‘Friday the 13th’ 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Coming From Paramount

A 40th Anniversary Blu-ray steelbook of Friday the 13th will come out June 16 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally hitting screens May 9, 1980, Friday the 13th spawned one of the longest-running and most successful horror franchises in film history, with 11 subsequent movies.

The horror classic follows a group of young counselors preparing for the reopening of Camp Crystal Lake, where a boy drowned years earlier.  One by one, the counselors are stalked by a mysterious and violent killer.  The film stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King and Kevin Bacon.

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The limited-edition Blu-ray steelbook features artwork from the original movie poster and includes the uncut, unrated version of the film, as well as access to a digital copy of the original theatrical version. It also includes previously released bonus content including commentary, interviews with cast and crew, and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Update (4/20/20): The original street date of May 5 was changed to June 16 by Paramount.

‘The Grudge’ Arrives on Digital March 10, Disc March 24 From Sony

Horror film The Grudge will come out on digital March 10 and Blu-ray and DVD March 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Producer Sam Raimi brings the untold chapter of this horror classic in which a curse born in Japan is simultaneously unleashed in the United States. Those who encounter it are consumed by its fury and meet a violent fate.

The film stars Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho and Betty Gilpin, with horror movie legend Lin Shaye (Insidious, Ouija) and Jacki Weaver.

The film made $44 million at the global box office.

Special features include:

  • “The Cast of the Cursed” featurette, an inside look at the evil that lurks behind the doors at 44 Reyburn Dr., as key creatives and cast members explore The Grudge characters and discuss their experience working with writer-director Nicolas Pesce;
  • “Designing Death” featurette, exploring the character make-up design process and the film’s visual look involved in creating the myriad of ghosts;
  • “Easter Egg Haunt” featurette, in which Pesce brings to light the plethora of hidden Easter Eggs throughout the film, which are homages to the previous works in the Ju-On franchise; and
  • extended scenes and an alternative ending.

 

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‘Clown-Roaming’ Horror Comedy Film ‘Gags the Clown’ Due on Disc in November

Doppelgänger Releasing, the genre label of arthouse distributor Music Box Films, has set a Nov. 26 release date for Gags the Clown, a horror comedy directed by Adam Krause and starring Lauren Ashley Carter.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD at suggested retail prices of $24.95 and $19.95. Gags the Clown premiered at the 2018 Cinepocalypse and was released earlier this year on VOD platforms.

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions include a slew of bonus features, including the original short film, a gag reel, a feature commentary with the filmmakers, and a storyboard comparison of the ending.

Inspired by the viral media frenzy and worldwide phenomenon of “clown roaming,” Gags the Clown follows the story of an unidentified man in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who has captured worldwide attention for roaming the streets late at night dressed as a clown. His actions catch the attention of a reporter, who attempts to uncover the identity of the clown known as Gags, while broadcasting his “clown hunt” on social media.

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Gags the Clown is based on the short feature film Gags, a 2016 production that won director Adam Krause Best Director honors at the Madtown Horror Film Festival and the Above and Beyond Award at the Green Bay Film Festival.

The short film made headlines thanks to a 2016 marketing campaign in which mysterious photos of the clown lurking in Green Bay unsettled residents, and set off a string of scary clown sightings across the country.

MVD, Rue Morgue Team on ‘Midnight Movie Society’ SVOD Service

Independent distributor MVD Entertainment Group and Rue Morgue, a magazine devoted to horror fiction, have joined to launch a curated subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service specializing in extreme underground, taboo and cult horror movies.

The partners promise that the “Midnight Movie Society” will provide genre film fans with a library of “shocking underground, outrageous gore, creature features, cult classics and much more. Those with a taste for the weirdest and wildest reaches of genre cinema will not be disappointed.”

The new SVOD service launches Sept. 13 on iOS, Roku and the web. The cost is $4.99 per month, or $47.88 for a one-year subscription.

