Welcome to yet another year of our special holiday gift guide! Marking another excellent offering of both home video and book releases, we provide you with insight into many of our personal favorites and other recommendable hits to spoil loved ones with. Without further ado, scroll below for our extensive selections and let the holiday buying season officially commence!
Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection (1989-1991): Wyld Stallyns reunite in this radical 3-Disc set featuring Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its 1991 followup, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey! Blowing the speakers apart with hours worth of new bonus features including, audio commentaries and exclusive interviews with Stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, this bodacious double feature of awesomeness deserves a spot in every headbangers stocking this holiday season! Available now from Shout Select.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 3D (2016): The heroes in a half shell are back to save the city they love from the forces of evil! Featuring the live-action debuts of fan favorite foes, Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang, the turtles combine their efforts with help from April O’Neil and street hockey ally Casey Jones to bring the Shredder’s team of henchmen down. Boasting in-your-face 3D effects, this hilarious, high-octane rollercoaster is loaded with fun and plenty of pizza eating scenes destined to make viewers crave the same. Available now from Paramount Pictures.
Everybody Wants Some!! (2016): The spiritual sequel to Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, hilarity, hijinks and friendship permeates this spot-on recreation of college-aged baseball jocks in the 1980s kicking off the new school year. Endlessly funny and insightful, this cinematic party celebrates the era with a pitch perfect soundtrack of hits and equally humorous supplements earning it worthy high praise. Available now from Paramount Pictures.
Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985): A chilling thrillogy from master of suspense Stephen King, Director Lewis Teague (Cujo) helms the supernatural tales surrounding an addicted smoker, a down on his luck gambler and a precocious young girl’s encounter with a troll in its Blu-ray debut featuring a commentary from the director! Available now from Warner Bros..
Ghostbusters (2016): Surprisingly hilarious and marching to the beat of its own drum, Paul Feig’s (Bridesmaids) reimagining of the 1984 supernatural comedy is a knee-slapping hoot with the funniest ladies in comedy today including, Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Kristen Wiig (The Skeleton Twins), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) and Leslie Jones (Top Five) manning the proton packs this time around. Featuring both an extended cut and its theatrical edition, over two hours of bonus features are waiting to slime viewers after the ghosts are busted. Available now from Sony Pictures.
The Conjuring 2 (2016): Director James Wan (Insidious) and Stars Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen) return in this terrifying followup. Investigating the dreaded Enfield Haunting, paranormal researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to London to help a single mother and her children who insist their house is plagued by dark spirits. On par with its well-received originator, The Conjuring 2 is a nail biting frightfest destined to make the winter season ever chillier. Available now from Warners Bros..
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016): Absurdly inspired by a real story, this unbelievable tale of two buffoonish brothers tasked to shape up for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding go to extreme measures to secure respectable dates for the big day. Starring Zac Efron (Neighbors) and Adam Devine (Workaholics), the hard-partying bros find themselves outmatched by the outrageous exploits of the sexy Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods) and Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) in this 90-minute romp of ridiculousness. Available now from 20th Century Fox.
The Thing (1982) Collector’s Edition: One of John Carpenter’s best efforts and a prime example of a remake done exceedingly right, a team of Antarctic researchers stumble upon a frozen life form capable of masking itself as one of their own in order to destroy them. Tense and one of the decade’s finest scifi offerings, Scream Factory delivers the definitive treatment of this prized film with a glorious new 2K scan plus, hours worth of new and vintage supplements making it one of the premiere home video releases of the year! Available now from Scream Factory.
Captain America: Civil War (2016): Following up on the widely received The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War is the latest and arguably greatest entry in the star-spangled hero’s series. When a strong difference of opinion tears the Avengers apart, namely Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the former friends become their worst enemies. Featuring nonstop action, drama and the introduction of Marvel’s latest iteration of Spider-Man, superhero films hardly get better than Captain America: Civil War. Available now from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
Stephen King’s It (1990): Ahead of next year’s big-screen reimagining, the original made for television miniseries makes its high-definition debut! Surrounding a tight knight group of friends in Maine and their fear of the dreaded clown known as Pennywise, the lengthy tale follows the friends through adulthood where they must face their nightmares once and for all. Best known for Tim Curry’s (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) incredible performance as the terrifying clown, Stephen King’s It can finally be checked off the list of King fan’s most desired adaptations not on Blu-ray. Available now from Warner Bros..
Transformers: The Movie (1986) 30th Anniversary Edition: Long hoped for following their dedicated handling of its various animated series’, Shout! Factory lovingly celebrates the big-screen debut of the robots in disguise! When a mutual enemy in the planet devouring Unicron arrives, the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons band together to defend their home of Cybertron. Beautifully transferred in 4K and featuring a new retrospective plus, archival supplements, Transformers: The Movie celebrates three decades of nostalgic entertainment! Available now from Shout! Factory.
Zootopia (2016): Continuing their treasured tradition of creating the finest in animated features, Disney’s city bustling tale of a world run by animals pits rookie cop bunny Judy Hopps against scam artist fox Nick Wilde. Coming together to crack a dangerous case plaguing their metropolis, Zootopia is not only warm and tear-jerkingly funny but, reminds audiences young and old the value of embracing all cultures. One of the Mouse House’s best efforts of the year, Zootopia deserves a spot under every species’ Christmas tree this season! Available now from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
American Horror Project Vol. I (1973-1976): Containing three under appreciated gems from the backroads of America, Arrow Video’s exceptionally curated collection comprised of Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood (1973), The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976) and The Premonition (1976) sends viewers on an odyssey of madness with scholarly supplements, crowning it one of the most essential packages of the year! Available now from Arrow Video.
Star Trek Beyond 3D (2016): Ambushed by a ruthless new enemy and leaving the crew of the USS Enterprise separated, Star Trek Beyond stood as one of the summer’s most enjoyable blockbusters and another exceptional outing in the revamped J.J. Abrams produced series. Highlighted with reference worthy 3D for home entertainment and repeat value galore, Star Trek Beyond 3D is an out of this world necessity for fans. Available now from Paramount Pictures.
The Jungle Book (2016): Director Jon Favreau’s (Iron Man) modern realization of the beloved animated film is a mesmerizing splendor from start to finish that honors its original while, pushing the capabilities of today’s visual effects in revolutionary ways. A dazzling adventure through the Indian jungles befit with excitement and catchy tunes, its flawless high-definition release is a necessity for all enamored with the magic of Disney. Available now from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
Chopping Mall (1986): Making a splashing debut with the inaugural release of their new Vestron Video Collector’s Series, fans’ rampant pleas have long been answered by Lionsgate! Robotic mall security enforcers go haywire resulting in a group of teenagers fending for their lives after-hours. Helmed by B-movie maverick Jim Wynorski (Deathstalker II, Not of this Earth), Chopping Mall’s top-notch release is one of the single best gifts genre hounds will see this holiday season. Available now from Lionsgate.
Carrie (1976) Collector’s Edition: One of the finest Stephen King adaptions put to celluloid, Carrie’s supernatural shocks matched with its angsty center of relatable teenage woes continues to shock 40 impressive years after its debut. Rewarding die-hard fans with a long overdue 4K transfer, countless bonus features and newly designed cover art, Scream Factory’s release ranks as one of our favorites of the year! Available now from Scream Factory.
Blood Diner (1987): Lightning strikes twice with the sophomore release from the Vestron Video Collector’s Series! As highly requested as its predecessor, the darkly funny and bloodsplatteringly cooky cult gem revolving around brainwashed brothers who use their restaurant as a front to lure scandalous women for cooking purposes is a hilarious romp. Featuring a smorgasbord of new bonus content including exclusive interviews with its elusive helmer Jackie Kong, Blood Diner is delectable gem worth chomping into. Available now from Lionsgate.
