As some of you might know, especially if you follow me on Twitter (that’s twitter.com/horroreviews), I’m not just a horror enthusiast but I’m also a huge movie collector. I buy DVDs and Blu-Rays every time I can: horror movies, dramas, comedies, musicals, war films, blind-buys, flicks that I love, “so bad it’s good” flicks… everything!
With this post, that’s very different from what I generally do on HorrorWorld&Reviews, I wanted to share with you a specific part of my collection: Blu-Ray and DVD special editions of horror films. Not just every horror film though, since I thought it would be better to share with you some of the movies I love as well as underground (or lesser-known, if you will) horror gems that are worth mentioning and watching. In other words, you can see this list – complete with images and teeny tiny reviews – as a list of recommendations for movies you, perhaps, are not familiar with.
Without further ado, let’s delve into these movies, separated in different sections: ARROW VIDEOS, EUREKA!, OLD-SCHOOL HORROR CLASSICS, MIDNIGHT FACTORY, SPECIAL BOX SETS and RANDOM SPECIAL EDITIONS.
One last thing, whenever I mention a film I talked about on my blog before, I’ll link it so you can check it out in-depth if you’re curious.
- INFERNO (ITA, 1980): Dario Argento’s surreal masterpiece. Weird, gory and somewhat of a mix between giallo and supernatural horror.
- CONTAMINATION (ITA, 1980): my favourite ‘so bad it’s good’ horror flick. Not recommended unless you’re into this type of fun stuff.
- HOUNDS OF LOVE (AUS, 2017): slow-burn ‘torture-porn’ Aussie film based on true events. Quite edgy and very well-made.
- SOCIETY (USA, 1989): offbeat body-horror movie directed by the genius of Bryan Yuzna. Quirky, disturbing, great-sounding and funny all at one.
- THE THING (USA, 1982): John Carpenter’s masterpiece. No need to elaborate more.
- THE BURNING (USA, 1981): fantastic slasher flicks that’s just over-the-top fun. It’s in my personal top 5 best slasher movies of all time.
- SHIVERS (CAN, 1975): part of my David Cronenberg’s collection, this is a rough, gritty example of 70s body-horror. Great stuff, albeit not for everyone.
- PULSE (JAP, 2001): I reviews this J-horror not too long ago. Check that review out to know why this is a great film.
- BATTLE ROYALE (JAP, 2000): a twisted (and much better version) of the Hunger Games. I love it for many reasons I, unfortunately, can’t list right now.
- BLIND WOMAN’S CURSE (JAP, 1980): first time lead actress Miko Kaiji stars in this surreal/visionary exploiation horror flick that combines yakuza, horror, surrealism, nudity and sex. Definitely not for everyone, but I kinda like it!
- THE ENDLESS (USA, 2018): I reviewed this one recently, but I have to praise Arrow for their limited edition which includes RESOLUTION a sort of prequel that helps a lot to understand The Endless.
- INCIDENT IN A GHOSTLAND (CAN, 2018): from the director of one of my all-time favourite films, Martyrs, here comes a fantastic horror movie with an unforgettable twist. I almost can’t imagine anyone not liking this contemporary masterpiece in horror cinema!
- KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (USA, 1988): what can I say about this cult classic? I love it, it’s one of my favourite horror comedies of all time, due to the perfect balance of somewhat disturbing content and very funny scenes.
- VIDEODROME (CAN, 1983): probably my favourite movie by Cronenberg alongside The Fly, this one mixes Sci-fi and body-horror to a degree that was unseen before.
- RABID (CAN, 1977): a lower-budget Cronenberg’s flick that I do really like, but it definitely won’t be appreciated by everyone.
- AUDITION (JAP, 1999): Takashi Miike’s at its finest, this slow-burner is rather disturbing and very, very well-made. Check it out!
- DEEP RED (ITA, 1975): regarded as Dario Argento’s finest work when it comes to the giallo, this stylised murder mystery has such a unique visual style, a great soundtrack by Goblin and a fantastic surreal tone that makes this film stand out over the other gialli from that era.
- UNTAMED (SPA, 2016): I haven’t seen this Spanish horror drama yet, but from what I understood it should be an artsy take on the decay of a marriage, strongly inspired by the amazing Possession (1981). I’ll make sure to give it a chance asap.
As for all Arrow releases, all these movies come with shitloads of extras, including making-of documentaries, interviews to cast and crew, booklets, unseen/unrated cuts of the films.
