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Author Topic: Bad Movies THEY Don't Want You To See  (Read 5018 times)
Abby
Guest
« on: February 16, 2001, 04:12:42 PM »

Andrew brings up a monumental point about the legality of trading bootlegs, a point we've discussed over on the Girdler message board numerous times. Which is: now that video distribution outlets are being gobbled up by mega-corporations, heaps of trash gems are getting lost in the shuffle. Making illegitimate video purchases a sad and expensive way of life for movie buffs.

For a prime example, look at Abby ... an obvious fave of mine. This film has not enjoyed any official showings since its eight-week release in 1974. Sure, Warner Brothers sued Gird and AIP. But as reported by ME, Girdler won the suit in the end. (and just to show you the power of WB, this fact had not been published since 1978. Even then, it was swept under the rug as a footnote.)

WB owns most of the AIP collection. It's possible that since Girdler died so suddenly (two weeks after he won the lawsuit) the film's ownership slipped through the estate cracks. It's also possible that WB is sitting on the title just to be jerky. They found a way to release Girdler's Sheba Baby, after all. Incidentally, a few die-hards are petitioning WB to release other lost AIP entires at DVD Drive-in.

There are dozens of recent films that suffer from domestic obstruction, like Accione Mutante, I Woke Up Early The Day I died, Fantastic Four. It kills me, because companies are giving their profits away to the underground. And there are a lot of profits.

I mean, think of all the lost souls shelling out dough for these flicks on E-Bay. For the love of Money, you'd think the major distributors would come to their senses.

"Availability" of certain titles has been an issue for a long time. But it's hitting critical mass now. Because many of the B-movie gems of the 50's, 60's, and 70's could be lost forever if someone doesn't act fast. I'm sure some are already long-gone ... flicks that even the most die-hard of B fans don't know about. Original prints of these cheapies are rotting ... literally. The print material was inexpensive and often turns to orange goo within the span of two decades. We found a 35-mm Abby print, locked away in ideal environmental conditions, that was jelly by the time someone drudged it up. No one knows of any other existing prints, aside from one 16mm version,

Even sadder, there was a horror archivist in Kentucky who had prints of all the TV horror flicks they aired in the 70's. He died recently. His extensive film/TV collection was THROWN IN THE GARBAGE!!! I'm serious. Who knows what was just lost?

I'm sure each and every one of you own some prized trash entry that you shelled out big bucks to see ... and by "see," I mean you watched a grainy dub with cutouts and other flaws. But in many cases, that bootleg might be the only proof the film ever existed.


(PS: Does anyone remember the name of the David Lynch TV show that aired in the early 90's? (no, not Twin Peaks ... the OTHER one)  I saw the first episode, and was utterly stunned by its rancidness. It aired on Friday nights on ABC, I think. That effort has been striken from Lynch's record ... and while I understand why I'd still like to see it again.)
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Warren H.
Guest
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2001, 09:36:59 PM »

It was about a television series right?  I also remember the first episode as being right funny, but the later ones being painful to watch.  Had Miguel Ferrer in it.  Darn it!  I can always remember in detail the action but never the titles of movies/shows I've seen.
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Squishy
Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2001, 11:31:21 PM »

Awwwwww COME ON, you two! How many times I gotta say it?!

IMBd! IMBd! IMBd! Waaaaaaaaaah!

Now look, you've gone and made my Manster cry...Hush, little head-thing, don't say a word, Daddy's gonna feed you a Mockingbird...

The series you're thinking of is "On The Air."
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Greywizard, The Unknown Movies
Guest
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2001, 02:44:13 AM »

It's MGM that owns all the A.I.P. movies, not WB.

A.I.P. was bought by Filmways, and they in turn were bought by Orion. Orion did license several A.I.P. movies to WB video in the early '80s, but WB didn't actually own them.

When Orion went bankrupt, MGM eventually bought their entire library, which includes the A.I.P. movies.
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Abby
Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2001, 06:24:15 AM »

You're right, but Warner Brothers is the exclusive distributor of MGM's AIP Blaxploitation flicks.
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Kurt
Guest
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2001, 10:31:01 AM »

Well, technically they aren't throwig profits away.  Mastering and distribution of a movie is expensive (and even more so on DVD).  In the case of movies like "Fantastic Four" the cost for them to get a box together, pay all the correct rights, make the tape/DVD (tapes are more expensive to make, but DVDs are much more expensive to master) they wouldn't sell enough ot make a profit.

As an exaple, a drug that cures a rare form of Leprosy was not available until just recently.  They couldn't sell enough to cover the costs of production at any reasonable price because the disease was so rare. That is, until they found out it also cures baldness.  Now it's available everywhere cheap.
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Dr. Freex
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2001, 06:29:51 PM »

Aw, you're being far too mean to that poor, poor show.  I thought it had the inside joke quotient of "200 Motels" mixed with a weird fever dream.

"On The Air" had, I believe, six episodes to its name, of which three were actually aired.  All six wound up on one fat VHS tape (170 minutes!) which was distributed by Worldvision, the same company who put out the Twin Peaks videos.

Tape now sadly out of print, so (once more) it's down to eBay or bootleggers...
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Scott
Guest
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2001, 09:44:09 AM »

I really believe its the goverments job to get involved an save all these films and well as restoring them to original state. Our tax dollars should go into it. Raise taxes if necessary.

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES just did a special on film restoration. Hopefully they will show it again because I missed the beginning of the show. What I saw was interesting. They showed some goverment agency is restoring more films than anyone else, but I didn't see them restoring any of the so called orphan films.

Since the advent of video filmmakers are pushing out anything. Films are just not the same as those of the 50's, 60's, and even some of the 70's. 80% of todays films should be burned just to save those with more interesting elements. Like PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, GODZILLA, or even Spanish or Itlalian sci-fi/horror films. I also think the type of lens that may be used in the 70,80,90's. The images don't seem to flow or feel the same.
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Abby
Guest
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2001, 04:21:06 PM »

First: to the fellow who was talking about costly mastering: Fantastic Four was already mastered ... at least for prerelease. That comic is one of the best selling titles in history. The built-in fan base should not be underestimated. And it's not underestimated by the option holder: the German fellow who made Fan4 hoped to put out a "proper"  flick someday. At this point, that day is long gone, and they're losing money via the convention circuit. But that's really why it didn't come out. I don't think they wanted to "spoil" potenital interest in a big-budget film with a piece of garbage.

On The Air ... wretched, but in a good way. I remember watching with slacked jaw ... saying to myself, "Is this ANOTHER man named David Lynch?"

And like Bush -- of all people -- is ever going to endorse a "Salvage The Black Exorcist" tax movement. The US will barely fund educational/artsy flicks, let alone work to save trash. But really: you've got huge companies like WB who own, say, the old MGM catalog. They should be saving these flicks. Shouldn't they be putting something back into the industry that bore them? Right ... and GM shouldn't be building car plants in Mexico.
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FLANGEPART
Guest
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2001, 01:28:04 PM »

Don't forget,one man's trash,ect. Are there standards for trash that arn't subjective? What i call garbage, another might call a lost classic. here is a challange,class...name three standards for disposable nasty poo-poo kaka-kaka.  My contibution. 1- No discernable feelings for the characters in subject film. No hate,love,amusment,or even a minor twitching of the left lower intestine. 2- No one Idea,Concept,principle, Ideal, vision or thought that impels you to rub even two nurons together and say, "darn,and they had such a good start,too."  and finaly, 3- Actors who,in every word,gesture,nuance, vocal inflection,or even breaking of wind, imply that production of subject film means anything to them, but another payment on the ex-wife's Volvo.    Your turn!
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Kurt
Guest
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2001, 04:04:41 PM »

There is more to mastering than just putting it on a tape.  With tape mastering most of teh work is just getting the sound and video balance worked out, and sticking various FBI warnings and putting some sort of Macrovision and making labels and designing a box.

With DVDs it's much more work: aside form programming the menus and designing the layout you need to check the dynamic compression and rescan-rescan-rescan until it looks right (or at least acceptable) without flowing onto yet anotehr layer.  This is literally hundreds of hour of work for a professional who probably costs a few hundred dollars an hour.  For something like the Fantastic Four getting it on DVD may cost more than getting it on film.

Interestingly, a preservation system of sorts already exists in teh US government for books, and it doesn't seem all that impossible to see it happening with films.

Right now the LOC is losing thousands of books a year through degredation (mostly acidic paper and mold). Their solution was to set up a fund to preserve the books on acid-free paper with sewn bindings (government insured for 100 years).  Libraries can purchase these collected works, but currently they only do stuff that the copyright has expired for (and only American authors).

Lobby to have the project expanded to films.
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Chadzilla
Guest
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2001, 06:27:00 PM »

Scott - "80% of todays films should be burned just to save those with more interesting elements."

F*** You Nazi.  Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it should be destroyed.  It just means YOU DON'T LIKE IT.  That's it, end of discussion.

I think that film studios should take it under their wing to preserve their movies.  The tide is changing, but some movies are going to get lost in the shuffle.  Sad fact but true.  Hopefully, with today's digital technology, some movies will last.
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Chadzilla
Guest
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2001, 06:32:34 PM »

Your rant describes my reaction just about every movie made by H.G. Lewis that I have had the displeasure to see.  Euw.
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