What’s Out on Blu-ray March 2020: April Fool’s Day, The Wizard, Bones

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, Horror, MoviesLeave a Comment

April Fool’s Day

Synopsis from the Press Release:

When Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman, Valley Girl) invited her college friends up to her parents’ secluded island home for the time of their lives, she just forgot to tell them it just might be the last time of their lives. As soon as the kids arrive on the island, someone starts trimming the guest list … one murder at a time. And what starts out as a weekend of harmless “April Fool’s Day” pranks turns into a bloody battle for survival. It’s just what you’d expect from the producer who brought you Body Parts, Species and Friday the 13th Parts III-V!

Adam Says:

April Fool’s Day finally being on Blu-ray in America fills a great, long-standing gap of the Paramount horror films of the 80’s. On the video store shelves of the late 80’s there were always the ubiquitous video covers staring back at you for Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, and April Fool’s Day. While all the other titles have had multiple releases over the years, this film has been noticeably absent and missed.

It might have something to do with the fact that this film is different in a misunderstood, and a largely maligned, way. The movie was marketed as a slasher and the major problem there is that its largely bloodless by design. This is horror of a different type that was forced into the mold of its peers. Audiences were turned off by this quirk and by its twist ending. For years, I considered April Fool’s Day a mediocre entry with a great box cover but the years have been very kind. The film is fun with a great look and a good cast. The very differences that once made this film off putting have become charming and fun to watch with time. I recommend picking up this little time capsule and keep an open mind; you won’t regret it.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW Horror with A Twist – an interview with director Fred Walton
  • NEW Well of Lies – an interview with actress Deborah Goodrich Royce
  • NEW Looking Forward to Dessert – an interview with actor Clayton Rohner
  • NEW Bloody Unforgettable – an interview with composer Charles Bernstein
  • NEW The Eye of Deception – an interview with cinematographer Charles Minsky
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots

The Wizard

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Haunted by a family tragedy, and desperate to get to California for some unknown reason, young Jimmy Woods (Luke Edwards, Newsies) flees with his conniving brother, Corey (Fred Savage, The Wonder Years). Along the way, they encounter Haley (recording artist and actress Jenny Lewis), a street-smart teen on her way to Reno. Together, they make their way to California, pursued by a sinister bounty hunter, as well as the boys’ father (Beau Bridges, The Fabulous Baker Boys) and brother (Christian Slater, Kuffs). Meanwhile, their ticket to California just might be found in Jimmy’s hidden talent: video games!

Adam Says:

It’s quite a lot of fun to come back after thirty years and reopen the nostalgic little time capsule that is The Wizard. The movie itself is pretty standard, fun but unexceptional and strictly for kids (though it’s so far removed from the world children grow up in now that I question how much they’d understand let alone identify with it). Particularly amusing is all the product placement, Nintendo and its catalog of films is featured in virtually every shot. The promotion is overt to almost Mac & Me/McDonalds/Coke levels.

This Shout Select Collector’s Edition has a bonus feature that is worth its weight in gold. There are 37 minutes’ worth of deleted scenes on the first disc. The scenes contain bits and pieces from throughout the movie but also most of the first act. Almost all the character and plot set up for The Wizard was left on the cutting room floor. The result is that we are thrown right into the chase with little understanding of who’s who or why anything is happening. I think it would be quite interesting to see this disjointed, excised footage reworked into a director’s cut. I can’t say it would make a better movie but it would certainly make a more complete one.

Special Features Include:

Disc 1:

  • 4K Transfer
  • Audio Commentary with Director Todd Holland
  • Never-Before-Released Deleted Scenes
  • Trailers

Disc 2:

  • The Road to Cali-forn-ia” – A Look Back At The WizardIncluding Brand-New Interviews With Todd Holland, Stars Fred Savage And Luke Edwards, Writer/Producer David Chisholm; Producer Ken Topolsky; And More!
  • “How Can I Help You? Confessions of a Game Play Counselor”
  • “A Clinical Analysis of The Wizard
  • Post Screening Q&A From Let’s Play Gaming Expo 2019 With Luke Edwards, David Chisholm And Ken Topolsky
  • Photo Gallery

Bones

Synopsis from the Press Release:

The time is 1979. Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg, Training Day) is respected and loved as the neighborhood protector. When he is betrayed and brutally murdered by a corrupt cop (Michael T. Weiss, The Pretender), Bones’ elegant brownstone becomes his tomb. Twenty-two years later, the neighborhood has become a ghetto and his home a gothic ruin. Four teens renovate it as an afterhours nightclub, unknowingly releasing Jimmy’s tortured spirit. It’s thrills and chills when Jimmy’s ghost sets out to get his revenge.

Adam Says:

Bones is a weird combo of The Crow, Demon Knight, and Dolemite. It walks that uneasy line between scary and darkly funny while failing more often then not. It is also a victim of the early 2000’s budget CGI horror effects that are now laughably funny for all the wrong reasons. Still there is some campy fun to be had here and Pam Grier is always a superb presence. If you’re like me and missed this film the first time around, now is a great time to pick it up and rediscover it on a Friday night.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW 4K scan from the negative
  • NEW Building Bones – an interview with director Ernest Dickerson
  • NEW Bringing Out the Dead – an interview with co-screenwriter Adam Simon
  • NEW Urban Underworld – an interview with director of photography Flavio Labiano
  • NEW Blood N Bones – an interview with special makeup effects artist Tony Gardner
  • Audio Commentary with actor Snoop Dogg, Ernest Dickerson and Adam Simon
  • Digging Up Bones
  • Urban Gothic: Bones and it’s influences
  • Deleted Scenes with optional director’s commentary
  • Dogg Named Snoop Music Video
  • Theatrical Press Kit with behind the scenes footage
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
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Adam RuhlWhat’s Out on Blu-ray March 2020: April Fool’s Day, The Wizard, Bones