On this week of Christmas, Scream Factory gave to me, three bucket list titles in a pear tree. This Tuesday, Scream Factory is dropping Three titles that I know I’m not alone in being excited for. Up first is the “UNRATED” cut of The Mangler, followed by the timely release of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, and ending with the wacky Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the movie which the two main actors involved pretend it doesn’t exist. Maybe not the best trio of movies, but they’re definitely important pieces of the genre. Of the three, TCMTNG and SNDN2 are Collector’s Editions, while The Mangler is a standard Blu-ray release. Basically what that means is that The Mangler has fewer pieces of bonus content. But, it does have a new interview with Robert Englund, a new commentary track, and a new 2K scan.
IT HAS A CRUSH ON YOU!
The masters of horror Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise) and Stephen King (Creepshow, Misery) join forces to bring you a shocking tale of terror.
Based on King’s short story, this white-knuckle chiller follows a cop (Ted Levine, The Silence Of The Lambs, The Hills Have Eyes) as he investigates a series of grisly accidents … and uncovers a deadly town secret that has been hidden for years – a terrifying entity that threatens to destroy everything in its path. With time running out and a young girl’s life in the balance, he races to destroy the beast before it’s too late!
The Mangler was released in 1995, it was directed and co-written by Tobe Hooper, and based on a short story by Stephen King of the same name featured in Night Shift. It features Robert Englund in heavy makeup, and the ever-awesome Ted Levine. I have seen The Mangler before, but it was when it was first released to VHS, and I didn’t remember much of anything about it. So this time around, it felt like a fresh watch. I can’t even remember if I liked this movie when I first saw it, but in spite of the goofiness of the general concept of the film, I found it pretty enjoyable. A major part of its charm is how brutal the deaths are. Couple that with the impressive practical effects, great acting, and atmosphere for days, and you have one effective little horror movie about a possessed inanimate object. I realize that the concept has been done before, most notably with Christine, and in that example, another Stephen King story, but a possessed laundry press is a little original, though not groundbreaking.
Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of the film, though not a Collector’s Edition, is more than acceptable. The audio and video quality are both top notch, and the extras, while few and far between are new, and definitely better than nothing. The video is presented in full HD 1080p in 1.85:1. The grain structure is present and healthy, and the clarity is crystal. The audio is presented as a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, and through my home entertainment system, sounded clear, not too bassy, not tinny, just right. For a full listing of extras, please see below. If you’re a fan of the movie, then now is your chance to add it to your Blu-ray library, if you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend at least one viewing. Scream Factory has been releasing a lot of quality 90s horror movies lately, and I have to say that I’m loving it. The Mangler is no exception. It’s gory, well-produced/directed, well acted, and the special effects are fantastic. Robert Englund turns in a great performance as another “bad guy” in heavy prosthetics. The Mangler is now available on Blu-ray courtesy of Scream Factory, and you can purchase a copy of your own by clicking this link.
- NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative Of The Uncut Version Of The Film
- NEW Audio Commentary With Co-Writer Stephen David Brooks
- NEW Hell’s Bells – An Interview With Actor Robert Englund
- Rare Behind-The-Scenes Footage
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spot
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
“Leatherface crosses Divine with Hannibal Lecter.” – Thelma Adams, The New York Post
When a helpful family invites two lost couples in for a good ol’ down-home massacre, the prom night teens find themselves all dressed up … with no place to escape. Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey star in this hilarious bone-chilling remake of the horror classic.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation was released in 1997,though it was tested at screenings in ’94 and ’95 under the alternate title, The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ultimately it was recut, retitled, and finally released. It was written and directed by Kim Henkle, who was the Co-Writer on the original film. It stars Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConoughey, both of which would rather forget it ever happened. This is the fourth TCM movie in the series, and largely considered to be the worst of the franchise. The story follows a group of teens on a Texas prom night, whose luck has it, will have a run in with the Sawyer family, and probably meet their ultimate end at the tip of a chainsaw blade.
I could probably agree that this fourth TCM movie is the worst in the series, but I have always had a soft spot in my heart for it. It’s not that it’s a good movie, because it’s not, but it is still a TCM movie, and it features some interestingly over-the-top characters, portrayed by actors who would go on to become big stars. Scream Factory has released the film to Blu-ray, and it features two cuts of the film, including the standard Theatrical Cut, and a Director’s Cut, pieced together with a blend of High Definition, and Standard Definition inserts.
