Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with Part 1 of my massive 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. Every year I comb the internet for the best geek-friendly items and compile them into a multi-part guide to help you cut through all the boring non-geeky stuff and find the right gift for the nerd in your life. And yourself, of course. Don't forget about number 1!
If you're new around these parts, I break the Holiday Gift Guide up into three installments and each of those are broken up into categories arranged by price: Cheap ($24.99 and Under), Moderate ($25.00-$70.99), Expensive ($71.00-$249.99) and For The Super Rich Only ($250 and Up).
Part 1 this year is Blu-Rays/DVDs, Art and Music. Part 2 will post tomorrow and Part 3 will post Friday.
This Guide is huge and covers a lot of ground, but is in no way meant to be 100% comprehensive. I do this all by myself every year because I like that everything in here is filtered through my own taste filter, whether it's something I'm personally interested in, can vouch for or think would be of interest to other geeks.
To that effect, there are some affiliate links throughout the guide, which means I do get a tiny percentage if you click through and buy something. That goes directly to me and it's a big, big help every year so thank you guys and gals for that.
Also, make sure to double check pricing. It's sometimes weeks between when I price an item for this Guide and when it posts. At this time of year Blu-Ray prices tend to shift by the minute, so always pay attention to that.
I'd also recommend doing a little shopping around. I tend to rely on Amazon for most of these items because it's big, has a huge inventory, most of us are Prime members and get free shipping and 9 times out of 10 they are super competitive with their pricing. There will be other sales out there to pay attention to (like Barnes & Nobel's Criterion sale), but that ball's in your court.
Without any further ado, let's jump into it, shall we?
UPDATE: Black Friday Deals are over! Nothing to see here! Move on!
Over the next couple of days I'll be keeping an eye on Black Friday Week deals and will update a list of titles and prices here, before the full on guide starts. I'll try to limit this list to only the super bargains that pop up, which will be pretty fast and furious in the next couple of days, so keep checking back!
-Ghostbusters/Ghostbusters II Blu $6.96
-Edge of Tomorrow $6.96
-Gone Girl Blu $4.00
-The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (Theatrical Edition) $6.00
-The Revenant $6.00
-The Leftovers Season 2 $9.96
-The Witch Blu $6.00
-Mad Max Fury Road Blu $5.99 $7.96
-X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut Blu $3.99 $8.49
-Minions Blu $4.99 $9.00
-London Has Fallen Blu $6.96
-The Purge Blu $4.99
-Steve Jobs Blu $6.96
-Dredd 3D Blu $4.96
-Lucy Blu $6.94
-The Book of Life Blu $6.00
-Nightcrawler Blu $5.96
-No Country For Old Men Blu $5.00
-Ex Machina Blu $7.45
-Warcraft Blu $6.99 $10.00
-Neighbors 2 Blu $6.99
-The Purge: Election Year Blu $6.99
-Brooklyn Blu $6.00 $7.00
-X-Men: Apocalypse Blu $9.00
-Straight Outta Compton Blu $6.99
-Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Blu $10.00
-Crimson Peak Blu $6.96
Cheap ($24.99 and under)
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! There was no other film I could have started off this year's Guide with. Bob Clark's Black Christmas is not only my favorite Christmas movie and one of my favorite horror movies, it's one of my favorite movies period. It's hard to compare it to something super serious, but there are certain films that just stick with you and Black Christmas is one of those for me. This slasher beat Halloween to the punch on a technical level (killer first person POV camera for instance) and has some great macabre (yet oddly festive) imagery. Plus it has Oliva Hussey at her most adorable. Great flick that has never seen a satisfactory home video release. The last Blu-Ray was noisy and colors were awful. I haven't seen this one yet, but it's Scream Factory and they always ALWAYS deliver top notch transfers. $20.30.
I swear there are non-horror movies on this list... there's a little bit of everything, actually, but if I were to recommend two non-traditional Christmas movies to put on rotation this Holiday Season I'd first check to see if you're as messed up in the head as I am. If you were then I'd say do the dark holiday horror flick double feature of Black Christmas and Krampus. Both are mean movies set against the backdrop of Christmas. Although Black Christmas is more extreme, the PG-13 Krampus has on oddly darker final act. Everybody watches Die Hard and Gremlins over the holidays, but you can beat the rest of the counter-programming loving cinema nerds to the punch by adding Krampus to the playlist this holiday season! $12.96.
PRE-ORDER, December 6th! If you don't already own Mad Max: Fury Road then this is what you want this holiday. It's a little bit of a double dip, but you the black and white version here. I know there will be those that prefer this edition. I like the color one more, personally, but what I like more than either is the ability to choose whichever damn one I want to watch! Now you too witness this film in all its glory, with or without color! $24.99.
Shane Black's The Nice Guys is definitely in my Top 10 of the year and I can already tell it's going to be one of the most rewatchable films of the year. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling make a hell of a fuck-up duo and if there was any justice in this world this would be the first of about a dozen movies featuring these two numbnuts. And since it's Shane Black there is, of course, Christmas shit in it, so it's topical! $12.99.
You're going to see a bunch of my favorites of 2016 at the top of the Guide this year. Green Room is damn near the top of that list. It's a little bittersweet now that Anton Yelchin died so tragically this year, but it's a brilliant capper to a hell of a legacy for someone so young. The movie is brutal but not grotesque, tough but with a ton of heart. It's just plain old great indie filmmaking that's as entertaining as it is inventive. A punk band is trapped in a club by skinheads led by Patrick Stewart. If that one-liner doesn't grab you I have a feeling we may not see eye to eye on much. $15.85.
Here's another fav of 2016 for me, Jeff Nichols' doing his own unique version of what could be called his Amblin movie. Midnight Special is a touching father/son story that also happens to be about religion and crazy alien stuff. St. Vincent's Jaeden Lieberher and Michael Shannon both rock it here and Nichols' writing and directing continues to be step-above-the-rest level. $12.95.
Hell or High Water is another throwback movie, but not so much to a certain studio look, but to a certain era. This is very much a '70s style character study movie about two brothers who go on a bank robbing spree in rural Texas and the grumpy no-bullshit lawman hot on their trail. It's a tale that's been told before, but very rarely this well. Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges are so damn good in this movie I wouldn't be surprised if any one of them get a sneaky Oscar nod. $19.96.
Everybody needs movies like Sing Street right now. Not just those of us on the left that are upset over the election, but every human being with a beating heart needs to see this one. It's all about using art to bond with friends, enemies and lovers and not settling for what's in front of you. This is the kind of movie that can't help but leave you in a better mood than it found you in. Superb. $19.99.
One of the best surprises of 2016 (in light of recent events probably the only “good” surprise next to the Cubs pulling a World Series win out of their asses) was Deadpool not only being made or being made right, but being rewarded for it with literal boatloads of cash. He's been a comic book favorite of mine for a while and the movie just makes me happy. If you want to really mess up your nephews and nieces then stick this Blu-Ray in their stockings this year and play dumb when their parents lose their minds. “What? They love superheroes!” You in? Cool. Sounds like a plan! $14.99.
Captain America: Civil War is a more grown up superhero movie. I adore it. My younger nephews were pretty bored by the non-action stuff, but they still adore Ant-Man, Falcon and the new Spider-Man. I, however, love how the Russos made a big movie about such personal stakes. I also think this is the most interesting villain the Marvel Universe has seen in a while. His motivations and ultimate goals are tiny compared to someone like Loki, but because they are he's so much more grounded and believable. Plus that airport scene is still one of the best superhero scenes every filmed. This disc comes with both the 3D and regular versions of the flick plus all the extras you're used to with Marvel's stuff. $24.99.
You guys probably know I'm not the biggest fan of this movie, but even cranky ol' me liked the Extended Cut considerably more than the theatrical. The movie still has a wildly misguided lead villain performance and some mind-numbing character writing, but the longer cut actually makes Superman a real character instead of just a grumpy guy in a cape. So, for those who liked the movie a lot anyway and those hoping to see a better version of it, this is the Blu to add to your collection. $24.96.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! Here's another flawed DCEU movie. I think Suicide Squad is closer to the mark they were aiming at than BvS did, which had the extra burden of setting up a whole big cinematic universe. I think Suicide Squad spectacularly shits the bed in the final act, but it does so in a way that's almost old days of Canon Films crazy. The look of the flick is great, 95% of the casting is spot on with Margot Robbie absolutely killing it as Harley Quinn and the chemisty of the actual group is pretty great, but boy oh boy does it go super silly. Still, enough works that I can't be pissed off at the movie. I don't know if it's a must-own for me, but I also know a ton of folks out there flat out loved the flick, so if you know one of them then this is something that'll make 'em super happy to find under the tree. $24.99.
I'm a little tough on the DC features, but there's no question they're firing on all cylinders when it comes to the vast majority of their animated films. One of the best in recent memory was Batman: Under The Red Hood. A must for any fan of the world's greatest detective! $8.35.
This is one of the cooler things out there for hardcore geeks. Thanks to the magic of animation we actually get a new '60s Batman movie, complete with Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar coming back to Batman, Robin and Catwoman, respectively. The writing's on point, the puns are flung fast and furious and the animation perfectly captures the vibrant look of the '60s show. This thing is really kinda wonderful. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face. $17.96.
I'm getting a little tired of the Bryan Singer X-movies if I'm going to be 100% honest, but this one is worth it just for the glimpse into Magneto's family life in the first act. I don't know if you guys know this or not, but that Michael Fassbender guy is a pretty good actor. Oh, and there's another cool Quicksilver scene. Can't forget that. $24.96.
Justin Lin's Star Trek Beyond is one of the more fun Star Trek flicks, jettisoning all that complicated false flag intrigue shit and just telling a straight forward adventure story with a crew filled with charismatic people I enjoy spending time with. I don't know if this film reaching the heights of Abrams' action scenes in the first film of this new series, but its super consistent and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. $19.96 (and the 3-D Blu is $27.99) .
The Martian is another one of those feel-good movies we all seem to need these days. I can easily see this becoming a comfort movie very, very quickly. I haven't seen the Extended Edition yet, but if it has more Matt Damon being awesome and dancing to disco it's an easy buy, no? $19.96.
My professional opinion is that not enough of you saw Eddie the Eagle. Matthew Vaughn's tastes as a producer shouldn't be in doubt (he did start out producing Lock Stock and Snatch, don't forget) and he picked another winner here with this great true life story of a guy who just wouldn't let life beat him down. He had a goal and by God he went after it with all he got. This flick also proves yet again that Hugh Jackman is a treasure. $14.99.
Speaking of awesome people being awesome, another great surprise of 2016 was 10 Cloverfield Lane, which just about had personality pouring out of every frame, thanks in huge part to John Goodman being his usual awesome self and Mary Elizabeth Winstead sold the hell out of that zany “woman trapped in a bunker” premise. Fun, tense, awesome stuff here. $19.50.
Fede Alvarez's Don't Breathe is another great thriller to hit screens this year, this one about a group of desperate young folks who try to rob the house of a blind vet and realize they done fucked up a little bit too late. Super inventive storytelling that never goes up its own butt. It knows how to have fun while also taking itself seriously and that's why it works. $19.96.
Fair warning, there's a good chance a significant amount of people out in this wide, wide world will hate this movie, so if you're thinking of gifting this one sight unseen you might want to give it a watch first. I happen to think the movie is pretty damn good. If you can roll with the radical left turn halfway though the movie then you'll probably love it. Or if you automatically love anything with Tom Hiddleston and/or Luke Evans without their shirts on then this one is for you. $15.99.
Lovingly referred to as the “Daniel Radcliffe farting corpse movie” Swiss Army Man is the perfect weird-o movie for that perfect weird-o in your life. $17.89.
Richard Linklater returned to his Dazed and Confused roots and gave us this flick, which is sure to be just as much of a career-launcher as his previous “spiritually related” film was. $14.99.
The Lonely Island group kind of found the perfect niche for their talents with this story of a dumb popstar who finds himself on the downslide of his career. Goofy songs, vulgarity around every corner and a big ol' beating heart all make for an R-rated comedy that'd sit proudly alongside some of my other recent favorites from these guys, like MacGruber and Hot Rod. $19.96.
PRE-ORDER, December 6th! Mike Birbiglia's ode to improv groups is just as warmly authentic about the ups and downs in the lives of professional comedians as Sleepwalk With Me was. Great flick. $20.79.
The guide wasn't cucked enough, so I felt like I should cuck it up. I still don't know what the hell that means, but I do know that millions of little girls around the world adore this movie despite angry dudes on the internet. I myself liked it, wished it would have had a better antagonist and actually been a continuation of the Ghostbusters universe instead of a reboot, but can't seem to find it in my heart to be pissed off at its existence. Happy Holidays! $19.96.
Hail, Caesar is lesser Coen Brothers, but even lesser Coen Brothers is better than most stuff that gets made. I especially dig seeing them work in this time period, following Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (he was a real guy that really did this kind of stuff!) as he wanders through the chaos that is the Golden Age of Hollywood. Worth owning if only for Channing Tatum and Alden Ehrenreich's turns by themselves. $12.99.
This is another one you have to make sure you know the tastes of the person you're gifting this to before handing it over. “Hey, Grannie likes that Colin Farrell fella, this is the movie for her!” Maaayyyybee not. But then again it's a great movie that most normal people wouldn't give a chance to unless it was sitting in front of them, so maybe throw caution to the wind and just take the plunge. Your call. $19.98.
Beautiful stop-motion animation, heart-breaking story about struggling to hold on to love, Charlie Kaufman's trademark softly sincere cynicism... Anomalisa has it all! Not exactly the feel-good gift this season, but a great film that deserves to be seen by as many eyes as possible. $17.99.
Speaking of a great non-feel-good movie to gift to someone... The Tribe is a wholly unique film about life at a Ukrainian school for the deaf. So much of the dialogue is told only in sign language and body language and left to you to figure out that it almost feels like a silent film. So imagine that approach on the skeleton of a character study/crime story that has the grit of a Paul Schrader movie and the technical precision of a Kubrick film and you're close to being in the right headspace for this movie. $18.99.
Victoria is the kind of movie you hope to see at film festivals. This is one of those “all done in one take” gimmick movies, but unlike most of those this one is actually good. The first thing sacrificed in most one-take movies is freshness of performance. It's either a take they normally wouldn't use, but they couldn't keep redoing the whole sequence for one moment or they've rehearsed it so much that it all feels stilted. Victoria is not that movie. It gets crazy, too. It starts off like Before Sunset and before you know it it's in some weird Tarantino/Peckinpah style crime territory. Good gift for friends and famly not afraid of subtitles and thick accents. $19.97.
