When it comes to horror movies people love, one of the last things people ever think about is the distribution company responsible for their favorite copy (on DVD or Blu-ray). But you should, because without the efforts made by some of these companies, great movies that we love would never make it out of VHS hell, forever lost in the relic world of the 1980s. Pioneers of the business include Anchor Bay, MGM, Lionsgate, New Line Video, and most recently, the granddaddy of them all… Scream Factory (the horror arm of Shout! Factory). Yes, Scream Factory is what horror fans’ wet dreams are made of… let’s just take a minute and praise them for all the awesomeness that they do.
When Scream Factory first became a blimp on the radar, they were distributing cult classics like MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, and more than likely shed new light on the classic show to a whole new audience that never had a chance to see their stuff live on TV. They also revived interested in ELIVRA’S MOVIE MACABRE, releasing a bunch of epic double-features of the worse movies ever, yet cut with Elvira’s quirky quips and book-end commentary between commercials, as original seen in the 1980s. Sure, 95% of the movies released under the MOVIE MACABRE banner are complete garbage… but that’s the point. And that’s why they’re so fun to watch (along with the funny / sexy horror host Elvira, of course).
But it wasn’t until Scream Factory decided to release their Special Collector’s Editions of classic 80s genre films where people really started taking notice of their love and care of fun and gritty cult classics of the sci-fi and horror genre. When they busted out new editions for THEY LIVE and TERROR TRAIN, they changed the way people viewed and expected Collector’s Editions… but providing a true and blue collector’s edition of the movie, equipped with a variety of special features, a totally remastered video and audio transfer, and the mother all features that makes the Scream Factory’s Special Collector’s Editions so goddamn epic: newly designed key art.
The new key art covers for THEY LIVE and TERROR TRAIN set a whole new bar of what epic key art covers should be for any and every title in your Blu-ray collection. So they followed suit with epic even more epic releases like THE FUNHOUSE, THE NEST, DEADLY BLESSING, PRISON, FROM BEYOND, PHANTASM 2, LIFEFORCE, THE BURNING, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, THE HOWLING, HALLOWEEN II, HALLOWEEN III, and the upcoming release of JOHN CARPENTER’S THE FOG. If you have any of these Scream Factory editions at home in your collection… your collection just got 18 times more awesome. Somehow they’re able to highlight all the key points to the movie in one mural-like hand-drawn poster for the movie that makes you a) love the art, b) love the movie even more, and c) want a wall sized version of the art for every room in your house. Yes, they’re that amazing… and we’re all the better for them.
But it’s not just the older releases that Scream Factory excels at. These days, they’re doing more and more new releases, like the upcoming release of DEAD SHADOWS (starring John “The Arrow” Fallon!), new releases like COLD PREY II, and even more revisits like THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, and a slew of Roger Corman Cult Classics! Here’s a distribution company who knows its products, knows its customers, and respects both equally, making them the number one video distributor of genre flicks out there right now!
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but I think Scream Factory is f*cking awesome! What they do for classic genre flicks that normally don’t get the respect they deserve makes them a goddamn national treasure of everything that is good and great and all that. From spending the time to compile a collection of featurettes that fans actually want, to creating the best key art box covers ever with each and every one of their Special Collector’s Editions, to releasing a few golden TV series that would have never seen the light of day under normal circumstances (but are as classic and amazing as anything), to having the balls enough to pick up new horror form time to time… add that shit together and you have yourself the fine folks at Scream Factory… and we’re all the better for it. Can’t wait to see what new Collector’s Editions they have coming up next!