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REQ: Bride of the Monster - Legends screencaps required (1 Viewer)

James 'Tiger' Lee

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Here are some screencaps from the 2000 DVD from Wade Williams/Image

If the film is 1.85:1 as some sources claim, this transfer seems to be zoomed in tight, as it does not cope well under a 16:9 zoom

Any caps from a print or the new Legend DVD would be much appreciated





 

John Sparks

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I'm not sure about that, but out of the 5 released by Legend..."Phantom Planet" and "Devil Bat" and the one you mentioned have already been released and in pretty good prints, two by Image.

I'm going to pick up "Devil Bat, Phantom from Space and Creature from the Haunted Sea." Since they haven't been on DVD yet, they're a no brainer to pickup!

"Devil Bat" has been released numerous times in the past and I hope this beats out the Lumivision version which beats out the Roan version released a few years back.

All in all, you know damn that they'll never be released in HD, so now's the time to pick them up.

And there are people out there that say they'll never buy another DVD...what fools. They sure as hell aren't collectors of film!!!
 

James 'Tiger' Lee

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Devil Bat is a brand new transfer from 35mm

Phantom has had good reviews (the DVD, not the film) and it seems to be the only decent edition

Creature - Retomedia was non-anamorphic widescreen, Legend's open matte and probably a better transfer

And i do not know damn well that they'll never be released in HD, and neither do you.
 

Michael Elliott

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The Image release of BRIDE is damn near flawless so I doubt the Legend one is going to add very much. All of the Wood titles look pretty good on DVD.

As for these hitting HD, I'm still waiting for countless films to hit SD.
 

James 'Tiger' Lee

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If Bride is zoomed in, it's defintly not flawless. Then again I could be mistaken. I understand it took a long time to find a distributor so may have been filmed before the changeover. However Wood's earlier Jail Bait looks designed for widescreen judging from the DVD

Plan 9 mattes well on my TV and is indeed a very nice transfer. The documentary rambles but is fun

As for HD, I suspect these bread and butter titles may reach it quicker than the back catalogues of the majors
 

Michael Elliott

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I'm curious to the rights issues on these. PLAN 9, BRIDE and JAIL BAIL are "owned" by Wade Williams yet all three have hit the PD market. I have a second version of BRIDE from (I think) Catacom (or something like that) and while the transfer is a lot darker it does appear to have the same framing. I can double check later and compare the two but I seem to recall they are the same. BRIDE was also suppose to come out from BCI as part of their double-feature line but it was pulled but apparently might be released at some point in the future.

BCI just released Vol. 3 of their Drive-In line so perhaps BRIDE will show up on one of these (outside of Crown) or on its own.
 

James 'Tiger' Lee

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I'm intrigued too. Didn't Williams get Disney to poney up some dough to use clips from the films in Ed Wood?
 

Michael Elliott

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From what I understood Williams did get paid. When ED WOOD hit DVD (and then got recalled) is the first time I noticed these titles hitting PD labels. PLAN 9 got released by a very small company but the strange thing was that the disc featured interviews with the cast members of Ed Wood. I'm going to guess that these interviews were taken from somewhere and not produced just for that DVD. I believe this was the Passport version. I've heard someone had a $1 DVD of PLAN 9 but I've yet to see it anywhere.

The rights are in question in regards to various other Wade titles though. FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER, CAT WOMEN and ROBOT MONSTER were all released through Image and then hit the PD. I'm not sure if Wade didn't pick up additional rights or perhaps he just bought up the negatives and didn't actually get the rights.
 

Bob Furmanek

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I've projected an original 35mm print of BRIDE OF THE MONSTER and can confirm that it's 1.85. This transfer must be zoomed in a bit.
 

Michael Elliott

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Bob, an arthouse in Louisville once showed CASABLANCA 1.85:1 because something was wrong with their system and they couldn't show it 4:3. I can't remember the reasons behind it but in all honesty it didn't look overly bad (outside the stretch) and I'm certain some didn't notice a thing because they knew nothing about aspect ratios. This was back in 1996 or 97 when this stuff wasn't even talked about then.

The reason I bring this up is because it seems just about everyone of these older movies from this era could be shown either way. I have a hard time beliving when people say everything after 1953 should be widescreen. I've seen ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES widescreen and I think it looks horrible. I watch something from H.G. Lewis like THE GRUESOME TWOSOME or BLOOD FEAST and there's just no way, to my eyes, that these could have been framed for a widescreen showing. I'm not sure if drive-in's showed everything 1.85:1 but looking at the film it's really hard to think of Lewis actually framing something for widescreen.

