Monday 3 April 2017

House 1-4 : The Complete Collection Box Set - UK BD/DVD review

Sean Cunningham’s cult horror film series “House” gets the Arrow video treatment this month in an extras laden Blu-Ray and DVD combo pack box-set, containing all 4 films and wealth of bonus material.

“House” (1985)
Horror novelist Roger Cobb (William Katt - Carrie) inherits a house from his aunt, which turns out to have a rather spooky past and finds himself battling ghosts, zombies and various monsters as he attempts to get his son back from their ghostly realm in this mash up of Poltergeist and Evil Dead.

However, he is left wondering what is the bigger annoyance, ghostly spirits or his nosey next door neighbour, played by George Gwent (TVs Cheers) who keeps barging in at inopportune moments in this bizarre horror comedy.

“House 2 : The Seond Story” (1987)
New film, new house. After inheriting his parents country estate, young Jesse  (played by US TV actor Ayre Gross) and his friends decide to dig up his grandfathers grave, to see if the old stories of his gun slinging gramps being buried with a magical Aztec crystal skull are true.

But, not only do they find the skull, but a very well rested Gramps, and it seems certain supernatural elements want the skull back as they are forced to battle Aztecs and cavemen, including a baby Pterodactyl which runs amok around the house, and a rival ghostly gunslinger, who emerge from various alternate dimensions within the house in this ridiculous horror comedy.

“House 3 : The Horror Show (1989)
Notably different in style from it’s predecessors, this film revolves around gruff homicide detective Lucas McCarthy (played by genre regular Lance Henricksen) who finds he and his family being terrorised from beyond the grave by serial killer “Meat-Clever” Max Jenke (Brion James – Blade Runner) who was recently sent to the electric chair.

Cheerfully ripping off Wes Craven’s “Shocker”, there is some dispute as to whether this film was intended as part of the House series as its so different in style and was release plainly as “The Horror Show” in the US, but is an entertaining enough low budget horror.

“House 4 : The Repossession” (1992)
A young mother and her daughter inherits an old house, belonging to her late husband’s relatives, which happens to stand on sacred Indian land, and all manner of ghostly things start to happen, whilst her husbands half brother tries pulls all manner of dirty tricks trying to snatch the estate from her.

I personally found the blend of horror and humour to be a little ‘off’ on this one for me, plus it got a bit confusing as William Katt was back playing a character called Roger Cobb, but its obviously not the same character from part 1. But the film was an entertaining enough conclusion to the House series.

All 4 House films had previously been released onto a UK DVD box set by Anchor Bay, though fans of the series were disappointed to discover that they had used the edited US theatrical version of House 3 and that House 4 was the same as the previously cut UK video version.

This release contains all 4 films fully uncut and on High-Definition Blu-Ray for the first time and a stack of extras, which includes…

-Audio commentary with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley (same as the previous Anchor Bay disc)
-The Making of House – Brand new documentary featuring interviews with director Steve Miner, Producer Sean Cunningham, star William Katt and other cast and crew members including stuntman Kane Hodder
-Stills gallery
-Theatrical trailers

House 2
-Audio commentary with writer-director Ethan Wiley and producer Sean S. Cunningham (same as the previous Anchor Bay disc)
-Making of House II - brand new documentary featuring interviews with Ethan Wiley, Sean S. -Cunningham, star Arye Gross and other cast and crew members.
-Stills Gallery
-Theatrical Trailer

House 3
-Option to watch the uncut European version, or cut US theatrical version
-Audio commentary with producer Sean S. Cunningham
-Interview with actor/stuntman Kane Hodder
-Interview with actress Rita Taggart
-Slaughter Inc. – brand new featurette with special make-up effects creators Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger
-Behind-the-Scenes Footage
-Stills Gallery
-Theatrical Trailer
(same as the extras on the US BD from Shout factory)

House 4
-Audio commentary with director Lewis Abernathy (same one from the previous Anchor Bay disc)
-Making of House 4 – New documentary featuring interviews with director Lewis Abernathy, producer Sean S. Cunningham, stars Terri Treas and William Katt, actor/stunt coordinator Kane Hodder
-Stills Gallery
-Theatrical Trailer

As always, a great selection of extras from Arrow and was delighted to see they’d carried over the audio commentaries from previous releases, as well as adding new features.

Each film comes with a HD BD and SD DVD version of the film and this box set also contains a rather nice hardback book entitled “The House Companion” by author, superfan and webmaster of RogerCobbsHouse website Simon Barbar, containing 147 pages of linear notes, artwork, behind the scenes and production stills.

If you love the House films, this UK box set is a must. It is a limited edition set though, so grab it while you can.

The "House 1-4 : Complete Collection Box Set" is out now from Arrow Video.

Buy the UK BD/DVD box set from


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