Features and Columns · Movies

An Underrated Werewolf Movie Takes a Bite Out of Our Pick of the Week

Plus 11 more new releases to watch at home this week on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD!
Silver Bullet
By  · Published on December 5th, 2023

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 December 5th, 2023! This week’s home video selection includes Silver Bullet in 4K, two Hong Kong flicks from 88 Films, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

Silver Bullet UhdSilver Bullet [4K UHD, Scream Factory]

What is it? One of the best werewolf movies.

Why see it? Stephen King’s novella Cycle of the Werewolf gets a feature adaptation here that has stood the test of time as a fun and thrilling werewolf chiller and affecting coming of age tale. Corey Haim stars as the wheelchair-bound Marty who believes a werewolf is stalking his small town — and he’s alone until his older sister and their fun-loving uncle join the fray. Werewolf design is cool, the kills are gory enough, the nightmare in the church is fantastic, and Gary Busey unloads the charm as the irresponsible uncle. It’s a great time, and Scream Factory’s new 4K UHD presents it looking better than ever with detail and color that hasn’t popped in previous releases. A terrific release all across the board.

[Extras: Commentaries, interviews, featurette]

The Best

I For IcarusI… for Icarus [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? JFK, but French.

Why see it? The 70s remain the best decade in film, not just in the US, but abroad as well. Exhibit A is this late decade conspiracy thriller that tackles the JFK assassination and investigation by way of the killing of a French president. A commission concludes, but one man finds fault in its simplicity. the film has the same cold, methodical feel as The Day of the Jackal, and it works to foster growing unease as the ever malleable truth comes clearer… or grows more obfuscated. Think a loess showy version of Oliver Stone’s JFK, but one that still builds to an enormous gut punch. Essential viewing for fans of greatness.

[Extras: Commentary]

Stand By Me UhdStand By Me [4K UHD, steelbook]

What is it? A group of friends, and their last amazing summer.

Why see it? The other Stephen King adaptation hitting 4K UHD this week is an equally unforgettable one, and it’s also a rare non-horror entry for the writer. Rob Reiner brings King’s “The Body” to the screen with heart, adventure, and an eye for times long passed. It’s a beautiful film about friendship and how all things end. The story hits hard by the time the end credits roll, but memories of the ups and downs of youth keep it in your head and heart for a long time.

[Extras: Deleted scenes, commentaries, featurette, music video]

Titanic UhdTitanic [4K UHD]

What is it? A disaster, now in 4K.

Why see it? James Cameron’s disaster epic has always been a terrific film divided evenly in two with the introduction of an iceberg. The first half is drama, romance, and class antics, while the back half unleashes an epic tragedy and fight for survival. It’s great stuff with memorable performances by Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and a roster of familiar faces. The film’s effects stand up, and this new 4K UHD brings it all home with majestic clarity and detail alongside a detailed cleanup. The upcoming 4K releases of The Abyss, True Lies, and Aliens are still the ones I’m most excited about tho!

[Extras: Documentary, interviews, commentaries]

The Rest

Babylon 5: The Complete Series

What is it? The near-complete run of a great sci-fi series from the 90 most of you didn’t watch.

Why see it? By “near-complete,” of course, I mean that while this set contains all six seasons and all 110 episodes of the series, it does not include the five TV movies made after the series concluded. That’s unfortunate as it means anyone wanting to upgrade will have to hang onto their DVD season sets for the TV movies and numerous other extras that also (and inexplicably) aren’t included here. If you’re just after the series, though, this is a solid pickup featuring all the remastered episodes in one compact package. The show is undeniably great, from its slow, wobbly first season to the much stronger episodes, seasons, and story arcs that followed.

[Extras: Pilot film]

The Ballad of Little Jo

What is it? A woman disguised as a man rides through the old West.

