Blu-ray Today: Sleepaway Sequels, The Last Unicorn and All the Kingsman


Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland – The first Sleepaway Camp is most remembered for its shocking transgender twist that would likely render a faithful reboot unreleasable, implying as it does that the killer’s psychosis comes from being a chick with a dick. The two immediate sequels replaced Felissa Rose with Pamela Springsteen, had the main character of Angela be fully post-op, and took a campier approach, with references aplenty to other popular slasher franchises (part 4 tried to return to the original tone, and is considered by some to be a continuity that ignores all but the first film). Long hard to find and shot back to back, both sequels now hit Blu-ray with commentary tracks by director Michael A. Sampson and writer Fritz Gordon, along with new documentaries, deleted scenes, and a transfer from the VHS workprint of a longer, more graphic cut of part III.

The Last Unicorn – I know this is beloved, but I remember my critical faculties developing at a young age when I first realized I was watching a cartoon…and yet I didn’t like it. I can’t recall specifically why, but I remember an annoying magician named Schmendrick. ‘Tis apparently much beloved, though, so it may have been that I was too conditioned to like Disney, or it was above my head – I will say that when I see stills from the movie, the drawing style still looks ugly. Includes a new commentary track and a featurette on author Peter S. Beagle touring with the film in its new transfer that was also the basis for this disc.

Spider-Baby – black-and-white horror comedy about a family of nutjobs, that helped make Sid Haig a household name among connoisseurs of craziness. The Blu-ray comes loaded with extras and featurettes, and includes audio commentary by director Jack Hill and Sid Haig.

Kingsman: The Secret Service – I was not a fan of this Mark Millar adaptation and its casual, condescending attitude towards the massacre of anybody the filmmakers seem to deem beneath them, but for most fans of the comic, the black humor seemed to work. Colin Firth’s turn as an ever-elegant spy is the highlight; a sequence in which director Matthew Vaughn appears to want us to cheer the mass slaughter of Southern Christian fundamentalists is the opposite. Includes six featurettes.

Der Todesking – I’ll let the Amazon description say it all: “Cult Epics presents the third release in the series Corpse F##king Art; Jorg Buttgereit’s powerful masterpiece Der Todesking (aka The Death King), made in-between Nekromantik (1987) and Nekromantik 2 (1991). Seven stories on Death and Suicide, each taking place on a different day of the week, enframed by the decomposition of a human body.”

Thunderbirds: The Complete Series – Six discs of CREEPY. FUCKING. MARIONETTES. I never understood how kids could just enjoy this with no reservations.

The Strain: Season 1 Premium – Want a limited-edition bust of the silly looking master? Here you go.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – The 1939 Charles Laughton version, often cited as a primary inspiration for the Disney animated film.

SocietyRe-Animator producer Brian Yuzna’s directorial debut, in which the rich are a different species who literally feed on the poor. Sounds like fun, even if it didn’t have multiple new extras including a commentary track by Yuzna. I can’t believe I never heard of it before.

Did I miss anything good?