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Povert Row Movies on DVD - any fans?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    You have seen various recent posts about certain poverty row titles. For those who are unfamiliar with the phrase, these are movies made by independent studios especially during and after the great depression of the 1930s-1940s and made on shoestring budgets often within 1 to 3 weeks. They range from utter trash to true classics, shown on television late nights during the 1950s-1970s, and all are considered cult classics today. Unfortunately most find their way in a flurry of public domain DVDs at .99¢ per pop or in cheap collections and so the quality runs the scale as well.

    I am looking for other fans of these classics on DVD and to share thoughts as to which are the better offerings. My particular interest are the horror and sci-fi genre but you can discuss others here too since it is a "poverty row" thread.

    Eric
     
  2. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I'm a big fan. Of course, I have most of Bela Lugosi's "Monogram Nine".
    The Corpse Vanishes, Bowery At Midnight, Invisible Ghost, and The Devil Bat (not, one of the Monogram Nine, but from PRC studios) are all from Roan, and all are very good transfers except for Invisible Ghost. I also have Voodoo Man from a company called Cryptflicks (so-so print), Return of the Ape Man from Shock Therapy Cinema (so-so print), Black Dragons from Alpha (so-so print), and White Zombie from Roan (very good print).

    Then I have the Ed Wood classics: Glen or Glenda, Plan Nine From Outer Space, Bride of the Monster, and Night of the Ghouls--all from Image and all with excellent transfers.

    Some more:

    Rondo Hatton classic The Brute Man from Image (excellent print).
    Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla, Robot Monster, and Invaders From Mars--all from Image, very good prints.

    A double feature of Maniac and Narcotic from Kino Video, very good prints and special features.

    Marihuana and Tomorrow's Children from Alpha (acceptable prints).

    Sex and Buttered Popcorn, a documentary about 1930's and 40's exploitation films, with plenty of bonus trailers, from VCI.

    High School Confidential from Republic (good print).

    Faster Pussycat...Kill, Kill from Arrow films (excellent print and extras, but there's a kind of shaking effect going on with the picture)

    How To Make A Monster/Blood Of Dracula and The Spider/War of The Colossal Beast from Lions Gate (very good prints).

    There you go.
     
  3. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    BrianRi

    Thanks for your input. If you hunt down a copy of "The Devil Bat" that was issued from the Bela Lugosi Presents DVD, you will find a far superior transfer of that movie. Also Roan has a good transfer of "Black Dragons"

    For those wondering about the Monogram Nine... it was a deal Lugosi struck with Monogram to appear in 9 films but he actually appeared in 11 :

    The Mysterious Mr. Wong (1934)
    The Human Monster (1939) - aka The Dark Eyes of London
    Invisible Ghost (1941)
    Spooks Run Wild (1941)
    The Corpse Vanishes (1942)
    Bowery at Midnight (1942)
    Black Dragons (1942)
    The Ape Man (1943)
    Ghosts on the Loose (1943)
    Return of the Ape Man (1944)
    Voodoo Man (1944)

    All but "Voodoo Man" and "Return of the Ape Man" are available on DVD.

    "White Zombie" was not a Monogram film but a Victor Halperin Production released through United Artist in 1932.
     
  4. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    They're the same transfer. One has noise reduction and one does not.
     
  5. JohnPM

    JohnPM Second Unit

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  6. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Jack... not the same transfer as far as I know. The one on Roan I believe was put together with both 35mm and 16mm elements (due to a missing or damaged reel) where the Estate version is all 35mm. Also, any seen damages are supposed to be in different places. Various reviews I have run across also have cited the Estate version as being the superior one.
     
  7. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    John, VOODOO MAN is not PD, unfortunately. Those later Monograms are still under copyright.

    Eric, you are mistaken. I've watched both Roan and the Estate's editions side by side. Both are the same old transfer cribbed from Lumivision when Bob Furmanek did the transfers a dozen+ years ago. The jump to 16mm is the giveaway, and it's in both editions (and QUITE noticible). The Estate's is nicer because they simply had the transfer and then the cash to process it with digital noise reduction.

    I'll stick with the Lumivision DEVIL BAT/SCARED TO DEATH, which is actually mastered off of the master, rather than some dupes.
     
  8. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Cinematographer

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    I have a special fondness for those cheesy Mexican horror films of the 50s & 60s, most of which were redubbed and sold for TV by producer K. Gordon Murray. Some of those films are on PD discs.

    http://www.kgordonmurray.com/index.html
     

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