Now we will move on to my favourite DVD releases of the year in no particular order:
- Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Dario Argento, 1971) Retrofilm: Germany.
- Twisted Nerve (Roy Boulting, 1968) Optimum: UK.
- The Burning (Tony Maylam, 1981) MGM: USA.
- Revenge (Sidney Hayers, 1971) Network: UK.
- Assault (Sidney Hayers, 1971) Network: UK.
- Who Can Kill a Child? (Narciso Ib????ez Serrado, 1976) Dark Sky: US.
- Above the Law (Cory Yuen, 1986) Dragon Dynasty: US.
- Cruising (William Friedkin, 1980) Warner: US.
- The Psychic (Lucio Fulci, 1977) Severin: US.
- Someone???s Watching Me (John Carpenter, 1978) Warner: US.
It was great to see Four Flies on Grey Velvet find its way to DVD even if the release was an authorised bootleg (rumour has it that an official release could be on way courtesy of Koch in Germany). Kudos goes to Network for releasing two excellent Sidney Hayers thrillers and to Optimum for their release of Twisted Nerve. I hope that these two labels continue to release such obscure British cult films. Even though I was a little disappointed with the DVD release of Cruising due to its new digital enhancements it was still good to see the film finally issued. I thought I would include Severin???s release of The Psychic in the list as the release of any giallo is greatly welcomed. Though it may not perfect it does not deserve the criticism it is currently receiving from so called fans.
What about the best DVD boxset releases?
- Man from U.N.C.L.E: The Complete Series Time Life: USA.
- The Mario Bava Collection (volumes one and two) Starz Entertainment: USA.
- Dark Shadows: The Beginning (volumes one and two) MPI: USA.
- The Invaders: Season One Universal: UK.
- The Fugitive: Volume One CBS: US.
- Mission: Impossible (seasons two and three) CBS: US.
- Seinfeld: Season Nine Sony: US.
Who would have thought that we would see classic shows like The Invaders, The Fugitive and The Man from U.N.C.L.E appears this year? 2007 was the year of Mario Bava as the majority of his classic films were released by Starz Entertainment in the US. The pre-Barnabas episodes of Dark Shadows, the greatest soap opera of all time, were finally released by MPI as were the best seasons of Mission: Impossible by CBS.
2007 was the year that I went ???dual format??? and upgraded from using my laptop media centre as a combined Blu-Ray and HD-DVD player to dedicated stand alone machines. My favourite Blu-Ray disc of the year is Halloween (1979); it was like watching the film for the first time. The release of Tony Scott???s director???s cut of Revenge (1990) also deserves a mention as does Sony???s release of Casino Royale (2006). I found it much harder to choose a favourite from all of the HD-DVD discs I have purchased over the past year. I was particularly impressed by the picture quality of The Prestige (2006), The Warriors (1979) and The Graduate (1965) but the standout HD-DVD release was the ???Ultimate Collection??? release of Blade Runner (1982). This set contains five different versions of the film including the definitive ???Final Cut??? edit.
The accolade of best DVD seller of the year goes to Xploited Cinema. No online shop can compete with the outstanding service offered by Tony and his team. I was disappointed to see MovieTyme???s high level of service decline at the end of 2007. Delivery times which were once lightening fast have become snail paced. Hopefully this problem will be rectified in 2008. After hearing very good things about DVDs Limited I placed one order with them in December and was impressed with their speed of delivery. They may be a little more expensive but if you want a release quickly and it to arrive via recorded delivery give these guys a try.
In the final post of my review of 2007 I will identify my favourite books, magazines, music, software and hardware. See you then.