A Walter Hill Classic Comes to 4K and Our Pick of the Week

Plus 22 more new releases to watch at home this week on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD!
Southern Comfort

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 January 30th, 2024! This week’s home video selection includes the new Danza Macabra collection, Walter Hill’s Southern Comfort in 4K, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

Southern Comfort [4K UHD, Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A Louisiana National Guard unit fucks up royally deep in the swamps.

Why see it? Walter Hill’s filmography is filled with bangers — Hard Times, The Driver, The Warriors, 48 Hrs., Streets of Fire, Extreme Prejudice, Trespass, Last Man Standing — but this tale of ego, testosterone, and idiocy remains my favorite. Powers Boothe and Keith Carradine headline a stellar cast (Fred Ward, Peter Coyote, Brion James, and more) in a brutal adventure as Guardsmen go head to head with angry Cajuns. The clash of personalities is epic, and the action beats see a mash up of panic, strategy, and old school tactics. The friendship between Boothe and Carradine offers a thrilling emotional core at the heart of the poor choices and carnage. The whole thing unfolds like a developing nightmare with a body count fueled by fear and adrenaline. Vinegar’s new release, one of their Ultra line titles, is a beauty from the packaging and transfer to the informative extras highlighted by Walter Chaw’s new commentary track.

[Extras: New restoration, commentary, interviews, featurette, booklet]

The Best


What is it? High school students deal with struggles big and small.

Why see it? There are two halves to the appeal behind this Filipino comedy/drama, and each carries an equal weight. First is the story itself, focused on characters whose daily tribulations should remind viewers of their own teen experiences. Second, though, is the filmmaking process that involved removing frames of film, printing them out, coloring them in, and then scanning it all back into a feature. The look is unique with colors drawing the eye to certain characters and ideas, and the universal appeal is strong hitting home with moments both humorous and hard.

[Extras: Short films, commentary, featurette]

Conan the Barbarian [Arrow]

What is it? A classic of beefy man cinema.

Why see it? They really don’t make movies like this anymore, and yes I’ve seen last decade’s remake. John Milius brings Robert E. Howard’s epic warrior creation to visceral, silly, and violent life with a star-making turn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead. It’s a big, pulpy, mud and blood-covered epic filling the screen with grand imagery, thrilling action, and a real sense of otherworldliness. Arrow gives the film the treatment it deserves, and while the Blu-ray release looks stellar they’ve also released a 4K UHD version which is undoubtedly even better. The release also comes loaded with special features, old and new, offering an extensive look into the film’s production, reception, and relevance in the realm of fantasy cinema.

[Extras: Three cuts of the film, commentaries, featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes]

Danza Macabra: Volume Two – The Italian Gothic Collection [Severin]

What is it? Four more Italian gems restored from relative obscurity.

Why see it? When Severin released volume one of Danza Macabra, some thought it odd that it didn’t include the film Danza Macabra. Understandable, but also, now rectified with this second and arguably far better volume. The title film, better known by its US title, Castle of Blood, gets the 4K UHD treatment here, and both versions looks terrific. The film sees a reporter dared to spend the night in a supposedly haunted castle, and a cameo by Edgar Allen Poe is just the start of the good times. Jekyll is rare miniseries, and while its condition is poor, there’s value in finally getting it available on home video. They Have Changed Their Face has some minor pacing issues, but its capitalism as vampirism tale is endlessly interesting. And finally, The Devil’s Lover sees a similar plot to Castle of Blood as some friends accept the opportunity to spend the night in a haunted castle with unfortunate results. The title film remains the highlight here and is arguably worth the price of admission depending on how big a fan you are given the deluxe treatment it gets from Severin.

[Extras: Commentaries, interviews, featurettes]

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants

What is it? A depressed man finds new purpose with a dominatrix.

Why see it? While my tastes lean a bit more towards R100‘s darkly comedic and thrilling approach to a similar setup, there’s an undeniable appeal to this story of a sad man and the liberation of letting go. It offers up a non-judgmental look into a world most people will never ever glimpse, and while it’s occasionally sexy that’s arguably not the real point. It’s an emotional journey as one man tries to overcome grief, and it’s an engaging one through to the very end.