Eureka! is a British distribution company specialised in indie and hardcore movies. Thier horror section (Monster Pictures) features a handful of underground and extreme flicks.
- MONSTRO (AUS, 2009): super low budget Aussie film that tries to recreat the 50s monster flicks but adding insane gore and violence. Unfortunately, the movie isn’t as good as it might sound.
- EROTIBOT (JAP, 2011): it’s a horror and hardcore porn movie, all at one. I can’t recommend this one, really…
- HELLDRIVER (JAP, 2011): shot on digital video and part of the extreme wave of Japanese gore horror cinema, this is so gruesome and over-the-top that it becomes funny at parts.
- EXCISION (USA, 2012): if you haven’t seen this film, do yourself a favour and watch it. Excision is one of my favourite horror films in recent years. Twisted, offbeat, psychologically depressing and with a disturbing ending, this is simply a great and original horror motion picture.
OLD-SCHOOL HORROR CLASSICS
- CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (USA, 1954): besides Psycho (1960) and Eyes Without a Face (1960) this is probably my favourite B&W horror film. I can’t explain why in so few lines, but I adore this movie to pieces, therefore I had to own a special edition featuring making-of documentary and a newly restored 4K version of the movie… also in colours!
- NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (USA, 1968): this 50th anniversary edition is packed with extras that explain how Romero’s masterpiece was conceived and the legacy the film represents in terms of zombie mythos.
- DRACULA (USA, 1931): Bela Lugosi’s classic about the most famous creature of the night… and this 4K edition makes it justice!
- THE INVISIBLE MAN (USA, 1933): In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated ‘classic monster movies’. The story, rich in subtexts, is really great as well as the acting and, for the time, the visuals.
Let me start by saying that I own many Blu-Ray or DVD collections (such as the Halloween movies and the I Spit on Your Grave trilogy), but only these three are worth mentioning as “special editions”, since they feature a ton of extras.
- A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET COLLECTION (1984-1994): It’s Freddy Krueger guys, enough said. Even though, to be honest, I like only part 1, 3 and 7.
- HOSTEL TRILOGY (2005-2011): I own these movies because of my series about Eli Roth’s films but I also do really like the first Hostel and I don’t mind Part II either. Part III however… ugh!
- THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE – COMPLETE SEQUENCE (2009-2015): This is a tricky trilogy, as I don’t really like any of these flick (the first one is okay, the second one so gruesomely over-the-top that it becomes funny, and the third one is simply horrible). However, I bought the trilogy because it came with some ground-breaking making-of documentaries that I found more interesting than the movies themselves.
- HELLRAISER TRILOGY (1987-1992): Trilogy? But there are 10 movies out there! That’s true, but only the first three Hellraiser movies see the involvement of Clive Barker. I think the first one is a classic and a fantastic film. I love the second one as well (if not more), whereas the third one is a bit too corny for my taste, but still not bad!
- THE EXORCIST – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION (1973-2005): The original The Exorcist is probably one of the most influential horror pictures of all time, thus it spawned a few sequels and prequels (including a great TV show). Besides the original film, I also love The Exorcist III, a vastly underrated noir/horror/thriller.
Midnight Factory is an Italian distribution company for indie and underground horror films. Some of the flicks in their store aren’t very great, but usually the editions they sell are packed with extras and show an incredible quality of the image.
- VAMPIRE (CAN/JAP, 2011): This is one of the most unconventional vampire flick I’ve ever seen. I don’t really like it per se, but its unique approach and outstanding cinematography make me appreciate it for what it is. however, I wouldn’t recommend it to the average horror fan.
- A L’INTERIEUR AKA INSIDE (FRA, 2007): one of the best examples of the French extreme wave of horror movies, Inside is an ode to gory and gruesome cinema, where the plot and claustrophobic setting, for once, matter.
- THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (USA, 2017): I reviewed this slow-burner twice, that’s how much I love it. Click the link for more information about the film.
RANDOM EDITIONS (Blu-Rays and DVDs)
MARTYRS (FRA, 2008), LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (SWE, 2008), THE EYES OF MY MOTHER (POR/USA, 2017), THE EVIL WITHIN (USA, 2017), MOTHER (USA, 2017), A CURE FOR WELLNESS (USA, 2017), IT FOLLOWS (USA, 2014), LAST SHIFT (USA, 2014), STARRY EYES (2014), POSSESSION (CZR/USA, 1980), ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975)