9th July 2004

HMV is listing a three-disc The Shawshank Redemption - 10th Anniversary Special Edition, which will be released by Carlton on September the 20th. The extras are listed as an audio commentary by director Frank Darabont; Hope Springs Eternal: A Look Back – documentary; Shawshank: The Redeeming Feature - making of documentary presented by Mark Kermode (48 Minutes); The Charlie Rose Show – interviews with Darabont and stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman; The Shark Tank Redemption - spoof short film; Interviews with Frank Darabont, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman; In-depth Production Dossier; Storyboards and Stills Gallery. This seems to mimic the Region 1 release, which is due on the 5th of October (the Region 1 version is available in two versions, one of which is a three-disc release that contains Thomas Newman's soundtrack CD). RRP for the UK version is probably £19.99.

MGM has a packed schedule for August, headlined by The Passion of the Christ, which is due on the 31st. The disc will feature a choice of DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks, and an option to watch it with or without English subtitles, for all you Aramaic speakers out there. The disc will also feature an audio-description track for the sight-impaired. RRP is £19.99.

MGM will also release a Special Edition version of Barry Levinson's four-times Oscar winning drama Rain Man on the 30th of August. The disc will feature 5.1 audio, No other technical details were announced. The disc will feature two Region 2-exclusive featurettes: Lifting The Fog: A Look at the Mysteries of Autism (19m) and The Journey of Rain Man (21m), which features interviews with director Barry Levinson, writers Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass, co-star Valeria Golina and producer Mark Johnson. Other bonus features include a deleted scene (2m), photo' gallery, theatrical trailer, and the "Original Featurette", which features newly-shot interviews with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman (7m). The disc will also feature three commentary tracks "by Barry Levinson, Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass". RRP is £19.99.

Also due on August the 30th is the follow up to 2002's sleeper hit Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back in Business. The disc will feature a commentary track, by the director, Kevin Rodney Sullivan, and producers; music videos featuring Mary J. Blige and Eve and the Outkast; an Easter Egg; deleted scenes; outtakes; photo' galleries and the trailer. RRP is £15.99.

Robert Duvall's 2002 thriller Assassination Tango. is about a hit man (Duvall, who also directed) who is sent to Buena Aires, but has two weeks to kill when his target is hospitalised, so he spends the time learning to dance. The disc, which is due on August the 2nd, is apparently being released on the back of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing series. The disc will be round and silver. More than that couldn't be ascertained from the press release. Sorry. This title is for rental only. Hey, it's only been two years - what's another couple of months!  It should have a 5.1 audio mix, and be presented in 1.85:1 widescreen format. The film is, of course, available to buy in the US, where it comes with deleted scenes, an alternate ending, photo' gallery and commentary track (by Duvalll and co-star Luciana Pedraza.

Other titles, for which there's virtually no useful information forthcoming, include two Richard Lester British comedies, The Knack... And How To Get It and How I Won The War; the Ringo Starr prehistoric romp Caveman; Spike Milligan's war comedy Adolf Hitler - My Part in His Downfall; a collection of Ingmar Bergman films (Hour of the Wolf, Shame (Skammen), The Passion of Anna and The Serpent's Egg), Ken Russell's Oscar-winning D.H.Lawrence adaptation Women in Love and the 1999 Generation X comedy S.F.W. The Bergman titles and The Knack... have RRPs of £15, the others are £12.99. These are all scheduled for release on August the 2nd. All the sleeve art I was sent is already available (on, for example).

MGM's final offering for August the 2nd is Lars von Trier's acclaimed film Dogville, about a woman hiding from the mob in a small Colorado town. The film, which stars Nicole Kidman alongside Lauren Bacall, Jean-Marc Barr, James Caan and Paul Bettany, will be presented on disc with 5.1 surround sound. The BBFC certificated the three-hour version of Dogville in June, so presumably we won't be getting the truncated 130-odd-minute version that was shown in some territories.
Bonus materials include the UK trailer and a featurette, Confession Box (18m), which features video diaries by cast and crew members ("which strips the cast bare", according to the press release). This is not to be confused with Sami Saif's hour-long Dogville Confessions (Dogville No Kokuhaka) documentary, which is featured on the two-disc DVD version from Denmark, and the three-disc Dogville Complete Box version from Japan.

However, the UK disc will feature a documentary about the film's premiere in Cannes, Von Trier, Kidman & Cannes (23m), which apparently isn't included on Lion's Gate's US disc.

Here's one from the so-long-ago-no-one's-interested department: the "Burton-esque" remake of 1971 rat movie Willard is being released on DVD by Entertainment in Video on the 30th of August, after a two week rental window. The press release lacks any information about the disc's technical spec's, and doesn't mention anything about any bonus materials. (The R1 disc, a Platinum Series disc from New Line, features numerous bonus materials, including deleted scenes, a commentary track and featurettes).

The Reckoning, a medieval murder mystery about a troupe of actors investigating a witch, is being released by Entertainment in Video on August the 30th. It will be available to rent on August the 16th. The film is the first to be directed by Paul McGuigan since Gangster No.1 in 2000, and re-unites him with Master and Commander star Paul Bettany, The film also features Willem Dafoe, Gina McKee, Ewan Bremner and Brian Cox. The disc will feature featurettes and sound-bites. RRP is £19.99. Paramount's R1 version, due at the beginning of August, looks like being barebones.

Columbia Tristar has announced more titles for October.  The 1954 Judy Holliday romantic comedy It Should Happen To You will be released on October the 18th. A week later Barbra Steisand's Prince of Tides will make its UK DVD debut. The disc will have a 1.85:1 transfer, and Dolby Surround audio.

A movie about the Alaskan Iditarod dog race, Chilly Dogs (formerly known as Kevin of the North) is also due on October the 25th. The film stars Skeet Ulrich, Natasha Henstridge, Leslie Nielsen and Rik Mayall.

Superbit versions of S.W.A.T. and Once Upon A Time In Mexico will also be released on October the 25th.

Also due from Columbia Tristar on October the 25th: Happy Birthday to Me, Breakin' All The Rules, and hip-hop comedy You Got Served. (There is no further information available for these titles).

Taking Lives, the recent serial killer thriller starring Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland, will be released on DVD by Warner Home Video on September the 27th.

The film will be presented as a Director's Cut, and will feature about six minutes of footage not seen in the theatrical version.

The disc will also feature A Crime Lab Taking Lives documentary, a gag reel, trailer and the trailer for Troy.

The Crime Lab... documentary encompasses The Art of Collaboration, Profiling a Director, Bodies of Evidence and Puzzle Within A Puzzle elements, which are being listed separately by R1 retailers, so it looks like the UK disc will be the same as the American version.

The UK disc will be presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The disc will feature English and English SDH subtitles. RRP is £15.99.

Warner Home Video is bumping surfer caper comedy The Big Bounce straight to video on September the 6th.

The film, which is based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, stars Owen Wilson, Gary Sinise, Charlie Sheen, Morgan Freeman and Vinnie Jones. The film also features "hot new actress" Sara Foster, a former presenter of Entertainment Tonight, in her film debut.

The film will be presented in 2.4:1 anamorphic format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The disc will have English and English SDH subtitles.

Bonus features include featurettes titled The Big Bounce: A Con In The Making, Surfing the Pipeline and Wicked Waves (stunt surfing outtakes), and the theatrical trailer (it was released theatrically in the US in January).

Director Jonathan Frakes has recorded a commentary track for the Thunderbirds movie DVD, which will probably be released before Christmas.

The second instalment of Jupiter Moon will be released on August the 23rd. The two-disc set, titled The Plasma Ball, will feature episodes twelve to twenty of the BSB series.

Bonus features on the set include The Design of the Ilea - Part 2; SFX outtakes; biographies of Lucy Benjamin and Andrew Read and production notes. RRP is £19.99.




7th July 2004

A couple of corrections and additions to earlier reports and speculation...

Contender has been in touch to say that it isn't them who is releasing Hustle, despite their close ties with the production company, Kudos.

They will, however, be releasing the second series of Spooks, which is pencilled in for late August release. It will be a five disc set, with commentaries on episodes 1-3, 5 and 10. It will also feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, the American edit of series one episode six, and almost three hours of featurettes, deleted scenes, trailers and galleries. The third season of Spooks, currently in production, is being lined up for DVD release in November.

The September re-release of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, which was added to Incoming a couple of weeks ago, is coming from Arrow, not Anchor Bay. Potential customers are advised to closely compare the UK Arrow discs with those from Anchor Bay in the US, which appear to be more definitive. My apologies to Anchor Bay UK for our initial report.

Speaking of Dawn of the Dead, the BBFC has cleared seventy minutes of bonus material for the 2004 remake version, which is due from Entertainment in Video on September the 6th. All the deleted scenes will have optional commentary. Here's the breakdown, with timings in hours, minutes, seconds and frames:

00:07:51:04  -   RAISING THE DEAD
00:21:02:00  -   SPECIAL REPORT
00:16:20:21  -   ANDY'S LOST TAPE
00:00:55:07  -   DELETED SCENE - I KNOW THAT GUY

                       (aka HOLLYWOOD SQUARES AGAIN?)
00:00:49:24  -   DELETED SCENE - LUDA'S REGRET
00:05:33:21  -   SPLITTING HEADACHES -

                       ANATOMY OF EXPLODING HEADS

The BBFC has also cleared Leisureview's (DD Video's) version of The Devil's Men (aka Land of the Minotaur), and it's almost exactly a minute longer than CBS / Fox's 1987 VHS release. That makes it more... interesting...

6th July 2004

The Little Shoppe of Horrors website has unveiled Bruce Timm's terrific artwork cover for the fanzine's eagerly-awaited sixteenth issue of the magazine, which will be available soon.  The contents list is as follows:

THE VAMPIRE LOVERS - The Making of Hammer's "Karnstein Trilogy"
These three erotic horror films from Hammer in 1970-71 remain among the most popular films produced by the studio. This issue features new articles, hundreds of rare photos and many interviews, including the Trilogy's directors, the producer, the screenwriter, set designers, and performers, including Ingrid Pitt, Madeline Smith, Ralph Bates and many more.

THE LADIES OF HAMMER - PART 4 - Interviews with Hazel Court (The Curse of Frankenstein) and Yvonne Monlaur (The Brides of Dracula).

The magazine will also contain the latest Hammer and British horror news, including the latest DVD releases, books, magazines and music.

The issue's back cover painting is by Veronica Carlson (star of Dracula Has Risen From The Grave). Interior art by Bruce Timm, Neil Vokes (The Black Forest), Adrian Salmon (Judge Dredd) and Murad Gumen (Cracked Magazine).

Columbia Tristar has scheduled the David Koepp's popular thriller Secret Window, about a writer accused of plagiarism, for DVD release on the 11th of October.

No details have been announced, but, as previously reported, the following items have been cleared by the BBFC: From Book to Film (19m); A Look Through It (44m); Animatics (7m); deleted scenes (6m) and something called Secrets Revealed, which doesn't have a running time according to the Board's database.

Optimum has confirmed that the Jeremy Thomas interview that was missing from their Naked Lunch test discs has been reinstated, and a new DLT has been made. The disc, due on July the 26th, will feature a fifty-minute documentary, a commentary track by director David Cronenberg and a photo gallery. More details, the sleeve image, and a link to some menu screens, are in the News update for 1st July.

Warner Home Video is releasing a collection of Dr. Seuss animated stories in anticipation of the DVD release of Mike Myers' stinker The Cat in the Hat.

Here are a couple of interesting factoids, courtesy of the press release: "The 48 books that Seuss penned during his prolific career have been translated into over 20 languages and have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide and over 6.2 million copies in the UK alone." That's an awful lot of books!

The Best of Dr Seuss will feature three episodes running about twenty minutes each: The Butter Battle Book, Daisy Head Mayzie and Horton Hatches The Egg. RRP for the disc is £12.99.

Finally, here are a couple of new sleeve images from ClearVision and Warner Home Video. The first two are the two Cleopatra Jones titles from Warner's upcoming batch of martial arts movies (which also includes a new Special Edition of Enter The Dragon and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires - see the News entry for June 10th for more details).

As you can tell, the Minder sleeve is for the Minder - Season 9 box set, which was announced yesterday (see below). I give ClearVision a lot of stick about their horrible sleeve designs, and I expect the materials they're given to work with aren't the best, but - Holy Moly! - this box is one of the ugliest I've ever seen.


5th July 2004

I'd like to begin the week by welcoming back our film reviewer Lee Medcalf, who returns to the fold after becoming a father. Congratulations to Lee and his partner, Carol! Lee has reviewed the Japanese horror movie Ju-On (The Grudge), which is getting a belated theatrical release from Premier Asia. You can read Lee's review by clicking on the poster image, left, or here. The film is being remade, as The Grudge, by the same director, for Columbia Tristar. It will star Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Behr, so it's likely that you'll be hearing a lot more about that, and the film that spawned it.

The BFI has two new titles lined up for July the 26th: Tony Richardson's scathing 1968 film portrayal of the most famous event of the Crimean war, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and Jacques Feyder's controversial 1935 satire, about the 1616 Spanish invasion of Flanders, La Kermesse héroïque (Carnival in Flanders).

La Kermesse héroïque has been the centrepiece of the National Film Theatre's Golden Age of French Cinema season (which continues until July the 31st - more details, and clips from the film, are available on the NFT's website). The disc will be presented in full-frame format, in French with English subtitles. A biography of Feyder is the only bonus feature. RRP is £15.99.

The Charge of the Light Brigade - one of the BFI's best-selling VHS releases - will be presented on DVD in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format.

The disc will feature half an hour of bonus features: an interview with Richard Williams (who animated the film's Punch cartoon interstitial sequences), the trailer, and a twelve-minute silent version of the story made in 1912 by the Thomas Edison studio, provided by National Film and Television Archive. The disc also features biographies for Williams and Richardson. RRP is £19.99.

The penultimate, ninth series of Minder will be released on DVD on September the 6th. The series features a three-part finale filmed on location in Australia. The four-disc set will feature thirteen fifty-minute episodes, an exclusive interview with George Cole about the series' middle years, a guide to the ninth series extracted from Brian Hawkins' The Phenomenon That Was Minder book, and trailers for Series 10. Guest stars for the ninth season include Kenneth Cranham, Liz Fraser, John Normington and former Doctor Who assistant Mark Strickson. RRP for the set is £39.99.

Film Score Monthly magazine has released another two vintage soundtrack CDs. This month the Silver Age Classics release is Basil Poledouris' ebullient orchestral score from John Milius' classic 1978 surf dudes movie Big Wednesday. Poledouris' majestic score, widely acknowledged as one of the 70s' best, is presented in stereo, from the original half-inch, three-track film masters (a couple of tracks existed on two-inch, 16-track masters, and these have been used where possible). The disc is divided into two sections. The first, just over fifty-seven minutes long, is the score presented as a standalone album.

The second chunk is twenty-one minutes' worth of bonus material, including Poledouris' re-recording of the Booker T and the MG's hit Green Onions. (Most of the vocal pop tunes used in the film are widely available and, quite rightfully, excluded from this disc). The bonus tracks also include mariachi music composed by Poledouris for the Mexican sequence and an alternate version of Crumple Car, which was written by the film's co-author, Danny Aaberg. The disc comes with a twenty-page booklet, which features fresh contributions from Millius, Poledouris and Aaberg, and excellent track notes by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall. The disc is a limited edition of 3000 copies. Given its appeal to a more mainstream audience it seems likely that this is another FSM disc that will sell out relatively quickly.

Film Score Monthly's Golden Age Classics release presents two scores written for MGM movies by pre-eminent conductor André Previn. The disc contains two complete scores, in their original mono format. Both were composed for producer / director Russell Rouse.

The first, for the 1956 Glenn Ford Western The Fastest Gun Alive, features some memorable string Coplandesque arrangements. It is supplemented with a number of unused and alternate cues, although a couple of source tracks, which were not composed by Previn, are not included. This part of the album runs 37'36". The Fastest Gun Alive, incidentally, was composed the same year Previn scored an enormous hit with an album of jazzy arrangements of songs from My Fair Lady, with Shelly Manne and Leroy Vinnegar.

The disc also features Previn's score for Rouse's follow-up to The Fastest Gun Alive, House of Numbers, which was based on a story by Jack Finney, who also provided the source material for Invasion of the Body Snatchers. House of Numbers, a clever thriller about a convicted murderer (played by Jack Palance) who uses his virtually-identical brother to escape from San Quentin Prison, boasts an aggressive and inventive score, which runs for 38'35". A couple of tracks had to be rescued from the film's music and effects track, and, where it wasn't possible to find clean versions, these are presented separately at the end of the disc.

The disc comes with extensive track notes and background information, written by Jeff Eldridge. This disc, too, is a limited edition of 3000 copies.

The discs are available from specialist soundtrack retailers, or directly from Film Score Monthly's website.

Here's Ceri, Zeta Minor's own Sam Spade, with his weekly trawl of the seedy underbelly of the DVD world, and summary of the changes to the Incoming and Offers pages.

Hi everyone, back again! Full update this time, following the news about The Matrix Utimate Collection we brought you at the end of last week, we’ve got some other new juicy films releases and extras information added to Incoming today. Along with a massive update to the Offers page, with some big Summer sales now being run by the retailers.

Let’s start with the film additions…

Roland Emmerich’s disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow is being listed as single and two-disc releases for October the 18th from Twentieth Century Fox. No word on the special features yet, although a suspiciously short Inside Look Behind the Scenes (running to 1m55s) item has been cleared at the BBFC for The Day After Tomorrow, so that may be included. The single disc has an RRP of £15.99 and the two-disc is at £24.99.

The special features for Warner Home Video’s six-disc Marx Brothers box set, which is due August the 23rd, has been put up on a couple of the retailers. The set includes the films A Night At The Opera, A Day At The Races, At The Circus, Go West, The Big Store and A Night In Casablanca. We featured news about the set and a sleeve image in the News entry for the 16th of June. Some of these special features are already known through BBFC clearances, but the full list is:

A Night At The Opera:

Audio commentary from Leonard Maltin; Remarks on Marx: an all-new documentary (22m57s); An excerpt from the The Hy Gardner Show (1/1/61) featuring Groucho Marx (5m21s); vintage MGM shorts: Sunday Night at the Trocadero (20m16s) and Robert Benchley's Oscar winning How to Sleep (10m38s)

A Day At The Races:

Audio commentary from the Marx Brothers Encyclopaedia author Glenn Mitchell; On Your Marx, Get Set, Go!: an all-new documentary (27m36s); vintage shorts: Robert Benchley's Oscar nominated A Night At The Movies plus the rarely-seen MGM cartoons Gallopin' Gals, Mama's New Hat and Old Smokey

At The Circus:

Vintage comedy short Dog Daze (10m36s); classic MGM cartoon Jitterbug Follies (8m43s)

Go West:

Vintage shorts Pete Smith Specialty Quicker 'N A Wink from 1940 (9m12s) and Fitzpatrick Traveltalk Cavalcade Of San Francisco from 1940 (8m51s); vintage cartoon: The Milky Way from 1940 (7m54s)

The Big Store:

Vintage MGM short Flicker Memories (7m57s); vintage MGM cartoon Officer Pooch (8m09s)

A Night In Casablanca:

Bugs Bunny in the Looney Tunes cartoon classic Acrobatty Bunny (7m42s); vintage Joe McDoakes short film So, You Think You’re A Nervous Wreck? (10m56s).

This box set was recently released in the US featuring the same extras, but, according to's entry for the Region 1 version, there are several items missing from the UK box set. Most notable is the lack of the 1938 film Room Service, which also stars Lucille Ball and Ann Miller in support roles, but in addition to that, also missing are the vintage comedy short Party Fever, the Looney Tunes cartoon The Daffy Doc and audio-only material. It’s possibly the listings for Region 2 version are wrong, but if not it’s better to go for Region 1 version, especially as the US release has a much lower RRP than it’s UK counterpart. The Region 2 has an RRP of £59.99, and the cheapest you can get it is for £44.99, whereas you can pick up the US version from UK Importer for £28.99 all in. They offer free delivery to UK customers and import for you, posting on from their UK address so there are no customs issues – click here if you’re are interested.

The extras for Warner Home Video’s special edition version of Goodfellas are now listed by some of the retailers. There will be two audio commentaries, one from Martin Scorsese and cast and crew, and another from ex-gangster Henry Hill and ex-FBI Agent Edward McDonald; four featurettes - Getting Made, The Workaday Gangster, The GoodFellas Legacy and Paper Is Cheaper Than Film; along with the trailer. The release has a date of the 25th of October and an RRP of £19.99.

They’ve been lots of clearances for Warner Home Video at the BBFC as well…

Special features for the The Lost Boys - Special Edition include A Retrospective (23m58s); A Director’s Vision (6m 56s); The Lost Scenes (15m14s); Fresh Blood: A New Look at Vampires (4m21s); The Return of Sam and the Frog Brothers – Hamster and Feldog; The Story of the Two Coreys (4m28s); Sequel? (2m24s); and Lou Grmm’s Lost in the Shadows music video (4m33s). The release is expected on September the 6th, with an RRP of £19.99.

So far unlisted by the retailers (but originally planned for September) is Warner Home Video’s release of Martin Scorsese’s 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Cleared at the BBFC for the release is a Second Chances: The Making of Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore featurette running to 19m52s.

A couple more extras for the Babylon 5 release of the three movies, Thirdspace, A Call To Arms and River of Souls. These include an Introduction To A Call To Arms (with a runtime of 3m38s) and Creating the Feature (at 8m36s). The box set has an RRP of £34.99 and a date of the 16th of August.

The special features for Scooby Doo 2 - Monsters Unleashed are now up on some of the retailers (and some of them have been cleared at the BBFC). These are Deleted Scenes with optional commentary; Three Featurettes: Scooby Doo’s Triple Threat (10m9s), Dancing Dog and True Ghoul Hollywood Story (5m45s); Behind the Mystery Mystery: The Mystery of the Missing Pants (9m57s); The Monsters Unleashed Challenge Game (menu based); Don’t Wanna Think About You - music video from Simple Plan (3m54s); The Things You Do (We Wanna Thank You) – music video by British group Big Brovas; and a trailer for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The release has a date of the 23rd of August and an RRP of £15.99.

Warner Home Video is also re-issuing their Hammer Horror films individually which they previously released collected in box sets. These are Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Devil Rides Out, Frankenstein Created Woman, Horror of Dracula, The Horror of Frankenstein, Lust for a Vampire, The Mummy, Plague of Zombies, Quatermass and the Pit, Rasputin the Mad Monk, Scars of Dracula, To the Devil a Daughter and The Vengeance of She. The releases have an RRP of £12.99 each and are listed for October the 11th.

A week later, on the 18th of October, sees some more genre titles from Warner Home Video, but these are new to Region 2 DVD. There’s a double bill of Jesus Franco’s two Fu Manchu films – The Blood of Fu Manchu and The Castle of Fu Manchu – featuring Christopher Lee as the good Doctor and Richard Greene (best known as Robin Hood from ITV’s series from the 1950s The Adventures of Robin Hood) as his nemesis, Nayland Smith. Warner is also releasing Amicus’s 1971 adaptation of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, I, Monster, which stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Richard Hurndall and Susan Jameson (best known from her roles in the BBC’s When the Boat Comes In and To Serve Them All My Days). Other titles include Roman Polanski’s comedy vampire film The Fearless Vampire Killers (a.k.a. Dance of the Vampires); a box set of It’s Alive 1-3; Return of the Living Dead – Part 2; Wolfen, the 1981 film starring Albert Finney, Gregory Hines and and Edward James Olmos; and Body Snatchers, Abel Ferrara’s 1993 version of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring British actress Gabrielle Anwar. The Fu Manchu double bill has an RRP of £15.99, the It’s Alive 1-3 box set is at £24.99 and all the other titles are at £12.99.

DD Video’s releases of The Creeping Flesh and Night of the Big Heat were originally planned for earlier in the year, but were pulled at the last minute when they were offered better source materials. They have now reappeared on the retailers for the 16th of August. They are both now to be released as 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen versions (originally DD Video only had access to 4:3 prints), with The Creeping Flesh featuring a commentary from Christopher Lee and Marcus Hearn, and writers Pip and Jane Baker joining Lee and Hearn on a commentary for Night of the Big Heat. Both releases also feature their appropriate theatrical trailers, together with the trailers for The Abominable Snowman, Captain Kronos, Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell and Quatermass II (Hammer horror titles already released by DD Video), photo galleries and 24-page booklets covering each film. They each have an RRP of £15.99. DD Video should be commended for delaying the releases to make use of the widescreen prints: other companies would have just put out whatever materials they originally had access to, in order not to delay their release.

Vipco, a company known for their shoddy DVD releases, are to issue some more horror films on August the 9th - Lucio Fulci’s The House Of Clocks and two Umberto Lenzi films, The House of Lost Souls and The House of Witchcraft. Lucio Fulci’s The Sweet House of Horrors has already been listed for the same date. All four are listed as containing a trailer and picture gallery and an RRP of £19.99.

The special features for the two disc release of Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain (which is released today) are an audio commentary from the director with Walter Murch; deleted scenes; Words And Music of Cold Mountain: a Royce Hall special (93 mins); Climbing Cold Mountain: a documentary (70 mins); A Journey To Cold Mountain: a special 'making of' featurette (28 mins); Sacred Heart history and Storyboard comparisons. It has an RRP of £22.99. [I wanted to bring you a full review of the Cold Mountain DVD, but Buena Vista's marketing people could only supply a copy on VHS, which, for obvious reasons, was completely useless! American Gothic fans should pay close attention during the civil war scenes at the beginning of the film: the young blonde chap is played by Lucas Black, who played Caleb in the TV series. The first time I saw the film, I didn't realise it was him! JK]

Finally, for the film additions, a release of Charles Chrichton’s 1959 comedy Battle of the Sexes, is being listed for July the 19th. The film stars Peter Sellers, Robert Morley, Constance Cummings and Donald Pleasence. Extras are listed as a trailer, About the Film (whatever form that may take) and biographies. The release is from Prism and has an RRP of £5.99.

Now onto the TV releases…

The BBC’s recent hit Hustle which starred Adrian Lester, Robert Glenister, Marc Warren, Jaime Murray and Robert Vaughn has now been scheduled for November the 22nd. It will probably be from Contender. Spooks was released by Contender, and the two programmes share the same production company – Kudos Productions. There is no word of any extras yet. The first series release of Spooks was issued with extensive special features (deleted scenes, interviews, etc), so perhaps we can expect the same for this release? It has an RRP of £29.99.

VCI has let us know that they are planning a Spaced – Definitive Collector’s Edition box set for September the 27th. This is around the same time as the DVD release of Shaun of the Dead is expected, so they’re probably trying to piggy-back sales from that. No word on the content of the release yet, but it has an RRP of £24.99. In retrospect it does seem a little mercenary that they released a box set bringing together the two existing releases on Series 1 and 2 back in April when they were planning this Definitive Collector’s Edition box set.

Following the success of the BBC Natural History Unit’s The Blue Planet, edited highlights of the breathtaking underwater cinematography where put together into a 90 minute film, entitled Deep Blue. It features a score from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and narration from Micheal Gambon, and was released to cinemas last year. This film is now being listed for release on DVD for October the 18th, presumably from BBC Worldwide. It also includes scene-specific audio commentaries from directors Alastair Fothergill and Andy Byatt, a behind the scenes documentary - The Making of Deep Blue (running to 50 mins), an isolated music and effects score, stills gallery and educational interactive DVD-Rom content. The release has an RRP of £19.99.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the 1983 US TV Movie version of Phantom Of The Opera had been cleared at the BBFC. This version stars Maximilian Schell, Jane Seymour, Michael York, Jeremy Kemp and Diana Quick, and it has now appeared as a Prism release for the 19th of July. When it was recently cleared at the BBFC the version submitted ran four minutes longer than the previous VHS releases. It has an RRP of £4.99.

John Cleese’s 1968 TV special How To Irritate People, which also starred Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Connie Booth, and Tim Brooke-Taylor is getting a budget re-issue courtesy of Prism. Again it has a date of the 19th of July and an RRP of £4.99.

Right now onto the Offers page and it’s been overhauled quite a bit and, as I said at the beginning, there are some new Summer sales being run by the retailers. As some of these sales start mid-week you’re advised to check The High Street section on Roobarb's DVD Forum as that’s where the most up to date information gets posted. By the time I get to do the update for today some of the bargain’s might have already sold out and been removed from the sale. But there are usually still some pretty good bargains to be had…

The Cinema Club promotion doing the rounds at the retailers has reached Amazon, who has got the best prices on some of the box sets. These include The Beiderbecke Collection at £13.97, A Bit of a Do - Complete DVD Box Set at £15.97, Agatha Christie's Partners In Crime at £13.97, Bouquet of Barbed Wire / Another Bouquet at £15.97, The Darling Buds of May Collection at £21.97, Flambards - The Complete Collection at £15.97, Maigret - The Complete Series 1 And 2 at £15.97 and Mapp And Lucia Collection at £15.97.

Other box set’s Amazon have at bargain prices – BBC Worldwide’s complete box set of The Chronicles of Narnia at £19.97, Warner Home Video’s three Hammer Horror box sets (to which the individual releases are now being list as reported above), these include Hammer Horror Collection - Blood From The Mummy's Tomb / The Devil Rides Out / Horror Of Frankenstein / Lust For A Vampire / The Scars of Dracula at £26.97, Hammer Horror Originals - The Curse Of Frankenstein / Horror Of Dracula / The Mummy at £16.97 and Hammer Horror Resurrected - Rasputin the Mad Monk / Frankenstein Created Woman / The Vengeance of She / The Plague of the Zombies / Quatermass and the Pit at £31.97.

New pre-orders from Amazon I’ve added include BBC Worldwide’s Dad's Army - Series 1 & 2 at £11.99, Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 at £9.74, Steptoe & Son - Series 1 at £9.74 and One Foot In The Grave - Series 1 at £11.99 (thanks to Matthew K, Sharp for spotting these!); two Network titles - Hazell – The Complete Second Series at £29.99 and Third Rock From The Sun - The Complete Third Season at £22.49; Cleavision’s Minder – Series 8 box set at £29.99 (which is due out today) and the Kingdom Hospital box set at £33.74.

Finally, for Amazon, I’ve added two audio book listings. The firstly is the Earthsearch CD Collection from BBC Spoken Word, at £65.00, and listed for October. This features James Follett’s two sci-fi serials from the early 1980’s Earthsearch and Earthsearch II, which follow the exploits of the crew of the Challenger and their search for Earth, hampered by their computer guardians, Angel’s One and Two. This should be a collector’s edition box set with extensive notes from Andrew Pixley and James Follett, similar to the Journey Into Space: Operation Luna box set which is out today. The second is The Paul Temple Radio Archive CD Collection, again from BBC Spoken Word, this time at £100.00 and due in November. If you haven’t heard of this series before, these are fantastic crime serials that were produced on BBC Radio during the 1950s and 60s. Written by Francis Durbridge, they feature the adventures of crime writer Paul Temple and his ex-journalist wife Steve and the different cases they become involved in solving. When the radio series finished towards the end of the 1960s it transferred to television and was highly successful in that medium as well.

The BBC Shop has knocked down the price of another audio book, this time the recently released The Navy Lark – Series 2 Collector’s Edition: Volume 1 featuring the first fourteen episodes of the second series (from 1960) of the comedy series, starring Jon Pertwee, Leslie Phillips, Stephen Murray and Ronnie Barker. It is now at £35.99 (£15.00 off).

Choices Direct have a new box set sale running, most of the prices they offer are better elsewhere. But those that are not include Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series 1-5, which doesn’t include the B&W episodes, at £69.99 (Thanks to Ian Woodhouse for spotting this!); the recent Pennies From Heaven release at £20.99; the Raffles complete box set at £41.99; both Lost in Space – Series 1 and 2 box sets at £29.99 (as Lost in Space – Series 2 is only release today that’s a massive bargain at £20.00 off!); and finally thanks to Analogueman for spotting that Choices are now listing the Star Trek – The Original Series: Season 1, but with the wrong RRP. They think it’s at £69.99 and it’s really £84.99, their pre-order price is £52.49 (which is about £6.50 cheaper than most other places at the moment).

Thanks to Mark Aldridge for spotting that has the Blake’s 7 – Series 1 box set at £17.99 and this has been confirmed as the corrected re-issue (which is slowly filtering out to all the retailers). They also have the Hammer House of Horror box set at £17.99 and the recently released Two Thousand Acres of Sky - Complete Series One at £15.99, which is £9.00 off.

DVDplus has the Rising Damp – Complete Series 1-4 box set at £21.87 (£8.12 off).

HMV are having another Biggest Ever Sale (another Clearout should be along in September). They are a running a Summer DVD Sale and a Summer DVD Box Sets Sale, these include the some of the Carlton box set reductions that appeared last year - Space: 1999 Series 1 & 2 and The Persuaders box sets at £29.99 each, Sapphire and Steel and UFO box sets at £19.99. Other highlights include their Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple Exclusive Box Set at £24.99, Carry On Special Editions at £4.99 each and the Cleopatra 3DVD set at £9.99. The also have the Secret Army – Series 1 and Survivors – Series 1 box sets at £29.99 each, but in-store only. Click here for the full highlights. has it’s own Summer Sale running. The highlights of this include Caught on a Train at £9.99, Robin of Sherwood – Series 1 and 2 box sets at £10.49 and Bugs – Series 1 at £13.99. They’ve also included some Acorn titles at the spectacular price of £5.99 – Campion - Look To The Lady/Police at the Funeral, Campion - The Case Of The Late Pig / Death Of A Ghost, Rumpole Of The Bailey - Series 13 (all at £19.00 off!), together with Dangerous Davies - The Last Detective, Midsomer Murders, Reilly - Ace of Spies (all £11.00 off!).

Play also has the Beyond Our Ken Collector's Edition CD Box Set of Series 1 at £51.99 (which is £9.01 off).

Thanks also to Matt West for letting me know that PlayUSA have Mork and Mindy – Season 1 at £17.99 (due September the 7th). If you are interested – click here!

New additions for Rowdy’s include Columbo - The Complete First Season at £24.99 (which is due September), Land of the Lost – The Complete First Season at £16.49, Magnum P.I. - The Complete First Season at £24.49 (also due September), The Munsters - The Complete First Season and Night Gallery - The Complete First Season at £24.49 each (both due August the 24th) and Wonder Woman – The Complete First Series at £17.49. They also have some bargain volumes of classic American TV - The Abbott and Costello Show, The Beverly Hillbillies and Bonanza all from £2.72 each; The Lucy Show from £2.74; and The Dick Van Dyke Show from £3.99.

There have been some recent changes at Rowdys regarding their payment options. They now take Switch and Solo cards and in the future they hope to take cheques (in UK Pounds Sterling).

Streets Online have a Gerry Anderson Sale running (to coincide with the new Thunderbirds release and attendant promotion). Highlights from this sale include the Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series Box Set at £19.99, Joe 90 and Stingray - Complete Series Box Sets at £24.99 each and Captain Scarlet - The Complete Series at £29.99.

And that’s quite enough from me! More next week, as usual.

Thanks, Ceri!

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


Released 12th July 2004.



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