Friday, October 14, 2016

TALES OF HALLOWEEN (Epic Blu-ray) - The Anthology Halloween Treat

My first experience with Tales of Halloween left me feeling only partially satisfied. I ranked and rated each of the stories in the ten part anthology only to find that five of them were worth my time and only three of those were very strong Halloween Horror entries. The rest were flawed. Either too long or disjointed, some bad performances or shitty special effects. Some of the stories were just too damn artsy to work for holiday Horror. I can't tell if Tales of Halloween was overhyped for me or whether I simply had watched some really solid Halloween Horror directly before watching this one, but I was left feeling hollow. Even the wrap around story featuring a favorite actress of mine, Adrienne Barbeau didn't dial me up. Luckily for me I gave the whole shebang a second chance. I knew that there was more too it than I had originally gotten. The second time definitely left me feeling much better about the release. Epic has put out a truly special release of this new Halloween Horror anthology that has quickly become much beloved and accepted by hardened genre nuts and casual viewers alike. If you're a Blu-ray nut or a physical media aficionado, this is going to be a treat for you.

The latest viewing of the entire set including extras was much more positive. I would say I thoroughly enjoyed seven of the ten tales and only one of the remaining three left a bad taste in my mouth for being too long, too cerebral and all over the place. While the rest of the entries in the series felt concise and fun, the one bad apple was worth skipping (for a second time). That would be Ding Dong. It's a shame because I usually love Luck McKee's work. My favorite is still Neil Marshall's Bad Seed. This is perfect Halloween viewing and has consistently led me to believe that Marshall should handle the film adaptation of the "pumpkins come to life as monsters" comic book, Blood and Gourd.

There's something in Tales of Halloween for everyone. It works well within its limited budget as a whole and each story is well crafted to be part of a powerful anthology. I am still not in love with the wrap story, feeling that there could be a more character driven story to tie the whole thing together. Get Barbeau some screen time and really play on the DJ tale in much the same way as the wrap story in Dougherty's Trick R Treat had a cohesive thread running through all the entries. Mind you that's one director creating a tale of a town rather than multiple directors smashing their stories together separately, but that doesn't mean the movie couldn't have taken some notes.

This release of the movie has 4 whole discs AND trading cards! The packaging is handsome and feels very full in your hand. It's almost a book of a Blu-ray.  I love that you get a CD of the soundtrack and that we get a full disc of extra content including a pile of extra stories from the directors. Some are better than others, but it's like getting a sequel without the wrap story with a somewhat lower production value than the movie itself. You also get some individual features for stories in the main movie.

This one is in my top five of Blu-ray releases of the year. It's perfect for Halloween, collectible and embodies the best of Halloween Horror while showcasing some of the genres best independent filmmakers. Blood. Guts. Tricks. Treats. Some scares and plenty of fun!

Order your copy now in time for HALLOWEEN!

From Epic:

Includes exclusive starter set of trading cards!

- Blu-Ray of the Feature (Region Free)
- DVD of the Feature (Region Free)
- CD of the Soundtrack
- DVD of Bonus Features (Region Free)
Exclusive Shorts:
Brain Death (21 minutes) - directed by Neil Marshall
The Halloween Kid (7 minutes) - directed by Axelle Carolyn
Boilly (:30 seconds) - directed by Lucky Mckee
Thirsty (14 minutes) - directed by Andrew Kasch
Hot Rod Worm (4 minutes) - directed by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp
No Rest for the Wicked (15 minutes) - directed by Ryan Schifrin
The Evil (5 minutes) – directed by Mike Mendez
Video Diaries:
2-3 Video Diaries for each segment of the anthology, featuring interviews with the directors, cast, and crew, and sneak peeks behind-the-scenes on set.
Total Run Time: Approximately 60 minutes, Stereo/Mono Audio
Additional Bonus Materials:
Deleted Scene / Grim Grinning Ghost - directed by Axelle Carolyn
Anatomy of a Scene / Friday the 31st - directed by Mike Mendez
Fun Facts / pop-on video commentary for selected segments
Photo Gallery / Behind-The-Scenes of Bad Seed
Storyboards / Ding Dong
Three Audio Tracks: 5.1, 2.0, Commentary
Three Subtitle Tracks: French, Spanish, English
Soundtrack Listing:
Tales of Halloween Main Title - Lalo Schifrin
Sweet Tooth - Christopher Drake
The Night Billy Raised Hell - Bobby Johnston
Trick - Joseph Bishara
The Weak and the Wicked - Austin Wintory
Grim Grinning Ghost - Christian Henson
Ding Dong - Sean Spillane
This Means War - Michael Sean Colin
Friday the 31st - Joseph Bishara
Limbchoppalooza! - Edwin Wendler
The Ransom of Rusty Rex - Christopher Drake
It’s Not a F*****g Kid! - Christopher Drake
He Will Never Leave You - Christopher Drake
Bad Seed - Christian Henson
Tales of Halloween - Jimmy Pyscho

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