Trying to figure out what horror to pick up this Halloween season? Check out my recommendations spanning home video horror releases from late last September all the way thru the end of the month.
Leading the way for moi wasHalloween III: Season of the Witchfrom Scream Factory. Speaking of Scream Factory, they’ve been killing it of late with releases of all sorts of horror goodies. Just check out their release schedule over the last couple months. For the old school horror lovers Universal recently released Blu-rays for the classic monsters. And there’s plenty more horror for every type of fan. We’ve really been spoiled as of late, especially on the old/cult horror faves available on Blu-ray front.
Check out the rest below and happy Halloween viewing.
October Horror In Your House Roundup: October 10th, 2012
Note: If a film hasn’t been released yet the release date is in parenthesis
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER (2012) (Blu-ray/DVD/3D) (Oct 23rd) – 20TH Century Fox
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter explores the secret life of our greatest president, and the untold story that shaped our nation. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (Director of Wanted) bring a fresh and visceral voice to the bloodthirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history’s greatest hunter of the undead.
MICAH SAYS: Horse throwing. ‘Nuff said.
BLADE RUNNER 30th ANNIVERSARY 4 DISC EDITION (1982) (Blu-ray+DVD) (Oct 23rd) – Warner Home Video
In celebration of Blade Runner’s 25th anniversary, director Ridley Scott has gone back into post production to create the long-awaited definitive new version. Blade Runner: The Final Cut, spectacularly restored and re-mastered from original elements and scanned at 4K resolution, will contain never-before-seen added/extended scenes, added lines, new and improved special effects, director and filmmaker commentary, an all-new 5.1 Dolby® Digital audio track and more. Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Joanna Cassidy, Sean Young, and Daryl Hannah are among some 80 stars, filmmakers and others who participate in the extensive bonus features. Among the bonus material highlights is Dangerous Days, a brand new, three-and-a-half-hour documentary by award-winning DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, with an extensive look into every aspect of the film: its literary genesis, its challenging production and its controversial legacy. The definitive documentary to accompany the definitive film version.
MICAH SAYS: If you haven’t picked up the film prior (or maybe even if you have) this looks to be the ultimate edition for fans of the classic. I’m just not sure I need 3 discs of special features. I never end up watching all of them anyway…
DEAD RINGER (1964) (Blu-ray) – Warner Home Video
A diabolical double dose of Bette Davis! She plays sibling twins caught in a web of jealousy and murder in a goosebumpy thriller co-starring Karl Malden and Peter Lawford.
MICAH SAYS: Good old school thriller. Can’t go wrong here, saw it for cheap on Amazon the other day.
EXORCISM (1974) (Blu-ray) (Oct 16th) – Redemption Films
A former Catholic priest, who was tossed from the priesthood for his way-too-liberal beliefs, now writes S&M articles for a French magazine. Having been a witness to Black Masses complete with phony sacrifices, he deems himself judge and sets out to kill those people he feels are destined to spend eternity in Hell. ENGLISH DUBBED (also French w/ English Subtitles)
THE FUNHOUSE (1981) (Blu-ray/DVD) (Oct 16th) – Scream Factory
Director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) pays affectionate tribute to various classic horror movies in this tale of two teenage couples who spend the night in a sleazy carnival funhouse.
MICAH SAYS: I just watched this last night here in LA as part of a Video Nasty celebration. The 35mm print we watched it on looked like it had sitting in the sun for 30 years and peed on a lot (still a fun experience tho). The Scream Factory Blu-ray on the other hand looks amazing. These guys have been doing it right of late.
HALLOWEEN II (1981) (Blu-ray) – Scream Factory
Picking up exactly where the first film left off, Halloween II follows the same ill-fated characters as they encounter the knife-wielding maniac thought had been for dead in the first film. It seems the inhuman Michael Myers is still very much alive and out for more revenge as he stalks the deserted halls of the Haddonfield hospital. As he gets closer to his main target, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) discovers the chilling mystery behind the crazed psychopath’s actions. Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, Halloween II is a spine-tingling dark ride into the scariest night of the year.
MICAH SAYS: Another solid release from Scream Factory, Shout Factory’s horror outlet. I’m not a big fan of this compared to HIII, but all the same with the recent releases of H4 and H5 in August this and all the others are pretty much must owns for fans of the franchise.
HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH (1982) (Blu-ray) Scream Factory
When a terrified toy salesman is mysteriously attacked and brought to the hospital babbling and clutching the year’s most popular Halloween costume, an eerie pumpkin mask, Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins, The Fog, Night Of The Creeps) is thrust into a terrifying Halloween nightmare. Working with the salesman’s daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), Daniel traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties company and its founder, Conal Cochran (Dan O Herlihy, RoboCop). Ellie and Daniel uncover Cochran’s shocking Halloween plan and must stop him before trick-or-treaters across the country are kept from ever coming home in this terrifying thriller from writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace (Stephen King’s It).
MICAH SAYS: This on Blu-ray along with The Boogens (released a few weeks earlier) were the two flicks I was most looking forward to this Halloween season. Cheesy laser beams never looked so good!
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: DIRECTOR’S CUT (1986) (Blu-ray) – Warner Home Video
A skid-row florist’s “mean green mother” of a monster plant is the center of “the looniest, nuttiest, most outrageous movie musical comedy in years” (Jeffrey Lyons, Sneak Preview). Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Ellen Green, Billy Murray and other comedy greats star.
MICAH SAYS: New 10 minute alternate ending. My friend that loves this movie says it’s worth it for the new ending alone.
PET SEMATARY (1989) (Blu-ray) – Paramount
After moving to an idyllic home in the countryside, life seems perfect for the Creed family…but not for long. Louis and Rachel Creed and their two young children settle in to a house that sits next door to a pet cemetery – built on an ancient Indian burial ground. Their mysterious new neighbor, Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne), hides the cemetery’s darkest secret…until a family tragedy brings the secret to life. Now, an unthinkable evil is about to be resurrected. From STEPHEN KING, the Master of the Macabre, comes a journey that leads to hell and back. Though not everyone survives the trip. For the Creeds, home is where the horror is.
MICAH SAYS: Another must own, though I must say Gage just isn’t as scary as I remembered. Kinda like Chucky, when I was younger I was so scared of a Chucky poster I hung up in my room (clerk at video store gave it me) that I couldn’t sleep in the room until I got rid of it. But now, small children and dolls just don’t cut it.
PROMETHEUS (2012) (Blu-ray/DVD/3D) – 20th Century Fox
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
MICAH SAYS: Love this film. It’s making an appearance on all my year-end best lists. No idea why all the hate. Great film, great setup. Third best Alien film IMO.
ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968) (Blu-ray/DVD) (Oct 30th) – Criterion
Terrifying and darkly comic, Rosemary’s Baby marked the Hollywood debut of Roman Polanski (Repulsion). This wildly entertaining nightmare, faithfully adapted from Ira Levin’s best seller, stars a revelatory Mia Farrow (Hannah and Her Sisters) as a young mother-to-be who grows increasingly suspicious that her overfriendly elderly neighbors, played by Sidney Blackmer (High Society) and an Oscar-winning Ruth Gordon (Harold and Maude), and self-involved husband (actor and filmmaker John Cassavetes) are hatching a satanic plot against her and her baby. In the decades of occult cinema Polanski’s ungodly masterpiece has spawned, it’s never been outdone for sheer psychological terror.
MICAH SAYS: I pre-ordered this the day it was available (Criterion is stingy with the screeners) because A. The movie rocks and B. Criterion has never led me wrong.
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) (Blu-ray) – Warner Bros.
Farley Granger, Robert Walker. A seemingly casual conversation about murder between two passengers on a train leads to death and a fierce battle of wits in this Hitchcock suspense classic.
MICAH SAYS: One of the best Hitchcock films and my personal favorite. Get this instead of the overpriced collection coming out soon.
UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION (1931-1954) (Blu-ray) – Universal
From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection showcases 8 of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature From the Black Lagoon. Starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these original films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects. Featuring over 12 hours of revealing bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate classic monster experience.
MICAH SAYS: I scored the UK Coffin Box (region free) edition on Amazon.uk for about half the price of the US version. Pro tip: A lot of the box sets released are way cheaper across the pond. Always worth checking out.