Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pet Peeves : Lame New Cover Arts For Old Movies

Ya know what I hate?  When companies re-release older horror movies on DVD and/or Blu-ray, and give them hip new Photoshopped cover arts that totally don't reflect the movies contained inside the cases.  It's a pet peeve that really isn't all that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it still annoys the shit out of me.  Something about a movie I love being marketed with the clear intention of luring in unsuspecting Best Buy customers, and making them think a movie from the '80s is hip and new, that just totally rubs me the wrong way.  I can't be the only one!

Here are a handful of recent offenders that come to mind ...

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Lionsgate's recent DVD re-release/Blu-ray release of Near Dark is perhaps the most criticized home video horror art in several years, and for damn good reason.  The intention was quite clearly to capitalize on the vampire craze of recent times, and draw in tweens who are looking for another Twilight.  Only problem is, Near Dark is pretty much the complete antithesis of Twilight, a badass blood soaked vampire flick that I consider to be one of the best vampire movies ever made, if not the very best.

Not only does the art on this one look pretty damn identical to Twilight's art, but they even made Caleb look pale, like a vampire, and Mae look colorful and vibrant, like a human.  Of course, it's the other way around in Near Dark, but anyone who doesn't know any better would think this is a love story about a human female that falls in love with a sexy vampire male, ala Twilight.  Which is exactly what Lionsgate wants people to think.  And that makes me feel icky.

On the bright side, it makes me smile to think of all the tweener Twilight fans who bought this, under Lionsgate's false pretenses, and were treated to the sights and sounds of Bill Paxton ripping apart a bar full of people, and Lance Henriksen spitting out a bullet.  Always a silver lining, even when we're dealing with shit cover art!

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I already talked about this one a bit when I reviewed this Blu-ray release a couple months back, so I'll keep it brief.  While the original Killer Klowns DVD art totally nailed the vibe of the movie, in all its colorful and cartoony glory, MGM's re-release played up the horror aspect of the film, with a cover art that really doesn't fit the movie at all.  For a different movie, I've got no problem with the art.  In fact, it's pretty cool looking.  But for Killer Klowns, it just doesn't work.

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Not that I was a fan of the previous Chainsaw 2 DVD art, with Dennis Hopper on the cover, but that one looks pretty damn good in comparison to this re-release art, clearly inspired by the posters for Saw.  Out of all the iconic imagery they could've used from the film, we get this generic Photoshopped laziness?  Come on, Leatherface's chainsaw wasn't even that color in the movie!

Unfortunately, MGM stuck with this art for their Blu-ray release of the film earlier this year.  Sigh.  At least the Austrians got it right!

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At first glance, this one actually looks pretty cool ... that is, until you take a closer look and realize something; that kid isn't even Stephen Dorff!!  If the way too long Bieber hair didn't give it away, then the fact that Dorff never wore that outfit in the movie surely does.  I can only imagine this is a stock photo that Lionsgate dug up, considering I'd like to think they'd at least go the extra mile of putting this kid into a somewhat similar outfit to any of the ones Dorff wore in the movie, if they went through all the trouble of casting a kid to play a bootleg Dorff.  

In other news, I've made it my life's work to track down bootleg Dorff, and interview him here on Freddy In Space.  I won't quit blogging until I do.  Mark my words.

Anyways.  I was just glad to have The Gate finally re-released on DVD, so I can't hate on Lionsgate too much over this one!

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In 2007, MGM FINALLY released The Burning onto DVD, much to the delight of the many fans who had for years been craving it (myself very much included).  Unfortunately, they decided to make ole Cropsy look more like Freddy Krueger, and give the film this totally lame new art, which really looks like it belongs on a different film.  But again, can't complain too much.  Beats not having the movie on DVD at all!

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And finally, we've got another re-release from MGM, that once again butchers the vibe and tone of the film.  I remember this came out around the same time as the remake, and the intention was seemingly to get people to buy the movie, under the guise that it was in fact the new movie they just saw a commercial for on TV.  Hell, I almost even fell into the trap every time I saw this one on the shelf.  Still do a double take every time I pass by it in my collection, and think it's the remake.

Another lame stock photo here, of a girl who is not Sandra Cassel or Lucy Grantham, and a black gloved killer who is obviously not anyone from the film, considering nobody in Krug's clan ever once wore black gloves in the movie.  Nice job, guys!
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Dear home video distribution companies, 

Either release older movies with their original artwork on the cover, or pay an artist to whip up something awesome and new.  No more of this deceptive Photoshop bullshit.  Better yet, do what Scream Factory does, and offer fans the choice between original art and new art.  Now that's how you make a horror fan happy!

2 comments:

inSain9876 said...

Not kidding at all, I bought the above mentioned Bluray of Last House On The Left and assumed I had the remake until just reading this article. Just checked my collection and yup, it is the original. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm a long time collector and that is the first time that trick worked on me. Now instead of the "pretty decent until the microwave" remake I have a classic I've never seen before. I learned something today...

Specter said...

I've gotta say, as bad as some of these are, I do love shitty box art. Have you guys checked out some of the older movies in those Echo Bridge collections you see in bargain bins? Stuff like The Bat with a Twilight looking vampire, White Zombie with a hand coming out of a grave, etc. It's so obvious that the designers hadn't seen the movies that it's almost charming.