This blog was originally titled “Physical Media’s Last Stand” but I thought it too pessimistic. And when it comes to this topic, there’s plenty of cause to feel that way. The MPAA recently revealed a staggering 50% drop in sales as the rise of Streaming services takes hold. I’m sure I speak for my many of my fellow lazy fans that it’s a lot easier pushing a button than getting of our butts to pop on a disc. However, anyone who’s spent 20 minutes scrolling Netflix only to finally give up in frustration knows that what we like isn’t as accessible as the modern world would have us believe. For horror fans like us, there are plenty of cause for us to continue coveting physical media. In fact, despite the current Blu-ray apocalypse, some of the most amazing upgrades and rare titles are being released – though you may need to look beyond Amazon.com to find them. There are several companies out there fighting the good fight and today, I’ll be highlighting a few of the ones I think are worthy of our support!
I recently hunkered down with my new Blu-ray copy of Night of the Demon (1957) from Indicator (Powerhouse) Films and held my breath while pressing “Play.” As it was a British import, it cost more and I’ve had my fair share of disappointments with so-called “upgrades” of Black & White classics. 96 minutes later, I was grinning from ear to ear.
I recently watched VHS Massacre: Cult Films and the Decline of Physical Media; an entertaining documentary that delves into the loss of hard copy films in favor of streaming services. Having been a teenager in the ‘80s, the film struck a chord as I’d witnessed the rise of VHS tapes first hand and was an avid collector myself. By the ‘90s, I had a custom VHS shelf that took up the better portion of my basement wall.
If you think its hard tracking down some of your favorite vintage horror movies, try finding their lesser known sequels! Sure we’re all familiar with the numerous Halloween and Friday the 13th films but the original Prom Night, House, Amityville Horror, and Silent Night Deadly Night (to name but a few) also spawned numerous follow ups that often got lost on the old video store shelves. Horror collectors are left in a quandary as these films are hard to come by or, in the rare event that they are re-released on DVD, are usually bland transfers often sold as double features. Thanks to the folks at Blue Underground, this is not an issue for fans of the Maniac Cop sequels. They’ve not only re-released BOTH on blu ray but with noticeable improvements!
I have been reading about this film for some time now, both in Fangoria and HorrorHound magazines. For the most part the reviews have been favorable and I am always up for a new monster movie. This is not your typical monster on the loose film and to be honest, I wish it was. The movie I am talking about is BENEATH, directed by Larry Fessenden.
Horror aficionados will unanimously agree that the 1980’s were the Golden Age of slasher films. As I’ve discussed before in a retrospective on the original My Bloody Valentine (which you can relive HERE), the holidays were a particularly dangerous time for horny teenagers looking to celebrate these special dates in their own lascivious ways.
We weren’t sure what to expect upon receiving a screener copy of the 2013 film, Chastity Bites, directed by John V. Knowles. Not only had we never heard of it (something of a phenomena considering how much time we spend perusing horror magazines & websites these cold, winter days) but we also knew that lower budget, Independent films are hit or miss. Soon we BOTH agreed that this one was a definite hit! Not only did this modern tale bring back nostalgic memories of ’80s teen flicks but managed to do so with genuine jumps and plenty of laughs!