My week has just been made. Criterion Collection, releasers of the best of the best of important cinematic endeavors for home viewing purposes, has just announced their line-up of October releases. It's a good mix, including favorites like Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho and Italian cinema's A Special Day. The rest are movies perfectly set to be released in time for the scary season of Halloween. Anything by David Cronenberg belongs on my shelf, so the psychological and body horror of The Brood is a no brainer. Likewise, David Lynch's thriller Mulholland Dr. is sure to be the top seller of the bunch with its deserved cult following. In fact, Mulholland Dr. is the movie that caught my attention first, but as I skimmed the list, I noticed something that made me gasp out loud so hard that I literally became lightheaded and had to take a moment to compose myself.
KWAIDAN IS FINALLY COMING TO BLU-RAY!
Kwaidan is director Masaki Kobayashi's 1965 masterpiece retelling several traditional Japanese ghost stories. It is a visual wonder, with gorgeous sets and costumes shown through sweeping cinematography to tell incredible and unsettling stories as only they could be told by Japanese cinema. Not only is it one of my favorite horror movies, but one of my favorite films in general.
I've waited for this movie to be released in higher definition for years. On top of everything, it's coming with a brand new digital restoration and uncompressed soundtrack. Did I mention this is also Kobayashi's original 3 hour cut available for the first time? That may seem long to some, but when you're getting a lush feast like this, you never want it to end. I've only seen the movie with a running time of about 2 hours and 40 minutes so I'm jumping off of the walls today.
This is quite the line-up, Criterion. Kudos to you. I give you thanks. All of these movies will be available on Blu-ray from Criterion throughout October with a suggested retail price of $39.99. Expect to see a full review of Kwaidan, and possibly others from this batch of releases, in my second annual 31 Nights of Horror movie reviews during that same month.