Scream Factory Releasing ‘Escape From L.A.’ Collector’s Edition Blu-ray May 26

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory, will release a collector’s edition of director John Carpenter’s Escape From L.A. on Blu-ray May 26.

The film is a sequel to Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape From New York, which starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, the anti-hero tasked with rescuing the U.S. President from Manhattan, which in the future has been converted into a walled off prison.

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In 1996’s Escape From L.A., Russell returns as Plissken, who this time is forced to rescue the president’s daughter from Southern California, which in the future has been rendered an island wasteland by a massive earthquake.

The cast also includes Stacy Keach, Steve Buscemi, Bruce Campbell, Peter Fonda, George Corraface, Peter Jason, Cliff Robertson and Pam Grier.

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The Blu-ray will offers the film with a new 4K scan from the original negative, and new interviews with Keach, Campbell, Jason, Corraface, special effects artist Jim McPherson and visual effects artist David Jones. Other extras include a still gallery, the theatrical trailer and TV spots.

A bare-bones Blu-ray edition of Escape From L.A. was previously released by Paramount in 2010. A Scream Factory Blu-ray of Escape From New York was released in 2015.

‘Big Trouble in Little China’ Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Coming Dec. 3 From Scream Factory

Indie home entertainment distributor Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory, is bringing director John Carpenter’s 1986 cult classic Big Trouble in Little China back to Blu-ray in a big way Dec. 3 with a new collector’s edition and a number of packaging options for fans.

Kurt Russell stars as tough-talking truck driver Jack Burton, who gets pulled into a supernatural adventure to rescue his best friend’s fiancée from a dangerous, magical world beneath San Francisco’s Chinatown. The cast also includes Kim Cattrall, James Hong and Dennis Dun.

Scream Factory’s two-disc Blu-ray set includes a trove of new bonus material.

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The first disc will include the film with a new audio commentary by producer Larry Franco, a new commentary by special effects artist Steve Johnson moderated by filmmaker Anthony C. Ferrante, and the legacy commentary with Carpenter and Russell from previous home video releases. An isolated score track also will be available. The disc also includes previously released material such as deleted and extended scenes, an extended ending, a vintage audio interview with John Carpenter, electronic press kit interviews and profiles, theatrical trailers, TV spots, a gag reel, a music video and photo galleries.

The second disc will include a vintage featurette and an interview with visual effects artist Richard Edlund from previous disc releases; interviews with Carpenter, Russell, Franco, director of photography Dean Cundey and stuntman Jeff Imada; and hours of new interviews, including actors Dun, Hong, Donald Li, Carter Wong, Peter Kwong and Al Leong, writers W.D. Richter and Gary Goldman, associate producer/martial arts choreographer James Lew, The Coupe De Ville’s member Nick Castle, second unit director/The Coupe De Ville’s member Tommy Lee Wallace, and movie poster artist Drew Struzan.

The Shout! Factory store at ShoutFactory.com is offering fans five different special offers for preorders of the title.

One is the collector’s edition Blu-ray with an exclusive 18-inch x 24-inch rolled poster of the new cover art by Laz Marquez.

‘Big Trouble in Little China’ Steelbook

The second is the collector’s edition in limited-edition Steelbook packaging.

The third is the Steelbook with an exclusive 28.5-inch x 16.5-inch rolled lithograph of the new Steelbook artwork by Nat Marsh, and a 7-inch green vinyl record by Sacred Bones, featuring music composed by John Carpenter and recorded by him, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, with a slipcase with new art by frequent Carpenter collaborator Chris Bilheimer. Limited to 2,500 copies, the A-side includes the 2017 version of the main theme, “Porkchop Express (Big Trouble in Little China),” and the B-side contains a never-before-released recording of “The Alley War,” recorded in 2019.

The fourth bundle includes the Blu-ray with slipcover, rolled poster and green vinyl album.

The fifth option includes both the standard and Steelbook Blu-rays of the collector’s edition, the artwork posters for both editions, and the limited-edition record.

