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AMC "Roger Corman Collection" set really sucks! Is there better source material?


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#1 of 19 Dick

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Posted March 14 2004 - 09:52 PM

Just rented (thank God did not buy) the 2-disc set from AMC (I should have guessed the DVD's would be the video equivilent of the AMC TV channel - i.e. as crappy as it gets). The four titles (BUCKET OF BLOOD; LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS; WASP WOMAN; THE TERROR) are excrement - blurry, no contrast, full of flaws - worse than a typical VHS tape). I really would like to own the first three titles (I don't much care for THE TERROR) and am wondering if there are decent transfers out there on some label? I assume they are public domain, but sometimes on label gets it right. Anyone?

#2 of 19 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted March 14 2004 - 11:15 PM

How's the quality on the other 'Classics' set w/ Piranha, Death Race, Hollywood Boulvd & Rock N Roll Highschool?

Anyone know if the version of Piranha is the same as the 20th Ann. Sp. Ed?

#3 of 19 Jay E

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:15 AM

Bucket of Blood is available in a nice print from MGM.

The best print of Little Shop of Horrors that I have yet seen is the Goodtimes DVD.

The Corman DVDs put out by New Concorde have pretty good prints, except they are fullscreen. I'm not sure if this is the correct OAR for films such as Death Race, Piranha, Hollywood Blvd...etc.

#4 of 19 Brian Kidd

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:41 AM

Yeah, in the case of the AMC line of cheapo DVDs, you get what you pay for. AMC basically licensed their name to a public domain distro that proceeded to flood WalMart with discs containing some of the worst transfers this side of Madacy. They're really that bad.
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#5 of 19 Randy A Salas

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:42 AM

Quote:
The Corman DVDs put out by New Concorde have pretty good prints, except they are fullscreen. I'm not sure if this is the correct OAR for films such as Death Race, Piranha, Hollywood Blvd...


New Concorde is owned by Corman, who has either directed or produced just about every film the label has released on DVD. He is often featured in interviews on the discs and writes short liner notes or an introduction for them. So whatever the movies' OAR, one assumes that open matte is the way he wants them presented on DVD.
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#6 of 19 CraigF

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Posted March 15 2004 - 03:54 AM

Quote:
How's the quality on the other 'Classics' set w/ Piranha, Death Race, Hollywood Boulvd & Rock N Roll Highschool?


I have this set, and it's pretty good IMO, as good as you'll find these films, better than some transfers I've seen. Asked about the set here a few times, no responses, so I guess not too many got it and it seems to be OOP already, wasn't available for long. FWIW, the version of RnRHS included is the one that often sells for more than the whole 4 disc set cost, for whatever reason...

It is the 20th ann. version of Piranha...BTW, aren't you selling this disc? Since you're in Canada I was looking at your traders, I have a bunch too but never get around to posting them...

These are all OAR, HB and RnRHS are WS but not anamorphic.

#7 of 19 Michael Elliott

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Posted March 15 2004 - 03:59 AM

Quote:
(BUCKET OF BLOOD; LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS; WASP WOMAN; THE TERROR)


BUCKET is best to get on the MGM disc but I've heard the Alpha disc is the same print. LITTLE SHOP has never looked "great" but the Goodtimes disc is the best out there. WASP WOMAN is out on around six discs but they all look very poor. The AMC transfer is on par with everything else I've seen. I've went through several copies of THE TERROR and this one here is certainly the worst in quality. I believe a studio called Master Tone put out the best version but this here is long out of print. Any other label should be pretty much the same (VHS transfer). Of course, the few scenes of it in TARGETS looks wonderful but who knows if anyone will step up and remaster it. It would be nice if Criterion could do a double feature of THE TERROR and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

#8 of 19 Jay E

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Posted March 15 2004 - 04:54 AM

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So whatever the movies' OAR, one assumes that open matte is the way he wants them presented on DVD.


I disagree with you, I would never assume this. I would rather go by what the director says or how it was presented in the theater. Corman might have released these full screen due to monetary reasons & not artistic. Piranha was released OAR on DVD in the UK.

#9 of 19 Randy A Salas

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Posted March 15 2004 - 05:21 AM

Quote:
I would rather go by what the director says or how it was presented in the theater.


If you check the DVD for Piranha, there is a note explaining why it is presented full-screen, according to director Joe Dante.

Quote:
Corman might have released these full screen due to monetary reasons & not artistic.


Why is one mutually exclusive of the other? Corman's whole career is predicated on spending as little money as possible to make as much money as possible. Again, these are Corman's films, produced if not directed. He is presenting them on DVD the way he wants them; it's his label, complete with the series banner The Roger Corman Collection. If there were money to be made from a widescreen version, given his history, you can bet Corman would release them that way, too.

Quote:
Piranha was released OAR on DVD in the UK.

And yet director Joe Dante approved the full-screen U.S. release.

As I said on another DVD forum, pretend that Corman is Stanley Kubrick, and then his authorized full-screen releases will be all right.
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#10 of 19 Jay E

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Posted March 15 2004 - 05:49 AM

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Corman's whole career is predicated on spending as little money as possible to make as much money as possible.


