February 2007 DVD Preview
Welcome to a special edition of the Haunted Newsreel, sponsored (for we must all eat) by Anchor Bay Entertainment's upcoming discs for Masters of Horror: Pelts, Devil's Den, and Night of the Living Dorks. In this installment, we'll be dishing information on the joyful cornucopia of Region 1 DVD releases heading down the pike in February 2007.
First, though, a quick site announcement. For months, we've been toiling away on a brand-new design for the site that includes a number of awesome changes, some subtle and some major. One of the biggest new additions is a well-integrated easy-to-update News section. The new Classic-Horror.com is still several months away, but keep your eye out. Keep two out if your sockets can spare them.
Anchor Bay Entertainment:
The Devil's Den, 02/13/07 - This looks like a film that would feel right at home next to From Dusk Till Dawn. Starring Kelly Hu (X2, Scorpion King), Devon Sawa (Idle Hands, Final Destination), and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead '78, The Devil's Rejects), Devil's Den details the goings-on at a out-of-the-way gentlemans' club where patrons stuff their eternal souls into the g-strings instead of dollar bills and the strippers' main man is Satan himself. Facing off against the unholy exotic dancers are a drug dealing film geek (Sawa), an assassin with a taste for violence (Hu) and a samurai demon hunter (Foree). Standard "theatrical-release-what-theatrical-release" warnings still apply, but this one could turn out to be fun. The DVD comes loaded with a making-of featurette, blooper reel, photo gallery, and an audio commentary by writer Mitch Gould, producer John Duffy, and score composer Jon Lee. (buy it)
Masters of Horror: Pelts, 02/13/07 - Looking for something a little more "Master"-ful? Try out this number by Dario Argento, culled from the second season of Showtime's "Masters of Horror." Adapted from a short story by F. Paul Wilson, Pelts follows struggling fur trader Jake Feldman (Meat Loaf Aday), who creates a stunning fur coat from a family of raccoons. Feldman hopes that coat catapults him to the big time, but it may end up dragging him down into hell on Earth when the animals who compose his creation exact their revenge. The second season of "Masters" has been marked by overtly political themes and Argento's entry doesn't deviate from the pattern. Pelts should prove satisfying for PETA and somewhat uncomfortable for the fur-wearers of the world. As with all "Masters of Horror" DVDs, this comes with oodles of bonus features, including making-of featurettes, audio commentary by Matt Venne (who adapted Wilson's story for television), and galleries of stills and storyboards. (buy it)Night of the Living Dorks, 02/20/07 - Written and directed by Mathias Dinter,this German import has been receiving some excellent reviews here in the United States. Variety.com calls it "a zombie comedy that knocks 'em dead with offbeat genre-ribbing humor." Most other reviews I've tracked down start out along the lines of "I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out pretty awesome." Sounds like this one has cult classic written all over it. The DVD includes interviews with the cast and crew, deleted/extended scenes, an alternate ending, the English and German trailers, and behind the scenes footage. Plus, the disc contains both the original German-language soundtrack (with English subtitles) as well as an English-dubbed track (for people who hate reading). (buy it)
Gentlemen, start your savings, because Blue Underground is planning to decimate your bank account on February 27th, with a salvo of six classic European horror films, including works directed by Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Mario Bava. All of these films have had Anchor Bay editions in the past, but those have been out of print for a couple of years. Anybody who missed AB's offering the first time around will have a chance to rectify their error. I'm not going to bother with the full-on descriptions of each film. Instead, I'll just link you to our review where applicable, because these movies speak for themselves for the most part.
All titles hit shelves February 27th, 2007:
Autopsy (buy it)
City of the Living Dead (buy it)
Deep Red (buy it)
Don't Torture a Duckling (buy it)
Inferno (buy it)
Shock (buy it)
All but Duckling have trailers and most have interviews with cast and/or crew.
Count Dracula, 02/27/07 - For the very first time in the United States, Jesus Franco's El Conde Dracula will be available on DVD. Christopher Lee stars as Dracula, this time closer to the being of noble bearing and pride from Stoker's original text. Love it or hate it, it's a definite necessity for fans of Lee. Includes a featurette on Franco and audio of Lee reading the original novel. (buy it)Prayer Beads, 02/27/07 - To be quite honest, I don't have much on this one. It's apparently a Japanese anthology directed by Masahiro Okano. There nine half-hour stories spread over two discs, presented in the original Japanese with English subtitles. (buy it)
The Raven (2006), 02/06/07 - The product description says this is "[a] terrifying journey the through the mind of terror master Edgar Allan Poe." Directed by Ulli Lommel, which may be enough for some, as his work doesn't seem to be terribly popular with the "likes good movies" crowd (this is the guy who made Boogeyman II (1983) affordable by making the first half of the film flashbacks from the first Boogeyman (1980)). (buy it)
Open Water 2: Adrift, 02/20/07 - Wasn't Open Water based on a true story? Oh, apparently this one is, too. Same concept (people adrift at sea without a boat), different characters, and apparently no sharks. (buy it)
The Grudge 2 (Unrated Director's Cut), 02/06/07 - Sarah Michelle Gellar returns for this sequel-to-a-remake, where we learn that black hair is still creepy. Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia") is along also, trying to undo the curse that fills people with a rage that consumes them. The DVD comes with featurettes, deleted scenes, and an introduction by executive producer Sam Raimi. (buy it)Incubus (Unrated), 02/06/07 - Not the William Shatner Esperanto flick, but a newer movie that is mainly interesting because it premiered on the Internet through AOL. Now it's on DVD. Tara Reid plays a medical school student running scared from a murderer in an abandoned factory. (buy it)
The Return, 02/27/2007 - For those just looking to load up on Sarah Michelle Gellar's horror movies this month, Universal presents The Return. Gellar plays Joanna Mills, a girl trying to make it on her own until she witnesses a nasty murder in her nightmares. Trying to solve the mystery, she discovers that she may not be witnessing the past but prophecizing her own future. That's what I can glean from the official synopsis anyway. (buy it)
Are there other DVDs coming out this month? Certainly. Did I miss one you were really looking forward to? Possibly. Drop me a line if there's something you feel needs mentioning.