A couple of months ago I posted about the most exciting horror Blu-Ray releases of the summer, and it certainly has been a season full of great packages. Fall is coming soon, however, and it’s time to start looking ahead again – to the change of the leaves, to the sights and sounds of Halloween, and to the saving of money so that we can actually afford all of the new releases in store this Fall 2016 season.
Clearly, some of the best releases are saved for this magical time of year, when most normal people are looking for horror hits to savor. That means there are a lot of releases slated for the fall schedule, but since I’m limiting it to fifteen, it’s time to be a little frugal with our selections. Below, find the most exciting new releases from the best companies involved in horror preservation, in order of release.
Evils of the Night (Vinegar Syndrome; August 30)
Coming in at the tail end of the summer season is Evils of the Night from Vinegar Syndrome, which is getting a nice release as a double-disc Blu-Ray/DVD package, with dual-toned cover artwork and a 2K scan of the film. This is a rather lesser-known horror film from the ’80s that features tons of nudity and blood-stealing aliens – absolutely the kind of film that horror aficionados will enjoy. Just take a look at that cover artwork and tell me you’re not excited for this.
Reel Gore Releasing is a new company started by Nico B. of Cult Epics, focusing more on the gore films in the horror genre. They recently released their first film, Violent Shit: The Movie, in a 3-disc set, and it looks like the company will follow suit with another loaded package – this time, Masks from 2011. It certainly has eye-catching cover art, and the three disc feature – including Blu-Ray, DVD, and a bonus CD – make Reel Gore Releasing an exciting addition to the horror distribution sphere.
The Thing (Scream Factory; September 20)
I don’t know how you couldn’t be excited about a new collector’s edition release of The Thing, especially from Scream Factory. And since September is drawing close to the winter season, it’s the perfect time to get super paranoid about the things that go bump in the snowy night. This is a stacked two-disc release, including a 2K scan of the interpositive, two audio commentaries, and a bunch of new and old featurettes. Definitely worth the $20 price tag.
Cat People (Criterion Collection; September 20)
This sexually charged 1942 film is getting a solid Blu-Ray release from Criterion, much like this summer’s classic Carnival of Souls. The film boasts a new 2K transfer, audio commentary, a full documentary on the career of Val Lewton, a couple new interviews and a nice booklet essay. If you’re familiar with the rest of the Criterion Collection, then you should be excited about this new release that gives this classic horror film the full treatment.
The Hills Have Eyes (Arrow Video; September 27)
The Hills Have Eyes begins Arrow Video’s reign of terror in September – they’ve got a spate of new releases coming out that will leave most fans penniless, and that’s not just limited to horror (Dead End Drive-In releases September 20). This release is monumental simply because of the film’s popularity, and fans should certainly be excited – it’s getting a new 4K restoration, as well as a host of new featurettes. There are even postcards included in the box! Plus, I love that grindhouse-y new box artwork.
Slugs (Arrow Video; September 27)
Dropping the same day as The Hills Have Eyes is Slugs, also from Arrow Video. This is another hugely popular cult classic, and fans will get a new restoration of the film along with audio commentary, various interviews, and some vintage film reels as well. There’s also a signature collector’s booklet featuring the writing of Michael Gingold.
Blood Diner (Vestron Video; September 27)
Vestron Video is back, bitches! Lionsgate has reinstated this company, and they’re dropping two titles on what’s going to be a very expensive September 27. The first is Blood Diner in a limited collector’s edition, with an unrated version restored and remastered, and interviews that brought director Jackie Kong out of her self-imposed hiatus. It will truly be interesting to see how this new lineup from Vestron Video does, especially considering how much has changed since their heyday.
Chopping Mall (Vestron Video; September 27)
On the same day, Vestron Video will also release Jim Wynorski’s cult classic Chopping Mall! Three audio commentaries, tons of featurettes, an isolated score track – this is the package that fans of the film have been waiting for. No word on the type of transfer that this film is getting, but it looks like this should be a blast regardless.
