To Avoid Fainting, Just Repeat To Yourself It’s Only A DVD Cover… It’s Only A DVD Cover…

The biggest disappointment for me horror-wise this year (besides HALLOWEEN 2) will definitely go down as the absolute horrible treatment of DVD cover art we’ve experienced. How disheartening is it to get news of one of your favorite genre films release to DVD only to find that the seminal artwork that adorned theatrical posters and VHS releases has been replaced by some half-assed cover art that doesn’t even represent the film properly? Or that the art has been changed to target a trend audience that won’t appreciate the film inside once they’re duped into buying it? Such has been the case as of late with three genre favorites from the ’80’s getting the bad art shaft. First up we had a totally unnecessary reissue of  the 1987 vampires on the run classic NEAR DARK. Both the art from the 2002 2 disc set and the 2004 single were fine. Nothing spectacular, but they suited the film inside, unlike the reissue from earlier this year that bares a striking resemblance to a certain pre-teen sparkly vampire romance blockbuster…

neardark2neardark3Talk about some false advertisement! NEAR DARK is a lot of things, but TWILIGHT it certainly is not!

And then there is the recent “Monstrous Special Edition” of another 1987 gem, THE GATE. Silly? Yes. Schlocky? Certainly. Midget demon unleashing, Venom back patch-wearing kick ass good time? HELL YES! I take issue with this being called the “Monstrous Special Edition” but I’ll leave that for another rant, let’s get to the cover… The original, and out of print, bare-bones DVD edition of THE GATE featured the iconic poster art from the film’s release, which was also used on the original VHS edition. It’s a classic, simple design that when someone says THE GATE – it’s one of the first things to come to mind. The 2009 special edition instead features a kid who IS NOT actor STEPHEN DORFF, who starred as our young hero Glen, and who by the way NEVER WORE SHORTS OR SANDALS IN THE FILM!

the classic

the classic

W.T.F.!!??

W.T.F.!!??

Last, and certainly not least is my second most anticipated DVD release of the year (second only to TRICK ‘R TREAT), the 1986 alien slug zombie classic starring TOM “THRILL ME” ATKINS, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! Twenty three years after the initial release we finally get the uncut director’s edition of the cult classic that we deserve. But wait, what’s this? Instead of the classic (and I do mean classic) prom zombie poster art we all know and love, Sony decided to come up with three absolutely horrid designs and let us vote on Amazon to decide which one they use. Which they used two of the three (one for the DVD, on for the Blu-Ray) and they are an uninspired mess. Much like the tween-friendly NEAR DARK cover, these two do not come close to representing the greatness contained in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. In my opinion, these should have been the two covers…

CREEPS1

CREEPS2Instead we’re stuck with these…

creeps3creeps4Nothings thrilling me about these at all. At least the FRIDAY THE 13TH reissues looked good, even if the mask images were inaccurate. But I digress, I guess all we can hope for in 2010 is that the companies who are releasing seminal genre films onto the DVD and Blu-Ray market will learn from these embarrassing mistakes and stick with the classic designs if they can’t come up with something original and appealing. I do have to give credit to Anchor Bay for making up for their previous edition of HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME’s appalling cover by bringing back the classic shish kabob art on their recent reissue (and the original score as well!) So I’ll leave you with that

hbtmNIGHT OF THE CREEPS (ugly cover and all) hits shelves tomorrow. Pick it up, and make your own cover art for it!

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