Creed rocks. Great, great film that somehow manages to stand on its own two legs and also continue the Rocky series. Don't know how they did it, really, but it's going to be the prime example of a passing-of-the-torch style for a looooong time. $14.93.
Mel Gibson on a revenge bent. The man is slowly coming out of director/actor jail and that's exciting to me at a purely cinephile level. Gibson as a constant screen presence is something I've missed since he went super crazy. Blood Father is the exact kind of movie I like to see the man in. $17.96.
James Wan is on a roll right now. He's almost single-handedly bringing the craft back into horror by getting real budgets to tell supernatural stories, taking out of the dark days of found footage, thank jeebus. I think the simplicity of the first film makes for a better story, but this one is no stinker, giving us some truly chilling imagery and characters I care about. Good stuff for genre fans. $22.99.
Yes, The Shallows is silly. It's a movie about a smart, quick-thinking surfer girl who is trapped on an atoll that's slowly shrinking as the tide comes in while a murderous shark circles. This shark isn't just being a natural predator. This thing is a horror movie villain. Naturally, I'm an easy target for sharksploitation, but this one is actually pretty good. I mean, Blake Lively befriends an injured seagull and names it Steven Seagull. This movie is pretty rad, you guys. $19.96.
I have a too-large stack of 2016 movies to get to and The Wailing is at the top of that stack. It's a Korean horror film about a sickness spreading through a small town and I've heard nothing but amazing “best thing you'll see this year” kind of talk from fellow horror fans. I like scary things and I like Korean cinema, so bring it on! $14.99.
The Witch (or the Vah-Vitch as I refer to it amongst movie geek company since all the marketing called it THE VVITCH) is one of those creepfests that sticks with you. It's more concerned about tonally freaking you out than it as about making you jump out of your skin and it succeeds greatly at that. I think the film is a teensy weensy little bit overrated, but it's more than just okay. It's a gourgeous, haunting movie that will remind you why they were so shit-scared of witches in the olden days. $14.99.
I miss the Michael Moore that ruthlessly went after corporations. Now that he's become a figurehead of the far left he seems to only want to make things about politics, which means the people who really need to hear his message won't ever give it a chance. That's a shame because Where To Invade Next is one of his best docs that feels like it's another lefty criticism of America before it's revealed that all these great ideas other countries are implementing are actually ours that we gave up on for some reason in the past. It paints a picture of an America I think both sides would agree is better than where we are now. I don't know how to get the right to look at this without snark, but it's a great little uplifting doc that on the surface looks like another cynical political hitjob. $17.83.
Funny, just talking about Michael Moore and how he's so polarizing that he can't get both sides to listen to his message and now we have Zootopia which I feel delivers just as strong a political message as any of Moore's docs, but buried as subtext in a family film so it can actually be consumed by all, not just the choir being preached to. Zootopia has a lot to say about class and race, but that medicine is buried under some incredibly inventive character work and super funny set pieces. More like this, please. $24.96.
Jon Favreau's live-action Jungle Book is a techincal achievement that also happens to work as a movie. Win-win. Disney has a couple of live-action movies (both remakes) that hit this year that don't treat kids with... well, kids gloves. This movie gets scary. They don't mess around with the main threat, but Favreau also doesn't forget the fun and friendship that made the original animated movie work so well. $22.99.
This one was a pleasant surprise for a lot of people this year, but I coulda called it. David Lowery might not be a huge name, but if you know anything about his work you'd know his remake of a cheesy sing-song 1970s Disney flick would have a more grounded, indie-spirited style. Don't get me wrong, I love the original like nobody's business, but I also love that Lowery didn't force me to compare the two by giving me a straight remake. This one's a little melancholic, a little sad, but just as heartwarming in the end. I may or may not have had to tell my nephews to shut up when they asked why I was crying at the end. DON'T JUDGE ME! $22.96.
It boggles my mind that The BFG ended up as one of Spielberg's biggest bombs. It's actually a great movie that for some reason just didn't attract an audience. Maybe it was the aesthetics. Maybe people are getting over the big CGI performance capture thing. All I know is the movie utterly charmed the pants off of me. Hopefully it finds its audience in the coming years. Be ahead of the curve and get your copy today so you can say you liked it since the beginning when all the BFG hipsters come out of the woodwork! $22.99.
It was a very strong year for kid's movies. Laika knocked yet another one out of the park with Kubo and the Two Strings. Pixar gets all the (appropriate) credit for their track record, but Laika's catching up and, dare I say, making more inventive and edgier films these days. This is a hell of a mother/son story with some flat out incredible technique on display. The Laika folks are magic-weavers and this is another homerun for them. $19.96 for the 2D Blu, $29.99 for the 3-D Blu.
Finding Dory is another great example of how Pixar's nuanced attention to character detail takes an otherwise simple story (forgetful fish is looking for her parents) and makes it something that transcends the typical animated sequel. Light, funny, touching and a tiny bit crazy. Great combo for these guys. The crazy sea bird, Becky, is by far my favorite character. Man do I love it when these guys go weird. $19.99 for the 2D Blu, $27.96 for the 3-D Blu.
Speaking of going weird, Seth Rogen and company went all out with this one, the most vulgar use of typical children's imagery since Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles. If you have extended family with kids you don't care about pissing off/scaring for life this would be a hell of a blu-ray to slip in amongst the Shreks and Minions and Cars titles... Just sayin'. $19.96.
Duncan Jones' Warcraft is not ashamed to be geeky as hell and as such earns a bit of respect. I never got sucked into WoW (that was always a step too far even for me), so this movie only half works for me. It's aimed squarely at its fans and I can't fault it too much for giving the diehards the movie they've always wanted to see. $19.96 for the 2-D Blu, $29.96 for the 3-D Blu.
Phantasm is one of the great heady low budget raw drive-in cult classics. Pure passion and intuitive filmmaking smarts from a then almost-baby Don Coscarelli came together to make something wholly unique and lasting. JJ Abrams was such a big fan he spearheaded a restoration (which is gorgeous) and this is that transfer. The movie's never looked better, booooooooooooooyyyyyyyy. $17.96.
I will not hear a negative word about Don Coscarelli's incredible indie flick about an aging Elvis having to team up with an old black man who is convinced he's JFK to fight a soul-sucking mummy in an East Texas nursing home. Read that description again and tell me this isn't in the running for best film ever made. Bruce Campbell gives a career-best performance here and I can't tell you how excited I am to check out Scream Factory's disc. $21.19.
Lady in White is one of the great little-seen '80s genre gems. Nothing really gets me in the mood for Halloween more than this film. Little Lukas Haas gets locked into his elementary school's cloak room overnight and sees the ghost of a little girl which ties into the local legend of the lady in white, a spectral form that roams the cliffside at night. This one is part Wonder Years and part Halloween. Great stuff and a childhood favorite. $20.69.
Return of the Living Dead is a real cult classic from back in the day when they actually made those things instead of the ironically shitty movies that pass for cult classics now. Silly and fun doesn't equal crappy and Return of the Living Dead is one of the best examples of that from an era loaded with movies that understood that. Another winning release from Scream Factory, who are unquestionably the current Criterion for genre fair. $21.06.
The '70s Invasion of the Body Snatchers is all-time stuff. First off it has a hell of a cast, including Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy, super creepy effects (who can forget the human-faced dog?) and enough tension to choke a horse. That's a lot of tension. A must-own for any horror nut. $19.97.
The movie that really gave us Stephen King. At least the one that made him a household name. Brian De Palma's Carrie is unquestionably a genre masterpiece with some all-timer performances from Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie and some of the most iconic horror imagery ever put to film. If you don't buy Scream Factory's remaster they're all going to laugh at you! $22.19.
People forget that Chucky used to actually be scary, but we have the original film to remind those dummies. Low budget horror of the 1980s had a grit to it that really helped make everything feel just a little disgusting. That layer of grime is missing from most of today's overly-lit and bright low budget horror, but man this movie in particular has it in spades. Will always have a soft spot for this one. $20.55.
This is the very first Hannibal the Cannibal appeared on film and it wasn't no Anthony Hopkins! It was Brian Cox! Michael Mann adapted Thomas Harris' Red Dragon with a heavy dose of that '80s grit and grime I mentioned above. $17.99.
Are you like me and do you appreciate unhinged John Lithgow performances? Then boy howdy do I have a movie for you: Brian De Palma's weird-o early '90s slice of fried gold RAISING CAIN. If you've seen it you'll know why I'd recommend it. If you haven't, go in cold. Enjoy! $22.99.
Scream Factory have also put out a great spiffy new edition of David Cronenberg's RABID, a very '70s take on the zombie story told in the way only Cronenberg could tell it. $21.06.
Cronenberg's Dead Ringers also got the Blu-Ray treatment from Scream Factory, starring Jeremy Irons as twin gynecologists. Yep. It's that kind of movie. A good mind-bender if you haven't checked it out yet. $21.06.
This movie messed me up when I was a kid. Something about the voodoo/buried alive vibe got under my skin. Now, I haven't revisited it in full since, but Scream Factoy has made it easy for me to correct that horrible oversight.$24.70.
The first Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a masterpiece of tone. It's raw edges really help make it the kind of horror movie that sticks with you. Tobe Hooper's sequel is a huge left turn from that. It's cartoony and over the top in ways that even the nutty first movie never was, but that's not a bad thing. I'm a pretty big fan of sequels that try something different from the first film and Hooper sure as shit did that here and in the process made an insanely fun movie. More goodness from Scream! $21.29.
Buckaroo Bonzai! On Blu-Ray! Shout Factory/Scream Factory can do no wrong! $20.43.
There was a slew of crazy poke you in the eye 3-D pablum released when the fad once again reared its head in the '80s. Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jard-Syn is one of the more well-known of those. Starring a young Kelly Preston and Richard Moll as the heavy, this isn't a good movie, but it's the kind of movie that becomes rather entertaining if you're a little drunk or stoned. Plus this blu actually has the 3-D version on it, so if you have a 3-D capable TV you have the very best way to watch this flick available to you.$22.99.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! Dreamscape is the best movie ever when you watch it around the 10 year old mark. I couldn't tell you have it holds up as an adult since I haven't seen it since my teenage years, but it's a pretty envelope-pushing PG-13 if I remember correctly. It's like if someone decided to mash up Indiana Jones and Nightmare on Elm Street. I know there was an editing controversy on the last DVD release, but since this is a Scream/Shout release I'd imagine they wouldn't put up with that shit and make sure this was the theatrical cut. I don't know for sure, but if anybody would put the more-boobies version on Blu-Ray, it'd be these guys. $18.34.
I've always had a soft spot for Robert Zemeckis's Death Becomes Her. This came out in the era of his work on the Tales From the Crypt TV show and this flick feels like him taking that tone to feature length. Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep star in this hilariously macabre tale of pettiness and the desire for eternal youth. Such a great, largely unsung, entry into Zemeckis' catalogue. Definitely deserves a place on your home video shelf. $22.19.
William Friedkin's neo-noir To Live And Die In LA is another must see for anybody who considers themselves a champion of the cinematic arts. William Petersen, Willem Dafoe and John Turturro star in this uber-gritty and mean little flick. $21.06.
Midnight Run is one of the better examples of an odd couple pairing. The odd couple in this case is Robert De Niro as a cranky bounty hunter and Charles Grodin is a weak accountant that embezzled millions from the mob. They're tasked on getting from New York to LA alive with both the mob and FBI on their heels. Really funny, often touching, actioneer. The disc is loaded with interviews with all the cast, including De Niro and Yaphet Kotto! $14.99.
This is one of the best dollar for dollar deals available this year! Strange Brew for under $8? Click to order right now, you hoser! Bob and Doug McKenzie are dumbass icons from the Great White North and this silly, goofy SCTV spin-off was a childhood favorite that actually holds up into adulthood. $7.49.
Cannibalistic. Humanoid. Underground. Dweller. Follow John Heard as he investigates monsters in the New York subway system now in high def courtesy of the good folks at Arrow, who don't fuck around with their releases. Uncompressed audio, new transfer, commentary and interviews. You can't go wrong with this one. Oh, and keep an eye out for a young John Goodman. Seriously looks like Dan from Roseanne shows up for, like, 25 seconds. $22.19.
You can get the whole CHUD library in your stocking this year! Arrow put out the first film and Vestron has released CHUD 2 which takes a decidedly Day of the Dead turn with the military trying to weaponize the CHUD. Gerrit Graham pops up in the special features and director David Irving does an audio commentary. $24.99.
The first Basket Case was one of those movies that felt “dangerous” to watch when I was a youngster. The sequels are a bit goofier (and less scary) and were embraced pretty wholeheartedly by my young Up All Night-watching self. Synapse has come to the rescue and released Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case 2, which sees Duane and Belial meeting other “unusual” folk while recovering from their little fall at the end of the first film. These Basket Case sequels have to be seen to be believed... $12.99.
Belial, the deformed monster from the first two films, becomes a daddy in this one. Gotta give Henenlotter credit for going balls to the wall crazy with his sequels... $12.99.
Return of the Living Dead 3 is first and foremost a love story, believe it or not. It's about a young man who brings his dead girlfriend back to life by turning her into a zombie and then helps keep her alive by feeding her brains. Most '80s kids will remember the cover image from countless trips to the horror section of the local video store. This Vestron release contains the Unrated version of the film and comes with multiple audio commentaries. $24.99.
The Stuff is good shit. Believe it or not Larry Cohen's '80s flick about killer yoghurt is quite cutting social satire. The film takes the piss out of consumer culture and the impact of advertising while still being about a delicious alien substance that is marketed as a healthy snack. It's fucking nuts and smart and funny and way better than it has any right being. Arrow has done it up right with a new HD transfer, uncompressed audio track, docs and a commentary track from filmmaker and fan Darren Bousman. $23.07.
Famous for giving us an early George Clooney lead role, the cheeseball Return of the Killer Tomatoes gets the Arrow treatment. Tongue firmly in cheek, this bizarro movie has a lot to offer fans of fun B-movie fare, not the least of which is Clooney's '80s mullet. $18.99.
First of all, Brian Trenchard-Smith is one of the most underappreciated genre filmmakers. We can all agree on that. He's like George Miller's even more insane brother. Dead End Drive-In is a punk-filled dystopian future flick about a government that turns the local drive-ins into concentration camps for delinquent youth. Great stuff that might not be on the radar of your cult-film loving friends. $19.99.
