19 items from 2016
Initially announced at Scream Factory’s “Inside Look” Comic-Con panel earlier this summer, the Black Christmas (1974) Collector’s Edition Blu-ray now has an official December release date and will feature new cover artwork from Joel Robinson.
From Scream Factory: “It’s not even Halloween yet but that isn’t stopping us from humming holiday tunes today as we reveal to you a few more details about our upcoming release of Bob Clark’s slasher film classic. Read on or “Billy” might call you up. ;-)
– Official street date is planned for December 6th
– This will be a branded as a 2-Disc “Collector’s Edition” that will come with a slipcover.
– The festive, newly-commissioned front-facing artwork you see pictured comes to us from artist Joel Robinson (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Bubba Ho-Tep). The iconic original theatrical image (girl in rocking chair) will be on the reverse side of the wrap. »
- Derek Anderson
★★★☆☆ On the colour wheel, Craig Anderson's Red Christmas is more Bob Clark's Black Christmas than Michael Curtiz's White Christmas. While it's tempting to bring them together as a Yuletide triptych, a 'Three Colours Christmas' triple-bill (Krzysztof Kieślowski missed a trick with that one), Anderson's comic slasher doesn't quite earn its wings as a potential future classic, nevertheless it's very funny and another welcome indicator that antipodean genre cinema is where it's at right now.
Hope you guys made some extra room in your wallets for all the cash you’ll undoubtedly be shelling out this week (love me some “dad humor”), as August 23rd boasts an awesome selection of horror and sci-fi Blu-ray and DVD releases, all capped off by the home entertainment debuts of both season one of Ash vs Evil Dead and the sixth season of The Walking Dead.
Arrow Video is giving the cult classic The Bloodstained Butterfly an HD overhaul for their impressive-looking two-disc Special Edition release that arrives this Tuesday, and Scream Factory is doing the same for another cult classic, Psycho IV: The Beginning. Kino Lorber is releasing a Blu-ray for Chandu The Magician this week, and we’ve also got a DVD and Blu release for Jon Watts’ Clown to look forward to as well.
Other notable releases for August 23rd include Der Bunker, The Ultimate Vincent Price Collection, »
- Heather Wixson
The Dead Zone (1983) is where director David Cronenberg turned from the horrors of the body to the torture of the soul. But before that, he made tentative steps towards adding a layer of vulnerability to his work, in the very personal and frightening The Brood (1979). It’s still rooted in the tactile, but listen closely and you can hear whispers of humanity piercing the skin.
Which is to take nothing away from his earlier works; Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977) are both potent allegories (and gory allies) on class warfare and sexual promiscuity. But The Brood was written by Cronenberg while going through a divorce and nasty custody battle, and while it mostly maintains a safe distance from emotional investment for the viewer, the beginnings of a sympathetic point of view start to take shape.
- Scott Drebit
Scream Factory certainly won’t disappoint Mother with their Blu-ray release of Psycho IV: The Beginning on August 23rd, and we’ve been provided with three Blu-ray copies to give away to Daily Dead readers.
Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray copy of Psycho IV: The Beginning.
How to Enter: For a chance to win, email email@example.com with the subject “Psycho IV: The Beginning Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on August 26th. This contest is only open to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States. Only one entry per household will be accepted.
- Derek Anderson
On August 23rd, Scream Factory will take Norman Bates fans back to the sinister start with their high-def home media release of director Mick Garris’ Psycho IV: The Beginning, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have two clips from the upcoming Blu-ray.
From the Press Release: Before the terror can end, see how it all began… Psycho IV: The Beginning comes to Blu-ray for the first time on August 23rd, 2016 from Scream Factory. Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey star in this chilling prequel to the classic Hitchcock thriller. The release features new extras including audio commentary with director Mick Garris and Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey, and an interview with make-up effects artist Tony Gardner.
- Derek Anderson
Ever since 1974's excellent Black Christmas, the yuletide season has been a staple of horror cinema, often appearing as the backdrop for slasher films. During the slasher-saturated 1980s, you could count on at least one Christmas-themed gore-fest every year. Things slowed down a bit from the 1990s onward, but with this year's Red Christmas serving up buckets of blood, is it safe to say that the sub-genre has returned to form? Not exactly, since the festive season only serves as a means to gathering the victims together in one place.
Red Christmas starts amid protests outside of an abortion clinic with a voice-over about how it is a huge issue on both sides of the debate. Inside the clinic, a woman is in the midst of having an abortion when a protester's bomb goes [Continued ...] »
Nothing gets my jollies jostled like a good holiday horror flick, but Red Christmas falls short of being the next killer yuletide classic. Twisted ideologies are present – along with an aggressive socio-political message (like most good B-Movies carry) – yet execution is more “ho-hum” than “Ho Ho Ho!” There’s surely a demented likability to this Australian family vacation gone awry, but this is a low, Low-budget affair – and it shows. In the cinematography, performances and special effects, it definitely, definitely shows.
