping grounds, from the Ethiopian city of Harar to the rural community of Oromo, whose principal cash crop is the narcotic khat plant.

“Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): If you’ve never attended this legendary annual performance event, this exuberant look at the fest’s 50-year history is the next best thing to being there.

“Samira’s Dream” (IndiePix Films): Filmmaker Nino Tropiano spent seven years following Samira, a young Zanzibari woman torn between traditions and her very modern ambitions.

“Waiting: The Van Duren Story” (MVD Visual): Two first-time directors set out to document musician Van Duren (of the legendary group Big Star), only to find themselves becoming part of his story.

New Grindhouse

If the shout-out from Natalie Portman’s astrophysicist character in “Thor: Love and Thunder” wasn’t enough to convince you that the once-reviled “Event Horizon” (Paramount Home Entertainment) has undergone a critical reappraisal, this 25th anniversary 4K steelbook release should do the trick. Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson and Jason Isaacs are among the crew of an interstellar mission that goes very, very wrong and leads to some moments of visual terror that still pack a punch after a quarter-century.

Also available:

“Baby Assassins” (Well Go USA Entertainment): Two teen-girl killers are forced to get legit cover jobs and to share an apartment, but when they’re forced to face off with the Yakuza, they’ve got each other’s backs.

“Battle of the Worlds” (The Film Detective): Claude Rains went to Italy to star in this international 1960s flying-saucer feature.

“Catch the Heat” (KL Studio Classics): Tiana Alexandra stars as a one-woman fighting force who goes undercover as an exotic dancer to expose Rod Steiger’s heroin empire.

“Child’s Play” / “Child’s Play 2” / “Child’s Play 3” (Scream Factory): These 4K Collector’s Editions reissues of the first three Chucky movies come loaded with new interviews with cast and crew members.

“Code Name Banshee” (Screen Media): Retired assassin Antonio Banderas teams up with protegée Jaime King to bring down a plot that threatens them both.

“Dog Soldiers” (Scream Factory): Neil Marshall’s warrior-and-werewolves tale gets the 4K treatment.

“Drive” (88 Films): This 1997 Hong Kong import stars Mark Dacascos — as a super-powered Chinese agent on the run in San Francisco — and features Kadeem Hardison and Brittany Murphy.

“Electra Glide in Blue” (KL Studio Classics): This classic motorcycle saga stars Robert Blake as an iconoclastic cop who finds more in common with a group of hippies than his colleagues on the force.

“Flying Guillotine Part II” (88 Films): Outlaw Lung Ti teams up with a group of female freedom fighters to bring down a corrupt emperor in this Shaw Brothers classic.

“A Force of One” / “Good Guys Wear Black” / “The Octagon”: KL Studio Classics releases a trio of new 2K masters of vintage Chuck Norris fist-ravaganzas.

“High Desert Kill” (Scorpion Releasing): Three hunters (including Marc Singer and Anthony Geary) find themselves the prey of Chuck Connors in the badlands.

“Hot Seat” (Lionsgate): Hacker Kevin Dillon races against the clock to outsmart the terrorist who has threatened to kidnap his daughter in this thriller that co-stars Shannen Doherty and Mel Gibson.

“Jack Be Nimble” (Altered Innocence): The late Alexis Arquette stars in this goth-horror classic from New Zealand about a pair of separated twins brought back together by their shared psychic powers.

“Kill a Dragon” (KL Studio Classics): Soldier of fortune Jack Palance fends off warlord Fernando Lamas in this glorious schlock-fest, co-starring Aldo Ray.

“Maid in Sweden” (Code Red): This vintage 1971 Scandinavian erotic makes its Blu-ray debut in a new 2K transfer.

“Mata Hari” (KL Studio Classics): Hollywood mystic Curtis Harrington directs Sylvia Kristel in a period spy movie for Golan-Globus — what more could you want?

“Mercenary Fighters” (Code Red): Mercenary Reb Brown has a change of heart and joins the rebels in this action saga that co-stars Peter Fonda and Ron O’Neal.

“Murder at Yellowstone City” (RLJE Films): While the title seems designed to fool fans of the TV show into buying a Blu-ray, this Western has an impressive ensemble cast that includes Gabriel Byrne, Thomas Jane, Anna Camp, Nat Wolff and Richard Dreyfuss.

“Naked Over the Fence” (Cult Epics): Speaking of Sylvia Kristel, this Blu-ray of her 1973 feature also comes in a limited edition that includes a soundtrack CD.

