Well, friends, we made it: spring. Proper spring, not that April showers nonsense. And aside from being the month in which I was born (please hold your
jeers applause), it's also yet another great month for classic schlock from the worlds sci-fi, fantasy and horror to get Blu-ray restorations.
From our Top Five picks there are killer rats, blacksploitation classics, straight-up Universal classics, a man talking to his little head, and much, much more.
Here: Have a video that explains it all. And then read up on every other classic movie getting the Blu this month.
May 2, Shout Factory
Jamie Lee Curtis plays the navigator of a tugboat crew that loses its cargo during a hurricane. In the calm eye of the storm, they come across a Russian research ship floating dead in the water. Boarding the vessel, they initially believe it to be deserted … but they soon realize they’re not alone. First, they discover a terrified survivor (Joanna Pacula), and then they find that the ship has been taken over by a ruthless alien intelligence. Now the small band must fight for their lives against an entity that has come to claim Earth for its own, and creates bio-mechanical monstrosities with one goal: eliminating the virus called humans.
Special Features: NEW Eye of the Storm - an interview with director John Bruno; NEW Science & Fiction – an interview with writer Dennis Feldman; NEW Into the Woods - an interview with actor Marshall Bell; NEW Men, Monsters and Machines: The Special Effects of Virus featuring interviews with Robotics Effects Designer Steve Johnson and Eric Allard, Special Makeup Effects artist Joel Harlow and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor: Second Unit Vincent J. Guastini; NEW Audio Commentary with director John Bruno and writer Dennis Feldman; Audio Commentary with director John Bruno and actor Marshall Bell; Vintage featurette - Virus: Ghost in the Machine; Vintage featurette – interviews with cast and crew; Deleted Scenes; Theatrical Trailer; Still Gallery
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
May 2, Mill Creek Entertainment
In the year 2136, Wolff (Peter Strauss), a wily salvage pilot and intergalactic bounty hunter, answers a distress signal on Terra Eleven. Agreeing to pick up three women who've been shipwrecked, he lands on the planet only to discover they've been kidnapped. Following their trail, Wolff soon encounters Niki (Molly Ringwald), a spunky orphan who agrees to guide him across the Forbidden Zone, a vast wasteland populated by plague-infested mutants. After many battles, Wolff and Niki finally reach the lair of Overdog (Michael Ironside), the planet's half-man/half-machine ruler. Discovering the women are held captive in Overdog's slave pens, Wolff's rescue mission finally begins.
Brain Damage (1988)
May 9, Arrow
Meet Elmer. He's your local friendly parasite with the ability to induce euphoric hallucinations in his hosts. But these LSD-like trips come with a hefty price tag. When young Brian comes under Elmer's addictive spell, it's not long before he finds himself scouring the city streets in search of his parasite's preferred food source: brains!
Featuring late TV horror host John Zacherley as the voice of Elmer, Brain Damage boasts some of the most astonishing bad taste gore-gags ever realized, including the notorious brain-pulling sequence and another that let's just say ends with a distinctly unconventional climax.
Special Features: Brand new audio commentary by writer-director Frank Henenlotter; Brand new interviews with cast and crew; Q&A with Henenlotter recorded at the 2016 Offscreen Film Festival; Theatrical Trailer; Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
Making Contact (1985)
May 9, Kino Lorber
Following the death of his father, 9-year-old Joey finds himself at the center of a frightening series of phenomena, including telekinesis, phone calls from beyond the grave and one very sinister ventriloquist dummy with extremely homicidal instincts. But when the authorities arrive to investigate Joey's gifts, they unknowingly unleash a horrific supernatural force that no scientist can comprehend and only one boy can hope to stop. Roland Emmerich, the director of blockbusters Independence Day, Stargate, The Day After Tomorrow and Universal Soldier, wonderfully directed this haunting shocker.
May 9, Shout Factory
Criminal on the run Marion Crane (Anne Heche) takes refuge at the motel operated by Norman Bates (Vince Vaughn): a troubled man whose victims encounter a grisly fate at the hands of his "mother. " Marion soon becomes the next victim and her disappearance prompts inquiries from her sister (Julianne Moore) and a private investigator (William H. Macy). They both soon discover the morbid bond linking Norman to his mysterious "mother" at the Bates Motel. Relive the terror in acclaimed director Gus Van Sant's version of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of suspense ... Psycho.
