2018 In Review – Part 2.

When I started doing DVD and Blu-Ray commentaries, it no longer felt appropriate to survey the best DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the year. So, as a substitute (maybe a poor one), here’s a reminder of a few things we were treated to this year. We’ll let all the praise, complaints or ranking come from you in the comments. Part 1 can be found over at 50 Westerns From The 50s.

This was a banner year for old sci-fi and horror movies making their way to Blu-Ray. From what we’re hearing so far, next year might be the same for noir and crime pictures. Anyway, here’s some of 2018’s bounty — a few of which I’m still working on proper reviews of.

The Thing (From Another World) (1951)
This is one of the all-time favorite movies. I find something new in it every time I see it — a line, a look, a particular setup, the music, a new appreciation for the guy who did the fire stunt. It’s always something — and that, to me, is one of the requirements for a Great Movie. Warner Archive worked long and hard on this one, and I’m in their debt for sure.

The Hammer Draculas
It’s like there was some sorta Monster Movie Summit, and it was decreed that the Hammer Dracula series would be given its due on Blu-Ray. Warner Archive did a lot of the heavy lifting with Horror Of Dracula (1958), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) and The Satanic Rites Of Dracula (1974). In the meantime, Scream Factory came through with Dracula – Prince Of Darkness (1966). Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970) hit Blu-Ray a few years ago. That leaves Scars Of Dracula (197) as the only Hammer Dracula picture not available on Blu-Ray. Who’s gonna step up to the plate for that one?

The Hammer goodness wasn’t limited to the Dracula pictures. Mill Creek included some Hammer pictures in their twin-bill sets, some of the best values in all of home video. Hammer Films, William Castle, Ray Harryhausen — there’s some good stuff in those sets.

The Creature From The Black Lagoon Complete Legacy Collection
That’s quite a name for a set that only includes three movies. But what movies they are — the first two, anyway. And they’re in both widescreen 2-D and 3-D.

Gun Crazy (1949)
Joseph H. Lewis hit it out of the park with Gun Crazy (1949). So did his cast — and this year, with a stunning Blu-Ray, so did Warner Archive.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)
Don Siegel making it to Blu-Ray is always a reason to celebrate, and this is one of his many milestones. Over the years, we’ve all put up with some pretty shoddy-looking stuff when it comes to this incredible movie. Olive Films’ Blu-Ray is a huge improvement.

The Tingler (1959)
It’s hard to pick between this one and House On Haunted Hill (1958) for my favorite William Castle movie. Scream Factory did a wonderful job with this one, and they’ve given us other Castle pictures as well.

Dark Of The Sun (1968)
Warner Archive has been hinting around about this one on Blu-Ray for a while. It’s beautiful — and still one of the damnedest movies I’ve ever seen.

There’s a few that stood out for me. What DVD and Blu-Ray releases knocked you out this year?

5 Comments

Filed under 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1970, 1972, 1973, 3-D, Barbara Shelley, Caroline Munro, Christopher Lee, Don Siegel, DVD/Blu-ray News, DVD/Blu-ray Reviews, Hammer Films, Howard Hawks, Jack Arnold, James Arness, John Agar, Joseph H. Lewis, Julie Adams, Kenneth Tobey, Kevin McCarthy, Mill Creek, Nestor Paiva, Olive Films, Peggy Cummins, Peter Cushing, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Richarld Carlson, RKO, Rod Taylor, Shout/Scream Factory, Terence Fisher, Vincent Price, Warner Archive, William Castle

5 responses to “2018 In Review – Part 2.

  1. The new Night of the Demon is quite something.

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  2. john k

    I’ve got quiet a bit of catching up to do here,but I can give “two thumbs up”
    to Olive Signature’s INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS….nice
    extras too.
    Regarding The Count…DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS is on the
    way so I cannot comment on that yet. DRACULA (Horror Of Dracula) has
    been getting plenty of flak on various fansites…too dark?? these cats
    can sometimes get a bit too precious.
    SCARS OF DRACULA has been released om Blu Ray by Studio Canal.
    The Classicflix T-MEN,RAW DEAL and HE WALKED BY NIGHT are
    sensational-finally getting the transfers they deserve.
    Bert also jogged my memory regarding HIGHWAY DRAGNET I enjoyed
    that as well.
    Frankly,I was not expecting too much from LISBON except, I feel, these
    Republic re-masters deserve our support to ensure,hopefully, we get more.
    Not only is LISBON arguably the nicest transfer of the whole bunch but
    Toby’s commentary has been getting rave reviews especially when he
    details Republic’s final days.
    I liked the film a lot; some interesting gender politics when Yvonne Furneaux
    asks Ray Milland why men place women on pedestals to look up to them
    when they only want to be regarded as equals.
    Still that doesn’t not stop Yvonne giving simpering manservant Edward
    Chapman the occasional kick much to the delight of sadistic Claude Rains.
    A very dialog driven film,with little action but very interesting characters
    and plot twists.
    I DO hope Kino,or somebody, release Republic’s other Naturama/Trucolor
    Noir ACCUSED OF MURDER with a cast to die for.

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    • I’ve got this in the review I’m working on of the Horror Of Dracula Blu-Ray — saw this in a theater in the early 90s at a convention. Someone loaned them a 35mm IB Tech print and they booked a theater to run it. It made a HUGE impression on me and I remember it vividly. Warner Archive’s knob-twiddling worked wonders and made it look exactly like I remember it, from the amount of grain to the color or the castle to the color of the fake blood. To me, it’s perfect.

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    • Prince of Darkness arrived Christmas Eve. Watched it while I wrapped presents! Of course, Techniscope limits the detail, but both the US and UK cuts are nice — with differences in color, contrast and detail to recommend each version. The extras are well done, too, though some might be familiar from earlier releases.

      This was one of the first Hammer films I saw, so I have a soft spot for it. Working on a full-length review of it and the first one.

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  3. john k

    My Prince Of Darkness arrived December 22-I was not expecting it
    until after Christmas-totally agree regarding the transfers-nice extras too.
    I certainly wish more Hammer Horrors had been made in Techniscope.
    Glad no-one spotted my grave error in my LISBON comments it was in
    fact Maureen O’ Hara who gave the female equality speech,not Yvonne
    Furneaux-as has happened so often in the past Sauvignon Blanc and
    watching Blu Ray’s do not always mix…..cheers!

    Like

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