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El Topo - Will this ever be on DVD? and other questions. (1 Viewer)

Greg_Y

Screenwriter
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Mar 7, 1999
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1,466
Yesterday, I finally saw El Topo for the first time. It was the first film I've watched on VHS in a long, long time. The film was fantastic; the videocassette was not. I believe it was a copy of a Japanese laserdisc, which I believe was cut; it also had the fogged pubic regions in a few scenes.
I thought the film was outstanding. In fact, I haven't been excited by a film like this in a while. I've been thinking about it all day. I'm the type who likes films that are mostly logical and self-contained; but I loved the symbolism and imagery in El Topo. Now if only I could see a better copy...
Some questions:
1. Can anyone provide a background (or a link to one) about why El Topo and other Jodorowsky films have been unavailable for so long? I read that John Lennon saw the film and told Allen Klein to purchase up the film and finance Jodorowsky's next one. Why does Klein refuse to release this film to the public? I've also heard that between the rights to Jodorowsky's films and the Rolling Stones library, Klein doesn't exactly have a good name on the 'net. If you have any unbiased information on what the deal is, I'd love to read it.
2. I've read that El Topo ran for a long time in NYC as a midnight film and did very well. Was the print they used uncut?
3. The video I saw was very, very washed out. Some scenes almost looked black and white. Others looked like those old movies that were tinted by hand. Is the original film washed out or is the picture colorful and bright? Is 1.85:1 the actual aspect ratio? The videotape I saw was "full-frame." :frowning:
4. The only other Jodorowsky film on R1 DVD is Fando y Lis, correct? How is that DVD? Do you recommend any other Jodorowsky films?
 

Randall Dorr

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 11, 2000
Messages
267
1) Here are sites about Jodorowsky and the Klein/El Topo mess.
2) Don't know for sure, but any midnight screenings in NYC in the early 70's would probably show the film as the director intended.
3) Also don't know about the washed out image, but IMDB has the aspect ratio as 1.85:1.
4) Fando y Lis is the only Jodorowsky film on DVD in R1. It was the first release from Fantoma.
Here are reviews from mondo-digital and dvdauthority.
Here's another review at the big picture, but you have to be a member. :rolleyes:
Santa Sangre (be sure to get the NC-17 version) and The Rainbow Thief aren't to hard to find on VHS. Thief is pretty lousy, but Jodorowsky was just a director for hire.
 

Brook K

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
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9,467
Santa Sangre was released on VHS in the US by Republic. As such it would be owned here by Artisan, although I want to think that recently through some agreement, buyout, or legal fine print, some of the Republic films are transferring to Paramount.
 

Will K

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
1,011
Santa Sangre was released on VHS in the US by Republic. As such it would be owned here by Artisan, although I want to think that recently through some agreement, buyout, or legal fine print, some of the Republic films are transferring to Paramount.
Well crap, I'm glad I have my laserdisc. Paramount--great, I can we can kiss the director's NC-17 version goodbye. Not that they'll give this film the time of day anyway. :frowning:
 

LarryDavenport

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 1999
Messages
2,973
Isn't Allen Klein the most evil man in show business? Everything he touches gets in a legal mess. Because of him we may never get to hear the original version 96 Tears by ? & the Mysterians (or any of their 60's recordings, or any other Cameo/Parkway artists catalog) or get the Decca/London Rolling Stones catalog upgraded.
 

Bill McA

Senior HTF Member
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Oct 18, 2000
Messages
5,969
Actually, I'm not so sure that Artisan owns Santa Sangre at all.
Republic video did not own this film, they merely held the (temporary) North American video rights to the film as licencees. It's been 12 years since then and I'm sure that Republic's licence has since expired and the N. American video rights are again up for grabs (don't take this as 100% fact, as I'm not completely sure).
In their last HTF chat (actually it was after the chat had officially ended), I asked Anchor Bay about possibly releasing Santa Sangre and Michael Felsher replied that they "were working on it". :)
 

SteveGon

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2000
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12,251
Real Name
Steve Gonzales
Santa Sangre is Anchor Bay's kind of title - I hope they get the rights to it. SS is way up there on my want-on-dvd list...
 

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Messages
3,559
Because of him we may never get to hear the original version 96 Tears by ? & the Mysterians
I actually have it on 45, and I was going to throw out most of my vinyl. I guess I should keep it. Did ? record more than one version (my 45 is about 15-17 years old -- I should look at the copyright).
Truth be told, I always preferred the Garland Jeffries version.
For ? & the Mysterians fans, they are playing at CBGBs in NYC on May 31.
Ted
 

LarryDavenport

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 1999
Messages
2,973
Ted,

All of the ? & the Mysterians CDs that are in print are rerecordings from the 1990's. Allen F-ing Klein will not allow their songs to be rereleased (or any of the other artist's recordings he holds hostage) because he would have to pay them back royalties. I think the last time 96 Tears was released was in the 1970's on the More American Graffiti soundtrack.

Check the label on your 45. Chances are it is the original recording. By the way, thanks to someone I met on the net, I got a CD-R of their two original albums.
 

Anthony Thorne

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 10, 2000
Messages
529
Itd also be great if Klein allowed the great early 70's sleazy Di Lio spaghetti western BLINDMAN (with Ringo Starr as a supporting gunman who gets married as a corpse standing upright in his own coffin) to come out on Region 1 DVD. There's a Japanese disc of it about which contains the shorter and longer cuts but the longer one is Italian only, which isn't perfect. It's a fun film which almost nobody has heard of, but visit one of the various spaghetti western chat boards on the web and there's a lot of good feeling about it. (Critic James Cheney aptly called it the SPINAL TAP of Spaghetti Westerns...)
 

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