February 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray List.


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Not sure if anyone cares but me, but I’ll be covering more Blu-ray titles from here on out.  Also, dipping out of the spectrum of this site real quick, but 2008’s best documentary, DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER, comes out.  I highly, highly, highly recommend seeing it.  NetflixAmazon.


February 3rd:

In advanced honor cashing-in-on of the Platinum Dunes FRIDAY THE 13TH reboot, new additions of Parts 1-3 have hit on DVD.  Sadly the first part is the only one available on Blu-ray in the states, whereas all three are on BRD in the UK.  Shrug.  Part 3 is also in full 3-D for the first time on disc.

Continuing with the hockey mask is the documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON which chronicles the culture of Voorhees.  It’s not quite as good as HALLOWEEN 25 YEARS OF TERROR, but it’s worth a Netflix for completist fans.

Then of course there are the Straight-to-DVDs fo the week, BLACK SWARM and KILLER MOVIE.  I don’t know anything about either, though a lot can be inferred from their covers.


February 10th:

Stepping just outside the genre, but still in the realm of science fiction, we have BLINDNESS.  The rather tepid response it got from critics had me in no rush to see BLINDNESS at a theater, but CONSTANT GARDNER and CITY OF GOD director Fernando Meirelles has me interested in the story of a world struck with an outbreak of, well, look at the title.

MY NAME IS BRUCE also got a general consensus of ‘meh’ so I’ve yet to see.  Game on now, though.  Also available on Blu-ray.

Steven Segal + vampires = AGAINST THE DARK.

Kicking off the trifecta of red themed titles of the month is RED MIST, once known as FREAKDOG, from Paddy Breathnach.  I’m not a fan at all of the wasted potential that was Breathnach’s SHROOMS, but I’ll give RED MIST a shot.

Second up is RED VICTORIA which judging from its cover looks in the vamp fantasy vein, but IMDb lists a plot about a person, “forced to write a horror movie by an undead muse who motivates him by killing his friends and family.”  Could be passable.

FRIDAY THE 13TH THE SERIES VOLUME 2 is exactly what that mouthful explains.  THE LODGER is a remake of Hitchcock’s THE LODGER, though the filmmakers would rather you think of it as a retelling of the novel THE LODGER.  Either way it calls upon Alfred Molina, which gives it slightly more credibility.

Also, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE hits Blu-ray.  Not a horror title by any stretch, but it is David Cronenberg, this site’s favorite director.  Already have my pre-order in.

Edit: And to add TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE because apparently I’m the biggest asshole ever for forgetting it.


February 17th:

Ugh.  FEAST III: THE HAPPY FINISH.  FEAST II (review) was an awful, awful, awful movie and I have no reason whatsoever to think that things are going to turn around.  They couldn’t even get their lame sex-subtitle right.  Is it not a HAPPY ENDING, not a HAPPY FINISH?  Never going to see this.

Ah, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (review).  If you haven’t caught this OnDemand yet, today it finally hits DVD and BRD.  I’m rather indifferent to the film.  By no stretch is it a bad movie, but I wasn’t all that blown away, either.  I’ll be giving it a second shot at some point.

QUARANTINE (review) doesn’t need much explanation.  If you’ve not seen [REC] and don’t feel like buying a Canadian copy, which is surprisingly not a euphemism for bootleg, I suppose QUARANTINE will do.  It’s whatevs.

Remember SCREAMERS?  Kind of?  Get ready for SCREAMERS: THE RISING.

Last up of the STD titles is ALIEN RAIDERS, which I’ve heard very good things about.  Expect a review later in the month.


February 24th:

In advanced honor cashing-in-on the remake of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is a new “unrated” copy of Wes Craven’s first film.  I’m no lover of the seasoned shocker so I won’t be replacing my older, never watched copy of the film.

If the DVD cover doesn’t give it away, CYCLOPS was a Sci-Fi channel premiere.  I caught bits and pieces of it and well, that cover delivers and then some.  Unlike most films on The Most Dangerous Night of Television, the eponymous beast actually doesn’t look a Sega Saturn rendering, more like a Playstation 2, and is actually shown quite a lot.

Expect a review of RED SANDS at some point, the newest flick from the guys behind DEAD BIRDS (review).  I’m really digging the cover which looks straight out of 1997.  I’m game.

