June 23, 2015

Blu-ray & DVD Releases: The Digital Dread Report for June 23rd!

Some werewolves; a murderous dream horse-man; Tom Cruise x 4; some cheesy biker goodness; the ghost of the most prolific Serial Killer in Russian history; and a young girl trying to survive Summer Camp... this is The Digital Dread Report for June 23rd!

The first four movies on this week's list fall into the sacred Must Own category for different reasons, even if the reviews of Dog Soldiers have been less than stellar thus far.

  • Click the pics below to order the movies.
  • Be sure to checkout our complete Blu-ray & DVD Release Dates List to keep up on the latest  and greatest Horror & Genre releases.

"In Neil Marshal's directorial debut, a squad of soldiers is sent out on what should have been a routine military exercise in the wilds of Scotland. But the excursion turns into a waking nightmare when Sgt. Harry Wells (Sean Pertwee) and his men discover the bloody corpses of Capt. Richard Ryan's (Liam Cunningham) battalion. As the sun goes down, the soldiers are tracked by a pack of werewolves determined to feast on their flesh."

Dog Soldiers is one of the best werewolf movies ever made, and we were thrilled beyond measure to learn that Scream Factory was releasing it on Blu-ray, and in a Collector's Edition to boot... and then we started hearing about how its picture quality was less than stellar, and we died a little bit inside.

It sounds like they had pretty poor source material to cull a transfer from, which resulted in this BD being brighter than it should be in places, especially night time scenes. That doesn't sound like the biggest deal in the world, but when diehard fans of the movie are up in arms because a nighttime scene suddenly looks like it's taking place during the day on a new release like this, it gives us pause.

We'll still order this one, as it is a fantastic movie, but we will temper our expectations as to how great it will look.

  • All-new 2K scan HD transfer supervised and approved by Director Neil Marshall.
  • NEW Audio Commentary with Director Neil Marshall.
  • NEW The Making of DOG SOLDIERS featuring new interviews with director Neil Marshall, producers Christopher Figg and Keith Bell, actors Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Darren Morfitt, Leslie Simpson and Emma Cleasby, special effects artist Bob Keen, special effects supervisor/creature designer Dave Bonneywell, production designer Simon Bowles and director of photography Sam McCurdy.
  • NEW A look at the model of the sets created by production designer Simon Bowles.
  • Theatrical Trailer.
  • Neil Marshall's short film: Combat.
  • Two Still Galleries – photos from the film and rare photos from production designer Simon Bowles and special effects artist Dave Bonneywell's archives.

Read our (Non-Blu-ray) review of Dog Soldiers HERE.

"Haunting and horrific, surreal and shocking, HORSEHEAD is a new horror-fantasy that pays tribute to the classic European shockers of Dario Argento and Mario Bava while also remaining a unique film with its own vision, delivering unforgettable images that both disturb and enchant."

As odd, trippy, confused, and crazy as it was, we really enjoyed Horsehead. Check out the link to our review below to get the full skinny, but for now we will tell you that if there's one newer Horror movie that deserves to be seen on Blu-ray, it's this one; as it truly is a visual treat that is perfectly suited for 1080p.

  • Original Trailer.
  • Inside Horsehead - Making of featurette.
  • Four Short Films.

Read our review of Horsehead HERE.

"Four great films--one brilliant box set. Mission: Impossible: Tom Cruise ignites the screen in this runaway smash hit that "holds you on the edge of your seat before blasting you out of it."  M:I-2: The world's greatest spy returns to stop renegade agent Sean Ambrose from releasing a new kind of terror on an unsuspecting world. M:I:3: Lured back into action by his agency superiors, Ethan faces his deadliest adversary yet - a sadistic weapons dealer named Owen Davian. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: No plan. No backup. No choice. Agent Ethan Hunt and his elite team go underground after a bombing of the Kremlin implicates the IMF as international terrorists. The mission has never been more real, more dangerous or more impossible."

Exciting, charming, and witty, the Mission Impossible series is one that started out great, and got better with each installment. The fact that Tom Cruise is a madman who does stunts that would give some stuntmen pause only makes them more compelling as action movies.

The only thing that sucks about this release is that now with a 5th movie hitting theaters this Summer (and the inevitable Blu-ray hitting shelves by Christmas), this set will only be "complete" for a few months. Why do Studios do that?

Oh well, it's still a kick-ass release.

"Fed up with a system that allows criminals to walk free, Joe Huff (Brian Bosworth, Three Kings, The Longest Yard) is a cop on the edge. While on suspension for insubordination, Joe is strong-armed by the FBI to go undercover in the deep south to infiltrate a dangerous white supremacist biker gang known as The Brotherhood. Taking down The Brotherhood’s murderous leader, Chains Cooper (Lance Henriksen, Aliens, Near Dark), and bringing the gang to justice, won’t be easy. But Joe doesn’t do “easy.”

Yes this movie is a cheesy 90's action flick, and yes, it stars ex-Football player Brian Bosworth, who really can't act to save his life, but damn it all if Stone Cold isn't one hell of a fun movie. It's got cheesy action, and Lance Henriksen and William Forsythe in their prime, so we are all about this release.

Must Own! (At  least for us, anyhow.)

"GHOUL is a supernatural horror film involving the real life story of the Soviet Union s most violent serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo. Three Americans travel to the Ukraine to film a documentary about the cannibalism epidemic that swept through the country during the famine of 1932. After being lured deep into the Ukraine forest for an interview with one of the last known survivors, they quickly find themselves trapped in a supernatural hunting ground. "

There aren't many Horror movies that come out of the Czech Republic, and this is probably the highest profile one to date. It could well end up being a train-wreck of the highest order, but there's something about it that makes us want to take a chance on it.

"Janey is sent to a silent meditation retreat in the middle of the woods for rehabilitation, only to discover that the men who run it are brainwashing women to be quiet and submissive, and if she breaks the rules, she'll discover what lurks beyond the trees..."

We saw Silent Retreat a while back, and really liked its quiet, subtle demeanor. It's a slow burn, and it may not have enough of a payoff for some Horror fans, but it is definitely better than the average Direct-To-DVD movie.

Not a lot of Must Own titles being released this week, but that doesn't mean there still aren't some decent ones that deserve to be seen.

  • The Mean Season is a bare-bones release by Olive Films, which should at least make Kurt Russell fans happy. We're expecting this one to have a pretty solid PQ & AQ, but being that it's a bare-bones release (zero Special Features), the $23 price tag seems a bit high to us.
  • We're big fans of Stephen King's Needful Things, so it makes us sad that the PQ on this disc sucks. I guess when you try to fit a 2-hour movie onto a BD-25, that's to be expected. *FYI: BD-50 is the standard, so using a BD-25 is taking the cheap way out. Shame on you, Kino Lorber.
  • Ripper Street is a very cool show, and for only $19.99, it's well worth owning on Blu-ray
  • Sugar Hill is a 70's zombie classic, but yet again, Kino Lorber is releasing an HD movie on a BD-25, which ultimately makes its quality suffer. Still though, this one might be worth owning for Pam Grier fans.

On the DVD front this week...

  • We're not sure whether Brutal Colors is going to be good or not, but we love the title. 
  • Jack the Ripper is a Jesus Franco classic that fans of 70's Exploitation should dig.
  • Throwback looks as if it might be a fun one.
  • Everything else, as always, is a crap-shoot. Enjoy!

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