Laserblast: Cloverfield, Andromeda, The Eye, etc.

After some slow weeks marked by a famine of new home video releases, we now have a veritable feast before us. Not every morsel is a delectable one, but there should be more than enough to keep renters and buyers busy. This week’s 800-tone gorilla is, of course, CLOVERFIELD, the gimmicky film that parlayed a brilliant promotional campaign into a successful theatrical release. By the time the film left theatres, the novelty was already wearing off, but I am sure that won’t stop the fans from buying the at least one of the four discs: a standard DVD, a DVD with a a video diary bonus disc, a Deluxe Edition (which includes an exclusive “Rob’s Goin’ to Japan Party Mix”), and a Blu-ray disc. The latter features several interesting extras, including an audio commentary with director Matt Reeves. Something called “Special Investigation Mode” allows you to to watch the film in a small portion of the screen while maps display the location of activity (monster and military) happening elsewhere. “The Making of Cloverfield” offers interviews with cast and crew, including J.J. Abrams. “Cloverfield Special Effects” gives the low-down on the computer-generated work. “I Saw it! It’s Alive! It’s Huge!” explores the creation of the creature. There are also outtakes, deleted scenes, and two alternate endings (with optional director commentary), but no trailers or other marketing materials.

As for other new home video releases:

  • The television miniseries of THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (which aired barely a week ago) arrives on DVD.
  • THE EYE, the remake (starring Jessica Alba) of the excellent Chinese ghost story, coem out on a two-disc DVD and on Blu-ray.
  • MACHINE GIRL is a Japanese revenge flick about a girl who gets revenge against those who severed her arm – she replaces the missing limb with a howitzer-sized machine gun and takes out the scumbags!
  • THE DEAD ZONE: THE FINAL SEASON also hits shelves.

Not exactly new are several older titles that nevertheless are new to DVD:

  • THE SKULL (1965) and THE POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY (1974) are two films making their debut on DVD courtesy of Legend Films. They were reviewed in this previous Laserblast column.
  • ZERO POPULATION GROWTH, another ’70s title making its debut thanks to Legend Films, was reviewed here.
  • The old Bill Bixby television show THE INCREDIBLE HULK releases box sets of the Complete Third Season and the Complete Fourth Season.
  • A Doctor Who set, titled “Beneath the Surface,” offers three series: DOCTOR WHO AND THE SILURIANS, THE SEA DEVILS, and WARRIORS OF THE DEEP.
  • GET SMART: THE COMPLETE SERIES arrives just in time to capitalize on the upcoming feature film version.
  • THE BEAST – a made-for-television adaptation of Peter Benchley’s best-seller – arrives in a “Special Extended Edition” DVD.

Several titles previously released on DVD make a reapparance, this time on the new Blu-ray format: BEE MOVIE, FACE/OFF, SLEEPY HOLLOW, and SIGNS.

Finally, ADV Films, which has done a good job of releasing Japanese titles in the U.S., is offering a double-bill DVD of DESTROY ALL MONSTERS and GAMERA. It’s an eccentric pairing, since the first title features Godzilla and the second title features a monster obviously created to cash in on Godzilla’s success. Most ardent collectors probably own these films in one form or another, but for fans who let them slip through their fingers, here is a chance to kill two giant monsters with one stone.

You can find all these titles below, or if you prefer, you can surf through the Cinefantastique Store as a stand-alone website.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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