Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Drunk on Foolish Pleasures: Coming Attractions!
thedigitalbits.com is an indispensible website (some prefer Blu-ray.com, but why quibble?) One of the best features on “The Bits” is its illustrated guide to upcoming releases! It is fun to see what’s coming down the gravy pipe, and to plan purchases accordingly. These are the upcoming Scary Movie Month releases that make me all tingly inside. NOTE: This list is not all-inclusive. It is selective. Do not leave comments at the bottom that I “left out this release or that release” or I WILL F YOU UP. I am big, but I am sneaky. And nimble. And drunk. Onward!
Swamp Thing: Scream Factory just released this so-called “definitive version” on Blu-ray; the transfer is beautiful and the extras are nice. True fanboys (and girls) may quibble (they always do) that Scream Factory is leaving off the “Alternative Spicy European Version” that accidently made its way to disc at the turn of the millennium and features a few extra moments of Adrienne Barbeau in the altogether. This of course makes that original release a valuable collector’s item. For perverts.
Planet of the Apes” box set a run for its money. A tiny aquarium with decapitated zombie heads that you can fill with real water? The set also comes with “plastic bits of zombie skin” that you can float in the aquarium, so it looks just like the Governor’s aquarium on the actual show. Except tinier, and slower to rot. Say what you want, but The Walking Dead is still my favorite Sunday night guilty pleasure. I loves me my zombies.
Q: The Winged Serpent: Larry Cohen returns with a Sci-Fi/Horror film that should have been titled Batshit Crazy. On Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of Scream Factory. Nice transfer and an audio commentary with the always-entertaining Cohen. Highly recommended.
The Lords of Salem: One of our favorite horror films of the year here at F This Movie!. We loved this bastard hybrid of Rob Zombie, Dario Argento, and David Lynch and wonder why more people did not see this in theaters. Now is your chance to see it at home with all of the lights turned out.
Friday the 13th COMPLETE: This Blu-ray box is garnering negative buzz on the Internets (a series of doomed summer camp tubes) because of its incompleteness. (Actually, I am NOT looking forward to this one – and will not be buying it – but I know many F-Heads, going against my stern advice, still love these goddamn films, so I mention it here. YOU’RE WELCOME. Also, you’re doomed.)
Here is what this “Complete” version LACKS, according to Machete Jason on Amazon.com: “uncut versions of any of the films except the reboot, separate discs for parts 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and Jason X (they are included in pairs), any of the extended/deluxe DVD versions already released, and commentary tracks for Parts 2 and 3. Not all of the extras were ported over from previous releases of the films, and Friday the 13th 3D Blu-ray disc is anaglyph 3D and not true 3D. Daniel Farrand's popular His Name Was Jason documentary is not included either. Also, the included booklet, Crystal Lake Memories, is a severe abridgment of the original book on which it is based.”
I see that you do get a “Camp Crystal Lake” counselor patch, though, and all for the low, low price of $100.
I am on record as being NO FAN of this series, so I will probably borrow Patrick’s copy.
The Fly (1956): Released today for the first time on the Blu-ray, this release too is receiving quibbles from fans who wish 20th Century Fox would just port over their previous, terrific “Original Fly” DVD boxset to Blu. Boo-hoo!
I’m buying this. “Help meeeeeeeeeee. Help meeeeeeeeee!”
World War Z: I am the only sentient adult on the planet who actually liked this film. I particularly liked the metaphor of the zombies as plague. Feel free to fill the comments section below with your profanity-laden approbations.
Bates Motel, Season 1: I have not yet seen a single episode of this bizarre, “What If?” television series, but my students rave about it, which probably means it is bad.
Day of the Dead: Again? Still, I’m buying this. AGAIN.
Dracula, Prince of Darkness: Yes, this is what we get in America because there is some goddamned hold-up releasing the RESTORED Horror of Dracula, which has been out in England for six months already. Surely, you have read about this restoration? Apparently, those rumors I was always reading in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine when I was a teenager about a more violent alternate cut of the film prepared for Japan were TRUE. That footage has been reinstated, but not in the United States unless you have a multi-region Blu-ray player. Boo-hoo.
Speaking of our beloved Bela Lugosi, more Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray individual disc releases are set for release. Half the “singletons” (The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera) were already released on June 4th; the rest (Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man) come out on September 17th. Even if you have the American box set (and the slightly different English box set, and the special Collector’s Edition Coffin set, and the individual English discs because of the unique packaging) do you NOT need these a FIFTH TIME? C’mon, WHAT KIND OF MONSTER FAN ARE YOU?
SIDE NOTE: You realize Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein was given a Blu-ray release last year, right? There is a God.
Apparently, we will get two new bonus features: an all-new commentary track with John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis, and a short documentary about Jamie Lee’s visit to Horrorhound Weekend Cincinnati last fall. She was signing for a children’s hospital charity and announced that it was the only horror convention she would ever attend.
Prince of Darkness: The fine people at Shout! Factory’s horror subsidiary Scream Factory have done excellent work; I look forward to all of their new releases. They remind me of what the late, lamented Elite Entertainment used to do on laserdisc. Man, when I think back to that 25th Anniversary Night of the Living Dead they put out in 1994, I get all misty. And bloody. Bloody, and misty.
Room 237: Actually, forget it. Read Adam Riske’s fine article here.
award-winning podcast makes its home video debut in a packaging scheme some of you may find irresistible. You not only get the film on Blu-ray and regular DVD, but you also get the movie on VHS tape. Is this a winsome adventure in nostalgia for the studio, or a sly attempt to bring back a clearly superior format?
Psycho II & Psycho III: When I first typed the Roman numerals after the films’ titles, I used the wrong key and accidently typed exclamation points. Maybe I should just keep it that way, because I am SO looking forward to these releases. Psycho II has one of the GREATEST ENDINGS IN HORROR FILM HISTORY.
Trust me. And grab a shovel.
Hey, F-Heads—which of these are you particularly looking forward to this season? Comment below, and I will be back next week with the October bounty.