I saw this film at the Quentin Tarantino Film Fest here in Austin many, many moons ago. It's from exploitation master Jack Hill and is about as raunchy and funny as you'd expect a '70s film called The Swinging Cheerleaders to be. Lots of nudity, lots of inappropriate humor and an odd amount of heart for a film like this. Maybe not the best gift for Granny, but a great title for an exploitation lover in your friend or family circle. Another Arrow release, with Jack Hill commentary and HD transfer, etc. $21.00.
Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace has been credited with kickstarting the Giallo genre which Dario Argento would perfect. It's a quasi-slasher murder mystery story. Arrow has a new transfer of the original, uncut Italian version with a ton of special features, including commentary, optional English subtitles over the original Italian soundtrack (or dub) and documentaries. $23.88.
You might only know the story of Dark Water through the US remake starring Jennifer Connelly, but if you've never seen the Japanese original, you must pick up this disc. This film is director Hideo Nakata's follow up to his subgenre starting Ring films and it's a haunting and beautiful horror story that slowly creeps up on you. Great flick and another stellar Arrow release! $22.19.
Lucio Fulci takes on Edgar Allan Poe's story with Patrick Magee and The Beyond's David Warbeck in the leads. It's not one of Fulci's best, but it's still a good turn from the director at the top of his form. Arrow once again has a new transfer and a bunch of special features. $18.99.
This was a big deal in my household. My mom was a big Stephen King fan and I vividly remember watching both parts of the made-for-TV-movie when they originall aired. Now, this thing is very much of its time, but it's still got a lot of great lifts from King's book and a fantastic turn by Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Warner Archive has put out this Blu at a low price, so you have no excuse to refresh your memory before the big budget theatrical adaptation comes out next year. $9.99.
Warner Archive has a few Stephen King titles out on Blu-Ray this season, including Tobe Hooper's adaptation of Salem's Lot. Much like IT, this made for TV movie is very much of its time but captures much of the novel's tone and has some flat out unhinged imagery. Fucking Danny Glick floating at the window still gives me the heebie jeebies. The Blu comes with Hooper's commentary for the low, low price of $8.99.
Rounding up our Stephen King Warner Archives titles is Cat's Eye, the theatrical anthology flick starring little Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King and Robert Hayes in different segments, all based on Stephen King short stories. The cat is the connecting tissue between them all and who could forget the Drew Barrymore one with the little life-stealing troll living the wall? The WA release has a feature commentary by director Lewis Teague. $9.99.
Maybe not the best telling of the Body Snatchers story, this one is still interesting, thanks in part to Abel Ferrara's direction and moving the story of pod people into the US military. If I were going to recommend you pick up one Body Snatchers movie this holiday season I'd point you to the Donald Sutherland 1978 version that Scream put out, but this one ain't chopped liver either, especially when it comes to Meg Tilly and Forest Whitaker's work. $16.99.
This one might be traumatic if you grew up in a family going through a divorce, but boy is it a great film. So much fighting, so many witty jabs and hateful, hurtful insults from two people who really felt and believed it. Elizabeth Taylor stars alongside real life on again/off again husband Richard Burton and there's a fire to their performances here that are hard to match when the two leads don't already love/hate each other. Incredible film, a little awkard, but great. $16.99.
Here's something a little more light-hearted, the original Father of the Bride starring Spencer Tracy, which is something you'd think would have already made it to Blu-Ray, but apparently not. Thanks to the good folks at Warner Archives you can have this lovely, still funny, flick in high definition! $17.69.
I love, love, love this movie. There are more iconic Bogie/Bacall movies, but this one might be my favorite. Bogie plays a man on the run after being convicted of killing his wife. The cool thing is you only see from his POV for the first part of the movie because he undergoes plastic surgery to change his appearance. When he wakes up he has Bogie's face. Crazy inventive noir that lacks some of the bite of the more famous Bogart roles, but is so crazy fun and interesting you won't notice. $16.99.
Howard Hawks' To Have And Have Not is one of the more memorable classics I mentioned above. It's not my favorite Bogie/Bacall outing, but their chemistry is still off the charts here. This film suffers a little bit for being Casablanca Lite (Bogart playing a local businessman trying to stay out of the politics of WW2), but at the end of the day it's two of the screen's most dynamic co-stars bouncing off each other at the height of their chemistry. $17.69.
Robert Ryan was one of the great noir stars and On Dangerous Ground is up there with The Set-Up, Crossfire and Clash By Night as some of his best work of this era. He plays a little bit of a Jack Bauer type, a cop who beats the info he needs out of his perps, who's sent out of the big city to help solve a murder in a snowy mountain town. The great Ida Lupino co-stars (and helped direct if you believe the rumors) with a who's who of '40s and '50s character actors. Great, great film. $16.99.
Is Cary Grant a killer? That's the question in this underseen thriller from Alfred Hitchcock starring Joan Fontaine as a lady who begins to suspect that the charming playboy she married might have death on his mind. $16.99.
This one is actually one of the bigger holes left in my film knowledge. I've seen imagery from this my whole life, but haven't ever sat down to watch this particular John Ford/John Wayne collaboration. Thanks to Warner Archive I can fix that in high def! $16.99.
Julie Andrews plays a woman posing as a man playing a woman. Confused? It all makes sense in the movie. This is one of the collaborations between real life husband and wife team Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews and it's perfect for the musical lover in your household. $17.69.
Another musical oddity from Warner Archive is this, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a musical about a woman who won't let anything keep her down, including the sinking of the Titanic. Starring Debbie Reynolds, this one is a full-throated for real musical, not one of those post-modern takes. Just so you're prepared for a full on sappy musical. $17.69.
This is a big famous movie, so I'm not sure why Warner Archive has to be the one to finally put it out on Blu-Ray, but so they are and so it is. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof won a ton of Oscars and doesn't shy away from its Tennessee Williams roots in the slightest. Starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman at the height of their hotness, this is a steamy southern drama that's kinda hard to believe made it through the studio system at this time. $16.99.
I'm used to seeing a bunch of forgotten movies from the distant past, but it's a little weird that we're starting to see Warner Archives bringing out forgotten movies I actually saw theatrically first run. This one is Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a true-crime flick that came out in the '90s, right as Kevin Spacey was rocketing to stardom. It's a solid flick and I always wondered why it just kinda went away. Now it's here forever... or until the world ends. Depending on your political and spiritual beliefs that might be sooner rather than later... $17.99.
This is one of my favorite movies on the list this year, a great underappreciated '70s film starring Malcolm McDowell as HG Wells and David Warner as his buddy who turns out to be Jack the Ripper, who is about to be caught so he uses Wells' time machine to escape to the future (1970s San Francisco), a location and time he find himself quite at home in. From Wrath of Khan's Nicholas Meyer, this is a treat of a film and must be seen by anybody who claims to like good things! $17.99.
Mark Hamill is known for playing Luke Skywalker and The Joker, but do you remember he also starred in anime adaptation? The Guyver isn't great (and that cover's misleading... Hamill is not the guy in the suit), but boy does it boast a hell of a character actor roster. Hamill, Michael Berryman, Jimmy Walker, Linnea Quigley and Jeffrey Combs to name a few. $13.99.
Guyver fans actually prefer the sequel to the first film, even though it doesn't have nearly the amount of recognizable faces. David Hayter stars (yes, the screenwriter of the Singer X-films David Hayter) and effects God Steve Wang directs this mid-'90s cheesefest. This will be a hell of a gift for the super nerdy. $14.99.
I have fond childhood memories of the George Burns Oh, God movies. This one was my favorite because I was way more into scary stuff, so the concept of an evil George Burns was more in line with my fucked up childhood interests. I have no doubt that this movie does not hold up, but it's pretty great through my rose-colored glasses... $16.37.
John Hughes stopped directing after Curly Sue. I don't know the nitty gritty here, but I do remember watching this when it came out thinking it was pretty good. I've revisited it a couple times since then and still like it. I'm about due for a rewatch and Warner Archive has my back with this DVD. $14.99.
Do you like Better Off Dead? Of course you do. It's impossible to hate that movie. One Crazy Summer is the companion piece. Not really a sequel, but a spiritual follow-up starring John Cusack and directed by Savage Steve Holland. This was another childhood favorite and it's a movie I still adore to this day. I mean, it has a killer dolphin with rabies and Bobcat Goldthwait in a Godzilla suit in it! Come on! $13.89.
A behind the scenes of a '50s variety show flick with Peter O'Toole as drunk past his prime actor guest star. Sold? You should be. $14.99.
I feel weird that WA is releasing titles I saw theatrically and I'm doubly weirded out that they're starting to release titles that came out when I was actively working on AICN. I saw a press screening of Drop Dead Gorgeous! Forgotten moveis are supposed to only be old shit that came out before I was born! This is horseshit! Anyway, this Kirsten Dunst vehicle is actually pretty good, about a very, very, very competitive local beauty contest. $13.89.
Total Eclipse was a movie Leonardo Di Caprio did when he was really into breaking the child actor image. He did this and Basketball Diaries really close to each other. The girls might have liked him more in Romeo & Juliet, but he has a whole different kind of love affair in this one, with noneother than David Thewlis. Strong indie film from the mid-'90s. $13.89.
It's weird to me that this movie, out of all movies, is coming back around. My memories of this film are pretty much it trying really, really hard to be Boogie Nights, but maybe it was just rough coming out a year after that film. Maybe I judged it too harshly. Looks like my chance at a revisit is now since the unrated blu-ray is out. $9.69.
Xanadu! This is guaranteed to either wholly delight a friend or family member or royally piss them off. But we know you wouldn't have someone in your life that hates Xanadu, right? It's so far out there and kitschy you just gotta adore it. Right? $7.88.
For too long has Howard the Duck been the black sheep of the Lucasfilm family! For too long has the world looked down upon the master of Quack-Fu and gorgeous Punk Rock Lea Thompson! Those days are over! Howard the Duck, feather boners and all, is here in high definition and will slowly, but surely be recognized as the work of genius it is! $9.49.
I apologize, but since Donald Trump won the election it's mandatory that every US citizen own a copy of Scott Baio's Zapped, the movie where he gets super powers after a high school lab accident. President Trump hasn't personally seen it, but “hears wonderful things.” Yes, there will be government agencies going door to door starting next January, so order this now and go ahead and get a back-up copy just in case. $15.96.
Solarbabies is a post-apocalyptic movie starring a cast of youth on rollerblades freeing an enslaved populace with the help of a healing alien glowing ball. I'm not making this up! Lukas Haas, Jason Patric, Jamie Gertz, James Le Gros and Charles Durning star. I'm serious! This is a real movie! $18.99.
Here's a great little movie that almost nobody has seen: My Boyfriend's Back, directed by the great character actor Bob Balaban. It's a sweet love story about a guy so determined to take the girl he loves to the prom that he won't let a little thing like dying stop him. Sweet and funny, this one also has early appearances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mathew McConaughey and Matthew Fox! $6.99.
The Burbs holds up, you guys. In fact, I'd say it's only gotten better with age. I miss funny Tom Hanks in movies. He's such a great straight man here, a regular every day suburbanite who slowly begins to believe the weird new neighbors might be evil cannibals. Joe Dante was on fire at this point in his career and this film still remains one of my favorites of his. $9.49.
Chuck Norris has to protect the US from an evil terrorist with a personal vendetta! A Joseph Zito cheeseball '80s classic! $18.59.
Throat-ripping! In HD! Yuuuussss. This movie is as badass as you remember. Moreso, maybe. Depends how much of a dipshit your memory is. $18.34.
There's considerably less throat-ripping in this Road House although Richard Widmark ain't a bad replacement for Patrick Swayze. These films have nothing in common but the title (and, you know, a road house). It's another great noir with badass Ida Lupino front and center in this love triangle gone bad tale. $17.50.
Tyrone Power's Zorro is super charming. You gotta put it into historical context and forgive the crazy amount of whitewashing going on, but this is still one of my favorite versions of this story. $15.99.
This is a pretty kick-ass movie that Harry showed me way back in the day. I mean, it's Kirk Douglas, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis about viking warriors competing for the love of a princess! Gorgeous Technicolor, too. I'm sure it looks great in HD! $15.96.
You may remember this title from Trumbo. This Oscar winning movie was secretly written by Dalton Trumbo while he was blacklisted and follows a young boy who raises a calf and does his best to save his hooved friend when he is chosen for a bullfight. $14.69.
This collection, celebrating Peck's 100th birthday, contains two of his most famous roles on Blu-Ray: Cape Fear and To Kill A Mockingbird. Both are essential viewing and Mockingbird is needed now more than ever. Parents, show your kids this movie, help them recognize empathy. $14.96.
I have a whole lotta dark, subversive genre stuff on this list, so it's only fair that I balance it out with some light, happy, sappy '60s romantic comedy fluff. The Doris Day and Rock Hudson Collection comes with three of their biggest collaborations: Pillow Talk, Send Me No Flowers and Lover Come Back. $19.99.
It's Christmas, so of course there's a new repackage of It's A Wonderful Life out! Nothing new here if you already own it, but if you don't and want to then this is a good, inexpensive way to own one of the most famous holiday movies ever made! $11.99.
Fred Astaire had many incredible on-screen dances in his career and some of the best can be found in this beautiful cinemascope musical. A must see if you like smiling ear to ear when watching your movies. $13.99.
Modesty Blaise was the swinging '60s female counterpoint to James Bond. Her world is just as colorful as Mr. Bond's (moreso, even) and has the added benefit of young Terence Stamp along for the ride! $13.99.
Every year there's something really cool from Old Hollywood that ends up released on Blu-Ray. This year it's the collected serials of Commando Cody! Olive Films has the original theatrical cuts (in the correct aspect ratio) not the shortened TV versions for your geeky pleasure! $14.96.
Two hours of vintage Hollywood bloopers, featuring the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis! $12.99.
I'm pretty sure it's safe to buy this release now. On launch it had some audio skipping problems that forced Paramount to send out replacement discs, but I'd imagine all current units are up to date and won't go schizo on you. Word is if your copy arrives with a yellow barcode that's the new, non-faulty disc. Dig the studio using the Tyler Stout Mondo art for this release, which bring Nicholas Meyer's Director's Cut to High Def for the first time. $14.95.
This isn't much more than the same Blu-Ray that's in the Alien Quadrilogy box set with a pretty 30th Anniversary cover, but if you already wore down your other Blu-Ray or just want to only have this movie out of the set, then this release is for you. $9.96.
It's going to be a bittersweet revisit when I pop this one in. We'll miss you, Bowie! For the 30th Anniversary of this film they've gone ahead and done a new 4k transfer, added a 7.1 surround option and loaded it up with all new docs on the legacy of Jim Henson and David Bowie with the cast and crew. $14.96.