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“The bigger platforms are catering to the masses and have gone puritanical in many cases, making it very difficult for filmmakers to reach their audience,” said MVD COO Ed Seaman. “MVD has a great deal of this type of content and when it is live on major platforms, it performs really well — maybe too well for some of the mainstream platforms.”

Seaman said that the Midnight Movie Society also will cater to more traditional horror fans, pulling from the thousands of film hours in MVD’s vast catalog. In addition, Rue Morgue will be finding and curating fresh and unusual content for the service.

“As larger streaming platforms continue to crack down on content, there’s an urgent need to create a space for boundary-pushing films unencumbered by strangling content restrictions,” said Adrianna Gober, director of programming. “As a lifelong horror fan, I’m proud and excited to be working with MVD Entertainment Group and genre champions Rue Morgue Magazine to bring Midnight Movie Society to the masses.”

Rob Hyman, MVD’s digital director, said Rue Morgue is a “household name among horror fans, and we anticipate our SVOD service and selection will be embraced by their fans.”

Horror Film ‘Nightwish’ Due on Disc Aug. 27 From MVD

The horror film Nightwish is coming to Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 27 from MVD Entertainment Group and Unearthed Classics.

In the film, using sensory deprivation techniques, a doctor of parapsychology provokes his students to examine their own deaths in evermore horrifying circumstances. Roles are exchanged and shuffled as reality and fantasy become indistinguishable and each new dreadful death proves more terrifying than the last. Their paranormal explorations lead them to an abandoned mansion in a desolate area that natives call the “Valley of Fear” where years of drinking chemically tainted water have led to a genetically damaged population and mutant wildlife. Local legends also tell stranger stories of extraterrestrials, which the students attempt to explore.

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Special features include commentary with producer Paul White and Stephen Biro; trailers; and for the first run only, an alternate slip cover and a booklet on the film.

Horror Titles ‘Close Calls,’ ‘Bong of the Living Dead’ and ‘The Barn’ Coming on DVD From Scream Team And MVD

MVD Entertainment Group has picked up distribution of Scream Team Releasing titles and is releasing several of the company’s horror films on DVD.

Available now on DVD is Bong of the Living Dead, the story of five friends who share both a love of pot and a lifelong dream to see the zombie apocalypse become reality. When the undead actually rise to gruesomely (and hilariously) eat the living, the group discovers it’s not all corpse-killing montages and mall raids, and that their relationships will be pushed to the limit if they’re going to survive.

Due Aug. 13 on DVD is Dude Bro Party Massacre III. In the wake of two back-to-back mass murders on Chico’s frat row, loner Brent Chirino must infiltrate the ranks of a popular fraternity to investigate his twin brother’s murder at the hands of the serial killer known as “Motherface.” As they are picked off one by one, Brent and his fellow bros must face the terrifying reality that their deadly foe, believed to have been killed, has returned from the grave again and is hell-bent on the destruction of the Delta Bis. The cast includes Patton Oswalt.

Also coming on DVD Aug. 13 is Murder Made Easy. Best pals Joan and Michael invite their dearest friends over for a cordial dinner to discuss the passing of Joan’s husband Neil. But as each guest arrives, dark secrets are revealed and murder is definitely on the menu. The film won the Indie Spirit Award at the 2018 Women in Horror Film Festival.

Coming Sept. 17 on DVD is Close Calls, about a girl who is grounded at home. With the house to herself, a fridge full of food, and a box of drugs stashed in her closet, it’s “party time” as usual for Morgan (Jordan Phipps). All she has to do is tend to her sick grandma when her father leaves. But then the phone rings. Between disturbing calls, the drugs she has taken, and a few surprise visits from some unexpected guests, Morgan’s paranoia grows as she now believes everyone is out to get her. To make matters worse, she keeps forgetting to give Grandma her meds. Special features include director’s commentary with Richard Stringham; actor commentary with Jordan Phipps and Greg Fallon; bonus commentary by film historian David Del Valle with Joe Magna; Red Phone Diaries – The Making of Close Calls, a two and a half hour documentary; “Building the Sets,” a time lapse video; a gag reel; a photo gallery; and trailers.

