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Monday, January 16, 2017

Favorite Blu-ray Slip Sleeves of 2016


Slip sleeves (or slip covers) have been around since the early days of dvd. Sometimes they are there to pretty up an otherwise crappy package (they used to announced as special features) or they are used to enhance an already special package.

Either way they are there and as a collector it is my duty to talk about my favorites. Later on I think that I am going to do a favorite slips of all time post. But here are My Favorite Slips of 2016.




1.) The Hateful Eight (Anchor Bay)



While The Hateful Eight delighted fans of Tarantino, but ultimately was a disappointment at the box office, The Hateful Eight arrived on blu-ray at the end of March with guns a-blazin'. Sure there wasn't much in the way of special features (and the features that were on the disc were promotional items found on YouTube. No, the guns were drawn by the slip sleeve itself.



Featuring a beautiful matte finish, the slip is a sight to behold. Featuring one of the many theatrical posters as it's cover art, the slip also features embossing on the front, with the title of the film and Samuel L. Jackson's back being raised.



The front cover also opens up to reveal another of the film's theatrical posters. Featuring all of the characters from the film, this added "flap" gives the film, and the blu-ray, a nicer, classier look.


2. Pieces (Grindhouse Releasing)



Grindhouse Releasing has been on a role over the past year or two. Not only have we gotten Pieces this year, but we also have gotten The Beyond and Cat in the Brain.

The Pieces slip is beautiful. I remember the day that it came out (March 1st). I was sitting in my living room. I was incredibly sick, but I knew when the mail came, so I dragged myself to the living room where my wife was. After about half an hour I could hear stuff being put into the mailbox. My wife went and got the mail and there was a package for me. I knew what it was. I carefully opened the padded envelope and took out the contents. I stared at it for a little bit. I thought to myself "This is one of most gorgeous slips I have ever seen.



It is a work of beauty. On the cover, the chainsaw wielding individual is embossed, but strangely, the title is not. That does not matter to me though as it makes the slip stand out.



The back of the slip has some more embossing, this time around the pictures on the back. The card stock that this slip was made from is a thicker than usual stock that makes the slip stand out among a crowd. Anyone I show this slip to is amazed by the beauty of the whole thing.


3.) Ash vs Evil Dead (Anchor Bay)



Anchor Bay seems to be stepping up their game when it comes to slips. They used to not include them with a blu-ray release and now they are producing some of the best slips out there.

The slip for Ash vs Evil Dead is beautiful, but also trippy and headache inducing. The lenticular cover art simulates a flash of lightning. This gives the slip a strikingly original look, but if you move it around too fast then you will get very lightheaded.



None of that really matters as this is a slip that rivals even the major studios. Plus, you can just put the slip down if it makes you sick.

4.) Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie




I was not expecting too much from Discotek. I fact, I wasn't expect anything at all. Discotek had been talking for more than a year about how their Street Fighter II blu-ray was going to put other blus to shame and that it was going to be the definitive version of the film.

So you can tell what my thoughts were when this showed up on my doorstep.

While there is no embossing of any sort on this slip, it is still beautiful. The gathering of some of the characters from the film and the color scheme chosen (white) is wonderful. Everything comes together on this slip and, better yet, it is different from the cover art found on the case. While that cover art is a little bit simpler, it is the slip that helps sell the film.

5.) The Mutilator (Arrow Video)



Arrow Video is known for giving films that extra added bonus. Whether it be the booklet inside (which every release gets, most for a limited time) or a kick ass slip, Arrow makes every release feel a bit more special.

The Mutilator is not different. The cover art features the theatrical poster (people hanging from hooks in the wall, while the killer shows us the giant hook he is going to use of them) and one of the best tag lines I have ever seen (By Sword, By Pick, By Axe, Bye Bye). The best thing about this slip is the matte finish to the whole deal.

The slip feels like an old book and that seems fitting as this is an old film. Everything about this slip is great and if you can get your hands on one then I know that you will feel the same way.

6.) Kubo and the Two Strings (Universal)



Universal is not really known for making slips of the same caliber as Scream Factory, Arrow Video, or Grindhouse Releasing, but they have had some beautiful slips nonetheless and Kubo is one of them.

Featuring one of the theatrical posters, Kubo and the Two Strings looks like a plain Jane slip. It is when you get up close and personal to the slip that you can marvel at it's beauty.



Featuring embossed lettering all around, the slip is a step above many of the other studio releases. Add to that a great color scheme and the fact that the company used a theatrical poster for their blu-ray release (which is something that Universal actually does more often than not on their new releases) and you have a real winner from a major studio.

7.) Blood Diner (Lionsgate)




The release of Blood Diner (and Chopping Mall) marked the return of Lionsgate to releasing catalog titles. To some, including me, their pricing structure (the same employed by smaller companies like Scream Factory and Arrow Video) is ridiculous, but they do give us some really nice looking slips.

Featuring the original theatrical poster art, this slip has a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints, but is nice to look at. Even the Vestron logo doesn't take away from the beauty of the slip. If Lionsgate would bring the cost of each blu-ray down a bit ($24.99 to $39.99 is a hard pill to swallow, but Lionsgate knows that we will pay it) and Lionsgate would make more because they will sell more. I love the slip nonetheless and look forward to 2017's releases from them.


So there are my favorite slip sleeves of 2016. With all of these companies having product due for release this year, it will be very interesting what type of slips we are going to get and how they will look.
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