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3D Silver Age 3-D 1966 - 1997

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. 3D Projectionist

    3D Projectionist Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the trailer link, enjoyed the trailer even though the colour had faded. All these 3D films hidden away when so much could be out there to see on 3D BR..
     
  2. Message #122 of 164 Oct 27, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
    Interdimensional

    Interdimensional Second Unit

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    A few words about the Silent Madness screening (at this point over a week ago).

    This was a full house screening, the writer/producer was in attendance and spoke a few words as an introduction. According to him, they originally had a very wide release lined up, and they were going to be bigshot Hollywood filmmakers and rich! What happened instead was the breakout success of Nightmare on Elm Street. Cinemas were looking for screens they could pull to meet audience demand for Nightmare on Elm St, so many of the Silent Madness showings were cancelled and the film disappeared into obscurity. He mentioned how exacting the 3-D filming had been, said something about how the exposure had to be very precisely set; it had to be accurate to within 2 or 3 stops or the results would be unusable.

    He subsequently introduced one of the actors from Silent Madness, who had either never seen it before, or never seen it in 3-D. A memorable individual, who turned out to be among Howard John's first victims in the film.

    Harry Guerro had organized a last-minute screening for his print of Reflection of Horror before both Silent Madness and Parasite. This is the short test scene for a film Dan Symmes hoped to make in the 1980s, as described in the Cinefantastique 3-D double issue. Harry told me that his print has already been scanned, as he believes it may be the only one in existence. The plan is to include this in a 3D-Bluray release. The scene involves a ballet dancer, her instructor, and a briefly glimpsed monster. The acting doesn't rise much above amateur level, but the stereography makes interesting use of mirrors, and is competently shot with an overt Hitchcock influence. It was by far the cleanest print screened all week, with perfect colour, excellent 3-D, and sharp image quality. I had no idea over/under 35mm could look this good!

    Silent Madness is a fairly standard slasher. Not a big-budget movie, but it seems just about adequate for what they were attempting. Probably most reminiscent of Carpenter's Halloween and Friday the 13th, but lacking the unstoppable almost supernatural threat of the killers in those films. By 1984, this kind of film had become fairly routine. As a film, it's not a standout or a lost classic, but I found it serviceable enough. The acting wasn't going to win any awards, but they had some decent actors in the key roles. Sydney Lassick got some laughs with his eccentric portrayal of the town sheriff. I found the 3-D strong throughout, and largely error-free. I felt it was more competent stereography than that of the previously screened film Parasite. (although Parasite has an interesting atmosphere and perhaps more originality).

    There had been a number of late arrivals in the first 10/20 minutes of the screening. I suspected some of these individuals were connected with Silent Madness. I hung around afterward, and it turned out the film's director had been in attendance. I couldn't think of anything intelligent to ask, so I just listened. As the director and the producer chatted informally with members of the audience, someone mentioned how the film was shot with the same camera system and possibly the same stereographer as Friday the 13th Part 3. They asked about that films use of pop-outs compared with Silent Madness' less gimmicky approach. The director explained that they'd intended to do more of that... but when they were told that each of these shots would require an additional day to allow for the technical demands, they decided they would make do with what they could get!
     
  3. Mike Ballew

    Mike Ballew Second Unit

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    Ed, thanks for your detailed observations of this remarkable event. I really wish I could have been there to see those flicks—and to meet you in person, which would have been an even greater privilege.

    I note that Silent Madness was released two full weeks before A Nightmare on Elm Street. With all due respect to Mr. Nuchtern and others, I feel that if the film had established itself as a moneymaker during that span, it could have held on to its screens.

    According to the end credits of the film itself, Silent Madness was filmed in ArriVision, not Marks 3-Depix. ArriVision of course was used to shoot most of Jaws 3-D and the entirety of Amityville 3-D. Silent Madness did have the same cinematographer as Friday the 13th Part III, Gerald Feil, but not the same stereographer.

    Was it mentioned whether Reflection of Horror was filmed using Symmes' own Dimension 3 optics? I've always been very curious about Dimension 3. Symmes claimed his system gave a sharper image across the entirety of the frame than its competitors, but I've not seen footage shot in single-strip 35mm Dimension 3. (I have a hunch about the design, but I cannot confirm it, as Mr. Symmes seems never to have taken out a patent.)

    You may already be well aware, Dynasty and 13 Nuns were both shot using the system that eventually became Optimax III, used on Comin' At Ya! and The Man Who Wasn't There. I've never seen any of the 3-D kung-fu flicks in proper stereo, so I'm curious to learn whether they suffer from some of the same problems that afflict Comin' At Ya!, namely uneven focus and dust spots. I would also be curious to learn whether vertical parallax posed any particular problems.
     
  4. Message #124 of 164 Oct 27, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
    Interdimensional

    Interdimensional Second Unit

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    ... please bear in mind that I did not have a dicta-phone, and some of the errors in what I relate may be of my own unintentional introduction! They may also be misconceptions of the original speakers that went uncorrected in the midst of a lively discussion. Certain information may have been erroneously conflated!

