‘Candyman’ Horror Film Due on Digital Nov. 2, Disc Nov. 16

The horror sequel Candyman will be released for home audiences in November by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment with a never-before-seen alternate ending and over an hour of bonus content, including a roundtable discussion on the impact of Black horror.

The film will be released through digital retailers on Nov. 2 and become available on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray two weeks later, on Nov. 16.

Candyman was released in U.S. theaters last August, more than a year after its originally scheduled release in June 2020. The date was postponed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film wound up grossing more than $61 million in U.S. theaters.

Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name. The cast includes Vanessa Williams, Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd, reprising their roles from the original film. New cast members include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, and Kyle Kaminsky.

The film is set in the same Chicago housing project as the original film and takes place 27 years later.  A visual artist (Abdul-Mateen II) begins to explore the macabre history of Candyman, not knowing it would unravel his sanity and unleash a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

Bonus features include:

    • Alternate ending;
    • Deleted and extended scenes;
    • “Say My Name,” a featurette in which filmmakers and cast discuss how the horror at the center of Candyman is both timely and timeless;
    • “Body Horror,” an exploration of director DaCosta’s influences in the subgenre of body horror, and what Anthony’s physical transformation means to the story;
    • “The Filmmaker’s Eye: Nia DaCosta,” which takes a closer look at the director;
    • “Painting Chaos,” in which filmmakers reveal how  Anthony’s artwork evolves throughout the film and how they strived for authenticity in recreating Chicago’s vibrant art scene;
    • “The Art of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe,” in which the composer reveals some of the unconventional methodology he used to create the unique and haunting soundscapes sounds of the film;
    • “Terror in the Shadows,” a  behind-the-scenes look at how the analogue shadow puppetry scenes were created and an unpacking of why this ancient artistic medium was the most conceptually relevant for depicting the legends’ cycle of violence; and
    • “Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror,” a roundtable discussion moderated by Colman Domingo about the relationship Black Americans have with Candyman, the horror genre and the overall idea of monsters and victims.

Four Vintage Horror Films From 1930s, ’40s Due on Blu-ray Nov. 2 From Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber on Nov. 2 is releasing four vintage horror classics, two from the 1930s and two from the 1940s, available with a brand-new 2K master on Blu-ray Disc.

The two oldest films are 1933’s The Secret of the Blue Room and, from 1935, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

The Secret of the Blue Room features a young woman whose 21st birthday celebration is eclipsed when her father reveals the dark details of his estate’s guest room. Hoping to prove their bravery and win Irene’s love, each of her three suitors agrees to spend a night in the room, which sets a new string of mysteries in motion.

A haunting film adaptation of the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood follows an opium-addicted choirmaster, John Jasper, as he becomes obsessed with a young student named Rosa. His nephew, Edwin Drood, develops a crush on the girl and asks her to marry him. Things grow even more complex when Drood disappears.

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Also available on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 2 are The Mad Doctor (1941) and The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946).

The Mad Doctor follows the story of a smooth and sinister physician who woos, weds, and murders several of his wealthy women patients for their fortunes. Kino Lorber also is releasing this film on standard DVD.

The Spider Woman Strikes Back features Gale Sondergaard as the diabolical Zenobia Dollard, a wealthy blind woman shrouded in mystery. When all the preceding caretakers vanish without a trace, Jean (Brenda Joyce) is hired to fill the role — but it is soon discovered that Zenobia has used the blood of her predecessors to create a death serum, and that her own blood is being harvested at night to continue the experiment.

Killer Jeans Let Loose in Shudder’s ‘Slaxx’ on DVD Sept. 7

AMC Networks’ RLJE Films will release the horror film Slaxx on DVD, VOD and for digital purchase Sept. 7.

Originally released through AMC’s horror streaming service, Shudder, Slaxx tells the story of a possessed pair of blue jeans brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company. Shipped to the company’s flagship store, the killer jeans proceed to wreak carnage on staff who are locked in overnight to set up the new collection.

Directed by Elza Kephart, who co-wrote the film with Patricia Gomez Zlatar, Slaxx stars Romane Denis, Brett Donahue, Sehar Bhojani and Stephen Bogaert.

DVD extras include a behind-the-scenes photo gallery and the featurettes “The Story Behind Slaxx,” “The Pants Are Alive,” “Producing a Killer Pants Movie,” “Call In the Death Consultant” and “Casting Slaxx.”

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Jakob’s Wife

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

RLJ;
Horror;
Box Office $0.03 million;
$27.97 DVD, $28.96 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Sarah Lind, Robert Rusler, C.M. Punk.

Scream queen Barbara Crampton plays a meek housewife who literally grows some fangs in the bloody Jakob’s Wife.

Crampton plays Anne, wife of local pastor Jakob (Larry Fessenden), who begins to strain against the mundane routines of their marriage. Her passions are rekindled by a visit from former flame Tom (Robert Rusler), particularly when their attempt at a tryst is interrupted by a vampire attack.

