One would think that the second to last retail release day before Halloween would be packed with horror movies, no? Why weight all the releases at the crowded book ends for the month? You've got me. All I know is that this week's William Castle box set has more movies in it than the total number of horror titles out today.
Best of the New Releases: Wrong Turn 3, 100 Feet
Did anyone predict that Rob Schmidt's 2003 flick about murderous hill folk in the backwoods of West Virginia would turn into a franchise? I know I didn't. Sure, it's sequels have all been straight-to-video, but part 2 (directed by Joe Lynch) was met with wide acclaim for its free-spirited, nothing-to-lose brand of grizzly kills and intentional chuckles. And unlike most STV franchises, Wrong Turn has kept its R-rated roots intact. I'd even argue that as the series progressed, things became more demented than Schmidt's original, this new part 3 being no exception. Directed by Syfy channel regular Declan O'Brien, Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead is a little basic, but its 'escaped prisoners vs hillbillies' plot should appeal to die hard fans.
Now Eric Red's 100 Feet has been out in various capacities for months already (read my review here), but today marks the end of exclusive regional/rental agreements, so you should be able to walk into any DVD store and find a copy. It's an above-average haunted house flick starring Famke Jansen as a woman who murdered her abusive husband, only to eventually end up serving out the rest of her prison term via house-arrest inside the very same abode in which she stabbed said husband to death; only now his abuse is taking on a definitively less corporeal form. It has some really outstanding sequences in it, though it takes a little while to get things going. Definitely worth a rental, maybe even a blind buy at the right price.
Best of the Catalog Releases: The William Castle Film Collection
It's kind of hard not to love William Castle, cinema's most notorious film exhibitor. He was always presenting his movies with a gimmick to get people into seats, such as 13 Ghosts being filmed in "Illusion-O", a format that allowed audience members to hold up special viewers (not unlike today's Red/Blue anaglyph 3D glasses) to see the ghosts in the film. This set includes eight films: 13 Frightened Girls, 13 Ghosts, Homicidal, Straight-Jacket, The Old Dark House, Mr. Sardonicus, The Tingler, and Zotz!. At a retail price of $60, that's about $8 per film, making this an easy pick-up for Castle fans.
Complete List of Horror DVDs and Blu-rays for October 20th, 2009 (with snark where applicable):
- 100 Feet (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Blood: The Last Vampire (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Blood Ties (lovely cover)
- Ichi the Killer (Blu-ray, because nipples being sliced off needs to be seen in HD)
- The Torturer
- The William Castle Film Collection
- Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (DVD and Blu-ray)