July 16, 2012

Horror DVDs which I don't have in my collection - part 1

While going through my Region 1 horror DVDs, I highlighted some of the films which I haven't bought on DVD yet. There's actually quite a difference between the best titles in the Video Vault and the ones which I have a physical copy of.

Of course, there are several good reasons why I don't own a copy of every horror movie ever made including having limited space, not being a millionaire, having no interest in the bad ones, but, most of all, because there are a lot of movies which I would probably never watch again anyway.

In the following (very occasional) series of posts, I'll go through the horror DVDs which I have never bought and explain why they are missing from my collection.

1. Angel Heart (1987)

Even though this film was a big relief from all the stupid comedy-horrors and mindless slashers of the '80s, like every story with a twist, you can really only watch it once. Having said that, the main reason why I don't have it in my collection is because it feels like an extended pop video to me. The transitions between some of the scenes are particularly bad and a lot of the reasons why (and how) Harry Angel goes from point A to point B don't make a whole lot of sense either even with repeated viewings. Of course, if I ever find it cheap enough I'll pick up a copy, but it's not something which I'm desperate for.

2. The Blob (1988)

I have seen this several times in FYE's used sections so I guess that it isn't considered such a great film anymore. I remembered "The Blob" remake as being really good at the time especially as I saw it on TV and never had to rent it. I always intended to rewatch it sometime when I was in the right mood for it. Unfortunately, it was shown on one of the American cable channels when I still had cable and, although I missed the start, I watched enough of it to see that it was more of a kids' movie than an adult horror. It was typically '80s, it made me cringe, and I was ashamed to have once liked it so it's almost a certainty that I will never buy "The Blob" on DVD now.

3. Daughters of Darkness (1971)

I stayed up really late at night in the early '80s to watch this on the new TVS channel when it first took over from Southern. When I got to school the next day, I found out that a friend of mine had done exactly the same thing and talked for ages about this seemingly obscure movie which we were sure that nobody else but us had seen. Of course, we were both naive and stupidly young so this seemed like an erotic European masterpiece at the time. Having watched it again fairly recently via Netflix, it was terribly slow and languid with a subtext which I still can't quite work out. In truth, it bored me so I won't buy it.

4. Half Light (2006)

I really want a copy of "Half Light" but every time one turns up in the pawn shops or FYE, it's always in an ex-rental case with all the stickers, tears and other damage. I don't particularly want to buy it new even though I like Demi Moore a lot and the British setting makes it rock somewhat. It's possible that I'd only watch it one more time anyway before it got consigned to rot in its box for the rest of eternity, but I'm still hopeful that a copy will turn up which I find acceptable.

5. The Innocents (1961)

This is another ghost story which I've only ever seen at a stupid price in FYE so I chose to rent it from Netflix instead of buying it. It's a great film, has a really creepy atmosphere to make up for the shortcomings of the dialogue, but I just can't justify the $14.99 price tag (or, worse, the $36.99 Blu-ray!) especially for something in black and white. I know I could get it from Amazon or eBay far cheaper, but I always forget to search for it when I'm on either site.

6. The Legacy (1978)

I've never seen "The Legacy" available to buy anywhere except online so I may have to give in and order it. I've always liked this film although, with it being another DVD which I rented from Netflix, I wasn't too impressed with the transfer and weird stretches of some of the scenes to widescreen. I highly doubt that there'll ever be a better version or some kind of fully restored Blu-ray edition, but I've seen it so many times that I can hold off buying it just in case. Of course, if a copy turns up in the pawn shop or FYE's used section then I'll probably get it even with its current flaws.

7. Let the Right One In (2008)

Not including the CGI cats, this was much better than the unnecessary and crappy Americanised remake, but I still haven't bought my own copy. It has come and gone several times in my local pawn shop due to my own ignorance about the barcode numbers. There were errors with the subtitles on the original run of DVDs and so, because they both look the same (and knowing my luck), I'd most likely end up with one of the bad ones and not the newer pressings. I'm very wary about buying this as a Region 1 DVD and I have no intention of learning Swedish.

8. Lust for a Vampire (1971)

Simply because I've seen all the Hammer movies so many times every year on television from when I was young to the time I left Britain, I really don't think that I'd ever watch this again even if I had it in my collection. Knowing how Yutte Stensgaard became ashamed of ever being in it really put the dampers on my enthusiasm for this film and, as a big fan of Ralph Bates when he was in "Dear John", it makes me sad to see him in anything now that he's dead. I know it's mostly irrational because many of the films I watch have dead actors in them, but that's just how I roll.

9. Monkey Shines (1988)

I've got a feeling that this is out of print because there's no other reason why it should be $19.99 from Amazon. If I ever see "Monkey Shines" for $5 or less (especially if it's in a multi-pack) then I'll buy it. I used to have it on VHS back in Britain and watched it probably half a dozen times over the years. I like little monkeys and Ella was great in this but I'm not going to pay a premium price for a nearly twenty-five year old George A. Romero film now.

10. The New Daughter (2009)

Basically, as much as I loved "The New Daughter" and the director's commentary, I'll never buy it because of the gratuitous cat death. I found it completely unnecessary and clich├ęd. The plot wasn't the most original either as it was much the same as "Inhabited" (2003). I believe the same story has been repeated since in another film which I've completely forgotten the name of for now but it's bound to come back to me once I finish writing this post. (Edit: Nope, I still can't remember.)

Those are the horror DVDs which are most obviously missing from my current collection. There are a couple more movies which don't even exist on Region 1 DVD yet but I'll do a completely new article about those eventually.

Next time, I'm going to write a list of the Region 1 DVDs which I will never buy, never want, and if I was ever given them, I would just throw away. I bet you can't wait to read that one!

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