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Whatever happened to Blue Underground...?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Will*B

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Posted January 06 2007 - 02:44 AM

After several years of bringing out some of the best genre DVDs ever released, including the absolutely amazing Mondo Cane Collection and their stunning Mark of the Devil release, Blue Underground seems to have gone very quiet.... Whatever happened to all their forthcoming releases, particularly the anamorphic reissues of Tenebre and other Argento favorites? Blue Underground used to be the Criterion of cult and horror DVD releases - I hope nothing bad's happened! Any thoughts....?
 

 


#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted January 06 2007 - 03:21 AM

They did just release Daughters of Darkness however when you pop over to their Coming Soon link there is nothing......hmm.
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#3 of 24 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 06 2007 - 07:46 AM

I think they're releasing Maniac on January 30. Amazon's specs (which could be wrong) make the extras look the same as Anchor Bay's disc though.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted January 06 2007 - 08:15 AM

They are re-releasing several Argento titles in Feb. but sadly they are the same thing that Anchor Bay released (non-anamorphic). The only thing coming from them are the OOP Anchor Bay titles. Rumor has it that they're on their way out but I'm not sure where this rumor started or how true it is.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   CameronMcC

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Posted January 07 2007 - 10:32 AM

the sales sheet from ryko list them as anamorphic.... INFERNO - 1.85:1/16:9 5.1 2.0 extras include: interview with writer/director argento theatrical trailer still gallery talent bios DEEP RED - 2.35:1/16:9 5.1 english & italian 2.0 extras: 25th anniversay featurette italian theatrical trailer us theatrical trailer talent bios SHOCK - 1.85:1/16:9 mono (english, italian & french) extras: interview with writer/asst. director lamberto bava italian trailer us beyond the door II tv spots talent bios CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD - 1.85:1/16:9 5.1 2.0 extras: theatrical trailer stil gallery/radio spots lucio fulci bios DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING - 2.35:1/16:9 mono extras: lucio fulci bio AUTOPSY - 1.85:1/16:9 mono (english & italian) extras: international "the victim" trailer us theatrical trailer ONLY 14.95 EACH AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY -------------------------------------------------------------------- I believe that Severin, Casa Negra, and Mondo Macabre have ties to former blue underground employees. I wish Blue Underground would keep their website up to date. It was a great site with trailers and easy to navigate the catalog...The Anchor Bay re-releases are welcome for those who missed them, and if they truly do have some anamorphic transfers. also announced for re-release March 27 are A Bullet for the General Texas, Adios Keoma

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Jay Gregory

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Posted January 07 2007 - 11:29 AM


I think former BU employees also went to NoShame, and I hope their output picks up soon -- their website indicates that the only Coming Soon title is Snackbar Budapest, and that has been listed there since I first visited their website.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   GregoryMesh

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Posted January 07 2007 - 09:30 PM

Never mind, it was posted above...

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   GregoryMesh

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Posted January 09 2007 - 12:27 PM

And looks like in April it's going to be more re-releases from Anchor Bay -
Lucio Fulci's The Black Cat, The House by the Cemetery, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Macabre.

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted January 09 2007 - 04:29 PM

I know that BU was going to obtain these titles after anchor bay's rights lapsed but they arent even offering new transfers? .....very odd.
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There's a human tendency to resent anyone who disagrees with our pleasures.  The less mature interpret that as a personal attack on themselves.
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#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Richard_Gregory

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Posted January 10 2007 - 02:45 AM

You have to wonder about a company that goes to the trouble and expense of obtaining the rights to a bunch of films and then decides not to release them - which is what happened when Blue Underground acquired the rights of all those Hammer titles from Anchor Bay! Rumour has it that the rights are now back with Anchor Bay who plan to re-release them with new transfers in 2007. Even more vaguely rumoured "new high-definition transfers". Now, whether that means high-definition transfer with a standard DVD release, or HD/BR release, or both, is another question. The phrase "high definition transfer" these days has become as pointless as "digitally remastered". I'm hoping very hard that AB will re-release the Hammers - for some of them they still remain the only choice, other releases either being horrible, or cut, or both. Particularly "The Satanic Rites of Dracula".

