By Gabriel Neeb
As streaming media continues to grow, there is a strong resistance from users of physical media for enjoying movies. Shout! Factory continues to excel by providing many of the best blu-rays by licensing popular titles from some of the biggest Hollywood movie studios
In the Shout! And Scream Factory Breaking News, moderator Bill Hunt (web site The Digital Bits) interviewed Brian Ward (Senior Director of Video Production and Digital Media) and Jeff Nelson (Senior Director of Marketing, Scream Factory) about upcoming Shout! Factory and Scream Factory titles.
Ward began the panel by talking about a coming edition of CITY SLICKERS which is being restored for release soon. He was also proud to speak of the recently released GRAVITY FALLS seven disc Blu-ray set which was loaded with extras and ‘Easter eggs’ which have become rare in the blu-ray era.
Coming in the near future were a six film collection of Digimon Adventure movies and the third film in the Howard Lovecraft animated film series (HOWARD LOVECRAFT AND THE KINGDOM OF MADNESS).
Brian Ward then began to announce upcoming blu-ray editions of…
- LEGALLY BLONDE, a two-pack featuring both films of the series.
- The underrated POPSTAR starring Andy Samberg.
- A new edition of HANG ‘EM HIGH, the Clint Eastwood classic.
- FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.
- A new edition of the out of print USED CARS starring Kurt Russell, a film released around the same time as 1980’s AIRPLANE!, which was said to have half the laughs of AIRPLANE but they’re twice as funny.
- BACKBEAT, the 1994 film about the early days of the Beatles, is on the schedule.
- An edition of the Kevin Costner Oscar winner DANCES WITH WOLVES which will hopefully contain both versions of the film and many of the extras produced for past editions of the film.
- There will be a blu-ray of KALIFORNIA, the Brad Pitt / Juliette Lewis film which also featured David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes. Released in 1993- before all of them became huge.
- WHEN HARRY MET SALLY is getting a blu-ray special edition and they are currently reviewing the film elements to determine the extent of restoration work needed.
- DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS will also be given a new special edition and in keeping with the Steve Martin theme…
- A 4K restoration of the 1979 classic THE JERK is being produced. To give a hint of the features to come, a photo of Steve Martin and director Carl Reiner was shown. Although the duo made four very well received films in the early 1980s, there are no plans, yet, for further editions of the other three.
At this point the panel broke for questions about Shout! Factory. One question was about Shout’s upcoming blu-ray of the 1987 movie, DRAGNET and whether or not the music video for the song “City of Crime” (featuring a rapping Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks performance, directed by Paula Abdul. Look, to men of a certain age it was amazing) would be included. Ward was uncertain as the rights were not held by Universal Pictures. We’ll have to wait and see…
This type of panel always has audience members giving suggestions and the following films were requested:
SLEUTH (1972), THE THREE MUSKETEERS, THE FOUR MUSKETEERS (from director Richard Lester), a better transfer of DOG SOLDIERS (Jeff Nelson states that they are looking for better film elements to use), any Hammer horror titles and the original FRIGHT NIGHT as the original runs sold out.
At this point Brian Ward had to depart and Jeff Nelson took over to make announcements for Scream Factory titles…
Before I continue, I’d like to recommend the podcast ’80s All Over,’ dedicated to discussion of every major release of the 1980s. At this writing, the hosts have covered January 1980 to October 1983. It seems to have informed most of the following.
Over the next 12 months, Scream Factory will produce blu-rays of:
- SATURDAY THE 14TH, a horror comedy from director Richard Benjamin.
- SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, the 1992 film featuring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bridget Fonda.
- Brian De Palma’s 1976 film OBSESSION.
- The Charles Bronson “slasher” 10 TO MIDNIGHT.
- John Carpenter’s STARMAN from 1984 (and I think it’s the only John Carpenter film that was nominated for an Oscar).
- The Hammer Studios film DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS with a new transfer. Nelson has also promised more Hammer films in 2019.
- THE CRAFT from 1996 about teenage witches.
- SLEEPWALKERS, the 1992 film with a script from Stephen King- and one of his films that hasn’t yet been optioned for a remake.
- SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 2.
- The two URBAN LEGENDS films.
- A four pack of the mid 1980s CRITTERS films.
A Collector’s Edition of CANDYMAN. Although new editions have been announced in other parts of the world, this edition will be in the United States and Canada.
A question period followed, one of which asked about the titles in the catalog on The Weinstein Company. As the fate of that company is still settling, there is no news about that.
One audience member asked about the 1980s fixture BEASTMASTER. Nelson and the company are fans if it, but there has been no movement on that title. A very eager fan congratulated Scream Factory on releasing the James Cameron film PIRANHA 2: THE SPAWNING before other long promised Cameron films, TRUE LIES, THE ABYSS, and STRANGE DAYS ever made it past their initial DVD releases. Bill Hunt interjected that special editions of those films were ready… but never released. The final suggestion was for a blu-ray of Neil Jordan’s rarity THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. Scream has made an effort to acquire the rights… but has been unsuccessful. So far.