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Ok, so I’ve got a fairly freakin’ embarrassing confession like thingy to make here today people. . . for better or worse the original Amityville Horror scares the crap out of me to this day . . . which is not to say that it’s a good or even a well crafted piece of mid-70’s horror filmmaking (especially since we’re talking about an era wherein it’s prescient “competition” included genre-uber-classic-series-birthing flicks such as The Exorcist, the original Dawn of the Dead, John Carpenter’s Halloween, and far better than its slick as hell remake—no matter what one thinks of its star Jessica Biel in a wet-white- wife-beater—Texas Chainsaw Massacre -and that’s only naming a few) but, what’s important, to my reaction at least, is that the film represents a particular time/place/couple-of-hours of my childhood during which it was fairly easy to scare the hell out of me and films such as those within the ( ) had to be avoided more or less completely. (many thanks to Sigur Ros by the way) What that left me with in the way of available scares was the aforementioned Horror. At any rate, the only reason I’ve chosen to burden you all with the above is MGM Home Entertainment’s—just in time for the remake’s appearance style announcement of their Amityville Horror: The Special Edition Gift Set . It’s reportedly set to include the “original, purportedly true, Long Island home possessed by demonic pig-spirits tale” The Amityville Horror, the “actually loosely based upon a true-story” prequel Amityville II: The Possession and its inexplicable follow-up Amityville 3-D. The release will also include an exclusive bonus disc featuring an all-new examination of the infamous haunted house entitled “Amityville Confidential,” that will in turn feature an optional video intro and audio commentary from parapsychologist Dr. Hans Holzer over the documentaries “Amityville: The Hoax?” and “Amityville: The Haunting.” All three films will be presented in anamorphic widescreen with English Dolby Digital 5.1. For those in need of more in the way of extras, The Amityville Horror’s DVD will also include the documentary “For God’s Sake, Get Out!,” seven radio spots, the original theatrical trailer and of course a sneak peek at that upcoming The Amityville Horror remake. Not wanting to be completely left out The Amityville II: The Possession and Amityville 3-D discs will both feature original theatrical trailers. The whole set will hit Best Buy’s mean streets this April 5th, bearing both a $39.99 collective price tag and a $14.99 Individual one.

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School Daze

In news somewhat less burdened by personal remembrance, we have the folks over at Columbia’s announcement of a set to appear on February 1st special edition take on Spike Lee’s Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Ossie Davis and Kadeem Hardison staring musical/comedy/sophomore-slump/coming-of-age-film School Daze . Disc Extras will apparently include audio Commentary from actors Tisha Campbell, Rusty Cundieff, Bill Nunn, Kadeem Hardison and Darryl Bell, a second commentary from Lee himself, three music videos and three featurettes. The second disc will also house the original motion picture soundtrack. The two-disc set will be retailing for somewhere around $19.99.

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Meanwhile, Universal Home Entertainment has slated a February 15th release date for Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mía Maestro and Mercedes Morán’s “based on the journals of famed and often T-shirt bound revolutionary Che Guevara” film The Motorcycle Diaries. The film is slated to be presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, dubbed French Dolby Digital 5.1 and English and French subtitles. Disc extras will reportedly include a Making of The Motorcycle Diaries featurete, a selection of deleted scenes, A Moment With Gael Garcia Bernal, Music On The Road: An Interview with Composer Gustavo Santaolalla and a Tomo Uno (which is Spanish “Take One” by the way) with Gael Garcia Bernal feature. You’ll be paying something like $29.99 for the privilege.

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And lastly, we have Lions Gate’s official announcement of a February 15th release date for Director James Wan’s Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Dina Meyer, Ken Leung and Leigh Whannell starring disappointingly but appropriately pale serial-killer-horror-fest Saw. The disc will apparently carry both anamorphic widescreen and full screen presentations with both English Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio. It’s extras will include audio commentary from Wan and star/co-writer Leigh Whannell, a 'On The Set' featurette, trailers and TV spots, Fear Factory's "Bite the Hand That Feeds" music video and a featurette on the making of that video. Sadist will be shelling out right around $26.99 for their fix.

By Dirk Archer