If you feel the need for speed then you can't go wrong with this limited Steelbook release of Top Gun celebrating its 30th Anniversary. It's another double dip, but a great version to buy if your shelf is running dangerously low on '80s homo-erotic volleyball scenes. Plus steelbooks look really cool in your DVD collection! $11.99.
Highlander has been released approximately 2.7 million times on DVD and Blu-Ray, but here's a new 30th Anniversary edition for you in case you've missed any of the other releases. This one does feature the director's cut. There can be only one Highlander, but there can be many, many double dips! $10.96.
The Transformers movie turns 30 this year and to celebrate they've released a new transfer on Blu-Ray in one of them nifty steelbook covers! It may be metal, but the cover does not transform. Missed opportunity? You betcha! $24.99.
Another re-package, but it's cheaper than the last version to hit Blu-Ray, so celebrate Taxi Driver's 40th birthday with a cheaper version of the movie in high def! $9.99.
Manhattan Project was a staple of HBO back in the '80s, so everybody around my age has probably seen it at least a few dozen times. It's about a high school kid who builds an atomic bomb for his school science fair and all hell breaks loose. Great turn by John Lithgow in this one. $19.79.
Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds in a musical about Dom DeLuise trying to shut down a popular whorehouse in... where was it again? Mississippi? Tennessee? Somewhere. Anyway, it's a feel good flick that moms everywhere love for some damn reason. $7.88.
I have adored this movie since I was little dude and I will continue to adore this movie until I'm as old as the cast in this flick. Amblin with old people makes me smile. $7.49.
So, this doc covers the history of video game sounds, from the old penny arcade machines to Atari to today's massive cinema-like approach to sound design and score. There's a few really good item for gamers in the guide this year and this is one of the best ones! $17.99.
Everybody you worship now (Spielberg, Jackson, del Toro, Cameron, Landis, Wright, Dante) bows down at the altar of Ray Harryhausen. Here all the above and many more gather together to discuss the man's legacy, which makes this less of a standard documentary and more of an important historical document. $13.19.
Man, is this doc a joy. It's mostly just De Palma himself talking about his career, movie by movie, and that's a-okay by me. I could listen to this dude talk for 20 hours! So, where are the 10 sequels, already? $17.89.
Now this is super cool, a feature length doc on the making of Creepshow with a ton of rare behind the scenes footage and tons of interviews with those involved, including George Romero, Tom Savini, Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins! Only thing it doesn't come with is a piece of Father's Day cake! $14.99.
Here's a great Blu for the Star Wars fan in your life. So much has been done to cover the making of the movies, but very little has focused on the craftsmen and women who were just doing another job in the summer of '76. Carpenters, model makers, set constructors... Little did they know they were working on history. This is their story. $22.70.
Keeping the geeky documentaries rolling, here's one that takes a look at the effort from the Back to the Future community (both filmmakers and fans) to save the original DeLorean used in the films and meticulously bring it back to life after decades of deterioration. $12.73.
Dick Miller is the king of Character Actors as far as I'm concerned. True story: I don't pay for autographs, but I drove 3 hours to Dallas when Miller did an appearance and paid $25 for an autograph just because I wanted to shake this man's hand and tell him how much I adore his work. I did and now I have a Bucket of Blood lobby card signed by the man himself and a nice little story about meeting a dude who is one of the reasons cinema is magic to me. So, of course this doc is high on my priority list and I assume I'm not alone. $14.99.
Ron Howard's doc on the touring years of the Beatles is pretty rad because it's done with the full cooperation of the living Beatles and family, so that means you get a ton of great, rare footage and insight into one of the biggest pop culture moments in the last hundred years. $21.99.
PRE-ORDER, December 2nd! If you like early rock and roll this is the release for you. The TAMI SHOW and the Big TNT Show were huge, the first of which happening weeks after the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan, the follow-up coming 2 years later. So many amazing musicians showcased here. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Ike & Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Ray Charles and so many others. This is an amazing document from the early, dangerous days of rock and roll. $21.99.
The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is unquestionably one of the best rock albums ever produced and this is in-depth telling of how that album came together. $17.99.
Prince may be gone, but he's left behind a hell of a legacy, some of which have been assembled here in this Blu-Ray set that gathers together his three major cinematic contributions: Purple Rain, Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge. Another bittersweet addition to the guide this year. $17.99.
An insta-buy. Iron Giant is pure magic and this release finally brings us this classic on Blu-Ray. You get a bunch of extras, the original theatrical and new longer cuts. But most importantly you get this incredible movie. Sup-Ah Maaaaaaannnn. $12.81.
This movie's a bummer, but it's a happy bummer. Snoopy leaves Charlie Brown to go pay a visit to a sick girl who used to own him and the world shits on him the whole way. No Dog Allowed still kinda haunts me to this day. But still... this is a great one. $16.29.
A Boy Named Charlie Brown also hit Blu this year. This is the first theatrical Peanuts feature and it's the one with Charlie Brown heading to the Spelling Bee. I preferred Snoopy Come Home and Bon Voyage Charlie Brown growing up, but all the theatrical Peanuts movies are gold as far as I'm concerned. $15.99.
All the great Fall/Winter Holiday Peanuts films are here. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are included, which is awesome. I watched all of them growing up, of course, but oddly the Thanksgiving one is the least iconic, but probably the one I watched the most. I can thank my grandma for taping it off TV and giving it to me. Any one of these will instantly put you in the mood for the holiday it presents. $19.96.
How many good things can I say about this season of Rick & Morty? The show is still going strong and I hope it has a Simpsons-like endless run because I love this crazy, whacked out, fucked up universe so much. And I'll never, ever forget Mr. Poopybutthole. $23.39.
South Park doesn't seem to be as culturally impactful as it once was, but it's not because the quality of the show has gone down. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are still killing it each year. I couldn't tell you why I don't see their satire cutting through as well as it did a decade ago, but I do know that I adore how this show has grown over 20 seasons. $23.49.
If there's one thing I've learned scrutinizing pop culture for a living for almost 2 decades it's that you never underestimate Mike Judge. That dude's instincts are crazy good (look at Idiocracy) and man was he spot on with Silicon Valley. He gathered a great cast and cut to the core of the current tech business culture in a way that rings truer than true. I love this group and can't wait to keep following them on their awkward adventures. $23.34.
I'm a late-comer to Veep, but man do I dig it. Clueless politicians are nothing new, but Julia Louis Dreyfuss is on another level here. Don't look at me weird, but I think she's better in this than on Seinfeld. My unwavering crush on Anna Chlumsky might also help me adore this show... $16.99.
Cable shows are unbelievable these days. Such high quality and The Knick is a perfect example of longform storytelling really drawing you in. Olden days of surgery makes for a gory background to some incredible character work. Season 2 is fresh out this year. Great stuff! $24.69.
Stephen King's longer books can be tough nuts to crack and 11.22.63 is particularly challenging to pull off, but I thought James Franco and team did an admirable job with this time-hopping tale about a man trying to stop the Kennedy assassination. $23.33.
There are a few very early post-apocalyptic movies that really find my happy place. Panic in Year Zero is one of them. Ray Milland, Jean Hagen and Frankie Avalon survive a nuclear bomb detonation over LA and try to survive the fallout. This film was released just before the Cuban Missile Crisis. How's that for timely? $15.96.
What's Christmas without some crazy B-movie goodness? If you're into making fun of old movies there's also a Rifftrax option as well. $19.99.
Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter goes through the history of sexploitation, from pre-code to today, and if that wasn't enough there's also over 3 hours of material from the Something Weird archives. Not just nudie films, by the way. Also crazy STD scare films and likewise fascinating stuff from a bygone era. $18.82.
The pedigree behind this film is unbelievable. Here's the cast: Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Ringo Starr, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, John Astin, Sugar Ray Robinson and Ewa Aulin as the title character. It's based on a Terry Southern book, which was adapted by Buck Henry. And the plot? It's about a high school girl going on a journey of sexual discovery. Did you know this movie existed? I bet not. $19.79.
Roger Corman made a few drug flicks and this is one of them. The Trip stars Peter Fonda (of course it does), Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper and Susan Strasberg. Oh, and it's written by Jack Nicholson! Far out, man! $18.99.
This is kind of a worst-case-scenario reality for conservatives, the tale of a rock star calling for the voting age to be lowered to 14 and beginning a political rise to power on a platform that includes making everybody take LSD and putting anyone over the age of 35 into re-education camps. I don't want to go into no camps, but maybe in light of recent events some of this isn't a bad idea...$14.96.
Another Roger Corman joint, this time a crime family tale with Angie Dickinson teaming up with Tom Skerritt, a bank robber, and a gambler, played by William Shatner, to make a quick buck. A little sleazy and a lot of fun. $24.98.
Exploitation at its finest. This is both a blaxploitation movie, a women in prison movie and Fililipino jungle flick as two caged women who don't much like each other (Pam Grier and Margaret Markov) are chained together after a prison break. Good early Pam Grier fun here. $18.99.
I don't know if there's a movie been made that's anywhere near as fun as Dolemite is. What's amazing is stuff like Black Dynamite is a comedy retelling of absurd movies like Dolemite, but the originals are way funnier and they're not comedies. I'm not talking about them as being “so bad they're good.” Fuck that. There's something so authentic about the ambition behind Dolemite and Rudy Ray Moore is so inherently hilarious with his swagger that he made one of the most entertaining films ever completed. And it's never looked better. This is a new 2k remaster from the original negative and also loaded with bonus features. Trust me, invite some friends, throw this on without any warning and get ready to watch their minds blow out of their heads. $14.48.
PRE-ORDER, December 6th! A couple Bruce Lee flicks are getting new blu-rays in December. First up is The Chinese Connection, about a Chinese martial arts student who returns to his dojo to find his master dead and some asshole Japanese martial arts students look to have something to do with it. Bad move asshole Japanese martial arts students. You do know this is Bruce Lee, right? $13.77.
PRE-ORDER, December 6th! Lee's other not-Enter The Dragon flick, Fists of Fury (aka The Big Boss) also hits Blu courtesy of Shout Factory in December. This is the one where he works in an ice factory and his cousins and co-worker start disappearing. He must break his non-violence vow (thank God) and stand up to yet more bullies. Get 'em, Bruce! $13.77.
Since we're talking about Bruce Lee, how about a collection of Donnie Yen's IP Man movies? They're about a real life guy who was Lee's master afterall. And they're crazy fun, especially when the great Sammo Hung joins in. You get all three films for under $5 a pop! Great deal! $14.99.
You think you understand how funny Airplane is, but if you haven't seen every single one of these nutty Airport movies from the '70s you're only getting half the jokes in that spoof. It's amazing to me that this was a huge franchise back then, but it was. This Blu set gets you Airport, Airport 1975, Airport '77 and The Concord: Airport '79. $15.17.
There's a sniper at the big game and only Charlton Heston can stop him! Really fun '70s “high concept” crime flick. $19.99.
I've never seen this one, but I love the concept. A terrorist (Timothy Bottoms) targets amusement parks and it's up to the safety inspector played by George Segal to stop him. Yes, please. $19.59.
Early in his career Burt Reynolds was almost typecast as playing Native American characters. This is one of those movies. He's an Injun that steals guns and money for his people and Jim Brown (!) is a lawman who's hunting him down. Raquel Welch joins in on the fun and ultimately they all end up teaming up to fight off a big bad guy Mexican army general. $19.99.
This is a Pancho Villa story with Yul Brynner as Pancho. Great cast is rounded out by Herbert Lom, Fernando Rey, Robert Mitchum and Charles Bronson. $19.99.
If I could force every reader of this guide to own one movie it'd be this one. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3... is all-time great. Yes, I know I'm biased because it's one of Robert Shaw's best non-Quint roles, but everything about this film speaks to me. The score is incredible, Walter Matthau is the perfect schlubby adversary to the elegant criminal mind of Robert Shaw and it's got such a killer final shot. Forget the okay remake. This is the real deal and with this Blu-Ray you get an audio commentary by the great Pat Healy to boot! $13.99.
Walter Matthau is slowly becoming one of my all-time favorite actors. I've always liked him, but once you go beyond the “old man roles” stage of his career you really find some gems. I don't know if this is one of them. I first heard of this title when I was doing research for this guide, but I love that he can still surprise me with these cool-sounding titles. This 1973 film co-stars Louis Gossett Jr. and Bruce Dern. I know I'm eager to check it out. $19.99.
Here's a John Frankenheimer directed, Michael Caine starring adaptation of Robert Ludlum's Holcroft books. This one sees Caine being put in charge of billions intended to be used for WW2 reparations, but instead is being sought to set up a Fourth Reich. $13.99.
Only thing I know about this one is that it's a Sam Fuller film I haven't seen, so I must watch it! And what a title! I'm glad I have no idea what it's about! Time for a blind buy and equally blind watch, I think! $16.54.
I adore '70s exploitation and Killer Force is a great example of this era. Killer Force is a diamond heist flick, but it's got a bonkers cast. Telly Savalas, Christopher Lee, Peter Fonda, Maude Adams and OJ Simpson! Hooray for the '70s! $19.79.
Speaking of crazy '70s movies with great casts, you can't overlook this zany gem. Fuzz stars Burt Reynolds in a crime comedy that goes legitimately bonkers. Seriously, you think you know how nuts this gets, but you don't have any idea. Unless you've seen it. But I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to all the new people who will fall in love with this wacky movie. $18.99.
I think crazy Shelley Winters is my favorite Shelley Winters and she's pretty off her rocker in this one, playing a woman who adopts a dead ringer for her missing daughter. Oliver's Mark Lester plays the brother of the girl Winters adopts who realizes something's wrong in Denmark. $13.99.
Hey, remember that movie where Rutger Hauer was a terrorist being chased down by Sylvestor Stallone and Billy Dee Williams? Yep, I'm talking about Nighthawks and it's out on Blu-Ray because our movie gods are kind and wonderful. $18.39.
This one is an Alamo Drafthouse Weird Wednesday staple and calling Sinful Dwarf weird is an understatment. As you can tell by that cover, this film isn't for the faint of heart and most certainly should be gifted only to people you know are as fucked up in the head as you are. $20.69.
This is my favorite Argento film (although I will always make a case for the pissed off revenge monkey subplot in Phenomena) and Synapse has it in our region (by “our” I mean us here in America), which means we have their HD transfer from the 35mm negative plus a feature length doc on the history of the giallo. Neat! $20.19.
