Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media.
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.
It’s that time of year, Phantomaniacs – when all of the big companies get in on the spooky act that our favorites like Shout Factory and Arrow maintain all year long! Halloweeny Blu-rays and 4Ks should be coming out a furious pace for the next few weeks, so be sure to check in every single Tuesday to see what’s coming!
Helloween: United Alive (2018) – Nuclear Blast – Since the Nuclear Blast website puts this over like it’s Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and John Cena teaming up at WrestleMania I thought I should just go ahead and paste their copy:
“During the evolution of the Hellbook for the 30th anniversary, we actually realized what we’ve achieved – and that our story is a long time from being completed.”
It was THE sensation of the year 2016. During the production of the 498-page tribute to the pioneers of German melodic speed metal and to 30 years of global metal reputation, the involved parties realized one thing over everything else: The chemistry in this band had always been unique and an exceptional band history like this simply demanded a new chapter.
“Playing an original HELLOWEEN track with Unisonic is one thing – but revving it up in the original line-up, together with the entire Pump Gang, is a whole other story.”
What belonged together needed to be joined: PUMPKINS UNITED. However, this birth was never just an original line-up reunion, but the real deal. The ultimate cast consisting of all 7 metal heroes: Andi Deris, Michael Kiske, Michael Weikath, Kai Hansen, Markus Grosskopf, Sascha Gerstner, and Daniel Löble. Or in other words: A dream come true for fans from all over the world, who never stopped wishing for exactly this union. What followed, was a whoop of joy from North German river Elbe to Rio’s Sugar Loaf Mountain, and in fall 2017 the kick-off of the unbelievable Pumpkins United World Tour in Mexico.
In 14 months, PUMPKINS UNITED and their massive entourage delivered 69 Shows – including 14 headliner slots at the biggest festivals – in front of over one million people in 32 countries and on three continents. At the shows at Wacken, Rock Fest Barcelona and Masters of Rock, as well as with IRON MAIDEN at the Sweden Rock Festival and Firenze Rocks, the long-awaited mega revival was toasted to heavily, stages were set on fire, and tissues were used by the ton.
The shows celebrated the greatest hits from three decades and offered a breakneck trip through time and the entire HELLOWEEN repertoire – including songs, the band hadn’t played live for a very long time, or even never before. The Pumpkins United World Tour caused a metal quake that was on almost every genre cover, and made the world’s biggest metal magazine »BURRN!« dedicate an incredible four cover stories to the tour. After dates in the US and additional shows in Latin America, this tour for the ages ended in December 2018 with a highly emotional finale in Hamburg, where it all began in 1984. – Unforgettable metal nights that fans as well as musicians would love to experience again and again.
“This amazing journey was one of those ‘magic moments’ words can’t describe. It simply was what we all love most: meet great people, go back in time with our memories, and celebrate the ultimate HELLOWEEN party.”
»United Alive« – DVD/Blu-Ray & »United Alive In Madrid« – Live CD/ Vinyl
The dream continues from October 4th, 2019: With the release of »United Alive« & »United Alive In Madrid«, the band presents audio and video evidence of the epic tour on DVD/Blu-ray and Live-CD/Vinyl via Nuclear Blast. Every singular solo, every spontaneous gesture, and every emotional encore of the Pumpkins United World Tour is evoked and made immortal by hellish tracking shots, breathless close-ups, and intimate interviews. The artworks were once again created by the renowned photographer and art designer Martin Hausler, and display lots of previously unreleased live images along with high end packaging.
“It wasn’t easy to condense this unbelievable tour adequately and capture it how it felt for us – that’s why we had the idea to film the biggest festival gig, the most massive arena show, and the hottest club date.”
Toy Story 4 (2019) – Disney/Buena Vista – Pixar’s newest film shocked me by being great.
It’s not that I don’t expect greatness from Pixar, but after the self-indulgent darkness of Toy Story 3 I honestly wasn’t very interested in the follow-up. And while I did find the third chapter less than satisfying, its conclusion seemed to me like the perfect finale for Buzz, Woody, and the gang.
I was so wrong.
Toy Story 4 found a way to not only extend the story of these characters, but to create a narrative that had just as much emotional relevance and power as the first two movies. This might just be my favorite Toy Story film.
Naturally there are several editions available – Blu-ray/DVD, 4K/Blu-ray, Best Buy 4K Steelbook, and a Target 4K DigiBook. It’s interesting that Disney doesn’t seem to do Walmart exclusives. I sure wish every other company in the world would follow suit and deny that garbage show customer-drawing items that they won’t put out on the shelves anyway.
