Laserblast – June 8 Home Video: Shutter Island, Shaun the Sheep, Animation Express

After last week’s deluge of horror, fantasy, and science fiction titles, it seems the river has run dry, leaving only a few to hit video store shelves this Tuesday, June 8. Chief among these is SHUTTER ISLAND, Martin Scorsese’s Gothic thriller, with horrific overtones, which did good business in theatres this February, even though many critics felt it did not match the filmmaker’s best work. Arriving on VOD, DVD, and Blu-ray, the film is not exactly getting the “special ultra edition” treatment, with only a pair of mini-documentaries offered as bonus features on the discs. The Blu-ray offers 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, plus French, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese – all in 5.1 Dolby Digital. There are also subtitles in English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. Both discs include these featurettes:

  • Behind the Shutters—Follows the film from its inception as an acclaimed novel through the production process and to the big screen. Includes interviews with cast and crew.
  • Into the Lighthouse—Discusses the historical landscape of psychiatric therapies during the 1950s through interviews with cast and crew.

click to purchase
click to purchase

Also new on home video this week are two excursions into animation: SHAUN THE SHEEP – ONE GIANT LEAP FOR LAMBKIND and ANIMATION EXPRESS. SHAUN THE SHEEP is a 35-minute short subject from Aardman Animation, featuring the character of Shaun, first seen in Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit adventure, A CLOSE SHAVE, directed by Nick Park; this time, the story involves paranormal activity, “Unidentified Farm Objects,” and some weird-looking aliens. The film is available only on DVD.
ANIMATION EXPRESS is an anthology of short animation films, some experimental, all imaginative and out of the ordinary. If you are familiar with the Spike and Mike midnight animation festival, you will have some idea of what to expect. The title is available as a single-disc Blu-ray or a double-disc DVD.
click to purchase
click to purchase

Also out this week is a new DVD release of HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLAN, a 1970 made-for-television thriller directed by Curtis Harrington (NIGHT TIDE). With Anthony Perkins starring as a tormented man returning from a stay in a mental hospital, the storyline might suggest an ersatz PSYCHO sequel, but the film is actually more in line modern Gothic thrillers like WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? and HUSH…HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE – which not coincidentally were written by or based on the work of Henry Farrel, who contributes the script here, working from his own novel. Julie Harris, Joan Hackett, and Kent Smith (CAT PEOPLE) co-star. There was a 2007 DVD release from Synergy, which is still available; the new disc is from Tango Entertainment.
You can find these and other horror, fantasy, and science fiction films for sale in the Cinefantastique Online Store. Many are also available via Video on Demand.

Shutter Island, Cinefantastique Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction Podcast – Volume 1, Episode 2

In the second installment of Cinefantastique’s new weekly podcast, Dan Persons, Steve Biodrowski, and Lawrence French look at Martin Scorsese’s new horror-thriller, SHUTTER ISLAND, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, and Max Von Sydow. Also: a look at the SHUTTER ISLAND videogame, and other news and reviews.
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SHUTTER ISLAND Press Conference – Horror Film Podcast

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of SHUTTER ISLAND
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of SHUTTER ISLAND

The embargo on the SHUTTER ISLAND press conference has lifted, so I’m putting it out for your entertainment and enrichment. However, I believe the embargo on criticism is still in place, so I can’t really set this up in the way that I’d like. You’re just going to have to wait for the BRAND NEW Cinefantastique Podcast to get my opinion (as well as that of editor Steve Biodrowski) on the film.
Suffice it to say that SHUTTER ISLAND is Martin Scorsese’s latest work, a dark exploration of the human psyche that has Leonardo DiCaprio’s U.S. Marshal going to the titular island to investigate the disappearance of an inmate from a hospital for the criminally insane. There, he discovers more than a smattering of sinister doings, and a couple of doctors — played by Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow — whose ministrations may or may not figure in the conspiracy. Curiosity piqued? The film opens on February 19th.
Click on the player to hear the New York press conference that featured Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ben Kingsley.