December 30, 2016

The Best Blu-ray Releases 0f 2016!

Were addicted to Blu-rays. We admit it.

There's no better way to watch a movie that you love, than to watch it on Blu-ray. For us, that mantra is twice as true when it comes to the Horror films that we love, especially those of the older variety. Fortunately for us, companies like Scream Factory, Synapse, Twilight Time, Severin, Grindhouse Releasing, and many others, are always working their asses off to give we fans the best possible editions of the movies that we love, which almost always feature gorgeous new transfers, crisp audio tracks, fantastic commentaries, and abundant Special Features.

They don't just throw a movie on a disc and ship it out; they actually care about the films that they restore and release, and more importantly, they care about the fans getting maximum enjoyment out of them. Everyone involved in producing the Blu-ray discs listed below deserves a solid round of applause for not only giving Horror fans so many great titles in 2016, but for making them the best releases that they possible could.

Below you'll find what for us were The Best Horror & Genre Blu-ray releases of 2016. If you've yet to discover them for yourselves, you really should do so when possible, because this year has given us some truly outstanding Home Video releases.

*And as always, click the pics for info on the flicks. Or to order them.
One of the greatest, weirdest, most oddly endearing genre movies that we've ever seen, Bubba Ho-Tep finally made it to Blu-ray in 2016 thanks to the lovely folks over at Scream Factory.

Bubba Ho-Tep is definitely a Horror Comedy, with Bruce Campbell delivering plenty of laugh out loud lines, but it's just as much of a sentimental movie as it is anything else. This is a hard one to describe to anyone who hasn't seen it, and it's even harder to sell once you have described it, because it sounds so ridiculous. Which it is. But then again, it really isn't.

Either way, we're ENDLESSLY glad that the wonderful human beings over at Scream Factory brought Bubba Ho-Tep to Blu-ray, and in full Collector's Edition form.
Despite being ridiculous on many levels, Burial Ground is one of the best zombie movies ever. The look of the zombies, coupled with the Italian's love of over-the-top gore and bad dubbing, make this one a must see, especially now that Severin Films has given us a brand new Blu-ray version to sink our teeth into.

If for no other reason, this movie must be seen to witness the creepiest mother-son relationship ever committed to film. Bold claim, I know, but this movie goes there.
Arrow has knocked it out of the park with this Blu-ray release of Hellraiser I-III. The first two Hellraiser movies are absolute staples for any Horror Collection, and you know what, the 3rd movie isn't all that bad either. To package them all together in one boxed set, giving them brand new 2k transfers, and packing it with a ton of bonus material is a Horror fan's dream.

The words MUST OWN are an understatement when it comes to this set.
If you've never seen this gritty, bleak, far-too-realistic look inside of the life of a Serial Killer, you really need to give Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer a go. This movie messed with my head when I was a kid, and when I showed it to a girlfriend many years later, it freaked her out so bad that she didn't sleep for two days. True story.

The movie has never looked or sounded better, and it still makes our skin crawl.

Horror flicks don't get more disturbing than this.
Pan's Labyrinth is a gorgeous, intense, and heartbreaking dark fairy tale that just may be Guillermo del Toro's best work, and The Criterion Collection has blessed us with a fantastic Special Edition of the film that not only boasts a brand new director-supervised 2K scan, but a slew of bonus features.

Pan's Labyrinth is a stunning piece of cinema that deserves to be seen by Horror fans, or fans of movies in general. Add this disc to your collection and thank us later.
As with their Tenebrae Steelbook, Synapse has hit it out of the park with their Limited Edition Steelbook version of Dario Argento's Phenomena.

Phenomena is one of Dario Argento's most fun (and definitely his most Americanized) movies. I mean the opening guitar riff from Iron Maiden's Flash of the Blade plays over and over throughout the movie, so how can it not be fun?

Three different cuts of the film presented in HD for the first time ever, in an excellent package with more bonus features than you'll know what to do with, this is one Blu-ray that's worth shelling out the extra $$$ for.
Pieces is a perfect slice of 80's Horror; it's got that creepy 80's Slasher flick vibe, it's bloody, it's exploitative, it makes absolutely no sense, the dubbing and dialogue are laughable, the acting isn't much better, it's got the usual "What in the hell was that?!?" ending that was so prevalent in that era...

And it is all insanely glorious.

This disc, like the above-mentioned Phenomena, is an expansive, jam-packed offering that just begs for a place in every Horror fan's Blu-ray library.
Being that Return of the Living Dead is one of our favorite Horror flicks of all time, we already owned it on Blu-ray before Scream Factory decided to grace us with a Collector's Edition of the movie that boasts a new 2K scan and a ton of awesome bonus features.

Sometimes, you just have to double-dip.

A new scan of the movie was reason enough for us to buy this one, but the fact that this 2-Disc set includes the EXCELLENT Horror Doc, More Brains: A Return To The Living Dead, made it an absolute Must Own.
One of the best scary movies that we've ever seen, Session 9 is a Must See for any self-respecting Horror fan. Whether it's a Psychological Thriller or a Haunted House flick is up to you to decide, but either way, this is one effective, bleak movie that will chill you to the bone, and linger in your mind long after you've finished watching.

This new 1080p transfer of Session 9 is fantastic, and it's likely as good as the movie will ever look. Session 9 was one of the first movies every shot using a 24p camera (you can read about that HERE), which means that it's always going to have that early "Shot on HD" feel to it, but to our eyes, this new transfer registered as nothing but crisp, clear, and gorgeous. The audio is sharp too, although we're not sure why Scream Factory opted to offer only a 2.0 track, completely forgoing a 5.1 mix.
The 2nd Blu-ray release from Synapse on this list, Tenebrae just proves that the little company from Michigan (they're our neighbors) knows how to do it right when it comes to bringing beloved old classics into the HD realm.

This is a great movie (one of Argento's best), an excellent transfer, and it's most definitely one of the most impressive titles of 2016.
One of the best Horror movies ever made, and perhaps the best work John Carpenter ever did, The Thing hit Blu-ray a few months back in a 2-Disc Collector's Edition from Scream Factory, that not only boasts a new 2k transfer supervised by the legendary Dean Cundey himself, but is jam-packed with an exhaustive amount of extra material.

Must, must, must own.

There were plenty of other worthwhile titles released on Blu-ray in 2016, and here are the ones that we loved the most.

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