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Due Oct. 15 on DVD is 10/31, a collection of tales introduced by Malvolia: The Queen of Screams. She takes viewers on a journey through her Halloween Monster Marathon, featuring five indie directors with Halloween stories. Stories include a stay at a haunted bed and breakfast in “The Old Hag” (Justin M. Seaman of The Barn), a first date gone deadly in “Trespassers” (Zane Hershberger of Cryptids), a murderous roller rink party in “Killing the Dance” (John William Holt of The Dooms Chapel Horror), a freak October winter storm sending tricksters and even Santa to your door in “The Halloween Blizzard of ’91” (Brett DeJager of Bonejangles), and an escaped madman continuing his seasonal killing spree in “The Samhain Slasher” (Rocky Gray’s directorial debut).

Also on tap Oct. 15 on DVD is The Barn. On Halloween night, the “Legend of the Barn” awakens. It’s Halloween 1989 and best friends Sam and Josh are just trying to enjoy their last “Devil’s Night” before graduating high school. Trouble soon arises when the two pals and a group of friends take a detour on their way to a rock concert, finding an old abandoned barn and awakening the evil inside. It’s up to Sam and Josh to find a way to protect their friends and defeat the creatures that lurk within The Barn. The film stars Mitchell Musolino, Will Stout, Lexi Dripps, Cortland Woodard, Nikki Darling, Nickolaus Joshua with Linnea Quigley (Night of the Demons and Return of the Living Dead) and Ari Lehman (the first Jason Voorhees from “Friday the 13th”). It features an original score by Rocky Gray, former member of Grammy award-winning goth/rock group Evanescence.

Also coming Oct. 15 is The Witching Season. Reminiscent of television shows such as “Tales from the Darkside” and “Tales from the Crypt,” The Witching Season is a five-episode anthology of horror and suspense on one disc that delivers original tales of terror that capture the spirit of the Halloween season.

‘Alice, Sweet Alice,’ Pacino Flick ‘Cruising’ and ‘Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy’ Coming on Blu-ray From Arrow and MVD in August

Alice, Sweet Alice, the Al Pacino flick Cruising and “Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy” are coming on Blu-ray from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group in August.

Due Aug. 6 is the 1976 slasher film Alice, Sweet Alice. A young girl is brutally murdered by an unknown lunatic in a bright yellow rain coat and a freakishly creepy translucent mask. As the killer continues to strike again and again, the young girl’s parents are forced to consider this gruesome reality — perhaps the killer is their eldest daughter, Alice. Ranked No. 89 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments, Alice, Sweet Alice features hardcore kill scenes and marks the screen debut of Brooke Shields. Special features include a new audio commentary with Richard Harland Smith; an archival audio commentary with co-writer/director Alfred Sole and editor Edward Salier; “First Communion: Alfred Sole Remembers Alice, Sweet Alice,” in which Sole looks back on his film; “In the Name of the Father,” a new interview with actor Niles McMaster; “Sweet Memories: Dante Tomaselli on Alice, Sweet Alice,” in which filmmaker Dante Tomaselli, cousin of Sole, discusses his longtime connection to the film; “Lost Childhood: The Locations of Alice, Sweet Alice,” a tour of the original shooting locations hosted by author Michael Gingold; an alternate television cut; a deleted scene; alternate opening titles; a trailer and TV spot; the original screenplay; and an image gallery.

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Coming Aug. 20 is William Friedkin’s controversial erotic crime thriller Cruising. Pacino stars as a New York City cop assigned an undercover gig that sends him deep into the world of the gay S&M and leather bars in the Meatpacking District in an effort to track down a killer targeting gay men. Special features include an archival audio commentary by Friedkin; “The History of Cruising,” an archival featurette looking at the film’s origins and production; “Exorcizing Cruising,” an archival featurette looking at the controversy surrounding the film and its legacy; and the original theatrical trailer.

