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The Warner Archive Collection is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD series that specializes in putting previously unreleased films on DVD for the first time. Recently they dug deep into their vast history of classic horror and selected some winners to resurrect.
The Warner Archive Collection can make a wide array of films available because they don’t actually create the DVD until it is ordered by a customer. This way, they are not taking a chance of getting stuck with a large amount of inventory if a selected title doesn’t sell. You’ll certainly recognize some of the horror films the Warner Archive Collection has added to its library, but there are a couple of really obscure ones in there as well. Take a look at the list of what’s been made available and plan your shopping list now.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)
Although the recent remake featuring the suddenly single Katie Holmes had a real buzz behind it, this is the original version, the made-for-television film that suddenly made furnaces something to be feared. Directed by John Newland, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark stars Kim Darby, Jim Hutton and William Demarest. And of course it features some of the creepiest little goblin-things you’ll ever see.
Dark of the Sun (1968)
This adventure-war film stars Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Brown and Peter Carsten. It’s also known as The Mercenaries in the UK and can be thought of as an early forerunner for The Expendables. However, horror fans may be interested to know that Dark of the Sun director Jack Cardiff was reviled upon the release of this film for its scenes of graphic violence, torture and overall nastiness. Sounds like a war film the readers of Dread Central can really embrace.
Night School (1981)
When people talk about 80s slashers, this is what they’re referring to. Night School is a perfect example of what we all loved about the good ol’ days of horror. Nothing too heavy, nothing too crazy…just a classic slasher from the time when slashers ruled. Night School stars Leonard Mann, Rachel Ward (in her film debut) and Drew Snyder. It’s directed by Ken Hughes.
Killer Party (1986)
Another from the golden days of the slasher, Killer Party takes things even one step further, including a sorority and an abandoned house in the storyline of the film. Now we’re really talking! The film features Elaine Wilkes, Sherry Willis-Burch, Joanna Johnson and Martin Hewitt, with William Freut directing.
An American wakes up in an English hospital after a car accident unable to remember anything about himself. He finds he has nothing but a photo torn from a magazine and realizes he may be the missing piece to solving a murder case…or is it just another hallucination? Freddie Francis directed this thriller which stars Robert Webber, Anthony Newlands and Jennifer Jayne.
Black Zoo (1963)
One of the more violent and gore-filled offerings from the Warner Archive Collection, Black Zoo tells the story of a zookeeper cult leader who uses the animals under his care to do his evil, murderous bidding! Nice! Robert Gordon directed and Herman Cohen produced this little hidden gem of a film. Michael Gough, Jeanne Cooper, Rod Lauren and Virginia Grey star.
Warner Archive also offers some other titles that aren’t exactly horrific but certainly loaded with mystery, intrigue, sci-fi and action.
This is an action-packed war film depicting the heroics of President John F. Kennedy during his time as a member of the United States Navy. Cliff Robertson plays JFK. The film also stars Ty Hardin, James Gregory and Robert Culp. PT-109 was directed by Leslie H. Martinson.
The Falcon Mystery Movie Collection: Volume 1 (1941-1943)
This is a three-DVD collection of seven films created in the early 40’s featuring the mysterious Falcon. The titles included in this collection are The Gay Falcon, A Date with the Falcon, The Falcon Takes Over, The Falcon’s Brother, The Falcon Strikes Back, The Falcon in Danger and The Falcon and the Co-Eds. George Sanders and Tom Conway star in the films. Certainly not the most horrific film in the bunch, but cool mysteries round out the collection nicely.
“The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Part 1 & 2” (1966-1967)
This spy-fi spin-off from the popular show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” ran for one season and Warner Archive has that season in its entirety right here. The show starred Stephanie Powers as super-spy April Dancer. The series follows her adventures battling evildoers with martial arts and espionage skills.
“The Herculoids: The Complete Series” (1968)
A Hanna-Barbera animated series from the late 60’s about diverse space survivors living on a utopian planet. Unfortunately, they are constantly being harassed by the likes of Pod Creatures, the Reptons and the Mutoids…what a bunch of creeps. Thankfully The Herculoids are ever-diligent. The series features the voices of Mike Road, Virginia Gregg, Ted Eccles and Don Messick.
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