6 More Horror Movies We Hope Come To Blu-Ray Soon
March 4, 2016
A few days back,
we looked at 6 horror titles that have yet to make a debut here in America on Blu-Ray. Yesterday, we looked at 6 foreign horror classics, and today I’ve got 6 more genre movies that I’d love to see get the high def/special edition treatment.
At this point, the major studios don’t feel the need to capitalize on their library titles because physical media, by their standards, is dead. Meaning, unless it sells the type of numbers that the latest AVENGERS or HUNGER GAMES movies do, it’s just not worth it to them. Thankfully, the collector’s market is still thriving as there will always be plenty of people that still want to have their own physical home library, so smaller labels such as
Scream Factory, Twilight Time, Arrow US, etc. are licensing these titles and catering to our needs.
Our faithful readers have been extremely passionate on our social media posts for the previous two pieces, so once again to clarify, I’m specifically referencing movies that haven’t been commercially released on Blu-Ray in Region A in the United States. I personally don’t have an all-region Blu-Ray player. (I do have a 3-D player though!) And the average American doesn’t either. All titles I’ve mentioned are
not easily accessible in our home video market, and the main reason for that is usually who holds the licensing rights. It gets complicated. But this is all just for fun anyways, so let’s take a look at 6 more horror movies we hope will get a proper Blu-Ray release in the future.
LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III
I love the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE franchise and, in particular, I have a soft spot for Part 3 as it was the first one I got to see on the big screen. When it first came to DVD, it featured both the R rated theatrical cut and an unrated version that, while not a director’s cut, comes pretty darned close to putting the teeth (pun intended) back into this SAW entry. This one acts as a vague sequel to either the original or Tobe Hooper’s PART 2 (or both!), where a former couple, driving cross country, head down the wrong path and end up in the line of the Sawyer family led by a rebellious and angry Leatherface. A fresh-faced Viggo Mortensen is also part of this clan, and the one person the family doesn’t count on is the bad-ass Benny (DAWN OF THE DEAD’s Ken Foree), a former military man that forces Leatherface to meet his match! Despite problems with the MPAA at the time of its release, the unrated version is a strong entry in the CHAINSAW franchise and deserves to be on Blu-Ray.
MARTIN is such a unique and interesting film in George Romero’s filmography and deserves to be rediscovered by new genre fans every couple of years. This is the film he made after NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE CRAZIES, but before DAWN OF THE DEAD, and it follows a disturbed young man that’s convinced he’s a vampire. Whether he truly is one or not is irrelevant. The fascination comes from John Amplas’ performance as the title character and the lengths he’ll go to to satisfy his blood lust. It also features a gorgeous score by Donald Rubinstein, recently released on vinyl by Ship to Shore Records and would make an ideal title to upgrade to Blu.
Frank Henenlotter is a filmmaker like no other. And I’m so thankful to have some of his other titles such as BASKET CASE and FRNKENHOOKER on Blu. But the one that would benefit the most from the high def upgrade is his trippy 1988 cult classic BRAIN DAMAGE. In the film, a young man named Brian wakes up one morning with a parasite protruding from the back of his head. His name is Aylmer and he’s cute and talks and is voiced by John Zacherle, aka famed horror TV host Zacherly, The Cool Ghoul. Aylmer requires a strict diet of brains, and when he does feed, he releases a highly addictive hallucinogenic into Brian’s brain, which forces him to “trip.” Brian’s drug-fueled sequences are some of the most colorful and interesting in all of Henenlotter’s filmography and I’d love to see them all in high def. Synapse Films did a spectacular DVD release of it years back. Who knows where the home video rights are to this one right now, but considering the meticulous and tremendous work they’ve done with their Blu-Ray releases, I’d love to see them tackle this one again!
THE DEAD ZONE
David Cronenberg directing a film based upon a Stephen King novel and it stars Christopher Walken? What more do you need? This happens to be my favorite from all three of those titans, and I think that’s because it’s a unique movie for all 3 of them. For Cronenberg, it’s his first true love story that arguably paved the way for perfection in his next film, THE FLY. For King, it’s his superhero story. In cinematic form, it follows the 3 act structure of a superhero film. Origin, reluctance toward the responsibility, but then ultimately following through on embracing his power and, finally, acceptance of his destiny. And for Walken, I think it’s truly one of his most beautiful, heart wrenching performances. He plays a teacher named Johnny Smith who has a great job, a loving fiancé and a good family. He loses it all in a freak automobile accident which puts him in a coma for 5 years. When he awakes, his fiancé has married another man, his job is gone and his mother’s health has deteriorated. He also suddenly has the power of second sight, but the more he uses it, the weaker it makes him. When he has a vision of Presidential hopeful Greg Stillson bringing about World War III, he knows what he is meant to do. It’s truly terrific and I’m surprised Criterion hasn’t stepped up to give this one the special edition treatment, considering they’ve done so for Cronenberg’s earlier work. Fingers crossed for the future!
For any of us that saw Tobe Hooper’s adaptation of Stephen King’s SALEM’S LOT as a kid, no doubt you have burned into your mind the terrifying image of Danny Glick tapping on Mark Petrie’s bedroom window, or perhaps any one of Barlow’s appearances – the ones where he’s in full NOSFERATU mode (which probably scarred you for life)! It’s a shame that this one hasn’t made it to Blu-Ray yet! The best reason to see it upgraded is to finally be able to have both versions on one disc. It originally aired in the US as a 2 part mini-series for television and the version we have on DVD is that one, which runs about 183 minutes long. Overseas, a shorter version was released theatrically and has additional “gore” footage put in. The only way we’ve been able to find that version in the States is via an old VHS release. With King’s popularity bigger than ever, now’s an ideal time to celebrate one of Tobe Hooper’s best & scariest films on Blu!
The JAWS Sequels
The first JAWS is a masterpiece. Without question. But I love JAWS 2. It’s a nasty, mean-spirited “slasher” film disguised as a summer blockbuster and has probably the most thrilling final 30 minutes of the entire franchise. You know, where JAWS is surrounding a group of stranded teenagers in the water and at one point jumps up and eats a goddamned helicopter, pilot and all?! Considering the popularity and reverence to the original film, it’s a surprise Universal hasn’t capitalized on the sequels in the Blu-Ray format. (Actually, considering how they’ve treated the PSYCHO movies, it’s not surprising.) Sure, JAWS 3 is pretty hokey by today’s standards, but I’d love to have a proper 3-D version of it! And yes, I even like JAWS: THE REVENGE. It’s about time we had a version of it that featured both endings to the film. Maybe a “choose your preferred ending” option! I also wonder if Spielberg has ever considered a 3-D conversion for the original JAWS the way JURASSIC PARK was done. I’d much rather see the original film in 3-D than get a remake of it. Either way, while I love and celebrate my JAWS Blu-Ray every July 4th weekend, I’d really love to add it’s sequels to my Blu-Ray library!