Ah, October. The month for us, right? Well, I can tell you right now that numbers wise, there is nothing better than October. As far as quality goes, however… There are certainly plenty of ‘Special Editions’, ‘Collector’s Editions’ and ‘Director’s Cuts’ of great movies you’ve seen over and over and over already. Some deserving of new DVD love, others not so much.
There are a handful of first print titles that are really worth a look, but a good deal more so on the ‘eh, I’ll just rent it’ side of things. And there aren’t even any good mainstream movies entering the mix. Does anybody want to see Spider-Man 3 again? If you do, please steal the movie or something. No one give that terrible, terrible piece of disgrace any more money than it already conned out of people theatrically.
Once you get past all the re-sells of movies you probably already own, October is actually a pretty good month. It is kind of dead in terms of bigger pictures, but the smaller flicks are getting lots of attention. Plus, Return to House on Haunted Hill! Hell. Yes.
First week up has a good balance of Indies, STDs, Collector’s Editions and Box Office successes. The Brit splatter house, schlock fest Evil Aliens gets a US DVD thanks to Image Entertainment. I was sent a screener of Jake West’s home brew ode to the Evil Deads and Bad Tastes of the world over a year ago and I’ve actually watched it one or two times since. It isn’t close to the classic status of either of those two and I’d only ever mention it with the disclaimer that it isn’t for everyone, but for those who tolerate the more immature side of the genre, Evil Aliens (review)is something you will revel in the gross amount of bodily fluids throughout.
Flight of the Living Dead is something I caught a long time ago, but ended up never reviewing for one reason or another. FOTLD is a lot of fun and, despite what you may think, is fun for all of the intended reasons.
Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud, aka, Pumpkinhead IV, went straight to the Sci-Fi channel. Oddly enough, Pumpkinhead III was directed by the above Jake West. Can’t vouch for either film, but I can almost guarantee it will be up to the Sci-Fi channel’s standards. Which I am sure I do not have to elaborate on.
Speaking of no-shame, last night Sci-Fi had the premiere of Species 4: The Awakening, which will come out right alongside P-Head 4. And because nothing can ever be released on its own, there is a collector’s edition of the original Species out today as well. The original, if you’ve never seen, is probably the best ‘alien looking for breeding’ film there is. And if you think that is a narrow field, you are very wrong. There are far more of those kinds of films and TV show episodes than you’d expect.
Last up we’ve got two Stephen King’ers. Misery gets one of those newfangled Collector’s Editions. Considering the current DVD of it is very, very bare, it would be pretty hard not to improve upon it. If you’ve never seen Misery, it is not hard at all to recommend this as a must own.
Then there is 1408 (review) another great adaptation. You can read the review, but in summation I think it is a superbly slick PG-13 chiller. Know that it retails in 2 disc, regular widescreen and full screen flavors.
Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention After. I bring it up only because when I was in 9th grade I wrote a story called "After" about a group of teens who were killed in a car crash and think they are in heaven, when really they were abducted by Aliens. This has nothing to do with whatever this After is, but since it reminded me of a story I haven’t thought about it years, might as well highlight it.
I’ve never seen Wrong Turn, but I know a lot of my friends laughed at it, which means I’ll probably like it a lot. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the STD sequel. It is getting good buzz and even played at last week’s Fantastic Fest in Austin.
Black Sheep and Night of the Living Dead 3D each had minor theater runs earlier this year. I’ve seen Black Sheep (review) and I’ve read enough about NOTLD3D to know why those releases were, indeed, minor.
28 Weeks Later (review), on the other hand, was a wide release and with good reason. A sequel I was expecting to be in name only, but really carried the 28 X torch. I would put it right behind the remake of Dawn of the Dead in terms of financially motivated horror successfully defying all expectations.
Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures finally unloads Rise: Blood Hunter. Given that they gave up on the movie’s intended theatrical release, there really is probably nothing good going on here; except Lucy Liu gets naked, I think.
