Scream Factory

Scream Factory

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash, too. It’s no secret that one of my favorite specialty labels these days is Scream Factory. They simply understand genre fans and reward us handsomely with high definition transfers of our favorite horror flicks from the past. Their contemporary releases leave much to be desired (Cockneys vs Zombies aside), but more often than not when they reach decades back for a film the result is something fantastic at best or fun at worst. Their “Summer of Fear” begins this month with five new releases, and while one is contemporary and another is from the ’70s three of them are from the horror’s early ’80s sweet spot. If you’re a genre fan odds are you’ve seen at least two of these, but you’ve never seen them as new-looking as they do here with new HD transfers. Keep reading for a more in depth look at the new Blu-rays of Evilspeak, Final Exam and the legendary Sleepaway Camp.

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Scream Factory

My too frequent C-grade reviews of big summer tentpole films has me targeted as a film snob critic around these parts, but my movie-loving formative years were spent taking in all manner of genre films from horror & sci-fi to action & thrillers to straight up exploitation. If I had to pick just one genre though my heart belongs unapologetically to horror. It’s for this reason that Shout! Factory’s genre arm, Scream Factory, has quickly become on of my favorite release labels. They do more than simply release horror movies though. The folks at Scream Factory lather their own love for the movies all over their releases, and that’s evident in the effort they put in and the affection they earn from fans. Not every title is a winner, but there’s very little I would change about them and the keepers far outweigh the occasional duds. (I do wish their titles featured spine numbers, but on the bright side their absence means I don’t have to keep a copy of Dead Souls.) They have a habit of delivering a strong mix of beloved classics and lesser-known titles, often with new artwork and a bevy of extras. 2014 looks to be an incredibly big year for them, and while their fall releases (Nightbreed, Lord of Illusions, Pumpkinhead) have me salivating their recently announced “Summer of Fear” is equally as exciting. They have sixteen titles scheduled from May through August, and all but two of them are bloody finger blasts from the past guaranteed […]

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ts header night of the demons

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash, too. Scream Factory continues to mine past decades for horror gems worthy of resurrecting onto Blu-ray, and while they make the occasional misstep the vast majority of their releases make for fantastic additions to your library. They have four titles hitting shelves in February with the first two streeting next week. In addition to releasing on the same day, Witchboard and Night of the Demons also share the same director in Kevin Tenney. They’re his first two films (of thirteen total) but remain his most well known. This is as it should be seeing as Demons is also his best film, but it’s a shame if only because Demolition University, starring Corey Haim, really deserves to be seen by more eyes. Keep reading for our look at Scream Factory’s new Blu-rays of Witchboard and Night of the Demons.

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ts cat people

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash, too. This week we’re looking at new releases from two different labels, Scream Factory and Raro Video. While the latter has rescued more obscure titles than the former both have continued to deliver excellent releases over the past year showing a continued appreciation for films and film lovers. First up is an early ’80s favorite that I recall being enamored by during many of its late night cable showings. This was especially the case when the film played on HBO or Cinemax with all the nudity and gore and more nudity intact. Next is an Italian horror film that I had not actually seen before this release, and while it doesn’t hold up to some of the bigger Italian zombie movies of the ’70s and ’80s it’s still pretty fun in its own right.

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blu howling

1981 was the greatest year ever for fans of werewolf cinema. Bold statement? Possibly. Plain silly in light of Sybil Danning’s 1985 entry into the genre? Most assuredly. But if you were to make a list of the top five werewolf movies of all time it’s a near certainty that two of them were released in 1981. Late summer ’81 saw the August release of John Landis’ classic horror/comedy An American Werewolf in London, and just four months earlier Joe Dante‘s The Howling tore its way onto screens across America. While the two films are often spoken of in the same breath thanks to their chronological proximity and successful mix of laughs and terror, they’re also bonded through their unique but equally mesmerizing werewolf transformation scenes. A very young Rob Bottin handled the effects for Dante’s film, and they’ve never looked better than they do on Scream Factory‘s brand new Blu-ray of the film.

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cr prison

Remember Renny Harlin? Because he remembers you… And more importantly, he remembers the support you used to give to his films. Die Hard 2! Cliffhanger! The Long Kiss Goodnight! But it was his 1999 masterpiece, Deep Blue Sea, that marked the last time audiences would love (even ironically) a film of his. Would it surprise you to learn that he’s made seven features since then? But two years before he took over the reins on John McClane’s slow descent into redundancy, Harlin birthed two horror films unto the world. One featured Freddy Krueger’s fourth foray into malleable teenage minds, and the other was an original supernatural tale from the writer of not one, but two entries in the Trancers series! Welcome to Prison.

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Scream Factory New Releases

Shout! Factory has been kicking ass on the DVD/Blu-ray front for a while now with a mix of genre and pop culture releases that appeal to the movie/TV lovers in all of us. Most specialty labels would be content with those successes, but it wasn’t enough for these folks. A few months ago they rolled out a new genre arm called Scream Factory that focuses on horror films primarily from the 1980s. They’ve already released some pretty fantastic HD transfers and Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of Halloween II, The Funhouse, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Terror Train and They Live, and now they’ve announced their first wave of titles scheduled for 2013… and they include a certain space vampire’s ample and frequently nude assets in glorious high definition. Check below for the list of upcoming awesomeness as well as a look at their exclusive new cover art for From Beyond.

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They Live

John Carpenter burst onto the genre scene in 1978 with Halloween, but the bulk of his great films came in the 1980s with classics like The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, Starman, Big Trouble in Little China and Prince of Darkness. His final film of the decade was a bit of an odd duck though and one that saw his trend of releasing a new movie every year or two come to a halt. They Live was released, not coincidentally, in the last year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Sold as a sci-fi/action hybrid the film is a not-so thinly veiled critique of the growing class divide engendered by a Republican mandate that favored a corporate culture and rampant consumerism. The rich were getting richer, the poor were getting poorer and the middle class were doing very little to stop it all. Roddy Piper plays a drifter who arrives in Los Angeles desperate for work and relegated to live in a homeless encampment. He finds a pair of special sunglasses that reveal a world of subliminal messages and alien invaders masquerading as humans and discovers a stunning conspiracy behind America’s economic and social downturn. And, being Roddy Piper, he proceeds to clean house.

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Scream Factory Contest

Shout! Factory has a long history as a quality Blu-ray/DVD label catering to fans of TV shows and films from years past, but earlier this year they stepped up their game even more by adding a genre arm. Scream Factory already has fantastic HD releases like Halloween II, Halloween III and The Funhouse on shelves, and their upcoming titles continue to bring the awesome. They have announced five future titles so far including John Carpenter’s They Live, Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing, The Island with Michael Caine, Death Valley with Peter Billingsley and the killer cockroach gem, The Nest. And now they’re offering you the chance to win a year’s worth of high-def horror! One lucky winner will get a one-year subscription to Scream Factory’s releases from this Halloween to Halloween 2013. The prize includes the five upcoming titles mentioned directly above starting with They Live and continues though a whole year’s worth of sure to be kick-ass releases. The winner will also receive any associated extras the label cooks up for their titles including posters with the usually awesome new artwork. Keep reading for Scream Factory’s entire press release on the contest, and enter soon… the cutoff for entry is midnight Halloween night.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Neil Miller was dared to eat nothing but Activia for a full week), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Three years after a group of frat boys prank a dorky student with disastrous results the class boards a train to celebrate their impending graduation. Any illusion of a wild and fun night is shattered though when a creepy, uninvited madman joins them. That’s right. David Copperfield is on the train. Oh, and there’s also a psychotic killer intent on punching everyone’s ticket. Join Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson and Hart “White Night” Bochner as they climb aboard the… Terror Train!

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There are a handful of kick-ass specialty labels out there who make a habit of bringing beloved genre classics (and sometimes not-so-classic classics) back to life on Blu-ray and DVD with releases that show real TLC for the films and the fans. Arrow Video, Blue Underground and Synapse are a few of the best, but one that ranks just as high on the list is Shout! Factory. Their mainstay has been older TV shows, but they also offer the Roger Corman Cult Classics line as well as a brand new co-venture with South Korea’s CJ Entertainment. They’ve just announced a new line called Scream Factory that will focus on releasing Blu-rays/DVDs of horror films and thrillers from the 1980′s. The debut releases due this September include Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch, both loaded with extras. As exciting as these will be the best news (for me at least) can be found elsewhere in the list of upcoming titles. Seven additional titles are listed below, but there are three highlights. First up are two of my childhood favorites… The Island starring Michael Caine trying to save his son from modern-day pirates led by the always awesome David Warner, and Death Valley featuring Peter Billingsley being stalked by a serial killer during an RV trip with his family through the Mid-west. And then there’s a little John Carpenter film called They Live finally getting the attention it deserves with its first US Blu-ray… Check below for all the […]

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