You have to wonder sometimes why a movie that is clearly a cult classic could have a ’25th Anniversary’ Blu-Ray release, where practically no-one is aware that it even exists. That is until you find that it’s one of the most disappointing Blu-Ray releases since 2007 and then, you start thinking that maybe they didn’t want this cash-grab to get too much promotion, lest some sour home video reputation gets out of control. I have the original Blu-Ray of this classic, wasn’t impressed. I’m not going to say I’m less impressed with this one, because since this is 2015, angry is probably a better description.
Anyway, I have been in love with this film since the first time I seen it, I can’t remember when, but likely over 20 years ago. I knew I loved it even before I’d gotten halfway into it. Fred Ward versus giant man eating worms? Who the hell thought of that? Give him a medal. The right blend of comedy, writing and direction had the balls to resurrect the old creature feature and it paid off. And this is from a time when full-scaled Graboids were used in production, real props, not writhing computer animations were the eye can clearly discern that something is not natural.
The film has also aged better than most. There are few descriptors to indicate a 1990 production, given the baron locale and you know, pretty shitty vehicles and such. But better than that, the dialogue and chemistry between all involved is truly something special. I just wish the sequels were even half as good as this movie. Kevin Bacon thought his career was over, how wrong he was.
This is one of the worst and most cynical Blu-Ray releases ever, however. To outline how bad it is, we have to go back to the original release in 2010. That movie had a gruesome transfer (a lazy job from the year 2007, possibly ’06). It also had three lazy 4:3 ‘VHS’ extras, a trailer and some outtakes. Well, wait until you hear what is on this disc. The identical contents of the previous disc, minus outtakes and a trailer. So not only are they blatantly repackaging a release that was deemed lazy by 2010 standards, they’ve actually removed features that it had!
The transfer here is horrible, one of the worst, if not the worst Blu-Ray transfers I’ve ever seen. It’s at least eight years old. It’s muddy, vague and with noticeable sharpening overkill that tries to compensate for the mess that it is. The features are also extremely old, although the main one at 50 minutes+ might be new to some, if you didn’t see it when it first appeared in the 1990’s, or if you didn’t see the other four minute one, when it first appeared in 1990. Hell even the menu is lazy, still that old interface Universal was using back when they first got into this format. Oh, there’s also a UV copy, so maybe if you watch that on a tiny screen, the movie might appear better for some who watch their movies that way.
Don’t get me wrong on the movie when I rate this lowly. That, the movie itself, I would give a rare 10/10, but this home release is low and dishonest.