Renfield (2023): ‘Dracula Sucks’ Edition [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Chris McKay’s take on the Dracula dynamic with Renfield has a lot going for it, but it also has so much stacked against it from the starting gate. In a year teeming with Dracula iterations, “Renfield” has a real shot at standing out among the other interpretations of Bram Stoker’s lore, but never really rises to the occasion. That’s mainly because while the concept is interesting “Renfield” never decides what it wants to be. It wants to be a satire on “Dracula,” and a commentary on abusive relationships. It tries to be a cop action, a buddy comedy, a vampire film, and straddles the dangerous line of being a satire on the abuser and abused relationship at times.

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Enter the Video Store: Empire of Screams (1984-1989) – Limited Edition [Blu-ray]

Charles Band and Empire Video and his sub-labels like Full Moon, Moonbeam, Action Xtreme and others were a huge part of the Video store shelves in the eighties and nineties. There was rarely a time where you could walk in to a video store without seeing something from Charles Band on the shelves. Now with Arrow Video unleashing their gargantuan “Enter the Video Store” box set for film collectors, fans can re-live a lot of their favorite titles from Charles Bands’ studios, along with a plethora of vintage extras and even some mementos for good measure. If you fancy yourself a Charles Band fan like I do, “Empire of Screams” will prove to be a treasure trove covering the his golden years from eighties with titles newly, digitally restored.

I’m assuming there’s a second box set planned spanning the 1990’s. Fingers crossed.

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Creed III (2023) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

The first the question was can Rocky return. Then the question became can Rocky help usher in a whole new franchise based around his first big nemesis. The new question became: can the movie spin off series go on without Rocky? Rocky has only really played a supporting role in the “Creed” movies but without his connection to the “Rocky” movie universe, could “Creed” thrive? The answer is a resounding and emphatic yes.

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Extra Terrestrial Visitors (1983) [Blu-Ray/CD]

Full Disclosure: This title was purchased at our own discretion from Severin Films.

Wackiness ensues as an alien meteor housing crash lands in to a forest. Then there’s a weird little boy named Tommy who collects bugs all day. Then there’s a pop band that goes on vacation in the woods. And there’s an old couple in the woods living in a cabin. The aliens are now on the loose in the forest. And there are these armed poachers hungry to kill some animals. And then Tommy (Óscar Martín) finds an egg that he realizes is an unborn alien. Said alien, nicknamed “Trumpy,” is desperate to get back home. How will these hilarious storylines converge? Will Trumpy consume mankind?

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

One of the things about “Fury of the Gods” that made me laugh is that people gave “Man of Steel” so much crap for its blatant product placement. And yet, with “Fury of the Gods” there is literally an entire plot point centered on the candy Skittles. At one point one of the characters even proclaims “Taste the rainbow!” as they ride unicorns in to battle with the film’s villainesses. It’s really not a hindrance on the movie as a whole, but I was kind of laughing to myself at those that made such an issue about big product placements playing key roles in major films.

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Superman I-IV 5-Film Collection (1978-1987) [4K UHD/Blu-ray/Digital HD]

2023 was the 85th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman in the comics, and Warner Bros has released two coveted box sets featuring the Donner and Salkind era of “Superman” movies. For folks that consider themselves strictly fans of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, this set is very much in your wheelhouse. Thankfully the movies still hold up very well, even though the box set leaves so much to be desired.

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All Star Superman (2011) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

“My last adventure is about to begin…”

As many know I’m a hardcore Superman fan and “All Star Superman” is one of the better Superman stories that I’ve ever read. The Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely mini series stands among some of the best literature from the character. Quitely’s highly detailed pop art aesthetic perfectly matches up the story of a god who realizes he’s fading away like the sun. The animated adaptation is thankfully about as loyal to the source material as possible, and while I would have loved about twenty more minutes added to the run time, “All Star Superman” is a top notch adaptation.

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House of 1000 Corpses (2003): 20th Anniversary Edition [SteelBook] [Blu-ray/Digital]

Rob Zombie making his own horror films was only a matter of time. The rocker turned filmmaker has always implemented horror movies in to his music and general content, so “House of 1,000 Corpses” is a culmination of all that creativity. Suffice to say I wouldn’t particularly call “House of 1,000 Corpses” a masterpiece. It’s rough around the edges, and often times feels like a film school project more than a feature film. But there’s no denying Zombie has a real love for horror. Even more he has a real love for the characters he’s created, all of whom are a beautiful hodgepodge of various pop culture facets.

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