For the purpose of this review, the main cut of the film I viewed was the Director’s Cut, but I switched back and forth to compare the transfers, and obviously the theatrical cut is overall better, considering the standard def inserts featured in the other cut. But, while it’s noticeable, I would always prefer to see the film as the director originally intended. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t better quality elements from which to forge this cut, but I”m just happy they were able to cobble it together in the first place. The video and audio quality, excluding the SD scenes, is relatively great. I have no issues to report. The audio quality was consistent as well, with no problems that I can recall. The extras consist of several extended interviews with cast and crew, as well as behind-the-scenes footage, a still gallery, and a theatrical trailer. You know you have to own this one, even if you’re not a fan. You already own the other TCM movies, and if you can power through Leatherface, you can power through anything. Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of the film is highly recommended. You may purchase a copy of your own by visiting the Shout! Factory website, or visiting Amazon.
- Two Cuts Of The Film – The Theatrical Cut (87 Minutes – HD) And The Director’s Cut (93 Minutes – HD With Standard Definition Inserts)
- NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Kim Henkel (On Director’s Cut)
- NEW The Buzz Is Back – An Interview With Director Of Photography Levie Isaacks
- NEW Marked For Death – An Interview With Actor Tyler Shea Cone
- NEW If Looks Could Kill: The Return Of A “Chainsaw Massacre” – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Artist J.M. Logan And Production Designer Deborah Pastor
- Theatrical Trailer
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
IT’S GARBAGE DAY!
Ricky is being released from a mental hospital. He takes with him the terrifying memory of his brother Billy’s death and the memory of Mother Superior who brought about his brother’s demise. For Ricky, starting a new life means avenging his brother’s death, which sets him on a blind journey of relentless revenge, leading ultimately to Mother Superior. And when he gets to her, not even her faith will be enough to stop Ricky as he follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage.
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is the sequel to the cult classic, released in 1987, and written and directed by Lee Harry. The film stars Eric Freeman as Ricky Caldwell, the brother of Billy Chapman of the first movie. The story takes place on Christmas eve, several years after the events of the first movie, and follows Ricky in a mental hospital, as he recounts the killings committed at the hands of his brother through a series of flashbacks using footage from the first movie. Though new shots were filmed, a good bit of this film is comprised of this footage from the previous film. Ricky also recounts a series of murders that he himself is responsible for. When Ricky’s foster father died, he lost his mind and started murdering people for being “naughty”. After telling his story, Ricky is able to grab a gun, and go on a killing spree, escaping the hospital, and setting out on a bloody warpath, aiming only to punish.
Yeah, there is quite a bit of footage from the first movie spliced into this sequel, but it’s still an enjoyable time. Whereas the first movie is a little mean spirited, the sequel lightens things up a bit by going even more over-the-top than the previous film. During a shooting spree, there is a string of one-liners that have become quite infamous at this point, including the classing “Garbage Day!” line. All-in-all, SNDN2 is a fun sequel to a Christmas staple, and earns its own spot in regular holiday rotation. It might not get as much play as the original, but I’ve personally seen it a dozen times or more, and of course I watched it this year, for the purpose of this review. I don’t think I watched it last year, but not too long ago when we were doing the Dead Air podcast, we did an retrospective series examining the entire franchise.
Scream Factory has released the definitive edition, featuring a 2K scan of a theatrical print, and a swath of extras. The video is presented in 1.85:1, 1080p. The audio is presented as DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track. The movie looks and sounds gorgeous. Granted, I’ve never seen the movie in HD before, but I can assure you that this is a huge step up from any release of the film previously available. Couple that with the plethora of new extras, and you have yourself one important release of a film that honestly doesn’t get enough exposure. It makes sense that Scream would release this title, considering they previously released the first film. So if you’re a fan of this sequel, or even if you’re not, Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is well worth the price of admission. If you would like to purchase a copy of your own, visit the Shout! Factory website.
- NEW 2K Scan Of An Archival Theatrical Print
- NEW Audio Commentary With Director Lee Harry, And Actors Eric Freeman And James Newman
- NEW Slay Bells Ring Again: The Story Of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 – Featuring Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Lee Harry, Actors Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Darrel Guilbeau, And Kenny McCabe, And Makeup Effects Artist Christopher Biggs
- NEW Garbage Days Are Here Again – A Look At The Film’s Locations
- NEW Ricky Today – A short Film Featuring A 2018 Interview With Ricky Caldwell
- NEW I Don’t Sleep – An Extended Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Christopher Biggs
- Audio Commentary By Co-Writer/Director Lee Harry, Co-Writer Joseph H. Earle, And Actor James Newman
- Theatrical Trailer