NEWS - AUGUST 2003
are some more details about the four horror titles being released by
Momentum on October the 20th (see the news entry for
22nd of August, below). All four discs are anamorphic: The
Vengeance of Fu Manchu and The Bride of Fu Manchu are in 1.85:1
ratio, and The Face of Fu Manchu is in 2.35:1 ratio. The Mummy's
Shroud is windowboxed in 1.65:1 ratio. You can see example menu
screens for the four discs by following this
link. You can discuss these titles by contributing to this
thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum.
have announced their October titles. There are some terrific titles for
the Hallowe'en season, but more discriminating consumers will be hearing
recent comedies lead MGM UK's October releases: the Golden Globe-nominated
coming of age story Igby Goes Down; a $75m sleeper hit Stateside
that did virtually no business in the UK, Barbershop; and the
relationship triangle A Guy Thing, starring the talented Jason Lee,
Selma Blair and Julia Stiles.
Goes Down will feature a commentary track (by director Burr Steers and
star Kieran Kulkin), the In Search of Igby featurette, deleted
scenes with director's commentary, a photo' gallery and trailer. The
release date is the 20th of October, and the RRP is £19.99.
is released on the 6th of October, and also has an RRP of £19.99. The
Collector's Edition disc will contain featurettes (The Final Cut, Set,
Press and Style, Finishing Touches and HairDo's and Don'ts),
deleted scenes, outtakes, the Fabulous (featuring P.Diddy and Jagged Edge)
music video Trade It All and a photo' gallery. Potential
customers should know that the UK disc seems to be missing the commentary
track that's on the Region 1 version.
Guy Thing is due on October the 20th, with an RRP of £19.99. The disc
will contain three featurettes (Inside A Guy Thing, Bachelor
Party Confidential and Groovy Gravy: Making the Scene in A Guy
Thing), deleted scenes, alternative endings, outtakes, a trailer and a
photo' gallery. Once again, the Region 2 version seems to have lost the
commentary track that's on the American disc. Sigh. Whatever happened to
MGM UK's stated desire to better the Region 1 product? You can discuss
these three comedy titles in this
thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum.
classic horror movies are added to MGM UK's catalogue on October the 20th,
each with an RRP of £12.99: the Hammer adaptation of The Hound of the
Baskervilles, three of AIP's wonderful Edgar Allen Poe movies: Tales
of Terror, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Raven,
and the two Vincent Price Doctor Phibes movies The Abominable Doctor
Phibes and Doctor Phibes Rises Again. Horror fans will be
sharpening their stakes when they discover that MGM has dropped the
excellent Christopher Lee interview from The Hound of the Baskervilles DVD
and Roger Corman's terrific commentary track from the The Fall of the
House of Usher DVD. It gets worse, though! The UK version of The
Raven, which will be missing a featurette about legendary scriptwriter
Richard Matheson, a featurette about Corman's Comedy of Poe, and an
audio presentation of a promotional LP. (Not to mention that the US
version is a double-bill with Comedy of Terrors, which has
its own bonus materials!)
these horror titles are available for less than ten pounds in the US,
there seems to be no reason to buy the UK versions until they inevitably
become included in MGM's seemingly never-ending "3 for £20"
promotions, and even then it's probably worth paying the extra pound or
two for the bonus materials.
that no reliable technical spec's for these titles have been
can discuss these titles in this
thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum.
a gallery of the October sleeves, together with November's bare-bones Agent
Cody Banks disc, which is missing all the deleted scenes, featurettes,
the commentary track and multi-angle sequences that are on the US version:
Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the Coen Brothers' gripping
prohibition-era drama Miller's Crossing on October the 13th.
disc will feature a featurette focusing on the work of the film's
cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld (later director of Men in Black and
Get Shorty), and interviews with stars Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro
and Marcia Gay Harden. The
disc will have an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer, and Dolby Digital 4.0 (left,
centre, right, mono surround) audio. The disc will also feature a stills
gallery and trailers for Miller's Crossing and Raising Arizona.
for the disc is £19.99.
to discuss this title in the Forum.