I dodged THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY at theaters and will continue to do so on DVD.

EPITAPH is a Korean horror flick set in a hospital in the ’40s.  Like most films following the bust of Korea’s new wave of cinema, EPITAPH isn’t bad, but it’s nothing spectacular.

I’m hugely behind on Dario Argento.  Behind as in I’ve only seen two or three of the Italian maestro’s films.  Shrug.  February gives us FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET on DVD and THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE on Blu-Ray.

Also, AKIRA on Blu-ray.  Not horror, but the audience overlap makes it worth mentioning.


Netflix’ing the Month:

  1. THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN
  2. ALIEN RAIDERS
  3. MY NAME IS BRUCE
  4. AGAINST THE DARK
  5. RED SANDS
  6. RED MIST

Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 4, October to December


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Not much to say other than enjoy Part Four of Horror’s Not Dead’s 2008 Retrospective.  Wasn’t a bad year, but now that all the major titles are in it, it wasn’t, as I like to say, good sex.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)

Review: QUARANTINE


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Directed by John Erick Dowdle, 2008
Written by John Erick Dowdle & Drew Dowdle, based on 2007’s [REC]

QUARANTINE is nothing to me but a surrogate for everything wrong with Hollywood horror.  Production began on it before [REC] had even left post-production in its native Spain, which may just be a world record for fastest Hollywood remake.  Despite [REC] becoming the festival hit of 2007 and 2008, proving that the original film in its original state was an undeniable success, here we stand not twelve months later.  In the United States [REC] has yet to receive any commercial setting, be it limited theatrical run or a bare bones DVD.  Instead the stakeholders have given us an inferior American remake equipped with inferior performances under the eye of an inferior director, yet conversely boasts an astonishing superiority in the field of recreating to the tiniest detail every major set piece from its Spanish progenitor.

Thus I disclose my biased position in this review.  I might be in the position to call QUARANTINE a good movie were I able to shake the indelible memories of [REC].  That just taint the case, however, especially given John Dowdle’s slavish attention to detail in recreating the set pieces, the camera’s point of view therein and the script’s jolt’s throughout.  There are a few minor differences, mind you, but in no capacity can anything in this Screen Gems produced cash-grab be considered an improvement.

In fact, every addition to QUARANTINE over [REC] is a concession at the expense of audience enjoyment.  As should be expected from America, global leader of a rising obesity epidemic, the only original elements brought to the table are ones of bloat.  Bloated length, bloated script, bloated explanations.  Expansions where none was needed that do little but bog down the experience.  And since I’ve seen [REC], I’ve experienced QUARANTINE.  Maybe for the uninitiated watching this will be as delightfully frightful as watching the original, but that was not the case for me.  The last time I checked my watch this often I was sitting naked in an exam room waiting for the doctor.  Come to think of it, QUARANTINE had as much entertainment to offer me as that office did.  Or, more accurately, it did not.  I may actually take something away from reading year old issues of HIGHLIGHTS, I took nothing from QUARANTINE.

Last Week in Horror, September 28th to October 5th


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Last Week in Horror we finally started to see some marketing material for studio backed films and I couldn’t be more saddened?  Why?  Well, of the four studio clips, three are for remakes and the other is a PG-13 teen shocker that I’m going to guess will most heavily be advertised on MTV and MySpace.

Oh well, some cool news.  FearNET will be showing MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN for free on its service all through October.  That said, it has yet to show up on my local FearNET OnDemand menu, but then again Comcast is a fucking abysmal corporation and my OnDemand (and internet) is rarely functioning.

Last Week in Horror: June 29th to July 6th


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Last Week in Horror, The items of most interest to me belong to genre brother Sci-Fi.  Alex Proyas’ latest film, KNOWING, finally got a trailer, albeit a derivative, uninvolved one.  But I love DARK CITY so much, even Nicholas Cage’s forehead couldn’t keep me away.  Same goes for Keanu Reeves’, well, entire self in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL remake.

Also, I was sent a press release regarding a contest for Electronic Arts’ forthcoming survival horror game DEAD SPACE.  Normally I’d not pass along such a thing, but DEAD SPACE happens to be a title I’ve been anticipating.  Not to mention the 100 film prize pack at the end of the rainbow is a bounty worth coveting.




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