A New 4K Release of 'Pitch Black' Is Our Home Video Pick of the Week

Plus 6 more new releases to watch at home this week on Blu-ray/DVD!

Radha Mitchell in Pitch Black
USA Films

Streaming might be the future, but physical media is still the present. It’s also awesome, depending on the title, the label, and the release, so each week we take a look at the new Blu-rays and DVDs making their way into the world. Welcome to this week in Home Video for September 1st, 2020 which includes our pick of the week, a new 4K UltraHD release of Pitch Black!

This week’s home video selection brings us a handful of Shudder titles including Blood Quantum, Terririfed, and Z, plus plenty more to get excited about including Pitch Black. Check out our picks below.


Pick of the Week

Pitch BlackPitch Black [Arrow Video 4K]

What is it? Aliens attack a group of humans unaware that one of them is hiding his own monstrous secret.

Why see it? David Twohy’s franchise starter remains the best of the series, and part of its charm is its smaller focus. It’s horror, sci-fi, and action blended into a thrilling watch with cool creatures and exciting set-pieces. Sure Vin Diesel stars, but we also get the under-appreciated Radha Mitchell and Cole Hauser kicking ass and taking names. It remains a great little genre flick, and Arrow Video’s new 4K release of Pitch Black is a gorgeous stunner taking full advantage of the film’s dark-themed premise.

[Extras: New 4K restoration of both theatrical and director’s cuts, commentaries, interviews, animated prequel short, TV special, booklet]


The Best

Blood QuantumBlood Quantum

What is it? A zombie plague leaves indigenous people untouched, but the zombies don’t.

Why see it? The zombie subgenre is mostly stagnant, but fresh voices and takes continue to pop up here and there. The most recent is this Canadian gem that approaches an otherwise familiar story in a rather unique way. The Native people are immune, but their status still leaves them viewed in contrast to the whites meaning they’re left fighting both the undead and living assholes. It’s good stuff, and it’s filled with some great gore.

[Extras: None]

Children Of The SeaChildren of the Sea

What is it? A young girl discovers secrets about her past.

Why see it? There’s an engaging mystery of identity and fate at the heart of this animated tale, and it makes for a fairly captivating coming of age tale. The bigger strength, though, is the film’s visuals. They shift from the beautiful to the trippy, and the movie’s water themes — the little girl connects with human hybrids from the ocean which reveals her own special traits — afford the movie opportunities for some gorgeous animation.

[Extras: Featurettes, interview]


The Rest

The Eleventh CommandmentThe Eleventh Commandment [Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? An unstable young man solves his family troubles with a switchblade.

Why see it? The description alone makes this late 80s thriller sound like a slasher, but that’s really only part of the tale. The killer is motivated as much by revenge as he is by madness — of course the revenge he seeks is against relatives who have framed him for being mad, so there’s that. The kills are exclusively accomplished via stabs to the gut that kill almost instantly, and the sauciness comes wrapped in lingerie, but even with those restraints it’s a fun enough thriller making its Blu-ray debut.

[Extras: New 2K scan and restoration, interviews]

The Naughty VictoriansThe Naughty Victorians [Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A naughty Victorian recruits others into his naughty antics.

Why see it? This adult feature is an odd one for a couple reasons, not the least of which is how it presents what amounts to sexual assault as fun shenanigans. Bondage plays a big role here, as a man introduces a woman to his tastes — only to join forces with her in bringing more women in. It’s playful with more than a tinge of yuck, and it leads to something unexpected in both a “comedy” and heterosexual porn. Satisfying though!

[Extras: New 2K scan and restoration, commentary]

Perfect StrangersPerfect Strangers [Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A hitman struggles with orders to kill a child witness.

Why see it? The great Larry Cohen wrote and directed this low-key thriller back to back with Special Effects (1984), and while it’s the lesser of the two there’s fun to be had. The killer worms his way into the single mother’s life and bed, but his conscience gets in the way alongside the ex-husband and a determined police detective. It’s a low budget affair complete with some rough acting and transitions, but Cohen’s style and energy keep it interesting. Kudos to Vinegar Syndrome for bringing it to Blu-ray.

[Extras: New 2K scan and restoration, interviews]

ZZ

What is it? A child’s imaginary friend causes real harm.

Why see it? There are some minor chills to be found in this creature feature about an imaginary friend with violent tendencies, as the being hides out in the shadows. Even better, there’s a great beat with another kid taking a tumble. The creature itself, though, looks pretty weak when glimpsed thanks to some sketchy CG. It dilutes the effect, and the script does the rest as it dampens the horror and offers only annoyances.

[Extras: None]


Also out this week:

Beetlejuice [4K UltraHD], Cut Off, Death on the Nile [KL Studio Classics], Evil Under the Sun {KL Studio Classic], The Goonies [4K UltraHD], Indecent Exposure [Vinegar Syndrome], Limbo [AGFA], The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue [Synapse Films], The Mirror Crack’d [KL Studio Classics], Rogue, Irresistible, Sherlock Holmes [4K UltraHD], Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [4K UltraHD], Terrified

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