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The Honeymooners Specials: A Christmas Carol [DVD]

During the mid-1970s, Jackie Gleason revived “The Honeymooners” franchise for a series of four television specials. This 1977 production finds Ralph Kramden somehow getting himself recruited as the director of his bus company’s holiday season play, an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.” With Ed Norton as his assistant director and their wives Alice and Trixie shanghaied into the cast, one can hear the chaos coming from a mile away.
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Deadly Friend (1986): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Wes Craven was a man who managed to re-invent the horror genre at least three times during his entire career. Craven was a man who helped define a lot of the modern tropes we take for granted, and yes, even brought the nineties out of the drudges with his jolt of adrenaline known as “Scream.” However, sometimes Craven’s efforts didn’t always click, and while he had a knack for fascinating characters and complex situations, “Deadly Friend” is one of his more notable genre misfires.

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Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958): The Film Detective Special Edition [Blu-Ray]

The Z Movie to end all Z movies, “Frankenstein’s Daughter” is both a cult classic and a classic piece of cinematic trash. It’s a god awful attempt to take the Frankenstein tale and retro-fit it in to a teen horror drama about coming of age, legacy, and uncomfortable scenes of men aggressively hitting on high school girls. In either case, “Frankenstein’s Daughter” is something of an anomaly, it’s a movie that’s been widely accepted within the genre, but it’s just so painfully bad when you finally experience it.

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Legend (1985): 2-Disc Limited Edition [Blu-Ray]

I haven’t been the biggest fan of Ridley Scott’s output over the years, but there’s no denying his one two punch of “Alien” and “Legend” is immense. Often times modern audiences forget to cite “Legend” as one of the benchmarks of the fantasy genre. It’s probably the quintessential dark fantasy film and the one film I think of when I refer to fantasy films. There’s everything here from goblins, and trolls, to unicorns, and a valiant warrior, in the form of Tom Cruise. There’s also the unparalleled performance by Tim Curry whose delivers a stunning turn as the Lord of Darkness.

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Alone in the Dark (1982): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

It’s too bad that in the eighties, in the midst of the big slasher movie boom, that “Alone in the Dark” was almost completely lost in the shuffle of the endless genre titles thrown in to theaters. At a time when audiences wanted splatter films and masked slashers, “Alone in the Dark” snuck by them for too long. Whole it’s not nearly the slasher that the original art for it implies, what we actually get is a chaotic home invasion horror movie with a sick sense of humor.

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Demons I & II: Special Limited Edition [Blu-ray]

Regarded by many horror fans as one of the greatest horror movies of the eighties, and one of the greatest Italian splatterfests, “Demons” has carved a larger than life reputation in horror cinema, even in spite of its messy sequel line up. Lamberto Bava’s “Demons” is the essence of punk rock horror, a movie so unabashedly chaotic, violent, and gruesome, but one also packing a sense of mysticism. Its sequel is a pretty awesome follow up that repeats the original’s formula, but brings it in to a new arena where humans are hopelessly trapped.

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Night of the Animated Dead (2021) [Blu-Ray/Digital]

The last time “Night of the Living Dead” was animated was in 2009’s “Re-Animated” where director Mike Schneider enlisted a slew of animators to offer their own interpretations of various scenes from George A. Romero’s masterpiece. That wasn’t so much a remake, as it felt more like an art installation, or a cinematic experiment that allowed us to view the classic film through various lenses and scopes, giving us unique peek in to the terrifying narrative. “Night of the Animated Dead” has a chance to feel like a unique re-imagining. Instead it picks off the corpse of George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.” Continue reading