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Horrific 2008 Halloween helpings of classic horror/sci-fi?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 of 23 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted May 26 2008 - 03:33 AM

Well it might not turn out to be a great season for classic horror/sci-fi fans this Halloween. Solid rumors at the Classic horror on DVD boards indicate that the MGM Midnite Movie line is dead, yet again. Posted Image More bad news (rumor) is that there will be no genre titles from Universal this fall, no sci-fi/horror collections, no Island of Lost Souls, Posted Image , etc)

So aside from indications of a vague horror set in the works from Warner which may be a Legends of Horror Vol #2, iffy rumors of a Columbia Hammer Horror set and a rumor earlier in the year that Classic Media might be releasing Rodan and War of the Gargantuas, is there anything else rumored as in the works?

Are the golden days of collecting classic genre/cult titles on disc over?

I'm honestly grateful for the plethora of classic sci-fi/horror that we've gotten over the past 11+ years but it's a shame that these sort of titles are drying up so close to the finishing line.







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#2 of 23 OFFLINE   bob kaplan

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Posted May 26 2008 - 03:57 AM

Jim,
i am also interested in the "classic" material that pre-dated the slice-em'-and dice-'em stuff that followed. LaserDisc was amazing considering that it was a niche market and still supported titles like: THE GORGON, THE QUARTERMASS EXPERIEMENT, ISLE OF LOST SOULS, etc.
i think in part do to the marketing goals of IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT, and the ability of it to get companys like SONY to allow it release some great stuff. i am sure that had to pay royalites to SONY and yet were able to make a bit of a profit on the release of the title. If Universal and Sony did release the "wished" for titles...at least they have no royalities pay....at least i think!!!

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted May 27 2008 - 01:20 AM

Well Bob there may be some hope with companies like Legend licensing the titles that Universal, Paramount or MGM don't think is worth the effort. Posted Image

Judging the responses my thread generated, Posted Image aside from me, you and the folks Classic Horror board there doesn't seem to be much interest here on HTF for these types of films Posted Image Posted Image . Go figure.

Hate to say it but maybe MGM and Uni are right in pulling the plug. I mean how can these dusty oldies compete with most people's attention span against the latest vomit inducing torture porn Posted Image and craptastic teen scream slasher remake. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

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#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted May 27 2008 - 01:26 AM

My children and I are hoping that Halloweentown 5 (or at least the fifth film in the series) is released in time for the Halloween season. I've heard rumors of this one being released, but nothing definite yet. Posted Image

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   bob kaplan

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Posted May 27 2008 - 02:44 AM

Hey Jim,

how do you really feel about the "horror" titles that are in the theater today? Posted Image

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted May 27 2008 - 06:52 AM

There are so many classic sci-fi & horror titles that have not been released yet on DVD, that it's a shame there isn't more of an effort to get them on DVD. I only hope that companies like Legend can get the rights to some more of these.

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted June 03 2008 - 01:49 AM

Speaking strictly about 1930s-40s titles, there aren't many 'A' pictures left to release on DVD. I'd say Island of Lost Souls, The Uninvited, and The Picture of Dorian Gray are the only true 3.5/4 star films left. The print for IofLS's laserdisc release has deteriorated to such a point that costly restoration is needed to bring the film to DVD. The Uninvited could show up as a Cinema Classics release from Universal. And I've no doubt Dorian Gray will be out from Warner Bros at some point - it's a prestige picture that won an Oscar for cinematography.

If in fact Warners releases The Beast With Five Fingers and The Walking Dead this year and Fox releases Dr Renault's Secret (as hinted on their classic films website), I don't think we'll see much more in the way of 30/40s stuff after this year. I'd love Warners to release all they have, but I'm not holding my breath for The Smiling Ghost or The Mysterious Doctor. I'm looking at 2008 as being the last year (at least for a while) of Classic Horror on DVD.

I feel bad for the people who missed on the 1990s video boom (VHS and Laserdisc wise) of the Universal Horrors: VHS tapes of The Mad Ghoul and House of Horrors; beautiful gatefold laserdisc double features, such as Murders in the Rue Morgue/Island of Lost Souls, etc. For people just getting into collecting, whether due to age or finances, they have to search ebay or flea markets in order to find the more obscure horrors. With few exceptions, there are no more Saturday night Creature Feature type programs on television to offer a way to see such films. And if Turner Classic Movies runs a Universal 30/40s horror film it's usually an A picture such as Bride of Frankenstein. There are few options available for someone who just discovered the joys of classic horror, and the market has "conspired" to limit an eager student's education.

I hope something happens to change the market for these films. But, hey, at least will probably get another release of The Wolf Man next year to tie in with the big screen remake. I wonder if we could start a petition for a remake of The Mad Ghoul?
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#8 of 23 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted June 03 2008 - 02:16 PM

Jim, i love the old horror the best. But hell, id be happy if i could get Night of the Creeps this fall!

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   James 'Tiger' Lee

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Posted June 03 2008 - 10:57 PM

I wonder if the solution to classic Hollywood genre films is to include one as an extra on dvds of new films. Lets say Universal makes a movie next year about, I don't know, Bushwacking Zombies. Why not include Murders In The Zoo as an extra? Then you get TWO markets buying the dvd! I suggested this on some forums, and frankly, they seemed too upset about buying the new film to care about getting the old one. Hey, we have to make sacrifices!

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   JohnPM

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Posted June 04 2008 - 08:44 AM

Fox is releasing a "Creepy Classics" set on September 16 which will include "Dr. Renault's Secret", "Chandu The Magician", and "Dragonwyck".