The same could be true for countless Something Weird films that I've seen. Again, I don't know the history of 42nd Street but I find it hard that these directors, making $2000 movies, were keeping in mind framing. If they weren't, did these theaters show them wide or were these type of films 4:3?

This is coming from a guy who goes 4:3 in the Kubrick debate.
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I don't know anything about this stuff such as yourself but I usually just try and go with my eyes. To me, I have a hard time seeing many of these William titles as 1.85:1 just by how the DVDs look. Perhaps they are all zoomed in on but I find it hard to believe that Image would do this with every title unless the problem came somewhere before they got their hands on the titles.

Or, is the problem my eyes are watching zoomed in prints that are then matted? In other words, Elite got a zoomed in print of GIANT LEECHES and then matted it, which causes the thing to look bad. Had they used a "not zoomed" print then heads wouldn't have been cut off in the widescreen matte.
 

James 'Tiger' Lee

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Many if not all of the titles you cited (i'm not sure about H. G Lewis but there is apparently an interview in Video Watchdog where he cites that his films were shot for widescreen) were shot for widescreen. Using the DVDs to test open matte is not very simple. Too often the video transfers were zoomed in, or made from 16mm reduction prints. War of the Colossal Beast, Deadly Mantis, Bride of the Monster - all zoomed so proper matting is difficult. Most of the Wade Williams titles matte well - She Demons, Plan 9. Also take into account your tevelvision's overscan

LEECHES was part of a package from (cough) National Film Museum where they took old video transfers and slapped black bars on them. Not good reference for those trying to determine which films were shot for wide

Kubrick wanted the video transfers not to have distracting black bars. There is plenty of evidence to show that he filmed for widescreen

Romero's Martin is an example of something that was shot in 16mm and not framed for widescreen, even though this is often how it was shown. The matting clips off the gore in one shot. By contrast, Evil Dead was filmed for widescreen, and we have documentation and testimony from the filmmakers to verify that. However, the DVD is not evenly framed

Do not doubt Bob. He's screening the print himself, not merely viewing it from the auditorium. He knows what he's talking about
 

Bob Furmanek

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James is right. In fact, I owned a 35mm print of BOTM so I know quite well how it projects on screen. I used to show it in 1.37 but after trying it out in 1.85, I never went back to the standard ratio. The compositions were greatly improved in widescreen.

I don't have personal experience with Leeches or the H.G. Lewis films, but while recently doing some research in 1955 and 1958, I found the following genre titles all recommended for 1.85:

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, It Came from Beneath the Sea, Creature with the Atom Brain, The Thing that Couldn't Die, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, War of the Satellites, The Haunted Strangler, Fiend Without a Face, The Astounding She Monster, I Bury the Living, Macabre, Giant from the Unknown, She Demons, The Flame Barrier, Return of Dracula.

In fact, by 1955, most non-anamorphic movies were recommended for 1.85 or 2.1. There were occasional films marked for standard ratio (Othello, The Big Chase, and most foreign titles) but all U.S. productions were widescreen.
 

Michael Elliott

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Well, then I don't see why people are worried about these being widescreen IF they are really zoomed in on. Getting these widescreen is going to be hard enough but if Image, Elite and various others were actually zooming in on the picture then this is a very big issue and certainly a lot bigger than them just releasing an open matte disc. I can live with open matte but not these being zoomed in on.

As I said, I trust my eyes more than anything else and I've never seen how it was possible for a lot of these films to be matted without cutting off entire heads (like THE GIANT LEECHES disc). However, if they are all zoomed then I see why.

I watched ABBY today, open matte, and you can tell with your eyes that it should be matted. The same with MGM's three DEATH WISH sequels. Apparently none of these have been zoomed in on.

And Jamie, I don't want to pull the debate over into this thread but I will never buy THE SHINING at 1.66, 1.77 or 1.85.


This is the most interesting aspect to today's DVD world and that's people getting paid off copies sold. For the past 40 years NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was shown full screen and Romero said that was correct. They decide to release a matted version after 40 years and now, after all this time, this is the correct version. I reviewed MARTIN for this very site and was able to talk to the disc's producer who got me a quote from Romero stating that widescreen was the correct ratio they wanted for the Lionsgate disc as they felt no reason to release it 4:3 since that version had already been out there. The DP was blamed for the gore being cut off in that sequence and the low budget didn't allow them to go back and fix it. Even Jess Franco said for years that COUNT DRACULA was 1.85:1 but when the DVD came out he gave another interview stating that the 4:3 was right. Just looking at that disc will tell you it was meant for widescreen but with Franco getting paid he would say anything to sell the disc. Even Mel Welles apparently said 4:3 was correct on LADY FRANKENSTEIN. With Sherman and Lewis so heavily involved with Something Weird/Image, I'm shocked they didn't go for widescreen as well.

