NEAR DARK DVD Re-Issue Panders to TWILIGHT Crowd.

Don’t Blame TWILIGHT on the ’90s.

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Scott Weinberg at his newly minted Horror Squad picked up on a vlog from Day of the Woman in which BJ-C ripped into the TWILIGHT phenomenon, so cleverly redubbed TWATLIGHT, as being a sad indicator of what the children of the ’90s are giving back to the horror world.  She went on to sing vlog a swan’s song for what ‘her’ generation is bringing to the table, because ‘we’ weren’t raised on Krueger.

That shit ain’t on us, us being those who grew up in the ’90s, not the ones who were born in the ’90s.  First we’ve got to operate under the false premise that anyone considers TWILIGHT  a horror movie.  I know I don’t.  Do you?  What about you?  No?  That’s because no one in their right mind does, because even a 13 year old knows what is and is not a horror movie.  Is SESAME STREET a horror show because of The Count?  Getouttahere.

So let’s assume the unassumable in that someone with a Dora the Explorer backpack considers TWILIGHT a horror movie.  It’s still not a product of the ’90s.  Stephenie Meyer was born in 1973.  Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg was born in 1962.  Director Catherine Hardwicke?  1955.  So how is it that the loathed is a product of the ’90’s generation?

May 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray List.

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May 5th

There are only two standard definition titles of the week that I recognize.  MUM & DAD is a British import that got some modest appreciation on the fest circuit.  The other is a flick called THE 8TH PLAGUE, which has found its way in this DVD guide well over a year ago.   I’ve seen neither.  The best bet may be THE 8TH PLAGUE, seeing as it now has a special edition.

Rounding out the straight to DVD titles of the week are ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, SCARCE, HOUSE OF THE DEMON, UNCONCIOUS.

The real winners of the week are the hi-def titles.  I’m not the biggest fan, but DOG SOLDIERS on Blu is definitely going to warrant a watch, if not a purchase at a cheaper price point.  I can’t say the same for TWILIGHT, though.  Vampires that sparkle like diamonds are only going to look sillier in 1080p, but the teen vamp phenom certainly has its fans.  Why else would Amazon think they could get away with charging $80 for a collectors edition?

This leaves Season 2 of  “DEXTER” as the winner for the week.  Season 2 has been available on DVD for a while and if you already own that set, other than the bump in looks there isn’t much incentive to pick it up in Blu.  If, however, you are looking to save the economy by needlessly spending money, at $39 the price is right for a great show in the best available format.

May 12th

Do you own THE MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN?  Do you own ALIEN APOCALYPSE?  No?  Is it because they’re awful movies?  Well, now you can get twice the awful for half the price!  The Chin doubles up with the disc 2 TIMES THE BRUCE, though neither is worth $14.  Sorry, Bruce.

Guh, is this a crappy start to the month or what?  Next up is BTK, THE GRUDGE 3, and PLAGUE TOWN.  I can’t speak to the quality of any of these three, though I think you can trust your instincts.  BTK could be a Lifetime channel movie if Kane Hodder didn’t play the real life killer, THE GRUDGE 3 is near franchise abandonment and I saw someone on Twitter a week or two ago say PLAGUE TOWN was awful.  Great month!  Ugh.

The biggest genre title of the week is UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS.  I never much liked the UNDERWORLD franchise.  Oddly (though not without easy explanation) I do like Kate Beckinsale, but the franchise does nothing for me.  I was out of country when this hit theaters, but I’m interested to see if Rhona Mitra can bring some fresh blood to the series I always felt suffered a lack of blood.

Worth stepping outside of the genre we have TAKEN, which gets a mention because it is a phenomenal return to form for the one-man action genre.  I stopped counting, but if I had to guess I’d have to peg my TAKEN viewing count at no less than 7 times.  If you saw Liam Neeson throat chopping all of Paris in a theater in the States, you actually got a watered down experience.  This DVD and Blu-ray remedies that with the uncut, trigger happy version.  This is a must see for any fan of ’90s action.

Blu-ray titles for the week include the mentioned RISE OF THE LYCANS (as well as a trilogy set of all three latex loving entries to the UNDERWORLD verse) and an HD release of the ‘original’ THE GRUDGE.

