August 3, 2015

August's Top Blu-ray Pre-Orders!

There are always plenty of new Movies and TV Shows released on Blu-ray & DVD each week, but even if we wanted to, we couldn't possibly buy them all. There are, however, always a small group of them that make us drool (figuratively) in anticipation, that we feel compelled to own.

So here are the movies seeing release in August that we are dying to get our hands on, and that we feel good about recommending to you. Don't forget to click the pics to pre-order!
This dark, bloody imaginative fairy tale about a camping trip that turns into deadly carnage draws on such influences as Lord of the Rings, Friday the 13th and The Devil's Backbone. The story follows 12-year-old outcast Sam who, along with his troop of cub scouts and their teenage supervisors, camp in woods rumored to house a mysterious and deadly werewolf. Inquisitive Sam, certain the woods are inhibited by something evil, soon stumbles upon a feral young boy and, eventually, his evil psychopathic mentor. But convincing the others of the danger falls on deaf ears, and soon ingenious traps begin to take their violent toll on the group. A wildly entertaining killer in the woods actioner. NOTE: Dutch, French, Flemish languages with English subtitles.

A solid little Belgian Thriller/Exploitation flick, Cub is a Killer Kid movie with bite. We hate... and I mean HATE... that awful cover art, but the movie itself is worth at least a rental for most Horror fans, and a purchase for fans of messed up Euro Horror. *Read our review below to see why.

  • Deleted scenes.
  • SFX reel.
  • Short film (Blu-only)
  • Music video (Blu-only)
  • Trailers.

Read our review HERE.
There is an old ghost story in the sleepy town of Ravens Fair about Mary Shaw, a ventriloquist who went mad. Accused of the murder of a young boy, she was hunted down by vengeful townspeople who cut out her tongue and killed her. They buried her along with her children, a hand-made collection of vaudeville dolls. Since that time, Ravens Fair has been plagued by death. The ghastly dolls from Mary Shaws collection have gone missing from the grave and reappeared over the decades. In the dead of night-wherever they are glimpsed-families are found gruesomely murdered with their tongues torn out.

Few things are creepier than dolls, and few American Horror movies of the aughts were as genuinely creepy as was Dead Silence. It looks like this is the first time that the movie will be available on Blu-ray in its Unrated form (from what we can gather, anyhow), and with a price tag of around $15, adding this one to the collection is a no-brainer.

James Wan & Leigh Whannell know their Horror.

  • Unrated Cut.
  • Alternate Opening.
  • Alternate Ending.
  • Deleted Scenes.
  • The Making of Dead Silence.
  • Mary Shaw's Secrets.
  • Evolution of a Visual FX.
  • Aiden's "We Sleep Forever" Music Video.
Brian De Palma ascended to the highest ranks of American suspense filmmaking with this virtuoso, explicit erotic thriller. At once tongue-in-cheek and scary as hell, Dressed to Kill revolves around the grisly murder of a woman in Manhattan, and what happens when her psychiatrist, her brainiac teenage son, and the prostitute who witnessed the crime try to piece together what happened while the killer remains at large. With its masterfully executed scenes of horror, voluptuous camera work, and passionate score, Dressed to Kill is a veritable symphony of terror, enhanced by vivid performances by Angie Dickinson, Michael Caine, and Nancy Allen.

Throughout the 70's and very early 80's, Brian De Palma released some top-tier Horror Thrillers. Carrie was probably the best of them -and his non-Horror movies like Scarface, The Untouchables, and Carlito's Way are probably his best movies overall- but there was always something about Dressed to Kill that terrified us as kids.

It's stylish as hell, and we can't wait to see that it looks like with the Criterion Collection treatment.

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer of director Brian De Palma's preferred unrated version, approved by the director, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray.
  • New interviews with actor Nancy Allen, producer George Litto, composer Pino Donaggio, shower-scene body double Victoria Lynn Johnson, and poster photographic art director Stephen Sayadian.
  • New profile of cinematographer Ralf Bode, featuring filmmaker Michael Apted.
  • The Making of "Dressed to Kill," a 2001 documentary featuring De Palma.
  • Interview with actor-director Keith Gordon from 2001.
  • Video pieces from 2001 about the different versions of the film and the cuts made to avoid an X rating.
  • Gallery of storyboards by De Palma.
  • Trailer.
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Koresky.
Producer John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) presents Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the third chilling installment in the shocking Halloween franchise. When a petrified toy salesman is mysteriously attacked and brought to the hospital, babbling and clutching the year’s most popular Halloween costume, an eerie pumpkin mask, Dr. Daniel Challis is thrust into a terrifying Halloween nightmare. Working with the salesman’s daughter, Ellie, Daniel traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties company and its founder, Conal Cochran. Ellie and Daniel uncover Cochran’s shocking Halloween plan and must stop him before trick-or-treaters across the country never come home.

