New from Scream Factory January 2019: Obsession, Howling III, Screamers, The Plague of the Zombies

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, HorrorLeave a Comment

Obsession

Synopsis from the Press Release:

A tenth wedding anniversary celebration ends tragically when Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson, Charly) discovers that his wife (Geneviève Bujold, Dead Ringers) and nine-year-old daughter have been kidnapped. When an attempt to thwart the captors goes awry, Courtland’s wife and daughter are never recovered. Several years later while vacationing in Florence, Courtland falls in love with a young woman who is an exact double of his dead wife. On the eve of their wedding, the woman disappears and Courtland finds a ransom note … a duplicate of the one found several years earlier.

Adam Says:

Obsession is an interesting early-ish work from De Palma that was previously unknown to me (This surprised me because I once had a film camp roommate who was himself obsessed with De Palma and spent an entire summer talking about his body of work). The film is just alright with an even more overtly Hitchcockian script than a standard De Palma film. The story is a bit goofy and stretches plausibility right to its very limits. I would say this one is for completionists or folks who love pre-1980 suspense films and have already seen everything else multiple times.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW audio commentary with author Douglas Keesey (Brian De Palma’s Split-Screen: A Life in Film)
  • NEW Producing Obsession – an interview with producer George Litto
  • NEW Editing Obsession – an interview with editor Paul Hirsh
  • Obsession Revised – vintage featurette featuring interviews with director Brian De Palma, Cliff Robertson and Genevieve Bujold
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Radio Spots
  • Still Gallery

Screamers

Synopsis from the Press Release:

The year is 2078. The man is rebel Alliance Commander Col. Joseph Hendrickson (Peter Weller), assigned to protect the Sirius 6B outpost from ravage and plunder at the hands of the New Economic Bloc. His state-of-the-art weaponry are known as Screamers; manmade killing devices programmed to eliminate all enemy life forms. Screamers travel underground; their intent to kill announced by piercing shrieks. They dissect their victims with precision, then eradicate all traces of the carnage. They are lethal. Effective. Tidy. And somehow, they are mutating … self-replicating into human form … and slaughtering every beating heart on the planet.

Adam Says:

Screamers has been one of my favorites since I was a kid and the Scream Factory release is a delight (the reversible cover art is the old VHS cover, nostalgia galore). This sci-fi horror does not get enough credit and I really hope this release helps a younger generation discover just how cool it is. A warning though if, like me, you hadn’t seen it in 20 years; some elements have not aged well. The dialogue can get pretty cheesy and the CGI effects, decent at the time, are now laughably bad. However, I beg you to overlook those to see the spectacularly grim design of the world and the gory and downright terrifying titular Screamers.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW Northern Frights – an interview with director Christian Duguay
  • NEW Orchestrating the Future – an interview with producer Tom Berry
  • NEW More Screamer Than Human – an interview with co-writer Miguel Tejada-Flores
  • NEW From Runaway to Space – an interview with actress Jennifer Rubin
  • Theatrical Trailer

Howling III

Synopsis from the Press Release:

The race is on as a colony of marsupial werewolves attempts to outwit and outlast their human counterparts in the offbeat horror film Howling III.

Long ago, the now-extinct marsupial wolf (a.k.a. Tasmanian Tiger) roamed the Australian Outback. Today, a werewolf colony that has descended from these marsupials has taken over the land. This race of human-like creatures roams the outback, feeding its need. The race for survival is on as the humans struggle to contain these out of control creatures

Adam Says:

None of the sequels to The Howling can quite live up to the Joe Dante original; however the first three are mandatory must-have’s for the discerning horror Blu collector. With the release of Howling III (my favorite of the sequels) you can complete that unholy trilogy on Blu-ray. I think it’s the Australia/marsupial angle that give this third entry a little extra jolt. Don’t let the PG-13 label fool you, there’s some really weird/creepy/kinky concepts in play in this film.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW Digital Transfer sponsored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
  • NEW Audio Commentary with writer/director Philippe Mora, moderated by filmmaker Jamie Blanks
  • NEW A Conversation with Philippe Mora – an interview with the writer/director
  • Vintage interviews from the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! by director Mark Hartley
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Plague of the Zombies

Synopsis from the Press Release:

In a remote 19th-century Cornish village, an evil presence lurks within the darkness of the witching hour. A mysterious plague relentlessly consumes lives at an unstoppable rate. Unable to find the cause, Dr. Peter Tompson enlists the help of his mentor, Sir James Forbes. Desperate to find an antidote, they instead find inexplicable horror: empty coffins with the diseased corpses missing! Following a series of strange and frightening clues, they discover a deserted mine where they discover a world of black magic and a doomed legion of flesh-eating slaves … the walking dead!

Adam Says:

The Plague of the Zombies is a perfect specimen of mid 60’s Hammer horror. It is scary, a little corny, oh so very English, and a great Friday night movie. The film has been lovingly restored and the rich colors and sharp definition are really quite spectacular. If you haven’t seen this one before (and I bet many of you haven’t) I recommend picking it up and giving it a try; these are old school voodoo zombies.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW Audio Commentary with filmmaker Constantine Nasr and author/film historian Steve Haberman
  • NEW Audio Commentary with author/film historian Troy Howarth
  • NEW Restored Audio
  • World of Hammer – Mummies, Werewolves & The Living Dead
  • Raising the Dead: The Making of The Plague of the Zombies
  • Restoration Comparison
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Still Gallery
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Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.

Adam RuhlNew from Scream Factory January 2019: Obsession, Howling III, Screamers, The Plague of the Zombies