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Teenage Werewolf/Frankenstein, Colossal Man , Saucer Men.

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

  1. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    To add to what has been previously mentioned, about ten years ago Direct Video in the U.K. released at least 23 titles as "The Arkoff Film Library." These are the titles which I have:

    The Bonnie Parker Story
    The Brain Eaters
    Earth vs. The Spider (released on DVD as "The Spider")
    Blood of Dracula
    Cool and the Crazy
    Daddy-O
    Day the World Ended
    Female Jungle
    Girls in Prison
    How to Make a Monster
    Machine Gun Kelly
    Motorcycle Gang
    Reform School Girl
    Rock All Night
    Runaway Daughters
    Shake, Rattle and Rock!
    The She-Creature
    Sorority Girl
    Teenage Caveman
    The Undead
    Viking Women and the Sea Serpent
    Voodoo Woman
    War of the Colossal Beast

    Some of these were subsequently released by Lions Gate in the U.S.
     
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  2. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    "In 1972 James H. Nicholson resigned from AIP (American-International Pictures) to set up his own production company out of 20th Century-Fox. AIP bought out over 100,000 of Nicholson's shares."--Wikipedia.

    There tends to be a "duality" to a few of the early AIP films titles as some were revised (utilizing the selfsame title elements) for their re-releases just before the film package's sale in 1963 for syndicated television airings.

    For example:

    I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN (1957) released in the U.K. as TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN (1957)

    ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE (1958) later re-released as THE FANTASTIC PUPPET PEOPLE (1958)

    THE SPIDER (1958) later re-released as EARTH VS. THE SPIDER (1958)

    THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960) aka THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960)

    It has been suggested (with great validity) that EARTH VS. THE SPIDER (1958) would be more aptly titled MAYBERRY VS. THE SPIDER (1958)!

    The original story treatment for THE SPIDER (1958) was "The World Vs. The Spider" but in early Summer-1958 when THE FLY (1958) proved to be such a smash hit the shooting and subsequent release title was (more appropriately) shortened to just THE SPIDER (1958) to capitalize on this:

    The "horror" of THE FLY (1958)! The "terror" of THE SPIDER (1958)!

    The Lion's Gate limited DVD issue of some 1950s AIP SF-Horror titles are now out-of-print so it can be (rightly) concluded that their (leased) license for these films is now expired. Time to move on.

    This would be a ripe opportunity for another homevideo distributor to acquire the franchise and release (once again in North America) even more of these titles in (vastly) improved upon widescreen (enhanced for 16x9 tvs) video transfer editions. This time also including the original theatrical trailers.

    (As I stated in an earlier message post in this discussion thread) The Arkoff estate seems to be more flexibly reasonable and sensibly accommodating to do business with. Albeit I still think and feel that we would be in a much better position if MGM had ownership of these films! But unfortunately it (strongly) appears that Filmways (badly) fumbled-the-ball in its dealings with Samuel Z. Arkoff.

    Another even better release would (at least) solve half the problem.

    Jeff T.
     
  3. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Your proposal sounds good. I remember back in the 1990's Sony release most if not all of these black and white AIP films from the mid to late 60's on VHS including the problematic titles that inspired this thred. So, I'm guessing that such a release would still be possible if all parties involved could get together. Shout Factory still seems the most likely company although Olive Films is another possibility.
     
  4. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    The VHS releases were before the rights went to Susan Hart that's why they were released but went out of print as soon as the rights changed. No home video releases since then for those titles so It appears the Home Video market is respecting those rights. Probably not worth risking a law suit over titles with limited earnings potential.
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    If a deal could be struck with Susan Hart, I'd throw Arrow's hat into the ring since they're launching Arrow USA in 2015. It's not likely, but I dare to dream.
     
  6. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    "I used to enjoy horror films when there was thought and sympathy involved."--Lon Chaney, Jr.

