Japanese Laserdiscs/VHS - what's rare & valuable?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Li, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. Michael Li

    Michael Li Auditioning

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    Hi everyone

    I'm in Japan for the longhaul and have often heard about Japanese tapes/Lds of movies being rare. So i've now decided to try to get my hands on some rare gems, watch them and if i dont like the movie, possibly sell them (the originals, not dubs) on ebay to get some extra beer money.

    So far i've been advised to have a look for Disneys Song of the south LD (although i've heard its coming to R1 dvd soon), Superman 4, The monster squad and The Punisher (1989). Can anyone tell me any other titles I should look out for? I'm after anything - horror, HK movies, westerns etc. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Second Unit

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    Not sure about Laserdiscs and VHS but there a lot of Japanese DVDs which are rare and valuable.
    This is mainly because they produce many of their 2 disk SE DVDs as LE. These can sell out prior to release from online retailers and from what I have read they are hard to find in B&M stores even on release day.

    What you should be focusing on are titles where the Japanses DVD has exclusive content or DTS (with France they seem the most dedicated releasers of DTS tracks on DVD but have the advantage of no forced subtitles, so making them better for English speakers as you can easily turn of the subs on all players).

    I have a few Japanese DVDs mainly sold out LE but you should note prices are higher than US or Europe at around double the price you would expect to pay back home.

    Also in Japan they love ultra expensive model sets like the Alien Head, Sonny head from I Robot (these are sold out in Japan but now on general sale in UK R2, dont think they have made it to US yet). However these were originally priced in the USD200 range.

    Examples of Japanese DVDs I have include
    Aliens 2 disk SE (has DTS but only extended version - other regions only DD but both theatrical and extended versions)
    Jurassic Park Superbit (this is Sony rather than Universal in Japan hence superbit with much better PQ & sound than the R1 DTS version).
    Kill Bill Vol 1 (has the extra gore version - dont think this is limited).
     
  3. Dave Simkiss

    Dave Simkiss Stunt Coordinator

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    The Japanese Laserdisc of The Phantom Menace is quite rare and sought after - as it's the theatrical release which didn't appear on the DVD.

    Up until recently the Japanese lasers of Death Machine (DC) and Hardware were quite sought after, but both can now be bought on region 2 DVD
     
  4. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Any MUSE laserdisc or even the 16x9 anamaphoric releases such as T2 are rare. The MUSE laserdisc usually still fetch quite high prices.
     
  5. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    I believe Madonna released a live concert on laser disc in Japan that was different from the R1 releases.
     
  6. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    But Death Machine is cut.
     
  7. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Michael, you should definitely pick up the Japanese LD of Superman IV issued from Tohokushinsha Home Video. I found it on eBay a few years ago myself and really enjoyed it. It's the 93-minute print that was issued overseas from Cannon Films, so the main title credits are slightly different (in addition to the Japanese credits before the start of the film), not to mention the different aspect ratio from its U.S. counterpart (I believe it's 2:1), and the foreign subtitles are burned onto the right side of the screen, with the entire film subtitled into Kanji text. And of course, there's that extra footage that was not included in the U.S. release (though it may surface on the upcoming "Superman" SE DVD set later this year - we shall find out).

    Hey Michael, if you find a copy of the Japanese SIV LD, can you pick up an extra copy for me? The shocker of all shockers came when I found out a week or two ago that my copy of the LD broke! And it was broken on Side 2, with the extra footage on it! It must have broken during the move from MS to AL. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave Simkiss

    Dave Simkiss Stunt Coordinator

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    Looking at IMDB Death Machine alternate versions...

    Director's Cut available in original 2.35:1 cinemascope ratio on Japanese Laserdisc but director hates his own version!. US cut substantially different, excising whole subplot. UK cut is the best, director approved.

    While I know for a fact that the information on the R1 DVD above is correct, I have heard that the Japanese laserdisk is the same cut as the Region 2 DVD despite what it says on IMDB.

    If anyone can confirm or deny it would be apreciated.
     
  9. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Some you should look for are Louie Malle's BLACK MOON which isn't available anywhere, nor GOLDEN NEEDLES, and FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL which is longer than the R1 DVD.

    Many Japanese VHS is valuable, for they have slightly differet edit than any other versions out there, for LADY TERMINATOR is the original cut without the flashforwards. Also movies like HURRY SUNDOWN, DUFFY, WELCOME HOME SOLDIER BOYS, SUNNYSIDE, LADY OSCAR, are out on video there, but not here.
     
  10. Michael Li

    Michael Li Auditioning

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    Thanks everyone so far for all the ideas - keep'em coming!

    Bill- If I find SIV on LD i'll PM you. Fingers crossed
     
  11. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    Dave Simkiss,

    First, IMDB is not the place for facts. Many things are wrong on IMDB. The Uk R2 DVD is non-anamorphic and 111 min and 24 s (PAL). The Japanese LD is 122 min and 16 s (NTSC). The difference in pal speed-up are around 5 min, so the Uk DVD is still 5 min shorter.

    The german DVD is 117 min (PAL), so it should be uncut, but it's in only german and no english sound or subs.
     
  12. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Michael! You're the man! [​IMG]
     
  13. Dave Simkiss

    Dave Simkiss Stunt Coordinator

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    Cheers for the info.

    Yes, I am well aware of that [​IMG]
     
  14. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I'm not sure how big the market has ever been, but I believe some of the Japanese LD box sets are still pretty well regarded -- complete television series and that kind of thing. For myself, I've bought a couple of them [a movie deluxe edition and a TV series, both Japanese animation] in the past couple of years, and there are more I would probably buy.
     
  15. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

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    Song of the South was only available on Japanese laserdisc and British PAL, but I believe both are now discontinued. Hopefully you can find it while you are over there...
     
  16. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Look for the original Japanese versions of Godzilla and King Kong Vs. Godzilla, both drastically different from their American release counterparts (no American footage), but also in Japanese with no subtitles.

    King Kong Vs Godzilla

    Godzilla
     
  17. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Believe it or not, Akira has different voices on the VHS. I was so used to the voices until the DVD version came out and was surprised. I still have the VHS version just because of the voices.
     
  18. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Not true. In fact, the Korean laser disc of SONG OF THE SOUTH is the more valuable, since it contains no subtitles during the songs, which greatly devalued the Japanese release.
     
  19. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Korean? I think you mean Hong-Kong. That one is believed very rare, on account of most copies going for rentals and/or quite a number being sold "up the river" to Red China. It hasn't got the subtitles, does have a Cantonese dub version [like the Japanese dub on the two Japanese versions; not a big deal, since the movie is monaural], and the video quality is reported to be terrible -- a PAL-NTSC conversion and muddy to boot. A copy advertised as "excellent condition!!! super rare!!!" conspicuously failed to sell on eBay at $700 starting bid earlier this month.

    There were only ever a few Korean LaserDiscs, and this one is not reported among them: see LDDb.
     
  20. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    Korean SotS? What about Hong Kong?
     

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