has issued a new picture of the forthcoming X-Men 2 DVD, showing
part of the disc art (although it should be noted that this image doesn't
feature the BBFC certificate, so may have been be sourced from another
territory). See the news entry for the 22nd of August,
below, for more details.
added four sleeves to the Alternate Reality gallery: provisional designs
for tapes of the Hancock and Doomwatch TV series. The Doomwatch
ones are really nice, but the Hancock ones have to be seen to
be believed! Click
here or on the
Alternate Reality button, left. You can discuss these sleeves in
particular, and the gallery in general, in this
thread at the Forum. I'd be very interested in reading your
Fox are running a promotion at the moment,
significantly reducing the RRP of several of their season one-type TV box
sets, meaning, for example, that you can pick up the first, six-disc box set of NYPD Blue for
an astonishing £15.99 (from Play.com, for example). Other series in the
promotion include Futurama, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Family
Guy and Dark Angel - lots of bargains out there for those of
you yet to dip your toes in the water. It strikes me as being a
particularly smart bit of marketing, even if only a fraction of people who
take advantage of the offer go on to buy other seasons.
are a few bits and pieces of news left over from the flurry at the end of
last week. (It seems there's nothing like the prospect of a three day
holiday to get the PR people working flat out!)
will be releasing an Upstairs, Downstairs - Seasons 1-5 box set on
the 27th of October. RRP for the set is £99.99. (Seasons 4 and 5 were
released last week). On the same day they're issuing a set of both seasons
of the recent adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, with an RRP of
£29.99. The Rising Damp set being released on the 3rd of November
will have an RRP of £29.99. Still no word on whether Stand
Up and Be Counted will be included (see news item for
8th August, below, for more details).
Bay will be releasing a 2-disc 25th Anniversary version of Halloween
on the 27th of October, which looks like it will mirror the version
released recently in the US. Let's hope they're not going to use the same
much-criticised transfer. The press release says that the new "fully
restored" version will contain "a video transfer by
award-winning telecine colourist Adam Adams, and approved by the film's
cinematographer Dean Cundey", which I don't think was claimed of the
US version, although it's probably going to be exactly the same. The
new set will include Criterion's commentary track (recorded for their
laserdisc, and not previously included on any DVD version), the new
87-minute Halloween - A Cut Above The Rest documentary, a new
featurette, On Location - 25 Years Later, and the usual mix of
trailers, TV spots, posters, stills and DVD-Rom content. Neither the UK
version nor the US version contains the extra material that Carpenter shot
to create a TV version of the film, which was included on earlier DVD
releases. RRP is a very reasonable £17.99, although if it's like
every other Anchor Bay release, it will probably be available for less
than ten quid within a month or two.
Bay are also releasing two terrific Amicus horror anthology films, The
House That Dripped Blood and Doctor Terror's House of Horrors on
October the 27th. No other details are available, except the RRPs, which
are £14.99 each. Anchor Bay's website lists Doctor Terror's House of
Horrors as being in 2.35:1 ratio, so that's a good sign. They're also
listing an Amicus box set for November (no more details, but it would
probably require at least one more qualifying title), and a couple of
other interesting British horror movies, The Asphyx and Blood on
Satan's Claw, as forthcoming titles.
those of you paying attention might have noticed a few cosmetic changes
around the place today. Nothing to get too excited about. The main
change is that I've redesigned the home page so that more of the
content can be seen without having to scroll down (with the addition of
Roobarb's DVD Forum, one of the options had fallen off the bottom of the
UK have announced the release of one of the year's biggest blockbusters,
and one of the year's most eagerly-awaited DVDs: X-Men 2.
added a page which contains the entire press release, and two shots of the
cover art, which you can find by clicking on the sleeve art, left, or here.
the Americans, it seems we're getting a variation of the theatrical
artwork for our packaging. Odd to see Storm (Halle Berry) get such
prominence on this design, though, since several other X-Men had more
screen time than her, from what I remember. I guess that's what winning an
Oscar does for you!
very glad to see that it looks like the UK will be getting the DTS track.
