Give it up for Blue Underground!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Robertson, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Damn, Blue Underground rocks. So far I have nine discs from them (Shock Waves, The Prowler, Grand Slam, Revolver, Contamination and The Spaghetti Western Collection) and they're all absolutely top notch.

    Apart from introducing me to some of the most entertaining and sorely neglected B- and C-flicks from yesteryear, the quality on each one is genuinely as good as I could expect, and in several cases far exceeded my expectations.

    Their Spaghetti Western Collection is as fine a boxset as you'll ever see - each film totally uncut, with both Italian and English language options, and newly translated subtitles. There are some choice extras on each - nothing that will challenge, say, Criterion's Brazil, but still work superbly to prime the viewer on the films and their contexts. The films themselves are a class act; each terrific in its own way, and all of them refreshingly different from one another.

    Even movies that are total crap by any standards like Contamination become delightfully entertaining romps, and there are certainly some gems in the rough amongst them, such as Shock Waves and Grand Slam that should thoroughly entertain anyone in search of some chills and thrills.

    It's also the attention to detail that make Blue Underground's discs so rewarding to fans, like the inclusion of the original mono soundtrack alongside stereo, DD-EX 5.1 and DTS-ES 6.1 remixes on Contamination, and the unusually thorough and interesting poster and stills galleries that can be found on board all discs.

    If I had any bones to pick (and we're talking toe bones here), the covers sometimes do not at all represent the films inside, making them look overly seedy and gratuitous on occasion. While I can appreciate their attempts to resuscitate classic exploitation posters on the front covers, Run Man Run and Revolver are totally different animals to their overly sadistic and aggressive covers (the notoriously stringent British certification board gave them '12' and '15' uncut certificates respectively). I'm afraid this is only going to ultimately disappoint hardened gore veterans and turn off potential customers.

    Still, Blue Underground is one of my favourite companies out there, and I can't wait for upcoming discs of Daughters of Darkness, Venom, Dead and Buried and The Crazies. Roll on 2003...
     
  2. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. I was impressed with the good job they did with Shock Waves. Really looking forward to The Crazies.
     
  3. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,715
    Likes Received:
    1,115
    Location:
    Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
    Real Name:
    Doug
    The only Blue Underground product I own is The Spaghetti Western Collection, but the effort that was expended on this set is amazing. I can only imagine the condition some of the source material for these films was in, yet Blue Underground delivered some exceptional transfers on all of them (I was particularly impressed with Django.) Production values on the discs is top-notch and the extras are well done. If all of their releases are as good as this one, I can only wish them lots of future success. Artisan take note!
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,300
    Likes Received:
    40
    The Toolbox Murders (BU's first release) is top-notch as well, and if you have any liking for Jess Franco or Eurocult generally, their discs of Justine and Eugenie...the Story of her Journey into Perversion (has there ever been a more commercially marketable title? I don't think so...) are beautifully done--especially Eugenie, which at one point was thought to be a lost film. It made my Top Ten of 2002 at Digitally Obsessed.

    The Spaghetti Western box is terrific as several posters have already noted. Blue Underground is a force to be reckoned with.
     
  5. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    It is funny how people think alike around here, I'll just re-print what JayF said and save time as it is word for word almost exactly what I was thinking..
    I agree. I was impressed with the good job they did with Shock Waves. Really looking forward to The Crazies.
    ..and Dead and Buried, I expect great things from the man behind Anchor Bay and so far Blue Underground has lived up to that promise.
     
  6. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just picked up a copy of The Crazies today. Excited to watch it tonight. Anyone else pick this up yet?
     
  7. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've ordered my copy, along with Two Evil Eyes - any day now... [​IMG]
     
  8. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2000
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    0
    They have so many exploitation titles on the horizon. Their new VAMPYRES and DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS discs are out next month (both have improved transfers and more extras than the previous releases of those films) and the insane EMANUELLE IN AMERICA is out in June, along with a limited edition of the stylish Tinto Brass flick SALON KITTY. BABA YAGA has a whole extra doco on Italian erotic comics artist Guido Crepax... There are a lot of other titles out later this year (more Jess Franco, the Mondo Box, SNUFF and a couple of updated Larry Cohen special editions) and I'll be extremely curious to see what the company digs up in the future.

    THE CRAZIES is apparently a lovely disc - I'll be getting it just for the Bill Lustig/George Romero commentary, as both of them are apparently very chatty and open on it and I've heard it's a good listen.
     
