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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2018!

Once again, the time of year has come upon us; the end of the Blu-ray release year. I’m a little later than prior years on this and its because the announcement to release window is becoming incredible short. Just last week I posted about four Transformers movies coming to 4K Ultra-HD within the next couple weeks. And I’m still afraid we may get some December announcements still, but I’m confident those would merely be 4K. Which, you’re probably wondering why, after two years of coverage on Why So Blu, that there isn’t a 4K wishlish. Well, that’s because the format is still in complete infancy and isn’t under the full embrace or changeover of the studios (Or at least as we’d hope it would be). The amount of stuff still not on the format is just massive and that’s just too easy and fun. I could do a wishlist of hundreds for that format. I stick to Blu-ray as the movies still not on the format, it could be their last stop in terms of physical home media. It could be the best presentation they ever see.  And there are still PLENTY of things that would benefit in jumping over. We are seeing some fantastic double dips as well, and I hope those continue (When they are worthwhile, like the recent Scream Factroy Silent Night, Deadly Night, Arrow’s The Thing or Criterion’s upcoming Silence of the Lambs upgrade). Whatever the case, every month, studio press releases, especially those from the sublicensees, always excite me.

2017 WISHES GRANTED

Wishes Since 2013: 115*

Wishes Granted: 56

Success Rate: 48.6%

*Titles on list or mentioned under a general entry like “Hitchcock” or “Universal Monster Movies”

Before we move on to the hopefuls from 2018, let’st take a look back at the success stories of 2017.  There were some BIGGIES that dropped in 2017, and I put my money where my mouth is and own every single one of them. We had a couple of titles I still can’t believe happened.  But, there are also many past wishlist items still out there. We still have some Hitchcock and Scorsese movies not present and I’m still waiting like hell for Top Secret! to come (And likely be waiting forever, its a Paramount title after all). While I have given them a lot of grief in the past, I need to give Warner Bros major props as they utilized their Warner Archives branch to really open up the stream of cult, horror, television and little seen and classic Warner Bros and New Line Cinema titles. They are on a roll and I hope it just keeps coming in 2018. Lets take a look at what we saw arrive in 2017.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Warner Archive, July 25, 2017) – Well, I chalked this up as NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.  But now, not only have we received this, but they will be release the entire Batman: The Animated Series on Blu-ray next year. This is one of the best Batman films ever made, but its box office was nonexistent and once all the animated series stuff was out on DVD they never seemed to touch it again or think about it. But, not anymore. It was a good year for things with “Phantasm” in the title.

The Before Trilogy (Criterion, February 28, 2018) – For years and years Criterion teased up with releasing Richard Linklater’s masterpiece trilogy about two lovers who met by chance on a train ride in Europe. It was almost like it was their rendition of Synapse Films and Suspiria. But we got a beautiful boxed set with new interviews, unseen old interviews and an absolutely amazing transfer. Due to the super indie 90s nature of the first two, I never thought these films could looks so great, but Criterion proved they indeed could.

Brain Damage (Arrow Video, May 9, 2017) – It was thought that doing this one couldn’t be done as another distributor who previously owned the rights had said, but I’m sure fans were happy they were proven wrong. Frank Henenlotter’s little trilogy of this and Frankenhooker and Basket Case is now complete. And lovingly, it made its way to both the US and UK courtesy of Arrow.

Dracula & The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collections (Universal, May 16, 2017) – The Dracula set only offered 2 movies not previously released via the Frankenstein set last year, but The Mummy added a wealth of sequels and additional Abbott & Costello feature. And they were run through 4K restorations that look gorgeous. This was obviously tied into the release of the failed Dark Universe launch of CRUISE MUMMY. Hopefully this does not deter them from finishing off the collection with The Creature From The Black Lagoon and Invisible Man series, which both offer the most films that aren’t yet on Blu-ray.