Young Jodie Foster stars in this thriller about a little girl living in a big house with her reclusive father... or so she says. Shit gets pretty dark from there. Another thank God for the '70s flick. No way this movie gets made (in this way) today. $18.99.
The Frankenstein Legacy Blu set comes with 8 films featuring everybody's favorite undead flattop! You get Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, The Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula and Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein! Friiiiieeeennnndddd... goooooooooooddddd. $39.98.
Seven Wolf-Man films in high def for only $21! That's $3 a movie! You get The Wolf Man, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Werewolf of London and She-Wolf of London plus a ton of bonus features. One of my favorite Universal Monsters done right by this release! $21.49.
I don't know if there's any real new work that went into this “restored” edition as the transfer looks pretty similar to the previous releases to me, but I do know that this movie's awesome and still continues to be awesome. And I'm sorry I called you Meatloaf, Jack. $12.13.
Notice a trend going on? We continue our werewolf roll with this weird '70s kind kids movie/kinda horror movie where Kerwin Matthews (aka Sinbad) gets attacked by a werewolf at his secluded cabin and nobody will believe his lying son, who was the only witness. I wouldn't say this one is a must see, but it's certainly a genre oddity would be appreciated by hardcore fans. $18.29.
Jesus, I haven't seen this movie since it first came out. I remember Dennis the Menace was in it and that the family dog could sense the dad was a werewolf and didn't like him. I also remember liking the flick, but that's about it. Add another one to the revisit stack, Siri! Siri? Are you listening? Goddamnit, Siri... $18.29.
A kid's teddy bear tells him to kill people (mostly other children) and he does so by pushing them into a pit filled with monsters. You know, same old cookie cutter story we always see out of Hollywood. This is one '80s cult classic that really lives up to that moniker. $18.99.
Lucio Fulci was known for making some weird stuff in his time and this one's no exception. An Egyptian charm awakens supernatural forces in New York. Not the gorefest he's known for, but a fun film nonetheless. This Blue Underground release is chock full of extras, so you definitely get your money's worth here. $24.96.
You either like Italian zombie flicks or you don't. Either opinion is valid, but I don't know too many people who are soft on these kinds of movies. Burial Ground is definitely an Italian zombie flick, so make of that what you will. $18.99.
This is pretty neat: Shout Factory is putting some theatrical plays out on Blu-Ray, the Patti LuPone/Neil Patrick Harris production of Sweeney Todd being one of their first releases. I dig this as a document of specific performances that would otherwise be held only in the memories of those lucky enough to have attended. $21.19.
The Death Wish films went fucking nuts. In the sequel some dumbass hoods assault Paul Kersey's daughter. Apparently these guys didn't watch the first film. Charles Bronson ain't messing around and he goes after them, once again seeking revenge and getting it. Jimmy Page does the score. $20.69.
We've had the only great Jaws movie on an amazing Blu-Ray for a couple years now. I guess they decided it was okay to release the other ones. I appreciate all of them on a certain level, but it's unquestionable that Jaws 2 is the best sequel. For starters it's the only one to get Brody back. The problem is so much time is spent on the island with Brody trying to once again convince the township that a shark is off the coast of Amity once more. Despite that plot-crawler, what's amazing about this movie is that it was done so close to the original that the film stock, locations and returning background actors all look and feel like the first film. In that way it captures some of that small island charm that the original did. Oh, and it also has another great John Williams score, so that helps, too. $9.39.
Jaws 3-D is worth watching for the 3-D and goofy idea of setting a giant shark loose in Sea World, but that's about it. The “Quint” replacement character is a joke and the shark looks so damn fake. It'd be the fakest looking shark of the series if it wasn't for the next title... Jaws 3-D (yes, the 3-D version is included) can be had for $9.39.
This is the one that finally killed the franchise! Some unforgivable sins in this one, like killing Martin Brody off with a heart attack sometime between Jaws movies and a shark that looks like it'd be rejected from Universal Studios for looking too rubbery, but I must admit to a little nostalgia for this one, roaring shark and all. Michael Caine, bless his heart, actually kind of looks like he's having fun. $9.39.
Before there was Bates Motel, there was this legit sequel/prequel that has old Norman talking to a radio talkshow host over the phone and telling them about his relationship with mother, which we seein flashback. ET's Henry Thomas plays young Norman and Olivia Hussey plays mama. This was a made for TV movie, I believe, and it's not bad. $19.99.
This is another blast from the past for me, a film a vividly remember seeing theatrically. Alicia Silverstone is a crazy teenage girl with a crush on an older man (Carey Elwes) that goes way out of control. $17.59.
Session 9 is a great haunted asylum creepfest. This is one of the better under-seen horror flicks of the aughts. $19.59.
Return of Godzilla (aka Godzilla 1984) has finally hit Blu-Ray in its original uncut form. The original Japanese cut is 20 minutes longer and significantly more dark in tone and not for nothing it has more man-in-suit destruction! $9.19.
William Castle and Joan Crawford teamed up for this low budget thriller with a pretty great premise. Two teens prank call people saying “I saw what you did and I know who you are” for laughs, but when they unknowingly call a man who just killed his wife shit gets serious. John Ireland also stars. $19.72.
Frances Ford Coppola's Dementia 13 gets another release from the Film Detective, who say they've “restored” the film from “original 35mm elements.” I haven't laid eyes on this disc personally so I don't know how restored this title is, but movie fans should definitely be interested in early Coppola no matter what. $14.99.
This little-seen Jack Palance film is actually really solid. He plays a strange guy who rents an attic room in 1880s London. If you want to see Jack Palance play Jack the Ripper (and I know you do) then this one's for you! $9.99.
Oliver Reed + Snakes = Venom. Some low down degenerates, comprised of the rather intimadating group of Reed, Susan George and Klaus Kinski, try to kidnap a rich kid from his country estate but don't count on a deadly Black Mamba snake ruining their plans. This is a real movie that exists and it's got a ridiculous pedigree. Sterling Hayden, Nicol Williamson and Sarah Miles are also in the cast. Blue Underground did this up with a new 2k transfer and a director's commentary. $17.46.
Speaking Klaus Kinski, he pops up in both of these Hammer flicks with the great Christopher Lee. I haven't seen Five Golden Dragons, but can vouche for the kickassness of Circus of Fear. $17.99.
Another cool Hammer Double Bill on Blu-Ray. This one brings us The Revenge of Frankenstein and Curse of the Mummy's Tomb. The transfers reportedly leave a lot to be desired, but it's cheap and cool to even have access to these lesser known Hammer titles. $8.99.
The Gorgon is one of my favorite Hammer flicks. It's got a great monster and is still legitimately creepy to this day. It's been ages since I've seen the Paul Massie version of Jekyl/Hyde, but I remember liking it a lot. One of these days they'll do up these Hammer films in complete gorgeous remasters. This release is reportedly a bit on the compressed side, but again the price is right and the quality of the films alone is with having them in your collection. $8.99.
I don't know why I love these cheap double feature discs so much... might be the bargain hunter in me loving the 2 for 1 deal, but I think it might be because they usually pair off the films with a big, known title and a smaller, more forgotten film that couldn't sell itself. I've discovered a lot of little movies I otherwise wouldn't have that way. The double bill on display here is a William Castle twofer, 13 Ghosts and 13 Frightened Girls. The number 13 is spooky, you see. First first film is one of Castle's more famous, a tale of a haunted mansion, and the second is a thriller about the daughter of a diplomat uncovering the muder of a Russian diplomat. $8.11.
Here's another Castle Double Bill, this one two thoroughly depraved little flicks: Homicidal and Mr. Sardonicus. Sardonicus in particular is weird, nasty little movie that reeks of Tales From The Crypt/EC Comics storytelling. $8.11.
One of the best movies ever made put out by one of the best home video companies ever created. John Frankenheimer's Manchurian Candidate had the brilliant idea of making the usually loveable Angela Lansbury viciously evil. This thriller about brainwashing and assassination is as tense today as it was upon release. It's themes of Russia trying to manipulate a presidential election hit a little close to home these days, doesn't it? $24.75.
Easy Rider was released by Criterion in a box set a while back, but now you can get it as a singular release. Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper potested with art and made this weird flick about hippies riding cross country on motorcycles, interacting with all sorts. Still has a hell of a soundtrack. $23.82.
Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings is the original To Have and Have Not, a story about a rag-tag group of pilots in South America that have to fly dangerous routes in order to earn a living. Cary Grant is the leader and falls for Jean Arthur. Golden oldie done up proudly by Criterion! $24.47.
Carnival of Souls is a little arty-farty for my personal tastes, but a whole lot of really smart cinema fans adore this film. It makes sense Criterion put it out as even I'd admit the film was highly inspirational and quite influential to genre on the whole. Just not for me. $23.65.
Criterion gathered together four documentaries that give you an inside look at the Kennedy administration, from the campaign trail to the civil rights struggle via the integration of the University of Alabama and Kennedy's funeral. A fly on the wall insight into one of the most beloved presidents of all time. $22.50.
When Criterion releases a documentary on Ingrid Bergman, much of it shot herself, you gotta perk up a little bit, right? She was one of the screen's most devastatingly beautiful and talented actresses and I realize only now that I know very little of her actual story, just what she put up on the screen. Very interested in checking this one out. $22.99.
Robert Altman's The Player is a big favorite of those in Hollywood because it's a pretty honest dramatization of what actually goes on in that town, which is really messed up when you think about it. Altman's film is entertaining and full of familiar faces. $24.58.
If you like your animated sci-fi films trippy and very French then look no further than Fantastic Planet. $24.99.
If Stanley Kubrick had only ever made Dr. Strangelove he would still be known as one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived. That's who good this movie is. The power of satire has never been so finely focused as it is in this film and Criterion gave it the love and attention it deserves. This is a must-own release. $26.84.
Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a deeply effecting, emotional story that happens to be visually dazzeling. It's no surprise to me that Criterion has included it in their library. The only surprise for me is that it took them this long to do it. $26.19.
If you haven't collected any of Guillermo's movies on Criterion, don't worry. They got your back with this Trilogia de Guillermo del Toro, which takes Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth and puts them in a gorgeous package. All are great films and this package is so thoroughly Guillermo I can't help but smile when I look at it. $65.40.
Criterion doing Val Lewton is just so astoundingly awesome to me. Cat People is one of the most gorgeous horror movies ever shot and to have that cinematography perserved by Criterion is amazing. So, you have Simone Simon as a were-panther in a film that is still tense even by today's standards, thanks to the genius direction of Jacques Tourneur. $27.85.
The Coen Brothers' first movie and boy did they hit the ground running. So much style on display and even at this early stage their voices are loud and clear. If you've somehow avoided this film, Criterion has taken away your excuse to do so any longer. $30.06.
Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller is the perfect way to remember the recently deceased Leonard Cohen. For many cinephiles this was their gateway drug into his music. The movie itself is well-made and fascinating in its place in cinema history. The western was dying and the melancholy ambiguity of this film relfects that. Add in Warren Beatty and Julie Christie's outstand performances and you have one for the ages. $26.19.
Altman's follow-up to The Player is almost as successful and that's saying something considering how amazing The Player is. I'd list the cool people in the cast, but there's not enough room on the internet. $26.19.
One of Altman's most famous movies is this one, Nashville, a film that I appreciate for its technique more than its story, but even I can't ignore how important this was in bring a degree of naturalism into the mainstream.$27.99.
I have similar feeling about Richard Linklater's Boyhood as I do Altman's Nashville. I adore the technique more than the story in both. Linklater's film has the added benefit of being shot locally so not only do we get to see a boy grow up before our eyes I also recognize my city changing around him as he does, which adds a layer of inclusion in the film. Not everybody will feel that exactly, but I think there's a vibe most can recognize and compare to the changing world around them from these ages. $26.19.
City Light is The Tramp at his most romantic. He falls in love with a blind flower girl and tries to dig up money for a surgery that could fix her. Chaplin's films all have an air of whimsy to them, but this one is probably the most endearing. $31.29.
If you have a film elitist friend, this is the title for you. Not because Ozu's Tokyo Story is bad or up its own butt, it's just a heavy, serious black and white Japanese drama. It's quite moving, actually, but this one probably won't go over well with Cousin Bubba if you know what I mean. A refined movie for a refined film watcher. $27.99.
This one is a little more accessible for people. Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress was a template for Star Wars. Imagine if that movie was focused on Han Solo instead of Luke Skywalker and you're close to pegging this one. Toshiro Mifune is in the lead and, of course, kicks all the ass that has ever been available to be kicked. $26.19.
Vittorio de Sica made this classic '50s Italian film about a father and young son trying to track down a stolen bicycle that means the difference between homelessness and gainful employment. A film school staple that's actually good! $26.09.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! Fellini's Roma has the master focusing on the people of the city of (you guessed it) Rome. Light on narrative, heavy on capturing the real feeling of the people of Rome, this one is great fans of character studies. $27.99.
If you hear “Orson Welles playing Falstaff” and get excited at the prospect then this one is definitely for you. For a long while this film was damn hard to find, but now you can see Welles in all his insane glory as one of Shakespeare's most colorful characters. $25.99.
'40s melodrama via the great David Lean in which two married people gradually fall in love with each other over many brief encounters (get it the title now?) at the train station. $25.48.
Bogart stars as screenwriter accused of murder, Gloria Grahame is his neighbor who clears him and they fall in love... but maybe Bogies not so innocent. Awesome Hollywood noir directed by the great Nicholas Ray. $27.89.
This is the original film, starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin (not the Michael Douglas/Albert Brooks remake) and is madcap as you'd want it to be as two fathers thrown together by the pending nuptuals of their children. $25.99.
The Pocahontas tale told through the unparalleled lens of Terrence Malick. You may love this film or hate it, but you can't deny that it's one of the most beautifully photographed movies of the aughts. $32.25.
To be honest I've never sat down to watch the Dekalog. Ten hours of Polish drama is way too daunting, even if it is broken up in the mini-series format. One of these days I'll suck it up and make film school professors the world over super happy and when that day comes it'll likely be this edition I sit down with. $68.18.
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams is fascinating on many levels. From a pure cinephile level it's amazing to see a generation of masters gathering together to pay respect to the one that inspired them all. Spielberg produced and Scorsese plays a part in the film, for instance. This is one of Kurosawa's last works and it's huge, imaginative and flat out lovely. $39.95.
At the height of his power Marlon Brando chose to move into directing and tried his hand at it with this pretty damn good western, One-Eyed Jacks. It's a tale of revenge as a bandit is double crossed and left for his captors. Years later he breaks out and tracks down his partner. Great western cast including Slim Pickens, Ben Johnson and Elisha Cook Jr. $27.99.