Batting cleanup is a Special Edition of Poltergeist that has been in the works for a long time. Should be stacked with features, so if you’re a fan, this most likely won’t disappoint.
Teen friendly Dark Castle has two flicks out this week. The Reaping, staring Hilary Swank, which isn’t as completely shitty as everyone said it was. And, more importantly, Return to House on Haunted Hill, which I am eager to get my hands on. I don’t care if it is a piece of crap film, the choose your own adventure style of it has me by the balls. I will absolutely be picking this up on HD DVD, though it will be out on DVD and Blu-Ray as well.
Planet Terror, aka the better half of Grindhouse (review), comes out today. As I said with Death Proof, though, at some point in time I guarantee the two films will be joined together again as they were in theaters. Planet Terror, however, is worth a grab on its own in my book. Just know that a better presentation of it is sure to come down the line.
Unrelated, of course, but we’ve got David Goyer’s directorial debut, The Invisible, and a director’s cut of Paul Verhoeven’s Hollow Man. I don’t care about the former, but I am not ashamed to admit I am a fan of the latter, because, well, I’m a fan of anything Verhoeven does. This is the weakest of his studio sci-fi thrillers, but I like it all the same. As for this director’s cut, I’m sure it is little more than a double dip. Hollow Man was, after all, the first film Verhoeven ever submitted to the MPAA that got rated R the first time around. This cut has an extra 8 minutes, but that is likely little more than the re-insertion of deleted scenes already out on the special edition.
There really isn’t anything to say about it, other than this has always been one of my favorite Sci-Fi channel movie titles; Ice Spiders. Gotta love it.
Last up, Michael Bay’s Transformers. I don’t give a damn what any of the haters say, this movie is a blast. It completely redefined box office spectacle as far as I’m concerned. Shia LeBouf carries the otherwise characterless story and the scale of everything is processed badassness in a form only Michael Bay can provide.
More special editions. This time The Shining. I am, much to most people’s dismay, not a devoted fan, so I’ll be sticking with the print inside my Kubrick box set.
I guess I am finally out of excuses not to review Hostel: Part 2. I am not looking forward to having to do this.
"Tales From the Crypt" hits finishes out its run with this Seventh Season. To round things out, you can buy them all in one go. Same goes for the Saw series thus far, with the release of a Saw 3 Director’s Cut. I’ve got to call bullshit on this release. There already was an unrated version, so, seriously now, what else can be re-cut?
Fido is a very enjoyable twist on the Zombie subgenre. Great performances with great direction in this send up of Americana mid 20th Century. Definitely recommended.
Mr. Brooks also deserves a bit of a nod. I like Kevin
Kostner Costner- hell, I actually like Waterworld – so that may bias me a bit, but Mr. Brooks is a welcome change of pace for studio jobs aimed at teens. It isn’t particularly smart, but it is kooky in a way bigger backings tend to run away from.
Last up a classic I’ve never seen; Black Sabbath with
Bela Lugosi Boris Karloff. Matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a Mario Bava film, which for some is unforgivable. I’ve read that this new fancy edition does not contain the original Italian cut of the film, which is apparently lost to the ages.
David Arquette won over a lot of festival fans with The Tripper, which has been playing at damn near every fest for a year. People like this slasher, so I’m certainly going to get my hands on it.
Everything that probably ever needs to be said about Captivity has already been said. I will say this, though. What is up with After Dark Films using their ‘8 Films to Die For’ logo on the top of the DVD? This had absolutely nothing to do with those 8 films. Terrible.
Day Watch (review) has its Region 1 release. This, the first of two sequels to Night Watch, is even more effects packed and even more incomprehensible than its father, but hey, if you don’t care about stuff like logic it is probably a blast.
Last up we have two great TV shows finally having all their episodes packaged together. "Twin Peaks" and "Angel". Funnily enough I have only seen the first season of both shows, but I love what I’ve seen and can’t wait to buy them in full. I already have "Angel" on pre-order, I should probably go do the same for "Twin Peaks".