“Running Out of Time” Collection (Arrow Video): This box set of Johnnie To’s “Running Out of Time” and its sequel features new and previously-released extra materials, including a new commentary track.

“Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World” (KL Studio Classics): Gordon Scott stars in this swords-and-sandals epic on a Blu-ray that features the American International Pictures cut as well as the longer European version (“Maciste at the Court of the Great Khan”).

“Satan’s Children” (AGFA/Something Weird): Gays, satanists and more in a truly bizarre creation from a one-and-done, Tampa-based exploitation filmmaker.

“White Elephant” (RLJE Films): Michael Rooker is a mob hitman in this action saga that co-stars Bruce Willis, Olga Kurylenko and John Malkovich.

“Yellowbrickroad” (Lightyear Entertainment): The cult horror tale about researchers looking for a town that went missing (after watching “The Wizard of Oz”) gets a 10th-anniversary Blu-ray release.

New Classic

When it comes to meta-self-parodies, “Back to the Beach” (Paramount Presents) walked so that “The Brady Bunch Movie” and countless other post-modern comedies could run. Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello gleefully send up their own images as the onetime king and queen of the sand who find themselves 25 years later leading lives of quiet desperation in Ohio. When they return to their adolescent seaside haunts, they confront what’s changed (the bad-guy bikers are now surf punks) and what hasn’t (Annette can still knock out “Jamaica Ska,” only now with Fishbone providing accompaniment). Director Lyndall Hobbs (who deserved more of a career after this sprightly debut feature) contributes a warmly reminiscing interview to this otherwise features-bereft release, but this 1987 comedy remains a Big Kahuna.

Also available:

“Buck and the Preacher” (The Criterion Collection): One of the posters in Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer’s house in “Nope” pays homage to this pioneering Black Western, directed by Sidney Poitier (who co-stars with Harry Belafonte).

“The Burned Barns” (Cohen Film Collection): Alain Delon and Simone Signoret face off in this gripping 1973 murder mystery.

“Cat People” (Scream Factory): Paul Schrader’s sexy remake of the horror classic retains its erotic power in a new 4K release.

“Coming Apart” (Kino Classics): Rip Torn gives one of his greatest performances as an analyst secretly filming his own mental-breakdown in this ahead-of-its-time psychodrama, co-starring Viveca Lindfors.

“The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz” (VCI Entertainment): This creepy comedy from Luis Buñuel follows the life of a pampered young man who is convinced he’s a serial killer, even as he remains oblivious to the actual forces at play that bring down his “victims.”

“Daddy Longlegs” (The Criterion Collection): This early film from the Safdie brothers (“Uncut Gems,” “Good Time”) and longtime collaborator Ronald Bronstein examines a young father faced with the choice of being a parent or a buddy to his children.

“Dirty Dancing” (Lionsgate): Have the time of your life (and carry a watermelon) all over again in a new 4K release for the film’s 35th anniversary.

“Don’t Let the Angels Fall” (Canadian International Pictures): The first Canadian film to compete for the Palme d’Or stars Arthur Hill as the patriarch of a family dissolving in the face of 1960s alienation.

“Don’t Tell Her It’s Me” (Code Red): This oddball rom-com with Steve Guttenberg, Shelley Long and Jami Gertz has gone from box-office flop to what-were-they-thinking cult classic.

“Ferngully: The Last Rainforest” (Shout Kids): If you grew up on this animated favorite — and still enjoy telling people that it was ripped off by “Avatar” — enjoy a new 4K scan for the film’s 30th anniversary.

“Flatliners” (Arrow Video): Joel Schumacher’s stylish medical thriller — starring Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt — makes its 4K debut.

“Frownland” (The Criterion Collection): One of the oddest and most disturbing of the mumblecore movies, from the Safdie brothers’ collaborator Ronald Bronstein, gets the full Criterion treatment.

“Heartbreakers” (Fun City Editions): Peter Coyote and Nick Mancuso star as womanizing best pals who have an existential crisis when they both fall for gallery manager Carole Laure in Bobby Roth’s perceptive and long-unavailable cult favorite.

“Heat” (20th Century Studios): Michael Mann’s much-loved heist picture gets its first 4K release.

“Hôtel du Nord” (The Criterion Collection): In Marcel Carné’s poetic drama, the castoffs of Paris cross paths and find love, betrayal and violence at the titular boarding house.

“Little Man, What Now” (KL Studio Classics): Margaret Sullavan stars in Frank Borzage’s working-class romance, set in Berlin against the rise of the Nazi party.

“Natural Enemies” (Fun City Editions): Hal Holbrook stars as a successful businessman who snaps and searches for life’s meaning in this long-unseen drama from Jeff Kanew, co-starring Louise Fletcher and Viveca Lindfors.

“Next Time We Love” (KL Studio Classics): Before they teamed up for “Shop Around the Corner,” Margaret Sullavan teamed with James Stewart (in his first lead role) about a married couple separated by their jobs (she’s a Broadway star, he’s a journalist assigned to Rome) and the temptations of a man (Ray Milland) who’d like to be her second husband.

“Paths of Glory” (KL Studio Classics): Stanley Kubrick’s blistering anti-war tale makes its 4K debut.

“Sampo” (Deaf Crocodile): If you only know this epic Finnish-Soviet fantasy from its appearance on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (as “The Day the Earth Froze”), give it another shot.

“Sex & Lucia” (Music Box Films): This scorching Spanish import finally makes its way to Blu-ray, and Paz Vega’s star-making performance remains as powerful as ever.

“Summer Heat” (KL Studio Classics): Lori Singer is tempted to stray from husband Anthony Edwards over the course of a long, hot summer in this steamy neo-noir.

“Symphony for a Massacre” (Cohen Film Collection): Jacques Deray’s heist classic lives on in a new Blu-ray struck from a scan of the surviving 35mm interpositive (the negative has been lost).

“The Tenth Man” (KL Studio Classics): Anthony Hopkins, Kristin Scott Thomas and Derek Jacobi star in this WWII tale, adapted from the novel by Graham Greene.

“They Went That-a-Way & That-a-Way” (KL Studio Classics): This 1978 comedy stars Tim Conway and Chuck McCann as bumbling deputies going undercover in a maximum-security prison who must break out when the only person who knows their real identities drops dead.

“The Trials of Oscar Wilde” (KL Studio Classics): Peter Finch and James Mason star in one of two 1960 films (the other starred Robert Morley) about the literary superstar brought down by a court case over “the love that dare not speak its name.”

“Warrior” (Lionsgate): Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton star as estranged brothers and MMA fighters who really just want the love of their grizzled dad Nick Nolte in this bone-crunching male weepie, available in 4K exclusively from Best Buy.

“When Tomorrow Comes” (KL Studio Classics): Following “Love Affair,” Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer reteamed for this adaptation of a James M. Cain story about a waitress who falls in love with a concert pianist without realizing he’s already married.

New TV

Part true-crime tale, part flashback to the dawn of the internet, part exploration of celebrity culture, “Pam & Tommy” (Lionsgate) takes a lurid tale and turns it into a sharp and funny character study that looks at contemporary culture and sexuality in unexpected ways. Lily James and Sebastian Stan transform themselves into Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, whose spontaneous marriage was too hot not to cool down, especially after the unauthorized release of their private sex tape. It’s a riveting story, compassionately told.

Also available:

“1883” (Paramount Home Entertainment): This “Yellowstone” prequel follows the Dutton family as they pursue their dreams of a better life in Montana.

“The Bionic Woman”: The Complete Series (Shout Factory): This groundbreaking action series gets the box-set treatment it richly deserves, as the Gen X fave makes its Blu-ray debut with hours of bonus features and commentaries.

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”: The Seventh and Final Season (DC/WB): One of the weirder (and thus more wonderful) CW superhero shows takes its bow.

“The Gilded Age”: The Complete First Season (HBO/WB): While the first season of Julian Fellowes’ take on new money versus old money in late 19th century New York didn’t quite rise to “Downton Abbey” levels, the conflicts between Christine Baranski’s doyenne and Carrie Coons’ climber have been pretty delish.

“Krypto the Superdog”: The Complete Series (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): If you were annoyed that “DC’s League of Super-Pets” left out Streaky the Supercat and other beloved characters, they’re all here on this five-disc collection.

“Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women” (KL Studio Classics): In this 1979 TV-movie, a bunch of dudes crash-land on an island of mistrusting women, and the results are anything other than what Jules Verne had in mind.

“The Outer Limits”: Season One / “The Outer Limits”: Season Two (KL Studio Classics): This classic anthology series still controls the horizontal and the vertical in these two collections, featuring oodles of commentary and scholarship on this influential show.

“South Park”: The Complete 24th Season (Comedy Central/Paramount): Whatever it is, they’re still doing it.