I'll never forget watching Punch Drunk Love for the first time. I saw it at a mall theater close to my house and afterwards two very large, unhappy people in sweat shorts and basketball jerseys complained loudly about the film. “Adam Sandler was in it and it wasn't even funny!” Needless to say, I was team Punch Drunk Love from the beginning and still think it's a wonderful, magical film. The use of Shelley Duvall's Popeye song He Needs Me is still one of my favorite things to have happened in a movie since I started paying attention. $26.19.
Noah Baumbach's semi-autobiographical tale of children coping with divorce is about as typical a film fest template you could imagine, but somehow doesn't come across as cookie cutter. A lot of that has to do with the script, but they also have an incredible cast including Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney and an early turn from Jesse Eisenberg. $27.99.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! One of the better crime stories from an era filled with jaw-droppingly brilliant work. On top of being an engaging, entertaining story filled with doublecrosses, John Huston's Asphalt Jungle was also the film to launch Marilyn Monroe into stardom.$26.19.
PRE-ORDER, January 10th! I love, love, love me some screwball comedies! The screwier the better, I say! One of the kings of this particular subgenre is Howard Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY about a newspaper editor doing his damndest to keep his best reporter (and ex-wife) from remarrying. Cary Grant's chemistry with Rosalind Russell is next level great. So psyched Criterion is putting this one out! $34.99.
This campy on-the-nose look at the hard road ahead of women trying to break into (and survive) the entertainment industry is another title to get the coveted Criterion treatment this year. And it's not alone... first you have this title and then you have the next one, which makes a hell of a double feature... $27.99.
It kind of blows my mind that either “Valley of the Dolls” films are Criterion titles, but I love living in a world where that's the case. If you're at all a fan of film criticism and haven't seen this you owe it to yourself to watch it and then dig up Roget Ebert's less favorable reviews of things you love. It gets especially fun when he gets morally righteous over “too dark” children's films or something. You are the dude who wrote THIS movie, yeah? That's not a knock on Ebert's writing, by the way. This weird-ass movie is actually pretty good, but boy does it not give a fuck about offending anyone. $27.99.
This is a late addition to the Guide, but once I saw that Drafthouse was putting out a Klown collection on a dick-shaped flashdrive I had to come back in and add it to the section. This limited edition release gets you 1080p HD versions of Klown and and Klown Forever as well as all 60 episodes of the original Danish TV series! And all on a cock! Perfect stocking stuffer! $32.99.
I want to pick up this release just to listen to the JJ Abrams commentary. I know it's fashionable to nitpick this movie now, but like the Millennium Falcon she's got it where it counts. Abrams did the impossible: he introduced new Star Wars characters just as interesting (if not moreso) than the older cast. Finn, Rey, Poe, BB-8 and, yes, Kylo Ren are all terrific additions to this universe and I'm excited to see how they carry the torch. This 3-D release comes with the 2D version as well as the extras from the previous version, plus that JJ commentary. $29.96.
Star Wars Rebels has been continuing the greatness of The Clone Wars in ways that excites me more and more every episode. Rich character work, complicated emotions bubbling underneath the surface and exciting sci-fi/fantasy set pieces keep this thing fresh. The finale of Season 2 is as about as epic a tie up of a loose plot thread from Clone Wars as you could hope for. The folks making this show are making magic. $34.99.
Seems like there's a new Star Trek: The Original Series Blu set out every holiday season. This is this year's! 20 discs filled with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov and the rest of the original Enterprise crew! $58.60.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! Not sure this is all that great of a deal since you only get 12 episodes. The rub is that there's archival BTS footage never before released that can be found in the original featurettes and docs on this disc. Those cunning bastards! $50.99.
Here's the Star Trek Animated Series in high-def! Awwwwww yeah! $36.99.
This set came out last year, but I was in a Star Trek-y mood and figured it would be cool to include it again here. Plus it's just badass. Leonard Nimoy spent a good deal of the '70s investigating paranormal phenomena, myth and magic! And it aired on TV! How cool is that? This package comes with over 3000 minutes of such material. There's so much cool stuff in this world, you guys. $39.99.
Game of Thrones saw 2 seasons hit blu this year. I got both of them up here and the complete (up to current, anyway) set in the more expensive section below. Season 5 saw Jon Snow become Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Sansa's marriage to Ramsay Bolton and the rise of the Faith Militant in King's Landing. $34.99.
The most current season turned the dail up to 11, with the Mother of Dragons finally making a move towards King's Landing, Arya finishing her training and the final confrontation with Ramsay Bolton. So much happened this season while also pushing all remaining characters towards that Iron Throne. Shit's about to go crazy in Westeros. The dominos are about to fall. $39.96.
I was late to the game (as usual) with Hannibal, but the upside to that is that I got to binge watch the entire series and boy is it good. You guys were right! Now you can do that same thing in super duper high def! $34.99.
As a fan of the original comic I totally get why some of the more hardcore among us are a little impatient with the show, but I actually like that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg & Co are letting us really get to know these characters before all the real deal crazy shit starts happening. The cast is gelling pretty perfectly now. Let's get them on the road and get to the sacrilegious meat of this story, shall we? $34.96.
I may be the only person writing online that still admits to watching and liking The Walking Dead (others do it, but won't speak out!), but damnit I do. This is the season that saw Rick and his followers nudge up against a group that's more hardcore than they are. Some don't like that our group isn't the top dog anymore, but to me that power reversal is what makes this show exciting. $32.94.
I'm so behind on The Strain. I'm not out of Season 1 yet, but I like what I see. Season 2 is out, so hopefully I can grab a copy and add it to the stack of stuff to catch up on over the holidays. $26.99.
Oh, man, do I love this show. This, Tales From The Crypt, Eerie, Indiana and Monsters were some of my favorite things as a horror-obsessed youngster. The full Tales From the Darkside has been released before, but this is by far the cheapest it's been and in the nicest set. I can hear that creepy intro music as I type this... $28.89.
As a youngster I was very much in the camp that got sorely disappointed when the Friday the 13th show was some monster of the week bullshit and not focused on Jason. I suspect adult me would have more patience. Adult me ended up forgiving (and loving) Halloween III, afterall. Will have to give this one another shot now that it's available to binge. $32.92.
Here's the show the kids from Stand By Me were singing about! Every episode (225 in total) of the adventures of Richard Boone's Paladin, a gentleman gunslinger, are gathered here in one ginormous set! $59.75.
The original Charlie's Angels is so full of kitsch and charm that I have to imagine this set is going to make for some very happy Christmas mornings. $34.96.
Equally kitschy, but in an '80s cool kinda way, the original Miami Vice series also gets a box set this holiday season. $49.96.
We're not done with '80s shows just yet. Knight Rider makes it to Blu-Ray in this huge box set, compiling the entire adventures of Michael Knight and his cool-ass talking car, KITT. $49.96.
Airwolf might not be as famous of Knight Rider, but in my opinion it's way cooler. It can't help itself... It has the Ernest Borgnine-flying-a-tricked-out-helicopter edge. Sorry, KITT. $41.80.
House of Cards isn't so funny anymore, is it? Still, I'd rather have Frank Underwood in office than President Trump. At least Frank and Claire know how the system works, right? In all seriousness, this HBO show is highly addicting and if you haven't been sucked in yet, now's as good a time as any. Season 4 is out and will run you $27.99.
We're already on season 9 of the new run of Doctor Who, which marks Peter Capaldi's second series as the Time Lord. If you need a reason to watch this one in particular, this is the series with Nick Frost as Santa Claus. Winner! $47.99.
Twin Peaks is coming back with a vengeance next year. That hasn't really sunk in yet, but it will and when the new David Lynch-directed series hits you'll want to be caught up. Thankfully you can get Blus of the entire series as well as the longer cut of the pilot and the feature, Fire Walk With Me, in one place. The only downsides is the commentaries from the Gold Box didn't make the transition, but the transfers are reportedly better on this one. $45.61.
Like the show or not, we can all agree that it'll always be worth it because it gave us Melissa Benoist, right? I may or may not be harboring a teensy tiny little crush on her. Don't tell nobody. $36.93.
DC TV has been nailing it in ways the cinematic universe has been struggling with, especially when it comes to The Flash. This show is the proof that if you gather a charming cast and give them good character writing audiences will stick with you through anything... even telepathic gorillas.$36.69.
Finn and Jake are still at it! Season 6 of Adventure Time! $26.99.
The People V OJ Simpson was a crazy pop culture phenomenon this year. Once you see John Travolta's performance as Robert Shapiro you'll understand why. There's also a bit of nostalgia at play. I felt it as someone in middle school as the trial went on. You take that nostalgia and get good actors playing memorable roles and blammo! You got a success on your hands! $29.99.
It's been a pretty big crime story year. People are eating that stuff up. HBO's The Night Of is such a story, about a likeable young guy who meets a woman, spends the night with her and wakes up to find her dead. He's accused of the killing and it's up to John Turturro to figure out how to prove his innocence and/or just plain get him off the hook while his client tries to survive in prison. Star Wars Rogue One will likely put Riz Ahmed on the map, but his work here is what should make people pay attention to him as an actor. $34.96.
The great thing about film noir as a sub-genre is there's very few entries that are just flat out worthless. There's something interesting about even the weakest film noirs. Might just be how good they look in stark black and white or how they don't mind going to dark places, but it's always worth your time to check out a new title. This noir set comes with 5 flicks you probably haven't seen before: Witness to Murder, Big House, USA, A bullet for Joey, Storm Fear and He Ran All The Way. All of these have faces you'll recognize, from Dan Duryea to Edward G. Robinson to Barbary Stanwyck to Charles Bronson and Lon Chaney. There's gold in them thar hills! $39.59.
There's almost nothing else on this planet that makes me happier than Buster Keaton's short films. I have the previous Blu set, but Kino just released this one that have them remastered from 2 and 4k scans of the original remaining film elements. The storytelling on display is almost as unbelievable as the batshit crazy stunts Keaton did. I'm pretty convinced he was a wizard. It's the only way to explain how he did some of these things... $38.99.
Marx Brothers in Blu-Ray! This set gives you The Cocoanuts, Monkey Business, Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup. $41.49.
I had the great pleasure of introducing both Bill & Ted movies to my nephews over the summer and I'm happy to report that the next generation loves them just as much mind did! Station in particular went over well. Spread the wisdom of Bill S. Preston Esq and Ted Theodore Logan! Be excellent to each other! $33.26.
Eight Hammer Horror Films in one big Blu-Ray box set. You get The Curse of the Werewolf, Nightmare, The Evil of Dr. Frankenstein, Night Creatures, Paranoiac, The Kiss of the Vampire, Phantom of the Opera and Brides of Dracula! That a whole lotta red paint blood! $31.99.
Exorcist III is one of the most underrated horror sequels ever and it does my shriveled black little heart good to see it finding a second life. We can all agree that Exorcist II is absolute garbage, but this one's actually worthy, if completely different, follow-up to one of the best movies ever made. If you haven't seen it yet, blind buy it. Trust me. $34.93.
Scream Factor's The Thing release has proven to be one of the most sought after genre titles of the year. As usual, they did an amazing job with the transfer, packaging and special features. Winter is coming. Why not have one of the best snowy cold-feeling movies ever made to throw on and get into the spirit? $32.99.
Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes is a great example of the man's ability to convey a disturbing tone. That's what's still there after all these years. It's not so much the content of the movie, which is pretty outrageous still, but the underlying tone. The family hunted by cannibal desert people story works because of that grimey feeling that gets under your skin. Arrow has a new transfer out from a 4k restoration that includes a lot of special features, including documentaries and a Wes Craven commentary track. $39.95.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! Creepshow 2 is another favorite of mine. I actually like it more than the original (ssh, don't tell Stephen King). Chief Wood'nhead, The Raft and the Hitch-hiker all stuck with me from childhood. Especially The Raft. That segment made me more nervous of the water than Jaws did. This link takes you to the limited collector's edition, which is a few bucks more expensive than the regular, but it's limited to 3000 pieces and comes with a collectible booklet. $25.29.
Arrow also put out the even crazier Re-Animator sequel, Bride of Re-Animator! 2K restoration of the unrated version, new commentary from director Brian Yuzna, plus the older commentary tracks and featurettes. Nice little package, innit? $39.95.
Chopping Mall (aka Killbots) was one of my favorite “discoveries” of my teen year. Boy is this one fun. Chopping Mall is a very misleading title, since it's about Johnny-5-ish security robots at a mall that go crazy and start killing people. You'd think it's more of a slasher, but it's a sci-fi horror flick. This one is super fun, a great crowd-pleaser so invite your buds over, get wasted and enjoy this crazy slice of '80s fried gold! $25.74.
Here's another weird-o '80s horror movie put out by Vestron. The only memory I have of this movie is a dude gets shoved into a deep frier and comes back up with a giant hushpuppy for a head. In other words this movie is neck and neck with Citizen Kane. $27.92.
Zach Galligan had two franchises: Gremlins and Waxwork. I guess you can figure out why he didn't have three franchises after Waxwork. I give it a little shade, but these movies are super fun. They're just cheesy B-movies that never rose above their pecking order. Sorry to be a dick, Zach. You're a good actor and seem like a good dude. $26.99.
Odds are you have Gremlins 1 and 2 on blu-ray already, but if you don't then might as well go all out and get this set that comes with 2 limited edition Funko Pop figures! $59.99.
One of my favorite films of 2016. It's uniquely Kiwi, but don't worry... that doesn't mean it's inaccessible to non-Kiwis! If you're in need of a feel-good flick, this one's for you. Grumpy Sam Neill and young star in the making Julian Dennison make a great odd couple that end up on the run together in the wilderness of NZ. Think of the vibe like Flight of the Concords meets Wes Anderson and you're on the right track. $26.99.
Joan Crawford stars in this western about a saloon owner accused of being a robber. The great Nicholas Ray directs. Olive Films put this out after a brand new 4k restoration. The disc comes with film historian audio commentary, docs and an intro recorded by noneother than Martin Scorsese! $27.99.
Warren Oates' Dillinger is a thing of beauty. Here's one of our great character actors given a leading man role and absolutely crushing it! The great John Milius directs this true crime film with Oates, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman and Richard Dreyfuss! $25.29.
A new limited edition blu of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon with new deleted scenes, a retrospective doc with the cast and crew, and a 4k restoration. The film was already one of the most gorgeous films shot in the last 20 years and this version is bound to be the best version for fans to own. $25.89.