May 19th

It has just occurred to me that MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (review) is the best horror I’ve seen in theaters so far in 2009.  That is a statement I was not expecting to make, but is a testament to how much fun Patrick Lussier’s dimension thrusting update/ how piss poor the rest of the offerings have been so far this year.  Both the DVD and BRD for this release include the 3D presentation as well as the 2D, though I’m ignorant as to what method is used.  Everyone always talks about the ‘good’ 3D and the ‘bad’ 3D.  If someone knows the difference, do drop some knowledge.

I love Magnet Releasing for giving festival titles broadened exposure, which they’ve done once again with EDEN LOG, which is a bizarre French hybrid of science fiction and horror.  Taken as a whole, EDEN LOG is nothing to write home about, but it does have highlights and a technical mastery on the part of director Franck Vestiel, who for a feature first timer does an excellent job of invoking BRAZIL era Terry Gilliam.  Also available on Blu.

I’ve heard mumblings of good things about British offering BANE, which I’m told has a low budget look not unlike the majority of titles each month, but that its strong script takes familiar material better places.  Perhaps the same can be said of BACKWOODS (Haylie Duff, weird) and THE DEVIL’S GROUND (Daryl Hannah, weird) don’t know, but I’ll definitely be checking out BANE.

Reaching back into the catalog is 1982’s THE LAST HORROR FILM, which is not to be confused with THE LAST HORROR MOVIE, an intelligent Brit Indie from a few years back that I never pass up an opportunity to recommend.

I wish I could recommend Vikings and Astronaut vs Alien Beowulf flick OUTLANDER, but I’d only go so far as to shove it somewhere in your Netflix queue.  The premise was either going to lend itself to inspiration or mastication, unfortunately we get the later.  The best thing that can be said of OUTLANDER is that it chews and chews and chews on its roots, but never makes a meal of any of potentially tremendous elements.  Ron Perlman probably filmed this on the same day he did MUTANT CHRONICLES.

On DVD and Blu-ray we have Season 1 of HBO’s “TRUE BLOOD”, which last year replaced both “LOST” and “BATTLESTAR GALACTICA” as my favorite show on television.  I will be giving this a buy in Blu and couldn’t be more excited about watching each episode again before the season 2 premiere in June.  Sexy is probably the number one adjective bandied about describing the show, sexy is a killer buzz word for a blurb, but the show goes above and beyond its nudity.

The first three episodes are burdened by the heavy weight of having to acclimate the viewer to a supernatural world more adult than any genre fare in years, but the show really finds its groove around the time Bill recounts for a church group how he was turned during the civil war.  From episode four on it is an invigorating, rapturous series.  Assuming whoever you watch this with is okay with sporadically gratuitous sex, I’d say this is a must buy.  If anything, Netflix it.

In addition to the mentioned titles on Blu, we’ve got Brad Anderson’s THE MACHINIST and a special edition of T2.

May 26th

Three STD flicks end out the lackluster month: CARNIVOROUS, AMBITION and THE DEVIL’S TOMB.  I’m actually looking forward to THE DEVIL’S TOMB.  Not because I think it’ll be any good, but because a producer somewhere (likely in Europe) was able to wrangle a cast composed of Cuba Gooding Jr., Ray Winstone, Taryn Manning, Ron Perlman, Zack Ward, Bill Moesely AND Henry Rollins.  Somewhere in all that mediocrity must be at least one reason to justify 90 minutes of, er, tomb deviling.

And if you weren’t a sucker like me who bought it on HD DVD, you may want to go grab CHILDREN OF MEN, which hits the Blu shelves today.

Netflixing the Month

  2. TAKEN
  3. MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (if you have a way of seeing the 3D…)
  4. BANE
  5. MUM & DAD

March 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray list.

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March 3rd

Dimension Extreme have been on a streak of good-to-great titles for the past year, culminating in the hit that is EDEN LAKE (review). I don’t know much about DEAD IN 3 DAYS, but I’m willing to give Dimension’s acquistions department an edge once again. Hopefully their streak stays intact.

Oddly enough, DEAD IN 3 DAYS is the only standard definition title of note for the week.  On Blu-Ray we’ve got SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.  I own the out of print Criterion Collection of the classic, so I’m not jonesing enough to do a double dip for it in HD.

