By Anthony Crabtree, Guest Blogger
Since around Halloween time people begin publishing top 10 lists of best horror films, this year I have decided to create a list of horror films that are specifically new to Blu-ray. Some came out in September, some in October, but all are certainly worth checking out this Halloween. A quick note that all of these titles are available on DVD for those who have not made the switch, and that all are available on VHS for those who are REALLY far behind.
10. “The Exorcist” Canadian Steelbook Edition – I don’t think I need to explain why “The Exorcist” is a must-watch for horror fans around Halloween. I, personally, have always found the movie to be good, nothing great and certainly not one of the best horror films ever made, and because of this, have not upgraded my DVD copy to Blu-ray. Last year Warner Bros. released a two-disc digibook edition of “The Exorcist,” which I was tempted to buy, but stayed away from. This year, in Canada, Warner Bros. tops themselves, forcing me to finally make the upgrade by releasing a one-disc steelbook edition.
“How is this an example of topping oneself?” you might ask. The answer is that a steelbook trumps a digibook any day of the week. Steelbook cases are slick looking packages that are made out of metal. Digibooks are just bland, cumbersome packages that take up more room on the shelf. Now that I’ve explained why I prefer a steelbook to a digibook, you’re probably asking, “but what about the second disc?” This is a hard sacrifice to make as a completist, because the second disc comes with the theatrical cut of the film. I love having as many cuts as possible, and when you go to purchase the film, you will also have to make this hard decision.
Release Date: Oct. 18, 2011
9. Maniac Cop” – I do not own this title…yet. The film features Tom Atkins and Bruce Campbell and is directed by William Lustig. If you are a fan of any of those three (then again, if you’re a fan of one then you most likely love all three), then what’s not to love about this film? Synapse usually does a fantastic job with their titles and while I have not seen this one yet, I’m sure that it will be another quality release. While not quite the ideal film for Halloween, it is a horror film, and that’s all that really matters.
Release Date: Oct. 11, 2011
8. “Basket Case” – Frank Henenlotter’s tale of a deformed boy in a basket has arrived on Blu-ray courtesy of Something Weird Video. If you have not seen the film, the low price tag guarantees that you absolutely should. The retail price on this title is $17.17, and most online stores are offering this for as low as $10. For those seeking an extremely bizarre film for Halloween at a cheap price, look no further.
Release Date: Sept. 27, 2011
7. “Dark Knight of the Scarecrow” – For years I wanted to see this film, but would not pay the $100+ asking price for an official VHS copy. “Dark Night of the Scarecrow” is a classic piece of made for TV cinema that remained unreleased for years, and many thought it would never come out through any official release. It hit DVD last year, however, and has now found its way to Blu-ray. The DVD, released by VCI Entertainment, featured a fantastic presentation of the film, which I never imagined I would see. I have yet to see the Blu-ray, but if it’s a step above the DVD, then it might be worth the upgrade.
Release Date: Oct. 11, 2011
6. “A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection” – UK Release – Freddy and Halloween go together like Michael Myers and … Halloween. The UK box set, which I do not have yet, is most certainly going to be a better presentation than the current DVDs that are available. By how much though? Does it really matter? These will most likely be the best presentations that we will receive of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and its sequels, and I certainly would not hesitate to buy them. The only thing that would stop me is the eventual United States release, which will undoubtedly be the exact same set.
Release Date: Oct. 17, 2011.