Ghost World (Criterion, May 30, 2017) – Everyone got super excited when this was announced. And what seems like a pretty massive feat, they got Scarlett Johansson back for an interview. I fell in love with this movie all over again when I bought this Blu-ray. Funny enough, having just recently seen the film Lady Bird, they are very very similar and would make for a damn good double feature.

Hell Night (Shout! Factory, January 2, 2018) – No, this one isn’t out til 2 days after the new year. Maybe the biggest shocker of the year as there was a very sensitive and unclear rights issues coming with this one. I’m so happy to upgrade my very crappy DVD copy of it, which is actually a DVD-R (I missed out on the super expensive OOP Anchor Bay edition) as I thought that might have been the best I was ever going to have. Now, one of my favorite 1980s slashers and Linda Blair B-movies is jumping to glorious Blu-ray. And with Scream Factory producing it, I couldn’t be any happier!

Kill Baby, Kill (Arrow Video & Kino Lorber, September 11 & October 10, 2017) – Probably the most glaring hole in the Mario Bava Blu-ray filmography has been filled. Martin Scorsese calls it his best film and it truly is a Gothic horror masterpiece. I can’t speak for the Kino version as I opted for the Arrow Video release, but it looked wonderful and still plays well today. Fantastic sets, costumes and great haunts and jumps, this is a nice little film that could play for both adults and a younger crowd just starting to lean into horror.

The Lodger (Criterion, June 27, 2017) – This release also brought the Blu-ray debut of Alfred Hitchcock’s Downhill as well. One of my favorite silent films ever made, Hitchcock takes the storytelling a bit ahead of its time and also shows many of his masterful strokes that he would later improve and expand to great heights. Criterion has made this film look lovely and like looking and a wonderfully hand drawn work of art at times. They also did a second release of Rebecca this calendar year that was an improvement over the already great regular Blu-ray release (Speaking of, a Criterion redo of Notorious would be the thing of dreams). Here’s hoping they can get ahold of and do more of Hitchcock’s not yet on Blu-ray catalog going forward. Maybe his silent boxing film The Ring could be on the horizon.

The Paradine Case (Kino Lorber, May 30, 2017) – Here’s another, more lesser known, Hitchcock film that Kino was happy to release. This gets my hopes up for a maybe a Stage Fright or Mr. & Mrs. Smith release down the road to start closing the gap and finishing his catalog. They also brought the first US release of Lifeboat on Blu-ray to the fold this year as well (It had been available on a terrific edition in the UK for years).

The Phantasm Collection (Well Go USA & Arrow Video, April 11 & April 24th) – Holy hell. This series FINALLY got the love it had been pining for, for years on Blu-ray. And not once, but twice. Two incredible editions of the film were released that had collectors very happy. I opted for the Arrow edition as I had always wanted a replica of a ball from the series and I’m a sucker for specialty displayable packaging. Well Go USA’s integrity was questioned big time when it was foudn they had the rights, but they sure made the nit pickers and bitchers eat crow with their catering to said nagging whiners with the packaging to go with an overall great release. While two big, deluxe and expensive editions with different features seemed like an assault on the wallet, at least there was a problem like this to be had. Winners all around in the Phandom!

Scars Of Dracula (Studio Canal, October 23, 2017) – A UK, region-locked release. While oddly not a favorite among the hammer Dracula fandom, it is actually one of mine. I like this overly gory, going for it, odd take on the Dracula series that is, for better, a standout in the series. Its the last time one of them would be period-set and has the most dialogue from Christopher Lee’s titular character since the original. Studio Canal did it some great justice with a wonderful transfer and a new retrospective documentary with critics and actor Jenny Hanley returning to discuss making the film along with where the Hammer studio was at the time.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for, the BLU-RAY WISHLIST FOR 2018. We start  with –

EDITOR’S PICK

Eye of the Beholder (1999)

I’ve never actually seen this film, but I remember the box from the video store. I like to appease my master, Brian, by giving him his own pick in this race. Previous picks of his include Normal Life and Double Jeopardy. If you’re seeing a constant there, its Ashely Judd. His original pick was the horror/thriller P2. However, that one is already available in a few other territories. Is there anyone else that is a fan of this film like Brian? If so, share your love with him in the comments below.

Now, Onto BRANDON’s 10 Blu-ray Wishlist Titles for 2018!

Big Top Pee-wee (1988)

No, this is not Pee-wee Herman’s greatest adventure, but with Big Adventure and the entirety of Pee-wee’s Playhouse (In a fantastic set) available, it just feels right that this one should get some love too. I’m not calling for a re-evaluation (Its still not very good), but its pretty watchable and has its moments. Plus, unlike the Netflix movie, which I enjoyed, it tried to do something different from the previous edition. I suppose all I could hope for is a bare bones release, but something with a nice commentary or retro doc to talk about this one would be a real added bonus.

Conquest (1983)

If you know me, you know I have an unhealthy love of Italian horror and goremeister Lucio Fulci. Conquest is his batshit gonzo entry into the sword and sorcery phenomenon of the early 1980s. As such, its one of the craziest and more notable of that era. Its also probably the biggest and most wanted by his fans of his films that haven’t touched the format (I would say Contraband is another). What I wouldn’t love more is a nice at least 2K transfer of this film, looking better and crisper than it ever deserved to be. Blue Underground was the last rights holder, but I would think someone like 88 Films would do a bang up job on it for a great price for sure. Somebody please make this one happen!

He Knows You’re Alone (1980)

Come on Warner Archive, don’t let me down! Their release of Night School this past year got many excited that the vault would open for other vintage slasher and other horror films they are holding on to. Killer Party, April Fools Day and of course He Knows You’re Alone are at the top of the list. I mean, how is this not already out, its the cinematic debut of America’s Tom Hanks. Who doesn’t curiously want to own the Halloween rip off about brides to be on a bachelorette weekend being stalked by an escaped killer on the prowl while being charmed by Tom Hanks? This film also served as the inspiration for the opening kill sequence in Scream 2. This one is long overdue and who know, ask Hanks if he wants to sit and talk about it for 10 minutes. He seems like the type that might say yes.

Liberty Heights (1999)

1999 was one of the best years in cinema, and while overlooked or lost in the sea of greatness, this is one of the reasons. Barry Levinson’s coming of age drama is a real charm and felt a sorta break out film for a few actors like Ben Foster, Adrien Brody, Orlando Jones, Anthony Anderson and David Krumholtz. This is a spiritual sequel to Diner and works in other magnificent ways. It takes a loving and honest look at the period and the challenges and differences in society. If it wasn’t for my criticism classes or my period of loving Barry Levinson, I may never have come across this film. Its a forgotten gem for sure and one that really needs a Blu-ray release from someone who will be able to make it feel relevant, build excitement and give it a release as an important film like Criterion.

Malibu Express (1985)

Recently, my podcast (Cult Cinema Cavalcade) covered this film. I’d never seen it and it wound up being an absolute riot in terms of unintentional, intentional, action and sleaze reasons. I’m a fan of Andy Sidaris and would love nothing more than for Mill Creek to release their Andy Sidaris set Girls, Guns & G-Strings collection on Blu-ray. They are no stranger to stacking movies together and overloading discs and I’d expect no different here. These films have not been seen in their native aspect ratios, director’s cuts and good quality since their OOP and outrageously priced special editions from years back. There is a fanbase that would eat these up whole (There are already plenty of bonus features Mill Creek has for these) and the time to get these going is now.

The Marx Brothers Collection (1935-1946)

Last year, Universal took their Marx Brothers set and whipped it up into an awesome little Blu-ray version of itself.  This is just me asking Warner Bros to follow suit. One Bros to another Brothers. The set would include A Night At The Opera, A Day At The Races, A Night In Casablanca, Room Service, At The Circus, Go West and The Big Store. Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo are a timeless treasure of comedic, slapstick, sarcastic and smart ass cinematic cinema and they need to be archived and sent along at every stop. Hell, maybe Warner Archive could come through on this one, too.