Special Features: NEW Audio Commentary with Rob Galluzzo (Writer/director of The Psycho Legacy) and Psycho (1998) editor Amy Huddleston; Audio Commentary with director Gus Van Sant, Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn; "Psycho Path - The Making of Psycho"; Theatrical Trailers; Still Gallery
The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collection (1932-1955)
May 16, Universal Studios
The original Mummy is one of the silver screen's most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collection includes all six films from the original legacy including the terrifying classic starring Boris Karloff and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the ancient Egyptian monster and continue to inspire countless remakes and adaptations that strengthen the legend of the Mummy to this day.
Special Features: "Mummy Dearest": A Horror Tradition Unearthed; "He Who Made Monsters": The Life and Art of Jack Pierce; "Unraveling The Legacy of The Mummy"; The Mummy Archives; Feature Commentary with Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns and Brent Armstrong; Feature Commentary with Film Historian Paul M. Jensen; Trailer Gallery; 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era
Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection (1931-1948)
May 16, Universal Studios
The original Dracula is one of the silver screen's most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection includes all six films from the original legacy including the frightening classic starring Bela Lugosi and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the famed vampire and continue to inspire countless remakes and adaptations that strengthen the legend of Dracula to this day.
Special Features: "The Road to Dracula"; "Lugosi: The Dark Prince"; "Dracula: The Restoration"; "Monster Tracks"; Dracula Archives; Alternate Score by Philip Glass - Performed by the Kronos Quartet; Feature Commentary with Film Historian David J. Skal; Feature Commentary with Steve Haberman, Screenwriter of Dracula: Dead and Loving It; Trailer Gallery
Dimension 5 (1966)
May 16, Kino Lorber
The unofficial agency of the American government Espionage Corporation is assigned to investigate the Chinese organization The Dragons when the government is advised to remove the American troops from Asia, otherwise The Dragons would destroy Los Angeles with a Hydrogen Bomb. The chief Mr. Kane asks his best agent Justin Power, who is testing a time converter belt, to be in charge of the mission with the Chinese agent Ki Ti Tso, aka Kitty. The intelligence agency unravels that parts of the bomb have been imported by the smuggler Big Buddha and Power and Kitty seek the hidden place in the U.S. NEW HD master.
Cyborg 2087 (1966)
May 16, Kino Lorber
In the year 2087, a cyborg is sent to 1966 to prevent a scientist from making a breakthrough, and the opposition sends an agent to prevent the cyborg from carrying out his mission ...
May 16, Shout Factory
Willard Stiles (Bruce Davison) is a young man with a big problem. He lives alone in a crumbling house with his ailing mother (Elsa Lanchester). His boss, Al Martin (Ernest Borgnine) is a vulgar, cruel man who stole his business from Willard’s father and is now working Willard to death at his factory job.
Lonely, depressed and isolated, Willard is on the verge of a breakdown when he makes a new friend: Ben, one of the many rats who inhabit his dilapidated home. Not only can Willard communicate with the rodent, but he can actually command him to do his bidding. Using Ben and his furry friends as instruments of retaliation, Willard commands his pets to carry out his vengeance …
Special Features: NEW 4K scan of the original camera negative; NEW audio commentary with actor Bruce Davison; NEW interview with actor Bruce Davison; Theatrical Trailer; TV Spot; Radio Spots; Still Gallery
May 16, Shout Factory
Ben is back! When detective sergeant Cliff Kirtland (Joseph Campanella) investigates the horrifying murder of Willard Stiles by a band of rats, he discovers that the rats are now an organized army and he must destroy the murderous rodents before it is too late. But the rats, led by Ben, the only survivor of the Willard attack, take to the challenge with full force and little fear.
Special Features: NEW HD transfer of the best surviving archive print; NEW audio commentary with actor Lee Montgomery; NEW interview with actor Lee Montgomery; Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; Ben/Willard Double Feature Trailer and TV spot; Radio Spot; Still Gallery
May 23, Massacre Video
When Tommy was a boy, he saw his grandpa (Hy Pyke), the leader of a vicious satanic cult, murder his father in a brutal ritual on Halloween night. Now Tommy (Gregory Scott Cummins) is 18 and Grandpa is ready to indoctrinate him into the ways of the black arts. But as night approaches, someone dressed like a member of the cult, whose face is hidden behind a devilish mask, begins stalking and killing people connected to Tommy. Could it be Grandpa, Tommy himself ... or someone even more sinister behind these increasingly brutal murders?
