Desolation - Blu Ray

Scream Factory Presents: Desolation (2017)

In my youth it was a fact that my Father didn’t exactly want me out in the sun. Which might very well explain why I had a lack of friends when growing up as well as the skin complexion of something akin to a Morlock. Yet on the other hand…he was convinced that taking me camping was a great thing. At every opportunity it seemed like he was attempting to get me to go fishing or camping. Obviously this wasn’t something I enjoyed – I would have rather been at home playing the Atari 2600 or reading comics. Apparently earlier this month, Scream Factory released a new IFC Midnight horror film entitled Desolation. It made me understand why I do not enjoy being out in nature…especially in isolation and the dark.
Desolation - Movie Poster

Desolation is the first film directed by Sam Patton. Although he has been involved in various aspects on The Purge, Last Vegas, and The Saint to name a few projects. The filmmakers take their time to get to the horror aspects of the movie. Lulling us by the real beauty of the forests around Utica, New York.
Desolation - Forest

Which I think is the key to what works in Desolation, that the true horror is the worst can happen at any second. The threat in the movie comes in the form of a silent stalker known as the Hiker. This is not a supernatural entity like Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series. Nor is it even a wounded soul, confused and abused like in the cult classic Sleepaway Camp. This comes down to being in the wrong forest at the wrong time.
Desolation - Abby Jen Sam

The story for the film revolves around Abby (Jaimi Paige) and Sam (Toby Nichols), her teenaged Son, as well as her best friend Jen (Alyshia Ochse). The trio have traveled to the remoteness of the forest to scatter the ashes of Abby’s Husband. Obviously Sam as well as Abby are having a hard time coping with their loss. Things are about to get a whole lot worse though with the arrival of the Hiker.
Desolation - The Hiker

The Hiker is played by Claude Duhamel, who you might know from 2001’s Valentine. What is the reason for his stalking of the trio? My takeaway is this is something he possibly does for fun every once in a while. Which I think makes it scarier, don’t you?

I am sad to say that Scream Factory hasn’t included any special features beyond a trailer for this particular release beyond a trailer.

You can totally pick up Desolation right now at better dealers everywhere. Or of course you can hop on over to Scream Factory and order your copy.

The 'Burbs - Shout! Select

Shout! Select Presents: The ‘Burbs (1989)

You’ve probably figured this out by now. I love the work of Joe Dante. Whether that be Gremlins, Innerspace or The ‘Burbs to name a few of the films he has directed. There is always a mischievousness that comes through in all of his movies and TV shows that I am drawn to. Certainly that is why back in 1989 I really wanted to see The ‘Burbs when it played at our local Drive-In.

Not only was I already a Joe Dante fan when The ‘Burbs hit theaters. Additionally I was a huge fan of both Tom Hanks as well as Bruce Dern. Hanks thanks of course to his roles in Bosom Buddies, Splash, and Dragnet. And Dern was the lead in one of my all-time favorite science fiction films, 1972’s Silent Running.

[Via] maslidukan

The ‘Burbs works so exceptionally well thanks to it it’s ensemble cast. Besides Hanks and Dern you have Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Dick Miller, Gale Gordon, and Henry Gibson. All portraying suburbanites who find themselves in a bizarre mystery when new neighbors arrive on the block.
The 'Burbs - The Kopeks

In fact I think a better description is that the film is actually a thriller/horror/comedy. Hanks’ role as Ray Peterson is an everyman. His sole wish is to be able to experience a relaxing vacation at home. Sadly, his neighbors have other plans, in particular his friend Art (Ducommun). Who has begun to believe that those new neighbors, the Klopeks, are not just strange…but murderers!

This viewpoint of the Klopeks quickly begins to spread to the rest of the neighbors. Before you can say The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, the once peaceful cul-de-sac that is Mayfield Place is turned upside down. However unlike in that famous Twilight Zone episode, the actions of the neighborhood are incredibly funny.

Personally I feel that while Dern almost steals the entire film, it is the late Ducommun that really shines. Hanks and Fisher naturally are great but their roles are mainly to provide the foils to Ducommun’s antics. Like many Dante films, the humor can cross over into the slapstick but it always feels appropriate.

