Cult Horror Film ‘Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things’ Due on DVD Oct. 11, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Oct. 25 From MVD and VCI

The 1972 cult horror film Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things will be released on DVD Oct. 11 and on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc Oct. 25 from VCI Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

Directed by Benjamin (Bob) Clark, the creative director behind Porky’s, Black Christmas and A Christmas Story, the film follows five young kinky actors and their artistic director who come to a desolate and nearly forgotten burial island with a morbid history of murder, rape, curses and demons. Alan (Alan Ormsby), the brilliant but bizarre director of the company, has brought them to the foreboding place to dabble in witchcraft, specifically to dig up a fresh corpse and use it in a ritual ceremony which is supposed to raise the dead from their graves. It seems as though Alan has really gathered his “children” here, only to play a practical joke on them and then to party the rest of the night away. However, the joke’s on Alan. His bizarre ritual ceremony really does raise the dead from their graves.  Ormsby — though he turned in what has been described as “one of the most obnoxious screen performances in history” — actually made a mark for himself as the screenwriter for such memorable films as My Bodyguard, Cat People, Karate Kid 3 and Porky’s 2.

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Special features include a new 2022 video introduction and Q&A with Alan Ormsby; a new 2022, 90-minute video documentary Dreaming of Death: Bob Clark’s Horror Films, with many new interviews with cast and crew; a full commentary track with Ormsby, Jane Daly and Anya Cronin; The Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival May 22, 2007, Q&A; a video filmed in between a double feature showing of Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Deathdream at the Beverly Cinema; “Confessions of a Grave Digger,” a  video interview with Ken Goch; a photo and poster gallery; the “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” music video by The Deadthings; the “Cemetery Mary” Music video by The Deadthings; the original theatrical trailer and radio spots; a new liner-notes booklet written by Patrick McCabe; and a collectible slipcover limited to the initial pressing.

John Hughes Comedy ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Nov. 22

The comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles, written and directed by John Hughes, will land on 4K Ultra HD for the first time Nov. 22 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally released on Nov. 25, 1987, Planes, Trains and Automobiles celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

Steve Martin and John Candy star in the tale of travel gone awry. In the film, Neal Page (Martin) is an uptight ad exec trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving with his family. When rerouted to Wichita, Neal reluctantly partners with Del Griffith (Candy), an obnoxious yet loveable salesman. Together, they embark on a cross-country adventure filled with outrageously funny situations and a generous helping of warmth.

Newly remastered on 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, Planes, Trains and Automobiles includes a bonus “Lost Luggage” Blu-ray Disc containing more than an hour of never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes that were recently discovered in the archives of writer, producer and director Hughes. The newly uncovered footage offers a unique glimpse into the filmmaking and editing process and features funny moments between Martin and Candy. In addition to the newly discovered footage, the bonus Blu-ray Disc also includes Dylan Baker’s original audition for the character of Owen.

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The 4K Ultra HD Disc includes the feature film and the following legacy bonus content: “Getting There Is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles“; the two-part documentary “John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast”; and a tribute to John Candy.

The release also includes access to a digital copy of the film.

Fantasy ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’ Headed to 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 15

The fantasy romantic drama Three Thousand Years of Longing, from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists Releasing, will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 15 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

From Academy Award winning director George Miller (Happy Feet, the “Mad Max” franchise, The Witches of Eastwick) from a screenplay by Miller and Augusta Gore, the film is based on the short story The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt. 

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In the film, Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic — a creature of reason. While in Istanbul, she happens to encounter a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. At first, she doubts that he is real, and she knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong. But the Djinn pleads his case, and eventually she is beguiled and makes a wish that surprises them both.

‘Scream 2’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Oct. 4 From Paramount

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the sequel Scream 2 arrives on 4K Ultra HD for the first time on Oct. 4 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally released on Dec. 12, 1997, in the United States, Scream 2 has been newly remastered in 4K and will be released both for digital purchase and in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray set that includes legacy bonus content, as well as access to a digital copy of the film. The discs will be available in both standard and Steelbook packaging.

In the film, away at college, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) thinks she’s finally put the shocking murders that shattered her life behind her — until a copycat killer begins acting out a real-life sequel.

