Which of my Anchor Bay DVDs should I be worried about?

Tim Tucker

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Tim Tucker
I have been reading some bad things here about certain Anchor Bay DVDs dying on people. Which ones of the following should I be concerned about?

The Abominable Snowman
The Anniversary
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
The Captain’s Paradise
Carry On Nurse/Carry On Sergeant
Carry On Teacher/Carry On Constable
Carry On Regardless/Carry On Cruising
Carry On Spying/Carry On Cabby
Carry On Cleo/Carry On Jack
Carry On Cowboy/Carry On Screaming
Dead of Night
Demons of the Mind
The Devil Rides Out
Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde
Dr. Who and the Daleks
Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.
Dalekmania
Dracula: Prince of Darkness
Fear in the Night
Four Sided Triangle
Frankenstein Created Woman
The Hammer Trailer Collection
Hell is a City
Horror of Frankenstein
Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Ladykillers
The Lavender Hill Mob
The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
The Lost Continent
Lust for a Vampire
The 'Maggie'
The Man in the White Suit
The Mummy's Shroud
Passport to Pimlico
The Plague of the Zombies
Prehistoric Women (Slave Girls)
Rasputin the Mad Monk
The Reptile
A Run For Your Money
Quatermass 2
Quatermass and the Pit
The Queen of Spades
Return to Oz
The Satanic Rites of Dracula
Scars of Dracula
Shatter
Straight On Till Morning
That's Carry On
The Titfield Thunderbolt
To The Devil… A Daughter
The Vengeance of She
The Viking Queen
Whisky Galore!
The Witches (The Devil's Own)
X The Unknown


I have heard about Frankenstein Created Woman and The Witches, and that AB was to have repressed those. Is there any way to differentiate between a good pressing and a bad one? Are the single disc Hammer titles more likely to die than same title in one of the Hammer Double Features? Is a DVD from a specific timeframe more likely to die than others?
 

Lyle_JP

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Oct 5, 2000
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The only two that died on me were Heathers and Kentucky Fried Movie, neither of which are on your list. I know that the "Anchor Bay" rot only affects some of their dual-layer titles, so DVD-5's should be safe. I believe it was everything manufactured by Crest National for a period of time.

-Lyle J.P.
 

BrettGallman

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Brett
Weird, I'd never heard of this problem with AB discs until now, but I guess it explains why their Halloween 4 DVD is the only disc I've ever had die on me. I hope the others don't follow suit because I have a lot of AB titles.
 

Ethan Riley

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I hope this doesn't start any bad publicity for Anchor Bay. All the discs I have from them have been satisfactory.
 

Richard_Gregory

Second Unit
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Aug 31, 2005
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It was a manufacturing problem. As I recall, the only ones affected in your list were the two you'd already heard about - The Witches and Frankenstein Created Woman.

I think if the discs were going to go bad, they'd have done so by now - the play side turns a dark bronze colour and the disc becomes totally unplayable.

Don't know if there's any indicator in the discs, but I do know that when they were re-issued as the double features later, they were made by another company and aren't affected.

My copy of The Witches went bad, and they replaced it (about two years ago).

It bounced all over the place, because the returns procedure had me send it back to Crest, who no longer have any dealings with Anchor Bay, and also to Crest's old address which they vacated some while back.

But I got my disc about three months later!
 

Tim Tucker

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Tim Tucker
Is there a way to tell if I have a Crest manufactured DVD? I just checked my copies of Frankenstein Created Woman and The Witches (both of which are from Double Feature sets) and each had an "authored by Grace & Wild" logo after the movie. So is that the disc's manufacturer?
 

Martin_T

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May 4, 2002
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I had a problem with with Dario Argento's film Opera, shortly after it was first issued. Anchor Bay was terrific about sending me out a new copy.
 

Richard_Gregory

Second Unit
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Aug 31, 2005
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AFAIK, the discs in the Double Features were made by a different manufacturer and are therefore safe.

Only the single discs, a few specific titles, were affected - it was an error in manufacture by the makes, Crest.

So the Double Feature discs are safe.

Also, afaik, if the problem was going to show up it would have done so by now. I believe the discs all went bad within about 18 - 24 months of their being manufactured.

The disc authoring is separate from the physical manufacture of the discs.
 

Jon Martin

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Sep 19, 2002
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They were pretty open about the problems back when they were first noticed a few years ago. They reissued HEATHERS with a Version 2.0 sticker on the back (my version 1 died on me). And, with KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, they reissued it with new artwork. The last time I checked, my first version was still working, but I haven't checked it in a while.

Anchor Bay used to be right up there with Criterion, as far as releasing interesting titles. But, ever since the change in ownership (which caused them to drop many future releases, like most of the Wim Wenders series) I can't remember the last title of theirs I bought.
 

Bradley-E

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Nov 11, 2003
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1,019
So far my only one from Anchor Bay that died was KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE. My DVD's of DAWN OF THE DEAD, THE CAR, EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD 2 all still play fine.
 

Richard_Gregory

Second Unit
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Aug 31, 2005
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I'm hoping very hard that the rumours are true that Anchor Bay will be re-acquiring the rights to the Hammer films from Blue Underground (who remarkably got them and decided they didn't want to actually do anything with them) and doing new releases with new transfers.

The AB Hammers were all pretty good, but of course some of the earlier ones weren't anamorphic.

And I'm sure that some of them could be improved on by either new or more affordable restoration techniques now available.
 

Thomas T

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Sep 30, 2001
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The only Anchor Bay disc I've had problems with hasn't been mentioned so far. Curtis Hanson's The Bedroom Window!
 

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