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Blu-ray Review: Of Unknown Origin
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Of Unknown Origin Scream Factory Blu-Ray Review - Peter Weller

Of Unknown Origin
Blu-ray
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Screenwriter: Brian Taggert
Cast: Peter Weller, Shannon Tweed, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane, Kenneth Welsh, Louis Del Grande, Maury Chaykin
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 89 Minutes
Release Date: May 22, 2018

“If it can’t scare them to death, it will find another way.”

Directed by George P. Cosmatos (Rambo: First Blood Part II, Cobra, and Tombstone) and written by Brian Taggert (V: The Final Battle, Poltergeist III), 1983’s Of Unknown Origin is based on the novel, The Visitor, by Chauncey G. Parker III. The film stars Peter Weller (RoboCop), Shannon Tweed (Hot Dog… The Movie, Meatballs III: Summer Job), and a giant, man-eating rat.

Bart Hughes (Weller) is a Wall Street executive caught up in the rat race of corporate America. While his wife (Tweed) and young son (Leif Anderson) leave for a vacation, Bart stays behind to work on a project that should earn him a promotion. Alone in his newly renovated Manhattan brownstone, Bart discovers that he isn’t alone at all, but rather an unwilling host to an unwanted houseguest.

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Blu-ray Review: The House That Dripped Blood
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: The House That Dripped Blood

The House That Dripped Blood
Blu-Ray
Director: Peter Duffell
Screenwriters: Robert Bloch, Russ Jones
Cast: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Ingrid Pitt, Denholm Elliot, Jon Pertwee, Nyree Dawn Porter
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG | 102 Minutes
Release Date: May 8, 2018

“Vampires! Voodoo! Vixens! Victims!”

The 1971 horror anthology film, The House That Dripped Blood, promises more than just alliteration. In addition to the vixens and vampires, there’s a lot to appreciate about this portmanteau production, namely Hammer horror icons Peter Cushing (The Curse of Frankenstein), Christopher Lee (The Satanic Rites of Dracula), and Ingrid Pitt (The Vampire Lovers). And if that isn’t enough, it also features Denholm Elliott (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who).

Written by Russ Jones and Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho, The House That Dripped Blood comes to us from Amicus Productions, the purveyor of horror anthologies like Tales from the Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), and Vault of Horror (1973).

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Blu-ray Review: The Strangers (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Scream Factory's The Strangers Collector's Edition

The Strangers
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Bryan Bertino
Screenwriter: Bryan Bertino
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Glenn Howerton, Gemma Ward
Distributor: Scream Factory
R/Unrated | 86/91 Minutes
Release Date: March 6, 2018

2008’s The Strangers, written and directed by Bryan Bertino, was inspired by two real-life events: the Tate murders, a series of killings carried out by members of the Manson Family in 1969; and a string of break-ins that occurred in the Texas filmmaker’s neighborhood as a child. One night, while his parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door of Bertino’s house, and his little sister answered it. The strangers on the doorstep were asking for someone who didn’t live there. Later, Bertino found out that these uninvited guests would knock on doors throughout the area; if no one was home, they would vandalize the property and take what they wanted.

As for the mask-wearing, knife-wielding sickos in The Strangers, the fact that someone’s home doesn’t discourage the intruders; it emboldens them. After a long night at a friend’s wedding reception, James (Scott Speedman, Underworld) and Kristen (Liv Tyler, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) return to James’ childhood summer home in rural South Carolina. Just after 4 a.m., there’s a knock at the door. A young blonde woman (Gemma Ward), whose face is obscured by shadow, asks for Tamara. When James tells her that she has the wrong house, the woman leaves with an unsettling utterance: “See you later.”

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Blu-ray Review: Drag Me To Hell (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Drag Me To Hell #1

Drag Me to Hell
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Adriana Barraza, Octavia Spencer, Ted Raimi
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG-13 | 99 Minutes
Release Date: February 13, 2018

“You’d be surprised what you’ll be willing to do, when the Lamia comes for you.”

In 2009, Sam Raimi, the filmmaker behind low-budget cult classics like The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness, returned to the horror genre with a vengeance with Drag Me to Hell.

Produced by Raimi and Rob Tapert‘s Ghost House Pictures and distributed by Universal Pictures, Drag me to Hell is like an off-the-rails dark ride at a demonic carnival – a gloriously over-the-top slapstick splatter-fest that delivers seismic shivers to the central nervous system.

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Blu-ray Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night (Collector's Edition)

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr.
Screenwriter: Michael Hickey
Cast: Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Linnea Quigley
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 79 / 85 Minutes
Release Date: December 5, 2018

“You see Santa Claus tonight you better run boy, you better run for ya life!”

1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night caused quite a stir when its marketing campaign suggested that Santa Claus was a knife-wielding psychopath. TV spots, which aired between episodes of shows like Three’s Company and Little House on the Prairie, led to enraged parents complaining that their children were terrified of Santa Claus. Community leaders and parent-teacher associations organized events at theaters and malls around the country to protest the slasher flick.

In response, TriStar Pictures, the film’s distributor, pulled all advertising for the movie a week after its release on November 15, 1984. Shortly after that, the film was withdrawn from theaters altogether. 33 years later, one of the most controversial films of the ’80s is back in a brand new high-definition Blu-ray release! Scream Factory’s two-disc collector’s edition comes with a new 4K transfer restored from the original film negative and hours of newly produced bonus material.

