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BEST DVDs OF 2005
Chris Hartley (Head Honcho)
The Devil's Rejects
Say what you will about the movie (I liked it fine, but still had some issues with it), but this is one badass DVD. As if Rob Zombie didn’t pack enough pleasing extras on the disc he’s seem fit to give us a second disc containing a documentary that follows the movie from pre-production to completion. Clocking in at over two hours it makes this disc worth getting just for it alone.
King Kong (1933)
Warner’s 2-disc release of the 1933 classic gets the treatment it deserves with a handful of interesting and entertaining documentaries and a commentary that respects it’s status as a “trendsetter”. And if you are buying this (and don’t want the box set that includes Son Of Kong and Mighty Joe Young), be sure to get the edition that comes in a cool tin box as it not only looks great on your shelf but it has some cool lobby card reprints inside.
Land Of The Dead
Making its second appearance (on my lists anyways), Land Of The Dead was not only an above average movie but also an above average DVD. There’s enough features here to keep any horror fan happy and nothing beats the chance to see just how soft-spoken, and seemingly shy, one of horror’s greatest directors really is.
Subversive have slowly been building up a good catalogue of titles and their release of this 1972 British flick (originally called The Mutations) is proof of the good treatments they’ve been giving lesser-known movies. Not only are the extras here a good watch but they’ve also included lobby card reprints and packed it in a cool clear box with a collage on images from the movie on the inside.
Means To An End
Filmmakers Paul Solet and Jake Hamilton gave me a chance to see their award winning short film and I was impressed with not only their skill in melding comedy and horror, but also in their evident respect for the genre. It’s only fitting then that they’d deliver a solid DVD of extras supporting their short film. This disc sits on the list due to the fact you can tell there was a lot of effort put into it and just for the fact it’s refreshing to see a “do-it-yourself” package turn out so well.
Aaron "Red" Mason (Staff Writer)
Universal Legacy Collections
If Van Helsing did anything at all for the horror genre, it forwarded the release of horror's roots onto the digital medium, allowing a lot of horror fans who may have forgotten their own roots to head back down memory lane. Cheap, beautifully packaged, and featuring tons of extras on the most influential horror films ever made these DVDs are a must have for those who've never seen the Universal terrors, as well as for those who have forgotten where this whole horror thing we love so came from.
Star Wars Trilogy
How many years did we sit through unanswered rumblings about the release of these films? Hell, DVD hasn't even been around that long and it seems like a lifetime. Well, we finally got them, changes and all and they don't disappoint - at least on the level of finally having them. The transfers look great but with the slim extras and eventual release of the sixth and final film you know there's another release just around the corner. This mightn't bother fanatics Star Wars fans, but for those of us who have other things to spend money on, it kinda lets the air out of this release. Still, the films look great, sound great, and most importantly it's Star Wars! Star Wars man, what else do you need?
Night Of The Demons
Everybody loves Night Of The Demons, doesn't matter the age, sex, religious denomination, or education level. There's something here for everyone, and it's finally made it to DVD. Granted, it might have been better had the three films been released together, but an uncut copy of Night Of The Demons is and uncut copy of Night Of The Demons, and if that's not worth your $20, I don't know what is. Anchor Bay released a number of films of this sort this year, all rather difficult to find on VHS and even harder to find uncut. It pays to know your audience I suppose, but did we really need Witchboard?
Ginger Snaps: Unleashed
Not only is it one of the best films of the year, it's one of the best DVDs as well. The Ginger Snaps series is known for quality DVD releases (in Canada anyway) and this one doesn't disappoint in the least. We even get a trailer for Ginger Snaps 3 with it's original title, Ginger Snaps Back, which caused quite a ruckus among fans of the werewolf sisters as it was released a few months before the second film.
Friday The 13th: From Crystal Lake To Manhattan
While it's presentation and extras are a little underwhelming, it's hard to deny the value of all eight of the original Voorhees adventures on DVD for about $50. Fans wanting to convert their old VHS copies over or younger maniacs just starting their collections both have to consider this set a godsend. 2004 was truly the year of bargain collections when it comes to horror DVDs. Let's just hope we don't get an Uber-Collection in a few months time with a shiny metal case and the real extras...
Derek Carlson (Staff Writer)
Dawn Of The Dead: Ultimate Edition
After the usual and unnecessary Anchor Bay DVD overkill treatment, one of the greatest horror films of all time finally gets the definitive treatment it deserves. Well, let's just hope this is the definitive treatment!
Universal Monsters Legacy Box Set
What a behemoth this set is! Not only does it provide the classic horror films fan with hours and hours of entertainment, it looks damn cool on your shelf too!
Munsters: The Complete First Season
While a bit more in the extras department would have been nice, being able to watch 38 episodes of my favorite sitcom of all time isn't anything to complain about.
Friday The 13th: From Crystal Lake To Manhattan
Okay, so yeah these movies technically "suck" and these are still the cut versions but I'll be damned if I can get this out of my DVD player since I got it for Christmas! The ultimate guilty pleasure boxset.
For a single disc release they sure packed this one. Lots of funny and insightful supplements add to one of the most original, absurd, and brilliant horror films in years.