Now, as history eerily repeats itself, ambitious reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) and other Scream survivors find themselves trapped in a terrifyingly clever plotline where no one is safe or beyond suspicion. 

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The release features legacy bonus content, including audio commentary by director Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier; deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Craven, Maddalena and Lussier); outtakes; a featurette; two music videos, Master P’s “Scream” and Kottonmouth Kings’ “Suburban Life”; the theatrical trailer; and TV spots.

‘Scream 2’ Steelbook Packaging

           

Action Film ‘Bullet Train’ Due on Digital Sept. 27, Disc Oct. 18

The actioner Bullet Train will be released on digital Sept. 27 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD Oct. 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In Bullet Train, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug’s latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe — all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives — on the world’s fastest train. The thrill-ride through modern-day Japan comes from David Leitch, the director of Deadpool 2.

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The film also stars Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Benito A Martínez Ocasio and Sandra Bullock.

Special features on 4K, Blu-ray and digital include outtakes and bloopers; “Catch What You Missed: Easter Eggs”; “All Aboard the Pain Train: Stunts”; “Mission Accomplished: Making of Bullet Train“; “Trained Professionals: The Cast”; select stunt previews; and audio commentary with David Leitch, Kelly McCormick and Zak Olkewicz.

Special features on DVD include “Mission Accomplished: Making of Bullet Train” and “Trained Professionals: The Cast.”

‘Sony Pictures Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection’ Due Nov. 22 for Studio’s 30th Anniversary

In celebration of Sony Pictures Classics’ 30-year anniversary, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing 11 titles from its library to 4K Ultra HD disc, exclusively within the “Sony Pictures Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection,” available Nov. 22.

Titles include Orlando; The Celluloid Closet; The City of Lost Children; Run Lola Run; SLC Punk; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Devil’s Backbone; Volver; Synecdoche, New York; Still Alice; and Call Me by Your Name. Each film is presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision high dynamic range.

While Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon returns to 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision, the other 10 films in the collection are only available on 4K Ultra HD disc within this special limited-edition collector’s set. Also included within the collection is a 24-page booklet, featuring a new essay from film critic David Thomson about the history of Sony Pictures Classics, along with information about each of the included films and an introduction from SPC co-presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker. Finally, the set includes hours of archival special features across the 11 films, plus a few newly added materials.

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Orlando stars Tilda Swinton and Billy Zane in a hip, sexy and wickedly funny look at an English nobleman who defies the laws of nature and comes back to life as an English noblewoman.

The Celluloid Closet, narrated by Lily Tomlin, is a hundred-year history of gay men and women on the silver screen.

The French film The City of Lost Children, from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Amelie and Delicatessen, is a fantastically twisted fairy tale chock-full of curious characters, spectacular stunts and unforgettable visuals.

In the German Run Lola Run, time is running out for Lola (Franka Potente). She’s just received a frantic phone call from her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), who’s lost a small fortune belonging to his mobster boss. If Lola doesn’t replace the money in 20 minutes, Manni will surely suffer severe consequences.

In SLC Punk, it’s 1985 and Stevo is that rare animal: a punk rocker in the Mormon stronghold of Salt Lake City, Utah. He just graduated from college with honors and now his life is a nutty roller coaster ride of rock shows, stealing cars, beating up rednecks and non-stop partying with his buddy, Heroin Bob, and his girlfriend. But with the scene getting lame and Stevo going nowhere fast, he has to put his punk ideals to the test.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is an epic set against the breathtaking landscapes of ancient China that combines the exhilarating martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo-Ping (The Matrix) with the sensitivity and classical storytelling of an Ang Lee film. 

In the Spanish film The Devil’s Backbone, with his father killed in the brutal fighting of the Spanish Civil War, 10-year-old Carlos is sent to live at the desolate Santa Lucia School, now a makeshift shelter for war orphans. Soon after his arrival, Carlos has a series of seemingly supernatural encounters: strange shadows, voices and, most frightening of all, the apparition of a brutalized young boy. It turns out that Carlos is not alone in seeing these strange phenomena.