    "When the new filmmakers talk about 'new' ideas, they just mean new gore scenes. The show is fondly remembered by the thirty-somethings whose first exposure to wild Sci-fi movie thrills were 'eighties pictures like THE LAST STARFIGHTER (1984) and LIFEFORCE (1985)."--Glenn Erickson (taken from his review of the Twilight Time THE BLOB [1988] BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION single disc set dated October 12th, 2014).

    There may well be a lot of truth in what Randy refers to as "limited earning potential."

    I say this in conjunction with Scream Factory which (generally) specializes in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s genre films. In addition to the teens and 20 year olds a lot of their clientele further encompases 30 and 40 year age brackets whose taste and preferences are firmly grounded in the aformentioned latter era of horror films. They are much more inclined to appreciate the TH13TEEN GHOSTS (2001) remake over the 13 GHOSTS (1960) original.

    Ever since the (discouraging) word got out that Roger Corman's TALES OF TERROR (1962) had escaped Scream Factory's commercial radar I've had serious doubts about this firm's commitment (if there is any kind of commitment) to what is deemed as "vintage" horror films. In other words pre-1967.

    Speaking for myself I just don't dig deranged axe murderers, abhorrent throat slashers or dreary psychotic roadside drive-in restaurant wackos kind of fright flick and their tasteless ilk. What a repulsive bore! This abysmal drek may well pass as entertainment for others...but not for me! But this is precisely what their patrons are (enthusiastically) interested in.

    I'm not saying that Scream Factory (absolutely) wouldn't consider the AIP 1950s films (it has been suggested to them a number of times, by myself included) but I'll wait to see in the new year (2015) just what Scream Factory generally comes up with to better assess the "reality" of the situation.

    Specifically in the Arkoff AIP film library I would love to see THE UNDEAD (1957) made available as it (positively) rocks with the Roger Corman stock company of players shown in full force!



    Jeff T.

    :rolleyes:
     
  7. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I am sure companies have approached Hart in the past and she wanted too much - you have to figure SHOUT approached her about the MST3K episodes. (You got to love Mike - in one of his pre-host appearances - as Glen Manning outside the SOL chomping on a cow! )
     
  8. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]


    "Come on lady, cough up those films."--An Irate Fan.

    If Scream-Shout! Factory has attempted to approach Susan Hart then it (just as likely) could have similarly contacted the Arkoff Estate-Family.

    As I said the latter seems much more accessible of the two parties and there are a number of splendid 1950s AIP film titles in their proprietorship that could (conceivably) be made available for home viewing entertainment on DVD.

    Just to cite an example of accessibility and productivity when INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN (1957) was marketed on VHS I recall a video shop that had dozens of copies all over the place just ripe for the picking. I believe it was initially retailing for $16.99. I thought it was just great! Just imagine it in sharp contrast to the (current) drought that we're experiencing. I love the (so-called) "older" films.

    I remember a local Blockbuster Video was selling THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (1957) and WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST (1958) when they first came out on VHS for just $9.99.

    However bear-in-mind the second message posting in this discussion thread that draws attention to the (likely) need for improvement on the video transfers from the existing source elements. Furthermore with the exception of DAY THE WORLD ENDED (1956) none of the other 1950s AIP films have ever been made available in their widescreen dimensions (enhanced for 16x9 tvs).

    Our standards and expectations have become much more demanding-discerning since the early 1990s when these films were commercially first released on home video.

    (For the present) I am completely dismissing Susan Hart because I (honestly) don't think there is anyone in their right mind that would want to deal with her (but we never really know just what may be happening behind-the-scenes).

    The Arkoff Estate-Family seems to have a (reasonably) sound business acumen and if Ms. Hart had any sense she should let them help manage the films in her possession for the benefit of everyone involved. But I think that there is way too much bad blood and suspicion certainly on her part to preclude such a proposal. Albeit she may well find that she has no real choice.

    But for the time being we can still entertain a possibility of another (hopefully) better release of the Arkoff collection. I think that this stuff can really fly again.