From the spec's we have it looks like being a match for the US version,
which comes out two weeks later. You can discuss this release by clicking
thread at the Forum.
Home Video have provided the sleeve art for the September science-fiction
and horror titles (and Fame!), which were announced earlier this
month (see the news entry for the 7th of August,
below). Here they are:
Pictures look set to make fans of British horror movies very happy in
October, with the release of three films from the Fu Manchu series (nicely
complementing the two being released by Blue Underground in their
Christopher Lee box set, see news entry for the 5th of
August, below). These are The Brides of Fu Manchu, Vengeance
of Fu Manchu and The Face of Fu Manchu. These will be
complemented by the release of the 1967 Hammer movie The Mummy's Shroud.
No technical details for the discs have been announced, but they have an
RRP of £12.99 each, and will be released on October the 20th. You can
discuss these titles in this
thread at the Forum.
Emmy-nominated "four-hour" (177m) mini-series Hitler: The
Rise of Evil (which stars Robert Carlyle, Juliana Margulies and
Matthew Modine) will be screened on Channel 4 later this year, and is
being released on DVD by Momentum Pictures on October 20th.
will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio. The only listed extra is a trailer. RRP for the disc is £17.99. Go
thread to discuss this release at the Forum.
second part of a guide to the BBC drama series When The Boat Comes In,
detailing the four episodes on Acorn Video's second two-disc set, Empire
Day On The Slag Heap, has now been added to the site. I've also
updated the first part of the guide, which can be found here,
and have improved the clarity of some of the photographs. The second part
of the guide can be found here.
If anyone has any comments about the guide, or the series, they can be
added to this
thread at the Forum.
thanks to David Auger, for pointing out that I was confusing two episodes
of Department S in my description of the series' first episode,
below. This error has now been airbrushed from history!
label Umbrella will be releasing cult TV favourite Department S on
October the 15th. The ITC series starred Peter Wyngarde as dashing
best-selling author Jason King, who would each week be confronted by a Jonathan
Creek-type mystery (for example, in the first episode, a commercial airliner
lands, but the crew and passengers don't realise it has been missing for
seven-disc Department S box set will contain all twenty-eight
episodes of the 1969-1970 series, uncut and digitally-remastered.
Wyngarde has contributed commentary tracks for two episodes, and there
will also be other bonus material (an insert facsimile of the series'
original publicity brochure, a text guide to the series' locations,
isolated music and effects audio tracks, ITC publicity and memorabilia
files, production notes, cast and crew biographies, photo' galleries, a
trailer for the series, and trailers for other ITC series).
continued interest in the ITC catalogue is terrific news for fans of cult
TV, especially now that Carlton seems to have lost interest in anything
that doesn't have Gerry Anderson's name attached to it. Umbrella are also
working on The Saint, and have already released The Prisoner.
RRP for the set is A$129.95 (about £53).
to discuss this release at Roobarb's DVD Forum.
guess that people must really love 24, 'cause I had a ton of
entries to the 24 - Season 2 DVD Collection competition, which
closed yesterday. The answer to the question "Kiefer Sutherland is
the son of which famous movie star?" was, of course, Donald
Sutherland. I wonder if that explains Kiefer's freakish earlobes? Go on,
check 'em out! Sadly, although Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's
generosity knows no bounds - at least, not as far as you lucky people are
concerned - there can be only three winners, and they are: S. MacDonald, Wayne
Howell and Mike Rogerson. Congratulations to them, and thanks again to the
fine folk at Fox. Who would have guessed it turned out to be the butler?
six of Stargate SG-1 comes to a dramatic end with the episodes on
the Volume 31 DVD, which is released on September the 1st. Courtesy
of MGM Home Entertainment, we've got three copies to give away in our new
competition, which you can enter by clicking on the banner, above or on this
had a quick look at Warner Home Video's forthcoming The Man From UNCLE movies
box set. Although it's relatively bare-bones, I think fans will be very
happy with it.
