Cover & Specs - Helter Skelter (1976)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Patrick Mirza, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Patrick Mirza

    Patrick Mirza Supporting Actor

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    To tie in with the upcoming remake, Warner Home Video is issuing the original 1976 Manson Family telepic Helter Skelter on April 20th.

    The disc will come with the full 184 minute version featuring a remastered fullscreen transfer and Dolby Digital mono audio. Retail will be $19.97.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Wow, I didn't think we'd ever see this, at least not uncut. Someone is paying attention at Warner, finally.[​IMG]
     
  3. Shane_Anthony

    Shane_Anthony Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve Railsback's portrayal of Manson was brilliant!

    It's too bad Vincent Bugliosi didn't add a commentary. His book is one of the best crime novels ever written imo

    I'll be picking this up non the less
     
  4. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Fantastic!!!!
    Excellent!!!!
    Superb news!!!!

    Thanks very much for this heads-up!

    "Helter '76" has been on my Wish List since day 1 of DVD!

    Glad to see it's the longer, uncut version too. Although, I'm still wondering if something's been cut (if the 184m. time is accurate above). Because IMDB shows a 194-minute original running time. (As opposed to the severely cut 119-minute previously-released VHS version.)

    EDIT --- Upon reflecting on this 10-minute difference in the supposed "Uncut" version, I'm wondering if the extra 10 minutes might just be derived from the "Part 1 clips & highlights" that I think were shown at the start of "Part 2" on the original network TV run, when the film was shown as a two-parter over two different nights. Perhaps there were a total of 10 minutes of clips shown to fill in the gaps for the viewer. Think this is possible?

    FWIW -- Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide also shows a 194-minute run time.

    www.moviesunlimited.com has it up for pre-order, showing a time of 184m.
     
  5. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    To those who might not know this, here's a "Buyer Beware" alert re. Helter Skelter:

    If you like the 1976 TV-Movie with George DiCenzo and Steve Railsback, then make sure you don't get confused and pick up this awful piece of junk with a similar title. Yuck! .....

    [​IMG]
     
  6. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Speaking of Manson, has anybody ever seen THIS FILM from 1972 on the Manson Family? Any reviews on this documentary film?
     
  7. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Very likely. Warner did the same thing with SALEM'S LOT and IT. They, as well as HELTER SKELTER, were originally shown in two parts on tv. Previews from part 2 were shown at the end of part 1, and then part 2 opened with scenes from part 1. By combining the two parts for DVD, these previews, in addition to part 1's closing credits and part 2's opening credits, would be removed. All that footage combined would probably be about 10 minutes.

    I hope Warner releases HELTER SKELTER as broadcast in its original 2-part version, but it looks unlikely. If the opening credits were played over filmed footage (like IT), then there will be some of the program missing, causing a possibly awkward edit. If the credits played over a black background, then it wouldn't be so bad.

    Warner cannot rightfully advertise this as an "uncut" version or "original full-length" version if it not in its original 2-part presentation.
     
  8. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I, for one, would much rather NOT have the extra batch of credits and previews/reviews on a DVD release. What's the point of putting a "Here's what happened in Part 1" section on the DVD, which has BOTH parts on the same disc?

    I'd rather have both parts seamlessly placed together, without the extra credits.

    This reminds me ---- I wonder if the upcoming DVD release of the TV series "Dallas" will include the "preview" or "trailer" part at the beginning of each episode (just before the credits roll)? Those previews I would like to have on the DVDs. But they're pointless, IMO, on a 2-part TV movie placed *together* on 1 DVD.
     
  9. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Because, like OAR, that is how the program was intended and presented originally.
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Remember that when "Roots" came out on DVD, Warner didn't chop off credits for each individual part. Maybe there is hope.
     
  11. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Intended? You really think the director was involved in creating the recap at the beginning of part 2? Or does it seem much more likely that network techs did the job, with no involvement from the creative crew whatsoever?

    It certainly was a part of the original presentation, but it's probably a stretch to say that the filmmakers actually intended it.

    DJ
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Sure, it was presented in 2 parts originally. But it's not in 2 parts on the DVD. There's no point in showing a "recap" section on a continuous video program. In fact, it interrupts the flow of the program. Who needs to watch a recap of events you just saw minutes earlier. It's obviously not a big deal one way or the other, because I'd imagine we can just click chapter advance and skip past the needless, useless "recap", if it's presented. But it's a total waste of disc space and an interruption of the movie.
     
  13. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I agree completely. It is really too bad IMHO that films like this only get released when a remake is released. IMHO this film is good enough to deserve a release on its own merits. But I'll take it any way I can get it.
     
  14. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    As I previously mentioned, keeping it in its original form is as important as OAR (to me, at least). The flow of the program was intended to be interrupted. Ideally, seamless branching would be used. Then the viewer could choose the original TV presentation, or a combining of the two parts for an uninterrupted viewing.
     
  15. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    All the credits and recaps should be presented to preserve the original experience. I get so mad at people that think just because it was a television program, the original version shouldn't be preserved. That shouldn't ruin it for the rest of us...if you don't like the credits skip past them. And some of Roots 8 episodes were combined (yes the openings were preserved.) I am currently writing a book on the mini-series and will include as much info as possible about the original broadcast.
     
  16. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    We're obviously (based on the announced 184m. run time) NOT going to be getting the FULL, uncut 194m. "Helter" version via the WB DVD.

    This 184m. version, in my view, IS still the full version, missing only the "re-run" parts of the "recap" and one extra set of identical credits (all of which are, of course, totally pointless and needless in the context of presenting such a mini-series on a single DVD).

    ($0.02 worth.)
     
  17. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    At least Warner is releasing it in 1.33:1, instead of matting it like they did with "It" and "Kung Fu".
     
  18. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    These are all internal to the flow of the show, and they had to happen during the writing, filming, and editing process of the actual show itself. This is in no way related to recaps, promo spots, or any other stuff that the network packages together before broadcast. You may dig recaps, it may improve your viewing experience, and you may even find them essential, but to liken them in creative intention to the flow of the actual show itself is a but much. Recaps, like network promo spots, are usually completely out of the hands of the creative personnel.

    DJ
     
  19. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    I never said that recaps were likened in creative intention to the flow of the show. I said they were essential to viewers who may have missed the previous installment(s). And I don't "dig" recaps. I just want the program presented as originally broadcast. I also never said that recaps were prepared by the creative personal. I'm aware that the networks usually handle this. I made it clear that the intended interuptions, be it commercial breaks or episode breaks, are planned for in the creative process. Breaks don't just happen randomly. They are carefully chosen dramatic (or comedic) moments that are augmented by music crescendo and/or fades to black.

    I have several older TV movies and episodes on laserdisc from the 70's and 80's that have had serious editing done to "disguise" the fact that they were TV productions. It's as if there's something wrong with that. Examples: Two-part episodes poorly edited together to appear as a "movie". TV-movies that have an MPAA rating slapped on to appear as a "theatrical" film. TV-movies that have been retitled for video release. I guess the studios believe that consumers perceive these programs to have less value if they were originally shown on "free" tv.

    My whole point is that I wish the studios would just release the programs in their original versions. That's all. Just like OAR and original soundtrack options. I've never thought that was too much to ask, and never thought I'd spend so much time defending the idea.
     
  20. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    The reason you're spending so much time defending the idea is because you don't seem to delineate between the importance of creative intent and haphazard network broadcast activities that were unrelated to the creative process. This, however, is a difference that much of the forum takes quite seriously. The mission statement of HTF, for example, states that "[w]e the members of the forum are interested in the film product to be recorded and reproduced as closely as possible to the way the original creator(s) of that particular film intended." The emphasis there is on creative intent, not incidental presentation flotsam that was not a part of the creative process. This is why recaps are very, very different from OAR and original soundtracks, which are usually a result of the creative process and have some sort of creative intent applied to them.

    In general, if the cause you're rallying for here is unrelated to creative intent, I would venture a guess that you're going to find it harder to hear from others who will automatically support you as you might find for an issue on the level of OAR.

    DJ
     

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