Monday, 9 December 2013

Severed Headlines

DVD/Blu-ray Releases - UK

Dario Argento's Inferno (Blu-ray)

I'm not certain why but Arrow Films have re-released Inferno (1982); the second installment of Dario Argento's The Three Mothers trilogy.  Bookended by Suspiria (1977) and the reportedly lacklustre, wildly belated Mother of Tears (2007) (which I've yet to experience) Inferno is, after approx half a dozen viewings, fast becoming my favourite of the one-time maestro's half dozen or so indisputable masterpieces. 

Inferno saw a previous release courtesy of Arrow a couple of years back and it's not entirely clear what the difference is between the earlier version and this new one.  Certainly the extras aren't vastly different and the release is still missing the Kim Newman/Alan Jones audio commentary that graced the US Blue Underground release which I for one would have welcomed.

Regardless of the reasons for this re-release the movie is wonderful and belongs (along with Suspiria) in any self respecting horror fan's collection.  It also features one of the greatest horror movie scores ever written courtesy of Keith Emerson.  Some people bemoan the absence of a Goblin score for Inferno but for my money Emerson delivers big time here.  This is a movie that should be turned up to 11 (neighbours permitting). January will see a series of reviews focusing on the best (and worst) of Argento.  Suspiria, Inferno and, yes, even Mother of Tears (please surprise me) are all on the cards.

I can't neglect to mention the fact that Arrow Films have an awesome pre-Christmas sale on at the moment.  Visit the Arrow Film online store here for a lengthy list of heavily discounted titles including their recent Blu-ray release of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and loads of Italian horror classics.

James Wan's The Conjuring (DVD/Blu-ray)

James Wan is fast becoming one of my favourite modern masters of horror.  After coming out the gates with the brilliantly macabre Saw (a movie that should not be written off because of the can of worms it opened) he has consistently impressed me with his genre offerings.  The Conjuring is not only his finest fright flick but also the best studio horror movie I've seen in 2013.  Beautifully acted, atmospherically staged and perfectly paced it builds to a fever pitch conclusion and succeeded in doing something that's all too uncommon in modern horror; it scared the shit out of me.

Unfortunately Warner Home Video appear to have dropped the ball big time in terms of extras.  I've been unable to find any concrete details about the extras on the UK release and I don't doubt there will be some sort of special edition release in the future at which point the rear fans of the movie will be forced to double dip.  As it stands if the UK release mirrors the US in terms of bonus features don't expect anything more than a few short documentaries.  All in all it's a very poor show considering the quality of the movie and the real life "events" that inspired it.  I'll be waiting for a release with a bit more substance (or a second hand copy at a more reasonable price).

Other UK Releases

Nothing much of note other than the DVD/Blu-ray release of Charles Band's Demonic Toys courtesy of 88 Films who seem to be doing a sterling job issuing selections from the vasty depths of the Full Moon back catalogue.  Along with Demonic Toys I'll be picking up Blu-rays of the first movies in the Subspecies and Puppetmaster series sometime soon for review purposes.  What fans of Full Moon's particular brand of low budget thrills really want though is a Blu-ray release of the brilliant Trancers starring Tim Thomserson.  So c'mon 88 Films...sort that shit out.

DVD/Blu-ray Releases - US

Lamentably there's nothing to report unless you've been itching for a zombie movie full of z-list Hollywood has-beens like Daryl Hannah and Anthony Michael Hall.  If you're that person well let me tell you Christmas has just come early with the release of Zombie Night courtesy of director John Gulagar (Feast Trilogy).  All sensible fans of the shambling, flesh-eating undead sub-genre of horror will avert their gaze, pretend this doesn't exist, and re-watch Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters instead.

This Week In Remakes

The Carrie remake hit UK cinemas last week.  So what do y'all think?  Is it as mediocre as the US reception suggests or is it an above average adaptation of the source novel?  We will hopefully have a review up sometime this week but feel free to throw your opinions at us either via the twitter feed or in the comments section below.

Trailer of the Week

Ladies and gentlement I give you the trailer for Mega Shark Vs Mecha Shark.  A few million of my brain cells committed suicide while I watched this.  Oh boy!

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