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016): While its narrative of magic, music and samurais may leave fans divided, LAIKA’s latest is unquestionably one of the year’s most visually hypnotic achievements and a masterwork of stop-motion artistry. Featuring an all-star voice cast including, Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows: Part 1 and 2) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), any year rewarded with another LAIKA production is always cause for praise with Kubo’s home video release, boasting such in-depth extras as a filmmaker audio commentary and interviews, being of no exception. Available now from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
I Drink Your Blood (1971): Unquestionably one of the year’s premiere cult releases, the 1971 rabies-infected zombie opus is unlike any drive-in feature of its ilk with hippies, LSD, cults and syringe-handling kiddies well stocked. Grindhouse Releasing has outdone themselves with a pitch-perfect HD scan featuring both the film’s theatrical X-rated cut and the director’s longer preferred edition. Spoiling lovers of such entertainingly cinematic sludge, special features are beyond plentiful with two bonus co-features, I Eat Your Skin (1964) and the rare 1969 Blue Sextet, included alongside several commentary tracks, interviews and cast reunions. As if the availability of such a beloved hippie horror masterpiece in its definitive state wasn’t enough, the first 3,000 units come shipped with an official horror hypodermic needle for harmless fun! Available now from Grindhouse Releasing.
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures - Complete Season One: Set between the thrilling events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures finds a trio of scavenging siblings struggling to survive in the Empire-ruled galaxy when the youngest, Rowan, develops a natural connection with the Force. Through 13 action-packed and hilarious episodes that introduce new characters and worlds, this fun for all ages, especially young Padawans, debut season will keep the rebel’s battle to restore peace more exciting than ever. Accompanied with six exclusive magnets, season one of Disney XD’s latest animated exploration of the Star Wars universe arrives just in time for the big-screen debut of its latest spin-off saga. Available now from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
The Grinder: The Complete First Season: Cancelled only after its debut season, The Grinder combines the comedic talents of Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation) and Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) as brothers Dean (Lowe), a Hollywood hotshot best known for playing TV’s best loved lawyer and Stewart (Savage), a real-life attorney struggling to step out from under his attention seeking sibling’s limelight. After Dean’s show is cancelled, moving back home and joining the family firm seems to be the most logical idea notwithstanding Dean’s utter lack of formal education. Turning Stewart’s career and family life upside down, the two brothers hardly see eye to eye but, develop an absurdly successful team in the courtroom. Nonstop hilarity, snappy writing and knee-slapping chemistry between Lowe and Savage make this sole season of the gone too soon program a must-see for viewers who love laughing for 30 minutes straight. Available now from 20th Century Fox.
With so many other equally recommendable favorites released this year and so little time to spare, we leave you with countless other titles that blew our hair back that are well worth seeking out. May your holiday season not be complete without the following under your Christmas trees:
Manhattan Baby and The Shape of Things to Come (available now from Blue Underground).
Hobgoblins, Deathrow Gameshow and Count Dracula's Great Love (available now from Vinegar Syndrome).
The Initiation, Slugs, Vamp, The Stuff and The Hills Have Eyes (available now from Arrow Video).
The Goodbye Girl and Time After Time (available now from Warner Archive).
Burial Ground, The Killing of America and Doctor Butcher M.D. (available now from Severin Films).
Return of the Living Dead 3, Imperium, Mr. Church, Cafe Society and Blood Father (available now from Lionsgate).
Wolf Lake, Man on Fire, I, The Jury, Cry of the City, The House on 92nd Street and Daisy Kenyon (available now from Kino Lorber Studio Classics).
Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Boxcar Bertha, The Chase, 9 to 5 and The Hound of the Baskervilles (available now from Twilight Time).
Bubba Ho-Tep Collector’s Edition, Carnage Park, What We Become, The Exorcist III Collector’s Edition, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II Collector's Edition and The Vincent Price Collection III (available now from Scream Factory).
To Live and Die in L.A. Collector's Edition and Death of a Salesman (available now from Shout Select).
Doctor Strange: Attack of the Doubt Demons by Liz Marsham: Hot off the heels of the mystical one’s big-screen debut, Dr. Steven Strange rescues schoolyard children from the evil doubt demons. Using his magical forces and encouraging kids that confidence is key, this colorfully illustrated storybook, equipped with bonus sticker sheets, will serve as a heroic stocking stuffer for young readers. Available now from Marvel Press.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Finn’s Story by Jesse J. Holland: Fit for elementary ages, the frightened stormtrooper turned resistance fighter Finn sends readers on an adventurous journey pitting him and others against the ruthless First Order. Littered with images from the blockbuster film, fans of the Force will find excitement and thrills in this condensed tale told through Finn’s unique perspective. Available now from Disney/Lucasfilm Press.
5-Minute Christmas Stories by Various: Perfect for Christmas time evenings around the fireplace, this colorful collection of stories finds some of Disney’s most beloved characters from Mickey Mouse and Alice to Mike, Sulley and Mater celebrating the holidays in their own seasonally fit tales ideal for youngsters anxiously awaiting the arrival of jolly St. Nick. Available now from Disney Press.
Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston: In this thrilling tale centered on the loyal Jedi apprentice in the wake of the Empire’s takeover, Ahsoka Tano starts anew on the sleepy moon of Raada where the threat of Imperial forces challenges her to expose her past in order to protect her new friends. Available now from Disney/Lucasfilm Press.
Frozen: Storybook Collection by Various: Ideal for fans unwilling to ever let it go, Anna, Elsa and the rest of the Frozen gang lead the way in one magical tale after another. Featuring 18 short stories in all including a retelling of the 2013 hit film, gorgeous illustrations run wild in this essential volume designed for ages 3 and up. Available now from Disney Press.
The Art of Tim Burton by Tim Burton, Leah Gallo & Holly C. Kempf: Although released several years ago, the theatrical debut of Burton’s latest effort, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, makes this tome even more desirable for fans of the filmmaker’s artistry. Collecting personal works and project based illustrations from childhood inspirations and his earliest shorts to more contemporary efforts like Corpse Bride, nearly 500 pages celebrate the unique style of Burton’s vast imagination. Art lovers and Burton aficionados alike deserve this one-of-a-kind volume on their shelves. Available now from Steeles Publishing.
The Napkin Art of Tim Burton by Tim Burton, Leah Gallo & Holly C. Kempf: Smaller in size but no less inspiring, Burton’s carefree illustrations done on napkins while seated in bars or restaurants comprise this extended look into the auteur’s creative process. Therapeutic in their approach, Burton’s busy schedule does little to restrain his desire to doodle while on the road, offering an important lesson to hopeful artists to let their imagination run wild regardless of where they stand. Available now from Steeles Publishing.
Batman: A Celebration of the Classic TV Series by Bob Garcia & Joe Desris: Long awaited, this fascinating look back on the nostalgically campy television series is a must-own for Batman fans. Detailing the series’ origins, production, costumes, infamous guest stars and more, the iconic Adam West provides commentary alongside beautifully rare behind-the-scenes stills that will make lifelong fans rush down the Batpoles for a copy! Available now from Titan Books.
With countless other book titles to make yours this holiday season, browse below for many other favorties that line our personal bookshelves!
Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film by Mel Brooks & Rebecca Keegan (available now from Black Dog & Leventhal Publishing).
Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai by Kevin & Susan Neary and Vanessa Hunt (available now from Disney Editions).
Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters - Inside His Films, Notebooks, and Collectionsby Britt Salvesen and Jim Shedden with Paul Koudounaris, Keith McDonald and Roger Clark (available now from Insight Editions).
The Walt Disney Studios: A Lot to Remember by Steven Clark & Rebecca Cline (available now from Disney Editions).
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three by Gary Gerani (available now from Abrams ComicArts).
Disney Parks Presents The Haunted Mansion by Buddy Baker & Xavier Atencio (available now from Disney Press).