It's October and that means the studios are droppin' horror movies left and right hoping for your hard earned dollars to be spent on their scary wares. But with so much horror coming out this month both theatrically and on home video a little guidance might be needed for how to tell what's a treat from what's a trick. Here are Halloween Addict's DVD/Blu-Ray picks for October 2010 (as always links to the Amazon clicks are at the bottom of the article. And I get nickels when you clickles).
The theatrical release of this film was more than a couple of fanboy flicks, it was an experience. You can read my full thoughts on it HERE in this Thanksgiving post). Although both films (Rodriguez's Planet Terror and Tarantino's Death Proof) have been on DVD since 2007, they have not been presented as they were seen in theaters: The Machete (then a fake trailer, now a feature film) opening, the scratchy "Feature Presentation" logo, Planet Terror, fake trailers by horror's finest: Eli Roth's Thanksgiving, Edgar Wright's Don't, Rob Zombie's Werewolf Women of the S.S., etc. etc. etc.
Well now the Blu-Ray is out and it's got everything you saw (or missed) in the theater and MORE. Commentaries on trailers, behind the scenes footage, you get the idea. If you missed this you owe it to yourself to get some snacks, some friends, put your butt squarely in a seat, and watch this thing beginning to end.
Who's it good for? A great party marathon viewing for rowdy friends or big gatherings.
There's been a bit of a renaissance in fan-made documentaries on various horror franchises over the past few years. The EPK-friendly 20 minute fluff pieces found on bare-bones DVDs have been replaced by 120+ minute masterpieces that go in-depth on every facet of your favorite horror film.
Docs like An American Werewolf in London's: Beware the Moon, His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, Halloween 25 Years of Terror and Best Worst Movie all give you way more information than you ever thought you'd want to know about those involved with a particular horror favorite. Well add Never Sleep Again to that list. In a few words: it's the end-all-be-all doc for fans of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. They interview everyone you ever wanted to hear from, from all across the series. Even Dokken from Part 3: Dream Warriors. EVEN... DOKKEN. (No there's no Depp, but c'mon you knew that).
Who's it good for? Children of Elm Street. That fan who thinks he/she knows it all about NOES.
I got a chance to see a projected brand-new print of this little gem back in March of this year. You can read all about it HERE. I'll just steal from my own write-up when I say: Take Evil Dead, add in copious amounts of nonsensical Anime dialogue and late 70s special effects, shake in some Terry Gilliam-esque animation, wind it up to Run Lola Run speed and put it all on a burner set to "explode."
You will see things you've never seen:
You will see a man turn into a pile of bananas.
You will see a piano eat a person.
You will see a freaky cat painting vomit blood.
You will see a lampshade kill a girl.
You will see a bear wear a uniform.
You will see a witch disappear into a refrigerator.
You will see a disembodied head bite a girl in the butt.
You will see more than that.
The film is certainly a fun watch and at 87 minutes will be over before you know what hit you. Film buffs will see where other directors from De Palma to Raimi got some of their ideas. (I'm now convinced the Evil Dead franchise was influenced by this film.) Plus look at that poster! Look at it! Not too long, for it will see into your soul...
Who's it for? Horror movie fans who think they've seen it all.
The granddaddy of the slasher film directed by one of the masters of suspense: Alfred Hitchcock.
What can be said about this that most don't already know? It's on Blu-Ray so the 50 year old film will look better than it did when it debuted in 1960. You can see where the names of many of the characters in Halloween came from. There's tons of extras. If you don't have this in your collection yet, now's the perfect time to get on board.
Who's if for? Film buffs. Fans of the classics. A good film to show to teens getting into horror.
If you're a fan of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Night Gallery you deserve to check out this set. The last season of a show that many (including myself) stayed up late for to earn their bad dreams for the night.
Who's it good for? Fans of TV horror anthologies. Make it a marathon on your Halloween weekend.
7. THE FUNKY PHANTOM COMPLETE SERIES
8. THE ADDAMS FAMILY SEASON 1 (Animated)
Warner Archives has really been doing good deeds for video collectors. Their system is this: they'll burn-as-they're-ordered DVD-Rs of rare titles in their vaults so you can have them for your home collection. The titles available are really quite varied, and though there are no DVD extras or special features, collectors get the benefit of having official copies of WB titles that would normally not be released due to their niche popularity.
Case in point: the Scooby-Doo clones Goober and the Ghost Chasers and The Funky Phantom which have not been available on DVD 'til now.
Hanna-Barbera produced these cartoons that bit off their hit Scooby-Do Where Are You? series. Same formula: teens with a dog scoping out supernatural stuff.
Warner Bros. Archive has also just released the 1st Season of The Addams Family animated series. Watch the macabre family travel in a Victorian-style RV and get into hi-larious shenanigans. Seriously.
Who's it for? Those who remember watching them in the '70s and kids who enjoy the spookiness of Scooby Doo for Halloween viewing but want to mix it up.
The WB Archive titles will eventually be available on Amazon.com but at a much higher price. Get 'em directly through the WB shop HERE.
Yes, I DID go see this in the theatre. Yes, I DID like it. No it is NOT a perfect film.
I have not revisited this on DVD, but I can tell you that I left the theatre thinking I liked this remake. I can also tell you I had the same feeling when I left the Friday the 13th remake and then when I watched it again on DVD, I did NOT like it. So I'm curious to see if I have the same reaction the 2nd time.
Haley is fine as Freddy though I admit I felt like I was cheating on Robert Englund. The film explores some of the mythology that I found interesting. Actors such as Clancy Brown are a welcome sight but have nothing to do.
Again I'm curious to see it a second time as I'd like to know if my liking it theatrically was based on what was on screen or just the thrill of seeing Freddy Krueger on the big screen again.
Who's it for? NOES fans who will either like it, or like hating it. Short attention span teens who want to know what this Fred Krueger stuff is all about.
I haven't seen the original of this and for that I am ashamed. But the trailer for the remake looks like fun though the reviews swing both ways. The IMDB plot synopsis pretty much sums it up: "A group of kids go to a Halloween party, only to have to face down a group of demons." What else do you need?
Who's it for? Those looking for a fun, gory Halloween-themed movie.
I've heard nothing but good things about Splice. Words thrown around like "smart," "better than I thought" and "you should really check it out" have all got me curious. So I pass this on to you so that you, too, should really check it out.
Who's it for? Those who like a little more sci-fi to their Halloween viewing.
Before REPO: The Genetic Opera, Evil Dead The Musical and, hell, even Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog there was The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
This set has everything a Tim Curry-transvestite lovin' fan could ever want even a "audience participation" track that can be turned on to experience the movie as close as possible to an actual in-theatre performance... 'course you'll be home on your couch alone throwing stuff at your plasma screen.
Who's it for? RHPS super-fans and a great movie to have on during your Halloween shindig.
A CBS TV Movie that aired a week before Halloween in 1981 and stars Dr. Giggles??? Yes, it's true. Dark Night of the Scarecrow was one of those TV movies that many a kid saw and few have forgotten. This movie is legendary in horror movie cliques and was usually passed along on gray-market videotapes... 'til now. For the first time on DVD, you can experience this creepy TV classic. The DVD features few special features, but you get a digitally restored print (to replace those murky VHSs) and there's even a CBS promo for the film so you can feel like the good ol' days of 7 channels and nothing on. This is one of those TV movies that still really works (a la Salem's Lot) and is spooky enough to still give chills.
Who's it for? Anyone who likes a good spooky tale.
So there you go. A spooky 13 to get you going this spooky month.
Let me know which you liked and which you didn't in the comments!