In the Spanish Volver, Academy Award-winner Pedro Almodóvar (2003, Best Original Screenplay, Talk to Her) directs a comedic and compassionate tribute to women and their resilience in the face of life’s most outrageous tribulations. Penélope Cruz leads an ensemble of gifted actresses, including Carmen Maura (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). In the film, Raimunda (Cruz) and her sister Sole lost their parents in a tragic fire years ago. But superstitious villagers claim that the girls’ departed mother Irene (Maura) has been seen wandering around their Aunt Paula’s home. When Irene appears to Sole, she explains that she has returned to set right her daughters’ troubled lives and reveal shocking secrets that will impact everyone.

Synecdoche, New York is a philosophic adventure from Charlie Kaufman. In the film , theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is mounting a new play. His life catering to suburban blue-hairs at the local regional theater in Schenectady, New York, is looking bleak. His wife Adele (Catherine Keener) has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. His therapist Madeleine Gravis (Hope Davis) is better at plugging her best-seller than she is at counseling him. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel (Samantha Morton) has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his autonomic functions, one by one. Worried about the transience of his life, he leaves his home behind. He gathers an ensemble cast into a warehouse in New York City, hoping to create a work of brutal honesty. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mockup of the city outside.

Still Alice stars Julianne Moore as Alice Howland, who is happily married with three grown children and is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. The film also stars Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish.

Call Me by Your Name is set amid the summer splendor of 1980s Italy where Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire that will alter their lives forever.

‘All About Evil,’ ‘Faceless,’ ‘The Female Executioner’ Due on Blu-ray From MVD and Severin Aug. 30

The horror films All About Evil and Faceless and the action adventure The Female Executioner are being released on Blu-ray Aug. 30 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films.

The 2010 cult classic All About Evil stars Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll,” “Orange Is the New Black”) as the mad projectionist, Thomas Dekker (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” Kaboom), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira: Mistress of the DarkRob Zombie’s The Munsters), John Waters muse Mink Stole (Serial MomHairspray) and Noah Segan (Knives OutLooper).  In the film, a mousy librarian inherits her father’s beloved but failing old movie house. In order to save the family business she discovers her inner serial killer — and a legion of rabid gore fans — when she starts turning out a series of grisly shorts. What her fans don’t realize yet is that the murders in the movies are all too real. Special features include audio commentary with driter/director Joshua Grannell and actors Thomas Dekker, Ashley Fink, Jade Ramsey and Nikita Ramsey; a making of featurette with Grannell, producer Darren Stein, and actors Dekker, Fink, Cassandra Peterson, Jade Ramsey, Nikita Ramsey, Noah Segan, and Mink Stole; a roundtable discussion; “Evil Live: The Peaches Christ Experience In 4D” world premiere at The Castro Theatre in May 2010; “Grindhouse,” a 2003 short film by Grannell; “Children of the Popcorn — Behind The Scenes With Peaches Christ”; the 2010 making-of featurette; the trailer; a teaser; the soundtrack CD; and a bonus booklet by Michael Varrati.

Due on both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is Faceless. For his 1987 big-budget EuroSleaze classic inspired by Eyes Without a Face, director Jess Franco brought together an international all-star cast, including Helmut Berger (The Damned), Brigitte Lahaie (The Female Executioner), Chris Mitchum (Summertime Killer), Stéphane Audran (Coup de Torchon), Caroline Munro (Maniac) and Telly Savalas, for a glossily depraved tale of disfigurement, dismemberment, libidinous brutes, Nazi surgeons, Parisian discos, face-ripping, throat-stabbing, eyeball-piercing and a rewardingly ambiguous ending. Anton Diffring (Circus of Horrors) and Florence Guérin (Caligula & Messalina) co-star, with appearances by Howard Vernon (The Awful Dr. Orloff) and Lina Romay. The film, scanned for the first time in 4K from the original negative, include the following special features: audio commentary with director Jess Franco and actress Lina Romay; “The Female Predator,” an interview with actress Brigitte Lahaie; “Facial Recognition,” an interview with Kim Newman, author of Nightmare Movies; “Parisian Encounters — Face-To-Face With Actress Caroline Munro”; “Predators of the Night,” an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco; EPK interviews with actors Helmut Berger, Chris Mitchum and Telly Savalas; an archival interview with Franco; an archival interview with actor Chris Mitchum; selected scene commentary with Chris Mitchum; Therese II: The Mission (1987), a parody short starring Brigitte Lahaie; the French trailer; and the English trailer.

