If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I gotta tell ya, if you only are going to watch one movie about an evil, murderous, mutated head whose telepathically linked twin brother carries around in a basket while trying to enter the dating scene, it really should be "Basket Case". Or, you know one of the two sequels, because yes, this 1982 mega-low budget horror film was memorable enough to warrant both those films, and at least two other classics ("Frankenhooker" and "Brain Damage") to its crazed helmer, Frank Henelotter. I do mean ALL of this without a trace of sarcasm. Few directors are as downright odd (arguably, something is wrong with his brain), yet as accessible as Henelotter, and even though the film shows to be severely dated and is more funny than scary, it's still a great party film. The new blu-ray of this staple of b-horror begs the question, "Why would you upgrade this to HD in the first place?", but Frank answers the question himself with a brief introduction addressing specifically that concern, and sure enough, they actually took some time with it and came up with a much better looking transfer than I ever would have hoped for. Outtakes, a commentary track and a 15 minute short touring around the shooting locales with Frank round out bonus features making "Basket Case" a surprising candidate for one of the better HD horror re-releases for the year.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Basket Case [Blu-ray]
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (Blu-Ray)
There's one thing you'll for sure take away from watching this HD re-release of horror legend Wes Craven's first film, made way back in 1972: he's come a LONG way since then. Sure, it might not seem that way if you saw the execrable "My Soul to Take" last year, but at least he's not showing us rape scenes set to bubblegum pop music anymore. I suppose that odd juxtaposition was a large part of what was considered to be so shocking about "The Last House on the Left" when it originally hit theaters, causing some audiences (and theater owners) to steal copies of the film in order to destroy them. In fact, so many of the original prints ended up recut or defaced by projectionists, which Craven reveals in one of the bonus features included here, that they had to track down many different copies in order to piece together an 'uncut' version. And I suppose this new release is as uncut as we're ever gonna get it, despite the admittances of Craven and the film's producer, Sean Cunningham (better known as the creator of the original "Friday the 13th"), that there were several other sex and gore scenes that they never could locate prints of. The story, such as it is, involves a group of no-good types who are on the lam, and kidnap two young girls whom they end up raping and murdering. After an odd, uncomfortable, and under spoken 'OMG, what did we just do?' sequence, they end up trying to lay low in a nearby country house, not realizing that the parents of one of the girls they've killed live there. Rape and revenge...ah, the 70's. It's hard to call "The Last House on the Left" a 'good' film, but it represents a marked turning point in horror, and definitely shook people up at its time of release...I think it was banned in more countries than not. The new blu is accompanied by all the same bonus features from the last DVD release, but it's a sizable amount of stuff regardless.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Last House on the Left (Unrated Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]