  9. William-R

    William-R Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have the original dvd of Baba Yaga(aka Kiss Me Kill Me) and the transfer is horrid as well looking to me to be heavily cut i cant wait to see this new transfer
     
  10. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    157
    I just got Two Evil Eyes and may get The Crazies if my wallet allows. Two Evil Eyes looks and sounds great. Bummer about there being no Romero commentary, but the documentary on the second disc is terrific. Limited edition of 30,000 for the 2-disc set.

    Fangoria reports that Dead and Buried and Venom are due out 7/29, while Larry Cohen's Q: The Winged Serpent, God Told Me To and Bone are due out on 8/26.
     
  11. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    3,576
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is a post I posted earlier this morning at one of the horror sites that I frequent, and now that I found a Blue Underground thread here, I guess I'll post it here as well:

    Let me first say that Blue Underground simply fucking rules! DEAD AND BURIED and GOD TOLD ME TO are two of my favorite films of all time, and I am one happy S.O.B. after reading the specs that will be on their DVDs! The other films are all pretty cool too, especially VENOM, and I'll be getting them as well. I also love the majority of BU's spectacular releases of other favorites that are already out! Anyhow, enough of my babbling. Here are the specs courtesy of Fangoria.com:


    Bill Lustig and the folks at Blue Underground gave Fango the scoop on a group of eagerly awaited horror DVDs they’re preparing to unleash later this year. All of these films will be presented in new 1.85:1, 16x9-enhanced transfers, with (excepting BONE) 6.1 DTS-ES, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio.

    The biggest package of the bunch has been assembled for Gary Sherman’s DEAD & BURIED, streeting July 29 as a two-disc set that Lustig promises “will knock your socks off.” He’s not kidding; the extras include:
    • Audio commentary by Sherman
    • Audio commentary by co-writer/co-producer Ron Shusett and actress Linda Turley
    • Audio commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster
    • Interviews with makeup FX designer Stan Winston, actor Robert Englund and co-writer Dan O’Bannon
    • Location stills shot by Poster
    • Theatrical trailers and teaser
    • Poster/still gallery

    The same day sees the release of Piers Haggard’s killer-snake thriller VENOM, starring Klaus Kinski, Nicol Williamson, Oliver Reed, Susan George and Michael Gough. Extras include:
    • Audio commentary by Haggard
    • Theatrical trailer and TV spots
    • Poster/still gallery

    Then, on August 26, Blue Underground releases three titles from writer/director Larry Cohen: GOD TOLD ME TO, Q: THE WINGED SERPENT and his feature directorial debut, the Yaphet Kotto-starrer BONE. Each of these discs will contain audio commentary by Cohen, plus trailers, teasers and TV spots and poster/still galleries; Q also includes a DVD-ROM press kit and BONE features an interview with distributor Jack Harris and excerpts from Cohen’s original 16mm version.


    I can't fucking wait!!!
     
  12. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    From these five titles, I’ve only watched Larry Cohen’s GOD TOLD ME TO aka DEMON (1977). Although it is a well-made and intelligent little horror movie, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it were bare-bones. Therefore, I’m more than glad that the director has recorded an Audio Commentary not only for this one but also for BONE (1972) and the re-issued Q – THE WINGED SERPENT (1982). I haven’t purchased the old Anchor Bay disc because it was said that the film was cut but now I’m sure that the upcoming Blue Underground DVD will be the complete version! By the way, I have also watched Larry Cohen’s IT’S ALIVE (1974) which I hear will be released on R1 DVD from Warners next year along with its two sequels. I hope that will follow Blue Underground’s lead and ask Mr. Cohen to record commentary tracks for these as well and, perhaps, they should be packaged as a Box Set, no?

    Although it boasts a strong cast (Oliver Reed, Susan George, Klaus Kinski, Nicol Williamson, Sarah Miles, Sterling Hayden and Michael Gough) and will also contain some choice extras, I don’t plan to buy Piers Haggard’s VENOM (1982) – but then I will probably purchase the upcoming R2 SE from Anchor Bay of Haggard’s BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (1970) – so, who knows?

    However, the one I’m most looking forward to – and the most obscure one of the lot for me – is certainly Gary Sherman’s DEAD AND BURIED (1981). Based on several people’s enthusiastic claims for this one and DEATH LINE (1972) – which will be released on R1 DVD in August by MGM under its American moniker of RAW MEAT - I will surely purchase them! I must say that Blue Underground’s specs for DEAD AND BURIED are mind-blowing and should give an “agnostic” like me a fair indication of the estimation in which it is held by those who have seen it.