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The 1986 French action adventure The Female Executioner stars legendary adult film performer Brigitte Lahaie, who launched her mainstream acting career — and subsequently became a French cultural icon — with this exploitation hit. Lahaie is Detective Martine Savignac, a tough vice cop who specializes in busting the most extreme pornographers. When a porno queenpin snatches her kid sister for revenge, Martine takes on a city full of pimps, pushers, human traffickers, the Chinese mob and every man she can. Michel Modo (“Highlander: The Series”), Pierre Oudry (Dirty War) and Dominique Erlanger (The House of the Missing Girls) co-star in this vigilante thriller written and directed by Euro-smut veteran Michel Caputo and produced by Lahaie’s then-lover René Chateau (Faceless). Scanned in 2K from the original negative, the film features new interviews with Caputo and Lahaie. Special features include “The Cop In Nylon Stockings,” an interview with Caputo and Lahaie; “Hold On Tight, Girly!,” a location visit with Caputo and Lahaie; The Blue Shutters, a 1987 short film starring Lahaie; and the trailer.

‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ Due on Digital Aug. 30, Disc Sept. 6

Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru will be released on digital (after a premium purchase and rental run) Aug. 30 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 6 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film explores the early life of the master of evil Gru, who is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. When the infamous supervillain group, the Vicious 6, ousts their leader, Gru attempts to join their ranks but soon finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. With Gru on the run, the Minions attempt to learn martial arts to help save him, and Gru discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

The film features the voices of Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin, Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Andrews and Alan Arkin.

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The more than 60 minutes of bonus features in the collector’s edition include two new mini movies, outtakes, a how-to draw (and animate) lesson with co-director Brad Ableson, and family activities. 

Minions: The Rise of Gru earned $350.8 million at the domestic box office.

Classic ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ Due on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Oct. 18 for 40th Anniversary

Director Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and 4K digital purchase Oct. 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for its 40th anniversary.

The release of the four-time Academy Award winner, including an award for Best Original Score from legendary composer John Williams, includes more than 45 minutes of new bonus features, including a retrospective of the film and its lasting legacy and a featurette with Spielberg reflecting on his career and the making of E.T. 40 years later.  The release also includes all the original bonus features, including deleted scenes, a cast and filmmaker reunion, a discussion with John Williams about the iconic music from the film, and more.

The family friendly story follows the journey of a lost alien and the 10-year-old boy he befriends, Elliot (Henry Thomas). The film also stars a young Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton as his siblings who come together with Elliot to help E.T. find his way back home. 

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Three premium limited editions will be available at select retailers for a limited time only:

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Gift Set (4K UHD plus Blu-ray plus digital), which includes the movie, collectible tin tote, thermos, booklet and certificate of authenticity (Amazon exclusive);
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (4K UHD plus Blu-ray plus digital), which includes movie and collectible BendyFigs figurine (Walmart.com exclusive); and
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook (4K UHD plus Blu-ray plus digital), which includes a newly designed Steelbook (Target exclusive).

Action Thriller ‘Punisher: War Zone’ Due Oct. 18 on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack Steelbook

Lionsgate’s 2008 action thriller Punisher: War Zone arrives on 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray and digital) Steelbook Oct. 18 exclusively at Best Buy.

Starring Ray Stevenson (Thor), Dominic West (TV’s “The Wire”), and Julie Benz (TV’s “Dexter”), Punisher: War Zone follows ex-Special Forces officer Frank Castle (Stevenson) as The Punisher, who this time is waging a one-man war on two fronts. While targeting the vicious mob boss Billy Russoti, Castle horribly disfigures the gangster in a firefight that also claims the life of an undercover FBI agent. Seeking vengeance, Russoti takes the name “Jigsaw” and begins recruiting the underworld’s most notorious criminals while the Feds form an anti-vigilante Strike Force. The Punisher must find a way to elude the law and decimate Jigsaw’s deadly crime army.

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Special features include “Training to Become The Punisher”; “The Making of Punisher: War Zone“; “Creating the Look of the Film”; “Meet Jigsaw”; “Weapons of The Punisher”; audio commentary with director Lexi Alexander and director of photography Steve Gainer; and the theatrical trailer.