The Stack: Holiday Gift Guide 2014, Scream Factory Part 4
Welcome back to The Stack. We are finishing up our look at Scream Factory 2014 releases in yet another episode of what has been a mammoth gift giving guide. Lake Placid (1999) is one of those films that reminds me of Lewis Teague's 1980 film Alligator which was written by none other than John Sayles. I like Teagues film better and would sure like to see Scream Factory release an SE of it. But Lake Placid is awfully fun and has an amazing cast featuring Betty White, Oliver Platt, Bill Pullman, and Bridget Fonda. The alligator effects have stood the test of time pretty well too. This slipcased blu-ray has a ton of special features.
Finally hitting blu-ray is Ginger Snaps (2000) a movie that really helped revive the werewolf film. Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins star as death obsessed teens who struggle to keep their bond after one of them falls prey to the curse. The movie links the lycanthropy to menstrual cycles and all sorts of coming of age stuff, highlighting the girls relationship pretty powerfully. This film spawned two solid sequels and I hope Scream Factory is able to get those out next year.
Ravenous (1999) is one of my all time favorite movies. It has amazing cinematography and a fabulous cast bringing it's ghoulish premise of cannibalism in the civil war to gory life. Guy Pierce, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette and Robert Carlyle turn what could have been a run of the mill quirky little horror film into a marvelously witty showcase for the scripts black humor.
Tales from the Crypt makes it's blu-ray debut here as does its sister film Vault of Horror, which also benefits from the inclusion of an additional directors cut. These two 1970's era shockers are better than most horror anthologies. A big part of why is the source material. Using EC comics and some of the best British actors of the time the stories take on Peter Cushing, Joan Collins, Sir Ralph Richardson, Patrick McGee, Freddie Francis, Tom Baker, Denholm Elliot, Curt Jurgens, Michael Craig,
A pair of Clive Barkers films were also released by Scream Factory this year. The first, Nightbreed: Directors Cut (1990), comes in two editions. I couldn't get my hand on the three-disc but this Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is pretty cool nonetheless. It features the exclusive Cabal Cover poster artwork on the slipcase and besides the new far superior cut of the film containing more than forty minutes of never seen before footage you also get an intro by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller, audio commentary by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller, a 72 minute doc; Tribes of the Moon: The Making of Nightbreed featuring interviews with Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, Doug Bradley and more... (72 minutes), Making Monsters - interviews with makeup effects artists Bob Keen, Martin Mercer and Paul Jones (42 minutes) and Fire! Fights! Stunts! 2nd Unit Shooting - an interview with Andy Armstrong (20 minutes) Original Theatrical Trailer
The underrated Lord of Illusions (1995) with Famke Jensen, Scott Bakula and Kevin J. O'Connor also makes it's blu-ray debut with a bunch of extras. It's always been a wonder to me how a film that blends noir and the occult so well has never been more popular. Another really nice thing here is you get an extra disc containing the director's cut of the film with a Clive Barker supervised hi def transfer.
Lastly, I was super excited to get my hands on Motel Hell (1980). This slipcased SE marks the blu-ray debut of one of the best and most unusual 80's horror films. Rory Calhoun and Ida Smith star as two deranged farmers who create their signature meats by burying passerby up to their necks and pickling them. Great extras on this including a special remembrance of Ida Smith who many will remember for her great character work in a host of films including Porkys (1982)