Non-comprehensively highlighting the week’s top picks in Blu-ray…
From Beyond – Spiritually, though not literally, the true sequel to Re-Animator, with Stuart Gordon once again directing Jeffrey Combs in a loose interpretation of Lovecraft that involves some of the grossest amounts of viscera ever thrown at the screen. It’s also the movie that first taught many a burgeoning geek what the pineal gland is (true) while hinting that expanding it makes you both super-horny and able to see inter-dimensional hovering carnivores all around (less true). Extras include a slew of featurettes, interviews and a commentary track with Combs, Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna and actress Barbara Crampton. We used to call these “splatter movies,” and frankly, I think they’d never get by with an R today. I’ll probably be able to find it at Walmart, though. Ah, progress.
All three Jurassic Park movies – I don’t understand the logic here. Disney knows full well that when you’re prepping a theatrical rerelease, you lock the home video version in the vault for a while – and yet three days before a 3D version of the first film hits theaters, Universal ensures all three hit Blu-ray? And didn’t they come out already? I guess the gimmick is a pack-in voucher to see the 3D version, which might be a decent deal if you don’t already have these, but really, unless you’re buying them for dino-crazy kids, the first one is the only one worth owning. And they’ll all probably get rereleased again once part 4 hits.
Phantasm II – The odd one out in Don Coscarelli’s ongoing franchise about an evil space giant who steals dead bodies to make them into hooded dwarves while throwing silver spheres, part II recast the lead role and had more funding behind it thanks to Universal. It wasn’t available for the longest time while all the others were, but now Shout Factory is giving it the deluxe treatment it deserves, full of extras and a commentary with Coscarelli, Reggie Bannister and Angus Scrimm. I’ve never actually seen it, but look forward to the opportunity.
Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1 – Wake me when they get to season 4. I had given up by then but I hear it got decent towards the end.
Futureworld – The sequel to Westworld, which involves cloning. Lesser-known (I just found out about it moments ago!), but a vocal segment of fandom claim it to be better than the original.
The Collection – Saw sequel writer Marcus Dunstan directs what is basically a continuation of the same thing, only with less burdensome mythology and a mysterious bondage-masked dude in place of Tobin Bell.
Dead Sushi – Evil zombie sushi bits attack in this over-the-top Japanese horror comedy that makes From Beyond look like Silence of the Lambs, laden with cartoonishly excessive gore and dubious CGI. If you pay attention to the dialogue, you’ll even learn some tips as to how to eat sushi properly.
And while I don’t normally expand this into DVDs, let it be noted that volume XXVI of MST3K is coming out today, as well as Star Wars Lego: The Empire Strikes Out.