Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media.
All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.
Road Games (1981) – Shout Factory – I had completely forgotten about this Australian gem until just now. I saw it way back in the day on HBO or some other cable channel and definitely should not have been watching unsupervised.
Starring Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis as a trucker and hitchhiker who team up to stop a serial killer, if I’m remembering the vibe correctly it’s part Halloween III and part Mad Max, and if that doesn’t make your taint tingle than I don’t think we can be friends.
It would be irresponsible of me to overlook the fact that the film was scored by none other than Brian May, so keep an eye out for that, as well. I can’t say I remember it, but I was probably eight when I watched this.
Star Trek: Discovery Season Two (2019) – Paramount Pictures – After a less-than-stellar reaction to the pilot, we here at Needless Things have been keeping up with Discovery. Rumor has it it’s been pretty compelling after that start and I for one am interested in checking it out.
I’m not going to buy the seasons or anything, but someday when CBS puts something else noteworthy on their service we’ll sign up and binge.
Oh, and before you suggest it, Twilight Zone is not it. We watched two episodes and regretted wasting our time.
Good Boys (2019) – Universal Studios – This was never going to be a theatrical viewing for us – few comedies are – but we’ll be checking it out on demand. I wasn’t initially all that interested, but word of mouth has been good.
Heathers 30th Anniversary Steelbook (1988) – RLJ Entertainment – There’s no denying that this is a classic film and a surprisingly early high point in both Winona Ryder and Christian Slater’s relatively impressive careers. It definitely put them on “most wanted” casting lists at the time.
Director Michael Lehmann would go on to work on numerous acclaimed television series – The Larry Sanders Show, Californication, and Veronica Mars to name a few. In film he also directed the 1994 cult classic Airheads, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, and the criminally underappreciated Hudson Hawk.
Heathers scribe Daniel Waters also worked on The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Batman Returns, Demolition Man, and again with Lehmann on Hudson Hawk, which does not get the credit it deserves.
Here’s the list of features, including a few that are new to this release:
ALL NEW FOR THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY
The Legacy of HEATHERS: Interview with Michael Lehmann and Daniel Waters
The Nice Heather: Interview with Lisanne Falk
Audio Interview with Composer David Newman with Isolated Score Selection
CLASSIC INTERVIEWS AND MATERIALS
Audio Commentary with Director Michael Lehmann, Producer Denise Di Novi and Writer Daniel Waters
Featurette: Return to Westerburg High
Featurette: Swatch Dogs & Diet Coke Heads
Trailer and more
Flowers in the Attic (1987) – Arrow – Based on the icky and depressing book by VC Andrews, this icky and depressing movie features a cast of relative unknowns, but also future vampire slayer Kristy Swanson. I had two different girlfriends force me to watch this turd and I should have broken up with them immediately.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) – Lionsgate Films – I heard positive things about both 47 Meters Down films, so maybe I should give these movies a chance.
After being pleasantly surprised – possibly shocked, even – by how great The Shallows ended up being, you’d think I’d be willing to watch more modern shark movies.
I realize the people who made The Shallows had nothing to do with these, it’s more about the fact that in a post-JAWS world there can still be other good shark movies. The bar is pretty fucking high, but not everything has to reach said bar.
Winter Kills (1979) – Kino Lorber – Starring Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Anthony Perkins, and Eli Wallach, this sounds like a great conspiracy flick:
19 years after President Timothy Keegan was assassinated, his brother Nick discovers a dying man claiming to have been the gunman. While trying to avoid his wealthy and domineering father’s attempts to control his actions, Nick follows the clues that have been handed to him. As he progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern the real trails from the dead ends, and increasing dangerous as unknown parties try to stop Nick from uncovering the truth.
Or at least, it did until I dug a little deeper and discovered that Winter Kills is a comedy.
Not that that means it’s bad, but that description got me all hyped up for an intense political thriller starring Jeff Bridges(!), but now I’m thinking Naked Gun. And while I love the Zucker Brothers, that’s not what I wanted from this cast.