Why see it? Maggie Greenwald’s “feminist” western offers a different approach to the genre while still following the expected tropes. Life was rough in the 1800s and in the old West, and it was even worse for the women. Josephine (Suzy Amis) makes the smart and necessary choice to hide her true self in order to survive, but of course that becomes difficult when she falls in love. We get splashes of the western genre here set against a drama, a character piece, and a love story, and the result is an engaging mix.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary, interview]

The Blue Jean Monster [88 Films]

What is it? A cop is killed in the line of duty but reanimated by lightning!

Why see it? You can always count on Hong Kong cinema for delivering WTF premises paired with fun action and gonzo genre beats. This early 90s effort can’t quite live up to the setup, but there’s definite fun to be had here as our hero — Shing Fui-on getting a rare lead role — gets ornery and monstrous when he’s not fighting bad guys. It’s silly but undeniably entertaining, and while 88 Films’ new disc is light on extras it’s great seeing a more obscure title get a release.

[Extras: Interview]

The Day of the Locusts [Arrow]

What is it? The Hollywood experience isn’t always glamorous.

Why see it? John Schlesinger’s adaptation of this 30s set tale has its highs and lows in its capture of the wild decadence and sleazy travesties of Hollywood’s early days. The cast is something special with the likes of Donald Sutherland (as Homer Simpson, no joke), Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, William Atherton, Geraldine Page, Billy Barty, and more familiar faces, and it builds to a memorably mad conclusion. At over two hours, though, the film struggles at times to find momentum and purpose outside of repetition. It’s an interesting endeavor, regardless, and while I prefer last year’s Babylon it’s a film worth watching.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary, featurettes, interview]

The Exiles

What is it? Native Americans make a new life in Los Angeles.

Why see it? There’s not really all that much to this 1961 feature on the story front, but as a fly on the wall looking at an underrepresented culture it’s a memorable and interesting watch. The film follows a group of friends, emigrants from reservations, for one night in the city, and its arguably simplistic but sadly necessary message remains that these are just people, like all of us. We see the highs and lows, the good times and bad, the fun and stress. Just as worthwhile, though, is the look at early 60s LA. An interesting watch.

[Extras: Short films, commentary, TV appearance]

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

What is it? The fifth entry in a very strong adventure trilogy!

Why see it? I’ll be honest, I stopped watching this one about ten minutes from the end. The film isn’t terrible, but it feels so detached from anything I’ve previously cared about in this franchise that I just didn’t feel the need to go on. Harrison Ford is, of course, always worth a watch, and some of the action is good fun, but too much of it is CG gibberish (digital mattes, face-swapping, etc) that fails to thrill. As a conclusion to the franchise it’s too little too late, so I’ll be sticking with The Last Crusade.

[Extras: Documentary]

The Inspector Wears Skirts [88 Films]

What is it? The Hong Kong police form a special squad of female police officers.

Why see it? Add this to the list of films that open strong only to get all wishy washy afterwards. Sibelle Hu and Cynthia Rothrock kick butt in the opening taking on some gun-wielding ninjas (?), but once they shift to the police academy it basically becomes a riff on Police Academy. They mingle with male cops, they go roller skating, they engage in hijinks. It would be one thing if the comedy was all that funny, but instead we’re left waiting patiently for more action. That said, the action we do get is good stuff, and it’s never a bad thing spending time with Hu or Rothrock (who is very much a supporting character here). Oh, and that fire gag is no joke!

[Extras: Commentary, interviews]

The Questor Tapes [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? An android seeks answers to its creation.

Why see it? Gene Roddenberry will always be best known for creating Star Trek, but the first incarnation of the beloved series pretty much bombed leaving him free to explore other ideas. He kicked off several television pilots hoping for a new series, and that includes this tale of an android seeing answers that elude even its genius “brain.” It’s a solid little tale of suspense and sci-fi antics, and while it’s easy to see why a series never happened, there’s fun to be had as it stands.

[Extras: New 2K scan, commentary]

Also out this week:

Blast of Silence [Criterion], The Color Purple [4K UHD], Days of Heaven [4K UHD, Criterion], Far from the Apple Tree, Fog City, Mercy Road, Mille Milliards de Dollars [KL Studio Classics], Point Break [4K UHD, Shout Select], Tokyo Pop

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.