Digest: Katzman collection; 'Angel' flies
Celebrated B-movie producer Sam Katzman is finally getting a little respect. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Oct. 16 will release "The Sam Katzman Collection" as the latest entry in its "Icons of Horror" DVD series. The two-disc set includes four of Katzman's most notorious features from the mid- and late 1950s, none of them previously available on DVD: "The Giant Claw," a sci-fi thriller about a giant bird from outer space; "Zombies of Mora Tau"; "Creature With the Atom Brain"; and "The Werewolf." The set also comes with the original theatrical trailers for all four films as well as a chapter from Katzman's 1951 serial version of "Mysterious Island" and two shorts, 1936's "Midnight Blunders" and the 1959 cartoon "Terror Faces Magoo."
"Angel" is the latest TV show to get the complete series treatment. All five seasons of the supernatural drama will be released together in a 30-disc collector's box on Oct. 30 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The collection includes all 110 episodes, plus such extras as a personally signed letter to fans from creator Joss Whedon and a companion booklet.
Lionsgate is giving consumers a heavy dose of the gruesome horror franchise "Saw" in time for Halloween. The mini-major on Oct. 23 will release on DVD a director's cut of "Saw III" and a trilogy pack of all three films. "Saw III: Director's Cut" includes such bonus materials as a trivia game, a music video featuring star Shawnee Smith and a how-to featurette on "Looking Tortured Make-up."
Coming Sept. 25 from the Criterion Collection is "Cinema16: European Short Films," a collection of rare and never-before-seen films by such directors as Ridley Scott, Lars von Trier and Christopher Nolan. The two-disc set also includes other shorts, such as Toby MacDonald's "Je T'aime John Wayne" and Juan Solanas' "The Man Without a Head," a Cannes Jury Prize winner.