With The ‘Burbs Blu-Ray collector’s edition being released by Shout! Select, you know there are special features:

  • 2017 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
  • Interviews With Director Joe Dante, Editor Marshall Harvey, And Director Of Photography (Additional Scenes) John Hora
  • Audio Commentary With Writer Dana Olsen, Moderated By Author Calum Waddell
  • There Goes The Neighborhood: The Making Of The ‘Burbs – Includes Interviews With Director Joe Dante, Actors Corey Feldman, Courtney Gaines, And Wendy Schaal, Director Of Photography Robert M. Stevens, And Production Designer James H. Spencer
  • Alternate Ending
  • Original Workprint From Joe Dante’s Archive (Includes Deleted And Extended Scenes)
  • Behind-The-Scenes Still Gallery
  • Stills And Posters Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

Now you can visit the Shout! Factory official site and pre-order your copy of The ‘Burbs, right now. Or wait until next week when it’s released on the 20th to better stores everywhere.

Want to see what Siskel and Ebert thought about The ‘Burbs?

[Via] Oiler Fanatic 1

Gate II - Scream Factory

Scream Factory Presents: Gate II (1990)

In 1987 a dark PG-13 film entitled The Gate was released to theaters. While making it’s money back at the box office, it was in fact how it performed on home video that forced talk of a sequel. Thankfully after three years, Gate II was filmed. However it would take until 1992 for it to reach home video shelves. Which is a pity. Because the Gate II is a worthy successor to the original film.
Gate II - Transformation

I feel that one of the reasons that The Gate stayed around was that while being a PG-13 movie, it was still a horror film. With it’s rating it was able to traumatize many young children and teenagers. It was scary in parts but still had humor and even a lot of heart. Of course there was also the fact it had some awesome forced perspective effects as well as stop-motion.

I had already graduated High School by the time Gate II hit video store shelves. As a matter of fact I was working at a local video store when it was released. I remember being surprised that the filmmakers went with an R this go around. Besides some language and drug humor, I found it was actually far tamer than the original.

Gate II - Terry and John

Mostly tamer.

Gate II picks up a few years after the first film. Terry (Louis Tripp) has grown into a teenager and has come to a decision. The horrible demonic forces that he and his best friend summoned up wasn’t a bad idea. Afterall it was for good intentions. It just went wrong because they quite frankly performed the ritual incorrectly. To help his Father get his job back as a pilot, to help him pull himself out of his drunken stupor, Terry plans on harnessing dark forces again.

What would be a good spot for our would be sorcerer? Naturally the abandoned, boarded up, and fenced in remains of his best friend’s house. A gate to the other side was opened there, right? This time however, the young man finds he has some unexpected company. A borderline psychotic bully named John, his girlfriend Liz, and their toady Moe. As you can guess, all four teenagers are going to regret tampering with the gate.
Gate II - The Pentagram

In the Gate II, there are some truly nice performances. Not just from Tripp but Simon Reynolds who plays Moe as well as Pamela Segall who plays Liz. Director Tibor Takacs, who also directed The Gate certainly knows what he is doing. While they totally could have rehashed the original they expand the universe and of course the character of Terry. Thanks to the return of screenwriter, Michael Nankin.

Furthermore, those stop-motion and perspective effects are even better in the sequel! Obviously, special visual effects supervisor Randall William Cook is proud of the work. Word of warning, there is just a bit of salty language at the end of this clip.

Being a Scream Factory release you can rest easy knowing they have in fact included extras. While I am of course a little disappointed there was no commentary. They did however deliver a 2K scan of the interpositive, so it looks better than ever before. As well as:

  • Return To The Nightmare – A Look Back At Gate II -Featuring Interviews With Director Tibor Takacs, Screenwriter Michael Nankin And Special Visual Effects Creator Randall William Cook.
  • From The Depths – An Interview With Make-up Effects Artist Craig Reardon
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Video Promo And Video Store Contest Promo
  • Still Gallery

The nearly 30 minute discussion between Takacs, Nankin and Cook is really interesting to be sure. As is the interview with Reardon. Hands down though the extra that made my head spin was video store contest promo. It was in fact a cassette tape that was given out at the time of it’s release for a chance to win a thousand dollars. Scream Factory has totally included the entire audio recording for our listening enjoyment!

