We’re living in a great time for horror movie collecting. Blu-ray is the ideal format to bring our favorite films to life in glorious HD. Gorgeous, pristine picture packed with as much as we could ever want to know about the features themselves. And we’re even seeing the deluxe treatment granted to films beyond the classics. Everything from Exorcist III to Carpenter’s Village of the Damned is getting the collector’s edition treatment.
But there are gaps. With everything getting the special Blu-ray treatment, all the movies that aren’t getting the special treatment stand out that much more. They just become more obvious when stacked against unexpectedly loaded discs like the collector’s edition of Shocker.
Whether classics or not, many great horror films have just been slapped onto a disc without getting the praise they deserve. That’s why I don’t mind Scream Factory’s recent slate of mostly re-releases. They’re going above and beyond for titles that should have had that treatment the first time around. Below are nine lackluster releases that deserve a quality release.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
After releases we never thought we would get, like a pristine Curse of Michael Myers Producer’s Cut, the disclaimer at the beginning of the Silent Night, Deadly Night Blu-ray is kind of embarrassing. The quality is overall fairly poor, but to cut away to so many VHS quality sequences in the middle of an HD transfer for the sake of being uncut… it just doesn’t work. On a lot of levels. On top of that, the only special feature is a commentary track. There’s no way we couldn’t have more if Anchor Bay had actually tried.
The amazing Scream Factory treatment for Cherry Falls makes me hope we can get this kind of release for more ‘90s teen horror movies, because they really deserve it. Idle Hands has a decent transfer, but the sound quality is iffy and there are no special features of any kind. None! I understand some of the cast went on to much bigger things, but I find it hard to believe they couldn’t get some of them back together for a commentary track if they really wanted.
I know we just got the great documentary Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow, but it’s still weird that such a classic horror movie had such a lackluster Blu-ray release. The quality of the transfer is pretty good, but there are no special features of any kind. No interviews, no commentaries, nothing. As one of the best flicks from both Romero and King, you’d think it would warrant a lot better treatment.
I’m very lucky to have the original Twilight Time Blu-ray for Fright Night and I cherish it, for sure. The quality of the transfer is stunning. But that doesn’t mean it’s the release the movie should have had. Commentaries, interviews—again, this flick just got an amazing documentary, but that’s partly because it was needed after such a barebones Blu-ray that wasn’t even available in a wide release.
Much of the Miramax/Dimension catalogue suffered from being swallowed up by notoriously shotty release company Echo Bridge. So many great flicks just got dumped onto discs because of that, with no features of any kind. That’s so not the release this movie deserves. I think it deserves a collector’s edition, having more fans now than it did when it came out.
The Child’s Play Sequels
Scream Factory’s upcoming collector’s edition of Child’s Play sounds excellent. I’m sure it will be a stellar release. But that’s the only Child’s Play Blu-ray that really has any special features to begin with, so I want to see a similar treatment for the sequels. It probably won’t happen from Scream Factory, with the rest of the series being owned by Universal, but the sequels deserve better than the barebones box set. If we live in an age with a collector’s edition for Howling II, there’s no reason we can’t have one for Child’s Play 3!
The transfers on all of the Puppet Master Blu-rays so far are astonishing. I never thought these movies would look anything approaching this good. But when all of the sequels have commentary tracks and Puppet Master 5 even has a making-of documentary, the first one really stands out for its lack of extra content. I understand that there are conflicts of interest that might make a director/producer commentary track difficult, but it’s also fascinating stuff. We see a lot of Blu-ray features now in which people talk about behind the scenes drama, I don’t think we should be sheltered from it with Puppet Master.
The Nightmare on Elm Street Series
It’s insane that maybe the biggest horror franchise of all time has had such a rocky time on Blu-ray. I mean, the release of the first film is great and most of the features in the box set look good, but it’s weird that we don’t even have commentaries for huge entries like Dream Warriors. There are also some complaints against the transfers of a few of the movies. In particular, Freddy’s Revenge has really bad color timing and The Dream Master is absurdly dark. Other entries look great on Blu, but there is a huge lack of consistency that really needs to be rectified.
Again, because it was swallowed up by Echo Bridge, Scream has a decent looking Blu-ray transfer and that’s about it. This is maybe the most influential horror film of the past twenty years. It deserves a standalone Blu-ray release that pulls out all the stops and it’s insane that it doesn’t have that.