Vamp (Arrow Video; October 4)
Arrow Video strikes again the week after with their two-disc Blu-Ray release of Vamp, the comedic horror film from 1986 that follows in the tradition of Fright Night. Included on this is a new high def transfer, a making-of documentary, a short film by Richard Wenk, and first pressing gets a limited edition booklet as well. Check out that new artwork! Much better than the original.
Daughter of Dracula (Redemption Films; October 4)
Redemption Films continues their releasing of classic Jess Franco films with Daughter of Dracula, starring Britt Nichols and Anne Libert. This release isn’t as massive as some of the others – besides the HD transfer, it’s getting audio commentary and “safe footage,” meaning the more boring, less sexually explicit kind. Still, I’ve been enjoying Redemption’s trip through Franco territory, so I can’t wait to check this one out.
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Twilight Time; October 11)
There’s not much information on this new Blu-Ray release from the ever reliable Twilight Time, but rest assured it will be limited like all of their other releases, and it will have at least a good transfer of the film. Fans have been waiting for a nice Blu-Ray copy of this Bette Davis psychobiddy flick, and thankfully Twilight Time is delivering the goods!
As you can see, no official box artwork has been released yet, and there’s no pre-order so far. But like always, you can buy it from Screen Archives when it comes out.
Carrie (Scream Factory; October 11)
Scream Factory released the other Carrie iterations (The Rage: Carrie 2 and the TV miniseries) about a year ago, so it was only a matter of time before they got their hands on Brian De Palma’s classic horror film. And they’re releasing this Blu-Ray as a collector’s edition, meaning it gets the new slipcover artwork, a new 4K scan of the film, tons of new interviews with cast and crew, and older featurettes borrowed from a previous release of the film. I sure do love that new cover artwork, and I can’t wait to see Carrie brought to life with this new transfer.
Child’s Play (Scream Factory; October 18)
Continuing Scream Factory’s month of scares is this collector’s edition of Child’s Play, coming in both a standard and deluxe edition. The deluxe package includes a special NECA Chucky action figure, two slipcases, and two posters, so it’s a massive package that most people will want to snag (even despite the $59.99 price tag). But those who don’t have the extra cash are still getting a good deal with the standard package, which includes a new 2K scan of the film, a new audio commentary, and a host of additional older features. Scream Factory’s page also lists more to be announced, so there should be some more new features included on the final release.
Manhattan Baby (Blue Underground; October 25)
Lucio Fulci’s Manhattan Baby is coming to Blu-Ray thanks to Blue Underground with a three-disc release! You get the Blu-Ray and the DVD, but you also get the soundtrack on CD – an awesome deal, since Fabio Frizzi is a great artist. But there looks to be hours of special features on this set as well, plus a bonus collectible booklet from Troy Howarth. Blue Underground always does a great job with their packaging, and I’m truly excited to see this Blu-Ray hit in October.
The Exorcist III (Scream Factory; October 25)
The film isn’t as popular as the first in the series, but The Exorcist III is still a terrifying horror film – that nurse’s walk through the hospital hallway always gets me. Right now, Scream Factory hasn’t announced very much about this release, but it’s clear from the new cover artwork that this is going to be a collector’s edition, which generally means a host of new special features. With this hitting right before Halloween, fans will have an awesome film to watch on the big day (I actually covered it for Mayoween a few years ago).
The Rift (Kino Lorber; September 20)
The Rift is only getting a standard Blu-Ray release thanks to Kino Lorber – HD video, with a few on-camera interviews with the cast – but I have to include it because I’m a sucker for underwater horror films. This one’s also known as Endless Descent, and it stars Ray Wise and R. Lee Ermey as they dive into the deep! For $19.99, you can afford to check this one out.
Buy from Amazon.
What films are you excited for? Let me know in the comments.