Dee Wallace stars as a proud mother named Diane, whose only wish is for all of her closest family to gather and celebrate Christmas together (a wish that’s granted). There’s predictable sisterly banter (Sarah Bishop as Suzy, Janis McGavin as Ginny), drunken silliness, delectable food, plus Uncle Joe (Geoff Morrell) double-fisting his flask and a rolled joint. All in all, it’s a fairly expected holiday party – until a cloaked, »
- Matt Donato
Shout! Factory’s “Inside Look” panel took place tonight at Comic-Con, and Scream Factory revealed thirteen upcoming Blu-ray releases for horror fans to look forward to, including Collector’s Edition Blu-rays for Black Christmas (1974), Bubba Ho-Tep, and Rabid, as well as a Slumber Party Massacre double feature Blu-ray and more.
2 Willard (1971) – The rare 70s rat-revenge film is (finally) coming to DVD & Blu-ray!
3. Ben (1972) – The sequel to Willard.
4. Black Christmas (1974) (Collector’s Edition) – The original slasher classic!
5. Poltergeist II (1986) (Collector’s Edition)– “They’re Back!”
6. Poltergeist III (1988) (Collector’s Edition) – “They’ve Found Her!”
8. Rabid (1977) (Collector’s Edition) – The early Cronenberg classic! »
- Derek Anderson
On August 23rd, see how it all began! Scream Factory’s Blu-ray of Psycho IV: The Beginning (directed by Mick Garris) features all-new extras including interviews with the director, cast members, and makeup effects artist Tony Gardner:
Press Release: Before the terror can end, see how it all began… Psycho IV: The Beginning comes to Blu-ray for the first time on August 23rd, 2016 from Scream Factory. Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey star in this chilling prequel to the classic Hitchcock thriller. The release features new extras including audio commentary with director Mick Garris and Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey, and an interview with make-up effects artist Tony Gardner.
A seemingly rehabilitated Norman Bates (Perkins) is drawn to a late-night radio show where the host (Cch Pounder, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight) encourages him to share his views on the topic of matricide. Reliving his childhood, Norman »
- Tamika Jones
AMC’s Bates Motel has done a hell of a job giving viewers a fresh, new take on the horror classic Psycho and it’s sometimes protagonist/antagonist, Norman Bates. A lot of newer fans of the series have voiced their opinions on how interesting it is to see the genesis of why Norman became what he eventually became: a murderer. Well, as most horror fans know, back in 1990, the Showtime network premiered a made for TV film called Psycho IV: The Beginning. Both a prequel and a sequel, the timeline within the film goes back and forth between Norman being verbally abused by his mother, some interesting sexual tension between them and current day Norman, out of jail and attempting to live a typical married life. I’ve always had a soft spot for Psycho IV, and with the announcement of Scream Factory’s August 23rd DVD/Bluray release, »
- Jerry Smith
[Guest author Christopher Lombardo of Really Awful Movies celebrates Canada Day by looking back at three backwoods Canadian horror films.] In the ’70s, Canadian tax loopholes spurred growth in domestic horror films, providing a more reliable low-cost means of recouping one’s investment in a frequently fickle business. A few, like Martin Scorsese’s favorite The Changeling, were critical darlings, while the bulk of them were regarded as cheap government-funded trash. A prominent Canadian critic famously called Cronenberg’s Shivers “an atrocity, a disgrace to everyone connected with it” in a jeremiad titled “You Should Know How Bad This Film Is. After All, You Paid for It.”
Luckily, for those of us invested in such things artistically if not financially (unless you count our tax dollars), we got gems such as Happy Birthday to Me, My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas (1974), and many others.
