Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DVD Picks of the Week: October 6, 2009

I told you I'd be back today. I'm hopefully going to be returning to more timely postings of the latest DVDs and Blu-rays, but we'll see how that goes.

Trick 'r Treat [DVD][Blu-ray]

What a year for horror films it has been. The long awaited release of Trick 'r Treat only strengthens what has been a great revival year for the genre that once seemed lost. Trick 'r Treat is the ghoulish Halloween night tale of multiple interlocking spook stories that kind of encompass all of what Halloween is about. There are vampires, werewolves, zombies, haunted tales, creepy next door neighbors, mountains of lit Jack-o'-lanterns and that friendly reminder to respect those Halloween rules and rituals. Four creepy tales come together in what can be best described as our generation's Creepshow. The film also tends to touch on all facets of great horror. There's some Sam Raimi-esque splatter horror to go along with more comedy themed bits, and so on. The film has been catching on all over and been receiving loads of hype. It's a shame this wasn't given a wide theatrical release right now, but I'll take this terrific film however I can get it. If there's one horror film you watch this October, make it Trick 'r Treat.

Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics [DVD]

I can't say I've seen any of the four films offered in this particular set (The Walking Dead/Frankenstein 1970/You'll Find Out/Zombies on Broadway) but I don't care, I'm still going to recommend it. It's Boris Karloff. It's Bela Lugosi. Both in one nicely priced set. Just in time for Halloween. I've heard that The Walking Dead is the classic of the set, but don't take my word for it. Plus one of the films is called Zombies on Broadway. That's enough incentive for me.

Audition [2-Disc DVD][Blu-ray]

Making its debut on Blu-ray is one of the most jarring horror films of the last 10 years. Audition is Takashi Miike's cerebral classic, a slow developing film that tenaciously picks away at its viewers' nerves one shot at a time. By the time this film ends, it leaves you just about speechless. I don't know if the DVD version is worth replacing your older copy for, but I'd love to see this on Blu-ray. You don't want to know anything about this film other than how awesome it is before you see it. Makes for a better experience. Go enjoy it now.

The Gate [DVD]

I haven't seen this film yet, but I've heard it's another one of those good tongue in cheek 1980s horror films that needed to be released on DVD. Well it looks like it finally is. Since my words can't say much about this film, maybe the trailer can.

Chinatown [DVD]

Okay, so director Roman Polanski isn't in the best light right now. And yes, I don't know why Chinatown needed to be released AGAIN (who ever does?). But still, here it is, now apart of the Centennial Series, a really great collection of films from Paramount that have been reissued. This is a great neo-noir, one of Jack Nicholson's best performances and a Polanski classic. Good timing if you want to give yourself a break from the horror films that come out this week. The mystery is a real spellbinder, and loads of fun.

Not Quite Hollywood [DVD]

I wrote at the end of September about two "ozploitation" films from Brian Trenchard-Smith that I really loved, Dead End Drive-In and Turkey Shoot. Well this week comes a documentary I had been hearing a lot about lately concerning that genre. Names like Quentin Tarantino and Dennis Hopper are to be found here, and I can usually support anything those two guys get involved with.

Staunton Hill [DVD]

Another I haven't seen, and I haven't really heard much great about it, but it is directed by Cameron Romero, son of the legendary filmmaker George A. Romero. That's enough for me to make mention of this film and eventually see it, even if it might be a steaming pile of crap.

Ghost Ship [Blu-ray]

Level with me here for a minute. Ghost Ship isn't that bad. Sure, it isn't the most brilliant film in the world, but I thought it did its job. It also has a terrific opening scene that's hard to dislike if you're a horror fan. There's a little bit of atmosphere in this freak out thriller and that's what I like about it. I guess I'll give it another go this month to make sure I wasn't seeing things when I first watched this way back when.

What else comes out this week: Splatter Movie: The Director's Cut, It's My Party and I'll Die if I Want To!, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [Blu-ray], Anvil: The Story of Anvil, Year One, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein [Blu-ray], It's Alive, Man vs. Food: Season One, Children, Dark Country, The Thaw, Children of the Corn (Remake), Seventh Moon, Wolf / Dracula / Frankenstein Trilogy [Blu-ray], Offspring, Marlene (1984), Feeding Grounds.

What to stay away from: Dance Flick. Fuck that movie.

Okay, I hope you enjoyed my return to my regular time (Tuesdays) and my sans-Chinatown horror themed selections. Get used to that this October. Drag Me to Hell comes out next week.

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