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Teenage Werewolf/Frankenstein, Colossal Man , Saucer Men.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by LouA, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Anyone have any ideas as to why the above captioned AIP B Movies have never appeared on DVD? They were released on VHS back in the 1990's . I figure there must be some kind of rights issues , but most other 1950's -60's AIP films are now out , some on Blu-ray. Might be something for Shout Factory to look into.
     
    Bob Furmanek likes this.
  2. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Susan Hart owns the films and - apparently - wants too much money to license them. She's got the Wade Williams "they're all worth a million dollars" mentality.

    Sadly, the audience base for these films gets smaller every year.
     
  3. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Hi Bob thanks for the info. I figured it was something like that .I didn't realize Hart owned them. She had a short career as an actress . I guess she must have been married to one of the owners of these films and inherited them. It's hard to imagine her buying the rights to them as an investment .
     
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  4. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I just checked IMDB - James Nicholson!!
     
  5. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    What happened was that, years ago, the rights to a bunch of the '50s AIP films got divvied-up between Susan Hart (former AIP starlet and widow of AIP co-president James Nicholson), co-president Sam Arkoff (now his estate) and producer Herman Cohen (also now his estate).

    Susan Hart got:

    I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF
    I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN
    THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN
    IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (and the '60s remake, ZONTAR THE THING FROM VENUS)
    INVASION OF THE SAUCERMEN (and the '60s remake, INVASION OF THE EYE CREATURES)
    TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000
    APACHE WOMAN
    OKLAHOMA WOMAN
    NAKED PARADISE

    Sam Arkoff got:

    WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST
    THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED
    THE SHE CREATURE
    EARTH VS. THE SPIDER
    BLOOD OF DRACULA
    HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER
    TEENAGE CAVEMAN
    THE SAGA OF THE VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT
    VOODOO WOMAN
    THE UNDEAD
    THE BRAIN EATERS
    REFORM SCHOOL GIRL
    SORORITY GIRL
    GIRLS IN PRISON
    RUNAWAY DAUGHTERS
    THE COOL AND THE CRAZY
    GUNSLINGER
    and a few others of lesser profile.

    Herman Cohen got:

    HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM
    THE HEADLESS GHOST

    MGM got pretty much everything else.

    Susan Hart has been extremely protective of the rights she owns, and has been prone to sue for copyright infringement over things like brief clips from the films being used in documentaries, or people selling posters/lobby cards from the films at conventions. She remarried into some considerable wealth, thus isn't dependent on the films for her livelihood, and so has apparently asked a prohibitively high price for leasing out the home video rights, thus far. It also could be that the source materials/current transfers are in inferior shape, in terms of what current companies are willing to release on disc/streaming, which might well require more of an investment than she is willing to make.
     
  6. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    So how did Lionsgate manage to release some of these as double features some years back? What is some special quid pro quo arrangement?
     
  7. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    No, the Lionsgate titles were from the Arkoff estate, which was more amenable to licensing (as is the Herman Cohen estate). Not only did Arkoff license 8 of its titles to Lionsgate, but also licensed those and a couple more to Direct Video in the UK. Of course, all this was several years ago, so either the Arkoff estate subsequently raised their asking price and/or the released Arkoff titles just didn't meet sales expectations.

    The ideal company right now (and perhaps the only one) for both Hart and Arkoff to license to would be Shout Factory, for the simple fact that they are more attractive to Shout for dual-use purposes, as further cleared episodes for future MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 collections, and as straight stand-alone 'drive-in' releases as Shout has already done with Corman's New World/New Horizons holdings, MGM, Fox and the 1960s Gamera series.

    As Bob Furmanek says, the audience gets smaller for these every year (and note that the last major venue these have had on U.S. television has been on AMC, and that has mainly been about 10-15 years ago now), the window of opportunity is closing, so for Hart and the Arkoff Estate, they'd better get cracking in the next year or two, because the DVD/Blu-ray train is leaving the station.

    Oh, one other '50s AIP title that Arkoff controls in R1/RA: THE CAT GIRL (1957, though the slightly different UK cut is owned by StudioCanal, and was recently released on disc in the UK by Network).
     
