Later this week I'll have a new installment of my ongoing "Extra, Extra" column, where I champion the bonus features from a new release as a way to say thanks to the studios who still put effort into their discs in today's stream-crazy world. As someone who greatly prefers physical media, I am disappointed to buy a new film and find out that it's a bare-bones release, but I get it: why bother taking the time and money to put those things together when people are just going to watch the movie on Netflix?
Luckily, the people who own a vast library of horror titles - like Lionsgate - seem to be aware that genre fans don't settle for such things and barely blink at buying the same film over and over just for an improved transfer and/or some new bonus features, so while we might get screwed on a Hollywood blockbuster, our beloved "old school" movies will always be taken care of, and made available on the new formats.
Case in point: today they announced the full details for a 4K Ultra release of John Carpenter's Halloween, which will have Dolby Vision, a 7.1 TrueHD mix, and probably some other stuff that didn't exist when they made the movie forty years ago. I got 4K capabilities a year or so ago, though I have been very selective with the discs I got and have yet to upgrade a single title I already owned - I'm at the point where I find myself considering upgrades to 4K for movies I got on Blu-ray and never watched since I upgraded *those* from standard DVD. But I'll be making an exception for Halloween, naturally; I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing there was a superior version of my favorite movie out there.
Now, whenever Halloween is re-released folks wonder about the color timing on the transfer, since it had two very different versions and fans are divided over which one is superior, but since the bonus features are identical to the 35th anniversary release, I can assume it will be that one, which is the one DP Dean Cundey supervised himself. And yes, identical bonus features - I think they finally realized there's not much else to say about this movie unless they reanimate Donald Pleasence to do a commentary, so there's no reason to upgrade unless you're 4K-equipped. But they did cut a new trailer for the release, and honestly, I think it's better than the theatrical trailer for the film, which I always hated.
Check it out:
Meanwhile, if you're a fan of Maximum Overdrive - and you damn well should be - you need the Vestron Special Edition release, because the film has never gotten Blu-ray release in the US: only a bare-bones DVD from Anchor Bay that may not even be in print anymore. So even if it was just the HD transfer, allowing us to appreciate the details in the kid's hat as it gets smushed (along with the kid) under the steamroller, it would be worth the double dip - but we're getting bonus features too!
Just look at all this goodness:
NEW: Audio Commentary with Writer Tony Magistrale, Author of Hollywood’s Steven King
NEW: Audio Commentary by Actor and Comedian Jonah Ray and Blumhouse Film Executive Ryan Turek
NEW: “Truck Stop Tales” Featurette – An Interview with Producer Martha De Laurentiis
NEW: “Rage Against the Machines” Featurette – An Interview with Actress Laura Harrington
NEW: “Honeymoon Horrors” Featurette – Interviews with Actor John Short and Actress Yeardley Smith
NEW: “Maximum Carnage” Featurette – An Interview with Make-Up Effects Creator Dean Gates
“A Kid in King’s Court” Featurette – An Interview with Actor Holter Graham
NEW: “The Wilmington Factor” Featurette – A Look Back at the Filming of Maximum Overdrive with Members of the Production Crew in North Carolina
NEW: “Who Made Who?” Featurette – An Interview with Murray Engleheart, Co-Author of AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll
NEW: “Goblin Resurrectus” Featurette – The Restoration of the Happy Toyz Golbin
I mean, holy shit. One or two of those things alone would make this exciting, but the fact that I am going to have to set aside time to go through a Maximum Overdrive Blu-ray in the year 2018 makes me very very happy. And I'm stoked for Ryan Turek getting to be a part of it, as I know it's his pet favorite (like me with Cathy's Curse!) and he'll do a fine job. And kudos to the people in charge of this Vestron line for that gorgeous cover - I'm not joking when I say I'd get a framed print of that if I could. I find most new art for these kind of things to be forgettable at best (there are some exceptions, like Scream Factory's Silent Night Deadly Night release), but I legit love this one even more than the original poster.
Halloween will be out on September 25th, giving you casual fans time to revisit before the new movie hits on October 19th, and Maximum Overdrive will be out on October 23rd. You can pre-order them at the handy links below. Until then, let's just rock: