The Dreadful Ten: 10 Horror Films We Want on Blu-Ray in 2017!Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
For fright fans who collect the latest and greatest in Blu-ray releases, 2016 has certainly been a banner year. Between incredible showings from newcomers Vestron Video and Arrow Video, one of the best years to date for Scream Factory, and exciting new releases from Blue Underground, Severin, and more, horror fans have been filling many of the gaps in their creepy collections. With horrorheads indulging in the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to help bulk up their Blu-ray shelf space, FANGORIA has assembled ten more terror titles we hope to see make their way into the world of high-def physical media.
A quick note before we begin: as with last year’s lurid list, we are keeping off titles from previous Blu-ray wishlists; you can check out our respective lists from 2015, 2016, and San Diego Comic Con 2016. We also know that some titles have received Blu-ray releases internationally, which means for the more impatient horror fan who own region-free players, we’ve marked those titles with an asterisk. Without further ado, here’s this week’s Dreadful Ten!
10. LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH
This ‘70s cult classic best known for its terrific title and slow-burn suspense is long overdue to be rediscovered by modern horror audiences. With the latest DVD coming from Warner Brothers as opposed to longtime distributor Paramount, perhaps Warner Archive might fight an HD home for this frightening film.
09. THE HIDDEN
This sci-fi/horror hybrid from filmmaker Jack Sholder has long been lauded as a underrated gem, but sadly, the last release for THE HIDDEN is over ten years ago in a double feature with it’s sub-standard, direct-to-video sequel. Hopefully, the normally collector-friendly New Line Cinema will work on giving THE HIDDEN the definitive home video release it deserves.
08. FRIGHT NIGHT, PART II*
While it may not be it’s pitch perfect predecessor, FRIGHT NIGHT PART II is an extremely fun practical FX showcase that replicates the mischievous monster movie spirit of the first FRIGHT NIGHT. Sadly, with the original FRIGHT NIGHT having only seen limited release via Twilight Time, the chance of this bad boy getting any kind of release outside of that same model is slim, but FRIGHT NIGHT PART II fanatics can dream.
07. THE GATE*
Having recently caught this family-friendly creepshow on the big screen, THE GATE remains one of the highly requested titles among current horror Blu-ray collectors. The good news is that this insane film, complete with Lovecraftian stop-motion creatures and a miniature Stephen Dorff, is currently in the clutches of Lionsgate, whose Vestron Video representatives mentioned as a strong possibility during their recent Shock Waves podcast appearance.
This Brian de Palma classic is one of his most underseen films, which is certainly a damn shame considering how strong of an effort this Hitchcock homage stands among his finest work. But with the film currently at the Criterion Collection in the U.S., the chances of it coming to Blu-ray in 2017 are likely as good as the sales were for Criterion’s 4K DRESSED TO KILL disc earlier this year.
05. DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)*
This seminal anthology offering is still one of the scariest and most captivating terror titles of all time, and despite a highly-acclaimed Blu-ray release in its native United Kingdom, DEAD OF NIGHT has yet to find its way to the stateside Blu-ray marketplace. While the rights to the film seem to be either with Image Entertainment or Anchor Bay, DEAD OF NIGHT might be a fruitful acquisition for a boutique distributor such as Kino Lorber or Criterion in 2017.
04. THE MANGLER
I don’t know about you, but this writer loves the more unhinged, bizarre side of Tobe Hooper, and certainly, THE MANGLER is the epitome of Hooper at his most unfiltered. Completely insane and a ton of silly, weird fun, THE MANGLER is certainly a horror offering that would benefit from a second look, preferably in 1080p; make it happen, New Line!
03. BRAIN DAMAGE
With most of Frank Henenlotter’s oeuvre having hit Blu-ray, the major glaring omission in that list would be one of his strangest titles, BRAIN DAMAGE. With the insane FX and the overall chaotic vibe of this fun feature, an HD upgrade from current rights holder Synapse may make Christmas come early for fright fans in 2017.
It’s no secret that this writer may adore Robert Kurtzman’s WISHMASTER, the practical FX-heavy horror offering with cameos galore from fright icons such as Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Reggie Bannister, and more. With the title potentially on Vestron Video’s shortlist according to a recent Facebook poll, will the newly-minted Blu-ray distributor grant us WISHMASTER fanatics our wish next year?
It seems like forever since SUSPIRIA was announced for a 4K restoration from Synapse Films, yet updates have been few and far between as Synapse has instead doled out strong HD releases such as TENEBRAE and PHENOMENA. Yet with next year marking the film’s 40th anniversary, one would suspect that horrorheads will finally get SUSPIRIA in its gorgeous, 4K-mastered glory in 2017.
And now, here are some honorable mentions that unfortunately didn’t make the cut…
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Fright fans have their fingers crossed that HBO might give us a proper HD restoration of this benchmark anthology series one day soon.
The potential end-all, be-all release for Warner Archive, a definitive Blu-ray release could finally get this controversial terror title to the audiences who so desperately clamor to own it.
This contemporary alien abduction film is intense, eerie, and an absolute blast to watch; hopefully, an HD master will surface sooner rather than later.
Lucky McKee’s fucked up love story is long overdue for a Blu-ray release; hell, if THE WOODS has made it to HD, MAY should certainly be next in line.
THE HITCHER (1986)
With the film currently in the Paramount library, perhaps the notoriously cautious studio will go the Vestron Video route and bring THE HITCHER to Blu-ray.