The vampire, known as The Master (Bonnie Aarons), brings Anne under her thrall, giving her a newfound sense of confidence and rebellion, worrying Jakob.

Anne also takes on the bloodlust of the vampire, leading to some remarkably gory sequences of bodies spraying blood as major veins and arteries are punctured at feeding time.

There’s also an effective sequence involving a dentist’s UV teeth-whitening device, which causes Anne’s face to catch on fire due to her starting to take on the classic primary vampire weakness of an allergy to sunlight.

Jakob’s Wife should prove a pleasing diversion for horror fans looking for a late-night distraction. It’s hard not to think someone on the creative team wasn’t a fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” when piecing this script together, given that Anne was Buffy’s middle name, and the Master was the name of the vampire villain of the show’s first season.

The Blu-ray includes a brief five-minute making-of featurette as well as more than 13 minutes of deleted scenes.

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Scream Factory Sets July 13 Date for Collector’s Blu-ray for 2005’s ‘House of Wax,’ With Paris Hilton

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory, has set a July 13 release date for its collector’s edition Blu-ray Disc of the 2005 House of Wax remake.

A loose remake of the 1953 Vincent Price film, House of Wax stars Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams and Robert Ri’chard. When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems, and that they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers.

From Dark Castle Entertainment and producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis, the remake arrives on Blu-ray with a new 2K scan of the interpositive.

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New bonus materials on the Blu-ray include:

  • “Die, My Darling” — an interview with actress Paris Hilton;
  • “The Tale of Blake and Paige” — an interview with actor Robert Ri’chard;
  • “Organ Grinder” — an interview with composer John Ottman;
  • “To Me, They Live and Breathe” — an interview with makeup effects artist Jason Baird.

 

Additional extras include:

  • B-Roll and bloopers video cast commentary;
  • “From Location: Joel Silver Reveals the House of Wax”;
  • “Wax On: The Design of House of Wax”;
  • “The House Built on Wax: The Visual Effects of House of Wax”;
  • Alternate opening: “Jennifer Killed”;
  • Gag reel;
  • Vintage interviews with cast and crew from the electronic press kit;
  • Vintage featurette;
  • Theatrical trailer.

 

Fans who order from the ShoutFactory.com store will also receive an exclusive poster featuring brand-new artwork, while supplies last.

 

Arrow Announces June Horror Movie Streaming Slate

Arrow Video has announced its June 2021 lineup of horror movies streaming on its new subscription-based Arrow platform, available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The June slate leads with a selection of short films curated by the creative team behind The Stylist, one of Arrow’s most popular titles. The collection highlights the work of women in horror, in front of and behind the camera. These eight films include Tristan Risk’s Reptile House, her take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Alchemia; Ticks; and Connor Sandheinrich’s Unsafe Spaces.

The shorts are joined by the Arrow streaming platform premiere of a number of classic titles for horror fans, including Chopping Mall, Witchboard, Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre, Twins of Evil, The Quiet Earth and the “Daimajin” trilogy.

The Cleansing Hour

DVD REVIEW:

RLJ/Shudder;
Horror;
$27.97 DVD;
Not rated.
Stars Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Alix Angelis, Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Daniel Hoffmann-Gill, Emma Holzer, Joanna David.

Old-school horror gets a social media update in director Damien LeVeck’s The Cleansing Hour, an effectively disturbing film about exorcisms in the age of the Internet.

The story centers on a pair of friends named Max (Ryan Guzman) and Drew (Kyle Gallner) who live-stream a series in which actual exorcisms are supposedly performed. Max serves in the role as the priest and basks in the fame of it (even touting his personal Twitter handle on air instead of the show’s), while Drew handles the behind-the-scenes duties and logistical tasks such as sending out cheap merchandise to the show’s unsuspecting fans.

The show is actually a hoax using actors and special effects, but it still has managed to attract a small audience of loyal followers.

However, Max and Drew’s plans go awry when actual supernatural forces intervene. Drew’s girlfriend Lane (Alix Angelis) is forced to step in at the last minute to play the possessed victim when the intended performer doesn’t show up. Then an actual demon possesses her and turns the show into a personal hell for Max and Drew, forcing long-buried secrets to emerge while the morbidly fascinated online audience continues to grow.

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The film uses a mix of mostly practical effects and a bit of CGI to craft some truly creepy scares and chilling death scenes, particularly when the demon immolates one of the crew members by turning his flame tattoos into actual fire.

While the film bears the look and feel of a typical exorcism movie, it offers enough interesting character work and some nice plot twists to keep it from seeming too derivative.

The film is a longer version of a story LeVeck first explored in a 2016 short film of the same name, which runs 18 minutes and is included on the DVD.

Also included is a two-and-a-half minute “On the Set” montage of footage of scenes behind filmed with no context or narration.