Has anybody seen this one? Is it worth my time?
Street People (1976) – Kino Lorber – Roger Moore and Stacy Keach (is it his birthday today or something?) team up to take on the mob, played by a bunch of actual Italians. Like, really, really Italian people with names like Ivo Garrani, Fausto Tozzi, Ennio Balbo, and Loretta Persichetti.
I understand you might balk at “Loretta”, but when you follow it up with “Persichetti” it becomes twice as Italian. After high school I knew a guy with that last name and his nickname was “Dego” because we were all very sensitive and enlightened back then.
I can’t seem to find much out about this movie, but I don’t need more than Moore, Keach, and a bunch of Italians. Oh, and this cover:
Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High aka Vol. 2 (2017) – Troma – If you love the renegade, independent filmmaking machine that is Troma, you’ll want to own this movie!
The Phantom Creeps (1939) – VCI – To fans of horror around the world this is a classic 12 episode theatrical serial starring the legendary Bela Lugosi as mad scientist Dr. Alex Zorka in his final serial appearance.
To uncultured swine such as myself it’s “the one with Rob Zombie’s robot”.
That’s right, Zombiemanaics – if you’ve ever wondered where Zombie got the design for Murray the Robot, this is it. And the song “Meet the Creeper” is based on this serial.
Wicked World (1991) – AGFA – There is a movie called THINGS that is one of the most remarkable achievements of our time. It was written by and starred a Canadian hero named Barry J. Gillis, who has gone on to create other films, such as Wicked World. I haven’t seen this yet, but its reputation is rock solid.
C.H.U.D. (1984) – Arrow – I don’t typically cover reissues, but C.H.U.D. is a favorite of mine and deserves your attention. This Arrow release is jam-packed with special features and includes the original theatrical cut, a new 2K transfer of the “Integral Cut” that integrates deleted scenes, and tons of other content.
Creepshow 2 (1987) – Arrow – This is another reissue, but one that is suitably timely considering the completion of Shudder’s first season of the Creepshow TV series.
Which, by the way, was mostly awesome.
I think I might prefer this one over the original. “Old Chief Wood’nhead”, while not great, features some fantastic performances. “The Raft” and “The Hitch-hiker”, however, are top-notch horror entries. Those combined with the excellent interstitials and animation make this an eminently watchable feature.
This edition includes a brand new 2K restoration and TONS of special features. If you missed this release the first time around, I strongly suggest you grab it now before it goes out of print again.
The Stuff (1985) – Arrow – Wow, Arrow is really killing it with reissues this week.
In the year that I’ve been doing this column I don’t remember Arrow doing a whole lot of reissues, so it’s nice to see these classic cult films getting another release. We rewatched The Stuff recently and I found a whole new appreciation for this Larry Cohen flick.
When I was a kid I thought it was great. So great that I always looked for it in TV listings and recorded it at least twice; once on basic cable with ads and once on premium cable without.
Then I got older and more serious and developed this stupid attitude where I didn’t like goofy things. Then I got way older and now goofy things are great in the right context.
As I’m writing this I’m realizing I’m pretty effing fickle – I hate the humor in The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok, I love The Stuff and Dead Alive, I didn’t want to watch Winter Kills once I read that it was a comedy. What a picky ass. I don’t know how anybody deals with me.
If you’re interested, Arrow is also reissuing Slugs, House and House II: The Second Story, Dead-End Drive-In, and Children of the Corn, which is not based on the song by nu-metal band Korn.
Of those I’d say House is a just-have. The rest will vary according to personal taste. I tried to watch House II again last month and turned it off after twenty minutes. I didn’t like it back in the day, I didn’t like it when I revisited it a few years ago, and I still don’t like it now.
Other Titles Worth Noting
V is for Vampire, Virgin Cheerleaders in Chains, Small Town Killers, The Roaring West, The Red Rider, The Mysterious Mr. M, Les Liasins Dangereuses, Bliss, Emanuelle in America, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
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