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#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted June 04 2008 - 09:01 AM

I'm not exactly known for being optimistic, but I have to be positive here and say that just because Universal isn't continuing their "HORROR ARCHIVES COLLECTION" in 2008, this doesn't necessarily mean they're all finished forever! We may still see titles like THE MAD GHOUL, HOUSE OF HORRORS, JUNGLE WOMAN, THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE, MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET, MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, MURDERS IN THE ZOO, THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL, THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE, CURSE OF THE UNDEAD.... etc....etc.... maybe in 2009 or 2010.

I've been reading this "throwing in the towel" attitude on different message boards, and I don't get it. I mean, it hasn't even been a year yet since we got the HORROR ARCHIVES VOL. 1 set which featured MAN-MADE MONSTER, CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN, and several others. So maybe it's just a temporary lull.

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Jim Peavy

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Posted June 04 2008 - 11:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
...just because Universal isn't continuing their "HORROR ARCHIVES COLLECTION" in 2008, this doesn't necessarily mean they're all finished forever! We may still see titles like THE MAD GHOUL, HOUSE OF HORRORS, JUNGLE WOMAN, THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE, MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET, MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, MURDERS IN THE ZOO, THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL...
I agree with Joe. though I ain't exactly on pins & needles waiting for any of the films he mentioned to be released (I'd like to see The Monster and the Girl), I think Universal will get around to releasing another "Archive Collection" sooner rather than later. They gotta know there's a market.
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#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted June 05 2008 - 05:17 PM

Well, if the Midnight Movies series is indeed closing down (again), I surely hope BURN WITCH BURN and BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW emerge under a different moniker. We've waited far too long for these titles.

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   James 'Tiger' Lee

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Posted June 05 2008 - 09:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Well, if the Midnight Movies series is indeed closing down (again), I surely hope BURN WITCH BURN and BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW emerge under a different moniker. We've waited far too long for these titles.

Both titles are avaliable in the UK

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Tim Tucker

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Posted June 06 2008 - 04:17 AM

Too bad about the Midnite Movie line. There are still a number of Midnite Movies that haven't made the leap from VHS to DVD yet:

The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)
Burn, Witch, Burn! (1962)
High School Hellcats (1958)
The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)
Master of the World (1961)
The Phantom Planet (1961)
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Plus MGM has other Hammer titles that are begging to be released.

Did last year's DVDs not sell well?

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#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted June 06 2008 - 04:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Well, if the Midnight Movies series is indeed closing down (again), I surely hope BURN WITCH BURN and BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW emerge under a different moniker. We've waited far too long for these titles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'Tiger' Lee
Both titles are avaliable in the UK

Indeed. Burn, Witch, Burn! is available under its original title, Night of the Eagle in a very good 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, which some think crops too much, ie. it should be 1.66:1, but I don't think it suffers to any significant degree.

Blood on Satan's Claw has a good SE from Anchor Bay UK and they transferred a good 35mm element - but sadly, NON-anamorphically. I have read that the video master was actually supplied by MGM USA, which wouldn't surprise me, as a few years back, MGM had a bad habit of 'forgetting' to transfer anamorphically, ie. The Pit and the Pendulum, Planet of the Vampires, etc. But as they delivered a gorgeous uncut transfer of Witchfinder General last year, I'd imagine that they'd do right by Blood on Satan's Claw in 2008. I'd imagine that many October releases from the Big Studios will be announced this month, so we'll see what's in store for Halloween.

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted June 06 2008 - 06:37 AM

I just discovered that there was a 1.78:1 anamorphic, PAL converted from NTSC it sounds like, as there is ghosting/combing, German DVD of Incredible Melting Man released in 2003, which seems to be OOP now, as Amazon.de don't list it. MGM provided the 16x9 video master.

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   bob kaplan

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Posted June 07 2008 - 03:36 AM

Just watched THE SKULL from Legend...i am sure that there are those who will complain about the transfer....but for those who want some of this grand ol' "stuff"...it's there...and its fun.

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted June 07 2008 - 09:27 PM

While I'm very disappointed we won't be seeing any more MMs or classic Uni collections anytime soon, the one up-side is this will force me to go back into my collection and get some more value out of the things I already own. Sad to say, but there are still plenty of things I haven't even watched once yet.
OTOH, I am greatly looking forward to Dragonwyck and War Of The Gargantuas. And if I can get Frankenstein 1970 and others from Warner and AB kicks out Phantasm on Bd, I'd be happy....enough.

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted June 08 2008 - 12:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
Indeed. Burn, Witch, Burn! is available under its original title, Night of the Eagle in a very good 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, which some think crops too much, ie. it should be 1.66:1, but I don't think it suffers to any significant degree.
I'm still watching the laser disc of this superior horror film. It has a commentary from co-author Richard Matheson, an optional "spook" intro by Paul Frees, and an alternative opening title, if I remember correctly. This film proves the rule that the power of suggestion on the mind is much scarier than anything that is explicitly shown. NIGHT OF THE EAGLE joins the company of THE INNOCENTS (1961) and THE HAUNTING (1963) in this regard. It's hugely under-rated, in my humble modest and unassuming opinion.

So where is a region 1 release? Port the supplements over from the laser disc and I'll Buy It Now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
Blood on Satan's Claw has a good SE from Anchor Bay UK and they transferred a good 35mm element - but sadly, NON-anamorphically. I have read that the video master was actually supplied by MGM USA, which wouldn't surprise me, ...
BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW is another of the most effective horror films ever made in merrie olde England. Full of folklore, myths, superstition, and things not quite right with nature in that pretty rural countryside. I bought the region 2 DVD. It's loaded with supplements. But I will gladly buy a region 1 if MGM has the good sense to release iit.


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