The week of Tuesday, July 20 continues the month’s unfortunate trend of featuring no new horror, fantasy, or science fiction blockbusters making their home video debut. Dedicated fans of cinefantastique will have to make due with re-issues of cult movies upgraded with unrated cuts and/or Blu-ray technology.
Chief among these is GALAXY OF TERROR, one of two titles released this week as part of the Roger Corman Cult Classics line. This 1981 Corman production, directed by Bruce Clarke from a script he co-wrote with Marc Siegler, is the authentic version of what Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino failed to achieve in GRINDHOUSE: it’s an exploitation opus with more than enough sleazy sex and violence to appease the hardcore audience – and it has an interesting idea, too. (It’s about a team of astronauts who encounter a series of horrors inside a mysterious pyramid; it turns out the pyramid is projecting their own subconscious fears back at them, which they must overcome to survive.) GALAXY OF TERROR arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. The bonus features include:
- Commentary With Cast And Crew
- New Worlds: Producer Roger Corman, screenwriter Marc Siegler and director Bruce D. Clark discuss the origins of the film
- The Crew Of The Quest: Actors Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Taaffe O Connell and Grace Zabriskie discuss their experiences as crew members of the Quest
- Planet Of Horrors: A detailed look into the creation of the memorable sets of the film and alien landscapes
- Future King: Memories of co-production designer (and future visionary filmmaker) James Cameron from members of the cast and crew
- Old School: A journey into the complicated mechanical and makeup effects with artists Allan A. Apone, Douglas J. White, Alec Gillis and others
- Launch Sequence: Co-editor R.J. Kizer walks us through postproduction and a profile on composer Barry Schrader
- Theatrical Trailers
- Extensive Photo Galleries Including Posters, Production Sketches And Designs
- Theatrical Trailer With Commentary From Writer-Director Joel Olsen, Courtesy Of Trailersfromhell.com
- Original Screenplay (PDF)
The second Roger Corman Cult Classic arriving in stores is FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982), which like GALAXY OF TERROR dates from Corman’s time as owner of New World Pictures – which means he stayed in the office and left the directing up to Allan Holzman, working from a script by Tim Curnen. The film is not without its cheesy charm (such as the use of egg cartoons to provide details to the walls of the space station sets); unfortunately, the result is considerably less interesting than GALAXY OF TERROR, being essentially an ALIEN knock-off. Still, you have to give Corman credit for providing a good home video presentation, loaded with features not normally lavished on some little exploitation title. Bonus features for the DVD and Blu-ray releases include:
- New Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) Transfer From The Interpositive Film Elements Of The Theatrical Cut
- The Unrated Directors Cut (4:3 – Full Frame
- Audio Commentary With Director Allan Holzman On The Directors Cut
- Interview With Producer Roger Corman
- Interviews With Cast And Crew Including Director Allan Holzman, Composer Susan Justin And Actor Jesse Vint
- A Look At The Special Effects Of Forbidden World With John Carl Buechler, Robert Skotak, Tony Randel And R. Christopher Biggs
- Poster And Stills Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE reappears on DVD. The disc remains the same, but this Collector’s Edition includes a “detailed re-creation of The Marauder’s Map printed on parchment paper… made by The Noble Collection.” Definitely a must-have for those who must have everything Potter.
EVIL ALIENS, a little cult movie from 2005, returns to store shelves in a new Blu-ray presentation that offers both the “Theatrical Edition” (which received a handful of screenings in 2006) and an Unrated Edition. The official description promises cult excess along the lines of BAD TASTE and THE EVIL DEAD.
The new “Bong Joon-ho Collection” is a four-disc box DVD set that packages the director’s excellent monster movie THE HOST with two other Bong Joon-ho films, MOTHER and BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE.
Television fans can while away the hours with BEING HUMAN: SEASON 1, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD. Or if that doesn’t appeal, there is TIN MAN, the TV miniseries variation on THE WIZARD OF OZ, an already-available title that shows up on a new Blu-ray disc.
As for the rest, we get a handful of direct-to-video titles arriving on DVD: 2001 MANIACS: FIELD OF SCREAMS, a sequel to 2001 MANIACS (which was a follow-up to Hershell Gordon Lewis’s archetypal gore film, 2000 MANIACS); A TOWN CALLED PANIC; and ALTITUDE FALLING.
These and other horror, fantasy, and science fiction films are available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Video on Demand in the Cinefantastique Online Store.