that the movies were compiled from episodes of a mid-sixties TV
production, they look very colourful (at the time most TV viewers would
only have been able to watch the series in black and white, so the chance
to see their heroes in colour must have been quite exciting!) The third
disc in the set contains a DVD-Rom section, which offers nicely- designed
Adobe Acrobat files detailing some of the series spin-off merchandise (the
novels, the Gold Key comics, etc), as well as extracts from contemporary
promotional material (character profiles, etc). Click here
to see some menu screens from the set, or here
to discuss this release on the forum. The set will be released on
September the 8th.
of colour, I've just noticed that the picture of the expanded Man From
UNCLE pack that I added yesterday came out in black and white, for
some reason. I've corrected it, and now you can see it in all its
a closer look at The Man From UNCLE box set, and the third Ealing
Classics DVD Collection, both of which are due on the 8th of
September. For more details on The Man From UNCLE set
check out the News entry for the 17th
of July; for more information on the Ealing Classics set visit
the News entry for the 26th of
will release Stephen Gallagher's science fiction-flavoured conspiracy
thriller mini-series Oktober on October the 27th. The disc will
include footage that wasn't in the version originally broadcast, back in
1998, an exclusive interview with Stephen Gallagher, and the author's
personal production diary. The RRP is £15.99. Here's a look at the
sleeve, which is one of the company's better efforts...
two already-available two-disc sets of the BBC's science fiction runaround
Crime Traveller will be re-issued by Revelation as a boxed set on the 27th of
October, with an RRP of £39.99.
two-disc set containing the entire first series of Robson Green's criminal
profiler series Wire In The Blood will be released by Revelation on
October the 27th. The set will contain exclusive interviews with Green,
his co-star Hermione Norris and writer Val McDermid, and a behind the
scenes documentary (about the second series). The sleeve mentions
"previously unseen footage", but it's not clear if this refers
to additional scenes or the behind the scenes material.
are the sleeve images for Wire In The Blood - Series 1 and the Crime
Traveller box set. You can discuss these new announcements by
following these links to Roobarb's DVD Forum: Oktober,
in the Blood and Crime
the box art for the next CSI: Crime Scene Investigation set, which
contains the second half of the second season. I don't have any further
details, except that it seems to be due on October the 6th...
Tristar have been in touch to let us know that the Ridley Scott box set I
mentioned yesterday will contain the existing two-disc versions of Hannibal,
Black Hawk Down and Gladiator. RRP is £34.99, which seems
pretty steep when these movies are regularly on sale for less than ten
well, well! Have I got news for you today!
delighted to welcome Roobarb's DVD Forum to the Zeta Minor site.
those of you who haven't heard of Roobarb's, it's a great source of advice
and information about releases of British TV series and movies on
site's been active for a couple of years, but recently it's been plagued
with intrusive pop-up advertising. Now Roobarb's DVD Forum has a new,
pop-up free home!
can access the site by clicking on the menu option, left, or by clicking
on this link. Don't forget to bookmark the site once you're there!
the move, Roobarb's DVD Forum has broadened its horizons a little, and
visitors will now be able to discuss all kinds of DVD releases, as well as
DVD and TV hardware-related issues.
thanks to Adam and Alan, for making the move as painless as possible.
You'll forgive me if I extend to them a huge, Sir Richard Attenborough-style
"Welcome to Zeta Minor!"
Tristar's provisional release schedule for November has been announced,
but there's nothing worth getting excited about.
be several 2-disc box sets, re-packaging existing titles to take advantage
of the Christmas "granny factor": Stuart Little and Stuart
Little 2, Matilda and Madeline, Annie and Oliver,
and Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal (all on November the
are also releasing an Al Jolson double-bill DVD containing The Jolson
Story and Jolson Sings Again, and a pairing of A Muppet
Family Christmas and A Christmas Toy (it's not clear whether
this will be a box set, or two films on a single DVD). These are also due
on November the 3rd. It's also worth mentioning that there's a Ridley
Scott box set penciled in for October the 6th, but no other details are
uplifting 1961 social drama A Raisin in the Sun, which stars Sidney
Poitier, will be released on November the 10th. The Kevin Kline and
Tracy Ullman comedy I Love You To Death is due on the 17th. The
rather gory Alien Hunter (pictured, a film heavily inspired by The
Thing, starring James Spader, and featuring The Mummy's John
Lynch, Roy Dotrice and 2001: A Space Odyssey's Keir Dullea) looks
set to go straight to DVD on the 24th of November. Gérard
Le Pacte du Silence is
also due on the 24th. You can discuss this announcement in this
Video has formally announced the details for the Survivors - The
Complete First Series
box set, which is being released on October the 6th.
DVD version will contain the thirteen episodes that make up the first
season, digitally remastered.
set will include audio commentary tracks on two episodes (The Fourth
Horseman and Law and Order), and filmed interviews with stars
Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch and Lucy Fleming, and director Pennant
Roberts. There'll also be a "special guest interview" with Tanya
Ronder, who played one of the children, Lizzie Willoughby, and rare behind
the scenes film footage. The set will also come with a thirty-six page
booklet, featuring some previously unpublished photo's. RRP is £49.99.
a new competition for you to enter today, where you could win a copy of
the Planet of the Apes TV series, which is being released by
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment next Monday. I've been a fan of
this series since it was originally shown in the mid-70s. It's often
unfairly dismissed by those who feel it doesn't compare favourably with
the feature films, but it does have good production values, and benefits
greatly from the contributions of Roddy McDowell (as Galen) and Mark
Lenard (as General Urko) . We have three sets to give away, but if you're
not one of the lucky ones, you'll be able to pick up this four-disc set
for less than £18, which, I humbly suggest, is a bit of a bargain. Click here,
or on the banner, above, to enter.
hard to whip up much enthusiasm when the latest BBC press release arrives.
For some reason news about forthcoming BBC titles usually dribbles in from
various sources (online retailers and the BBFC, for example) long before
any official announcement is made, so when the press release turns up,
it's usually a bit of an anti-climax. The BBC often announced their titles
much closer to the actual street date than other labels do, too.
is generally regarded in the industry as the beginning of the Christmas
period, and competition for retailer shelf space becomes even more intense
than it is during the rest of the year. So what does the BBC -ahem - have
in store for us?
Who's 40th anniversary year is being marked by a series of
next Doctor Who release, the 1985 Colin Baker story The Two
Doctors, doesn't have an official release date yet, probably because
this month's release (Earthshock) has been postponed by two weeks
due to a packaging problem).
story featured the Doctor's recurring foes the Sontarans, and featured a
return to the title role by Patrick Troughton (together with his
assistant, Jamie, played by Frazer Hines). The story also featured Blake's
7 star Jacqueline Pearce, as the villainous Chessene. The two-disc set
will feature the three-part story (each episode was about forty-five
minutes long at this point in the series' history), and a host of special
by stars Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines, Jacqueline Pearce and
the Director, Peter Moffatt.
Fix With Sontarans (mini-episode from Jim'll Fix It)
The Sofa - a forty-five minute featurette on Doctor Who's most
celebrated writer, Robert Holmes
The Lights - twenty-five minutes of studio footage from the first
The Sun - footage from the story's Spanish location filming, sourced
from VHS (35m)
in Spain and Time - An interview with production manager Gary Downie
- a 1984 radio programme following the production of the story
fans will be satiated by flood of classic titles, although, as usual,
there are a few frustrating announcements, too.
second series of Happiness will be released on September the 8th.
The disc will feature six episodes (A Little Bit of Love, A Nice
Person, Real Dancing, Retrospective, Old Bloke at the
Door and People Move On), and has an RRP of £12.99.
be another chance to savour Simon Nye's quirky Cornwall-based sitcom Wild
West, which starred Dawn French, on September the 15th, when the
series will be released on DVD, with an RRP of £19.99.
Christmas' lavish Absolutely Fabulous special Gay, which was
partly shot in New York, and featured cameo appearances from Whoopi
Goldberg, Debbie Harry, Helen Lederer and Graham Norton, will be released
on DVD on September the 22nd, with an RRP of £15.99. The forty-five
minute programme will be supplemented by out-takes and a photo' gallery.
sixth season of Only Fools and Horses, originally broadcast in
1989, will be released on September the 22nd. The series includes several
classic episodes, including the one where Dell has a load of blow-up dolls
to shift (Danger UXD) and the episode where the Trotters win a
Mediterranean holiday, but Rodney has to pretend to be fourteen if they're
to claim the prize (The Unlucky Winner Is...) RRP for the DVD is
£19.99. Another Only Fools and Horses Christmas special, Strangers
on the Shore, will be released in November.
original, and some might say best, of Michael Palin's globetrotting
adventures, 1989's Around The World in 80 Days, will be released on
September the 22nd, with an exclusive, especially-recorded interview with
the man himself. The RRP is £19.99.
Baby Cow-produced black comedy Human Remains will be released on
September the 29th. The series featured six self-contained stories
about six different off-beat couples, each co-starring and co-written by Big
Train's Julia Davis. The two-disc set will feature a commentary track
by Davis and fellow writer Rob Brydon; Fonte Bund Band Live (following
Fonte and Barne on tour); a multi-angle option to view original character
improvisations; deleted scenes; out-takes; Les' songs; make-up tests,
three BBC trailers; and a photo gallery. The RRP is £19.99. Speaking of Big
Train, when is that going to be released, eh, eh??
comedy series get yanked from the archives on September the 29th. There
are three additions to ongoing season-by-season releases (Yes Minister
- Series 3, Porridge - Series 3 and Open All Hours - Series
2) and two Best of... compilations (an eighty minute Two
Ronnies compilation, and a ninety-nine minute condensation of (what's
left of) Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's BBC work, principally featuring
(but not necessarily limited to) surviving footage from Not Only But
Also, titled The Best of Cook and Moore). Porridge fans
will be disappointed to learn that the two Christmas specials, which were
broadcast between the second and third series, are not included on the new
DVD (they'll probably be released on a separate disc next year). These
comedy discs have an RRP of £12.99.
David Attenborough series receive their DVD debut on September the 1st:
1979's groundbreaking Life on Earth, 1984's The Living Planet and
1985's The Private Life of Plants. The Life on Earth set
will feature a thirty-minute making of programme, originally transmitted
as part of the Wild Track series, presented by Tony Soper (whatever
happened to him?) The Living Planet set comes with a forty-minute
Making of... documentary, and The Private Life of Plants will
feature an interview with Mr Attenborough taken from Blue Peter,
and "excerpts from Hot Shots, a making of...
documentary". The Life on Earth and The Living Planet sets
have an RRP of £34.99, The Private Life of Plants is £19.99. There'll
also be a box set of the three series, which has an RRP of £74.99.
the sleeve for The Best of Not The Nine O'clock News - Volume One (see
the News entry for the 4th of July)
confirms that this DVD was previously available on VHS as Not The Nine
O'clock News - The Gorilla
Kinda Lingers. Fans of the series will be pleased to hear that the sleeve
no longer says that it stars Pamela Anderson!
an unexpected announcement: VCI will be releasing Rising Damp - The
Complete Series as a four-disc digipack on November the 3rd. I'll try
and find out whether this will include the episode missing from the Rising
Damp - The Complete 1st Series disc because of legal problems, Stand
Up and Be Counted.
few exciting new announcements from Warner Home Video today!
September the 29th Warner will release four undisputed science-fiction and
horror classics: the original version of The Haunting, The Omega
Man, Soylent Green and Friday the 13th. The four discs
have an RRP of £12.99 each.
1963 version of The Haunting will be presented in its original
2.40:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement, with its original mono audio
mix (which is widely hailed as one of the most effective sound mixes of
the pre-Dolby Stereo era!) The disc will include a commentary track by
director Robert Wise, screenwriter Nelson Gidding and stars Richard
Johnson, Julie Harris,
Claire Bloom and Russ Tamblyn, a stills gallery, an essay (Things That
Go Bump In The Night) and at least one theatrical trailer.
1971 post-apocalypse movie The Omega Man (based on Richard Matheson's
novel I Am Legend, which was also the basis of the Vincent Price
movie L'Ultimo uomo della Terra, aka
The Last Man On Earth) will arrive on disc with a 2.40:1 anamorphic
transfer, and mono audio. The disc will also feature an introduction by
writer Joyce H. Carrington and actors Paul Koslo and Eric Laneuville, a
contemporary four-minute featurette titled The Last Man Alive: The
Omega Man, a theatrical trailer, and an essay called Charlton
Heston: Science Fiction Legend.
Charlton Heston classic, 1973's Soylent Green (based on Harry
Harrison's story Make Room! Make Room!), will be presented in its
original 2.40:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement, and its original mono
features include a commentary track by Director Richard Fleischer and
actress Leigh Taylor-Young (who played Shiri), a contemporary promotional
featurette (A Look At The World of Soylent Green), a tribute to
Edward G. Robinson, marking his 101st film appearance (and, unbeknown at
the time, his last), the Science Fiction Legend essay and at least
by the PR company as "the most terrifying film of all time",
Sean S. Cunningham's seminal 1980 slasher movie Friday the 13th will
be presented in 1.85:1 ratio (no mention of anamorphic enhancement), and
with mono audio. The disc will feature a feature-length commentary by
Cunningham, a twenty-minute featurette Return to Crystal Lake: Making
Friday the 13th, and the theatrical trailer. The press release
promises it will be in "all its glory", but doesn't specifically
note whether this will be the full, uncut version, or the R-rated version
previously released here and in the US. (The uncut version occasionally
airs on the Turner satellite channels). I'm sure I'll get my knuckles
rapped if I don't mention that the film stars Kevin Bacon.
P. Cosmatos' 1983 giant rat movie Of Unknown Origin, something of a
minor hit for Warner Home Video in the early, VHS rental-only days, is
being released on September the 1st. The film, which stars Robocop's
Peter Weller and the pneumatic Shannon Tweed, will be presented in 1.85:1
ratio (no mention of anamorphic enhancement), and will apparently have
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (the recent Region 1 release from Warner Home
Video was in mono, so that may well be an error). Worryingly, there's no
mention of the trailer and commentary track that appeared on the recent
Region 1 release. The UK disc will have an RRP of £12.99.
you remember the enormously popular TV series, but
have never seen the grittier 1980 movie that spawned it, you'll have your
chance to see Fame on the 22nd of September, when it's released by
Warner Home Video, with an RRP of £12.99. The disc will feature a
commentary track, by Director Alan Parker (and, if the Region 1 version is
any guide, a few cast members), a Class Reunion interview gallery and a
"vintage" featurette. The film will be presented in 1.85:1
ratio, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
Lang's classic 1931 serial killer film M is being released as a
special 2-disc Ultimate Edition on October the 6th.
film itself, restored from an original 35mm print, will be presented in
German, with English subtitles, and with a full-length commentary track.
Disc one will also feature a documentary, The Restoration of M.
second disc will feature an interview with Lang by fellow director Peter
Bogdanovich, a Lang documentary, a visual essay by R. Dixon Smith titled
Lending Order to Horror, a film restoration and comparison featurette
(with Martin Koerber), a photo gallery and animated slideshow, set designs
and final scene comparisons, and "animated biographies and historical
backgrounds". The extra material runs for more than 150 minutes.
a small update to the site's Enemy at the Door section: I've
added images for the last three episodes to the season
one episode guide, and added three more familiar faces to the Enemy
at the Door guest cast
from the American label Blue Underground continue to impress. I've just
seen their disc of Larry Cohen's Q - The Winged Serpent, and it
looks and sounds just peachy. The disc also contains a terrific commentary
by Cohen, prompted by Blue Underground's Bill Lustig, who, as the Director
of the Maniac Cop movies, knows a thing or two about low-budget
filmmaking himself. Some of Cohen's working practices seem so eminently
sensible, that you wonder why more films aren't made the way Cohen makes
them. Anyway, I digress.
Underground have announced a collection of Christopher Lee movies for
release on September the 30th. Three of the four movies in the Region 0
box set will be available separately: the fourth, The Bloody Judge, is
exclusive to the box set. Two Fu Manchu films lead the set: Jess Franco's The
Blood of Fu Manchu and The Castle of Fu Manchu. Both will be
presented in 1.66:1 format with anamorphic enhancement, and both will
feature interviews with the Director, Producer Harry Alan Towers, and
stars Christopher Lee, Tsai Chin and, in the case of Blood.. golden girl
Shirley Eaton. The two discs will also boast stills and poster galleries,
trailers, talent bios and liner notes by Video Watchdog magazine editor
Tim Lucas. The third film, John Moxey's 1966 movie Circus of Fear will
also be presented in 1.66:1 format with 16:9 enhancement, and will feature
a commentary track with the director, trailers, and a stills and poster
Franco's 1970 film The Bloody Judge is available only in the box
set, which is limited to 7500 copies. The film will be presented in its
original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. Extras include
interviews with Franco and Lee, a deleted scene, alternate scenes,
trailers, a TV spot, poster and stills galleries and Tim Lucas liner
four films will be mastered from original vault elements. RRP for the
three individual discs is $19.99 each, the box set will be $59.99.
a look at the sleeve artwork:
in addition to Q - The Winged Serpent, Blue Underground are
releasing two other Larry Cohen films this week: God Told Me To (a
rooftop sniper pins down citizens on the streets of New York - this from
the man who wrote Phone Booth!)
- and Bone (a violent criminal (Alien's Yaphet Kotto) breaks
into the house of a wealthy white couple). All three Cohen films are
accompanied by commentary tracks, and are presented in 1.85:1 ratio, with
anamorphic transfers. God Told Me To and Q
- The Winged Serpent have both been given
Dolby Digital Surround EX and DTS-ES remixes (the original mono tracks are
October Blue Underground will release The Mondo Cane Collection,
comprising Mondo Cane, Mondo Cane 2, Women of the World,
Africa Addio and Goodbye Uncle Tom.
BFI are releasing a pair of two-disc Charlie Chaplin sets, gathering
together the fifteen short films made in 1914 during his tenure at Essanay
studios. The discs present the results of a nine-year search for the best
and most complete archive materials, and will include footage never before
seen by UK audiences. Volume one includes His New Job, A Night
Out, The Champion, In The Park, A Jitney Elopement,
The Tramp, By The Sea and Work. The second volume
contains A Woman, The Bank, Shanghaied, His
Regeneration, A Night in the Show, Charlie Chaplin's
Burlesque on Carmen, Police! and Triple Trouble: An Essanay
Collage. The discs will contain a mixture of black and white and
tinted material, presented in 1.33:1 full-frame ratio. Each set has an RRP
it's only available on VHS, the BFI's tape of the 1982 Thames Television
fascinating series Unknown Chaplin also comes highly recommended.
The series, which was produced by silent-film gurus Kevin Brownlow and
David Gill, is a fabulous primer on Chaplin and his career, and, most
importantly, his working methods. The series was compiled from Chaplin's
rushes, and shows scenes from Chaplin's films evolving as you watch. Trust
me, the tape is worth it for James Mason's captivating narration
you missed the details of the collection of Chaplin films being issued by
Warner Home Video in September, visit the news section for July
the 18th and the text of the press
are the sleeve images for the two new DVD collections.
Collection International have announced a few updates and additions to
their 2003 schedule:
new Have I Got News For You compilation, The Best of the Guest
Presenters, will be released on October the 27th, with an RRP of
first five seasons of Cold Feet will also be reissued as a box set
(apparently containing five discs) on the 27th of October. I'm trying to
get confirmation whether or not the first two seasons will be remastered
in 16:9 format, and how the last season will be presented. RRP for the set
be a box set of the first two seasons of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights,
released on the 10th of November, with an RRP of £29.99. The second
season will be released on its own, on the 6th of October, with an RRP of
second Bo Selecta disc will be released on the 17th of November, as
will an Ali G - In The USAiii disc. Both have RRPs of £19.99.
you're wondering where the rest of the news went to, you need to zap over to
the news archive page for July.
and November 2002