Special Features: Brand New 2k Restoration from the original camera negatives; Remastered 2.0 Stereo Mix and Original Mono Mix; Newly Recorded Audio Commentary with Producer Raj Mehrotra; English Language Captions; Isolated Soundtrack Option; "The Power Is In The Blood" Featurette (featuring interviews with stars Gregory Scott Cummings and Katina Garner); Rare Public Access Interview Featuring Katina Garner, Marya Gant And Director Jag Mundhra; Behind The Scene Photos; Trailers for other Massacre Video releases
Wolf Guy (1975)
May 23, Arrow
Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba is a martial arts 'manimal' in the ultra-'70s, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action and sci-fi that is Wolf Guy, one of the rarest and most sought-after cult films produced by Japan's Toei Studio. Based on a manga by Kazumasa Hirai and never before released outside of Japan, it's a genre film classic waiting to be discovered and a completely unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk.
Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of ancient werewolves who relies on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the J-CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers! At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind.
Special Features: High Definition digital transfer; High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations; Original uncompressed mono audio; New optional English subtitle translation; New video interview with actor Sonny Chiba; New video interview with director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi; New video interview with producer Tatsu Yoshida; Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter
Voodoo Black Exorcist (1974)
May 23, The Film Detective
The mummy of a Caribbean voodoo priest stalks the passengers of a South Seas ocean liner in this thriller from director Manuel Caño and producer José Antonio Pérez Giner. Filmed in such exotic locations as Jamaica and Haiti, this supernatural tale stars Aldo Sambrell and Fernando Sanchez. Also featuring the lovely Eva León as a passenger who reminds the mummy of an old love.
Special Features: Restored From Original 35mm Archival Material; Digitally Remastered New 2K Transfer; 2.35 Aspect Ratio; Includes Closed Captions/Subtitles.
May 30, Severin Films
You may have heard of this infamous Blaxploitation/Horror hybrid, but the real story is even more bizarre: In 1973, criminal lawyer turned wannabe monster movie mogul Frank R. Saletri wrote and produced this grind house hit about a black soldier mortally wounded in Vietnam transformed into a rampaging monster by an L.A. mad scientist. Almost a decade later, Seletri himself would be murdered gangland-style in a crime that remains debated and unsolved to this day. John Hart, '40s Hollywood starlet Andrea King and even former mob moll/stripper Liz Renay star in this jaw-dropper directed by William A. Levey, now restored with all-new Special Features that spotlight the entire twisted saga!
Special Features: Theatrical Release Version (78 Minutes) and Video Release Version (87 Minutes); "Monster Kid": Interview with Writer/Producer Frank R. Saletri's sister, June Kirk; Archive News Broadcast on the Murder of Writer/Producer Frank R. Saletri; Producers/Directors/Actors Ken Osborne And Robert Dix Remember Writer/Producer Frank R. Saletri; "Bill Created Blackenstein": Interview with Creature Designer Bill Munns; Theatrical Trailer
The Hearse (1980)
May 30, Vinegar Syndrome
Jane Hardy, a recently divorced teacher from San Francisco, decides to spend the summer at the large old country home willed to her by her aunt. However, upon arriving in the sleepy town where her aunt lived, she's met with hostility from the locals and slowly begins to discover her aunt's dark connections to witchcraft and the occult, all the while being menaced by a large black hearse that mysteriously drives near her house in the dead of night ...
Special Features: Newly scanned and restored in 2K from 35mm original camera negative; "Satan Get Behind Thee" - video interview with lead actor, David Gautreaux; Original theatrical trailer; TV spot; Promotional still gallery; Reversible cover artwork by Chris Garofalo; English SDH Subtitles
Evil Ed (1995)
May 30, Arrow
Mild-mannered film technician Edward enjoys his job. That is, until he finds himself transferred from his regular post to the Splatter and Gore department , where he s forced to edit hours upon hours of grisly video nasty footage. Traumatized by the onscreen violence, Ed starts to lose his grip on reality with ghastly (and bloody) consequences ...
Owing a debt to films such as The Evil Dead, Re-Animator and the early splatter classics of Peter Jackson, Evil Ed is a veritable smorgasbord of flying limbs, exploding heads, busty babes and creepy creatures!
Special Features: Original Stereo and 5.1 Audio Options; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys; Collector's booklet with new writing on the film by critic James Oliver; World premiere of the newly-extended version of the feature [95 min]; "Keep 'Em Heads Rollin'" making-of documentary; "Reconstructing Edward" featurette on the creation of the Special EDition cut; Deleted scenes; Bloopers; Teasers and Trailers; Still Gallery; Original Cut [93 mins]; "Lost in Brainland": never-before-seen extended three-hour version of the making-of documentary.
That's the list! Let us know what Blu-rays you'll be picking up this month and what movies you hope will get the Blu in months to come.