Which is why I question the full screen releases of these films.

I just find it funny that almost all of his DVD releases are full frame. I'm sorry I just don't see any "artistic" decision in this.

#11 of 19 CraigF

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Posted March 15 2004 - 05:58 AM

My understanding is that Piranha was shot full screen, so if presented in WS it is "fake WS" (excuse my technical language Posted Image ), as has happened to some other FS films, so OAR is 1.33:1 if you go by how it was shot at least (don't know if that means much, different than how it's presented sometimes, but the director should know).

#12 of 19 Randy A Salas

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Posted March 15 2004 - 06:36 AM

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Which is why I question the full screen releases of these films.

I just find it funny that almost all of his DVD releases are full frame. I'm sorry I just don't see any "artistic" decision in this.


So even though Corman is a budget hound, he never produced anything artistic or makes artistic decisions? That's absurd.

Arguably his best film is The Intruder. It's the only film he ever made that didn't turn a profit, he says. He released it on DVD on his own New Concorde label--with a widescreen presentation.

Why is it so hard to accept that Corman's films on his DVD label are presented the way he wants? I'm not saying you or I have to like that decision, but it's his call to make. Again, if he could make more money by releasing a widescreen version, he would do it if sales were his sole driving force behind the DVD presentation.
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#13 of 19 Jay E

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Posted March 15 2004 - 07:02 AM

We just have a disagreement on this Randy.

Until I know that the directors who shot these films ,(and not the producer or studio), would rather have them on DVD fullscreen, I'm going to question their presentation.

CraigF - many films are shot 1:1.33 but are intended for release at OAR 1:1.85. This is why some films that are fullscreen on DVD are open matte. That doesn't mean that they are correctly presented on DVD (ie: boom mikes appearing in shots,etc.).

#14 of 19 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:21 PM

Quote:
I have this set, and it's pretty good IMO, as good as you'll find these films, better than some transfers I've seen. Asked about the set here a few times, no responses, so I guess not too many got it and it seems to be OOP already, wasn't available for long. FWIW, the version of RnRHS included is the one that often sells for more than the whole 4 disc set cost, for whatever reason..

It is the 20th ann. version of Piranha...

BTW, aren't you selling this disc? Since you're in Canada I was looking at your traders, I have a bunch too but never get around to posting them...

These are all OAR, HB and RnRHS are WS but not anamorphic.


Thanks for the insight Craig, the set is OOP already??

I am selling my Piranha Ann. disc but only because I wanted to purchase this Corman box-set!

I'm really dissappointed that it's gone out of print so soon, I was hoping to pick this up retail but I guess I'll have to start searching online now and scoop it up quickly.

Do you have any idea if there's a re-issue in the works?

#15 of 19 Cees Alons

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:35 PM

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pretend that Corman is Stanley Kubrick, and then his authorized full-screen releases will be all right.
Maybe. But then pretend that he's George Lucas, changing a few things...


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#16 of 19 CraigF

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:35 PM

Sorry Marco, I have no ideas about its status, found very little info about the set before it came out even but pre-ordered it anyway. Was not at all disappointed, except that I always find Corman's movies too short...

deepdiscountDVD still lists the set as available, bear in mind I didn't check everywhere, just the places I normally order from. This is just a repackaging of existing discs, the best of existing R1 versions, a couple of which I found impossible to get elsewhere, probably as you did.

#17 of 19 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted March 15 2004 - 01:42 PM

Thanks Craig,

Video Universe seems to be offering it for pretty cheap and it shows it in stock so I'll be definitely placing an order this week. I hate ordering box-sets online though, they always arrive banged up!

Oh well...

Thanks again for the info, I might have otherwise missed out.

:}

#18 of 19 Paul_Scott

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Posted March 15 2004 - 01:53 PM

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Why is it so hard to accept that Corman's films on his DVD label are presented the way he wants? I'm not saying you or I have to like that decision, but it's his call to make. Again, if he could make more money by releasing a widescreen version, he would do it if sales were his sole driving force behind the DVD presentation.


Randy, New Concorde is one of the worst dvd producers out there.
i'm heartbroken that one of my favorite films is under their domain -as an OAR release (if it ever is released) is in no way guarunteed.
i've had several titles and all were cropped to some extent (not unmatted).

even more troubling, i recently unloaded a copy of Peter Bogdanovichs excellant Saint Jack, and while it was in its OAR, it was non anamorphic, and worse- it was one of the ugliest transfers i have ever seen.
it was shameful how bad it was.
this was part of his "Director's Series".
what a joke.
Corman gives me every impression that he is dumping dvds with the same cheapjack sensiblitiy that marked his producing/directing career, except some of those made up in creativity what they lacked in resources or polish.

#19 of 19 Jon Baker

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Posted December 25 2012 - 03:52 AM

How are the Drive-in Collection releases? Has anyone seen the transfers on these? I know Little Shop and Terror have better releases, but I am mainly interested in the other Corman films from this series - T-Bird Gang, Swamp Women, etc.


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