It’s hard to think back to a time before DVDs. Back in the age of VHS we didn’t have any bonus features to go along the movies that we bought. So when I hear people complaining about getting a DVD and there not being an audio commentary, behind the scenes featurette or even a theatrical trailer, it really makes me laugh. We should be lucky with what we get and stop all the bitching. On the other side we have some DVD companies that go above and beyond the call of duty and give us even more than the regular bonus features. Here are a few that I dug up from my DVD vault.
The first DVD that I’ll bring up is House Of 1000 Corpses. It’s not really a bonus feature that I’m bringing up, it’s the actual menus. From the beginning you have Captain Spaulding yelling at you and then he tries to ignore you. It’s really funny and a nice touch to have more than just music or shots from the movie. In fact all of the menus have characters from the movie talking, yelling or telling jokes. It’s just a very nice and very different form of a bonus on a DVD.
Next up is the movie Dark Reel. Now the movie was just okay, but during it we got to see bits and pieces of a movie within the movie called Gnome Killer. As a bonus we get to see the behind the scenes of the making of Gnome Killer 2. So this bonus feature is kind of an epilogue to the movie. The actors are back in character and they are taking this as if this was a real behind the scenes. Really funny and it shows that they all have a sense of humor, especially the fact that they are treating the Gnome as if it was real.
Third on the list is Saw, the uncut edition. As a bonus feature on the second disc is the original Saw short. It’s about 9 and a half minutes long, but is it great? Not really, but I think it’s great that some film makers allow themselves to show a little vulnerability by allowing some of their not so great work to be seen by the mass audience. That is one complaint that I have about Sam Raimi. He won’t allow Within The Woods to be released officially because he is so embarrassed by it. He needs to get over it and understand that even though it may be bad, it’s something that fans of the Evil Dead series have been wanting for a while and they aren’t going to stop liking Evil Dead because of it.
Along the lines of original shorts is The Grudge Unrated Extended Director’s Cut (god that’s really long). As a bonus we get two of Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-On shorts. First there is 444444444, which is about a boy that finds a phone and all he hears is a strange meowing, and it’s about 3 minutes long. Then we have In A Corner, this one is about two young girls who are about to hang out. This one is about 3 and a half minutes long. More on the Ju-On story is always a bonus.
Next we have Murder Party. First we get a video on how to make the famous “brown knight” costume (okay, maybe it’s only famous to me). It’s really funny in the way that it’s done. The second bonus is a pumpkin bread recipe. Now I have no skill in cooking or baking, so I don’t know if it’s real, but I’m going to try it and by the next Bonus From the DVD Vault I’ll tell you if it worked.
Lastly I’m bringing up Cabin Fever. Again like House Of 1000 Corpses, the menu for the scene selections are great. If you let it cycle through a few times and you are treated to a scene with Deputy Winston and two infected girls. If you keep going to the different “pages” of scene selection and continue to wait you get the whole mini story. The other two bonus features are different versions of the film itself. First we get the Family Friendly version, which you can actually show your whole family (and there is no evil joke here), and the other version is the Chick-Vision version. With this version, any time something disturbing is going to show up on screen, two shadow hands cover pretty much everything that is going on. It’s like when you were a kid and put your hands over your eyes, but you still peeked a little.
When DVD companies give us more than we expect they should be celebrated and that’s what I intend to do with this part of Forced Viewing. Until next time, quit your bitching and be lucky with what we get.