Two Huge Classics Coming to Blu-ray for a Perfect High-Def Halloween…

Two Huge Classics Coming to Blu-ray for a Perfect High-Def Halloween…

The Bates Motel will once again have vacancy as Universal Studios have announced Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece, Psycho, for a 50th Anniversary Blu-ray on October 19th for $26.98 SRP. Technical details include a fully restored 1080p/24fps 1.85:1 widescreen high def transfer, newly-created lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, and original 1.0 mono track (hopefully also lossless) on a 50 gigabyte Blu-ray disc.

It appears this Anniversary Edition (entitled “Special Edition” on its DVD variant arriving the same day) has several new supplements over the old Collector’s Edition DVD including audio commentary with Stephen Rebello (Author, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho), “In the Master’s Shadow – Hitchcock’s Legacy” featurette featuring interviews with several “top” directors on Hitchcock’s impact, 1962 Hitchcock/Truffaut Audio Interview Excerpts, and “Psycho Sound” featurette detailing the process to create the new 5.1 remix (my advice: turn on the mono track and forget about these dumb surround upmixes).

All of the supplements from the prior CE will be included and are the 94 minute The Making of Psycho documentary, “Newsreel Footage: The Release Of Psycho” featurette, “The Shower Scene” featurette, “The Shower Scene: Storyboards By Saul Bass” gallery, “The Psycho Archives” slideshow, Production Photographs/Behind the Scenes Photographs gallery, Lobby Card/Poster/Ads gallery, theatrical trailer, and re-release trailers.

Also William Friedkin’s demonically seminal The Exorcist will be coming with no set release date yet, but a promise from Warner Home Video that the release will arrive in time for the best holiday in history. No tech specs or supplement announcement, but both the original 1973 theatrical cut and 2000 “Version You’ve Never Seen” (re-titled for this BD as the “Extended Director’s Cut”) will be included with transfers personally supervised by Friedkin and director of photography Owen Roizman. The packaging will a Warner cardboard “digibook” (Dirty Harry, Natural Born Killers) and include a collectible booklet. Important note to DVD owners/collectors: As of September 4th, Warner will halt further production of The Exorcist on the standard definition format.

It’s nice to see the theatrical version included after Warner seemingly clogged the DVD marketplace for years with the “Version You’ve Never Seen” which I’ve never cared for as it makes Reagan’s possession far too obvious far too early in the film. The image quality of the theatrical version DVD released over a decade ago is really showing its age as well. Warner has an excellent track record for their “important” titles, usually restored at super high 2K and 4K resolutions, so this Blu-ray should look fantastic. Universal’s Psycho is still up in the air, as the studio has yet to release a black-and-white feature onto Blu-ray and their recently-released Spartacus Blu-ray from the same production year looks like garbage with an already aging master smeared by noise reduction.

EDIT: While digging around I found this, Castle of Frankenstein #22 from 1974, just had to share!

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4 Responses to “Two Huge Classics Coming to Blu-ray for a Perfect High-Def Halloween…”

  1. Wow, great releases in time for Halloween indeed! Must purchases for sure.

  2. High Def Exorcist will be mine, oh yes…it will be mine.

  3. Love the Warner digibooks- Exorcist will make a nice addition to Poltergeist.

  4. Note on the Psycho Blu-Ray: most of those so-called “new extras” are already on the Legacy Series release. The Psycho Sound featurette is the only new extra (besides the restored picture).

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