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'ARMY OF DARKNESS The Bootleg Edition', why is the video so bad? (1 Viewer)

Inspector Hammer!

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I picked this up on Friday, and loved the movie itself, I believe it is the definitive version of the movie. But the video is so dark and muddy compared to the Anchor Bay theatrical version I have, what happened?
It's wierd, I mind, then on the other hand, I DON'T mind, I mind because the video is not as good as the theatrical version, but then I DON'T mind because the way this disc looks is closer in tone to the original 'Evil Dead', and it helps 'AoD' fit more comfortably into the series IMO.
But it's a great disc, the commentary is great as usual, and this cut of the film is WORLD'S better than the hack job we saw in the theater. Except for that "Not THAT good." line from Bruce, but I won't get into that, except to say that changing that one line is just as bad as Greedo shooting first to me. ;) I mean their I was watching this cut for the first time Saturday night, and then the scene comes, and i'm smiling from ear to ear thinking to myself "Oh yes, here it comes!", and then my face just went :crazy: when he said something different!
 

Rob Lutter

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This is how I believe it goes...
Universal owns the rights to the THEATRICAL CUT in America
MGM owns the rights to the BOOTLEG (Director's) Cut in the rest of the world.
MGM would not let Universal (per Anchor Bay, the licensor of the picture) use the original film, so they used Sam Raimi's original widescreen VHS copy to combine the THEATRICAL and Director's Cut to make the Bootleg disc.
Uh, did that make sense at all? ;)
(Basically, they don't have the rights to get any better quality picture)
 

Kevin M

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Actually I don't believe they did a "Wicker Man" with AOD: DC, I think this was just the best print they could find (or the best print they were suppled with).
I am pretty sure that it didn't come from someone's "VHS" copy though, however I have been wrong before. ;)
 

Jeff Kleist

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Yes, the original elements for the extended cut are just in very bad shape. The film is actually owned by Dino DeLaurentas I believe, in which case the film is owned by whichever creditors he owed most recently following the film
 

Joseph Young

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As 'neat' as some of the extended scenes in AoD are (for example, the trippy windmill sequence), I am more than happy to own the Anchor Bay version. The video is pretty good, and in some scenes, I'd go as far as saying 'outstanding' (a couple of the exterior shots come to mind). And besides, the alternate ending, which I prefer by a long shot, is offered up on Anchor Bay's version, and it's also anamorphic!

I will admit, though, that the extras offered up on other versions, such as the classic Bruce commentary, are sorely missing from AB's release. Despite that, I am very happy with it!

Joseph
 

Tony_Faville

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I own both the Directors Cut and the Anchor Bay release. There are aspects of both that I prefer. For instance, "Good...Bad...I'm the one with the gun" far outshines, "I ain't that good".

And then I prefer the S-Mart ending to the other.
 

Jussi Tarvainen

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Well, I don't think MGM has ever released the Director's cut anywhere. I live in Europe and have seen only one version in Finland, Austria and the UK (except for the ending, which changed randomly :)). The European cut is slightly longer than the U.S. theatrical cut but not as long as the director's cut.
 

Joseph Young

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I remember watching a Japanese Laserdisc of AoD many years ago, and although I can't remember specifics, there were scenes that never made it over into any R1 versions...
Or perhaps I don't know what I'm talking about.. :D There seem to have been so many different versions of this film, none of them 'definitive' in their own right. I was disappointed, to say the least, when I realized that the bootleg edition's quality was lacking.
I realize that it's an issue of who has the rights, and also the inconsistant source material being used to compile everything. Nevertheless, what a great film!
"Awh... .. that's just pilla-talk, baby!"
"Are all men from the future such loudmouthed braggarts?"
"Just me, baby. Just me."

:laugh::laugh:
Joseph
 

Jeff Kleist

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Yes, buy both
The bootleg cut is worth it for the commentary alone ;) Plus it's the true form of the film. I have to agree with Sam Raimi/Bruce. While the S-Mart ending has better lines, the London ending is much more appropriate
 

Andy Sheets

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Yes, the original elements for the extended cut are just in very bad shape.
I read a rumor a couple of years ago that they apparently dug the extended film elements out of one of Bruce Campbell's hall closets at home. I have no idea if it's true but it would explain why they weren't well preserved ;)
 

Chad R

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I'd always heard that the extra scenes are only available via a work print of the film. Work prints are not colortimed and processed quickly. The negative trims are in the possession of DeLaurentis (and his creditors) if they do exist at all (negative trims are not always kept unofrtuneately)
 

Matt Pelham

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Although I don't normally say this, buying both versions of the movie would probably be the best bet (unless you can get your hands on the 2-disc AB limited set!).

One interesting point, I saw the AOD director's cut on Sci-Fi channel a couple of years back with all the added scenes and the quality was actually pretty good and consistent throughout, unlike the DVD which goes from good to just plain terrible.
 

Sam Hatch

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I too have the Japanese 'Captain Supermarket' LD, and all of the extra scenes on it are present in the Director's Cut. It is true that there were tons of variants out there, many of them containing more scenes than the theatrical print. But which scenes differed greatly from release to release. I do believe that there was a hard to find European LD that had the complete director's print on it, but aside from that the only way to see it was on bootleg VHS tapes.

And the TV version shown on Sci-Fi and USA wasn't exactly the director's cut either -- just one of your usual Universal TV re-edits. It is interesting that they included a few scenes (Arthur vs. Ash in the beginning, and the extended mirror/windmill scene -- which works the best out of any version) that were left out of the Director's Cut (but show up in the supplements) and sweetened the sound a bit.

I do like John's point about the DC's murkiness making it feel more in line with Evil Dead. I used to think the same thing when watching the video tape. It was definitely creepier, and the dodgy special effects looked much better with the lower resolution!

As for the video quality of the DC DVD, I'll glady loan out my VHS copy that I'd been watching for years (until the DVD release that is). Even despite the much worse quality on it, that tape was like pure gold to me for so long. That's why it's funny to hear everyone slam the DVD DC so much. They don't know just how good they've got it.

Ahhh, I can still remember back to '94 -- when I'd sit staring at a cruddy video capture in Video Watchdog of Ash amidst the apocalypse and hoping against hope that I'd someday see that ending. Anchor Bay really spoils the hell out of us -- so many of their cult releases have transfers I would have never even dreamed possible. Hell, some of the films I can't believe are available on DVD period. This just happens to be one of those situations where they couldn't perform a miracle.
 

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