Favorite Horror Blu-rays Of 2017

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by CPT HOOK, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    In the midst of all these "Best Of Year" lists, let's talk blu-rays! This is "HorrorDigital.com" after all.

    Here are my picks:

    2017 BLU 1 - 20.JPG
    2017 BLU 21 - 41.JPG

    1.) Teen Witch (Kino / Scorpion)
    2.) House: The Collection (Arrow UK)
    3.) Psycho Cop Returns (Vinegar Syndrome)
    4.) Hack-O-Lantern (Massacre Video)
    5.) Slumber Party Massacre II / Slumber Party Massacre III (Scream Factory)
    6.) American Gothic (Scream Factory)
    7.) Slaughterhouse (Vinegar Syndrome)
    8.) One Dark Night (Code Red)
    9.) After Midnight (Scream Factory)
    10.) Twisted Nightmare (Code Red)
    11.) Sole Survivor (Code Red)
    12.) Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker (Code Red)
    13.) Ice Cream Man (Vinegar Syndrome)
    14.) Kingdom Of The Spiders (Code Red)
    15.) Madhouse (Arrow)
    16.) Witchtrap (Vinegar Syndrome)
    17.) Serial Mom (Scream Factory)
    18.) Silent Scream (Scorpion)
    19.) Demon Wind (Vinegar Syndrome)
    20.) Silent Night, Deadly Night (Scream Factory)
    21.) Ghostkeeper (Code Red)
    22.) Tales From The Hood (Scream Factory)
    23.) Popcorn (Synapse)
    24.) The Slayer (Arrow)
    25.) Deadtime Stories (Scream Factory)
    26.) Night School (Warner Archive)
    27.) Parents (Vestron)
    28.) Humongous (Scorpion)
    29.) The Poughkeepsie Tapes (Scream Factory)
    30.) Re-Animator (Arrow)
    31.) The Phantasm Collection (Well Go USA)
    32.) Poltergeist II / Poltergeist III (Scream Factory)
    33.) Donnie Darko (Arrow)
    34.) Slaughter High (Vestron)
    35.) The Resurrected (Scream Factory)
    36.) Cathy's Curse (Severin)
    37.) Disconnected / Psychos In Love (Vinegar Syndrome)
    38.) The Gate (Vestron)
    39.) Evil Ed (Arrow)
    40.) Night Angel (Kino)
     
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  2. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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    The Phantasm Collection (Well Go USA)
    House: The Collection (Arrow UK)
    Suspiria (Synapse)
    Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series (CBS)
    Willard ‘71 (Scream Factory)
    Parents (Vestron)
    Wild Beasts (Severin)
    Deathdream (Blue Underground)
    Brain Damage (Arrow)
    Tales from the Hood (Scream Factory)
     
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  3. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    My favourites:

    Don't Answer the Phone!
    (Vinegar Syndrome)
    Rolling Vengeance (Kino Lorber)
    Exterminator 2 (Scream Factory)
    The Bat People (Scream Factory)
    The Resurrected (Scream Factory)
    Suspiria (Synapse)
    The Green Slime (Warner Archive Collection)
    Kingdom of the Spiders (Code Red)
    Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (Code Red)
    Simon, King of the Witches (Code Red)
    Sole Survivor (Code Red)
    The Dark (Code Red)
    Slithis (Code Red)
    Phantasm box set (Arrow)
    Phenomena (Arrow)
    Madhouse (Arrow)
    The Slayer (Arrow)
    Anthropophagus (88 Films)
    Creepozoids (88 Films)
    Bloody Friday / Blutiger Freitag (Subkultur Entertainment)

    Still need to compare my Arrow releases of Carrie and The Thing to Scream Factory's, and my copies of And Now the Screaming Starts! and Silent Night, Deadly Night have not arrived yet.

    Biggest let-down:

    Humongous (Scorpion) - sorry Walt, that weird, reverberating audio error really takes me out of the movie. :(

    I was also considering mentioning Scream Factory's Hell Night (officially out in 2018, but some buyers started getting theirs in December 2017). Reportedly, the best source they could find isn't great, and while that can be forgiven, it is also incomplete. So they've inserted SD material to fill out the gaps, which is fine, except in one instance, a video posted on Blu-ray.com show the transition to be less smooth than it could have been.
     