We almost didn't include this one on August's list, because we don't see how this bare-bones release can even come close to comparing with the Scream Factory Special Edition Blu-ray release that came out back in 2012, but for anyone who wants to see this underrated movie, and doesn't care that much about Special Features, this is a great buy.

*We still recommend that you buy the Scream Factory version though.
Wes Craven, the director of The Serpent and the Rainbow and Shocker, locks you inside the most terrifying house on the street. Trapped inside a fortified home owned by a mysterious couple, a young boy is suddenly thrust into a nightmare. The boy quickly learns the true nature of the house's homicidal inhabitants and the secret creatures hidden deep within the house.

One of our favorite Wes Craven flicks, and certainly one of his most fun efforts, The People Under the Stairs hinted at the director's ability to make and effective Horror Comedy years before he did Scream. This one was a big part of our formative years, and we can't wait to see what Scream Factory has done with the transfer.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with writer/director Wes Craven.
  • NEW Audio Commentary with actors Brandon Adams, A.J. Langer, Sean Whalen, and Yan Birch
  • House Mother – NEW interview with actress Wendy Robie.
  • What Lies Beneath – NEW interviews with special make-up effects Artists Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman.
  • House of Horrors – NEW interview with director of photography Sandi Sissel.
  • Settling The Score – NEW interview with composer Don Peake.
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage.
  • Vintage "Making of" Featurette.
  • Theatrical Trailer.
  • TV Spots.
  • Still Galleries.
The thin line between comedy and horror is hilariously explored in Student Bodies, a spoof of contemporary slasher films such as Halloween, When A Stranger Calls, Friday the 13th. The body count is rising at Lamab High School where a goulashes-wearing, eggplant/chalkboard eraser/paperclip-wielding serial killer is taking out promiscuous teens at breakneck speed. When intrepid high school student, Toby (Kristen Riter) goes in search of clues that will reveal the killer’s identity, no one is safe from the comic hijinks. 

We've always had a soft spot in our hearts for this silly little Horror Comedy which parodies flicks from the classic 80's Slasher era. We'll be curious to see how much better Blu-ray makes this one look, and will probably add it to our carts and grab it once it hits around $15.
What starts as a seemingly innocent online prank produces a sequence of events that spirals out of control. During a routine group video chat, high-school friends are terrorized by an unseen figure. The anonymous intruder implicates each of them in the death of an acquaintance, revealing damning secrets and transforming trusted allies into wary adversaries. Forced into a sordid "game," the teens try to figure out who is behind the mysterious threat, but all signs point to a power from beyond the grave.

We didn't dig it all that much, but Unfriended is still going to be a massively popular Blu-ray come release day.

Read our review HERE.
The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by former police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. As the world overrun by the dead takes its toll on the survivors, their interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the walkers that roam the country. Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death and some grow willing to do anything to survive.

What really needs to be said about The Walking Dead? You either know it and love it, or you can't stand it; if you do love the highest rated show on Cable TV though, then you simply have to own it. And there's no better way to watch it, or anything, than on Blu-ray.

  • Audio commentaries featuring Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer Tom Luse, Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor /Director Greg Nicotero, Director Julius Ramsay; Actors Lauren Cohan, Chad L. Coleman, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Alana Masterson, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Norman Reedus, Christian Serratos and Steven Yuen.
  • Deleted Scenes.
  • Inside The Walking Dead.
  • The Making of The Walking Dead.
  • The Making of Alexandria.
  • Beth's Journey.
  • Bob's Journey.
  • Noah's Journey.
  • Tyreese's Journey.
  • A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz.
  • A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt.
  • Rotters in the Flesh.
This Blu-ray set is probably going to be exactly the same as the "normal" set above will be, but it comes with that awesome packaging, and will be housed in a pretty Digi-Book like past Special Editions have been. It will also cost more than the standard version.

It looks wicked though, and might just be the best-looking of any of the Walking Dead Special Edition sets that has been released thus far.
In the aftermath of a comet breaking up over Earth, most of the planet's population quickly succumbs to a strange disease which turns them into "zombies." Few survive, and those who do, quickly discover all existing fuel sources have been rendered useless by the plague.

Wrymwood is a solid low-budget zombie flick that adds a bit of action to the mix, and almost feels like it belongs in the world of Mad Max. Kinda.

  • Audio Commentary With The Roache-Turner Brothers.
  • The Wyrmdiaries: Behind The Scenes Of WYRMWOOD Featurette.
  • Crowdfunding Videos: Wyrmwood Production Pitch.
  • Deleted Scenes.
  • 7-Minute Teaser Scene.
  • Storyboards By The Director.
  • Theatrical Trailer.

Read our review HERE.

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