Without a doubt, we live in a golden age of horror collecting. Movies that were barely watchable on VHS are finally getting restored, getting the treatment they deserve, but that no one could have ever expected they would get. This is an amazing time, so much so that it was actually kind of hard putting this list together. Look at all of the titles that have already been dusted off and given amazing Blu-ray transfers and treatments. Puppet Master, Shocker, Castle Freak… these are releases I never thought I would see.
But there are still more. And when I actually did a little digging, I found some pretty glaring oversights. Sure, it’s great that Ghost Town and Scarecrows have readily available Blus, but you wouldn’t believe some of the movies that don’t.
Keeping that in mind, I’ve put together a wish list. These are the films I would be delighted to see get the collector’s edition Blu-ray treatment, whether from Scream Factory or otherwise.
Fright Night I & II
What a dream double feature this would make. Yes, I’m well aware that Fright Night is available on Blu-ray in a very limited format (a copy of it currently commands an outrageous bounty on Amazon), but it’s a movie that should have a wide release and be readily available. Also, the limited nature of the disc’s features has always been weird to me. It’s got a great transfer, but I want that mixed with some actual special features. As icing on the cake, let’s just get someone to buy the Lionsgate Artisan titles so that we can finally have Fright Night Part II on Blu-ray. I refuse to believe it will remain out of print forever.
The Vestron titles are readily available on all sorts of cheap DVD packs these days, but I think legitimately great low-budget horrors like Waxwork demand a full-scale release. I think about this one a lot. I yearn for this movie in HD, with a restored transfer and special features that offer a nostalgic look back on the film. Throw in a commentary by Anthony Hickox, Zach Galligan and Deborah Foreman and I’d be a very happy camper.
It may not be the best Clive Barker adaptation in the world, but there’s something that’s hard not to love about Rawhead Rex, as absurd as it is. And it definitely has become something of a cult classic over time, so I think its release would certainly be a successful one. It’s such an 80’s monster movie, which is probably the last thing Barker wanted it to be, but it works as such. I don’t know what kind of features it would entail, but my God, if there was so much as a brief interview with Clive Barker on it, I’d be more than happy.
House I & II
I can’t believe neither House nor House II: The Second Story are readily available on Blu-ray. These are exactly the kind of movies that Scream Factory is snatching up and turning into deluxe collector’s editions. They’re absurd, campy, beloved cult classics that would be extremely successful if dusted off and given the treatment they deserve.
Not only is Silver Bullet a major Stephen King property and a beloved werewolf movie, but it has a backstory that would make for a really interesting collector’s edition. First you’d have a transfer that really showed off that very special wolf suit, then you’d have the special features, which would really be where this disc would shine. If they could get a brief interview with King about writing the screenplay, that would be excellent, even if it would be shooting for the stars. What I’d really love to see, though, is Don Coscarelli talk about initially being hired to direct the film and what happened during that production that caused his exit.
Return of the Living Dead 3
Yes, Part II needs a Blu-ray treatment as well, but if I had to pick one of the two, I’d choose Return of the Living Dead 3 all day long. I’ve never made my feelings about this film a secret, but I think it’s definitely deserving of a collector’s edition disc, as obscure as it might seem. I can only imagine what a cleaned up HD transfer would look like, because the DVD is only slightly above the VHS in terms of quality. I want a restored unrated cut that’s isn’t as chopped as the US DVD version. A commentary with director Brian Yuzna—who seems very proud of it—would just be icing on the cake.
Critters is another big one that would fit nicely within Scream Factory’s wheelhouse. It might not have been Gremlins-sized but it was still a pretty big movie that spawned its own franchise. As far as I know, all four in the series are with New Line, which would put them in the WB library and currently out of Scream Factory’s reach. So here’s hoping the fine folks at WB are avid readers and have become inspired to dust off the Critters films—starting with the first—and give them the treatment they deserve.
Phantasm I, III & IV
For years, Phantasm II was notorious for being out of print and unavailable on DVD. It became something mythic, a movie everybody needed to have. Not only did we finally get Phantasm II on DVD, but that release led to a deluxe edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory. And around the same time that happened, the other three films in the series went out of print. Now we have Phantasm V around the corner and 75% of the series is unavailable and going for ridiculous prices online. I assume the upcoming 4K restoration of Phantasm will lead to a re-release on Blu-ray, but that won’t help either Phantasm III or Phantasm IV.
Believe it or not, Candyman of all films is not currently available on Blu-ray in the US. Scream Factory gave the full treatment to Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh because they had the ability to obtain that one, but the first film remains without any kind of current Blu-ray release stateside, let alone a collector’s edition. If any feature deserves it, it’s this one, which is among the best—if not the best—horror releases of the 1990’s. Everyone is proud of the production, so it’s hard to imagine you couldn’t get Bernard Rose, Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd to record a new commentary, let alone find people willing to participate in new making-of interviews.