[Extras: Introduction, interviews, commentary]

The Prophecy I-II-III [4K UHD, Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? The angel Gabriel tries to bring about the end times.

Why see it? It seems unlikely that Christopher Walken would headline a trilogy of horror films, let alone movies about killer angels, but the 90s were a different time, friends. Walken plays Gabriel, and the first film pits him against Elias Koteas as he tries to trigger the apocalypse. It’s a fantastic concept, and the film brings the thrills. Two direct sequels followed, and while they’re a mixed bag, there’s still a lot to enjoy here as the horror elements play well with the biblical threads. Vinegar’s new release gives all three films a notable facelift, the first on its own UHD while the other two films share a disc, but just as worthwhile here are the making of featurettes for each of the three and the new commentary tracks. Lots to love here for Prophecy fans.

[Extras: New restorations, commentaries, making ofs]

Scarlet Street [4K UHD, KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A mild mannered man is taken advantage of.

Why see it? Fritz Lang’s quietly bristling noir sees Edward G. Robinson as a timid little man, smitten with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She’s only after his money, and her real boyfriend is going to make sure they get it. Dan Duryea is terrific as the prick looking to swindle Robinson’s unassuming bank clerk, and the two of them make for incredibly appealing opposites at odds to the bitter end. It’s a mean little movie, sad and thrilling in equal measure, and Kino’s new 4K UHD looks stellar offering up a crisply detailed and smartly contrasted picture.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentaries]


What is it? A new holiday slasher is born.

Why see it? Eli Roth’s filmography has seen some interesting turns over the years from horror to blackly comic thriller to a kids movie, but his return to horror has resulted in arguably his best film yet. It’s not easy giving birth to a new holiday horror franchise, but he’s done just that with this story of a killer in a pilgrim outfit slashing his way through a small town during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s gory, fun, and manages a solid enough whodunnit, and in a year that also saw a great return to form for the Scream franchise it holds its own to sit high among the year’s best.

[Extras: Deleted scenes, outtakes, short films, featurettes, commentary]

The Rest

Age of Demons

What is it? Witches versus a karate club to decide the fate of the world.

Why see it? There’s no arguing the creativity and WTF nature of this film’s premise, but the execution is to be expected from a shot-on-video cheapie. If SOV horror is your jam, then the strengths here include some fun practical effects and monstrous antics bringing this goofy romp to life. The ultra low budget and amateur feel (particularly in the acting) make for some clunkiness, but a running time under eighty minutes helps keep things moving as does the shift towards Power Rangers shenanigans. Fans of Saturn’s Core’s other releases will want to scoop this one up.

[Extras: Commentary, documentary, featurette, short films]

The Black Room [Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A room for rent, cheap, unless you value your life.

Why see it? A man rents a room to use for sexy time shenanigans with strangers, but the siblings he’s renting from are killing the women when he’s done. Uh oh! Part Skinemax romp, part thriller, and part horror, this early 80s feature checks off plenty of boxes for genre fans even if it never goes above and beyond. The horror thrills are spotty, but it all builds to a pretty solid climax. Vinegar’s new Blu looks good, and fans of R-rated thrills should at least enjoy a first watch.

[Extras: New 4K scan, interviews]

The Boogens [4K UHD, KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A newly opened mine reveals a monstrous secret.

Why see it? 1981 was apparently a popular year for mine-set horror films as the slasher classic My Bloody Valentine also released. This less popular genre effort is a creature feature, and while we get too little of the monster (and too late to boot) it’s still a goofy thrill when we see it. There’s a lot of down time with characters and plot antics meaning it’s not a very exciting movie, but it’s no dud and instead offers up just enough thrills. Kino’s unexpected 4K release is a vast improvement over past releases offering up a clarity and level of detail we haven’t seen with this title while still maintaining its grainy charms. The movie is good, not great, but this is a great release of a B-movie.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentaries, featurette]

Conan the Destroyer [Arrow]

What is it? A PG-rated follow-up to an R-rated classic.