The new fancy Iron Giant Blu-Ray release got a big ol' collector's edition release that you can still get your mitts on. This comes with a special letter of thanks from Brad Bird, a 32 page book, 5 Mondo Art Cards, an Iron Giant figurine and, of course, all copies of the movie itself (Blu, DVD and Digital HD code). $67.40.
The big Labyrinth 30th Anniversary has an Amazon exclusive collector's edition that comes in the MC Escher-inspired staircase set from the film. Pretty neat, eh? $48.89.
So, Amazon has an exclusive Mad Max box set that comes with all 4 Mad Max films, an Interceptor resin figure, the Black and Chrome Edition of Fury Road as well as the 4k Blu-Ray of Fury Road. Will you ride into Valhalla with this set or do you think it's mediocre? $199.99.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! Arrow has a limited edition Hellraiser box set coming soon that includes the first three films as well as a bonus features disc exclusive to this release. You also get a book with never before release concept art, a 200 page hardback book with new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes, 5 art cards a fold-out poster and new 2k restorations of the first three Hellraiser films! $78.99.
PRE-ORDER, December 13th! This Suicide Squad Blu set comes with a 12” tall Harley Quinn statue and the extended cut Blu. $116.99.
Batman gets a super statue Blu set as well! This is the Amazon exclusive collector's set for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. You get the extended cut, theatrical cut and all bonus features plus this kickass Batfleck statue! $116.99.
The Walking Dead Blu-Ray peoples always come up with gross and inventive special collector's editions of their season sets. This is their offering for Season 6! Ewwwwww... $149.99.
This is a UK import that's exactly the same as the US set that collects Game of Thrones Seasons 1-6, but is $45 cheaper. Yes, they're all-region discs so they should have no problem playing in your Region A system. See, I just saved you $45! You're welcome! $104.09.
41 discs, 178 episodes, 8000+ minutes of Star Trek: The Next Generation in high definition! Make it so! $115.42.
The Star Trek 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray set comes with all of the Original Series, the animated series and all the movies up until JJ's Trek. All in one nifty little set. $119.97.
We just missed a pre-Black Friday sale on these (dang it!), but that's okay. This set right now is only about $20 more than that sale price, so you're not getting super ripped off. This set comes with the original 9 seasons plus “The Event Series” which I'm pretty sure is the new limited series that just aired. That's 10 seasons for $150, so $15 a season. Not bad for Blu prices, eh? $149.99.
If you're like Jon Favreau in Iron Man 3 and love you some Downton Abbey, then this complete series set is for you! All 52 episodes on 21 discs plus 5 hours of all new bonus videos including BTS docs, interviews and featurettes about the series! $72.39.
Community is only ever available on DVD for some reason. I guess they're too afraid Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie's cuteness is too much to handle in 1080p. But the show's still awesome and you can get the complete series all in one place for $101.42.
Even all those dudes that hated Paul Feig for rebooting Ghostbusters all have to agree that Freaks and Geeks is some of the best shit to hit TV since Wonder Years, right? This show launched a generation of comedy masters and did so with huge amounts of sincerity and heart. The thing I love about this thing is that they didn't cast “Hollywood geeks.” These geeks are for real and totally recognizable, not glamorized. Smart writing, complicated emotional situations and one of the most likeable casts assembled in recent memory, Freaks and Geeks is essential viewing. The Blu-Ray set is now available so you can experience it all again in high def! None of this standard def or streaming quality bullshit! $72.64.
I was lucky enough to grab this Lone Wolf and Cub Criterion set when Amazon briefly fucked up and listed it at under forty bucks. Sadly it's not quite that cheap anymore, but it's still worth every penny. I mean, this is a samurai that chops up dudes with his toddler in tow! How could this not be the coolest thing ever? You get 2k restorations of all 6 Lone Wolf and Cub films as well as a copy of the US recut of the first two that we know as Shogun Assassin plus tons of interviews and docs. $78.99.
This is Criterion's repackaging of four of their rock titles, all of which are must own. You get A Hard Day's Night, Gimme Shelter, Quadrophenia and the Montery Pop Festival. $74.00.
Criterion also has a box set of early Hitchcock films... that kind of titles that don't make it into the big box sets of the classics, but don't worry. These are just good as his more famous stuff. This set includes Foreign Correspondent, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes and The Man Who Knew Too Much. $118.00.
The Godfather of Gore died this year, but we have this massive 17 disc limited edition box set of the work he left behind. Limited to 2500 units, this thing has all of his work, including Blood Feast, The Gruesome Twosome, The Wizard of Gore, The Gore Gore Girls, etc. All are remastered from original materials. Tons of interviews, commentaries and other bells and whistles to justify this price tag. $229.95.
For The Super Rich Only ($250.00 & Up)
I saw this crazy Middle Earth book shelf special collector's edition at a store and it did look cool. I don't think it looked $500 cool, though. If you're a real high spender and just have to have everything Middle Earth then I guess go ahead and splurge, but even Peter Jackson has stated this isn't the complete anniversary edition he wants to release. No real extras here, just cool packaging all the Extended Editions of all three Hobbit films and LOTR films. Personally, I'd save my money in case PJ and crew can get their real deal special edition package out, but you do you, boo. $499.96.
Cheap ($24.99 and under)
Shadowbox Lenticular Link! Measures 9 1/2" wide x 11 1/2" tall x 1 3/4" deep and ready to hang! Perfect for a little gamer geek... or a big one. Link don't discriminate. $19.99.
This poster was created for the release of the new remaster of Phantasm. Limited, measuring 24x36 and you can get it personally signed by director Don Coscarelli for a measly extra fifteen bucks! $25.00 for the plain old poster, $40 for a signed one.
Popular artist Martin Ansin set his eye (get it?) on John Carpenter's Escape From New York for Bottleneck Gallery and came up with this rather gorgeous print. Snake doesn't give a fuck about your President (I feel ya', buddy), but his handsome mug can adorn your wall. Amazingly there are still prints available. 24X36, limited to 375, only $50.00.
From Matt Taylor comes this badass Spinal Tap print. Only 120 of these bad boys were made, who knows how many are left, but there are still some. Print measures 18X24 and runs you $50.00.
Vance Kelly's Pan's Labyrinth print is not only incredibly well done, it's also printed with black light fluorescent ink so it'll pop even more if you put it in your hippie room. Everybody's got a hippie room, right? Limited to a run of 325 and measuring 24x36. $65.00.
I didn't realize how much I needed a Sound of Music screenprint until I saw Aurelio Lorenzo. So many dark and gritty and nerdy properties get the pop culture print treatment, sometimes you just need something bright and funny and emotional to balance out the 29 Alien and Star Wars prints you have on your walls. Would love to see more stuff out there like this. Limited edition of 195, measuring 24x36. $50.00.
Here's another uncommon title that I'm psyched is getting the pop-art poster treatment. The Coen Brothers' Raising Arizona! Pring by Joshua Budich and Seth Green (?!?). Limited to 100 screenprints, 36x24. $40.00.
JC Richard's Hail, Caesar print is awesome not just for fans of the Coen Brothers (or eye-pleasing art), but also for Old Hollywood junkies thanks to the classic backlot setting. Lovely 24x36 print, limited to 125. $55.00.
Brandon Bird was inspired by some for twisted brain fart that the Goof Warrior from Fury Road was a spiritual brother to Kenny G and this beauty was born. This work of art is titled Smooth Warrior. You're welcome. $65.00 for 12x24, $90 for 18x36.
Jana Heidersdorf's 28 Days Later print was made with glow in the dark ink so when you turn off your lights zombie eyes will still glare at you from the wall. Maybe not for the baby's room... Limited to 150, measures 24x36. $45.00.
Tom Whalen's known for his great Disney line for Mondo. It's only right that he takes that unique, family friendly style and applies it to the South Park kids. Limited to 300 pieces, this one measures 12x36. $45.00.
This Rick and Morty print from Mark Chilcott does more than just look badass on your wall. It also passes butter and keeps Summer safe. Limited to only 100, this giclee measures 12x16. A bargain on any timeline at $35.00.
It's rare to find a Mondo poster you don't have to purchase within 25 seconds of it appearing on line. It's doubly rare when it looks as sweet as Francesco Francavilla's Black Beetle print. Limited edition of 175, measures 18x24. $45.00.
Hero Complex Gallery got some sweet Overwatch posters up for all you Blizzard geeks out there. This is their main one, by Glen Brogan, featuring all the different characters of the game (except for the new ones, of course). It's a pretty big edition, but still limited to 900. Measures 24x36. $55.00.
If you want something less obvious from Overwatch, may I recommend Casey Callender's art from the marquee poster of They Came From Beyond the Moon, which is found in the movie theater at the start of one of the more fun maps? Some might mistake it for a Simpsons print, but those of us anti-social gamers will know what's what. Limited to 75 12x24 prints. $45.00.
Beautiful painterly poster from Paul Shipper and Hero Complex Gallery celebrates the earliest version of Star Trek's with this art inspired by the original pre-William Shatner pilot THE CAGE. Finally Captain Pike getting some love! 16X24 giclee. $50.00.
This smart Etsy artist decided to frame loose original Star Wars toys in shadowboxes and came up with the most ingenious geeky present idea ever. It's art and a toy at the same time! Lots of options available from single figures to double figures, the OT to Rogue One. As a bonus you can take 30% of off any order over $100 by entering in BLACKFRIDAY30 code at checkout. $58-$110.
Sweet Dazed and Confused print from Vance Kelly that's sure to get any visiter to throw on their best/worst McConaughey accent when they walk in and see it on the wall. Screenprint, done with metallic inks, limited to 150 and measuring 24x36. $50.00.
If you want to live deliciously this Holiday Season (or royally freak out your super religious in-laws) then you can't get any better than Matt Ryan Tobin's Witch print. Screenprint on black paper, limited to 125, measuring 36x24. $50.00.
Jordan Buckner's Fly print is a thing of beauty. It's simply Brundle's telepod, but the lighting and atmosphere is perfectly captured. This giclee is limited to only 75 and measures 36x12. $45.00.
Created by Creature Features for a 2014 anniversary screening of the great Phantom of the Paradise, this 23.5x23.5 giclee is still available and one of the cooler, more obscure, pieces you can order right this very second. $45.00.
Last year I hosted a Monster Squad reunion screening for Creature Feauters and this was the poster printed for that event. Not bogus! You actually have two options, the above red background or a green background one Both are the same price. Measures 16x32, 75 red and 75 greens. They'll both run you $45.00.
I really dig the old print style look of Chris Walker's Frankenstein piece for Gallery 1988. This litho is signed and numbered to 100 copies, measuring 30x20. $50.00.
This is one of my favorite prints you can get off the guide this year. It's impossible not to love Iron Giant and I'm such a Fall and Halloween lover that this image hits me on a few different levels. From artist Steve Thomas, limited a signed and numbered 100 silkscreen print run, measuring 18x24. $50.00.
He no nuts! He's crazy! You see Indy's silhouette in the cliff sides, yeah? Pretty cool! Josh Seth Blake's giclee is limited to the crazy low run of 10 signed and numbered copies, measuring 20x30. $50.00.
I'm digging the Temple of Doom love this year. Acme has this art of Dr. Jones available in a hand-numbered edition of 295, measuring 18x24. $90.00.
PRE-ORDER, December 6th! For the Dark Tower junkie getting ready for the big screen adaptation, this portfolio contains new signed and numbered wrap-around cover art prints for each of the Dark Tower books from Glenn Chadbourne. This set is limited to 1000 and I say thankee. $118.75.
Kapow! Adam West and Burt Ward smash goons in this lovely work from Jon Foster and Acme that perfectly captures the feeling of the '66 Batman show. Limited edition of 200 hand numbered giclees, measuring 18x24. $90.00.
These are your first steps... to a more kickass geek house! This amazing work of art is printed on canvas, 16x21.25, limited to only 95 hand numbered pieces. $225.00.
Imperial propaganda posters is a pretty great idea. This one in particular stood out to me, a little Vargas via Paul Dini look. 12X18 giclee on canvas, limited to 495 hand-numbered pieces. $145.00.
For The Super Rich Only ($250.00 & Up)
Here is FN-2187 at the moment he realizes he's gotta get the hell outta dodge. Lovely work by Kevin Graham for Acme. Giclee on canvas, 22x28, limited to 95 pieces. $395.00.
I always like to include some original art pieces in the guide. Collecting original geeky art is one of my passions despite my meager resources, so something always catches my eye when I am compiling this monster gift guide. This piece is pretty rad. Bennett Slater's Warriors art is achieved in oils on wood, measuring 12x16. $1,200.00.
A few years back I bought one of Blain Hefner's early pieces, a handmade Quint crushing his beer can. Luckily, Hefner's seen some success and keeps churning out awesome original 1:1 sculptures. I can't afford him anymore, but he's still making stuff at bargain prices! Case in point this amazing Pee-Wee piece! Surely someone will give this one a good home! $800.00.
Welcome to the music section! I got some good stuff for you below, but before we really dive into it I got... A CONTEST! ::Insert Kermit flail arms here::
The good folks at Mondo have an incredible selection of vinyl they've released over the years and they're only doing better stuff year by year. They've very graciously offered up a mystery bag of 5 LPs from their vault to a single winning reader of this guide. If you're an LP lover and like good soundtracks with amazing art and want a shot at winning this all you have to is email me at this address with the subject line MONDO MUSIC. In the body of the email I need you to include your full name and shipping address (should you win) and the one Mondo Records release you hope against hope will be in your mystery grab bag.
I'll pick one of these emails between right this very second and 11:59pm CST Saturday the 26th. Good luck everybody!
Now on to the rest of the guide!
Cheap ($24.99 and under)
PRE-ORDER, December 16th! Are you excited to hear a Michael Giacchino Star Wars score? Me too! The man always delivers and has a talent for taking an existing iconic score and somehow both honoring those themes while creating new ones that fit in with what we already know and love. Out of everything to look forward to in Rogue One, his score is pretty close to the top for me. $12.62.
Case in point... Giacchino's Star Trek scores. Here's his latest entry, a great, pounding adventure score for Star Trek Beyond. If you buy the physical CD from Amazon you get the MP3s for free (and instantly). $11.68.
I'm not done with Giacchino just yet. This guy apparently never sleeps. His Dr. Strange score is epic and weird and perfectly fits the movie. His bold choices help give Strange his own unique identity within the broader MCEU. $13.98.
Here's Henry Jackman's Civl War score. It's not as thematic and hummable as Giacchino's stuff, but perfect for the movie nonetheless. $10.95.
