August 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray Guide.


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A Feature Suggestion for THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT Blu-ray.


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The thought first inadvertently occurred to me when I was watching Iliadis’ LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT a week ago.  I’m no projectionist and thusly cannot explain the phenomenon, but something in the apparatus was damaged, blasting scratches across the print for the entirety of its unspooling.  It bestowed upon the film a weird authenticity, a temporal time warp more tactile than the forced post-production effects that intentionally mauled GRINDHOUSE.  I was annoyed at first, but the distraction waned.  I dug the grit.

I have since wondered as to the practicality of including such an effect on the inevitable Blu-ray release.  It would be one hundred percent optional, of course, but I can’t imagine a reason why it shouldn’t be included.  I’m not talking over-the-top film deformities and melted strips, just dust, dots and scratches here and there.  It’d be any easy implementation, the tech behind Blu-ray would allow for such real-time processed video overlays, so there’s no hold up on that end.  It may even be possible to randomize it every time.  Also I can’t think of a similar gimmick yet,  may be the first time such a feature was put in place, so Rogue Pictures already has marketing copy for the press release.

I don’t want faux-age applied to every film, but ’tis an organic fit with LAST HOUSE, no?  Let’s give it a go, eh, Rogue?  Whatchya got to lose?

Last Week in Horror News: March 8th to the 15th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • RIDDICK – Vin Diesel says David Twohy is currently writing the script for a new, smaller entry in the CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.  This one will be more of a Rambo vs. Aliens in space.
  • THE STRANGERS 2 – Commercial Euro director Laurent Briet is close to closing the deal on directing the sequel, which takes place in a, ugh, trailer park and was written by creator Bryan Bertino.

Remakes

  • PUPPETMASTER – Charles Band is apparently trying to drum up talk of a remake of PUPPETMASTER in 3-D.  No one cares.
  • IT – Warner Brothers is backing a big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s IT to be written by Dave Kajganich, who wrote THE INVASION and is, according to the article, also writing  a PET SEMETARY remake.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • Alex Proyas – Really hates 20th Century Fox.  If you’ll recall, Proyas was knocked about during the production of I, ROBOT at Fox and in a recent interview to promote KNOWING he told CHUD of how he warns other filmmakers away from the studio.
  • Saturn Award Nominees – Looking for a laugh?  Click on over to read the list of nominees.  It’s cool, THE RUINS isn’t up for Best Horror Film, but THE HAPPENING, HELLBOY 2, and THE MUMMY 3 are.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Review: THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009)


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Directed by Dennis Iliadis, 2009
Written by Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth

Remakes are a funny thing.  No one asks for them.  In fact, we all complain about them.  When they’re at their worst, remakes inspire more vitriol from fans than any other breed of film within the genre.  When they’re at their best, we are struck with writers block trying to find a clever way to say a particular remake is an exception to the rule that remakes are the final proof Hollywood is a dead fuck (Sorry, I just watched FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4 last night).  And yet here we’ve arrived at the same unexpected crossroads as Aja’s bravado remake of THE HILLS HAVE EYES.

As with HILLS, remaking LAST HOUSE ain’t exactly putting a foot through a Van Gogh.  The original film, itself a remake of Bergman’s THE VIRGIN SPRING, itself an adaptation of a Nordic poem, itself probably based on a cave painting, brought Wes Craven to the world of professional film making but it was a lopsided mixture.  Disturbing, oh yes, but sabotaged by off-the-mark attempts at injecting comedy into tragedy, comedy as subtle and welcome as Carrot Top giving a eulogy.  As with HILLS, it took Craven stepping away from his own material and hiring a (coincidentally) European unknown to take over directorial reigns to bring it home.  Once again, as with HILLS, the resultant film is not only better than its source, but better than most horror films released around the same time.

Greek director Dennis Iliadis has biopsied all of the distracting elements of Craven’s film, leaving behind a lean and mean shocker.  Iliadis approaches the savage details of the definitive revenge story with the fragility such truly difficult material demands.  Gone are all of the ill conceived elements.  No bumbling cops, no junkie killers.  Alleca and Ellsworth’s script is a reconciliation between those who seek murder and those who are driven to it, no further distractions necessary.  If 2009’s LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT has any lasting fault this failure to compromise is it.  Pressure is fueled by murder and only ever relieved by murder, a macabre totality some may find a bit too heavy in these already somber times.

Personally that just gives me all the more reason to love on the film.  Yes, LAST HOUSE is no funny business, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.  Iliadis has reminded me of a feat few in the game accomplish.  In the right hands good thrills, even if coming from the darkest of places, are, well, thrilling.

Last Week in Horror News: February 22nd to March 1st


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • MANDY LANE – Senator is finally going to release ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (review) on July 17th?  I wouldn’t count on it.
  • SPLICE – Senator must be on a PR kick as they also slipped Bloody-Disgusting some photos from the upcoming Vincenzo Natali directed chimera-horror flick.  Pics look great, though if one commenter is to believed, the script is awful.
  • REPOSSESSION MAMBO – The Jude Law starring sci-fi tale of borrowed organs gets an R rating.

Remakes

  • FRIDAY THE 13TH 2 – How does BD surmise the headline, “FRIDAY THE 13TH Sequel Officially Announced” and then link to a source article that clearly states, “Insiders caution that there is no green light”.  We all know there is going to be a F132, but man, let’s wait until that “officially” means the same thing the dictionary says it does.
  • THE BIRDS – According to Brenna Roth, who is in talks for a role in the Platinum Dunes recash, THE BIRDS will be shot in 3-D.
  • TOTAL RECALL – Neal H. Moritz, yes the NHM curse of PROM NIGHT ’08, is allegedly bringing TOTAL RECALL back to the big screen his bank account.
  • SORORITY ROW 2 – Summit has yet to release the remake of THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW and already the sequel is on a word processor somewhere.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • 100 FEET – The Sci-Fi channel will be premiering Eric Red’s impressive haunter (review) on April 26th.

Non-Theatrical (US) Trailers and Clips

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

Last Week in Horror News: January 4th to the 11th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips




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