Recently we passed along word that New York-based Rialto Pictures will release John Carpenter’s landmark horror movie The Fog on October 26, in its first-ever major restoration. The horror classic’s full 4K restoration from Studiocanal, opens for limited runs at the Metrograph, in New York, Landmark’s Nuart in Los Angeles, and The Music Box Theatre in Chicago.
And this got us here at Dread Central thinking: What are some other classic horror movies we’d love to see get 4K theatrical re-releases? For the sake of the mere fact that many of the super classic horror films out there (a la The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, and Jaws let’s say) have already been re-released in 4K theatrically – or at least there are plans in the works as we speak, this list will be more about the films that are a bit cruddier around the edges.
This list will cover cult classics that we all just assume were covered in dirt and scratches from the word “Go”, ones that were visually stunning, but in the years since have fallen to squalor and deserve to be seen in all their glory up on the big screen – just so we know that they were once this way.
Below you will find our picks, and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what YOUR picks would be!
Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond
We just heard recently that Fulci’s Zombie is getting a 4K Blu-ray treatment. But what about The Beyond? Or House by the Cemetery for that matter. Personally, I prefer both of these Fulci flicks to Zombie. And these two Fulci mini-masterpieces, along with their crazy-amazing visual styles would positively sing on the big 4K screen. Hell, you can even call the experience of viewing either of this two Fulci motion pictures on the big 4K screen… wait for it… EYE-POPPING. Har, har. I’m going with The Beyond here because it is one of the most visually stunning horror films I have ever seen. An easy choice in my eyes.
Mario Bava’s Blood & Black Lace
Above I mentioned that Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond is one of my favorite looking horror movies of all time, but it’s not the top. That honor goes to Mario Bava’s Blood & Black Lace, which is why we’re including it on this list. It’s more than evident in every frame of this Giallo classic that Bava took painstaking time in its visual construction. So why not return the favor and give the movie the visual presentation it deserves. Personally, I think movies like this one (and a selection of Hammer’s horror films) are what 4K restorations were invented for.
George A. Romero’s Creepshow
Can you imagine the vivid-ass colors director George A. Romero used to paint each and every one of his frames in Stephen King’s Creepshow projected in 4K up on the big screen? It would be a theatrical re-release for the books, I’ll tell you that. This could be a Rocky Horror-style hit that plays at midnight year-round, and even if a 4K theatrical re-release of Stephen King and George A. Romero’s Creepshow doesn’t reach those heights, it will still land among the best films to receive the treatment to date. Now where’s my 4K cake, Bedelia?
Tony Maylam’s The Burning
The Burning is a film I’m including on this list because it has a special place in my horror heart. I own the film on VHS, and I only watch the film on VHS. Sure, I’ve had offers to check it out on Blu-ray and DVD, and each and every time I have turned the generous offer down flat. Why? Because I love the look of The Burning on VHS. It seems as if it was tailor-made for the format. Possibly Beta. So this entry is a bit more of a personal entry as it would blow my mind to go from years of The Burning VHS viewings exclusively to a big screen 4K viewing. I’m getting excited now just thinking of the possibilities.
Dario Argento’s Phenomena
Let me just say that I firmly believe that all (okay, most) of director Dario Argento’s films should get the 4K big screen treatment. His undisputed masterpiece Suspiria is already making the rounds with a 4K restoration, so let’s pick another film, shall we? Deep Red is my favorite Argento flick next to Suspiria, but I’m going to sidestep even that classic for his visually stunning mini-masterpiece Phenomena (aka Creepers) starring a young Jennifer Connelly and a perpetually old Donald Pleasence. Nothing like a chimp with a straight razor in 4K!
Mark Herrier’s Popcorn
I’m including this underappreciated 1991 slasher film on this list because I try to give Popcorn any and all the love I can at any chance. I have a deep love for this motion picture, which stars the scream queen one-two punch of Dee Wallace and Jill Schoelen. Hopefully, a 4K release would bring some much-needed attention and resulting love to the little-known horror feature. Hell, maybe it will even spark its own cult horror movie festival like the one featured in the film itself. We can only dream. Someone get on this quick!
Juan Piquer Simón’s Pieces
Hahaha. Pieces. This is a film that perfectly encapsulates everything I was talking about in this article’s intro. It’s super cruddy – both in its current picture format and it’s content. But what a joy it would be to see this super gory and super sleazy masterpiece of modern art put up on the unsuspecting screens of multiplexes across the country. I love Pieces with all of my heart for its crude nature. Seeing it restored like a classic car would just be too good of an opportunity to pass up. Random karate kid go!
Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left
This is another one of those “cruddy” picks that I mentioned in the intro of this article. I love Wes Craven’s debut film. Not only because, you know, it’s fucking Wes Craven’s debut film, but because it features a raw power and reality that few films ever dare to conjure. Plus in the world of shocking rape-revenge flicks, Craven’s The Last House on the Left is the only one I find to be rewatchable. Let’s see some love for the classic snuff-ish film via one of the current 4K restoration house. Let’s give Craven’s take on The Virgin Spring a new life (and horrific death) on the big screen! I’m sure it would bloooooow ouuur braaiiins ouuuut!
Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession
This is a film that has thankfully been getting more and more love as the years go on. And rightfully so as the movie is a must-see classic of our beloved genre in almost every way. But as good as the script, the visual effects, and the performances (including Jurassic Park‘s Sam Neill) are in Possession, the film’s true gift to cinema at large is its visual flair. Throw this movie through the restoration ringer and release it theatrically, and watch it become the true classic it was always meant to be.
Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This film is making the list for one simple fact – it is hands down the most visually stunning horror epic of our time. Yes, personally I consider Mario Bava’s Blood & Black Lace to be the most visually stunning motion picture ever committed to celluloid, but it’d be hard to argue with anyone that placed this film on the top of their list. I prefer the vivid technicolor of Bava’s masterpiece but, like that film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a movie I want to print out every shot from, frame it up nice, and hang it on my walls for eternity.
And there you have it. Those are our ten picks for horror movies that deserve 4K theatrical restorations and releases. Make sure to hits us up and let us know what YOUR picks would be in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!