Why see it? There are those who will defend this sequel as a corny good time, and to that I can only say to each their own. Not only is it a massive step down in entertainment value from the first film, but it’s also not a good movie period. Conan is saddled with an ensemble of unlikely teammates, none of whom really feel a part of the same gritty, dirty world that was Barbarian, and the film’s personality takes the hit. Things happen here, but gone is the epic feel, the darkly fantastic atmosphere, and anything resembling anything but neutered cheese. All of that said, Arrow’s new release looks and sounds fantastic.

[Extras: Commentaries, interviews, featurettes]

D.A.R.Y.L. [4K UHD, Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A young boy is actually an android of sorts.

Why see it? The 80s were all about the action, and for a while at least that also included action/adventures for younger audiences. The Goonies, Cloak & Dagger, Adventures in Babysitting — we got some real fun bangers back then, while today’s kids get CG out the wazoo. Anyway, this Simon Wincer film from 1985 offers a pretty solid setup in a boy with a robot brain finding a real human family, but it’s surprisingly light on the action/adventure. We get a solid car chase and some minor spy plane beats later, but the bulk of the film is character-driven. Not a bad thing, obviously, but the film feels like it wants to be more. It feels like it’s missing some small action set-pieces, ones highlighting Daryl’s abilities that get him closer to the other kids. Anyway, it’s fine.

[Extras: New restoration, commentary, making of]


What is it? A sci-fi head trip bashing the halls of capitalism.

Why see it? I make no secret of my general dislike of “experimental” cinema, and while the term is a broad one, this is the kind of movie it applies to. At its core is a plot, of sorts, involving an effort to stop a billionaire capitalist from his latest endeavor — one with harmful effects on the rest of humankind — but the narrative takes a back seat to the presentation. Black & white, dreamy, nightmarish, several steps to the left of grounded, the film creates its own atmosphere for better or worse, and not even the talents of Scott Bakula and Stephen Dorff can find a common point worth connecting to. It’s interesting in the abstract, but it doesn’t quite work as a whole.

[Extras: Interview, video essay, featurette]

Existenz [4K UHD, Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A David Cronenberg video game movie.

Why see it? When David Cronenberg is on, he’s on — The Brood, Shivers, The Fly, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Crash — but when he misses? While it’s still usually pretty interesting. This mild miss delivers on the tactile thrills as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s video game designer introduces some Cronenbergian game pods, pulsating flesh sacs that plug directly into your spinal cord, and other elements are equally physically compelling including a dog holster. Trust me, it’s great. What doesn’t work, though, is the also Cronenbergian sense of flat, unmoving character and atmosphere. It’s just too much here, too dull, and it leaves even the film’s minor action beats feeling meh. This new release is rock solid, though.

[Extras: New restoration, commentaries, interviews, featurettes]

Fatal Games [Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A killer with a sharp stick is hunting jocks on a sports campus.

Why see it? Some slashers from the 80s found their niche right away, while others had to settle for little seen cult status. This 1984 feature belongs in the latter camp as it’s had its fans over the decades while the general public had never even heard of it. Vinegar’s new Blu-ray cleans it up and gives it new life, and while enjoyable it’s easy to see why it never found initial success. It’s basic in most ways, although the killer prone to using a javelin as his weapon of choice is nice, and we get a handful of fun kills, lots of red herrings, and a fun final twist. A good time.

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

He Walked By Night [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? The LAPD hunt for an elusive criminal.

Why see it? As police procedurals go, this is both a good one and a relatively important one. Credited as being an inspiration for the popular television series Dragnet, this tale of criminal elements and the men sworn to bring them to justice scratches a specific itch. The film spends ample time with the police as they investigate, gather evidence, and work to find and catch the bad guy. There’s a nitty gritty approach here, one more interested in the specific work than the people doing it. As a result, the cop characters are all fairly flat — not wholly a bad thing as it makes the villain even flashier — as they’re all good men doing good work. Still, the film’s relevance is evident, and it’s a solid watch.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentaries]

The Horrible Dr. Hichcock [4K UHD, Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? A doctor has peculiar tastes in bed.

