FRIGHT AT HOME – October 13th, 2015

68390_10151150539704998_897037894_nThis is an interesting week for horror releases, and we’ve thought we’d shine some light on a few stand out titles that are hitting shelves, physically or digitally. This week sees found footage films about doomed high school plays, big boxsets of fan favorite TV series, a few non-genre films hitting Bluray for the first time and some nifty vampire action courtesy of the gang from Scream Factory, so let’s jump right in and see the few picks we’ve singled out.


 

1000565857BRDFLTO_ef4b5331 (1)THE GALLOWS (Warner Bros.)

The newest found footage entry from the gang over at Blumhouse hits shelves today, and it’s pretty much a found footage-by the numbers film, without any real scares or a single likable characters. Good premise, bad delivery, the film is about a group of kids who break into their high school one night to sabotage the drama department’s sets, and are haunted by the ghost of a boy who was accidentally killed years before.

It’s a perfect case of potential not being realized and a waste of a decent setup.

Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone.

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THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA (Scream Factory)

One of the most entertaining vampire films ever made, THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA is out today, and is yet another score for the gang at Scream Factory. A moody and entrancing story of a forbidden love and one scary as hell vampire, THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA has more than its share of memorable moments (can you watch that slow motion scene of the Count running towards you and not get goosebumps?!), and is a must own for any bloodsucker fans, or just fans of cool exploitation films in general. As an avid collector of AIP (American International Pictures) films, this bluray is one I would definitely vouch for and is a worthy addition to your collection. Plus, did I mention that COACH himself, Craig T. Nelson makes his on screen debut in this gem?

When the overlord of the damned rises again to prowl the shadows, who will stand against The Return Of Count Yorga? Robert Quarry is back as one of the most dapper vampires to ever set up shop in California in this thrilling sequel that really raises the stakes. Revived by the well-known supernatural properties of the Santa Ana winds, our undead leading man takes to the streets with an unquenchable thirst. In search of new blood, Yorga moves next door to an orphanage. But when he crosses paths with a beautiful young woman, the Count’s thoughts turn to love. Has the ruler of the night finally found the girl with whom he can share eternity?

 

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DEXTER: THE COMPLETE SERIES (CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution)

Surprise, motherfu%&*#!!, DEXTER: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION is here on DVD, with 96 episodes in 8 seasons, all in one set. Everything from Dexter trying to find the Ice Truck Killer in season one, battling Lila in season two, facing off against John Lithgow’s creepy as hell performance as The Trinity Killer in season four, it’s all here in a pretty sturdy case. Also included, are hours upon hours of special features, commentaries and various other sinister yet fun supplemental features that will make revisiting the hit show again a lot of fun.

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Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats: Two Adaptations by Sergio Martino & Lucio Fulci (Arrow Video)

Two of the most fan appreciated adaptions of Edgar Allan Poe’s BLACK CAT, Italian filmmakers Sergio Martino & Lucio Fulci’s takes on the murder mystery of Poe’s are in one glorious bluray set, courtesy of Arrow Video. Both films are as good as it gets, with Martino’s giallo masterpiece Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key revolving around a teacher being accused of murder when multiple bodies turn up dead, most of which point directly to him. Fulci’s THE BLACK CAT follows an inspector trying to solve a series of murders with some pretty creepy results.

In Martino’s classic giallo Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, teacher Oliviero (Luigi Pistilli, A Bay of Blood) finds himself under suspicion for murder when one of his students – and mistress – is found brutally murdered. As more bodies start to pile up, the arrival of Oliviero’s attractive niece (Edwige Fenech, Five Dolls for an August Moon, All the Colours of the Dark) brings with it complications of its own.

In The Black Cat, from that “other” Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci (Zombie), Scotland Yard Inspector Gorley (David Warbeck, The Beyond) find himself summoned to a sleepy English village to investigate the recent murder of a young couple. With no obvious signs of entry at the murder scene, Gorley is forced to start considering the possibility that his suspect may not be human…

Like most of Arrow’s releases, there is plenty of supplemental material that comes with the 2-film set, including:

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
-Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
-Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
-Newly translated subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
-Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
-Brand new interview with director Sergio Martino
-Dolls of Flesh and Blood: The Gialli of Sergio Martino – a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring -Sergio Martino’s unique contributions to the giallo genre
-Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror – The Films of Lucio Fulci, on The Black Cat
-Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
-Limited Edition 80-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the films, Poe’s original story and more, illustrated with archive stills and posters
-Much more to be announced!

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ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ, MATCHSTICK MEN & WITNESS (Warner Bros.)

Though they don’t fall into the horror genre, these three films are absolute gems and are three of the best films in their respective genres. Clint Eastwood is as good as ever was in ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ, giving a great performance as Frank Morris, the man who escaped what was at the time considered to be the inescapable prison, is in my opinion, one of the best performances ever.

A fact-driven thriller starring Eastwood as Frank Morris, the cunning bank robber who masterminded the only successful escape from Alcatraz’s infamous maximum security prison. In 29 years, the seemingly impenetrable federal penitentiary, which housed Al Capone and “Birdman” Robert
Stroud, was only broken once — by three men who were never heard from again. Filmed on location at Alcatraz and directed by Eastwood’s frequent collaborator
Don Siegel (Dirty Harry), this tough, taut reenactment of the true story has all the intense character study and sheer power that mark Eastwood’s finest work.

Speaking of excellent performances, the same could be said about Nicolas Cage in Ridley Scott’s MATCHSTICK MEN, a comedic thriller that is filled with twists and turns that you don’t see coming and also features a very good Sam Rockwell.

Just when you think you have it figured out you don’t, during this acclaimed comedy thriller directed by Ridley Scott. Nicolas Cage is winningly quirky as Roy, genius at crime and basket case in life because he’s an agoraphobe, a germaphobe and suddenly a parent. Sam Rockwell is wily Frank. And Alison Lohman plays the wild child at Roy’s door. For fun, suspense and brain-busting twists, nothing’s hotter than Matchstick Men.

Special Features: Tricks of the Trade: Making Matchstick Men – Follow the director
through an intimate day-to-day account of the filmmaking process.
o Part I: Preproduction, Part II: Production, Part III: Postproduction
 Commentary by director/producer Ridley Scott, writer Nicholas Griffin and
writer/producer Ted Griffin.
 Theatrical Trailer

In WITNESS, Harrison Ford is sent to investigate a murder within a small Amish community and in turn gives a performance that rivals any other performance he’s given. It’s a very good mystery thriller that like the other two WB films hitting shelves today, keep you guessing and entertained throughout the entire film.

When a young Amish woman and her son get caught up in the murder of an undercover narcotics agent, their savior turns out to be hardened Philadelphia detective John Book. Harrison Ford is sensational as Book, the cop who runs head-on into the non violent world of a Pennsylvania Amish community. The end result is an action packed struggle of life and death, interwoven with a sensitive undercurrent of caring and forbidden love.