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.


Starman (1984) – Shout Factory – It’s been decades since I saw this John Carpenter film. I didn’t like it back then – probably on HBO – because it’s basically a love story. I feel like it deserves another chance now that I’m older and wiser(?).

Venom (2018) – Sony Pictures – Lots of people who didn’t see this movie hated it.

Phantom, Jr. and I thought it was a big, fun action movie that was very aware of itself and the challenges it faced in a Spider-Man-free world and handled those challenges nicely. I’m a little more selective on which movies I buy now because I’ve realized we often don’t have time to watch them before they end up on Netflix or whatever, but this one will be a stocking stuffer for sure.

As with most big releases there are several versions available. In addition to the standard Blu-ray and 4K releases there’s a DigiBook from Target, a couple of beautiful Steelbooks from Best Buy, a giant Amazon Exclusive with special art that isn’t particularly impressive and that also doesn’t seem to be available anymore anyway, and a Walmart release that includes a pretty lousy action figure. Trust me – I saw one the other day and it is junk. It’s a weird scale and looks like a Dollar Tree toy.

Note: Yes, I should’ve Instagrammed a pic, but I was just getting over a terrible stomach virus and going back in to work on day shift. My brain was not in gear.

Murder by Death (1976) – Shout Factory – This is a fantastic movie title.

More than that, this is a spoof of your standard murder-mystery that happens to have an amazing cast. I know I’ve seen it – after Clue, I’m fairly certain – but much like Starman I feel like I owe it a fresh viewing.

Horror of Dracula (1958) – Warner Bros. – Christopher Lee is my Dracula.

These movies are where my love of horror began; watching late night horror shows with my Granny in North Carolina. They didn’t show the Universal classics, but instead the lurid British versions. Lugosi’s reserved take came much later in my personal viewing history than Lee’s violent, terrifying Count.

This is the film where Lee established his very different take on Bram Stoker’s character. It’s a must-have for any horror fan, but especially for me.

The Jerk (1978) – Shout Factory – Forty years ago Steve Martin starred in one of the most quotable movies of all time. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this movie, so a fancy-pants Shout Factory release should be a great gift for everybody on your list.

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) – Shout Factory – I wonder if this release is what prompted Warner to produce the above Archives release?

I have no idea what the situation is with rights to Hammer films, but I wish they were all coming from Shout Factory. Whatever the case, rest assured I’ve had this one preordered since it was announced.

The Shield: The Complete Series (2002-2008)The Shield is easily in my top 5 favorite television shows and features my favorite television performance of all time from Forrest Whitaker.

This is a full-on hi-def upgrade complete with new special features, so in my opinion it’s worth the price. If you haven’t seen this show, find it streaming and then be ready to dive into this set after you fall in love. It remains some of Michael Chiklis and Walton Goggins’ best work.

The Predator (2018) – 20th Century Fox – Check out episode 231 of the Needless Things Podcast for more on The Predator!

Multiple versions are coming, including Best Buy Steelbooks, collections of all four films, and a Target version with an exclusive Funko Pop figure.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) – Universal Studios – I regret not seeing this in the theater. As far as I know it was good, but I think it’ll be an on demand rental, not a sight unseen purchase.

Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas (1977) – Sony Pictures – I can’t weigh in on this too much because it’s far too beloved for me to admit that it’s not a favorite, but this is the original version with the Kermit the Frog parts.

From a puppetry perspective it’s an astonishing accomplishment that blends many different styles to tell a single story. Maybe I can talk Beau into doing a minicast before the month is over.

Marwencol (2010) – Cinema Guild – This is the documentary that the upcoming Robert Zemeckis movie, Welcome to Marwen is based upon. One of the Joelanta folks strongly recommended it to me years ago, but I never checked it out.

Next week is Christmas, which means there are no significant releases and Needless Things will be taking the day off, but come back in January 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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