Us horror fans collect shit. We like to collect. I don’t know any horror fans that could not be described as hoarders. It can be comics, t-shirts, toys (or “action figures” if you can’t publicly admit you still spend your paycheck on toys), memorabilia and/or the films themselves.
I know a lot of avid film collectors. I’ve been in some form of film school for the past few years and I’ve met both students and professors with sizable DVD collections. Most of these people started with VHS, may have dabbled in laser-disc and then just moved on up to DVD with the masses. However, in addition to this, you have the horror fanatic. They defy the logic of most collectors. They may have a film on VHS, but they don’t JUST have it on VHS. They have it on VHS in the shrink wrap. And then they have it on VHS OUT of the shrink wrap. And you know damn well that they also have the super-fucking-limited-only-available-in-Mordor-edition that comes securely fasted in a limited edition tin forged from the metal that the actors weapons are crafted from. And on top of this you know they have every iteration of the DVD.
In short, we are obsessive motherfuckers. We want what we want and we will get it, and pay for it, dearly. The bane for years of being a horror collector has been the inaccessibility of many of our favorite films. This is usually attributed to minor films released by major studios. We are used to companies like Anchor Bay and Blue Underground keeping us happy, and broke, but the same can’t be said for major Hollywood players like MGM (remember how long it took to get The Burning out on DVD, or PHANTASM II?) or WB. Luckily, that is changing for the better.
Both of the above mentioned companies have started DVD On-Demand services, which is something that Something Weird have also been doing for a while, but they should need no introduction here. Warner Brothers service is called Warner Archive and the discs are usually available on the WBshop.com webstore for around $19.95 each, but they do frequent sales year round. Horror titles they’re carrying right now include Razorback (yeah, WB released motherfucking RAZORBACK, on their Archive line, awesome, right?), The Green Slime, Two on a Guillotine, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and two Hammer films in need of DVD releases: SHE and Crescendo. The MGM service will be going through Amazon and most titles will show up in 2011 and they include Diary of a Madman and Rolling Thunder (it may not be horror, but who doesn’t want a DVD of this?). There are supposadly 400 titles that are going to be available through MGM with only 50 announced so far, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
WB and MGM are not the only two either, Universal and Sony have either expressed interest or attempted to start something similar of their own but as of now they don’t have the established product of WB Archive or the vast amount of titles that MGM will be offering. Regardless, it is a great time to be a fan of film and an even better time to be a horror collector. Fuck the recession, we have priorities.