Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hitting Shelves 9.24

Okay, so I'm a day late on this. Sorry about that, but here we go. There's some really good stuff out there today, here are a few of the highlights.
For starters, this is a big week for releases for Scream Factory, with three anticipated titles making their Blu-ray debuts. (Also on DVD, for those of you who have not yet converted to the Hi-Def system).

Directed by Australian Richard Franklin, Psycho II finds Norman released by Dr. Raymond (Robert Loggia) after 22 years in the freak wharf (sorry Paul F. Thompkins came on Pandora a lot today). He begins working at a diner and soon befriends one of his coworkers, a cute but inept young waitress named Mary. Mary is played by Jennifer Tilly's sister Meg, who I think bears a pretty striking resemblance to a young Edward Furlong. Anyone else think she's a bit Furlongian in the face, or am I just insane here?

Soon Mary breaks up with her boyfriend and reluctantly decides to accept Norman's offer of a room FOC (free of charge). Very shortly after Mary moves in people start turning up murdered and Norman again begins to question his sanity.

Psycho II is rather fun entry in the series with a great performance from Perkins, some rather shocking deaths and a great story that will keep you guessing. It's way better than you'd think, and anyone who hasn't seen it should be sure to pick this one up. If you only see one Psycho sequel, make it this one. Scream Factory hasn't piled on the extras for this release, but the commentary from Fright Night director Tom Holland is a great listen.

Things to watch for:
Meg Tilly's Wifebeater. Furlongian or not, she's cute
Drugs and hookers? You're gonna taint the reputation of the Bates Motel!
A shockingly Fulcian skull knifing, sort of a reverse of the opening death is House By The Cemetery

Bonus features:

  • All-new Audio Commentary with Screenwriter Tom Holland
  • Vintage interviews with cast and crew including Anthony Perkins and director Richard Franklin
  • Vintage audio interviews with cast and crew
  • TV Spots
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

  • Psycho III follows the continuing misadventures of Norman Bates, this time directed by the Psycho himself. Picking up shortly after the conclusion of Psycho II, the Bates Motel is back in operation, and Norman has hired on an incredibly sleazy drifter named Duane (Jeff Fahey) to be in charge of the day shift at the motel. Norman soon finds himself a love interest in Maureen (Diana Scarwid), a disgraced young runaway nun who stays at the motel after accidentally killing her Mother Superior. Norman becomes a bit of a hero as he saves Maureen after a suicide attempt. He happens to find her by accident of course, he found her with her wrists slit because he went in the room to attempt to kill her in the tub, she just beat him to it.

    Norman finds himself drawn to her because the movie apparently thinks she bears a striking resemblance to Marion Crane. Personally I didn't think she looked anything like Marion whatsoever. She has short blond hair, that's it. Either way, she reminds Norm enough of  Marion to set Mother's voice off inside his head and send him off on a crossdressing killing spree.

    Psycho III is much more straight forward than the fairly complex Psycho II. There's no whodunnit aspect whatsoever, Norm is in full on batshit mode right from the start and when someone gets diced you know exactly who is responsible. Psycho III is straight ahead gonzo slasher madness with tons of oddball touches, and a hilariously trashy performance from Fahey. The film is also helped considerably by both Perkin's acting and confident direction, Anthony really seems to be having a blast in his third performance as Bates and he's a joy to watch.

    Things to watch for:
    The saddest death of the series, poor dumb Patsy. She died as she lived, drunk in a bathroom.
    Brinke Stevens as Diana Scarwid's Stunt Ass
    Jeff Fahey's Dance of the Twirling Lamps. Psycho III is full of weird ass scenes. This one wins.

    Bonus features:

  • New Audio Commentary with Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue
  • Watch The Guitar – New interview with Actor Jeff Fahey
  • Patsy’s Last Night – New interview with Actress Katt Shea
  • Mother’s Maker – interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator Michael Westmore
  • Body Double – interview with Brinke Stevens
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

  • Another title coming out from Scream today is John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. I'm actually a bit ashamed to say I've actually not seen this one in it's entirety before. I've gotten halfway through my copy, but my job has been sucking my will to live even more so than usual lately and I haven't had time to finish up. I can say that the transfer looks great, and the disc has a ton of newly created bonus features. For example:

    Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary with John Carpenter
  • Sympathy For The Devil – An all-new Interview with Writer/Director John Carpenter
  • Alice at the Apocalypse – An all-new interview with Actor & Rock Legend Alice Cooper
  • The Messenger – All-new interview with Actor & Special Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Grasmere
  • Hell On Earth – A look at the film’s score with Co-Composer Alan Howarth
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with host Sean Clark
  • Alternate Opening from TV Version
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

  • From directors Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard is V/H/S/2. There are at least 4 editions of this out there this week; DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD, and Blu-ray/DVD/VHS combo packs. I'm a sucker for a gimmick, so I'm all over the Blu-ray/DVD/VHS. This is probably one to rent first though, these V/H/S movies really seem to polarize viewers, so you can't really trust reviews on a movie like this, and $35 seems like a lot of money to drop on a blind buy.

    Oh, also some movie called Halloween turns 35 this year, and Anchor Bay has put out their, what 15th release of the film in a hopefully definitive Blu-ray release. I haven't checked this new release out yet, but I've seen it at Best Buy and I have the say the digibook package is a real beauty. The image above doesn't really do it justice, it's quite nice in person. It might prove to be a bitch to find a copy in decent shape however because the case is a bit larger than your standard Blu-ray case, so I can see careless employees jamming them into the specifically Blu-ray sized racks and damaging the cases. This is probably one to order online so you can be sure a minimal amount of people have had a chance to mess up the case.

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