At last weekend's Comic-Con 2011, The Digital Bits hosted a special panel, in which they explained why they feel the Blu-ray format is entering a period that will eventually be considered its Golden Age. The editors cited such upcoming releases as the original Star Wars trilogy, Lawrence of Arabia, and Citizen Kane as evidence. While the subject is debatable (and, for the record, I hate mentioning Star Wars and Blu-ray in the same sentence so long as the releases in question are those insulting, godawful Special Editions we've been damned with for the last fourteen years), one thing is clear – in this country there are still quite a few horror masterpieces that need to be released in high-definition transfers on home video. Maybe we were a bit spoiled in the medium's early days, getting Blu-ray versions of classics like Halloween, Hellraiser and the like. But there's a lot more we're still waiting for. After the jump, check out my picks for the top 5 horror movies that need to be on Blu-Ray NOW.
Note: Here's a link to footage of The Digital Bits' Golden Age panel.
Sure a new print has surfaced in Europe, but we're still twiddling our thumbs over here in the States waiting for even the American version of the film to hit Blu-ray. I need those Argento reds and blues saturating my player. I need Jessica Harper's dark, saucer-shaped eyes staring at me in HD. And I need to hear Goblin's score bursting with the sharpest clarity technology will allow through my home theater speakers.
The stage musical version of Stuart Gordon's masterpiece currently playing in LA is a lot of fun, but it makes me long for a solid Blu-ray release of the film I consider to be the definitive ‘80s splatter comedy. Anchor Bay, you can inject some digital serum into this title and make it happen, right?
Probably a conservative choice, but what the hell. It's still Roman Polanski's most perfect film (even if that's largely due to him sticking like a bandit to Ira Levin's equally flawless novel). As such it's more than worthy of the little blue disc. My Halloweens haven't been complete without it.
Bride of Frankenstein
There aren't many black-and-white Hollywood films available on Blu-ray. Understandable, given that the average Blu-ray viewer is too young to be familiar with Vincent Price, let alone Boris Karloff. But if I could have only one back-and-white fright in my collection it would be this, the most groundbreaking American horror film of all time. Face it, folks – Bride of Frankenstein is our Citizen Kane.
Night of the Living Dead
Leaving aside the fact that without their proud papa Dawn and Day have been looking pretty lonely on my Blu-ray shelf for the last several years, Night remains George Romero's masterpiece. Lord knows it wasn't shot on 70 millimeter – and so there may not be as much room for improvement over DVD as there is with some of the other films on this list – but with the zombie craze at an all-time high, the fanfare a Blu-ray release could bring would insure a new generation of movie lovers discover the most perfect zombie movie ever made.
Were this list longer, there are a few others I could name – the other Universal Monsters' movies, Roger Corman's Poe films, Val Lewton's treasury of terrors, Bava's early work, Cronenberg's ‘70s output, Hammer's classics, Phantasm, The Haunting, The Wicker Man. Okay, maybe more than a few. The list goes on and on. But I want to hear what you guys think. Let me know your Top 5 Wish List. Maybe together we can make enough noise to give some of these babies a good home.