Laserblast, August 31 Home Video: Vampire Diaries, Evil Dead, Thiller

Also: CARNIVEROUS with DMX, BRAINJACKED, the RED RIDING TRILOGY, and the Ultimate MACHINE GIRL Collector’s Tin.

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Though not as loaded with gruesome goodies as last Tuesday, August 31 offers some exciting horror, fantasy, and science fiction titles on home video, including a DVD box set of DVD of THRILLER hosted by Boris Karloff; a new limited edition Blu-ray disc of Sam Raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD (1982);  and also THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. The later offers an abundant cornucopia for fans of the CW series: four-disc Blu-ray set and the five-disc DVD set run over 900 minutes, with these bonus features:

  • Into Mystic Falls: Bringing Vampire Lore and the High School Experience from Page to Screen
  • When Vampires Don’t Suck!: The Popularity of Vampires and the Fans Who Love Them
  • The Vampire Diaries: A New Breed of Vampires — Casting the Series
  • The Vampire Diaries: Vampires 101 – The Rules of the Vampire
  • Creators/director pilot commentary
  • Unaired scenes
  • The Vampire Diaries: A Darker Truth Webisodes
  • Second Bite: gag reel
  • Downloadable Audiobook of the Bestselling Novel The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith

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Anchor Bay’s new limited edition Blu-ray disc OF THE EVIL DEAD is essentially their old three-disc Ultimate Edition DVD condensed down to one Blu-ray disc (which contains two high-def transfers and an all-new audio commentary with director Sam Raimi, producer Robert Tappert, and actor Bruce Campbell) and one DVD (which ports over the old bonus features). The 1080p transfers are presented in anamorphic 1.85 and the original 1.33 aspect ratio, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio. Essentially, this recreated the Ultimate Edition DVD presentation, which also offered widescreen and full-screen transfers (although on separate discs). The only feature missing from the Ultimate Edition DVD is the two audio commentaries: Raimi and Tappert recorded one for the widescreen version; Campbell recorded a separate one for the full-screen version.
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For fans of classic horror, the DVD release of THRILLER is big news. The show, which made its debut on NBC way back in September of 1960, has been seldom seen in syndication recently and apparently never available on home video. The 14-disc box set includes all 67 hour-long episodes from the show’s two-season run. Although less well known than THE TWILIGHT ZONE or THE OUTER LIMITS, THRILLER offered similar high-quality episodes, with wonderfully atmospheric black-and-white photography; some great scripts based on classic horror literature; and numerous guest stars, including William Shatner (STAR TREK), Leslie Nielsen (FORBIDDEN PLANET), Robert Vaughn (THE MAN FROM UNCLE), Ursula Andress (DR. NO), Henry Daniel (THE BODY SNATCHERS), Robert Cornthwaite (THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD), and more. Bonus features include extensive galleries or production and promotion stills,  promotional clips, isolated music and effects tracks for select episodes, and 27 new audio commentaries. Read more here.
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Over a week late, we want to mention GODKILLER: WALK AMONG US [Complete Film DVD], which bears an official release date of August 21 (a Saturday – rare for home video, which usually arrives on Tuesday).  GODKILLER, which deals with human begins engaged in a war among fallen gods, is a so-called “Illustrated Film,” a format coined by Matt Pizzolo and Brian Giberson that dramatizs the comic book story with illustrated voice performances (by Lance Henriksen, Danielle Harris, Bill Moseley, Tiffany Shepis), using  anime-style motion graphics. This DVD includes the entire feature film, unedited, including a brand new bonus epilogue, plus PDF files of the comic book on which the film is based. The film is also available on VOD for rent or purchase.
Also available for rent or purchase this week: CARNIVEROUS with DMX, BRAINJACKED, the RED RIDING TRILOGY, and the Ultimate MACHINE GIRL Collector’s Tin. You can find them all below, or find more in the Cinefantastique Online Store.
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