"Hanger 18 - The Piece-O'-Crap Edition", now available at an Exxon near you!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Lambert, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Yesterday I stopped into the Exxon Tigermart across the street from work to use their ATM machine. As I headed back to the door, I passed a display of cheap and used DVDs and videogames, which has always been there.

    Imagine my surprise when I spotted on the rack a couple of copies of Hanger 18 on DVD! [​IMG]


    The price was $4.84, and no mention of AR was on the back. The DVDs came from some company called "Treeline Films", who I've certainly never heard of before.

    Sure that this was a MAR copy transferred from VHS, I nevertheless bought it anyway (longtime HTFers know that this film is something my wife and I both enjoy, as noted here and here).

    This is the cover art, by the way...direct from the "studio's" website:

    [c][​IMG][/c]


    It turned out that I was dead-on about the transfer. 4x3 open matte (which was framed perfectly when zoomed, I might add), fuzzy/blurry, washed out colors on many scenes, with noticable compression artifacts in places and dirt/scratch artifacts throughout. Sound showed "stereo" on my DVD player output, but it all was really mono, baby.

    Having said all of that, I should note that I've watched worse. Much worse.

    I don't know what Treeline's situation is rights-wise. It's easy to assume that it's similar to PFE's release of The Final Countdown - an unauthorized "retail" release of an 80's film with a cult following. But the IMDB shows that the rights to Hanger 18 at release were with The Taft Company, and I'm unsure of what their status is. Crappy release though this is, it may be perfectly legit rights-wise.

    I have no intention of tracking that down. I hope they aren't the true owners of this, though, so someone else can bring it out and do a much better job of it. I admit that this movie was cheesy in many respects - notably the SFX of the space shuttle early in the film - but it had something to say, and said it well enough. An entertaining yarn, and the acting was done seriously enough. I enjoy it (a guilty pleasure, you might say).

    I'd like a good edition down the road. For anyone else desperate enough, though, there ya' go.
     
  2. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    It ain't. The rights to the few movies Taft Broadcasting made have reverted to Paramount through their purchase of the Worldvision/Spelling/Republic library.

    In 2005, this madness will be over, because then Paramount will be free to start issuing titles from the library on their own label.
     
  3. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    I saw this in the theatre when I was about 10 and remember being quite enthralled. I know it won't hold up 24 years later.

    Was Hangar 18 a Sun Classics production? I seem to recall reading that somewhere. And wasn't Sun some religious entity. If so, was there some conditioning taking place while I watched this film or were they just trying to go mainstream?

    Definitely Gary Collins defining portrayal before his unforgettable work with his wife on the Craftmatic Bed television spectaculars. [​IMG]
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Yes, same with me. I haven't heard that title in so long.
     
  5. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

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    (chuckle) You should see the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of this one [​IMG]
     
  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I'd love to! [​IMG]
     
  7. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Speaking of Sunn Classics, surely there are some devotees of The Boogens?

    Sunn Classics, the baby of Charles E. Sellier, Jr., known mostly for a series of 70s documentaries dealing with both nature and the supernatural, moved into narrative features with the likes of Hangar 18, The Boogens, and Earthbound.

    -Jon
     
  8. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Yes, HANGER 18 was a Sunn Production. They were one of the biggest moneymaking studios of the 70's (IN SEARCH OF NOAH'S ARK being a major hit). They were responsible for other really fun films like ENCOUNTER WITH DISASTER (their best), BEYOND AND BACK, MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS, LINCOLN CONSPIRACY and others. They were all the same set up, the late great Brad Crandall standing in front of a bookcase, with his great voice narrating the whole story.

    They did a lot of TV like GRIZZLY ADAMS and a series based on Bible Stories (which is on DVD, GREATEST HEROES OF THE BIBLE starring all sorts of 70's TV stars). They then made narrative films like HANGER 18, THE BOOGENS, and even CUJO.

    Sellier sold the company off to I think it was Jensen Farley in the early 80's, which then was bought by Taft and then was bought by Worldvision and Viacom and Paramount etc.

    There is a very interesting interview with Sellier on the SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT DVD (which he directed). While that film is very different from his G rated 70's works, he tells how he got involved in it and defends his involvement very well.

    Sellier's version of Sunn returned in the early 90's, with releases of several documentaries. In one of them, about Noah's Ark, it turned out that one of the people interviewed was a famous hoaxer and it really hurt the company, causing networks to cancel productions they had with them. They are still out there, using the name Grizzly Adams productions, making shows for Pax.

    All of the SUNN films are out of print on VHS (and going for huge sums on EBAY). Only CHARIOTS OF THE GODS is on DVD and that was an early film which I believe they only distributed.

    A few years ago, I emailed VCI which released most of their films on VHS and is still around and releasing DVD. They confirmed the fact that Viacom owns the rights to them.

    Anyway, I'm a big fan of the company. Very odd to hear about HANGER 18. Definitely a bootleg, I'll have to see if I see it anywhere.
     

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