intro - best of 2006 - worst of 2006 - best dvds of 2006
BEST DVDs OF 2006
Chris Hartley (Head Honcho)
Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Ultimate Edition)
Wow. Dark Sky, I love you. If you've ever wanted to see one of the genres true classics given a complete overhaul and packed to the teeth with cool extras, then you owe it to yourself to buy this "Ultimate Edition". It's never looked this damn good, the tin package looks nice in your collection, and Dark Sky gathers together enough extra tidbits to make this way better than Pioneer's so-so release.
A Nightmare On Elm Street (Infinifilm Edition)
Even if you own the box set of the Elm Street movies you owe it to yourself to pick-up this 'Infinifilm' edition. Wes Craven's 1984 classic gets an upgraded picture, extras that weren't found on the original disc (or the bonus disc in the box set), and some pretty cool new artwork. New Line shows respect for the film series that helped establish them as one of the more powerful Major-Minor studios around.
Forbidden Planet (50th Anniversary Edition)
For it's fiftieth anniversary, Forbidden Planet has been given a deluxe treatment by Warner. Considered one of Sci-Fi's greatest films, Warner's new edition gives us a pleasing transfer, cool retrospective featurettes, and even a bonus film (1957's The Invisible Kid, which contained an appearance of sci-fi icon 'Robby the Robot').
The Descent (Original Unrated Cut)
One of the last genre DVD's to be released in 2006, it's also one of the best. Lionsgate has restored the European cut for North American audiences and also brought along a good helping of extra content too. Plus, just flash that cover to any non-horror fan and watch them cringe and tell you how "gross" it is...
Appearing on this list for the second time, Dark Sky has certainly established themselves as a company you can rely upon for good transfers and decent content for many lesser known B-movies and horror flicks. As part of their "Amicus Collection", Asylum sported the most extras of the three titles released and while it might not pack-in as many as other discs, it's a case of quality over quantity. There's a cool featurette about Amicus and a listenable commentary track to chew-on as well as the standard trailers and still galleries Dark Sky always deliver. And for the low price ($14.99 or lower), you can't go wrong.
Josh Pasnak (Staff Writer)
Street Trash (Meltdown Edition)
One of the most famous cult movies of all-time finally gets the release it deserves in this package from Synapse Films. This two-disc edition is chock full of extras and they even managed to get Jim Muro to participate which surprised me as he has shunned the film for so long. The standout extra in this set is a comprehensive documentary on the making of the film that runs two hours and was just as entertaining as Roy Frumkes' well-known feature entitled Document of the Dead (which covered the making of the original Dawn of the Dead).
Dust Devil (The Final Cut)
If you are going to release an obscure horror movie and you have access to the proper elements, this is the way to do it. Subversive Cinema gives us the most comprehensive package that both Dust Devil and director Richard Stanley fans could ask for. We have two cuts of the film, three documentaries directed by Stanley, and a soundtrack CD. This is everything we could possibly want and the only thing missing is an uncut print of Hardware. Maybe that's next!
Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Ultimate Edition)
Although I can't stand being a victim of the double dip marketing scam that some DVD companies have been practicing in recent years, this release was worth it. Dark Sky Films have taken this horror classic and released a version that blows away the previous releases and truly gives us the 'ultimate edition' of one of the greatest horror movies ever made. You can't go wrong with the best transfer you will see of the film, two commentaries, and an entire disc full of special features including the infamous documentary "The Shocking Truth" as well as a seven-segment look behind the scenes entitled "Flesh Wounds". The only thing missing was the 1988 documentary entitled "A Family Portrait".
One of my all-time favorite movies has finally made it to DVD! Although I would have preferred to see this under it's original title Dellamorte Dellamore and I felt Anchor Bay could have come up with a few more extras, I was still more than happy to pick this up. The print is great, there are some interviews, and I can finally get rid of the crappy VHS bootleg that I have had since the movie first came out. Anna Falci has never looked so gorgeous.
The Emilio Miraglia Killer Queen Box Set
NoShame Films is another company that is releasing outstanding editions of some forgotten films. It was a tough call deciding whether I should include on my list this set (which included the giallos The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times), or the box set of Mariano Baino's Dark Waters that the company also released this year. Both include a cool little collectible relating to the films and both deliver packages with the utmost care and respect given to the titles. In the end, I simply enjoyed the movies in this set better but as a package, they are equally impressive.