Holiday Specials

TRICKS & TREATS: HALLOWEEN DVD’S 2003

By • Oct 30th, 2003 •

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A few weeks ago, CNN, on its moving ticker tape, mentioned that it was the anniversary of the shooting of the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in Philadelphia. All day this factoid ran blithely by on viewers’ monitors. It was a nice acknowledgment of the film’s genuine stature. However, wasn’t it Pittsburgh, not Philadelphia, where the horror classic was created. I wonder how many calls they received, or if they received any at all?

Halloween is upon us again, and each year the number of genre films on DVD grows larger and more prestigious. There were few Universals this year, unlike years past. But other wonderful treasures have finally made their way to the digital domain, and herein we celebrate a few.

THE TENANT
FINAL DESTINATION 2
BRAIN DAMAGE
DEAD OF NIGHT & THE QUEEN OF SPADES
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK
HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
THE MAN WHO LAUGHS
GOD TOLD ME TO
THE HOUSE OF A 1000 CORPSES

And when you’re not watching DVDs, you might try TV, since some stations take advantage of the Halloween spirit. AMC, for instance, is doing their 7th MonsterFest from October 26-31. Included will be an original special, SHORT SCREAMERS, hosted by Clive Barker, featuring innovative horror shorts. There will be a television premiere – PINATA:SURVIVAL ISLAND. And of course there will be HALLOWEEN 2,3,4 & 5, but not the original. For that, you have to pick up the recent Anchor Bay Special Edition.

Next year’s Halloween DVD shopping list will have to be a doozy. The prizes of 2003 were pretty much the choice releases from decades past. But in the past two years there’s been a renaissance of the unexpurgated horror film, often chock full of the kind of gore and pestilence which flooded the glory days of the 70s and 80s. 28 DAYS LATER (already out on DVD, from Fox), CABIN FEVER, the remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, the upcoming remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD. Every studio’s developing one or more, or shooting one. Even my1987 production of STREET TRASH, a black comedy gore classic, is hitting the DVD shelves next Spring, with an all new, all-offensive feature-length documentary. It’s gonna be a helluva year.

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