The Digital Wire Blu-ray/DVD Release News: Romero, Reynolds, and the (Stephen) King

Autumn is here at last and there’s no better way to mark the occasion than by checking out this week’s edition of The Digital Wire….well, actually you could take a stimulating walk around your neighborhood on a brisk and sunny day, perhaps start getting your Halloween decorations and plans in order, or maybe make yourself a hot cup of tea and sit out on your porch as the most gorgeous of sunsets begins. When you’re done with all of that, check out this week’s edition of The Digital Wire because we’ve got a crowded field of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and action releases on home video all battling for your attention and the funds you have stored away in that Christmas Club savings account.

Below you’ll find info on several future home video releases complete with technical specs, release dates, and links to pre-order at Amazon. We would greatly appreciate it if you use those links to order because a small percentage of each order helps keep this website running at max power. The cover art for certain titles has yet to be finalized.

Filmmaker George Romero is legendary among horror fans for making zombies legitimately terrifying movie monsters with his six Dead features. Two of his lesser-known fright flicks made under strenuous circumstances for the long-shuttered Orion Pictures will be making their debut in high-definition on November 18, 2014 courtesy of Shout! Factory’s sci-fi/horror imprint Scream Factory.

First up is his 1993 Stephen King adaptation The Dark Half, which stars Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton as a celebrated novelist who tries to “kill off” an alter ego he used as a cover to write violent crime novels. Unfortunately what he believed to be a simple pseudonym has taken on a life of its own and returns from the grave with a murderous vengeance. The film also stars Amy Madigan and Michael Rooker. Extra features on the Blu-ray will include:

NEW Audio Commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero
NEW The Sparrows Are Flying Again!: The Making of “The Dark Half” – An all-new retrospective with Writer/Director George A. Romero, Producer Declan Baldwin, Actors Michael Rooker, Robert Joy, Rutanya Alda and John Amplas, Composer Christopher Young, Special Make-Up Effects Creators John Vulich and Everett Burrell, Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Kutchaver, Second Unit Director Tom Dubensky and Editor Pasquale Buba (36 Minutes)
Deleted Scenes
Animated Storyboards for the original ending
Behind-the-Scenes Footage – Special Effects and On the Set
Vintage “Making of THE DARK HALF” plus additional interview clips
Theatrical Trailer and TV Spot
Still Gallery

Next up is his underrated killer monkey yarn Monkey Shines. Subtitled An Experimented in Fear for its theatrical and home video releases, this had its own checkered post-production history and didn’t deliver on the financial expectations of Romero and the studio. It has picked up a cult following through video and cable airings and is a terrific little chiller that finds the director trading in the graphic gore effects of his zombie movies for sustained mood and tension that would make Hitchcock proud. Extra features on this Blu-ray will include:

NEW Audio Commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero
NEW An Experiment In Fear – The Making of “Monkey Shines” – An all-new retrospective with Writer/Director George A. Romero, actors Jason Beghe, John Pankow and Kate McNeil, Executive Producer Peter Grunwald, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini, Special Make-Up Effects Assistants Greg Nicotero and Everett Burrell and Editor Pasquale Buba (49 minutes)
Alternate Ending
Deleted Scenes
Behind-the-Scenes Footage
Vintage “Making of MONKEY SHINES” plus additional interview clips
Theatrical Trailers & TV Spot
Still Gallery

Planet of the Vampires, the Italian space horror classic directed by the maestro Mario Bava that was a huge influence on the original Alien, will be making its debut on Blu-ray and DVD from Scorpion Releasing and Kino Video on October 28, 2014, just in time for Halloween. Extra features will include:

Audio Commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
Short Story by Renato Pestriniero
Trailers From Hell with Joe Dante
Trailers From Hell with Josh Olson
Highlight from the alternate music score
Still Gallery from Alan Upchurch collection>
Original Italian Opening credit
Original Theatrical Trailer

Fans of Burt Reynolds’ backwater moonshine drive-in action classic double feature will be pleased as spiked punch to know that both are coming soon to high-definition from Kino Video. Extra features on 1973’s White Lightning Blu-ray and DVD will include:

“Burt Reynolds: Back to the Bayou Part 1” – Brand New Interview with Screen Legend Burt Reynolds
Original Theatrical Trailer

The 1976 sequel Gator will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD and will include the following extra features:

“Burt Reynolds: Back to the Bayou Part 2” – Brand New Interview with Screen Legend Burt Reynolds
Original Theatrical Trailer

Both titles will be released on November 11, 2014.

The Criterion Collection recently announced its release slate for December and fans of the films of Terry Gilliam are bound to be excited by the news that his beloved comic fantasy classic Time Bandits is coming to Blu-ray on December 9, 2014.

New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Terry Gilliam, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary featuring Gilliam, cowriter/actor Michael Palin, and actors John Cleese, David Warner, and Craig Warnock
New piece narrated by film writer David Morgan and featuring production designer Milly Burns and costume designer James Acheson on the creation of the film’s various historical periods and fantasy worlds
Conversation between Gilliam and film scholar Peter von Bagh at Finland’s Midnight Sun Film Festival in 1998
Excerpt from a 1981 appearance by actor Shelley Duvall on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow show
PLUS: An essay by critic David Sterritt

Blu-ray and

The first season of the Steven Spielberg-produced science fiction series Extant starring Halle Berry, Goran Visnijic, and Camryn Manheim will premiere on Blu-ray and DVD on December 16, 2014 from Paramount and CBS Home Entertainment. Extra features on both releases will include:

Extant: Filming Season One
The Story of Extant
Extant: The Pilot Episode – The Premiere
Extant: The Cast
7 CBS Launch Promos
Interview: Games of Words with Mickey Fisher
The Offspring
The Future World of Extant
The VFX of Extant

Another popular CBS series coming soon to home video is the Stephen King adaptation Under the Dome, whose second season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on December 9, 2014 from Paramount and CBS Home Entertainment. Extra features will include:

Readings From The Dome
Interview: Stephen King & Season 2
Welcome Back To Chester’s Mill
Filming The Season Premiere
A Journey Through Season 2
Inside/Outside: The Transmedia World
Season 2: The VFX

Out This Week

Halloween – The Complete Collection Limited Deluxe Edition: Blu-ray

Neighbors: Blu-ray|DVD

Saw – The Complete Movie Collection: Blu-ray|DVD

The Exorcist – The Complete Anthology: Blu-ray

The Rover: Blu-ray|DVD

Ghost in the Shell – 25th Anniversary Edition: Blu-ray

Those are the highlights of this week. Come back same time next week for more of the coolest home video news tidbits on the web.

1 Comment »

  1. The Saw Collection sounds great, but I already have the DVD’s and just can’t see myself forking any more $.

    Comment by Yolanda Anne Brown — September 23, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

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