Preorders of the collector’s edition or Steelbook bundled with a purple vinyl variant of the 7-inch record are available from Sacredbonesrecords.com.

Scream Factory Releasing John Carpenter’s ‘Vampires’ Collector’s Edition Blu-ray

Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory, will release a collector’s edition Blu-ray of John Carpenter’s 1998 film Vampires Sept. 24.

When Master Vampire Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) decimates an entire team of vampire hunters, its leader (James Woods) another survivor (Daniel Baldwin), set out in pursuit. Meanwhile, Valek nears the climax of his 600-year search an artifact that can grant him and all vampires the omnipotent power to walk the world in daylight.

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New bonus features include “Time to Kill Some Vampires,” an interview with composer/director John Carpenter, producer Sandy King Carpenter and cinematographer Garry B. Kibbe; “Jack the Slayer,” an interview with actor James Woods,” “The First Vampire,” an interview with actor Thomas Ian Griffith; “Raising the Stakes,” an interview with special effects artist Greg Nicotero; and “Padre,” an interview with actor Tim Guinee.

The Blu-ray will also include audio commentary by John Carpenter, an isolated score track, a vintage making-of featurette, a theatrical trailer, TV spots and a still gallery.

Starman: Collector’s Edition

As discussed in depth in the bonus materials of the new Scream Factory Blu-ray of 1984’s Starman, director John Carpenter was eager to use the film to veer away from the scary fare he was known for and into the gentler realms of sci-fi and romance. Jeff Bridges anchors the film with a quirky, subtle performance as an alien entity trying to adjust to life as in a human body as he makes his way across the country to rendezvous with his mothership.

 

 

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Shout! Factory;
Sci-Fi;
$34.93 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel.

To differentiate itself from the recent success of E.T., 1984’s Starman was billed as a “science-fiction romance” that played heavily on the idea of the “Greetings From Earth” messages launched with the Voyager space probes a few years earlier.

Director John Carpenter took on the project because he wanted to distance himself from his reputation as a horror director, but he was no stranger to science-fiction. He made his directorial debut with the expanded student film Dark Star in 1974 before establishing himself as a horror icon with Halloween, The Fog and Christine. But interspersed with those was the Elvis TV movie (with Kurt Russell), not to mention the Escape From New York and The Thing, both undisputable examples of sci-fi, even if The Thing takes full advantage of his horror sensibilities. And four years later he would make They Live.

Starman, however, would prove to be much lighter in tone than his previous works, with Carpenter putting an emphasis on the road trip aspect of the story that would center on the rapport between his two leads. While most of the film is a conventional “government searching for aliens” type of plot, it succeeds primarily due to the performance of Jeff Bridges, who was nominated for an Oscar for his efforts.

The film stars with one of the Voyager probes being intercepted by an alien ship, which finds the golden record on it containing samples of Earth culture and an invitation from the U.N. for alien life to visit. The aliens then send a smaller craft to accept the invitation, only for it to be shot down by the U.S. military.

After the ship crashes in rural Wisconsin, its occupant discovers the remote cabin occupied by Jenny (Karen Allen), who is pining over her recently deceased husband (Bridges). The alien uses photos of the man and some DNA from a lock of his hair in a scrapbook to create a body it can use to study humanity. This is where Bridges shines through, amplifying the awkwardness of an alien form in a new body slowly growing accustomed to it as he learns more about the world around him.

Bridges in the bonus materials recalls the approach he took to the character as one of an advanced being in a human body trying to impersonate a human. The transformation of the alien into Bridges was the result of the combination of work from three masters of movie makeup effects: Dick Smith, Rick Baker and Stan Winston.

Jenny is understandably freaked out by the clone of her dead husband standing in front of her, but quickly comes to understand what he’s there for. He needs to travel to Arizona to be picked up by his people in three days, before his human body can no longer sustain his alien energies (which allow him to control electronic devices, such as jumpstarting a car or keying the jackpot of a Vegas slot machine).

