Make some room on your shelf next to Blood Diner, Chopping Mall, C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud, and Waxwork, because two new grimy essentials are coming from the Vestron Video Collector’s Series of Blu-rays: Parents and The Lair of the White Worm.
Parents was the feature directing debut of Bob Balaban, who’s probably best-known as an actor, having appeared in multiple Christopher Guest and Wes Anderson movies. He chips in for a commentary track on the 1989 comedy-horror film, which has this tantalizing official description:
Meet the Laemles. Dad’s got a great job, mom has all the modern conveniences a happy homemaker could ask for, and ten-year-old Michael has great new friends and two parents who kill him with kindness. They’re the all-American family . . . or are they? Michael can’t figure out why his family serves leftovers every night. “Leftovers? Well, what were they before they were leftovers?” questions young Michael. “Leftovers-to-be,” smiles dad. Dad’s bringing home the bacon . . . and a whole lot more! Michael’s parents are getting away with murder — making home where the horror is!
Other special features include a focus on star Mary Beth Hurt (who plays the mother) and a featurette entitled “Vintage Tastes” with the film’s decorative consultant Yolando Cuomo, who no doubt had a blast mingling 1950s food styling with, uh, cannibalism. Here’s the trailer for the film:
Lair of the White Worm, meanwhile, is directed by the great Ken Russell (The Devils, Altered States) and is inspired by the Bram Stoker novel. It’s also completely nuts, as the official synopsis suggests:
Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, and Catherine Oxenberg star in this mix of heart-stopping horror and campy humor. James D’Ampton (Grant) returns to his country castle in England. Legend has it that James’s distant ancestor once slayed the local dragon — a monstrous white worm with a fondness for the sweet flesh of virgins. The young lord dismisses the legend as folklore, until archaeology student Angus Flint explores James’s property and unearths a massive reptilian skull and a pagan snake god’s ancient site of worship. When James’s virtuous girlfriend, Eve Trent (Oxenberg), suddenly disappears, James and Angus set out to investigate the foreboding cavern said to be the worm’s lair, where a centuries-old mystery begins to uncoil.
The extras are also very enticing, including a featurette focusing on the special effects entitled “Worm Food.” Here’s the trailer, featuring a pre-Four Weddings and a Funeral Hugh Grant.
Both special edition Blu-rays will be arriving January 31. Too late for holiday giving, but just in time to surprise your bloodiest Valentine.