One of the most talked about scores (for one of the most talked about shows) is this one for Stranger Things. This nostalgic synth score is out in two volumes on CD (if you're a vinyl person skip on down to the next item) and if you buy 'em on physical CD through Amazon you get the MP3s instantly. I've been using this score as background music while I've put together the Guide this year and it's soooooo goooooood. $11.39 for v1 on CD, $11.99 for v2 on CD.
It's a little more expensive on vinyl, but come on... if you have a turntable and like Stranger Things you know damned well you want this score on vinyl. It's what just feels right for something like this. I ordered my LP and while I was patiently waiting for it to ship I enjoyed the instant free MP3 downloads. $24.98 for v1 on vinyl, $23.74 for v2 on vinyl.
The other big summer Netflix show with an awesome soundtrack was The Get Down. So much great late '70s stuff and much of it is in this 2 CD set. No free MP3s with this, sadly, but you can get the physical media with tracks from Lyn Collins, Leon Bridges, Donna Summer, The Jackson 5, The Commodores and, of course, The Get Down Brothers. $13.96.
I haven't gotten to see this one yet! Believe it or not this stupid long guide you're reading is to blame, but I hear nothing but great things about it. This Deluxe CD is loaded with Mark Mancina's score and the original songs by Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda. And yes, free MP3s with physical CD purchase on this one, which is good because the physical CD is actually a couple bucks cheaper than the MP3 album! $13.23.
John Debney's score for Jon Favreau's live-action Jungle Book. Also included are the songs sung by the cast, including Scarlett Johansson's Trust In Me, Bill Murray's Bare Necessities and Christopher Walken's I Wan'na Be Like You. Be honest, it's the Walken track that makes you want to buy this, isn't it? I get it, bruv. $9.99.
A lot of the tone of David Lowery's remake of Pete's Dragon is in the music, much like the original, actually. Although instead of a goofy fun kid's musical vibe they went for a more rustic, folksy feel. This soundtrack has a bunch of Daniel Hart's score, but also a lot of the actual needle drops, including Leonard Cohen, St. Vincent and, most interestingly to me, a new version of Candle on the Water by Okkervil River. And yeah, the physical CD comes with the instant free MP3s, too. $10.73.
James Newton Howard took the reigns for this new Potterverse story. It's our standard whimsical magic-y adventure score, but with a heavy jazz influence. Neat stuff! MP3's free with purchase of physical media. $11.86.
It's not a soundtrack section without some new John Williams music, right? Here is his beautiful score for the way, way, way underrated and underseen Spielberg flick THE BFG, which came out and flopped hugely this year. You guys all suck for not going. It's a lovely film and Williams score is, of course, top notch. All you fools who turned their noses up on this one will be back in 2026, when this is celebrating it's 10th anniversary talking how you always appreciated it. Get ahead of the curve now and pick up the score! Free MP3 download with physical CD purchase. $11.99.
The whole score for Kubo and the Two Strings is as gorgeous as the movie it's in, but I'm really psyched that Regina Spektor's redo of George Harrison and the Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps is included. MP3 download free with purchase of the CD. $11.99.
Johann Johannsson's emotionally powerful score for the equally emotionally powerful Arrival. It will show you what its got and give you those free MP3 downloads with CD purchase, too. $12.79.
Some love Duncan Jones' movie, some don't, but we can all agree that Ramin Djawadi's score is fucking awesome, right? He has proven his talent with fantasy over the last however many seasons of Game of Thrones and he nailed this soundtrack. Free MP3 download with CD purchase. $12.29.
Speaking of, here's Mr. Djawadi's latest season's worth of work on Game of Thrones show all the kids are so crazy about. Free MP3 download with CD purchase.$9.82.
The last piece of completed work that James Horner recorded just weeks before his tragic and untimely death is gathered here. It's a big orchestral work recorded by the London Philharmonic. Bundled with this last bit of genius are some new recordings of some of his most beloved film music in tribute to the maestro. Bittersweet, but fascinating release. Free MP3 download with CD purchase. $12.99.
Not a hundred percent sure what exactly this is from Howard Shore, but it seems to be a smaller, more personal bit of musical writing. Described as a song-cycle with a chamber orchestra (including the Kronos Quartet) and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano. Interesting, no? $13.99.
If you're not into following Howard Shore into more experimental territory, how about diving into his original score for David Fincher's Se7en? What's in the box? What's in the booooooooooooxxxxxxxx?!? $12.99.
If you follow literally anybody who writes about movies on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you'll know that John Carpenter toured around the country this year doing his movie scores and original compositions live. You'll know that because we all saw him and posted blurry cameraphone pictures of him being a true badass. His Lost Themes are epic. Loved his first volume and this year he released v2. It's like the soundtrack to a John Carpenter movies that never happened. A must own for any Carpenter fan. MP3 download is free with purchase of either the CD or the LP. $11.99 on CD, $19.94 on vinyl.
PRE-ORDER, December 9th! La La Land is crack for old school movie musical fans, so naturally the soundtrack is going to be a must own. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling kill it here. I know I personally will be listening to City of Stars, Another Day of Sun and The Fools Who Dream on repeat the second I get this CD. $10.98.
If Mona Lisa isn't nominated for Best Original Song I will personally burn down the Kodak theater with all the Hollywood elite inside. I'm just kidding, thems is jokes, officer! But seriously, Lonely Island is always awesome and this soundtrack is loaded with gold. Vulgar, vulgar gold. $12.52.
A remaster of Brad Fiedel's iconic score for The Terminator, overseen by the composer himself no less! That metal clanging main theme helped make James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger the superstars they are today. This soundtrack has been difficult to track down for a while, but now you get it in all it's remastered glory! MP3 download comes free with CD purchase. $12.99.
The animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is a loving throwback to the '60s Batman show, which means the soundtrack is fun as hell. Lala Land has put out this wonderful score by Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion in a limited edition release of only 1500 units. $15.98.
If you want to compare the Return of the Caped Crusaders soundtrack to the real McCoy, Lala Land made sure to re-issue Nelson Riddle's campy, light score to the original Batman '66 movie. This is the first time the score has been in circulation since 2010! Sadly it doesn't come with any shark repellant, so I hope you brought your own. $15.98.
Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest gets a deluxe 2-CD soundtrack release from Lala Land in this limited 3000 unit edition!$24.98.
One of John Carpenter's best scores isn't one of his scary ones. Big Trouble In Little China is a kind of perfect film on every level, including the music, which has been out of print for a while, but Lala Land has cut that horseshit out and is celebrating its 30th birthday with a re-issue. Shake the pillars of heaven and add this to your collection before it goes outta print, too! $24.98.
John Williams' Home Alone score gets a lot of play every Christmas season at my house. It's one of the quickest ways to get me into the holiday spirit, so I'm super happy that Lala Land has re-issued it in a new 5000 unit limited edition. $24.98.
I liked Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children more than most critics. Maybe you did, too. If so, then you may wish to pick up this quite lovely soundtrack. Also, if you order right away, your copy of the soundtrack will come autographed by composer Matthew Margeson! How about that? $15.98.
I wouldn't use the words peppy or upbeat to describe Less Than Zero's soundtrack, but Thomas Newman's score for the Robert Downey Jr. drama is nonetheless layered and rich, just more on the haunting sides of the spectrum than the hum-while-you-shop-at-Target side. Limited to 1500 units. $19.98.
This is a given, especially in this politically charged climate. Personally I'm saving the experience for when I can actually see the play. I did that with Book of Mormon and I'm so glad I did. Still, this is the version that set the world on fire, with the original cast. Buy the CD and you get the MP3 download free. $18.99.
PRE-ORDER, December 2nd! This is pretty cool. A bunch of big name artists (and Jimmy Fallon) decided to gather together and do Hamilton remixes and adaptations. Queen Latifah, Common, Sia, Usher, John Legend, Regina Spektor, Ja Rule and even Kelly Clarkson are among the artists doing their versions of this hit soundtrack. $13.99.
So this is neat for Beach Boys fans. Just before the band signed with Capitol they put down 9 songs, some of them very famous like Surfin' Safari and Surfer Girl. This CD set gathers together everything from that recording session. Every. Thing. False starts, studio banter between takes and the master recordings. Very neat thing for any early rock fan or Beach Boys junkie. Free MP3 download with CD purchase. $21.29.
There was a comprehensive (and expensive) vinyl release of the Fallout 4 soundtrack that hit last year, but if you don't feel like spending over $100 on that for every spare second of Inon Zur's score you can instead spring for this cool Fallout 4 picture disk that has the bigger musical moments, including, of course, the main theme. Plus it's pretty! $24.99.
This hunka wax means a lot to me. First of all, I've adored this score since the damn movie came out and now there's a beautiful Mondo release out in the world. Secondly, I was asked to provide the liner notes, which was a huge honor. Yes, of course I'll autograph your LP if you bump into me in Austin while carrying it around! Hell, I'll sign it even if you don't want me to! Especially if you don't want me to! You can order your copy here for $35.00.
Oooooooooor you can win one! That's right, I talked Mondo into letting me give this away to one lucky winner. If you want a shot at winning this all you have to is email me at this address with the subject line ARE YOU A VIRSHIN, QUINT? In the body of the email I need you to include your full name and shipping address (should you win) and a short note about why you deserve to join the Monster Squad, what you'd bring to the group, etc.
I'll pick one of these emails between right this very second and 11:59pm CST Saturday the 26th. Good luck everybody!
Jerry Goldsmith was one of the best film composers to ever get in the game. This isn't opinion, but fact. Also fact is that his Planet of the Apes score is what the 1950s kids would call wizard or boss, '60s kids would call groovy, '70s kids would call solid, man, solid, '80s kids would call bitchin', '90s kids would call “as if (anything is better than this)” and I'm clearly running out of era-specific slang knowledge. You know what I mean. It's an all-timer and Mondo did this edition up in spectacular fashion. $35.00.
We've already talked about why I dig the score for Kubo and the Two Strings now add on the awesome Mondo art and dedication to releasing quality film score on vinyl and you'll understand why I've put this thing on here. $30.00.
Mondo also got to dip their toe into Marvel music this year, specifically releasing the soundtracks for the Netflix shows. First up is John Paesano's Daredevil score. $25.00.
Sean Callery's Jessica Jones score gets 2 LPs! Purple ones at that! (If you're looking for Luke Cage, it's already sold out, sorry!) $35.00.
Barry DeVorizon's killer score for Walter Hill's The Warriors gets a massive new life courtesy of the folks at Waxwork who have remastered not only the soundtrack you know from the movie, but made sure to jam every single cue in the film into this 2XLP set. Can you dig it? $46.61.
Waxwork also put out Bernard Herrmann's iconic score for Taxi Driver. Same deal as above, it's the complete score remastered on 2XLPs (first time ever on vinyl, too). Martin Scorsese himself provided the liner notes! $43.99.
Another Waxworks first-time on vinyl soundtrack! Eric Serra's score for Luc Besson's Leon – The Professional! It's a hell of a time to be a movie fan with a record player, I'm telling you! $43.69.
The original masters for Carl Zittrer's crazy-good score to Bob Clark's Black Christmas was thought lost for decades, but Waxwork tracked them down and alongside the composer remastered them for this release, which is pretty noteworthy because this score never existed on any official release up until now. Super exciting! $34.99.
Shockwaves is a cool cult flick from the '70s starring Peter Cushing and featuring underwater Nazi zombies. The synth score by Richard Einhorn is notable for being one of the first of its kind and now it has a deluxe vinyl release! $35.14.
Another great genre soundtrack rescue from the folks at Waxwork to hit shelves this year, Harry Sukman's score for Tobe Hooper's made for TV movie adaptation of Stephen King's Salem's Lot. $45.98.
Five hours of Mark Snow's music are collected in this third X-Files volume from Lala Land Records. Limited to 3000 units. $49.98.
Thomas Newman has done some great work in his time, including American Beauty, the recent Spielberg collaboration Bridge of Spies and Skyfall, but his greatest contribution to the world of film scores is likely going to always be his work on Shawshank Redemption. Thankfully Lala Land has re-issued this out of print release into a new limited edition version. 2 discs, gorgeous Drew Struzan cover, an all-timer score... can't get much better than this. $29.98.
Here's my dirty little secret: I've never seen a full episode of Enterprise. I know, geek card revoked, but hey... I don't leave my Enterprise loving friends out of the Holiday Gift Guide. Lala Land has a new volume of their collection of Enterprise music and you can get it right now! $59.98.
I'll try not to bombard you with more vinyl, but I got a couple Star Wars ones of note. This one is a pretty great picture disc import of the Star Wars A New Hope score by John Williams. Fancy, right? 2XLPs and yes, Amazon will give you the free MP3 downloads of the album if you buy this vinyl. $34.47.
Film Twitter went a little batshit when this hit. This vinyl release of John William's score for The Force Awakens has holograms that spin around the middle when you play it. No joke! It's crazy! I mean, it's gimmicky as all get out, but fuck it, it's still cool. Plus the music ain't bad, either. Free MP3 download with this vinyl purchase! $45.66.
Put this one on the stack of “Shit Quint wishes he had” items included in this guide... okay, that's, like, 90% of this stuff, but the Ultimate Star Wars Vinyl Collection is damn near the top of the list. You guys know I'm no fan of the prequels, but that doesn't extend to the music. John Williams' prequel scores are flat out incredible, so this is the one collection I won't roll my eyes at having prequels jammed in with the good movies. 11 LPs cover the scores for Episodes 1-6. It also comes with a digital download card so you can carry this nerdiness around with you at all times! $183.99.
This vinyl set is every single mono recording done by the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, 186 tracks in all. Albums included in the box set areTHE ROLLING STONES / 12 X 5 / THE ROLLING STONES NO.2 / THE ROLLING STONES, NOW! / OUT OF OUR HEADS (US) / OUT OF OUR HEADS (UK) / DECEMBER’S CHILDREN (AND EVERYBODY’S) / AFTERMATH (UK) / AFTERMATH (US) / BETWEEN THE BUTTONS (UK) / FLOWERS / THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST / BEGGARS BANQUET / LET IT BLEED / STRAY CATS. Yes, this comes with Amazon's free instant MP3 download with purchase as well. That's a whole lotta Jagger! $165.72 on CD, $325.24 on vinyl.
This 12 CD box set focuses on David Bowie's career between 1974 and 1976 and has never-before-heard tracks from this time period. We miss you, Bowie! You do get the automatic free MP3 download with purchase of this CD set. $108.99.