One of the highlights of this year’s New York Comic Con for me was getting to chat with the folks over at the Shout! Factory booth. This was their first time at NYCC, and one of the things that they were spreading the word about is their new Scream Factory line of horror movie re-releases.
The Scream Factory line is targeting some cult classic horror movies for both Blu-Ray and DVD re-release, and they are throwing in tons of extras as well. Classics like Halloween II & III, Terror Train and The Funhouse have already been released, and other 80s gems The Nest and Deadly Blessing are on the way in the coming months.
At NYCC, I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early Blu-Ray copy of one of my favorite movies of all time, They Live, which is being released on both Blu-Ray and DVD on November 6th.
They Live: Collector’s Edition is the definitive edition of John Carpenter’s 1988 masterpiece. For those of you who haven’t seen it (and shame on you if you haven’t), the movie follows Roddy Piper’s character Nada, a drifter who stumbles onto the fact the ruling class of America (and pretty much the world) is actually a race of aliens. In addition to some great themes about consumerism and some great visual storytelling, They Live is also well known for containing the greatest fight scene of all time between Roddy Piper and Keith David.
Any fan of Carpenter of of horror in general knows this movie is awesome, so let’s talk about the collector’s edition itself.
First, the presentation. For the Blu-Ray transfer of the movie alone, this edition is worth the $30 asking price. It’s absolutely beautiful. I paused the movie five or six times along the way just to admire how good this version looks. The sound is excellent as well. This is as pristine a version of They Live as you’ll likely ever see.
The real test of a collector’s edition are the bonus features though, and there’s some great stuff here in Shout! Factory’s edition. You get the original audio commentary from John Carpenter and Roddy Piper, the original “making of” documentary and the original trailers and TV spots for the movie.
Those are all great, but Shout! Factory took the extras to another level with brand new interviews with John Carpenter, Keith David and Meg Foster. There’s also a great documentary about the look and sound of They Live with the Director of Photography (Gary B. Kibbe), the Stunt Coordinator (Jeff Imada) and the Co-Composer (Alan Howarth), which was my favorite of the special features. Listening to Gary Kibbe talk about shooting in anamorphic format will give you a whole new appreciation for the film.
But that’s not all! There’s also new footage of the fake TV commercials in the movie that were pieced together for the first time. It’s not a ton of footage, but it’s cool to see the commercials by themselves, as opposed to the quick cuts you get in the movie.
If I have one complaint about the collector’s edition, it’s the absence of a new Roddy Piper interview. I’m not sure why that didn’t come together, but it’s a shame they couldn't make that happen.
Don’t let that deter you though--this is an amazing collector’s edition. I’m sure the DVD version looks good as well, but if you have a Blu Ray player, this is a no-brainer. Go out and get it on November 6th, or pre-order it for almost $10 cheaper at the Shout! Factory website now.
Check out the trailer below, as well as a clip from the Keith David interview where he discusses the epic fight sequence.
5 out of 5 Take a Looks