Laserblast: Star Trek Season 1 Blu-ray, X-Men, The Uninvited

This week, science fiction, fantasy and horror DVDs are dominated by theatrical releases; that is to say, the opening of X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE this weekend and the upcoming debut of the new STAR TREK film have inspired some cash-in-while-we-can home video releases. This include a Blu-ray version of the first season of the original STAR TREK, and two animated  X-MEN movies on DVD. The other high-profile release is the disappointing horror film, THE UNINVITED, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.

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STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – Season 1 was previously available on HD-DVD; in its new Blu-ray incarnation the episodes are available in their original versions and in the enhanced versions from a few years ago (which updated the special effects with relatively unobtrusive computer-generated imagery). The discs is filled with bonus material, much of it ported over from the HD-DVD, plus some new features, including an option to hear the soundtracks in the original mono or in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. There is also pop-up trivia and picture-in-picture commentary, an interactive tour, and home movie footage filmed on set.
X-MEN VOLUME 1 and VOLUME 2 (Marvel DVD Comci Book Collection) are geared to appeal probably more to fans of the comics than the feature films. THE UNINVITED should appeal to viewers who enjoy genteel thrills and are not too concerned about coherency.
If you’re looking for something of the cult variety, there is THE SHE-BEAST, the first feature film from director Michael Reeves, who went on to make the 1967 classic WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Unfortunately, SHE-BEAST – despite the presence of Horror Queen Barbara Steele – is a weak, low-budget effort, only of interest to fans who feel they have to see the complete ouvre of either genre figure. There are a few traces of the talent that would bloom in WITCHFINDER, but that’s about it.
Steele’s fans can also check out TALES FROM THE TOMB, one of those 10-disc DVD sets filled with public domain titles. The cover promises films starring Vincent Price, Steele and others; we’re betting Price’s entry is HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL or LAST MAN ON EARTH, and Steele’s is NIGHTMARE CASTLE.
Also out this week:

  • Of interest for just plain weirdness if nothing else is ONE-EYED MONSTER, about the cast and crew of a porn film who must fight off an alien menace. Ron Jeremy stars.
  • A British television version of NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR, featuring the late horror star Peter Cushing, gets a DVD release.
  • Nagisa Oshim’as EMPIRE OF PASSION – the art house director’s one kaidan (ghost story) gets the Criterion Collection DVD treatment.


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