News Article

News Article

Weekly DVD Dissection


I'm about to start a week full of amazing genre-flick awesomeness down at Austin's annual Fantastic Fest, and of COURSE you'll get a whole bunch of reviews before (mostly) anyone, but before I hop a flight to gore-town, we have to get this week's DVDs filed away...

Normally the big title this week would be a Special Edition of Tim Burton's Beeteljuice, because it's a very cool and very weird comedy, but according to my sources, there's next to nothing in the extras department! What gives? Fans don't drop money for a Beetlejuice special edition and expect to get just a pair of chintzy old cartoons! I know the audio / video has been upgraded for this release, which is great, but uh ... where are the commentaries? The featurettes? ANYTHING? Nope, aside from an isolated score track and the old theatrical trailer, nothin'. Very disappointing.

Ah, here's one I saw last year at Toronto, and it's definitely worthy of (at least) a rental: It's a strange mixture of Canada and the Orient in They Wait, which stars Jamie King as a mom whose kid starts seeing scaaaaaary things after attending a funeral in Canada. And hey, Michael Biehn even pops up for a few scenes, so that's cool.

If you're dead-set on owning every schlocky horror flick that's ever played on the Sci-Fi Channel, then here's a new one for you: Kevin Sorbo in Never Cry Werewolf, which seems to be a little bit like Fright Night -- only with werewolves instead of vampires. That's all I really know about it, but then again ... there's probably not much more to know.

Then we have The Legend of Bloody Mary, which is not a documentary about the origins of the popular beverage, but instead a thriller about a guy who is still haunted by the disappearance of his sister eight years prior. Apparently a bunch of kids were messing with an online "Bloody Mary" game and the results were ... not good.

Manga fans will want to find themselves a copy of Death Note, which is the first live-action adaptation of the popular book series. It's about a magical book that inspires a guy to rid the world of evil ... I think. Also expect the sequel (Death Note: The Last Name) to hit DVD pretty soon, plus I think there's another sequel AND an American remake on the way!

Ah here's a fun one: Today we get a DVD of Mark Lester's Class of 1999, which stars Malcom McDowell and teaches us what happens when (evil) robots are used to replace (ineffective) high school teachers. I'm not expecting anything in the extras department, but hey, it's an amusing old sci-fi action flick. Also on board: Stacy Keach and Pam Grier!

1974's Beyond the Door is one of the more obvious Exorcist ripoffs, but it has earned a small cult following of its own over the years. Directed by copycat expert Ovidio Assontis (Tentacles), Beyond the Door gets a digital resurrection courtesy of the fine genre geeks at Code Red DVD. And these guys went all out: Two audio commentaries, several featurettes, and an uncut widescreen presentation of the main feature. This is one I should definitely be renting...

Last but (hopefully) not least we get The Valley of Tears from Image Entertainment. It's about a dead guy who must somehow convince his killer to repent for his (many!) sins, so at least we're already dealing with a halfway-interesting concept. (Hopefully.)

Next week: The star of Heroes contends with evil doctors, Tara Reid (ha) fights off killer snakes, and what's this? A new movie from Dario Argento??