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  8. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    This thread doesn't belong in the TV section.
     
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  9. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    "In fact, let me tell you something: I never thought of Sam Arkoff in any way, shape or form in those days. He had nothing to do with the making of the pictures. The fact that I went to AIP (American-International Pictures) was because of my relationship with Jim Nicholson."--Herman Cohen.

    Is there any way that this discussion thread could be transferred to the DVD movies section? It would (likely) receive a lot more interest, support and exposure.

    A number of interesting issues have been touched upon (and ignited) here.

    Pertaining to film right just how do we know who actually has just ownership. The earlier AIP films specifically are now in the hands of private individuals simply because (the late) Samuel Z. Arkoff (deliberately) withheld them from their ultimate mass sale to Filmways (which in turn was taken over by Orion Pictures, which in turn was bought out by MGM). With the complete sale of the former AIP holdings did he have the legal right to do so? How does one actually substantiate current ownership (apart form Susan Hart and the Arloff's claims)?

    Specifically pertaining to Susan Hart aka Susan Hart Nicholson aka Susan Hart Hofheinz she and her (shyster) lawyer husband have no right to appropriate the property of fans-collectors, to threaten fans, journalists and documentarists in any way and generally resorting to what has amounted to Nazi-like territorist tactics (the same can be discustingly said for Wade Williams).

    I have stated this before but it is the devoted fans who have kept the memory and interest in these films alive.

    By their misbehavior quite frankly I (rightly) rather not deal with these individuals, period. They can take these films and go....

    If the 1950s AIP film library should come in the possession of others a lot more appreciative and respective (for both this specific AIP film library and its enthusiastic supporters) then I (and I'm sure a good many others) certainly will welcome it.



    Season's Greetings to All My Fellow Forum Members!

    Jeff T.

    :angry:
     
  10. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Which she has lost on various grounds.

    Sam saw future value in those early titles so he kept them out of the deal to Filmways, simple as that - future sales to television,remake rights, the early home video market.

    I am sure there are transfer of ownership records someplace.Did you notice on what Hart now controls, there are the TWO biggest early AIP titles, "I Was a Teen-Age Werewolf" and "Amazing Colossal Man"
     
  11. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I, for one, would purchase copies of all of these controlled by Ms. Hart:

    I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF
    I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN
    THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN
    IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (and the '60s remake, ZONTAR THE THING FROM VENUS)
    INVASION OF THE SAUCERMEN (and the '60s remake, INVASION OF THE EYE CREATURES)
    TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000

    But from what I've read and heard it'll probably be well after my passing before any of these will be available in *any* form. Like has been mentioned, that will be too late for *both* parties as most people interested in these films will no longer be walking the planet. My son's generation (he's 32) doesn't seem to be interested *at all* in these old "classic" SF/Horror titles. :(
     
  12. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    This thread still needs to be moved to the movies section.
     
  13. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    To my thinking 32 is old. But I'll address that and Scream Factory which panders to (or specializes in) this age bracket later on.

    Yes, this discussion thread should be moved to the DVD movies!

    It's five best films: I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957), IT CONQUERED THE WORLD (1956), THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1957), INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) and I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN (1957).

    This brings up yet another issue that there seems to be discernable "kinks" (or weaknesses) in this so-called ownership because Arkoff had his hands on the all of this stuff but (eventually) had to relinquish some films to Susan Hart and Herman Cohen (a nice man and an astute judge of character or the lack of it). This is the point: Possession where there is no actual ownership.

    To quote: "I am sure there are transfer of ownership records someplace."

    And if there isn't?

    There is supposed to be a legal document that clearly states: We the undersigned (meaning Filmways) agree to purchase the AIP film library with the exclusion of certain specified films in this legally binding contract which will remain in the possession of Samuel Z. Arkoff?

    If there is, then show it to me. I want to see it. But it won't be because no such thing exists.

    Is it inconceivable that these films were held out without the knowledge of Filmways? Just how knowledgeable would the Filmways people be about these films anyway?



    Is that guy's head in a birdcage?!

    Jeff T.

    :rolleyes:
     
  14. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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  15. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    Sooner or later this movie-related discussion thread is going to wear out its welcome on the TV on DVD and Blu-ray forum!