The film also comes with a commentary track from LeVeck and his wife Natalie, who is also one of the film’s producers, as they discuss his love of the genre and other tidbits about making the film on an indie budget. Interestingly, at one point they tease an extra of time-lapse footage of Angelis being put into demon makeup, but such a video doesn’t appear to have made its way to the DVD.

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Shudder’s ‘The Cleansing Hour’ Due on DVD and Digital Jan. 19

RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, has picked up select rights to the movie The Cleansing Hour from Shudder, AMC Networks’ streaming service for horror content. It will be released Jan. 19, 2021, on DVD, VOD and for digital sellthrough.

The film stars Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner and Alix Angelis in the story of a popular webcast that streams live exorcisms watched by millions across the globe. In reality, the exorcisms are just elaborately staged hoaxes performed by paid actors. But the podcasters’ fortunes take a turn when one of the actors becomes possessed by an actual demon and takes the crew hostage. In front of a rapidly growing audience, the demon subjects the crew to a series of violent challenges, threatening to expose the dark secrets they’ve been hiding from each other unless they come clean and reveal they’re impostors before the show is over.

DVD extras include a commentary with director Damien LeVeck, the featurette “On the Set of The Cleansing Hour,” and The Cleansing Hour short film.

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‘Toys of Terror’ Due Digitally Oct. 27, on Disc Jan. 19

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the horror film Toys of Terror for digital sellthrough Oct. 27, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Jan. 19 (order date Dec. 15).

In a movie that re-creates the nostalgia of stop-motion holiday specials, Dayo Ade and Kyana Teresa play David and Hannah Cashman, who have promised their family a fun Christmas getaway. But when they arrive at a grand, old house in the snowy woods of Washington and are greeted by a familiar construction foreman, the kids realize their parents plan to make it a working vacation, renovating the place in the hopes of flipping it. Alicia (Verity Marks) and her young siblings (Saul Elias and Zoe Fish), though annoyed, find themselves distracted after they find a stash of old toys in an abandoned playroom of creepy mansion. Before long, they seem to be inseparable from their new playthings, much to the consternation of their nanny (Georgia Waters), who senses that something in the house is not quite right.

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The film was written and executive produced by Dana Gould, directed by Nicholas Verso, and produced by Blue Ribbon Content in association with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Syfy, where the movie will make its broadcast debut in December.

Blu-ray and DVD extras include the featurettes “Toys of Terror Come to Life” and “A Terrifying Weekend: Making of Toys of Terror.”

Shout! Factory Slates Month-Long Streams of Horror Films During October

Shout! Factory TV and Scream Factory have announced “31 Nights of Horror,” featuring a daily selection of macabre films available to stream each evening throughout October.

Starting Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. PT or 10 p.m. ET, fans can tune in for a daily selection of horror movies such as Witchboard, Bad Moon, the cult classic Sleepaway Camp, The Exorcist III, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed: Director’s Cut, and many more. Viewers will also be treated to a double feature every Saturday during the month, as well as a distinctively eerie episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” for every MSTie Monday. There will also be an announcement of a special presentation for Oct. 30.

The livestream can be viewed on Shout Factory TV’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android apps, and on the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDB TV, and STIRR.

The featured films will also be available for viewing on Shout! Factory TV’s main website, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi TV, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel

The schedule for “31 Nights of Horror” is as follows:

  • Oct. 1: Nosferatu the Vampyre
  • Oct. 2: Body Bags
  • Oct. 3: Deadly Double Feature: Mermaid: Lake of the Dead / Night Tide
  • Oct. 4: Cannibal Girls
  • Oct. 5: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins
  • Oct. 6: The House That Dripped Blood
  • Oct. 7: Werewolves on Wheels
  • Oct. 8: Shakma
  • Oct. 9: How to Make a Monster
  • Oct. 10: Deadly Double Feature: Witchboard / Witchery
  • Oct. 11: The Beast Must Die
  • Oct. 12: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Night of the Blood Beast
  • Oct. 13: Q: The Winged Serpent
  • Oct. 14: Saturday the 14th
  • Oct. 15: Chopping Mall
  • Oct. 16: The Howling III: The Marsupials
  • Oct. 17: Deadly Double Feature: Bad Moon/ The Howling: New Moon Rising
  • Oct. 18: Nightbreed: Director’s Cut
  • Oct. 19: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan
  • Oct. 20: Jackals
  • Oct. 21: Itsy Bitsy
  • Oct. 22: Bloodsucking Bastards
  • Oct. 23: The Exorcist III
  • Oct. 24: Deadly Double Feature: Sleepaway Camp / The Final Terror
  • Oct. 25: Horror Hospital
  • Oct. 26: MSTie Monday: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf
  • Oct. 27: Class of 1984
  • Oct. 28: The Monster Club
  • Oct. 29: Asylum
  • Oct. 30: TBD
  • Oct. 31: Deadly Double Feature: Ghosthouse / The Evil