With the aid of some little metal spheres, the Starman’s powers include the ability to shield himself from danger and resurrect the dead, as in a memorable scene in which he cures a deer from recently being shot by a hunter.

Starman’s antics naturally cause a disturbance wherever he goes, creating a ripple effect that is being tracked by a group of government operatives who are divided by their interests in the alien. Some want to learn from him (as in Charles Martin Smith SETI scientist), but some want to dissect him, which creates some tension over which group gets to him first.

Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray edition looks fantastic and really does justice to the cinematography of Donald M. Morgan. Aside from the few necessary visual effects shots to establish the alien spacecraft, most of the film’s look is defined by subtle lighting effects that come across really well in high-definition.

The film gave Bridges a chance to show off some of his musical chops thanks to his alien persona relaying himself through music he’s picked up, and a film-reel flashback of his human self playing the guitar and singing “All I Have to Do Is Dream” with Allen (a duet that was included on the film’s soundtrack album). He’s eventually win the Best Actor Oscar for playing a musician in 2009’s Crazy Heart. For Allen, this was probably her best-known role outside of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Blu-ray combines some legacy bonus materials with a new 24-minute retrospective, called “They Came From Hollywood: Remembering Starman.” Bridges, Smith, Carpenter and a handful of the filmmakers are shown in separate interviews recalling their experience of making the film and what it meant for their careers.

For Bridges in particular, the film marked the start of a tradition in which he would assemble the photographs he takes on the set of his films into a scrapbook memento for the cast and crew.

The audio on some of the interviews is a bit scratchy, so viewers shouldn’t worry that their speakers are blowing out.

The Blu-ray also includes a great, insightful audio commentary with Carpenter and Bridges ported over from an overseas Blu-ray release, plus an 11-minute promotional featurette from the ’80s.

The film would go on to spawn a short-lived sequel TV series in 1986, though none of the cast reprised their roles. The show is available as a manufactured-on-demand DVD from Sony.

Starman

‘Halloween’ to Stalk Digital Dec. 28, Disc Jan. 15 From Universal

Halloween, the latest sequel to the horror franchise, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 28 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Jan. 15 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $158.8 million in theaters.

The film takes place four decades after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, reprising her role in the 1978 John Carpenter classic) narrowly escaped the masked Michael Myers’ brutal killing spree. She now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she’s spent decades preparing for Michael’s potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family — but this time, she’s ready for him.

The film also stars Judy Greer (Ant-Man and The WaspJurassic World), Andi Matichak (“Underground”), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Punisher) and Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac, “Runaways”).

Bonus features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include deleted and extended scenes and the featurettes “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween,” “The Original Scream Queen,” “The Sound of Fear,” “Journey of the Mask” and “The Legacy of Halloween.”

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.

Classic Horror Film ‘Halloween’ Coming in 4K Ultra HD Sept. 25 From Lionsgate

The horror classic Halloween arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray) Sept. 25 from Lionsgate.

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Tony Moran and P.J. Soles, the film in 4K also features Dolby Vision HDR. The release celebrates the 40th anniversary of the original 1978 theatrical release and coincides with the theatrical debut of the newest film in the series.

Special features include audio commentary with writer/director John Carpenter and Curtis; “The Night She Came Home” featurette; “On Location: 25 Years Later” featurette; TV version footage; a trailer; TV spots; and radio spots.

John Carpenter’s ‘Christine’ Driving to 4K UHD Blu-ray From Sony

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is marking the 35th anniversary of director John Carpenter’s Christine with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release Sept. 11. The film will also debut in 4K via participating digital platforms.

Based on the Stephen King novel, the film follows the murderous rampage of a sentient Plymouth Fury and its effect on the car’s new teenage owner.

The 4K Blu-ray includes high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos audio compatible with Dolby TrueHD 7.1.

The combo pack will also include a digital copy and a regular Blu-ray that includes deleted scenes, commentary with Carpenter and star Keith Gordon, and featurettes.