Midsommar (2019) – Lionsgate Films – It might not be midsummer anymore, but it’s the spooky season, which means it’s still a great time to check out Ari Aster’s most recent horrifying hit.
I thought his previous film, Hereditary, was excellent but didn’t quite stick the landing. I owe it another viewing to reevaluate. Me and the missus will be watching this one today provided our schedule allows it. I know it was met with plenty of enthusiasm and there was even some Midsommar cosplay at Dragon Con. One of my panel collaborators, Mari Mancusi, gave a glowing review and was even in one of the getups from the film, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019) – Warner Bros. – I love the first Conjuring movie, but I never imagined we’d be referring to a “Conjurverse” that consisted of an additional six films only six years later.
I don’t really care too much about the real-life Warrens, but I sure do like the film versions. And while the quality of said Conjurverse films has varied greatly, I do appreciate that there is a consistent tone throughout, to the point where The Curse of La Llorona felt very Conjuure-ish to us even before we knew it was part of the franchise.
The concept of the Warren’s daughter and her friends dealing with a roomful of evil stirred up by the titular Annabelle sounds pretty promising, so this one will be a rental for us.
Deadwood: The Movie (2019) – HBO – I’m still rewatching the series, so I haven’t gotten to this yet. I’m disappointed that the packaging doesn’t match the TV series releases.
From Beyond the Grave (1974) – Warner Bros. – The cover to the Blu-ray was immediately familiar to me, so I’m guessing this movie was a constant presence in video stores back in the day. Having said that, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it.
It’s an anthology film that revolves around a store called Temptations, Ltd. and the bad things that happen to some of the store’s less savory customers. I’m not saying Stephen King saw this movie, but Stephen King might have seen this movie.
It stars Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence, which is enough reason to watch if it shows up on Netflix or Prime.
Nightmare Beach (1989) – Kino Lorber – A mysterious killer in a motorcycle suit is electrocuting unsuspecting Spring Breakers!
Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) – Kino Lorber – Mario Bava directed this weird-ass movie that features the acting challenged Reg Park going up against Christopher Lee. The budget was probably a bout two hundred dollars, but since Bava directed it still has a distinctive visual style. If you’re my age you probably saw it on basic cable when you were a kid and might have even liked it.
Shazam!: The Complete Live Action Series (1974-1976) – Warner Bros. – If these are the same transfers that are up on the DC Universe app I can tell you they look pretty great. Or at least, the first ten minutes of the first episode look great. I can’t vouch for anything beyond that because, hoo-boy was this show a stinker.
I’m sure back in the day it was a lot of fun and I might have even enjoyed it if I saw it when I was young, but I couldn’t deal with it now.
Baby Blood (1990) – Kino Lorber – I’ve never heard of this and there isn’t even a director listed. Since I’m not about to Google this title at work, here’s Blu-ray.com’s blurb:
When a strange creature crawls into a woman’s uterus she becomes a killer in order to feed the tiny terror growing within her.
I’m not gonna lie – I kind of want to check this out. There’s a blurb from Fango on the cover that says, “A GOREHOUND’S DELIGHT!” and while I’m not the gorehound I used to be, I can still appreciate some splatter from time to time.
My Boyfriend’s Back (1993) – Kino Lorber – Deep in the foggy depths of my brain, the primal reaction to this movie is, “Ugh”.
I know I’ve seen it because there’s no way I missed a domestic zombie flick that came out in 1993, not even one that looks this corny. Maybe it’s more charming than I’m giving it credit for, but given the complete lack of familiar names and the fact that I can’t remember a thing about it, I’m guessing My Boyfriend’s Back is a solid pass.
Sgt. Bilko (1996) – Universal Studios – This is a formulaic but fun comedy that feels about ten years too late, but wouldn’t have had the amazing cast it boasts if it had been made the previous decade. Starring Steve Martin as Bilko and featuring Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, Glenne Headly, and Pamela Adlon (who at the time was significantly less known), the flick is a run-of-the-mill military spoof that’s elevated by the talent involved. It’s one of those things you leave on if you come across it, but probably don’t go out of your way to own.
The Killer of Dolls (1975) – Mondo Macabro – After a doll collecting weirdo flunks out of school and moves back home, people start to DIE! Is he involved?
Yes. Yes he is.
Other Titles Worth Noting
Toys Are Not for Children, Primary Colors, The Monster, Gwen, Dudley Do-Right, Father Hood, Kung Fu Monster, Everytime I Die
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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the best pop culture commentary!
Hungry for more movies, music, and pop culture? Visit the Needless Things Archives for a decade of dorkery!