March 10th

The week everyone is looking forward to.  LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (review) hits on both DVD and BRD.  As I find myself repeating again and again, there is no point in saying any more about LTROI at this point.  We all know this is a must see movie, my only fear is that those who haven’t seen it must have the highest hopes in the world at this point.  For that I apologize, I try to keep the hype down.

Don’t know a whole lot about DARK REEL except that it has Lance Henriksen in it, which means I am contractually obligated to the universe to see it.  Filling out the other straight-to-DVD titles for the month are CROWLEY (co-written by Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson), STASH (cover beyond my tolerance for sleaze) and the hilarious looking, gamer-themed fantasy flick BEN X.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is the only Blu.

March 17th

A week of straight to DVD titles and a few reaches into deep catalog territory.  STDers are WALLED IN and SATAN, while the catalog titles are the F.W. Murnau classics THE HAUNTED CASTLE and FAUST.  These two titles are also included in a new Murnau boxset along with NOSFERATU, THE LAST LAUGH, TARTUFFE, and THE FINANCES OF THE GRAND DUKE.

On Blu-ray we’ve got Neil Jordan’s THE COMPANY OF WOLVES.  I confess to never having seen it, though if I recall someone suggested it last time I was in a horror rut.  I further confess I never got around to half of those titles.  As LaTour recently pointed out, I was probably watching a giant lizard on the Sci-Fi channel and am thusly self-shamed.

March 21st

As if the novels and film weren’t driven enough by their own fan based self-promotion, TWILIGHT’s release on DVD and BRD apparently requires its own retail day.  Though I am far removed from its target demographic I can still say it’s not a bad movie.  I’d rather watch it again than half the crap that ends up getting reviewed on HND, if that’s any measure.

March 24th

Brace yourself for LOCUSTS: THE 8TH PLAGUE, THE GRUDGE 3: GRUDGIEST and PASSENGERS.  Or brace yourself for a week in which you won’t spend a dime.

Nothing on the genre Blu-ray front, though I would be remiss if I went without mentioning the Criterion Collection of THE 400 BLOWS.

March 31st

Before the ADF flood, let me not forget the title of the week: TIMECRIMES (review).  I’ve seen it twice now and it only gets better with each viewing, unlike some time travel centric pictures.  I’ll be adding this to the collection for sure.

Here comes the genre onslaught, thanks in large part to After Dark Films dropping off its 2009 Horrorfest titles.  The only one I heard great things about was THE BROKEN, the only other I heard decent things about being FROM WITHIN.  Rounding out that series is AUTOPSY, PERKIN’S 14, SLAUGHTER, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT 3, VOICES and DYING BREED.

RJ Sayer actually saw CTHULHU in theaters so it feels wrong to call it a Straight to DVD movie despite its biggest name being Tori Spelling.  I believer Sayer’s chief complaint about the movie was that it could have been much, much cooler.  Tame enough response to make me check it out.

From the catalog we’ve got the awesomely titled THE SINFUL DWARF and the even awesomer titled CAT IN THE BRAIN.  Know nothing of either, sorry.

On the Blu end we’ve got releases of both PITCH BLACK and CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.  For some reason I can only attribute to pure malice, we’ve also got a release of GHOSTS OF MARS.  Christine and I tried watching this mess OnDemand not too long ago and barely made it 15 minutes in.  Awful, awful movie born of the age of the irrelevant John Carpenter era.

Topping off the month are Blu releases of the Harvey Keitel starring TWO EVIL EYES and Takashi Miike’s notorious ICHI THE KILLER.  Regretably unfamiliar with the former and not a fan of the latter, despite being a huge fan of Miike’s career as a whole.  Rarely a fan of pushing it to the extreme.  Give me the BIRD PEOPLE OF CHINA Miike over the ICHI brand any day, por favor.

Netflixing the Month


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)

Last Week in Horror: November 23rd to the 30th

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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments


Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips


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Should I feel awkward sitting in a room with 200+ 13 year old girls having their first erotic cinema experience?  I’m no meteorologist, but the relative humidity in the theater went up 60% after Bella and Edward had their first kiss.

Awk.  Ward.

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