Blu-ray and DVDMovies

Retro Review: Shout! Factory’s THE BURNING, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN & ROLLING THUNDER Blu-Ray

This week is like Christmas in, well May not July for fans of three great films, courtesy of Shout! Factory.

THE BURNING, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, and ROLLING THUNDER all make their debuts month (May 21st for The Burning, and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and May 28th for Rolling Thunder)

The Burning (1981)

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A terrific horror film that was no doubt inspired by the slashers of the late ’70s, but this one sadly did not go on to spawn many sequels. Maybe that’s a good thing though since we get to cherish this lone film. It also stars some well known actors who appeared in this very early in their careers. Among them, Jason Alexander, Holly Hunter and Fisher Stevens.

Official Synopsis:

A group of summer camp pranksters get the scare of their lives when they target the camp’s creepy caretaker… and he takes bloody revenge! “Gruesome” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “stomach-churning” (Boxoffice), this terrifying tale is “a brilliant slasher flick and gory as hell” (slasherpool.com)!

After a cruel joke goes awry, severely burning him and subjecting him to five years of intensive, unsuccessful skin graft treatments, Cropsy (Lou David) is back at camp… and ready to wreak havoc on those who scarred him! With his hedge clippers in hand, he terrorizes the camp and systematically mutilates each victim. Can a few courageous campers save themselves and destroy this demented madman before he kills them all?

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary By Director Tony Maylam and International Journalist Alan Jones
  • Blood ‘N’ fire Memories
  • Theatrical Trailer

Rating: 4/5
Fantastic Blu-ray, great transfer, sounds great. It’s a hidden gem amongst ’80s horror, but those that are in the know are definitely happy about this release.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

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A simple story with a simple slasher. It’s likely an obscure title for you, although not obscure enough to be impervious to the remake bug (rumored for 2014). This Blu-ray is full of some great interviews that will be a treat for fans of this film and incredibly insightful for the new fans that will likely come out of this highly recommended purchase.

Official Synopsis:

When two young lovers are savagely beaten and tortured on a back country road in Texarkana, local police are baffled. Three weeks later, two more people are slain in a similar setting and Deputy Norman Ramsey fears a pattern might be developing. Texas Ranger J.D. Morales (Ben Johnson, The Wild Bunch) is brought in to help.

The two officers must find “the Phantom Killer” before he can kill again. Also starring Andrew Prince (Grizzly) and Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island), directed by Charles B. Pierce (The Legend Of Boggy Creek), and based on one of America’s most baffling murder cases, this horrifying suspense thriller is a shocking experience you’ll never forget.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary With Historian Jim Presley
  • Interview With Actors Andrew Prine and Dawn Wells
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Essay By Writer Brian Albright
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Special Bonus Feature: DVD Only – Charles B. Peirce’s The Evictors

Rating: 4.5/5
A fantastic blu-ray that is definitely worth a purchase.

Rolling Thunder (1977)

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You may have seen Tommy Lee Jones play a badass in some form or another before, but I guarantee this is the toughest you’ll have ever seen him.

Official Synopsis:

When Major Charles Rane (William Devane, Marathon Man, The Dark Knight Rises) returns home to San Antonio, Texas, he is given a hero’s welcome. He and his friend John Vohden (Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive) had endured eight years of physical and mental torture in a POW camp.

The adjustment to his old life isn’t going to be easy. His wife, Janet, has fallen in love with another man, and his son doesn’t remember him.

The publicity he receives as a returning hero and the cash he’s been awarded has attracted the attention of a group of hoodlums. When the group kills Rane’s wife and son and leaves him for dead, he and Wohden team up to hunt them down.

Special Features:

  • Interviews With Actors William Devane And Tommy Lee Jones And Writers Paul Schrader and Heywood Gould
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot

Rating: 5/5
You’ll never hear a better answer to a question than the answer Tommy Lee Jones gives when he simply says “I’m gonna kill a bunch of people.”

So those are three releases, and yeah, they all get really high ratings, but they are incredible films. Films that you will want to see over and over again, and Shout! Factory recognizes that. They are doing great work, and they’re only going to keep it going with the eventual release of Dark Angel aka I Come in Peace starring Dolph Lundgren. So be on the lookout for that.

Until next time, be sure to follow me on Twitter at @jcdeleon1 for updates on all things movies and sometimes sports!

 

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The Author

J.C. De Leon

J.C. De Leon

Hailing from Austin, Tx. J.C. is maybe the biggest fan of sports movies you'll ever see. He's got an affinity for great writing and two of his favorites are Aaron Sorkin and Shane Black. When he's not watching movies at home, he can be found watching movies at the Alamo Drafthouse. He occasionally tries to play video games, but he's not very good at them. Follow him on Twitter for witty tweets and pictures of his cats.