Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Image Entertainment is getting ready for the Halloween rush by releasing some of the most iconic and unforgettable cult horror flicks to Blu-Ray. First up are three seminal purchases, starting with the Wes Craven classic The Hills Have Eyes, where a very ’70s family traveling through the desert mixes it up with a cannibalistic clan of desert folk. If you’ve ever driven through the California desert, this is especially scary. Next up, Clive Barker’s S&M horror fantasy Hellbound: Hellraiser II, where various pain-inflicting demons play games for Hell’s amusement. Finally is the horror comedy Vamp. This was released around the same time as the original Fright Night but, sadly, never got as much fan love. A couple of bumbling frat-boy wannabes are in charge of bringing an exotic dancer back to the house for their initiation. They head to the inner-city to the After Dark Club, only to find the vampiric Grace Jones(!) waiting to drain them. A triple-feature truly to die for!
I know I shouldn’t, but I absolutely love the SyFy Channel’s paranormal reality show Ghost Hunters. Sure, nothing ever happens, and every episode is basically 60 minutes of some East Coast meatheads pointing their flashlight clumsily in the direction of the slightest noise and asking dramatically, “What was that? Did you hear that?” only to find maybe a spectral bubble floating across the screen when they watch the video playback. It’s a constant formula, but it’s a constant formula that works and keeps me watching just in case something does happen. This three-disc Blu-Ray set captures the first half of the sixth season, taking the Atlantic Paranormal Society crew to Alcatraz (which is genuinely chilling for the most part), as well as the Philly Zoo (who knew it was haunted?), Fort Ticonderoga, Cooperstown and the home of abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe. I highly recommend this series, and I also recommend leaving a few lights on when you watch it.
Whenever those nutcase parents’ television groups come out of the woodwork, I usually wave them off with a dismissive snide giggle. But, after watching the second season of Glee, which many parents’ groups have come out against, I’m kind of starting to see their point. Glee is, for all intents and purposes, a kids’ show, made and marketed to them, yet producer Ryan Murphy continues to bring the same shock-tactic sensationalism to Glee that he did with the atrocious plastic surgery series Nip/Tuck. Normally I’d be all for that, but he’s standing on his soapbox for so long now, that he’s given up on trying to even tell a coherent story, with each episode more finger-waggingly outlandish than the next and the kids becoming more and more unlikable and socially irresponsible. And the song selection? Rebecca Black’s “Friday”? Really? Is that where we are now? I gotta agree with Sue Sylvester: I think it might be time to shut this department down for good.