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Steve Warren

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Posted January 10 2007 - 07:33 AM

From my understanding,the rights to the Hammers in question always belonged to Bill Lustig. He brought them to Anchor Bay and they agreed to use them for a period of time. Once their contract expired, the films went to back to Lustig (ie. Blue Underground). He never re-released them because he didn't see the market for them or just didn't think he'd make money off of double dipping them with better transfers. I'm pretty sure the Hammer films that Anchor Bay is rumored to be re-releasing are a different batch of films and not the ones that Lustig reclaimed.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   CameronMcC

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Posted January 10 2007 - 08:56 AM

agreed^ Lustig had went on record saying that the Hammer titles would not be profitable on standard dvd in a double dip. I'd love for HTF to do a chat with Lustig on Blue Underground.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Elijah Sullivan

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Posted January 20 2007 - 06:00 PM

I thought I heard somewhere that re-releases of the OOP Argento titles were planned, and there was a rumor that Phenomena/Creepers was delayed because there are still a few scenes missing that they want to restore.

I really, really want to own this Argento title but it's OOP and the used copies run in excess of $50! Posted Image

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted January 21 2007 - 06:32 AM


These scenes are available in various imports. Either as an extra or added back into the film. Check www.xploitedcinema.com for various versions.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted January 21 2007 - 01:51 PM

That's not even remotely comparable. One could use a VHS tape as a source and still claim a DVD release has been "digitally remastered" since the simply process of making a DVD involves "digital mastering" regardless of source, but if you claim a "high definition transfer" then you know that at the source- whether it's a standard-def DVD release or not- the quality will be a pristine, HD master tape. Vincent

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted January 21 2007 - 01:53 PM

Yeah, it'd be awesome to hear him claim that his remixed soundtrack to SUSPIRIA is the correct one yet again... Vincent

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Mike Heenan

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Posted January 21 2007 - 02:15 PM

Was the original soundtrack included? If so, who cares about the remixed one.

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   JeffMc

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Posted January 21 2007 - 02:51 PM

Vincent is the expert on this one. But to answer your question, NO, the DVD does not include the original sound mix. I was lucky enough to see it in Quadrophonic mag-stereo at a special theatrical engagement in the late 70's . I hope someday a DVD will somehow recapture that experience, or at least contain all the dialog and sound effects intact.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Ali B

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Posted January 22 2007 - 03:15 AM

They have been quietly re-releasing the contents of the limited edition Mondo Cane boxset for a while now - I think you can pick up the whole thing (in 3 different boxes mind) for about $30 now. It'll be interesting to see whether the re-releases of the spaghetti westerns (Texas Addio etc etc) will just be the same old discs repacked or new transfers. Maybe they could even release some new SWs?

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Anthony Thorne

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Posted January 22 2007 - 08:41 AM

The western re-releases will likely be the same transfers, and Blue Underground definitely won't be doing any more spaghetti western releases in the future. Lustig mentioned the $$ figure for the restoration of each of those (it was huge) and they only just broke even with the western box. Lustig mentioned that further spaghetti western titles might have less of a fanbase, less of a likely market, and therefore less chance of recouping any restoration costs, therefore he won't be doing any more. The mondo box also cost a lot of money to produce, and I've heard that it didn't do as well as hoped. As I understand it, the answer to the "Whatever happened to.." question in the title of this thread is that Lustig's perfectionist instincts when it came to restoring titles meant that the company spent quite a lot of money on their releases, sales on a couple of high-profile items like the mondo box didn't match those expenses, key personnel like David Gregory decided to move on for various reasons, the DVD market is not what it was, there's reportedly a glut of horror titles available on DVD, and the number of absolutely essential cult DVD horror/exploitation titles that (a.) haven't yet been released on DVD, and (b.) haven't been snapped up by one of the many other cult DVD companies (Synapse, Subversive, NoShame, MPI, Panik House etc.) are starting to become thin on the ground. I'm happy that Lustig decided to re-do DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS with a proper transfer but it's anyone's guess where BU goes from here. For what it's worth, with Panik House digging deeper into Japanese exploitation, MPI releasing stuff like KILL BABY KILL and Anchor Bay reportedly having a heap of Bava remasters in the works, numerous Spanish/Paul Naschy titles due out shortly plus Severin pursuing a lot of exotic Eurocult releases (dig their upcoming EMANUELLE boxes), folks who liked BU's titles should find a lot of similar quality releases in 2007 to keep them going. I'm hoping that the rumour of Anchor Bay re-doing PHENOMENA and TENEBRE with 16x9/DTS bells-and-whistles later this year is true though.




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