    That weblink merely lists copyright claimants and what I am interested in is the contractual agreement pertaining to Filmways' acquisition of the AIP film library (which may or may not provide some vital answers). Author Martin Grams, Jr. seems to have an expertise in having access to such legal documentation. Maybe he should be asked about it.

    I was going to provide a quote about just how lax (and incompetent) registration is pertaining to genuinely validating such claims of film ownership rights without doing much in the investigation but (unfortunately) it just can't be found.

    However I specifically checked out INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) and this is the data which came up:

    01) INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) copyright claimant: Selma Enterprises (dated October 15th, 1985).

    Now the INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) VHS was released by Columbia-Tristar Home Entertainment on April 28th, 1993 (copyright 1985 Selma Enterprises).

    02) INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) copyright claimant: Susan Nicholson-Hofheinz (dated May 24th, 1999).

    Shortly after sometime around 1996 the INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) VHS (and a good many other AIP DRIVE-IN CLASSICS series VHS releases) was (abruptly) withdrawn from the market.

    Apparently an ownership transition must have taken place (from Selma Enterprises to Susan Nicholson-Hofheinz). Likely an involuntary one.

    So this woman has had possession (of a portion) of the 1950s AIP film library for 15 years now and what has been constructively done about it?

    It's not been made available for home video. It's not available for tv telecasts anymore. It's not available for film revival screenings.

    This "story" (or drama) is by no means over by a long shot. We most definitely have not seen the last of these films. They won't (or can't) be kept out of public view indefinitely. This is just a "phase" in the "checkered" chronology. An admittedly unpleasant one that has to be endured for the time being.

    I will say this Ms. Hofheinz certainly acquired the cream-of-the-crop. That more than anything must have put Samuel Z. Arkoff in his grave!

    Thank you for the interesting weblink.

    Jeff T.
     
  16. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (anamorphic widescreen) is still available from Amazon Italy on DVD, and it looks pretty decent:

    http://www.amazon.it/Giganti-Invadono-Terra-Glenn-Langan/dp/B00DJAF5BM/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1418385715&sr=1-2&keywords=amazing+colossal+man

    I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF was briefly available from Daaveedee, but has since vanished.

    The point is, somebody has these films, perhaps in other countries, and might even be legal!

    A pox on Wade Williams and Susan Hart...who are being selfish and officious.
     
  17. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I have nothing to add, other than I would buy all of these titles if they came out presented properly on blu-ray or DVD.
     
  18. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    Rick, now you're speaking my language!

    It seems that there is (way) too much concern about these individual's rights but just whose rights do they respect?

    However it was secured the (so-called) Arkoff AIP collection has been marketed presumably at a reasonable asking price by the owners so maybe some of these titles can be made available again in their proper widescreen formats on blu-ray (or improved upon DVDs).

    Pertaining to the others (likely) they will eventually be sold to someone who has sound business sense and can competently handle the property. Absolutely nothing has been done with these films for 15 years so it's doubtful this will change with the current owner.

    If MGM had them we would of long seen these films made available by now and in superior quality condition (just look at ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE and THE GHOST OF DRAGSTRIP HOLLOW which both seemingly slipped through the cracks thank goodness).

    In the meatime we (united) fans will keep hammering away for their liberation.



    Jeff T.

    :D
     
  19. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Not sure how to move this otherwise I would .I agree it's in the wrong forum, but I didn't realize it when I started the thred.
     
  20. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    "We recognize our obligation to the fans of this landmark series, and we have worked diligently to identify all issues and provide resolutions as quickly as possible."--Rosemary Markson, Senior Vice President, TV Brand Management and Retail Marketing, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.

    No problem Lou we're all glad that you started this particular discussion thread which may well lead to what we all want. These things are read by a lot of people including influencial people in the industry.

    I hope it inspires discussion and awareness all over the internet. And gives us the support that we need.

    One thing people like Susan Nicholson-Hofheizn (and her husband) have to learn is having good public relations (and more realistic expectations) if they ever intend to make a success of marketing these films.

    Do they feel any obligation to the fans of these 1950s AIP films?



    Jeff T.

    :D
     

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