    It must be said, though, that these five titles illustrate perfectly what has been for me one of the paradoxes of DVD collecting. When I used to purchase movies on VHS, I was extremely picky and, more often than not, I would have already watched – or at least read about – them before. However, ever since I got an internet connection, I’ve been discovering that a lot of movies I had previously deemed not worthy of a place in my collection have many ardent admirers all over the world – including within the production companies themselves which ensure a loving SE treatment brimming with alluring extras! Even more disquieting is the sheer amount of totally obscure stuff which I had entirely missed out on and which, again, find themselves receiving an exceptional SE DVD. For example: if anyone a couple of years ago would have predicted that I’d someday be having in my collection anything starring James Farentino (THE WAR LORD [1965] notwithstanding), Melody Anderson (other than FLASH GORDON [1980]) and Robert Englund – all of whom appear in DEAD AND BURIED - I would have had them certified!!
     
  13. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    157
    Dead and Buried is a bit of a mixed bag. CineFile in LA got in the German NTSC version of it, which looked horrible (as if it were being projected through gauze), but the movie -- while gory -- isn't as good as I expected. But I'm sure Blue Underground's version of it will look spectacular nonetheless.
     
  14. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    I watched The Crazies last night and was not disappointed. BU has done an outstanding job with the PQ! The image has incredible depth, color (some may think the colors are oversaturated, particularly red) and dark, dark blacks with NO hint of edge enhancement at all. It's hard to believe BU can do such a great job with a low budget film from the 70s!
     
  15. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,546
    Likes Received:
    1
    BU deserves a tremendous round of applause for bringing out one of the most incredible, unbelievable films ever shot-
    Farewell, Uncle Tom.

    i owned a bootleg of this that is currently out on loan to our resident Mondo Video (that's actually the name of the store).
    mere words and a plot synopsis don't do this film justice.
    it's cliched to say, but it really does make any conventional studio film dealing with slavery look like a Disney production.
    it's gruesome, repellant, wickedly sarcastic, engrossing, depressing...just one jaw dropping sequence after another, and anyone that is a fan of 'highbrow' cinema really needs to see it.
    for something could be dismissed as an exploitation film, the production values are incredible.
    ultimately, it really rubs your face into the kind of mind-set that would allow one group of human beings to buy and sell another. and this was America...land that i love...
    i'm a fan of a broad range of films , and actually don't gravitate towards much of Blue Undergrounds catalog.
    i'm not much into the slashers, giallos, SW's, Euro-horrors, etc, but this film totally floored me.

    it's a shame they are only making this available in a boxed set. in a way i can understand, because if many retailers knew what this film was like, there is a good chance no major retailer in this country would ever stock it.
     
  16. Matthew Kiernan

    Matthew Kiernan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    I couldn't agree more. THE CRAZIES and TWO EVIL EYES only continue the trend of quality output from B.U. I'm really looking forward to SALON KITTY, GOODBYE UNCLE TOM and many other upcoming B.U. releases.
     
  17. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    South Florida
    I'm a big, big, BIG fan of what Lustig has done for DVD ever since his involvement in Anchor Bay's Halloween (the re-mastered version), and I'm looking forward to all the work he's now doing for Blue Underground.

    Now if only I can get some screener copies... [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     
  18. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    South Florida
    Just a thought...

    A title I would recommend Blue Underground acquire the rights to is The Other (the 1972 Thomas Tryon story directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Uta Hagen and - yes - John Ritter in a supporting role!). A very neglected, beautiful and creepy film with a helluva twist. Music by Jerry Goldsmith, photography by Robert Surtees.

    I think Fox holds the rights, but if it's just gonna sit on the shelf, someone needs to acquire the rights and get this out on DVD in the best way possible!

    Cheers,
     
  19. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Felix-
    Another title that I think would be perfect for BU is Let's Scare Jessica to Death. I think Paramount has the rights, but I'm sure BU would give it the treatment it deserves.

    Back to Romero... I know Anchor Bay has a new edition of Day of the Dead coming up, but what about Romero's crowning achievement -- Dawn of the Dead? Is someone working on a new version of this?
     
  20. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,546
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would LOVE to see Let's Scare Jessica To Death get the grade A first class treatment!
    what a great movie.

    AB is working on a, supposedly, 3 disc ASE for Dawn which is said to contain every version film and a ton of extras including cast commentary among others.
    it was scheduled for fall, but has been pushed back.
    word now is not before 2/04.

    they've been pretty public about how extensive this set is gonna be and if it isn't damned incredible alot of people are going to be very disappointed.
     

Share This Page