    I would guess that the theatrical release of Silent Madness did not open on that date nationwide as films would today. But I don't have any real knowledge of how independent theatrical distribution worked in those days. There's presumably a grain of truth in there somewhere. Nightmare on Elm Street is the more potent and unique movie. It stands to reason that with 2 slasher movies in contention, Nightmare would be the one to get the bookings. There was no bitterness in the telling of this anecdote, both the producer and the director struck me as intelligent and good-humoured about their experiences. Coincidentally, there is a Kruger character in Silent Madness, who is not a killer, but a sort of low-key villain involved in a cover-up at the hospital.

    Reflection of Horror played with no introduction or discussion. I can't provide any additional information beyond that in the original CFQ article, which would suggest it was a showcase of what Dimension 3 was capable of. To my eyes, it looked very good indeed visually, particularly in comparison to the worn print of Parasite. There was a clarity to it that was like looking through a mirror. I find Dan Symmes rational for not patenting his system curious.

    The Silent Madness print was also in very good condition. It was surprisingly well photographed. I didn't notice any of the unevenness seen in the Amityville 3-D 35mm screening. With that one there appeared to be vignetting across the 35mm frame, which when split into left and right causes the top of one eye to be noticably darker, while in the other eye, it's the lower part of the image that is darker. I don't recall this issue being apparent in Silent Madness.

    I didn't have much prior knowledge of the two martial arts movies. Their prints appeared to have lived a full and interesting life! Scratchy, a bit faded, perhaps a bit dupey-looking. It may not be fair to judge. I believe there was a certain amount of uneven focus across the frame, unrelated to depth of field. As Camps noted, there was a 'grindhouse' quality to the presentation! I don't think this necessarily hurt the entertainment value, but I would love to see how a proper restoration from better elements would reveal the quality of the underlying photography and stereography.
     
  5. gazadams

    gazadams Stunt Coordinator

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    Did he mention if Silent madness would get a 3d blu ray release ?
     
  6. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    All of these 70's and 80's 3D titles were available on bootleg DVD's many years ago. Not up to today's PQ but had pretty good 3D.
     
  7. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    For those able to catch the screening of Silent Madness, did it exhibit any of the chromatic aberrations seen in other ArriVision titles [Jaws 3-D, Amityville 3-D]?
     
  8. Message #128 of 164 Oct 30, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
    Interdimensional

    Interdimensional Second Unit

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    I may have missed it, but I don't recall anything specific being said about this. I should have asked, although there wasn't much opportunity to butt in without talking over everybody, and I don't like putting people into a confirm or deny situation. With both the director and producer in attendance, I would think it might have a better chance than many, but I don't know if they still have any rights or connection to the picture.

    I had the opportunity to talk to Harry Guerro earlier that week, and he really lights up with enthusiasm about this stuff and strikes me as being a tremendously motivated and capable individual. That's where we ended up talking about Reflection of Horror, when he mentioned he had it, I asked him if there were many prints of it out there, and he volunteered that he'd already had it scanned because he believed it's probably the only one in existence. He did mention some of the situation with other titles he was pursuing. I could've happily discussed this stuff for hours, but felt I might be delaying him and his extremely patient female companion!

    - see my previous post.
     
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  9. phillyrobt

    phillyrobt Second Unit

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  10. StephenDH

    StephenDH Supporting Actor

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    IMG_20171106_150203.
    Look what I found!
    Given away with the 3D glasses on Parasite's initial UK release. Sadly, the cool shades have vanished.
     
  11. Interdimensional

    Interdimensional Second Unit

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    In response to a recent question about the FBT screening, I posted the following on another forum. I know a few other members here were also present for that October screening, so feel free to offer differing views and let me know if I'm wildly off the mark here:

    There will be another opportunity to see this film in 3-D at an upcoming screening on December 9th at the Lightbox Film Center in Philadelphia.
     
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  12. pinknik

    pinknik Stunt Coordinator

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    Just an FYI, Amazon Video has THE FOUR DIMENSIONS OF GRETA streaming on Prime with anaglyph segments intact. It appears to be red/green, so my red/blue glasses didn’t work too well, but there was some depth. Not safe for work, in case you’re curious to check it out. :)
     
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  13. StephenDH

    StephenDH Supporting Actor

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    Directed by Pete Walker, the one man British film industry.
    I remember seeing an interview with him in which he said, with a straight face, "It's OK to show someone being stabbed in the stomach with a red-hot poker as long as you do it tastefully."
    He made a hell of a lot of movies which is quite an achievement in the UK.
     
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  14. Camps

    Camps Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the heads-up!
     
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  15. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    It was just shown Friday at the LA Egyptian theatre. Below ad from it's premiere at the Egyptian on 1/19/72.

    fbt.
     
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  16. phillyrobt

    phillyrobt Second Unit

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    Parasite is up for pre-order and is already the 11st best selling horror title at Amazon!
     
  17. pinknik

    pinknik Stunt Coordinator

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    Ordered mine just after I saw your post. Thanks for the heads up!
     
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  18. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Bob has posted on the other site that a Silver Age title is forth coming. He can't announce the title yet.
     
  19. mcash007

    mcash007 Stunt Coordinator

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    I wish he would give a hint, but alas I know he can't
     
  20. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Well, we know it won't be Flesh for Frankenstein. Paul Morrissey expected the Archive to work on that one for free.
     

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