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Blu-ray Review: Misery (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: Misery (Collector's Edition)

Misery
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Rob Reiner
Screenwriter: William Goldman
Cast: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Frances Sternhagen, Richard Farnsworth, Lauren Bacall
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 108 Minutes
Release Date: November 28, 2017

“I’m your number one fan. There’s nothing to worry about. You’re going to be just fine. I will take good care of you. I’m your number one fan.”

Directed by Rob Reiner (This is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride) and written by two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men), 1990’s Misery is based on the Stephen King’s 1987 novel of the same name. King, the world’s foremost writer of horror fiction, has had something of a resurgence in popularity lately, with this year’s theatrical releases of The Dark Tower and It, not to mention Netflix’s excellent adaptations of Gerald’s Game and 1922.

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Blu-ray Review: Dawn Of The Dead (2004) Collector’s Edition
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: Dawn of the Dead (Collector's Edition)

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Zack Snyder
Screenwriter: James Gunn
Cast: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Lindy Booth, Matt Frewer, Tom Savini, Ken Foree
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R/ Not Rated | 101 / 110 Minutes
Release Date: October 24, 2017

Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and written by James Gunn (Slither, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series), 2004’s Dawn of the Dead is a remake of George A. Romero’s 1978 film of the same name. Arguably Snyder’s best film, and one of the better horror remakes of the past 20 years, the 2004 movie honors the original while offering a fresh, innovative take on the zombie subgenre.

A mysterious virus is turning people into flesh-eating zombies. Unlike Romero’s slow but relentless living dead, Snyder and Gunn pull from Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later playbook and apply the rabies-like symptoms of the 2002 film’s “Rage Virus” to their reanimated corpses, creating a horde of aggressive, fast-moving zombies that can run, jump, and climb. Essentially, the zombies of the new millennium are CrossFit enthusiasts on bath salts.

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Blu-ray Review: The Poughkeepsie Tapes
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-Ray Review: The Poughkeepsie Tapes from Scream Factory

The Poughkeepsie Tapes
Blu-ray Combo Pack
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Screenwriter: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Cast: Bobbi Sue Luther, Samantha Robson, Ivar Brogger
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 86 Minutes
Release Date: October 10, 2017

The Poughkeepsie Tapes, a found-footage horror film directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine and As Above, So Below), made its premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. The film was picked up by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and scheduled for a 2008 theatrical release – you may even remember seeing trailers for the movie before Frank Darabont’s The Mist. In spite of the promotional advertising, the docu-thriller was removed from the studio’s release schedule.

For years, the only way to watch Dowdle’s movie was a rough cut available on file-sharing sites. In 2014, however, the movie was given its first official release as a video on demand (VOD) title available through DirecTV. A month later, it was removed from the VOD platform for reasons unknown. As a result, the movie has gained an underground following as being something akin to a snuff film, so violent – so dark and disturbing – that it isn’t suitable for mainstream audiences. Enter Scream Factory, Shout Factory’s sub-division of forgotten horror and science-fiction films, who are giving the film its first proper home video release.

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Blu-ray Review: Teen Wolf Too (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: Teen Wolf Too (Collector’s Edition)

Teen Wolf Too
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Christopher Leitch
Screenwriter: Tim Kring
Cast: Jason Bateman, Kim Darby, John Astin, Paul Sand, James Hampton, Mark Holton, Estee Chandler, Stuart Fratkin
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG | 94 Minutes
Release Date: August 8, 2017

1987 brought with it some of my favorite films, including Predator, RoboCop, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Hellraiser, Evil Dead II, and The Monster Squad, just to name a few. ’87 also gave us some of the worst sequels ever, like Jaws: The Revenge, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, and Teen Wolf Too, now available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory, known for delivering definitive releases of cult classics and forgotten genre films.

Directed by Christopher Leitch (writer of Universal Solider, director of She Fought Alone), Teen Wolf Too is a carbon-copy of Rod Daniel’s 1985 film, minus the charm. I have to assume that this movie was conceived as a direct sequel to the original, with Scott becoming a certified “party animal,” livin’ it up at college on a basketball scholarship. After Fox, who had become a big star after Back to the Future, dropped out, rewrites created a new character that could serve as a stand-in for Scott. Enter Jason Bateman (Zootopia, Horrible Bosses), brother of Fox’s Family Ties co-star, Justine Bateman, who stars as Todd Howard, Scott’s cousin.

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Blu-ray Review: Teen Wolf (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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Blu-ray Review: Teen Wolf (Collector's Edition)

Teen Wolf
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Rod Daniel
Screenwriter: Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman
Cast: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Scott Paulin, Susan Ursitti, Jerry Levine, Jay Tarses, Mark Holton, Matt Adler, Lorie Griffin
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG | 92 Minutes
Release Date: August 8, 2017

“There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.”

Looking back, 1985 was a pretty incredible year for movies. The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, The Color Purple, Brazil, Fright Night, Clue, Weird Science, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Rocky IV, the list goes on and on. As great of a year it was for movies, it was an even better year for Michael J. Fox, who starred in two of 1985’s hits: Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future and Rod Daniel‘s Teen Wolf.

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