10 of the best Blu-ray and 4K reissues coming in October 2019
An American Werewolf in London, Village of the Damned and Stephen King's The Stand are among the best movies getting the reissue treatment this October...
An American Werewolf in London - Limited Edition
Of the many, many low-budget horrors churned out during the 1980s, few have maintained a level of adoration reserved for An American Werewolf in London. Directed by John Landis, the film stars David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as two backpackers from New York making their way across the Yorkshire moors when they are attacked by a werewolf, leaving one of them dead and the other severely injured.
Survival, however, turns out to be somewhat overrated for David, who is visited by the ghost of his dead friend and warned that he has become a werewolf himself. While reluctant to believe at first, David soon realises he has become a danger to himself and everyone around him.
Striking a balance between horror and humour, the film also stars Jenny Agutter and was praised for its imaginative special effects – even if they look a little dated now. A remastered version of the film is due to arrive in stores on October 28th courtesy of the folks at Arrow, who given the film a director-supervised 4K remaster and bundled a list of extras that includes commentary from Naughton and Dunne, new and archival interviews with John Landis, and Paul Davis' feature-length making-of documentary Beware the Moon.
Village of the Damned
One of three new additions to our exclusive Premium Collection in October, this 1960 horror from Anglo-German director Wolf Rilla was set and shot in Britain, but turned out to be a huge sleeper hit for MGM in America and has become an influential cult classic over the years, even inspiring a John Carpenter-helmed remake in 1995.
The original is set to join hmv's Premium Collection this month when it arrives in stores on October 14, the first time the film has been available and will ship with the usual collectable slipcase, lobby-style poster and exclusive art cards. Extras include the original theatrical trailer and commentary with author Steve Haberman.
Leon: Director's Cut
Luc Besson had already enjoyed success working with actor Jean Reno in his directorial debut The Big Blue, but it was their second film together that really made Besson a household name, launching the career of Reno's young co-star Nathalie Portman in the process.
Originally released in 1994, A 'director's cut' of the film first emerged a year later, although Besson has stated that he considers the original version to be the real 'director's cut' and refers to the extended edition, which adds a hefty 25 minutes to the film's runtime, as 'the long version'. Whatever you decide to call it, the longer edition of Besson's film is set to be released in 4K for the first time this month and is due to arrive in stores on October 28th.
The Before Trilogy
Richard Linklater's groundbreaking 2014 film Boyhood scooped up a host of awards at the Oscars, Golden Globes and the BAFTAs in recognition of its 12-year journey from inception to completion, but even before Boyhood had reached its full realisation, Linklater had already been busy working on a trio of films which also charted the lives of its characters over several years. Beginning with 1995's Before Sunrise and ending with 2013's Before Midnight, the trilogy of films all star Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, charting their first meeting on a fateful night in Vienna and their slow-burning romantic journey towards becoming a couple.
The trilogy has become one the latest additions to the Criterion Collection and newly restored versions of all three films are set to be reissued in a special box set, which also features a new interview with Linklater, Hawke and Delphy, a documentary on Linklater's work by Louis Black and Karen Bernstein, director's audio commentary and a selection of deleted scenes, among other extras. The Before Trilogy is due to arrive in stores on October 28th.
Stephen King's The Stand
Adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Stand first aired as a four-part mini-series in 1994 and tells the story of a lethal strain of influenza accidentally released into the public domain by the American military. As the disease begins to spread across the country, amidst an increasingly desperate cover-up effort by the authorities, a group led by a man named Stu, who appears to be immune to the disease, travel across the country to find a prophet who has been haunting his dreams with warnings of an upcoming battle against a demonic entity.
Earlier this year, plans were announced for a new reboot of the stand helmed by The Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone, which is expected to be broadcast sometime in 2020. In the meantime, however, all four episodes of the original series are set to be reissued on Blu-ray and the new reissue is set to land in stores on October 7th.
First released in 1982, Eating Raoul is a black comedy written, directed by and starring the late Paul Bartel, and revolves around the story of a prudish middle-aged couple named Paul and Mary with dreams of starting their own restaurant. They live in a tower block where one of the residents hosts regular swingers parties, which they hate, but when a drunken reveller turns up at their door mistake and tries to rape Mary, Paul hits him over the head with a frying pan, accidentally killing him. When Paul loses his job, the pair hatch a murderous plan to lure more wealthy swingers into their apartment, kill them and take their money to fund their restaurant.
The film is one of this month's additions to the Criterion Collection and has been through their restoration process to produce a new digital transfer of the film on a special Blu-ray edition that's due to arrive in stores on October 21st. Extras include a new making-of documentary, two short Paul Bartel films 'The Secret Cinema' and Naughty Nurse, gag reel and an archival interview with Bartel and co-star Mary Woronov.
The Satanic Rites of Dracula
Christopher Lee starred as Count Dracula in no fewer than eight films from horror movie specialists Hammer over the course of his impressive career, the last two of which – Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Satanic Rites of Dracula – are set to join our exclusive Premium Collection this month. As well as being Lee's final shift in the Dracula role, The Satanic Rites is also the third film to see him face off against Peter Cushing in the role of Van Helsing, the Star Wars actor first taking on the role in 1958's Dracula. Joanna Lumley also co-stars in the latter of the two films, while both are directed by Alan Gibson.
Both The Satanic Rites and Dracula A.D. 1972 arrive in stores on October 14th and come with the usual collectable slipcase, art cards and lobby-style poster.
The Wizard of Oz: Limited Edition Anniversary Collection
October is shaping up to be a bumper month for fans of Judy Garland, with a new biopic starring Renée Zellweger in cinemas this week and the 80th anniversary of one of her earliest and most iconic roles in Victor Fleming's 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. To celebrate the latter, Warner Bros. are set to release a special 80th Anniversary edition, presented in 4K for the first time (based on a new 8K scan of the original film negatives) and housed in a special pop-up box.
Also included are a range of other goodies such as a limited edition set of art cards, a movie poster, a map of Oz, a CD containing the film's soundtrack and a Blu-ray disc packed with special features. These include a 1990 CBS special documenting the making of the film, deleted scenes, archival interviews and much, much more. The 80th-anniversary edition is set to make its arrival in stores on October 28th.
Stanley Kubrick - Limited Edition Collection
One of two outstanding box sets compiling the work of an all-time great coming to stores in October, the first is dedicated to the work of Stanley Kubrick and includes seven of the director's finest films: Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. In addition, the box set also includes Jan Harlan's 2001 documentary Kubrick: A Life in Pictures, as well as a 20-page booklet and a selection of art cards.
Both 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining are presented in 4K Ultra HD – the latter for the first time ever – while the rest of the Kubrick films are on Blu-ray and Harlan's documentary is on DVD. The limited-edition box set is due to make its arrival in stores on October 21st.
House of Hitchcock
The second of this month's new director-centric box sets is dedicated to the 'master of suspense' himself Alfred Hitchcock, and includes no fewer than 18 of his most iconic films, including Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo, North By Northwest and The Birds (the full list of movies on offer in the new box set can be found here).
All are presented on Blu-ray and alongside the discs themselves is a collection of limited edition memorabilia including movie poster art cards, blueprints of the Bates Motel, original storyboards and a booklet containing a detailed profile of Hitchcock himself. The new box set arrives in stores in all its glory on October 14th.