There's only five horror DVD's being released today and the first one was one of the biggest horror movies of 2007, "Saw IV". The rest, although not as well known, offer some compelling reasons to check them out. "When Evil Calls" was the world's first 'made for mobile' series, which has now been edited together and distributed by Lionsgate, "Dungeon of Dr. Dreck" is made by and based on a small cable access show in Central Massachusetts, "The Bushwhacker" was too violent for theaters 40 years ago and "The Kingdom - Series One and Two" is just really darn nifty.
"Saw IV" continues the story of Jigsaw and his quest to teach people the value of their lives, even though Jigsaw and his apprentice both died at the conclusion of "Saw III", but... you probably figured that out. What you might not know is that this installment is the first "Saw" film to not be written by either James Wan or Leigh Whannell, the co-creators... this one was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who were given the task of figuring out how to keep the franchise alive, even though the killer is now dead. They did a pretty good job, in fact, they did such a good job that they've been picked up to pen both "Saw V" and "Saw VI". The film opened at #1 at the box office on October 26, 2007, even though most of the reviews were negative... and I really don't know why. This one didn't really have many jump-scares, but there's plenty of good gore and killings to entertain all you torture porn fans. The plot is a bit convoluted, but come on. It's a horror film, let it go. The "Saw" franchise really is a big success story in my eyes, with the first one being done for around $1Million by a couple of unknowns and now, four years later, there's been four films with a combined budget of $25.2Million and the franchise has pulled in gross revenues of over $530Million. Mr. Wan and Mr. Whannell, my hat's off to both of you and I look forward to "Saw V".
"When Evil Calls" is an extremely original concept... not the story, but how it was delivered. Shot as 20 - 2 minute episodes, "When Evil Calls" is the world's first made-for-mobile horror series. It was written and directed by rising British horror star, Johannes Roberts, who also made "Forest of the Damned" and "Darkhunters". It's based on the same idea as "Monkey's Paw" or "Wishmaster", basically 'be careful what you wish for', however this is about a clown genie that comes out of a cell phone. Lionsgate picked up the rights and is releasing it, re-edited, as a feature film. Filled with homages to various horror films, lots of nudity and over the top gore, it's worth while to check out. If not for the comedy, horror and boobies, because of the concept.
"The Dungeon of Dr. Dreck" is actually a cable access show that airs in Central Massachusetts, starring Dr. Dreck and his lovely, dead co-host, Moaner, a zombie cheerleader who attends George Romero High School. On the show, they broadcast old horror, sci-fi and mystery thrillers, but the film is, well... an actual film. It's not really horror, it's slap-stick style comedy, but it's about horror, so to speak. Don't expect much more than 90 minutes of cable access humor on a shoe-string budget, but that might be exactly what you're looking for. I won't judge.
"The Bushwhacker" was originally released in 1968 and was considered way too violent for audiences and most theaters wouldn't even show it due to its controversial mix of sex and gore. By today's standards, it probably isn't that bad, but... remember, people died in the theaters watching "The Exorcist", but at least that got shown. "The Bushwhacker" is about a woodsman who manages to shoot down an airplance with his rifle, then hunts down the survivors, who are the pilot and three beautiful female passengers. Expect rape, nudity, violence and gore... sixties style.
"The Kingdom" is an eight-episode Danish television mini-series, originally called "Riget", which means... something in Danish, possibly "The Kingdom", I'm not entirely sure. Stephen King actually developed his mini-series, called "Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital", based on this. The eight episode's were edited together to make "The Kingdom Series One", then the second mini-series was edited together to make "The Kingdom Series Two". Apparently there's a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the second series, but don't expect them to be answered... ever. Five of the cast members died and they figured it would be too hard to finish it all up. Von Trier sent the unfinished scripts over the Stephen King, but due to the overwhelming success of "Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital", let's just say they probably won't get made. If that doesn't convince you to see it, maybe this will - it's one of the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', a film book compiled by various critics worldwide.
New horror on DVD, Jan 22, 2008: