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.
Silver Bullet (1985) – Shout Factory – I went far too long not appreciating this movie as much as I should have.
Silver Bullet might not do the best job at balancing its after school special vibe with its insane-o horror trip vibe, but thanks to the electric and mesmerizing Gary Busey and a very good werewolf story it remains an eminently watchable flick. I think when I was younger I didn’t feel like there was enough onscreen werewolf action, but now I appreciate the effectiveness of how the werewolf is used.
Ad Astra (2019) – 20th Century Fox – Aside from the stellar cast – Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland – there was absolutely nothing to recommend this movie.
I’m not saying I think it’s bad because I have no idea how I should feel about it. I can’t recall a thing about the marketing. I don’t know if I even remember seeing a trailer.
Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – Lionsgate Films – This, on the other hand, seemed to be promoted fairly well and I distinctly remember seeing the trailer several times. It’s Stallone as John Rambo, so it’s a buy for me.
It’s available as a 4K/Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD, and Best Buy exclusive 4K Steelbook.
Universal Horror Collection Volume 3 (1939-1941) – Shout Factory – This third collection of Universal’s horror library includes Tower of London, Man-Made Monster, Horror Island, and The Black Cat.
Tower of London stars Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, and Vincent Price and is really more of a historical picture with horror undertones. The 1962 film of the same name starring Vincent Price was much horror-oriented, but had a much smaller budget, going so far as to use footage from the 1939 version’s battle scenes.
Man-Made Monster features a classic sci-fi story that I’d love to see remade today – Lon Chaney, Jr. plays a man who discovers after a bus crash that he cannot be harmed by electricity. Eventually he ends up under the control of a mad scientist who wants to create an army of electric zombies.
Horror Island actually sounds like a lot of fun. For a tight sixty-one minutes, the plot sounds absolutely stuffed. The briefest synopsis I can give is that a group of people visit a remote island for a fake treasure hunt and end up being stalked by a ghost that may or may not be real.
Finally there’s The Black Cat, likely the most high profile title in the set. Those looking for an adaptation of Poe’s story need to check out the eleventh episode of the second season of Masters of Horror. Stuart Gordon directs Jeffrey Combs as Poe experiencing his own tale.
This film is an adaptation of The Cat and the Canary by John Willard. It has horror and comedy elements and while it might have a misleading title, it sounds like a good time.
I haven’t invested in any of Shout Factory’s other Universal sets, but every title in this one sounds interesting. I might have to get myself a copy.
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) – Shout Factory – I don’t know what qualifies this film for its own release while other seemingly similarly positioned movies end up in box sets. This adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s story stars Bela Lugosi as the completely bugnuts bonkers Dr. Mirakle, who is injecting ape blood into young women.
Abominable (2019) – Universal Studios – Over the last five years we’ve been experiencing a deluge of bland, unremarkable CGI-animated films. This is one of them.
Look Who’s Talking 30th Anniversary Edition (1989) – Sony Pictures – You guys – if you weren’t there you will never understand, but in 1989 Bruce Willis as a talking baby was effing hilarious.
Kirstie Alley was charming and John Travolta was transitioning from cool guy to funny dad character (until he got a recharge courtesy of Quentin Tarantino a few years later). This movie hit at just the right time and was a huge success. It is the fourth highest grossing film of 1989 behind Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, and Back to the Future Part II.
These are three of the best-known blockbusters of all time, just for reference. Trailing behind Willis’ talking baby were Born on the Fourth of July, The Little Mermaid, Ghostbusters II, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Lethal Weapon II, and Dead Poets Society.
Crazy times, my friends.
The Cable Guy (1996) – Sony Pictures – Count me among those who did not appreciate this movie at first.
Jim Carrey was hotter than you could believe in 1996 following a string of massively successful performances – both Ace Ventura movies, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Batman Forever. While all of his characters had veered towards psychotic, the comedy or action mostly won out. But in The Cable Guy we saw a deeply disturbed Carrey in a movie that was equally dark and strange.
Over the years people have come to appreciate the film’s unique quality and Carrey’s performance, not to mention his chemistry with the highly underrated Matthew Broderick.
You’d think this release would be coming from Shout Factory, but instead it appears to simply be a reissue of Sony’ 15th anniversary edition from 2011.
To the Devil a Daughter (1976) – Shout Factory – Following in the footsteps of the very good The Devil Rides Out, Shout Factory continues its releases of Hammer’s Satan movies with Christopher Lee’s final film for the company until 2011’s The Resident.
The movie also stars Richard Widmark, Honor Blackman, Denholm Elliott, and Nastassja Kinski as the titular daughter. With that cast and after enjoying The Devil Rides Out as much as I did, I’m ordering this one.
The Complete Sartana (1968-1970) – Arrow – I think we all know by now that it’s not unusual for me to come across things that I’ve never heard of. This Sartana character – apparently a cornerstone of Spaghetti Westerns – is one of them. I’m not a devout fan of the genre, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve watched and I wouldn’t consider my collection complete without copies of the famous Eastwood trilogy.
I might not even have mentioned this set if it weren’t for the spectacular names of the five films included:
If You Meet Sartana… Pray for Your Death
I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death
Sartana’s Here… Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin
Have a Good Funeral My Friend… Sartana Will Pay
Light the Fuse… Sartana is Coming
I have to see these.
Trick (2019) – RLJ Entertainment – TOM ATKINS ALERT!!!
I believe I heard some good buzz about this back during the Halloween season. It’s directed by Patrick Lussier (is that “LOO-SAY” or “LOO-SEER” or netiher?), who directed My Bloddy Valentine 3D and Drive Angry, both of which I think are awesome and underrated. He’s directed plenty of other stuff and worked as an editor on most of Wes Craven’s later work. He’s got bona fides, is what I’m saying.
I won’t say this is an instant buy, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it on Shudder or other streamers.
Other Titles Worth Noting
Feast of the Seven Fishes, Killjoys: Season Five, Heartbreak Hotel, Paradise, Mad Love, The Remains of the Day, Trapped (1949), Heist (2001)
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