Why see it? Gothic horrors have a particular appeal, and fans of the subgenre are likely big fans of this entry. A doctor’s habit of drugging his wife to the point of a simulated death — just so he can bone her — backfires when a bad reaction leads to her actually dying. A short while later and he’s back with a new wife, the iconic Barbara Steele, and he’s soon up to his own tricks that require a slow ease in to his control and her dependence. Steele moves through garishly lit hallways, carries a candelabra into darkness, and screams appropriately. The film’s atmosphere and visuals are more than enough to hold the interest, and both shine even more so with this new 4K release. More of a sultry slowburn than fast-hitting thriller, this is a gothic that should appeal to most genre fans.

[Extras: New restoration, Italian and American cuts, interviews]

Loaded Guns

What is it? An action/comedy from Fernando Di Leo?

Why see it? Italian genre master Fernando Di Leo is best known for several hard-hitting, violently entertaining crime thrillers, but this 1975 feature sees him take a step back to relax with something far looser. Turns out it’s far too loose, though, as the storyline — a stewardess (Ursula Andress) gets mixed up with some criminals — grows unnecessarily convoluted. Worse, Di Leo throws everything at the wall here on the comedic front, and very little of it sticks. We do get some brawls, but they’re messy and go on too long for the thrills they manage. The film’s sole plus side, if you’re into such things, is seeing Miss Andress sans clothes for roughly half the film.

[Extras: Commentary, featurette]

Murphy’s War [Arrow]

What is it? A man’s hunger for revenge keeps World War II going after it ends.

Why see it? Peter O’Toole is a talent who’s always worth watching, and that’s especially the case when he plays an oddball. That fits the bill here as he’s a survivor of a ship sinking caused by a German U-boat, and now he wants to return the favor. A minor love story builds, others enter the fray, but it’s Murphy’s determination for revenge that fuels the story even after WWII comes to an official end. That drive is a dangerous thing. The film is a mix of minor action thrills, overwhelming charm, and character drama with the clear highlights being O’Toole and some seaplane antics.

[Extras: Featurette, interviews]

Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary

What is it? A Galaxy Quest documentary.

Why see it? 1999 saw the release of one of the great sci-fi/comedies, and while no one seemed to care at the time, Galaxy Quest has gone on to become a cult favorite. It’s easy to see why as the movie is an extremely funny, warm, and entertaining romp riffing on stardom, fandom, and some very specific nods to Star Trek. The cast is stellar with Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long, and Tim Allen bringing the funny while the filmmakers deliver one great set-piece after the last. Anyway, this is a nice little documentary celebrating the film.

[Extras: Interviews]

Redneck Zombies

What is it? You got your toxic waste in my moonshine!

Why see it? This late 80s romp is among the first genre efforts to be shot/released on video, and it’s probably exactly what the title suggests. Rough acting, entertainingly gory kills, and an endless outpouring of silliness are the name of the game here, and this new release from new label Degausser Video is the best you’ll ever see it. The extras are endless including early cuts and tons of behind the scenes looks at the making of this bloody SOV classic.

[Extras: Commentaries, alternate cut, documentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, interviews]

Santet 1 and 2 [Vinegar Syndrome]

What is it? Two tales of a woman wronged, who wrongs in return.

Why see it? Just as the US has Jamie Lee Curtis and Barbara Crampton, Indonesia has Suzzanna. The scream queen headlines both of these films as a woman named Katemi. After seeing her husband killed by a mob in the first film she sets out for some magically-infused vengeance. The sequel sees her trying to move on but unable to thanks to more locals intent on riling her hackles. Both films feature some imaginative visuals and creative practical effects making them worth a watch, but both also fall prey to long stretches of character drama that lacks the same appeal. Still, fans of bonkers Hong Kong cinema will enjoy the highs and lows that these two Indonesian horror romps manage.

[Extras: New 2K restorations, commentary]

Also out this week:

Eileen, Gay USA, Monk: Season Three, Mudbound [Criterion], One Man, Sex & Broadcasting, Sexmission, Silent Night, The Strangler, Trainspotting [4K UHD, Criterion], The Tune

Rob Hunter: 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.