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COONSKIN (1975) hits legit DVD at last, courtesy of Xenon!


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#1 of 10 Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted March 17 2012 - 02:05 PM

I just picked up a copy of this at Scarecrow Video in Seattle. I had no idea a legit DVD was in the works until i saw it on the shelf there today, and a little voice told me I'd better grab one. All I can say is, WOW. Well, maybe I'll say just a bit more. I have extremely fuzzy memories of this film from a viewing of the ancient VHS release 20 years ago, and the film didn't really resonate with me back then. So, I was quite unprepared for the masterpiece contained in this new DVD...sometimes a proper presentation can work wonders on a viewing experience. Xenon's anamorphic widescreen DVD presents COONSKIN in all its gritty, colorful gory glory, with every bit of the original film grain intact, just as it should be. No DNR scrubbing, just good old-fashioned film textures, and animation cel lines too. Looks wonderful on my 55" Samsung LED LCD, like I'm watching a mint 35mm original print at my own private drive-in. After seeing it like this, I'm now convinced that it's one of the finest, most artistically brilliant and hard-hitting American satires in film history. Kudos to all who worked on getting this release of Bakshi's magnum opus to happen. On the downside, if there's one film that needs extras to provide context and historical background, it's this one. And unfortunately, there are none to be found, unless you count the abominable quality non-anamorphic widescreen trailer for SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSSSS SONG that plays before the main menu appears. Oh well; the market for physical media being what it is these days, we're extremely lucky this appeared on actual pressed DVD at all. Looks great, sounds great, it's complete and uncensored, and the cover is based on the original poster art. As the chances of this hitting Blu are most likely nil, I'd encourage all you Bakshi fans to snap this up immediately, 'cause you're gonna LOVE it.

#2 of 10 Russell G

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Posted March 23 2012 - 06:53 AM

Good enough for me, especially at the $12 it's on at amazon.ca. I was leery to pre-order it since I hadn't heard of the company that released this (and suspected it would be vapor-ware), now I can't wait to re-watch it. After only having a 4th gen VHS copy for years, this is going to be fun. I ordered it along with the Blu of WIzards, Bakshi Double Feature, here I come!


Thanks for popping in and giving a heads up!


Now we need Warners to do a Baksi Blu Boxset with Heavy Traffic and all the other., I think Warners own them. Maybe Fox through MGM now? I only remember the big clam shells from the VHS days, I'm sure they were Warners. "Hey Good Lookin'!" was anyways. Maybe Heavy Traffic was Columbia...


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#3 of 10 Louis Letizia

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Posted March 23 2012 - 07:33 AM

Now we need Warners to do a Baksi Blu Boxset with Heavy Traffic and all the other., I think Warners own them. Maybe Fox through MGM now? I only remember the big clam shells from the VHS days, I'm sure they were Warners. "Hey Good Lookin'!" was anyways. Maybe Heavy Traffic was Columbia...

MGM could make a nice Blu threepak with Fritz the Cat, Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat & Heavy Traffic. They "were" on WB VHS when Warner had a deal with American International *Island of Dr. Moreau,Meteor , Love at First Bite and others were all in WB clamshells before MGM got control of the AIP library. WB would be better off doing an off beat animation Blu box set with Bakshi's Hey Good Looking, the great Lucas produced Twice Upon a Time (which never even made SD DVD) , a feature packed Watership Down and Volare Volere.

#4 of 10 Russell G

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Posted March 23 2012 - 07:38 AM

I'd take the Fritz pack, though Nine Lives is terrible. I'd take the gonzo WB set to.


MGM/WB, please hire Louis and get on this. Thanks! Posted Image


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#5 of 10 Jon Baker

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Posted April 17 2012 - 03:18 AM

Does anyone else think the film looks like it was cropped? It seems that some of the animation is cut off at the top and bottom as if this was originally full screen and it was cropped to look widescreen. Has anyone else noticed this?

#6 of 10 Russell G

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Posted April 17 2012 - 03:34 AM

I didn't notice it it, it looked all right to me. I watched it on Sunday and loved how good it looked and sounded. There is a chance that this was open matte on VHS and now it's cropped proper.


It's hard to say, it's a typical Bakshi mess of a movie, and I mean that with all the love in the world. :)




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#7 of 10 Jon Hertzberg

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Posted April 17 2012 - 05:48 AM

I think it was actually Orion that WHV had the deal with. Filmways and AIP were, of course, subsumed under Orion in the early '80s. [quote name="Louis Letizia" url="/t/319383/coonskin-1975-hits-legit-dvd-at-last-courtesy-of-xenon#post_3909922"][QUOTE]They "were" on WB VHS when Warner had a deal with American International *Island of Dr. Moreau,Meteor , Love at First Bite and others were all in WB clamshells before MGM got control of the AIP library.[/quote]

#8 of 10 ahollis

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Posted April 17 2012 - 09:08 AM



Originally Posted by Jon Hertzberg 

I think it was actually Orion that WHV had the deal with. Filmways and AIP were, of course, subsumed under Orion in the early '80s.



Filmways purchased AIP in 1979 and it was just one of many companies they acquired.  Of course, Filmways made it's money from producing hit TV shows, such as Mr. Ed, Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Adams Family and Petticoat Junction.  Filmways wanted to get into the film business and used the purchase of AIP was a way to that goal  Since Filmways did not have great distribution unit set up and most of AIP distribution outlets were just local independents, they made a deal for WB to distribute until they could get set up. AIP first distributed METEOR then after the sale, WB handled the remaining few markets as they did for some other titles, but it was just a theatrical agreement.  In 1981 Filmways fell into debt and filed chapter 10 during which they unloaded their publishing companies and a game show production company.  In 1982 Orion, who wanted to do their own distribution after being disappointed with their Warner Brothers deal, purchased Filmways assets.  Orion had control of the AIP/Filmways product until 1998 when it was sold to MGM.  They also had a deal in place for the first three or four years to let Warners release any of their home entertainment product.  Orion's purchase price for Filmways was less than 30 million.  A steal with all those AIP titles IMHO.


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#9 of 10 Russell G

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Posted April 17 2012 - 09:14 AM

Well now we know about the aspect ratio being cropped on the DVD...


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#10 of 10 Jon Hertzberg

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Posted April 19 2012 - 06:46 AM

Thanks, Allen. I knew that AIP was digested by Filmways, which was, in turn, digested by Orion (newly freed from WB). Didn't realize the Filmways / AIP video deal with WHV was separate from Orion.

Filmways purchased AIP in 1979 and it was just one of many companies they acquired.  Of course, Filmways made it's money from producing hit TV shows, such as Mr. Ed, Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Adams Family and Petticoat Junction.  Filmways wanted to get into the film business and used the purchase of AIP was a way to that goal  Since Filmways did not have great distribution unit set up and most of AIP distribution outlets were just local independents, they made a deal for WB to distribute until they could get set up. AIP first distributed METEOR then after the sale, WB handled the remaining few markets as they did for some other titles, but it was just a theatrical agreement.  In 1981 Filmways fell into debt and filed chapter 10 during which they unloaded their publishing companies and a game show production company.  In 1982 Orion, who wanted to do their own distribution after being disappointed with their Warner Brothers deal, purchased Filmways assets.  Orion had control of the AIP/Filmways product until 1998 when it was sold to MGM.  They also had a deal in place for the first three or four years to let Warners release any of their home entertainment product.  Orion's purchase price for Filmways was less than 30 million.  A steal with all those AIP titles IMHO.






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