Perhaps it's just my way of viewing these films but if someone has $5000 and 2 days to get a movie in the can then I have a hard time believing that they are setting up shots to make sure it looks good at 1.85. Ed Wood didn't have time to take out mistakes in his films yet he did have time to frame a shot? Perhaps but my brain tells me he wouldn't waste time on that nor would be DP who, from rumors, couldn't even see straight.

Of course there will always be debates but this whole zooming issue has me worried even though it's way too late at this point in time.
 

BillyFeldman

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If you would never buy The Shining in 1.85:1 then you clearly have no interest in the way the film was framed by Kubrick and his cameraman. There is no debate anymore - while you may prefer it, that really doesn't matter - Kubrick's storyboard, with notations in his hand tell the real story, and it cannot be refuted or challenged. The film was released and projected in 1.85:1 in the United States, its country of origin (in terms of Warner Bros.). It was never shown anywhere on its initial release in Academy. It was protected for eventual TV showings, but if you have any interest whatsoever in film history and presentation, then I honestly don't understand your post.
 

Michael Elliott

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In reality, what I prefer is the only thing that matters to me but as I said, this isn't a Kubrick thread so dig one up where my opinions will be said loud and clear.

But, it is good that Kubrick and Wood could share the same thread.
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Patrick McCart

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Since when does shooting in 1.85:1 matted widescreen cost more? It's just a matter of framing up a shot differently.

I think that the whole thing about open matte being preferable on films is just like those who prefer pan & scan over widescreen. It's all about what "looks good" on the TV screen. Some people can't handle a film looking different from how it was presented for years incorrectly. DVD Aspergers.

Anyways, it's not like Ed Wood's films are incompetently shot, just incompetent in other ways. :P
 

Michael Elliott

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When did I say it cost more or that it looked better? If a director doesn't spend time to take out a mistake then is he really going to take time to make sure everything is lined up correctly so that future generations can play it on their widescreen sets? Do you think the talented people behind MANOS really knew they had to frame the film a certain way?

How many of these have you actually seen? I will gladly send you a few and would love to hear your opinion on how matting would help them. Adamson was known to shoot Scope but I can't recall too many others in this drive-in ear to even mention widescreen. I've read quite a few items on these films an the majority of them don't mention any desired framing. The majority of the times it seems these directors were aiming for television but ended up getting them shown in a couple TX drive-ins.
 

Patrick McCart

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I used to work at a drive-in at a very small town. The theater was built in 1955 and it has a 2:1 screen. And it's still standing and bringing in huge crowds! The current owner even had some circa 1955-1956 35mm ad clips (like "Coming Attractions" bumpers) and they all have burn-in from the 1.85:1 aperture plate.

Don't forget that the widescreen switch was fairly quick, even for the poverty row studios. They're the ones who needed the box office pull the most!

As for what I've seen, I can at least back up on Bride and Plan 9. I think Jack Theakston posted screencaps from War of the Colossal Beast, showing a 35mm frame compared with the so-called "full frame" DVD. Turns out the image is cropped quite heavily, while 1.85:1 would have been perfect had they used the full available area. So, I don't necessarily trust the DVDs over documents and records.
 

Bob Furmanek

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Patrick is right. The change to widescreen cinematography did happen very quickly in Hollywood. Paramount was the first to go wide with 1.66 in late March, 1953. Then Columbia and Universal went 1.85 in the first week of April. MGM was next with 1.75, then Warners with 1.75 and 1.85 in May. The final holdouts (RKO, Allied Artists, Republic, etc.) had switched to WS by June. If you read the daily trades from that period, the switch is well documented.

The confusion today lies with the fact that while they were composing for widescreen, they were still protecting for 1.37. There were many small town theaters that had not yet installed new screens, but theaters in all the major cities had converted by the middle of 1954.
 

BillyFeldman

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It really is becoming apparent that it doesn't matter how much factual information you post, some just don't want to believe what's in front of their eyes. I don't even know how to carry on a discussion with someone who, in this day and age, says that only what HE thinks about composition matters to him. The mind reels.
 

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