Home Again – December’s Blu-Ray Releases

Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media. In general I won’t be covering 4K because I find the format overrated, but if it’s new and  happens to have some kind of edition feature I might mention it.

All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.


Maniac (1980) 4K Restoration – Blue Underground – Just in time for Christmas!

I saw and was impressed by the recent remake starring Elijah Wood, but I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever seen this one. I can’t imagine I haven’t, but none of the actors look familiar as I scan through stills.

Whatever the case, this is a good opportunity to score a copy of this nefarious film from one of the best imprints in the business.

Evil Dead 2 (1987) 4K – Lionsgate – There have been countless versions released of all of the Evil Dead films. I’ve owned at least half of them; probably more. For some reason, the first two films just don’t look right to me in hi definition.

Obviously years of watching shitty rental copies and copies made from those copies imprinted a certain look into my brain, but I never had a problem with the look of Anchor Bay’s remasters on VHS and later DVD. I guess for whatever reason the HD look is a step too far. Since this release is super cheap – under twenty bucks – I’ll probably grab and it give it a shot, but I’m fully expecting it to be way too clean and clear for my brain to accept.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) – Shout Factory – Opinions are certainly divided on this entry into the Chainsaw series, but I am firmly a fan. It delivers everything I need from a Leatherface movie – gore, weirdness, Grampa, screaming, and a frenetic pace. Does it have its faults?

Of course! If you’re nitpicky you can find problems with anything. But if you go along for the bonkers fucking ride – that happens to star Matthew McConaughey and  Renée Zellweger – Next Generation is a lot of fun.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987) – Shout Factory – In yet another amazing Shout Factory/NECA collaboration, this film is also available with a retro-style action figure of deranged nutjob Ricky in his Santa suit!

This one has the Cadaver/Battle Cougar stamp of approval, so order your copy today!

Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1 (1942-1957) – Warner Bros. – I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with Popeye. When I was a little kid I loved the cartoons and would even run around pretending to be Popeye. After goading my mom into buying a legit can of spinach and eating some raw – just like the sailor man – I decided it would be best to pretend that Cheetos were spinach.

Popeye’s older cartoons are better, so this collection from Warner Archives will be a welcome addition to the shelf. I’m curious to see how good these look, as they tend to do a great job with animation.

Peppermint (2018) – Universal Studios – All I know is that this is a revenge flick starring Jennifer Garner. It’s R-rated, which is a good sign that it’ll be at the very least action-packed and violent, but beyond that, who knows? We’ll probably give it a shot on demand.

Hang ‘Em High (1968) – Shout Factory – While not a part of Eastwood’s incredible collaboration with Sergio Leone, Hang ‘Em High is still great, and absolutely one of America’s best Westerns. The cast alone should earn it a spot on your shelf – Eastwood, Ed Begley, Pat Hingle (who, despite being relatively terrible in Batman movies is great in Westerns), Bruce Dern, Alan Hale, and Dennis Hopper!

The Mangler (1995) – Shout Factory – It’s a great time for Stephen King, less so for his fans, as all of these terrible adaptations of his work are getting released in deluxe formats.

I could be wrong here. I haven’t see The Mangler in a long time, and when I see that Tobe Hooper and Robert Englund are involved, I feel that surely there’s some entertainment value here. But I distinctly recall disliking this when it came out and not finding anything to change my mind on subsequent viewings.

Toy Soldiers (1991) – Sony Pictures – I doubt I’ve watched this since the turn of the century, so my opinion is as questionable as it is for the above entry, but I thought this movie was absolutely badass when it came out.

Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, Keith Coogan, and other less familiar young actors must defend their military school from a drug cartel. Louis Gossett, Jr. plays the dean of the school.

Fiend aka Deadly Neighbor (1980) – Massacre Video – This is one of those where all I can do is repeat the synopsis:

“An evil spirit enters a graveyard and reanimates the corpse of music teacher Eric Longfellow. However, in order to stay alive, he has to wrap his hands around his victims’ throats to absorb their life essences. When he moves to the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, his neighbor begins to suspect something just is not right with Mr. Longfellow.”

I’d for sure watch it on demand or on Netflix. Or buy it on a disc with five other films.

Death Ship Remastered (1980) – Scorpion Releasing – George Kennedy versus Richard Crenna in a haunted battle on the high seas!

I vaguely remember being really entertained by this movie at some point. I can’t recall if it was an HBO viewing or a random Blockbuster rental, but the delight of seeing Captain Hocken face off against Colonel Trautman on a Nazi ghost ship was REAL.

I Still See You (2017) – Lionsgate Films – Bella Thorne and Dermot Mulroney star in a movie about a post-apocalyptic world full of ghosts. I don’t know if they are ghosts or if they’re dealing with ghosts, but I’ll find out at some point. I like both of them enough to check this out.

Ice Cream Man (1995) – Vinegar Syndrome – If you’re my age and there’s one film you definitely know Clint Howard from, it’s Ice Cream Man. That’s because every single video store had a copy of the VHS in the horror section and Howard’s immediately recognizable mug graced the cover.

I think it’s kind of a shame that Vinegar Syndrome is using Howard-less cover art, but I have to admit that the original was pretty bad. And not because of Clint.

Await Further Instructions (2018) – MPI Media Group – A family awakens on Christmas Day to discover their house has been surrounded by a mysterious black substance. The only information they have is the titular message on their TV screen.

This sounded intriguing to me until I saw the director’s name – Johnny Kevorkian. This is either the most groan-inducing nom-de-plume ever (and I went by “Phantom Troublemaker” for a decade) or just an unfortunate coincidence. But I’m leaning toward the former.

5ive Girls (2006) – ? – I think this is another one of those subscription service movies, because I can’t find a distributor. “5 Girls vs. 2000 Demons” is a kickass tagline, and the “Ron Perlman” above the title doesn’t hurt, either. I could do without ever seeing numbers incorporated into words again, though.

Unless it’s a Prince album.


Check back next week for more horror, sci-fi, and whatever else grabs my attention!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and let us know what you’re watching!

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the best pop culture commentary!

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