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March 2007 DVD Preview

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03-06-2007
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Welcome to what I now expect to be a monthly feature: Haunted Newsreel's DVD Preview. Our March edition is sponsored by Anchor Bay Entertainment's upcoming discs for Death Row, Masters of Horror: Pro-Life, Re-Animator, and Tokko.

Anchor Bay Entertainment:

Death Row on DVD from Anchor Bay Death Row, 03/06/07 - Directed by Kevin VanHook (The Fallen Ones, Voodoo Moon), the busiest filmmaker at Anchor Bay, Death Row is the story of a documentary film crew investigating a supposedly haunted prison where the worst convicts in the South were once incarcerated. Actually, strike the "supposedly" from "supposedly haunted," since it probably wouldn't be much of a horror film if the place wasn't haunted by the ghosts of the prisoners. The film stars Jake Busey, Stacy Keach, and Danny Trejo. The disc is laden with features, including a director's commentary, still gallery, "making of" featurette, and more. (buy it)
The Manitou on DVD from Anchor Bay The Manitou, 03/06/07 - Director William Girdler's The Manitou finally gets the digital treatment. Susan Strasberg discovers the tumor on the back of her neck is really a fetus. With the help of phony psychic Tony Curtis, the race against time to destroy the ever-growing evil spawn before it unleashes the power of a 400-year-old Native American demon on the world. (buy it)
Masters of Horror: Pro-Life on DVD from Anchor Bay Masters of Horror: Pro-Life, 03/20/07 - With Pro-Life, John Carpenter adds a touch of the absurd to the political bent of the second season of "Masters of Horror." Teenager Angelique (Caitlin Wachs) is carrying the spawn of the devil. She seeks out an abortion, but her strongly right-wing father (Ron Perlman) breaks into the clinic to prevent the termination of what he views as a blessed event. When the baby's devilish daddy shows up, things get even weirder. As with all Masters of Horror releases, this disc includes featurettes galore and a commentary track (Carpenter is joined by episode writers Drew McWeeney and Scott Swan). (buy it)
Re-Animator on DVD from Anchor Bay
Re-Animator, 03/20/07 - The first release in "The Anchor Bay Collection", AB's effort to come back to the strategy that launched them in the first place: releasing classic but seldomly seen horror films to a starved public. As an opening salvo, Re-Animator is fairly brilliant, although the definitive-until-now Elite Millenium Edition two-disc set went out of print only recently. Anchor Bay's edition appears to contain most, if not all, of the same special features as Elite's release and tosses in a brand-new documentary (the 70-minute "Re-Animator Resurrectus"). An excellent buy for anyone who doesn't already own this brilliant film. (buy it)

Image Entertainment:

 Euro-Fiends From the Grave, 03/06/07 - Three gems from 1960s/early 1970s Eurohorror: The Redheaded Corpse starring Farley Granger, The Faceless Monster starring Barbara Steele and Paul Muller, and fountain-of-youth thriller Satanik. (buy it)

Horror Business, 03/13/07 - Documentary filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano traveled the country and visited the sets of various independent horror productions to discover exactly what drives low-budget horror mavens today. The result is Horror Business, a look into how to make it in the horror business without any real money. Among the directors Garetano focuses on are Mark Borchardt (Coven, although perhaps more famous as the subject of American Movie), Ron Atkins (Necromaniac), John Goras (Chirpy), and David Gebroe (Zombie Honeymoon). (buy it)

The Hunt, 03/20/07 - Survival horror can be a lot of fun when it's done right. This tale, of a cameraman and his stepson in the woods against a terrifying force, could go either way. In its favor, it's directed by Fritz Kiersch, the man behind Children of the Corn. To its dertriment, it's directed by Fritz Kiersch, the man behind Gor. (buy it)

Lions Gate:

Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield, 03/06/07 - Someone obviously felt that seven years is too long to go between Ed Gein biopics. The last film version of Gein's life was the understated Ed Gein starring Steve Railsback, who looked like Gein and gave a plausible portrait of the man. This version stars Kane Hodder, most famous for being the only actor to play Jason Voorhees in multiple films. Draw your own conclusions. (buy it)

Blood Trails, 03/13/07 - A woman suffers the unexpected consequences of a one-night stand with a stranger when she and her boyfriend go on vacation to a secluded mountain... and the stranger follows them. (buy it)

Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave, 03/20/07 - The zombie-comedy series continues with an entry that promises a party. A new drug has hit the rave scene. It's called Z and it produces some wicked hallucinations. Shame about that whole undead side effect... (buy it)

After Dark Film Festival, 03/27/07 - In November, AfterDark Films launched an ambitious film festival. Instead of mooring it to a single spot, they opened the eight films in theaters across America for one weekend. Now, with the exception of The Abandoned, Lions Gate presents those films on DVD, available either individually or as a set:

Dark Ride (buy it)
Gravedancers (buy it)
The Hamiltons (buy it)
Penny Dreadful (buy it)
Reincarnation (buy it)
Unrest (buy it)
Wicked Little Things (buy it)
AfterDark Box Set (buy it)

MGM:

Night of the Comet, 03/06/07 - Did somebody order up a post-apocalyptic zombie-invasion valley girl comedy? I hope so. This unique film from the 1980s stars Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney as teenyboppers who just want to have fun until, bummer, a comet wipes out most of the human race. Worse, most of the survivors are crazed zombie types. Good thing our girls are packing heat. (buy it)

Sony:

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes, 03/27/07 - Sony revives the Pumpkinhead franchise, thought to have died in 1994 with Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings. This time around, a town bands together to summon the titular demon in order to stop a demented doctor played by Doug "Pinhead" Bradley. (buy it)

Tartan:

Bloody Reunion, 03/13/07 - In this Korean thriller, a group of students reunite with their old teacher. As you might be able to tell from the title, things don't turn out so well. The Korean title roughly translates as To Sir with Love. (buy it)

Shutter, 03/27/07 - The supernatural being revealed through man-made technology is a common theme in modern Asian horror. In the Thai film Shutter, the device in question is a camera which photographs a ghost haunting a man with a secret. (buy it)

20th Century Fox:

Turistas, 03/27/07 - Fox's answer to Hostel, Turistas follows a group of American tourists who get tangled up in the machinations of a pretty twisted surgeon. Action fans get exciting chases sequences and gorehounds get gruesome operating room violence. The DVD is "unrated" so expect an extra bucket of viscera. (buy it)

Warner Bros.:

Sublime, 03/13/07 - Tom Cavanaugh ("Ed") stars as George Greaves, a man who checks into the hospital for a minor surgical procedure, but soon discovers he can never leave. His own fears begin to manifest around him, reality blurs and hopefully the audience is entertained. (buy it)

WGBH Boston:

Masterpiece Theatre: Dracula, 03/06/07 - "Masterpiece Theatre" and horror don't exactly attend the same mixers, but every once in a while, they do kick it together. Take this BBC adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, for instance. Well, adaptation is a strong term. Some of the same characters appear in wildly different roles - Arthur Holmwood is a new groom with syphilis who seeks out Dracula because the vampire may be able to provide him the cure that would let him get intimate with his new bride, Lucy. Dracula stars Marc Warren and Sophia Myles. (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.

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