This week, Mill Creek released a trio of Walmart Exclusive Blu-ray steelbooks of late-90s/early-2000 horror films. First we have Jim Gillespie’s 1997 slasher, I Know What You Did Last Summer, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr. Next, we have Luis Llosa’s 1997 creature feature Anaconda, starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson and Jon Voight. Finally, there is Paul Verhoeven’s 2000 sci-fi/thriller, Hollow Man, starring Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon and Josh Brolin. One thing all these movies have in common is that at some point sequels were produced for straight-to-video or straight-to-cable. While’ I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was a theatrical sequel, the third film, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer was a video-store exclusive.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Wes Craven brought new life into the slasher sub-genre back in 1996 with Scream. Of course, there were plenty of copycats, but probably the most successful of the lot would be I Know What You Did Last Summer which was released the following year. The fact that Kevin Williamson wrote both films probably has a lot to do with the success. IKWYDLS is a staple of 90’s horror which is still enjoyable nearly three decades later. While many may not feel the urge to pick up the new Blu-ray since a 4K disk was released by Sony last year. However, the steelbook packaging is a nice addition for the horror collectors.
I have never been a fan of snakes. Truthfully, they creep me out something fierce. Anaconda was one of the very few movies that actually made giant killer snakes a fun watch for me. The cast was definitely game, featuring a wide mix of up and comers. Personal opinions about actor Jon Voight aside, he absolutely stole this movie, right down to his final wink. Director Luis Llosa towed the line perfectly between horror and camp. He knew exactly how to make such a silly narrative work. I am actually fond of the 2004 sequel Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid as well. The rest of the follow ups aren’t worth mentioning. Mill Creek gives the Blu-ray some new life with its Walmart Exclusive Steelbook. I love how the snake eyes have a golden glow on the front.
In 2000, director Paul Verhoeven followed up his 1997 sci-fi epic, Starship Troopers with the CGI heavy Hollow Man, which was basically an updated version of The Invisible Man. While the film had an interesting premise, great cast, top notch visual effects (for the time) and a gifted filmmaker, the end result felt like a very expensive slasher movie. Bacon was perfect as the doctor with a god complex that eventually turned evil. Unfortunately, the story played out by the numbers and felt about as hollow as its’ title. As a fan of Verhoeven, I was definitely disappointed. Maybe if the film went darker, it could have been more interesting. Having said that, Hollow Man was one of the very few films from Verhoeven that I didn’t own and Mill Creek’s new steelbook definitely makes a nice addition to my collection of the director’s catalog.
By: Marc Ferman