Rat Race (2001)

In August of 2001, the comedy I was looking most forward to was Kevin Smith’s bigger budgeted ViewAskew full focused on his popular duo, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. What I didn’t realize, was that the comedy I should have been excited for was Rat Race. This Cannonball Run-esque film features a trove of “it” people of that time period stretching their comedic chops. Hell, in a time where Cuba Gooding Jr. struggled to make good movies, he made one here, he’s just kinda bad in it. There are some hard belly laughs to be had from this silly comedy that also manages to have some really awesome stakes that keep you at the edge of your seat. One worthy of a revisit and one that deserves to be on Blu-ray. Once again, its Paramount, so, it may be an empty wish.

Red Eye (2005)

Wes Craven’s best film of the modern millennium, his best since Scream 2 and probably the last great film he ever made. This Rachel McAdams-Cillian Murphy mile-high thriller had a doozy of a trailer if you’ll remember. Its probably in an all time book for awesome trailers. The trailer makes you feel as if this is going to be some fun, silly romantic comedy set in an airport, only to turn on you and smack you in the face that its some sort of horror/thriller (Though, its not really horror, the name Craven makes you assumed). This movie also introduced a lot of us to the super charming and talented Jayma Mays. Dreamworks released this film when they were doing stuff on their own, so who knows what library this falls into. The DVD release of the film was pretty outstanding in terms of bonus content, with a signature top notch Wes Craven commentary, so nothing really need be added in terms of extras. Craven just has a couple outliers still awaiting a Blu-ray release (Please do Deadly Friend someone-Warner Archive), and this is one that I’d like the most.

Stepfather II: Make Room For Daddy (1989)

Synapse Films holds the rights to this sequel to the surprisingly terrific original. While this one isn’t quite as good as the first, its still a pretty fun slasher and Terry O’Quinn makes this worth every minute. Genre favorites Meg Foster and Caroline Williams also grace this follow up as well as the late Jonathan Brandis during his rise to teen stardom. All Synapse would need to do is upgrade their already awesome DVD release. There was a third film in this series (Straight to video and didn’t have Terry O’Quinn) that never even saw a DVD release, that’d be cool to cap these off somehow.

Stephen King’s The Stand (1994)

Stephen King stuff is super hot right now. With a couple hit Netflix movies…oh and you might have heard of the sensation that is IT. Back in the 90s, the big event on television was every year was the Stephen King mini-series. And The Stand was supposed to be the Stephen King miniseries to end all Stephen King miniseries. It was one of King’s largest and most notable books. It was the Dark Tower of its time in terms of people talking about it. This series was bigger and longer than all that came before it. With such nice looking editions of IT and Salem’s Lot getting a release, it’d be nice to see this one get the same such treatment. I also have a feeling this one will probably be a property explored for a new cinematic adaptation in the wake of IT.

Well, everyone, that does it for the 2018 wishlist. I have fun every year exploring this untapped territory in phsycial home media and always appreciate your reads and input on it.  Did any of these hit the “Oh yeah, I’d love that!” button? What are some title YOU are still hoping for on Blu-ray? Sound off below.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

5 Responses to “Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2018!”


  1. Brian White

    Man I find it so hard to believe that Rat Race and Red Eye are not on the format as of yet.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    I want Ghost and the Darkness and Another 48hrs on BD.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    ZERO EFFECT! MORE DAVID MAMET FILMS! A SIMPLE PLAN!

  4. Brandon Peters
  5. Paul Hurt

    Big Night! Critically-acclaimed gem of an independent movie from 1996, stars Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Ian Holm, Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver, and is in my top ten favourite movies of all time, yet only exists as a very poor-looking Region 1 DVD. Stanley Tucci was recently quoted as saying that he’s not sure if there are even any prints of the movie left, let alone the negative. Failing to preserve this masterpiece is verging on criminal. “Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone!” https://youtu.be/NLWy9Wp_RWY