Welcome back to this week's discs, where each week we futilely try to come up with new ways to say there aren't any new horror discs worth buying. Or at least that's what we have to do most weeks. But this week, surprise surprise for lo and behold there actually is some cool new stuff on the shelves. So let's get to it!
First up is the prolific Blue Underground giving us another taste of high def genre film goodness. Their latest entry, The Prowler, hits DVD and Blu-ray this week. Directed by Joseph Zito with special makeup effects by the legendary Tom Savini, The Prowler delivers on blood, guts and body count. Definitely worth tracking down for you 80s slasher fans.
Next up is a film that spawned one of the biggest horror franchises of all time. The 1989 film Puppet Master has sparked a sequel frenzy with the 10th film in the series hitting DVD and Blu-ray today, day and date with the original film's high def debut. The new film, dubbed Puppet Master: Axis of Evil, goes back to the roots of the series, focusing on the short introductory section from the original film. The original film opens with the murder of the puppets' creator, Mr. Toulon, at the hands of Nazi assassins during World War II. While Puppet Master jumps to present day, Axis of Evil picks up back in the 40s and shows more of that story.
I actually just saw Puppet Master not long ago, and I have to say I wasn't all that impressed. It's decent enough, despite it's age and lower-budget origins, but it's neither genuinely tense nor goofy enough to be satisfying. Instead, it seemed content to dabble in both areas making for a rather muddled film. I'm not sure how that was enough to justify 10 sequels, but I suppose it must have found an audience...an audience wiling to shell out $19.95 every year or two for another entry. You can pick up the original on Blu-ray and the new film on DVD and Blu-ray, or if you're a big fan, there's also a special limited edition containing both films in a replica of Mr. Toulon's case available for purchase directly from Full Moon.
Also out today is a new film from Chinese director Fruit Chan, who made a name for himself with his short Dumplings that was included as part of the Three...Extremes anthology film alongside segments from powerhouse directors Takashi Miike and Chan-Wook Park. Chan's latest effort, Don't Look Up, is based on a story from Hideo Nikata, creator of The Ring. The story centers on a film crew working in Transylvania who find evidence of a woman's murder committed to film and unwittingly let loose evil spirits. It inexplicably stars Eli Roth and character actor Kevin Corrigan, and is apparently an English language affair. My interest is most definitely piqued on this one.
Lionsgate has a new direct-to-video slasher hitting DVD only this week. Neighbor looks like a pretty standard slasher, but this time it's a hot girl doing the slashing. Ohhh twist! Appearing in Unrated form, you can bet that Neighbor will probably bring the gore and not much else.
If you haven't heard of Ryuhei Kitamura's Versus, I have two words for you....zombies and samurais. Are you in? You should be. It helps that the film delivers the awesome that it's concept implies. While it's been available on DVD, it's amazingly hitting Blu-ray here in the states this week. Don't hesitate. See this movie now.
More sci-fi than horror, Universal's big, flashy Repo Men hits DVD and Blu-ray today. I didn't catch it in theaters, but I watched the unrated version on Blu-ray the other day. It's a convoluted mess of a film, just muddled and aimless. As if to make matters worth, the director thought it'd be cool to let us all know that he's seen Oldboy by copying the famous hallway scene from that far superior film. Obvious similarities to Repo! The Genetic Opera aside, Repo Men is a terrible film. Do yourself a favor, skip this one and rent Repo! instead.
It's not at all horror, but it's worth noting that Donnie Yen's fantastic film, Ip Man finally hits DVD and Blu-ray stateside this week. Don't walk, RUN to go buy this one, it's well worth both your money and your time.
We'll be back next week with a look at the horror releases for August 3rd!