The “tax shelter” era, in addition to straight-ahead slashers, also gave us lesser-known films that exposed class divisions—punishing urban interlopers who lacked the necessary survival skills to thrive in the wilderness. »
- Christopher Lombardo
I'm on record as being a non-fan of the Friday the 13th franchise, which set the standard for the mega-stupid slasher boom of the 1980s over a series of 12 films (including the mashup Freddy vs. Jason and the 2009 remake) that emphasized bloody, creative kills over the relative restraint of films like John Carpenter's Halloween and Bob Clark's 1974 classic Black Christmas. In short: I don't much care about Platinum Dunes' forthcoming F13 reboot. And yet! The film is being written by Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski, adding a layer of unexpected prestige to the critically-reviled series. About that. In a new interview with The Reel Word, producer Brad Fuller has hinted that, true to Guzikowski's A-list credentials, the reboot will perhaps be more character-driven than previous entries in the franchise: “Aaron’s story has great characters…You kind of have to understand Jason Voorhees, so we go back and we »
- Chris Eggertsen
Reviewed by Kevin Scott
The Boy (2016)
Written by: Stacey Menear
Directed by: William Brent Bell
The scenario most always plays out the same way. A break out hit film or show with an ensemble cast spawns many unrelated off shoots with members of that cast allowed to showcase their talents on a singular level. Sometimes it’s spectacular, sometimes it’s tragic, and sometimes a film that would have completely flown under the radar, breaks through the haze of obscurity because of one golden ticket. That ticket is name recognition, and if the film isn’t a hit, it will at least find its place as a footnote in genre history.
If asking anyone about “The Boy” that might be interested in going to see a film of its ilk, »
Horror films and holidays go hand in bloody hand with classics like Halloween, April Fool’s Day, Black Christmas, and… Friday the 13th? Sure, we’ll count it. (Hell, one of the best exists in print only — Mad Magazine’s “Arbor Day” is fantastic.) Horror anthologies have gotten into the mix in recent years with the likes of Trick ‘r Treat, Tales of Halloween, and A Christmas Horror Story, but while they all set their stories on the same day the latest entry is laying claim to the entire calendar. The simply-named Holidays features eight shorts, each set on a different holiday and directed by a different filmmaker, and as is the case with virtually every anthology film, they vary somewhat in quality — most are fine, but two are absolute mini-classics. Unlike some anthologies, there’s no connective tissue here tying the shorts together, and instead each simply ends with a greeting card displaying the title and »
- Rob Hunter
A whole lotta reviewin’ goin’ on!
Children Shouldn’T Play With Dead Things
• Release Date: Available Now on Blu-ray
• Directed By: Bob Clark
First up we have an early effort from comedy maestro Bob Clark (Porky’S, A Christmas Story… Ok, Ok, he die-rected the original Black Christmas and Deathdream too) titled Children Shouldn’T Play With Dead Things. Now, if you are of a certain age, you have doubtless seen this flick and know of its merits (or charming lack thereof), but for the majority of you, this is going to be your first time. So, much like that captain of the football team did on prom night, I’m going to gently ease you through this experience… or fondle you clumsily.
At the insistence of their boorish (that’s really too polite; douche-nozzle would probably be more accurate) stage director, »
When one looks back at mid ‘70s to early ‘80s horror, it’s quite surprising to see how many Canadian made films are nestled among fan favorites. Titles such as Black Christmas, Shivers, Prom Night, Happy Birthday to Me, and My Bloody Valentine continue to delight and shock veteran horror lovers or those just starting their jagged journey down the terror path. There is one, however, that due to a troubled production and poor distribution, seems relegated to the discount bins of time. Today, we’re pulling back the curtain on, uh, Curtains (1983), an unsung slasher weirder than a sack full of rabid beavers.
Released by Jensen Farley Pictures in March of ’83 in the Us, and September of ’84 by Norstar Releasing in (my home and) native land, Curtains received a very limited release in both countries, but coming as it did at a time when the Canadian film industry had »
- Scott Drebit
Deep Red, 1975.
Directed by Dario Argento.
After a psychic is murdered a witness teams up with a reporter to catch the killer.
For anybody already versed in the works of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento then Arrow Video releasing a 4K restoration of his 1975 masterwork Deep Red (a.k.a. Profondo Rosso) will be one of the most welcome releases of the year. To those who have only seen Argento’s more recent output – such as the unintentionally hilarious Giallo or the godawful Dracula 3D – and aren’t quite up on why the director is held in such high regard by genre fans and critics alike then this lavish package of what is perhaps his most revered film (this or Suspiria – it’s a tough one to call, although Tenebrae is this writer’s personal favourite) is a »
- Amie Cranswick
The late, great Bob Clark gave holiday film fans two great presents with A Christmas Story and Black Christmas, but some view Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things as his greatest gift of all. If you're in the lattermost camp, then you'll be pleased to know that Vci Entertainment will release the cult zombie film on Blu-ray this February.
Boasting a 2K restoration from the 35mm interpositive, this Blu-ray debut of the beloved 1972 film will come complete with a hearty helping of special features, including "two commentary tracks, video tributes to Bob Clark, the original theatrical trailer, music videos, and some very rare, and clever radio spots, which have not been heard since the original theatrical release, plus much more."
The release also comes with three »
- Derek Anderson
19 items from 2016
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