Taking the Blu(e) out of the Blu-ray

Taking the Blu(e) out of the Blu-ray

Taking the Blu(e) out of the Blu-ray

📅18 May 2015, 13:15

Oh the Blu-ray! The clearest picture you could see your favorite movies in, or at least it once was. Keep in mind that apparently in 2015, 50% or so of Americans still own VCRs (for some that is the only thing they own) and as recent as 2010, only 17% of us apparently had a Blu-ray player in the house and most have just gotten one because the new game system comes with one built-in. So, yeah, the DVD is probably still the best-selling movie format out there unless you just stream stuff on Netflix (many do). None the less, people trying to sell Blu-rays have found a way to push a few extra one. They are simply making the cases in different colors.

As we all know, for many years the Blu-ray case was just blue. I have to admit the name was cool and the cases looked cool when we first got them, but after many years that did get old. Unless, you’ve been living in a rock or one of those wacky folks who still don’t own a Blu-ray player, here is what a basic Blu-ray case looks like.


There were a couple different options out there for a while besides the thinner Blu-ray case and the thicker Blu-ray case. Still stuck in the DVD days a bit, box sets were originally released in fold-out cases, which gave us the very hard to receive in the mail without damaged Omen box set.


There was of course the “Book” cases we got stuff like the Stanley Kubrick Blu-ray set in, thankfully this wasn’t as awful for Blu-rays as it was for DVDs because Blu-rays don’t scratch as easy and God knows about every DVD discs in a set like this usually got some damage, even if it didn’t end up making them skip.


Of course there was the most popular alternative for the format. The time old trick that would make you double dip for the very same disc you have owned since the DVD days, the Steelbook! Now you also have the fact that some are exclusive to certain stores as well.


Now, however, the business needs more of a hook to try to get people to actually buy something instead of simply download it, so they came up with the best trick yet to get us to buy something. They simply changed the color of the Blu-ray cases. One of the first alternatives I’ve seen (not counting the PS3 cases we’ll talk about in a minute) was the yellow Blu-ray cases from UK’s Shameless Screen Entertainment. Odds are they managed to get you to buy a cut Cannibal Holocaust and New York Ripper by just using the yellow case.


Criterion has always been ahead of the curve in a lot of ways. Their jump to Blu-rays was also done a way not typical to everyone else, because they released their movies in a clear case that actually doesn’t say “Blu-ray” on the top. As a matter of fact, the cover actually takes up the entire front! Not only that, but they also come with booklets and a cool slipcase in most cases. slipcases, another trick used these days to push first run units. Now I’m not sure the official names of these cases, but just call them “Criterion cases” and you can buy them on the criterion site.


When Grindhouse Releasing got the ball rolling again on release, they also decided to go with these cases.


And now Severin has done the same, releasing two Jess Franco titles on Blu-ray in the same cases with a slip to compliment them.

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When the PS3 came out, you might have noticed that came in clear cases of their own. The greatest hits games cam in red cases. Finally someone came up with the idea to release Blu-rays in these cases as well. There has been a few releases in the clear cases (usually these have “Blu-ray” at the top), but one of the most common was releasing 3D Blu-rays in these cases. Below, you’ll see the SAW release. A franchise that doesn’t shy away from different looking releases as far as cases go.


Severin also released Santa Sangre (the second run of them) in these cases.


UK’s 88 Films is now in the mix releasing their Italian Horror Collection in these cases.




Twilight TimeĀ even got in on the clear case mix recently



Arrow recently hit the USA giving their own version of the clear case. These are thicker and lack the Blu-ray name being colored in.


Next to the old fashion blue Blu-ray case, the red Blu-ray might be becoming the next most common variant. Originally being seen in PS3 Greatest Hits releases, some are thicker than others, but the first big red case release I recall was when Blue Underground released the first run of SNUFF in a thick red case.


Mondo Macabro even jumped in on those having a limited run of their The Fan release coming in a red case.


88 Films are releasing their Slasher Collection titles in red cases!


Even the bigger brands out there have gotten in on the red case mix, with such releases as Birdman and other release now coming in red cases!


Black Blu-ray cases might be the coolest of the bunch and I’m really not sure when they started. I know a lot Japanese releases come in them, like the recent Night of the Living Dead Blu-ray release from Japan


You may recall these cases being used for the Scream Factory/Anchor Bay Halloween box-set! (Even with these being an echo friendly version, which is a rant for another day)


Even indie horror is getting in on the black cases with Mr. Rape’s First Date getting a limited black case release. These do seem to be a different version of the case.


Finally let us take a look at the green Blu-ray case! If memory serves me right, I think we first saw these with the Blu-ray release of The Hulk! (Yes, Green Lantern got in on the mix as well)


You’d assume Troma would be the perfect fit for green cases and when they advertised their first Blu-ray release, they were advertised in green. Sadly, those weren’t in green. It wasn’t until the Anchor Bay release of Troma’s Return to Nuke ‘Em High that we saw a Troma movie come in a green case.

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Thankfully after, they’ve at least kept the Toxic Avenger movies in the green cases.


88 Films in UK have done the same!


What do you guys think? Do you like the variant in Blu-ray releases? Did I miss any?

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