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  4. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    This is tough because there's a bunch of releases I've bought that came out this year that I haven't even popped into my Blu-ray player... and while I may have seen/love some of these movies previously it'd be unfair to favourite them against a release I watched and actually went through all the special features. Plus I'd be hard pressed to even remember what all I bought this year/what even came out this year hahaha. So here's three releases I watched in the last couple months that came out this year that I actually watched both the movie and the special features and can't rave enough about them:

    Psychos in Love (Vinegar Syndrome) - Absolutely STACKED release with a ton of great special features! Also I really loved the movie which was a first time watch.
    Disconnected (Vinegar Syndrome) - Same director as Psychos in Love, but this flick is serious in tone and is an interesting indie horror film. Another fantastic stacked release from VS, with the highlight being the unreleased "Twenty Questions" hour long docu-short film that I found absolutely fascinating.
    Liquid Sky (Vinegar Syndrome) - VS knocks it out of the park again with this jam-packed release of this offbeat, weird, and wonderful cult film.

    I know Synapse's Suspiria will definitely make the list, but I haven't popped it in yet...
     
  5. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Even though I have more Scream Factory on my list (due to the sheer volume of titles they release), Vinegar Syndrome is by far the top genre label of the year.

    Slaughterhouse and Witchtrap are just as stacked as Psychos In Love (2+ hours of video extras).

    It is tough to rank these because you have to take into account the movie, presentation, extras, etc. For instance, Humongous would have been much higher on my list if not for the audio glitch. Evil Ed, I'm not even a huge fan of the movie but the extras are PHENOMENAL. It's this year's From A Whisper To A Scream.

    Extras were a bit lite on American Gothic and After Midnight for them to be that high on the list, but the movies are just so much fun. They're ones I'll watch over and over.

    Transfer on Twisted Nightmare is a bit rough, but over the moon happy to have it on disc (and with extras to boot).

    Teen Witch, Psycho Cop Returns, and Hack-O-Lantern were all holy grail blus, and should have easily been my top 3. But I had so much fun going through Arrow's House Collection, the extras are great on all four movies. It was four consecutive nights of entertainment for $40. Loved it.
     
  6. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    While I am generally impressed with the quality of Vinegar Syndrome's releases, quite frankly, most of their 2017 output simply didn't interest me. I didn't get a single one of their October releases. I'm fervently hoping that 2018 will be the year when they finally give Last House on Dead End Street the release which has been too long on the making.

    For me, 2017 is a tie between Code Red and Arrow. Code Red has released some titles with downright gorgeous transfers - who would have imagined that The Dark could look so stunning? Thanks to Walt Olsen, who located the camera negatives and oversaw the restoration process. Also, Code Red has been very industrious, and has released quite a few of my personal favourites. Arrow maintains a profile of technical excellence, and they've delivered quality releases of some classic titles as well as a few choice obscurer ones. I'm particularly hoping to see more of the latter in 2018, with American Horror Project Vol. 2 being highest on my wish list. That said, if the rumours of a Halloween anniversary box set turn out to be true, that would be most welcome to.
     
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  7. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    My list.

    1) Suspiria (Synapse Blu)– far and away my favorite release of the year and well worth the wait. More than many other horror films, Suspiria is meant to be a visual experience and Synapse’s painstaking restoration is perhaps the best I have ever seen for any film. The 4.0 sound is also a revelation. This is a must-own reference-quality disc.

    2) Re-Animator (Arrow Blu) – An essential title receives a much-needed upgrade and makes all the hand wringing over the price tag on the German Blu go away in one fell swoop. Some great extras, the multiple cuts… this one is a solid #2 for the year.

    3) Brain Damage (Arrow Blu) – Another favorite makes it to Blu in a stunningly beautiful restoration and package. As much as I love Re-Animator, I am equally fond of this gem from the director of Basket Case.

    4) Rawhead Rex (Kino Blu) – It’s not a good film, but it is a memorable one and one that for horror fans of certain age holds a certain nostalgic appeal dues to it’s Fangoria cover/article and release. Kino’s restoration is as good as the film could possibly look, I’d imagine and the disc plays great in any setup.

