Friday, April 5, 2013

Scream Factory Wishlist

This is a good time- a very good time I should say- to be a horror-on-Blu-ray fan, and we have Scream Factory to thank for that! It's been almost a year since Shout! Factory announced the creation of their new sub-line to give those much-loved cult classic horror flicks from the 80s and beforehand the "Special Edition" treatment they were criminally denied for so long. Just look at the list of films Scream Factory have already released since September:

Halloween II
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Terror Train
The Funhouse
They Live
Death Valley
The Island (1980)
Deadly Blessing
The Video Dead
The Nest
Phantasm II
From Beyond

But wait, the fun doesn't stop there! Look what's coming soon:

The Burning
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Ninja III: The Domination
The Howling
The Fog 
Swamp Thing
Night of the Comet
Day of the Dead
The Incredible Melting Man
Sanners II and III 
The Vampire Lovers
The Horror Show (AKA House III)
and more!

Look at it!

I didn't think I'd ever see Halloween II and III get special editions. I was sure I'd never see The Video Dead on disc at all. Now we have those plus these other titles pampered with new transfers, commentaries, featurettes, interviews and reversible covers?! I'm still pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. My arms really hurt now.

Of course, being the greedy consumer whore that I am, I can't help but fantasize about what other horror flicks from my youth that should have loaded Blu-ray/DVD combo packs from Scream Factory. So, I came up with a little wishlist. This is not a suggestion list for these guys. I understand there's lots going on behind the Facebook fan page in getting these movies out (mostly legal). This, right here, is me dreaming.

Fright Night (1985)

I'm not going to waste time expressing how I feel about Fright Night being left in the home entertainment dust of other classic horror films of the 1980s. We're all angry. Still, no one wants pay upwards of $200 for a "limited edition" Blu-ray that's equally bare-bones as the DVD (from a label called Twilight Time, no less). No one wants to pay upwards of $75 for the out-of-print DVD of Part II. If any entity could produce the kick-ass special edition of Fright Night that we've been dreaming of, it's Scream Factory. What needs to be in it? Obviously, HD transfer, new interviews and featurettes, but in addition, Icons of Fright's pirate commentaries deserve to be the commentaries for this set. Plus, how awesome would it be to have Fright Night, Part II as a bonus? Considering how long we've been waiting for this movie to get an upgrade, anything less than everything I just listed would be shameful.

Prince of Darkness (1987)

I know this has been a highly-demanded title since pretty much the beginning of Scream Factory's existence, and why the hell not? It's one of Carpenter's scariest and most gruesome films. It has an extra-special place in my heart, because I remember seeing it for the first time Halloween morning when I was eleven. If it's anything like Scream Factory's They Live set, you can bet your ass a special edition of Prince of Darkness will be equally successful.

Motel Hell (1980)

When I read Scream Factory's humongous Facebook announcement listing The Howling, The Fog, Night of the Comet, Lifeforce, The Burning, and Day of the Dead for release in 2013, I quickly noticed that all but Day of the Dead were previously brought to DVD by MGM. Almost instantly I thought of another MGM library title I feel is definitely in need of an upgrade: Motel Hell. I can already visualize the new key artwork, prominently featuring that classic image of Rory Calhoun in the pig mask, wielding a chainsaw. A late-night cable fave of mine, this darkly funny cannibal flick was slapped on a double feature DVD by MGM along with the not-so-funny, Ed Gein-inspired Deranged. With all these MGM movies, plus the more recently-announced Swamp Thing, I really hope a Scream Factory Blu-ray of Motel Hell is as much a no-brainer as I think it is.

Invaders From Mars (1986)

Since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Part 2 and Lifeforce have gotten special editions, it seems only right to bring Tobe Hooper's Invaders From Mars remake back to home video in the same fashion, thus completing his Cannon Films trilogy. Along with a new transfer, Hooper commentary and featurettes, some home-video behind-the-scenes footage would be killer. Another MGM library title, I loved this movie as a kid, and I haven't seen it in at least 20 years.

Fade to Black (1980)

I have only a very vague memory of seeing Fade to Black when I was little, but it is one my parents remember fondly whenever it's mentioned. It's funny that, as I was writing this, one of the YouTube clips film critic Scott Weinberg posted on Twitter in tribute to Roger Ebert was of him and Siskel reviewing this 1980 thriller, starring Dennis Christopher (Django Unchained). I watched the clips from the movie, and it's still not familiar at all. Anchor Bay released Fade to Black on DVD all the way back in 1999. It's long out-of-print now, and I've been kicking myself for not picking it up when I had the chance. So, it would be nice if Scream Factory could help end this overlong quest for me.

Phantasm (1979), Phantasm III (1993), and Phantasm IV (1998)

I would not be terribly surprised if Don Coscorelli's original Phantasm movie arrived on Blu-ray via Scream Factory, given the response to the just-released Phantasm II Collector's Edition. The 2007 Anchor Bay DVD had plenty of goodies and I'm still really happy with it. However, I had to throw all the remaining Phantasm films on the list, because it would be awesome to have the whole series at one home that cares for all the installments equally, not the one or two guaranteed to bring in the dough.

Maximum Overdrive (1986)

This was one of the most traumatizing horror movies I ever saw as a kid. It is a sick, vile, vicious, over-the-top piece of garbage. And it's fucking great! I don't know who has the home video rights to this now (Anchor Bay and Trinity have both issued DVDs in 2001 and 2006, respectively), but I want Maximum Overdrive on Blu-ray! It cannot be another cheap throwaway release. No, no, this movie actually deserves the already-overused term "bat-shit crazy", and the Blu-ray needs to be just as balls-out. Scream Factory would make sure of that. You know everyone would love to hear a Stephen King commentary over this. Maybe an interview with AC/DC? A tribute to Pat Hingle would be sweet, also. Plus, can you imagine how badass the new artwork would be?! Maximum Overdrive may be the most maligned piece of the King legacy, but I can't believe I'm the only one who digs this gonzo mess. I hope there is enough of an audience out there to get a great Blu-ray of this made.


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