    One way or another the 1950s AIP films in Susan Hart's control will also come in time.



    Jeff T.

    :rolleyes:
     
  9. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    I've waited forever to watch "Invasion of the Saucer-Men" hoping it would come out in either SD or BD. Well, I couldn't take it any longer and watched it on Youtube in all the glory of 240i.

    From what I could see of the movie, it wasn't to bad. Still will have a place in my sci-fi/horror collection if it ever gets released.
     
  10. TheSteig

    TheSteig Screenwriter

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    I have the widescreen DVD of Saucer Men and decided to order Amazing Colossal Man from Amazon - I made sure it was the widescreen release from Pulp Video
     
  11. Oliver Ravencrest

    Oliver Ravencrest Screenwriter

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    I watched Saucer Men and Teenage werewolf on YouTube earlier this year and enjoyed them, especially Saucer. I would love to own those 2 and Colossal. Would love to see It Conquered again too. Hopefully one day there will be proper DVD releases
     
  12. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Shout Factory released THE FINAL TERROR, which was owned by Arkoff's son, and was planning to release another of his films, HELLHOLE, until that release was indefinitely postponed due to lack of usable elements. As such, I am guessing that discussion on the Arkoff AIP titles has taken place. Perhaps no deal has been made not just because of the asking price, but because of the cost of remastering the elements. These films have been out of circulation so long, they likely have not done video masters since the '90's at the latest, and the cost of bringing them to HD level quality could be even more expensive than what the Arkoff family would want just for the rights. In any case, it would mean more cost than Shout could reasonably expect to recoup.
     
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  13. TheSteig

    TheSteig Screenwriter

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    I bet if they made them limited editions they would sell out, that could be the only way to recoup money, use the Twilight Time business model :)
     
  14. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Shout only releases what is provided to them. It would be the studio/rights owners decision to re-master them but that would of course raise the asking price as you mentioned considerably. Shout could also just go with the less than desirable existing masters if the price became reasonable. They do this all the time.
     
  15. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    "Is there any possibility that you'd be able to release a bluray of SLAUGHTER HIGH (1986) uncut? That would be an immediate buy from me."--A typical request of the Scream Factory.

    This is one of the deficiencies when "private" individuals attempt to participate in the home video market. They just don't have the facilities and resources to made decent masters for mass production. This is a problem with Wade Williams who circulates inferior less-than-quality prints.

    What (prospective) licensing company is going to invest all the effort and capital in properly upgrading this "leased" material only to have to (ultimately) return all their hard work and investment back to the actual owners?

    It is really up to the latter to do all this which naturally they can't.

    Quite perplexing isn't it?

    I am (still) not convinced that Scream Factory (specifically) is really interested in the so-called "older" films (certainly not by all the "sicko" gunk that has been coming out lately and announced). Apart from the recent VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION, VOLUME TWO blu-ray edition what else comparable has there been recently (or forthcoming)?

    I am glad to see this discussion thread attract attention and interest!



    Jeff T.

    :rolleyes:
     
  16. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Hi Jeff,
    While it's true that Shout Factory mostly concentrates on modern slasher type of horror films , the do occasionally release older films like the Blu-ray double feature Neanderthal Man , and Beast From Hollow Mountain. Maybe if enough people contact SF we can make them aware that there's a demand for these films , they might be able to pry them loose from Susan Hart. One thing's for sure , the longer she waits , the less valuable they become due to the potential audience shrinking .
     
  17. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I have been under the impression that she just wants too much damn money for the rights!
     
  18. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    I've read that on this thread , so I guess it's true, but right now she isn't making any money at all from them and as time goes by they become less of an asset. It would be a shame if these films become "lost" due to her indifference and greed.
     
  19. Connie E

    Connie E Extra

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    nice thread but better in the film section[​IMG]
     
  20. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    I don't think she cares about making money off the titles. She properly is not hurting in her bank account.
     

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