While Halloween has been underway since early September for some of us, October is the official start of the spooky season for many. One of the easiest and most fun ways to get into the right frame of mind is by sitting down with a big bowl of candy corn and your favorite adult beverage to enjoy some scary movies and TV shows!
Every Tuesday in October I’ll be running down some of the best spooooky releases coming to home media.
To find out what’s coming this week, read on!
All release info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com.
Halloween II (1981) – Shout Factory – It looks like this and Season of the Witch might have gotten pushed back a week since I wrote last week’s list, because they’re listed for today now.
If I watch the original Halloween, I always have to follow it up with this excellent sequel. It has a different feel from Carpenter’s classic, but story-wise it’s a perfect continuation. If you don’t already own Shot Factory’s excellent Halloween box set, this will be a great addition to your collection.
Trilogy of Terror (1975) – Kino Lorber – Everyone remembers the Zuni doll from this movie, but each of the stories in this anthology film is worth your time. It’s funny to think that this horror classic was originally a made-for-TV project. Kino Lorber will be doing it justice here with one of their fancy Blu-ray treatments.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Olive Films – I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never seen this version. I saw the 1978 version when I was very young. It scared the heck out of me and I still think of it as one of the scariest and most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen. I’m sure this one is entertaining and I do love Kevin McCarthy, it just never comes up as a viewing option. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it on streaming services.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – Shout Factory – Same as above – I think this got pushed back. Whatever the case, it should be available today. The absence of Michael Myers allows this movie to be one of the weirdest and most wonderful of 80s horror releases. If for some reason you skipped it or maybe disliked it in the past, give it another shot this year. It’s worth it just for Tom Atkins’ badass performance. Also, if you figure it out can you let me know how Stonehenge works?
Dracula AD 1972 (1972) – Warner Archive Collection – I have tried to watch this film several times because it’s Hammer horror and because Christopher Lee is my Dracula. But I can’t do it. The music is terrible and beyond that the movie just isn’t good. I’m sure some day when I have a sturdier constitution and more free time I’ll give it another shot, but for now there are plenty of other Hammer films to hold my attention.
Note – WB releases this, but we still don’t have The Devil Rides Out. And it’s the 50th anniversary!
Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection (2015-2017) – Lionsgate Films – I was waiting for two things before buying Ash vs Evil Dead on Blu-ray – for the entire series to be collected and to make sure the whole thing was actually worth a damn. Now it is and it certainly was.
The first season had a weak middle, but the next two seasons were excellent. Bruce Campbell is at his campy, tough guy best and has an amazing supporting cast. It will disappoint me for years to come that NECA never released figures of Pablo, Kelly, Ruby, and Brandy.
There is also a Best Buy Exclusive version that includes a tiny bobblehead, which is second only to a keychain for lousiest value add.
Nightwing/Shadow of the Hawk (1976/1979) – Mill Creek Entertainment – I know I’ve seen Nightwing – likely as one of Commander USA’s Groovy Movies – and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t great. But I dig these schlocky 70s weirdos. I suppose these qualify as Nativesploitation flicks, as they both center around Native American people and settings.
The most notable thing here is that Nightwing was directed by Arthur Hiller, who also directed Love Story, Silver Streak, Teachers, Outrageous Fortune, and lots of other distinctly non-horror films, many of which are held in slightly higher regard than Nightwing.
Schlock (1973) – Arrow – John Landis’ spoof of classic monster flicks. I haven’t seen it, but now I have to.
The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (1964) – Kino Lorber – I had never heard of this film, so here’s the description:
“Terrified of being buried alive by mistake, a woman puts a phone in her crypt to be able to call home if she needs help. She dies and nothing happens. One day, the phone suddenly rings. Paranormal investigator Nelson Orion is brought in.”
That sounds like some fun supernatural paranoia business! Not the sort of thing I’m going to pay full price for sight unseen, but definitely one to add to the streaming lookout list.
The House on Sorority Row (1983) – Scorpion Releasing – This is another one I’m sure I’ve seen, likely on USA in some form. If it has any kind of style I wouldn’t mind watching it again, but if it’s standard-issue 80s slasher fare with “point at the action” camera work and no spirit, I’m not interested. If I had to bet, I’d guess it’s the latter.
Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) – Universal Studios – I’m excited to see this! Me and the missus thoroughly enjoyed the first one. We watched it on TV, which made it the smaller, more intimate experience it needed to be. I’m not sure where they went with the sequel, but I am on board.
If you skipped the first one because it looked like a dumb cash-in on current trends and technology, I totally understand that, but believe me when I tell you that it transcended the apparent cheap trappings of the social media world it uses to tell its story.
Down A Dark Hall (2018) – Lionsgate Films – This sounds like its aimed at younger viewers, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. Uma Thurman plays an “eccentric headmistress”, so it has that going for it.
Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971) – Twilight Time) – Also known as Paralyzed and Malastrana, this Italian flick sounds wacky. A paralyzed reporter thought to be a corpse has one night to save his girlfriend. I’m not sure I entirely understand the plot descriptions I’ve read, but I’d sure like to check this one out. Plus, Ennio Morricone composed the score.
An Accidental Zombie Named Ted (2017) – Gravitas Ventures – The cover looks like another one of those dumb zombie romance movies and the title just exhausts me.
Tremors 5: Bloodlines (2015) – Universal Studios – As much fondness as I have for the idea of the Tremors franchise – and good for them for milking it for so long – I just can’t care about it beyond the first sequel. I’ve heard that the more recent additions have been very good, but there’s only so much time in the world, you guys.
The Last House on the Left (2009) – Universal Studios – I don’t enjoy exploitative revenge stuff as much as I used to, but I did think this was a solid remake back when it came out.
R.I.P.D. (2013) – Universal Studios – Man, Universal is dumping all kinds of stuff today.
I never saw this despite being a big fan of both Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. The trailers looked terrible and the reviews were even worse. I think I started watching it on Netflix once and couldn’t get into it.
Alone in the Ghost House (2015) – Camp Motion Pictures – A desperate reality star drags her husband to a supposedly haunted house for one last shot at relevance.
I don’t know a thing about this, but I’d definitely give it a shot at 2 AM if I’d had enough Jack-O-Blast.
Alpha Wolf (2018) – Gravitas Ventures – Casper Van Dien + werewolves is all I need to know. A++
Night of the Living Dead (1968) – FYE Exclusive – I don’t know which transfer this is, but Criterion just released their version and you can absolutely depend on their products being the best of the best, so I’d recommend you buy that one.
Be sure to check back next week for more spooky releases!
In the meantime, join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and let us know what you’re watching this Halloween!