    5) 976-EVIL (Sony Blu) – another film of questionable quality but the really nice transfer of this marginal title flew under the radar. I was more than pleased to get this and have my fingers crossed the sequel gets some attention shortly.

    6) Butcher Baker, Nightmare Maker (Code Red Blu)– a twisted, effective shocker with a top notch transfer from Code Red, this one was a “new discovery” for me this year and I instantly fell in love with how dark, mean-spirited and gleefully over the top it was.

    7) Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut Deluxe Edition – After I got past the sticker shock on this, I was super pleased to have this. Along side the Shout edition with the Theatrical and Director’s cut Blu’s this now sits featuring all the cuts. The insertion of the SD bits is pretty seamless.

    8) House (4 film box from Arrow UK) – This imported version adds the third and fourth films and makes the completist in me insanely happy. The third film is really fun and the inclusion of the fourth film - a BAD movie – makes for one of the most impressive sets of the year. Critters next, please!

    9) Phantasm Box Set (Well Go) – The real gem here is the restoration of the original Phantasm, as part 2 is the Scream disc and the others, while good, are definitely second fiddle to the original (though I have a fondness for part 4).

    10) The Bird with The Crystal Plumage (Arrow Blu) – Another title that seemingly did not get the treatment it deserved until now. This is not my favorite, or even second or third favorite Argento, but it’s easy to appreciate it in this edition.

    11) George Romero: Between Night and Dawn (Arrow Blu) – Definitely limited in what it could be because of available elements this set is still an incredibly handsome, necessary set featuring some of the lesser known but still interesting films in the catalogue of a master.

    12) The Witchmaker (Code Red Blu) – This is not a stunning restoration, it is a very warts-and-all situation but it is of a film that I find personally very compelling. The villain is not necessarily bad or evil, just a product of what he is. The characterizations of the “bad guys” are very human, making for a film that seems to float above similar films of the time.

    13) Effects (AFGA Blu)– I love this dirty little oddity that, against all odds, has had it’s (I believe) one remaining print transferred to HD. The films is the most indie of indie horror – brooding and cheap, but the fact it is on Blu Ray pleases me to no end.

    14) Sole Survivor (Code Red)– I always loved this one – a pre-Final Destination tale that manages to be creepy and effective in an era of silly and goofy.

    15) Inquisition (Mondo Macabro Blu) – 2017 was the year of Naschy and despite seeing some multi-disc sets, this release was my favorite. It’s like a more gothic/restrained Mark of the Devil in some ways but represents what I like best about Naschy’s non-Werewolf output.

    16) Dr. Orloff’s Monster (Redemption Blu) – Early Franco, that classic gothic vibe really hits the sweet spot for me. While the transfer is not groundbreaking, it is made up for by another stellar commentary from Tim Lucas.

    17) Jess Franco’s Forgotten Films Vol. 1: Silence of the Tomb/The Sinister Eyes of Doctor Orloff – It’s not perfect, and some subtitles are wrong, etc. But Dorado is doing god’s work with bringing us these low-profile Franco gems. If they keep making ‘em, I’ll keep buying ‘em.
     
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  8. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Arrow would have my vote for 2015 and 2016, but it felt like their output maybe slowed down a bit, meanwhile Vinegar Syndrome's picked up. Arrow still had some great releases this year.

    Code Red / Scorpion would probably be my second. They were really cranking them out this year. I watched my Slithis blu-ray the other night, and while I can't say I loved the movie, who would have thought a trashy '70s creature feature shot in the Venice canals could look that good? Same goes for The Dark, which I also have to admit I didn't care for the movie. They've definitely been stepping up their game in terms of transfers. Haven't watched my blu of The Return yet, but that's a really fun movie I'm excited to own on blu-ray.
     
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  9. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Off-topic, but it's crazy what the canals looked like then compared to now!
     
  10. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Definitely crazy! It looked like the neighborhood around them hadn't even been developed. This was 1978, then in 1984's A Nightmare On Elm Street they pretty much look like they do now.
     
  11. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Yeah - that scene when the boys are paying in the undeveloped area... I couldn't believe it. It's all been mostly re-built and over-built with modern monster homes. I'd walk there with my kid when he was a baby and we lived in Venice, I barely recognized it in Slithis. Reminder that Venice wasn't the hip, gentrified surf mecca it is (mostly) these days.
     