Gate II will be released on Blu-Ray next week on February 27th. Naturally you can hop on over to the official Scream Factory site and pre-order your copy right this minute. In closing Gate II while being tamer with the gore offers another type of terror. The horror of getting what you wish for and then having to live with the consequences as they are twisted. While goofier in some ways, this sequel delivers what to the characters might appear to be a magic lamp…but is in reality a monkey’s paw.

As an example of how clean the picture quality is now for Gate II. Why not check out how it looked before Blu-Ray with the original trailer?

Hell Night - Scream Factory

Scream Factory: Hell Night Collector’s Edition (1981)

Happy New Year, friends! While 2018 might have barely rolled around, hopefully you all had a safe and happy Holiday. Scream Factory is already unleashing retro fright films. Case in point the 1981 cult classic Hell Night. So what better way to usher in a bright and shiny new year than with some retro horror? Furthermore, how can you top 80s horror when Hell Night stars the like of Linda Blair?
Hell Night - Original Poster

The filmmakers on Hell Night were definitely inspired by the likes of 1980’s Friday the 13th. As well as possibly Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse. However having said that I would be remiss in pointing out that Hell Night has something those two films did not possess. Namely a VERY strong H.P. Lovecraft vibe to the plot of the movie.

Hell Night focuses on four college students who are experiencing a legendary hazing ritual. To be inducted into their chosen fraternities and sororities. Marti (Blair), Denise (Suki Goodwin), Jeff (Peter Barton), and Seth (Vincent Van Patten) must spend a whole night in the abandoned Garth mansion.
Hell Night - Garth manor

Obviously, our teenagers aren’t going to have it quite so easy. For one thing, the head of Alpha Sigma Rho, Peter (Kevin Brophy) and his cronies Scott and May, have set up the mansion with all manner of electronic devices. All of course in the hopes of giving the four youngsters a very sleepless night.
Hell Night - Ghost

However, for all involved – they should have listened to the legend of Garth Manor. The urban legend that 12 years previously, something horrible happened at the mansion. Raymond Garth decided to end his Family line. Killing his Wife and deformed children before taking his own life. But what about that other part of the legend? That one of the children survived and might very well be hiding in his old home?!

As a matter of fact, a lot of blood and tears could have been avoided. If of course Peter and his cronies had done a little more research on the mansion. But on the other hand that would have certainly made for a less entertaining film.
Hell Night - Garth

Hell Night is a great example of 80s horror done right. It has atmosphere, some nice scares, and more importantly you care about the characters. Thanks in no small part to the chemistry between Blair and the rest of the cast.
Hell Night - Linda Blair

Now Hell Night is a Scream Factory release so that means it has plenty of extras. Friends, let me tell you this one is chock full of goodies worthy of this Collector’s Edition!

Blu-Ray Features:

  • New 4K Scan Of The Film Taken From The Best Surviving Archival Print
  • Brand New Interviews With Actors Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin, Kevin Brophy, And Jenny Neumann
  • Audio Commentary With Linda Blair, Tom DeSimone, Irwin Yablans, And Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
  • New Interview With Director Tom DeSimone
  • Interview With Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • Interview With Writer Randolph Feldman
  • Anatomy Of The Death Scenes With Tom DeSimone, Randolph Feldman, Make-up Artist Pam Peitzman, Art Director Steven G. Legler, And Special Effects Artist John Eggett
  • On Location At The Kimberly Crest House With Tom DeSimone
  • Gothic Design In Hell Night With Steven G. Legler
  • Original Radio Spot
  • Photo Gallery Featuring Rare, Never-before-seen Stills
  • The DVD disc contains the following features:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Film Taken From The Best Surviving Archival Print
  • As well as the NEW Interviews With Actors Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin, Kevin Brophy, And Jenny Neumann
  • Audio Commentary With Linda Blair, Tom DeSimone, Irwin Yablans, And Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots

Hell Night is being released this very Tuesday, January 2nd! So that gives you more than ample time to rest up from your Holiday revelry, before heading out and picking up this classic. Of course you can also just hop on over to the and pre-order your copy today.

Enjoy one last vintage television spot for 1981’s Hell Night!