Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
The Dreadful Ten: 10 Must-Own Horror Blu-rays of Summer 2016!Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
With Autumn right around the corner, Blu-ray collectors in the horror community are debating what scare fare to best spend the rest of their summer with. Alas, with the majority of collectors operating off a living wage, not every terror title that hits high-definition can fit within their expendable income. Therefore, FANGORIA has rounded up ten of Summer 2016’s best Blu-ray offerings to help fright fanatics make the right choice for their creepy collections.
10. DOCTOR BUTCHER, M.D. (Severin Films)
While this low-budget exploitation flick wears its influences firmly on its sleeve, Severin’s new Blu-ray of this shock-and-schlock film puts the “gore” in “gorgeous.” Add in the alternate ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST cut as well as a slew of excellent special features, including Roy Frumkes’ segment from “Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out,” and this disc is a treat even for those not well-versed in grindhouse lore.
9. MICROWAVE MASSACRE (Arrow Video)
A truly bizarre cinematic experience, the aesthetics of John Waters and Tobe Hooper collide in MICROWAVE MASSACRE. Hilariously over-the-top and weirdly wicked, this lean serial killer thriller is an odd cinematic time capsule given the gold star treatment courtesy of Arrow Video’s fantastic transfer and supplemental material.
8. CAT IN THE BRAIN (Grindhouse Releasing)
Fulci goes meta- and mad- with CAT IN THE BRAIN, his ‘90s splatter effort that serves as a highlight reel of what the legendary filmmaker could do with gore FX and a little motivation. Yet Fulci fans will scream over Grindhouse Releasing’s excellent HD presentation and hours of extras, offering the definitive version of this fright flick to date.
7. CARNIVAL OF SOULS (The Criterion Collection)
Criterion once again lives up to their prestigious name with this release of Herk Harvey’s incredible ’60s horror offering. With a crystal clear transfer, a wealth of incredible features, and beautiful new packaging, CARNIVAL OF SOULS is a worthwhile pick-up guaranteed to haunt you for the rest of your summer.
6. BAD MOON (Scream Factory)
This underrated ’90s werewolf movie from Eric Red gets a second shot at life with this fantastic new Blu-ray via Scream Factory. The film’s never looked or sounded better, and with a newly crafted Director’s Cut as well as newly produced bonus materials, BAD MOON is guaranteed to rack up many more members to its cult audience.
5. BLUE SUNSHINE (FilmCentrix)
If you want the most bang for your buck, don’t hesitate to pick up this incredible 3-Disc set for Jeff Lieberman’s BLUE SUNSHINE. Mastered in 4K and given a healthy assembly of supplemental material- both on-and-off the disc itself, this limited edition Blu-ray is the thing of horror collector’s wildest dreams.
4. SESSION 9 (Scream Factory)
Brad Anderson’s brooding, unsettling psychological thriller has finally made it to HD, and thankfully the folks at Scream Factory have done right by the terror title. With an excellent new ‘Making Of’-featurette which includes a shocking story about a late night chase sequence gone almost disastrously wrong, as well as some other top notch ported-over extras, fans of this indie chiller should upgrade to Blu-ray post-haste.
3. CRIMES OF PASSION (Arrow Video)
Even if Arrow Video did a terrible job with this release (which they certainly did not), CRIMES OF PASSION should be an instant pick-up on content alone. One of Ken Russell’s most perverse and crazy films, CRIMES OF PASSION is an unbelievable amount of fun with jaw-dropping turns from Anthony Perkins and Kathleen Turner. Add in the director’s cut and some brilliant extras and this pick-up is a no brainer.
2. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Scream Factory)
Perhaps one of the most underrated Blu-ray releases as of late, Philip Kaufman’s extraordinary remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS makes for another impressive Scream Factory release. The 2K transfer is spectacular, the newly produced features are engaging, and the ported-over material is plentiful, which should be more than enough for horrorheads to add this bad boy to their collection.
1. ROAD GAMES (Umbrella Entertainment)
One of the finest homages to Hitchcock has finally made it’s way to Blu-ray, and you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s a damn fun film to revisit in HD. With a 4K transfer, wonderful new features and a solid underrated thriller to its name, Richard Franklin’s “REAR WINDOW on wheels” is the Region Free import to discover this summer for those unfortunately uninitiated.
And now, here are some honorable mentions that unfortunately didn’t make the cut…
BrinkVision’s release for this lean-and-mean slasher throwback bolsters this disc beyond its meager runtime.
VIOLENT SHIT – THE MOVIE
Reel Gore Releasing’s initial outing is a schlock lover’s delight, although the ultraviolent flick is not for everyone.
Didn’t catch this fun flick in theaters? This insanely violent sci-fi adventure eviscerates its sour critical reception.
This MVD release of Karyn Kusama’s brilliant, intense thriller is sadly too shy on extras to make the list.
While the materials don’t allow for the crispest presentation, The Film Detective does right by this Coppola classic.