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  12. Kim Bruun

    Kim Bruun Resident Scream Queen

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    Yes! There were things I noticed for the first time when I watched the Synapse Blu-ray. I was always curious about Pat's killer. Is it a person? A magically conjured being? We never really see it clearly, but we do see it again, standing against the wall when Suzy goes exploring. I never noticed that before. I feel about Suspiria the way I feel about most of Argento's masterpieces: They show where Argento's genius lies and where it doesn't lie, and Suspiria is best experienced via a technically brilliant presentation.

    You just mentioned two of my favourite Code Red titles. :D I like their period ambience and cool monsters, but I can see how they wouldn't be for everyone.

    As for VS, I'm more into gritty, sleazy, and scary horror than goofy and clumsy, and I kinda feel much of VS's 2017 output falls into the latter category. Again, give me Last House on Dead End Street already. Or Silent Night, Bloody Night. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  13. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Seriously.
     
  14. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    That's fair. I love the '70s and early '80s stuff too, but I also really love the late '80s and '90s fare just as much, and I think that has been a bit of a blind-spot on the blu-ray format so far (especially '90s). So I really enjoyed seeing that rectified a bit in 2017 and hope to see more in 2018!

    That said, VS did have some bonkers '70s sleaze offerings, though I'd agree not enough to put them in the top spot if that's what you're into. Blood Mania was tawdry fun (which reminds me, I still need to go back and watch Point Of Terror). Malibu High is, frankly, insane. A Woman's Torment is a movie I really didn't have much interest in, and I kind of loved it (worth noting, I watched the theatrical version and not the hardcore). Sweet Sugar, Trip With The Teacher, and Pick Up are all fun exploitation gems. I still haven't cracked open my Nurse Sherri blu-ray, and I really need to buy Seeds / Vapors ASAP.

    And like you, I'm also eagerly awaiting Arrow's American Horror Project Vol 2, which could definitely edge them back into #1 for 2018 if it's anything like the first. I thought I read they were working on Vol 3 as well, so could we possibly see TWO volumes hitting in 2018?! The Romero set was a great in-between during the wait, and I'm extremely curious about the upcoming Scalpel.
     
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  15. f.ramses

    f.ramses sociopath

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    Seeds (Vinegar Syndrome) – For years I’ve wanted to see this version of the movie but had long assumed that the old SWV DVD with the Harrington cut, unfinished trailer, and incomplete workprint was going to be the best we were going to get and I’m real glad to be wrong here. For me this was the absolute best release of 2017; this release of my favorite Milligan is a true miracle and Vinegar Syndrome's finest hour.

    The Gate (Vestron) – Always enjoyed this one and was happy to see this come to BD. It’s not what made it make the list or anything but it was also nice to see the original artwork back as the cover instead of that bs they used for the DVD.

    Drive-In Massacre (Severin) – Hadn’t seen this one since VHS so the BD was a nice upgrade and then the movie was more entertaining then I remembered it being.

    Beyond the Darkness (Severin) – Really wasn’t too keen on buying yet another copy of this movie but it's a long-time favorite of mine so the slightly higher quality of this release vs the 88 Films release + the inclusion of a soundtrack CD made it pretty much impossible to pass up.

    Hack-O-Lantern (Massacre Video) – Passed on this VHS lots of times because of the shitty cover but the BD release got me to give it a try and it really wasn’t bad.

    Fango Bollente (Camera Obscura) – I didn’t think much of this movie throughout most of it but the ending was so grim and messed up that I changed my mind about it in the last few minutes. As you might imagine this release also looks fantastic.

    Suspiria (Synapse, BD + CD) – Not a huge fan of this movie but the set does seem to be the best of everything that’s out there so I will assume Suspiria finally has it’s definitive release.

    Phenomena (Arrow) – Wasn’t too excited about this release but bought it anyway since I barely remembered the movie and only had it on DVD and was immediately glad that I did. Everything looked real good, it’s nice to get all of the different versions and the soundtrack CD, and I remembered how much I enjoyed this movie.

    Red Roses of Passion (Vinegar Syndrome) – This one sounded interesting so I bought it even though I was going into it with low expectations and it was worth the gamble, great movie!
     

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