Also due Aug. 20 is a collection of Akio Jissoji’s films — This Transient LifeMandara and Poem — that make up “The Buddhist Trilogy.” These three New Wave films made for the Art Theatre Guild take a controversial and shocking exploration through faith. As an added bonus, Jissoji’s 1974 feature It Was a Faint Dream, a film that touches on similar themes as the trilogy, is included. Special features include introductions to all three films in the trilogy by David Desser, author of Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave; scene-select commentaries on all three films in the trilogy by Desser; theatrical trailers for Mandara, Poem and It Was a Faint Dream; and an illustrated, 60-page collector’s book featuring new writings on the films by Anton Bitel and Tom Mes.

‘Banana Splits Movie’ Splatters to Home Video in August

Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky and Drooper are back with a vengeance in Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s The Banana Splits Movie, due digitally Aug. 13, and on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 27.

The cult-favorite animal rock-band from Hanna-Barbera’s 1968 “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” variety show returns with a twist. What once was a lively puppet show for kids has been revived as a bloody horror movie.

The film follows a boy named Harley and his family as they go to a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which takes an unexpected turn when the Splits start slaughtering the audience. The cast includes Dani Kind, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, Romeo Carere, Steve Lund and Sara Canning, with Eric Bauza voicing the Banana Splits.

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The movie, which will air on Syfy later this year, is rated ‘R’ for horror violence and gore.

The DVD, Blu-ray and digital versions will include a “Banana Splits: Behind the Horror” featurette. The digital and Blu-ray editions will also include “Terror on Set” and “Breaking News! The Banana Splits Massacre” featurettes.

Scream Factory Releasing ‘Universal Horror Collection Vol. 1’ Blu-ray June 18

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of multi-platform distributor Shout! Factory, will release Universal Horror Collection Vol. 1 on Blu-ray June 18. Celebrating the legacy of horror icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, the collection includes their collaborations in the films The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936) and Black Friday (1940).

The Black Cat will include new commentaries from film historians Gregory William Mank and Steve Haberman, the documentary “Dreams Within a Dream: The Classic Cinema of Edgar Allan Poe” narrated by Doug Bradley, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part One — The Black Cat,” and vintage footage of “The Black Cat Contest.”

The Raven comes with a new 2K scan of the original film elements, plus a commentary with Haberman, another commentary with Gary D. Rhodes, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Two — The Raven,” and an audio recording of Lugosi reading Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.

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The Invisible Ray features a new 2K scan of the original film elements, a commentary with film historians Tom Weaver and Randall Larson, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Three — The Invisible Ray,” and a Re-Release theatrical trailer.

Black Friday comes with a new 2K scan of the original film elements, a commentary with film historian Constantine Nasr, the featurette “A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Four — Black Friday,” an “Inner Sanctum Mystery Radio Show” performances of The Tell-Tale Heart starring Boris Karloff, and the theatrical trailer.

All films will also include still galleries.

Warner to Release Fifth ‘Critters’ Movie July 23

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Critters Attack!, the fifth installment in the “Critters” horror franchise, on Blu-ray, DVD and digital July 23. The film will premiere on Syfy in October.

Dee Wallace, who starred in the original 1986 Critters as Helen Brown, returns to the franchise in the mysterious role of Aunt Dee.

Critters Attack! follows 20-year-old Drea (Tashiana Washington), who reluctantly takes a job babysitting for a professor of a college she hopes to attend. Struggling to entertain the professor’s children Trissy (Ava Preston) and Jake (Jack Fulton), along with her own little brother, Phillip (Jaeden Noel), Drea takes them on a hike, unaware that mysterious alien critters have crash-landed and are devouring every living thing they encounter.

Extras include scene specific commentary with director Bobby Miller and a Critter, plus the featurettes “Entineering Gore: Designing Critters,” “Critters: An Out-of-this-World Experience” and “The Critter Ball.”

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The movie follows the Web series “Critters: A New Binge” that was released in March on the Shudder streaming service.

A boxed set of the previous four films was recently released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory.