Aku's Must Buy Halloween DVD's for Xmas


Hey there horror fans. Well it’s once again come to that time of year when you’re forced to interact with the world outside horror movie websites and creep out all your relatives with your obsession of the macabre. Thankfully we have come to the rescue with a list of ten must haves this Christmas.

So don’t worry about the fact that your uncle is drunk on too much egg nog and is yelling racist slurs with his pants down as he claims that he was the one who invented the internet! (God I will never forget Christmas ’97) Simply take it all in, go home, and immerse yourself in some good ole’ fashion horror with one of the following titles. This is going to be a series of articles between now and Xmas. Recommendations by fans, for fans on what you should stick in your stocking stuffer. 

Freak Out10. Freak Out - Unrated Version
The film that sells itself as a must have for both "serious and spoof horror fans alike" has finally lent itself to the availability of North America in a nifty 2 disc unrated version. FREAK OUT is the story of a loser horror fan (I can relate already!) and his playa wannabe best friend and the serial killer that they trained.

That’s right, they trained him. When the duo finds an escaped asylum patient on their doorstep they decide to train him to become the greatest slasher of all time, until of course he actually starts to go on a killing rampage and they realize what a bad idea that was.
This film is a must have for that all around horror fan in your life. Think SHAUN OF THE DEAD meets NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. It has both elements of comedy and bloody goodness to keep anyone entertained. The new DVD that was released is chalk full of special features including multiple commentaries, a making off featurette, 17 deleted scenes, and a slew of spoof and sketch comedy routines. Overall this is a great buy for any fan of the slasher genre or anyone with a dark sense of humour in general. 
Battle Royale Directors Cut9. Battle Royale- Directors cut
Here’s a great flick for that foreign movie horror fan in your life or if you simply want to impress someone with your knowledge of Japanese culture. BATTLE ROYALE is about a class of students who are placed onto an island in a winner take all scenario; and by winner I mean the last person alive.  

In an attempt to curb the population school classes are randomly chosen to fight against each other until only one person survives.( Leave it to the Japanese to take a simple story like Lord of the Flies and make it even more f**ked up!)   This film is a must have for those who are into the whole Japanese horror thing, and as of recent that number really seems to be increasing. This director’s cut contains a ton of goodies for being only one disc including rehearsal footage, making of featurettes, as well as a commercial by Tarantio himself recommending this film. This movie is truly unique and anyone who enjoys bloodshed from the East will definitely get a kick out of BATTLE ROYALE.  

Friday the 13th - From Crystal Lake to Manhattan (8 Movies)8. Friday the 13th Box Set
You can never go wrong with the classics and this box set is no exception! Criticized by some for not containing the so called "directors cuts" of the films, I still find that this box set kicks some serious camp councilor ass! As am sure you’ll all aware, the films follow Jason Voorhees as he attempts to gain vengeance of those around him for his untimely death as a child. (Although from what he looked like as a child, I feel the councilors did us all a favor by letting that dumpster candy drown!)  

The box set contains the first 8 films in the series on four discs, as well as a 5th bonus disk that contains all sorts of bonus features. This is a really great gift for some of the younger horror fans you know (obviously the ones over 18 *wink*) who never got to experience these films during their run through the 80’s, as well as those fans who loved these films of their youth and haven’t seen them since they were nervously fumbling around in the back seat of my dads Cutlass Supreme that one time at the drive in. Remember you can never go wrong with the classics!  

The Devil's Backbone (Special Edition)7. The Devils Backbone: Special Edition
With the soon to be released Guillermo Del Torro’s PAN’S LABYRINTH there’s no better way to prepare the horror fan in your life than with the first film he created revolving around the Spanish Civil War, THE DEVILS BACKBONE. This film is one of the most original pieces of work I’ve ever seen and utterly scared me the first time I watched it.

The film follows a young boy who is sent to an orphanage that not only has an unexploded shell in lodged into the middle of the playground, but is also occupied by a young ghost boy named Santi.   This is a really great movie, and truthfully is a great gift for any movie lover, not just horror enthusiasts. (In fact, if you don’t own this movie you should really consider picking it up before an American remake destroys this beautiful film.) This one disc version includes your basic director commentaries, deleted scenes and some small making of featurettes, however the quality of the film definitely makes up for the barebones DVD.  

Future-Kill6. Future Kill: Limited collectors Edition
All I can say about this film is WOW! If you really want to impress that special horror fan this year surprise them with this film, and pretend that you actually heard of it before this article! What can I say about FUTURE KILL? We’ll it’s about a bunch of frat guys who go into the "mutant territory" to kidnap a "mutant" as a prank that ends up going terribly wrong.  

This film screams cult classic, and with it being re-issued as an ultimate collector’s edition, this is probably the best time to pick it up. This DVD has the least amount of features on this list, but seriously this film is pretty bizarre. Any fan of cult cinema will love you for this.   And anyone else who watches this DVD who isn’t a cult cinema buff will think an icicle fell and lodged itself in your cerebellum causing you to lose control of your DVD choosing ability.  

 Dawn of the Dead (Ultimate Edition)5. Dawn of the Dead: Ultimate Edition
This 4 disc version of the possibly greatest zombie flick of all time will cause the horror fan in your life to make rich creamery butter in his pants. This is truthfully one of the best DVD sets that I have seen for a single film, and at the price now being listed on Amazon at under 30 bucks, you can’t go wrong!  

The film, which is the second of George A. Romero’s zombie classics, follows a group of survivors who flee to a shopping mall and take refuge from the zombie epidemic that is taking place. This cult film which has nailed its spot in mainstream pop-culture is a must own, and this DVD makes owning all the more fun.   The set includes 3, yes 3, versions of the film (Theatrical, Extended cut, and the European cut) as well as a bonus disk full of the coolest behind the scenes documentaries. Also each version of the film comes with its own set of bonus features creating the most comprehensive DVD feature list I know of for a single film. And did I mention the DAWN OF THE DEAD comic book that’s included? This is probably one of the best DVD buys I know of, and if you didn’t buy it last year for Christmas, this should be the year to buy it!   Black Christmas

4. Black Christmas: Special edition
With the remake of this Bob Clarke 1974 classic being released Christmas day you all had to know that there would be a reissue of this film, and if you know someone that doesn’t own this film, this is definitely the version to buy.   The movie is about a sorority house that is left nearly empty for Christmas, except for a few stragglers. Unfortunately for those few girls, someone else is in the house as well.

The film that truly started the slasher genre 4 years before the release of Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN, is absolutely magnificent.   From the use of sorority girls, to the homicidal maniac, and the one of the best endings of any horror film, this movie has it all. And did I mention it was based on a true story? This is a movie that any horror fan would love to add to their collection, and with the remake being released later this month, there’s no better time than now to give this as a gift!  

Slither (Widescreen Edition)3. Slither
This film is one part NGHT OF THE CREEPS, 1 part SOCIETY, 2 parts Troma, and 3 parts Awesomeness! (Damn it! Why did I have to get mono when they were teaching fractions in school!) Seriously though, this movie can be simply described as super-fun.

About a small town that’s invaded by slugs from outer space that burrow into your brain and turn you into a zombie, how could you go wrong?   A throwback to classic 80’s style ‘B’ movies that incorporate both humour and gore, this film will be surely enjoyed by anyone who has the vaguest interest in the horror genre, and frankly probably any male between the ages of 18 and 35.

The single disc DVD set has several behind the scenes making of featurettes, deleted scenes and gag real. Best of all, the DVD contains audio commentary by actor Nathan "King of the one liner" Fillion and ex-Troma director James Gunn. This is a great grab for anyone in need of an hour and a half of mind-numbing violence and comedy!   Feast (Unrated)

2. Feast: Unrated version
Definitely the sleeper film of the year, this is a great for those gore fans on your list. The basic plot is a group of people who get trapped inside a bar while monsters outside the bar attempt to break in and kill them. That’s it, and truthfully that’s all that’s needed.  

The DVD contains your basic special features, but what this film truly offers is amazing mindless gore. Loved by horror fans everywhere and hated by mainstream critics, you really can’t go wrong.   With the unrated version out just in time for Christmas, it’s a movie that you’ll probably want to buy multiple copies of because anyone who sees it will generally want their own copy of it including yourself. FEAST is probably the number one horror film released this year and truthfully any serious horror fan should really have this film in their collection.  

 A Nightmare on Elm Street (Two-Disc Infinifilm Special Edition)1. A Nightmare on Elm Street: 2 disc Infinifilm Special Edition
That’s right folks, for the number 1 buy this Christmas were going old school on all your asses, back to a time when the name Kruger struck fear into the hearts of teens everywhere, and before he became a joke of the genre with his all too corny one liners and humorous death scenes.

This really is Wes Cravens best work, and with this new DVD edition it’s going to be your best choice as a gift for your horror fan. The film has been newly re-mastered in both sight and sound, contains a commentary track from director Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and director of photography Jaques Haitkin.  

The DVD also features alternate endings to the film, and three featurettes: a making of, one about the legacy of Nightmare, and one about the origins of Cravens creation. I know that this film has long been available on DVD, but was only available in that shitty red cardboard case, and really had nothing to it in regards to supplemental features. This is a great buy for those new horror fans who have never experienced the film that helped jump start the 80’s slasher genre, and for that classic horror fan who is looking to update from his/her VHS copy. This is truly a great buy, and my pick as the number one horror film to give this Christmas.

Well folks there you have it. My selection for best ten horror films to give this Christmas. Now I’m going off to restrain my once again drunk uncle and eat my weight in candy canes. Remember to counter all that Christmas good love and cheerfulness with some blood and guts, and give some horror generously this year. Have a Merry Christmas and peace out! Thoughts, comments? Post them here

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