This month we hand over to SGMer Mike Thomason who will stir some interesting debate as he tells us his...
Mike's (Incomplete) DVD Wish List
So we've all fallen in love with the DVD medium (some more disturbingly than others), and the mountain of genre product that is now being made available for the more discerning Horror/Fantasy/Et Al buff. The funny thing is, now that the format has taken off like it has, all manner of films that would never have got a look-in in the bad old days consumer driven video rental are assailing our hip pockets in a fashion that many of us would have only ever dreamt of! Who would have ever thought, a mere decade ago, that enterprising distributors would tailor their product-for-sale directly for "our" market? If you had've told me then that in the years to come a new home entertainment format would usher in the pristine, uncut, letterboxed (and sometimes Dolby enhanced) releases of films like (deep breath) Bad Taste, Basket Case, Cannibal(s) Ferox & Holocaust, City Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, The Hammer films, The Ilsa series, The Story Of O, Suspiria and The Wicker Man et al.
Or countless other genre items that we thought we had heard the last of, then I probably would have laughed quietly to myself and said "Yeah, right!" I'd also feel rather foolish right about now. Thus, not long after the aforementioned correspondence with Alan turned into another writing gig, I started entertaining the idea in my own little twisted subconscious of the films that I would like to see gain a DVD release. I thought about it for a good while, then one sombre night, amidst a marathon viewing/reviewing session, I started drawing up what I can only really term a "wish list". So, without further rambling, here's a swag of titles that I would really like to see hit the medium one fruitful day. It's only my humble list of personal preferences, so be kind. An aging genre fan is entitled to dream…
1990: Bronx Warriors (1982)
Enzo Castellari's kick-arse "Escape From New York"/"Warriors" clone deserves restoration to its full uncut glory, that's what I think! A full Panavision 2.35 Widescreen edition, restored & with the original Italian audio as an optional extra would keep the fans really happy!
2019: After The Fall Of New York (1983)
Sergio Martino's foray into the post apocalypse genre would be a delight to see with all of its comic-book gore restored. A Widescreen print and a Surround remix would be nice (but not essential). Oh, and uncut of course!
A Taste For Fear (1988)
Piccio Raffinini's bizarre futuristic erotic thriller deserves the Widescreen treatment and its original Dolby track restored (if only for that cool alternate version of Grace Jones' "Private Life"). Virginia Hey (Mad Max 2) doesn't like this movie very much (as she agreed to the nude scenes on the grounds that the film wasn't sold to markets outside of Italy), but it's a great little surrealistic, garish psycho-sex-thriller.
Body Count (1986)
Ruggero Deodato pairing up David Hess & Charles Napier in a (semi) standard slasher with a supernatural twist? It's an overlooked gem with an awesome score by Claudio Simonetti that deserves a Widescreen presentation and its Dolby track restored (just to do justice to the pounding music). All the outlandish gore that was present in the Australian video release would be an added bonus.
The Burning (1981)
Before Holly Hunter played "The Piano" and Jason Alexander did "Seinfeld", they were garden-shear fodder for Cropsy! Tony Maylam's slasher was the best, and goriest, of all the "Friday" clones, and that's why we love it. Outside of "Crimes Of Passion", it was probably also Rick Wakeman's best film score (hmmm, do I hear people thinking 5.1 out there?). The fabled uncut print is the only way to do this one right, as I'm pretty sure I've seen something close (shy of a few seconds here and there). Come on Filmways & Miramax, you owe it to us!
Cat People (1982)
People rave about "The Howling" and "An American Werewolf", but overlook this creepy little monster movie by Paul Schrader! Wassup? Too much sex for you all? Or was it the incest angle? Now that Elite's disc is deleted maybe Universal could give us a 16x9 transfer and a Dolby 5.1 remix? Giorgio Moroder's score and Bowie's theme song would sound awesome!
Hands up who's never heard of this! Whoa, there's so many of you! Tony Paterson's unusual soft-core sci-fi opus is one of the more bizarre items to have snuck out of the Australian film industry, chalking up truly obscure these days. It's a curiously cold exercise enlivened by a number of (then) Australian Penthouse Playmates. Don't ask…it's an oddball favourite.
Lucio Fulci does Conan by way of his Zombie trilogy. People hate this film, but peplum doesn't come any gorier and Simonetti's score pumps. There's even Andrea Occhipinti post "New York Ripper" in a leather loincloth. An uncut Widescreen edition with the Dolby track reinstated would be super!
Danger: Diabolik (1968)
I can't believe that with the amount of Bava films available on DVD that this isn't one of them! Do us all a favour and release the damn thing in its original Widescreen ratio & give that Morricone score a 5.1 remix!
Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)
Yes, I know Germany's Red Edition have already released this one, but I just want to see some one do it, Rupert & Anna justice. The correct aspect ratio would be a start, 16x9 enhancement would be a bonus. I really don't care what audio format it's in, as long as it starts at Dolby 2.0 Surround! Ah Mister Soavi, you really cranked out a masterpiece here…
The Devils (1971)
Post "Clockwork Orange" and pre "Exorcist" this was the 'it' film of demonic possession. It's also Ken Russell's best film, so here's my advice: Go back to whatever source materials are available and restore this one, but don't even bother putting it out unless it's in 'Scope! The BBC have a print resembling Russell's original version, surely the full camera negative exists somewhere?
The Devil's Honey (1986)
I'm sick of hearing about this film, and I'm not prepared to pay some bootlegger for the privilege of seeing it. I will however give my hard-earned cash to the first DVD company that releases the full uncut version of Lucio's soft-core thriller in a widescreen format. There's the challenge, now let's see who'll rise to it?
Diary Of A Serial Killer (1995)
Many of you would have never heard of this one either, so I would be more than amazed to see a Hong Kong distributor release an uncut edition of Otto Chan's perversely twisted serial killer flick. You thought "Dr. Lamb" was the pinnacle of Asian depravity? You really should see this then!
Dr. Jekyll & His Women (1981)
Walerian Borowczyck's take on Stevenson's classic horror story has three major things in its favour. It's decidedly rude, it's got Udo Kier as the doctor, and it also features Marina Pierro. I know a Widescreen version would probably only chalk up a 1.66 ratio but as long as it's uncut, I'd be a very happy man.
Dr. Lamb (1992)
The penultimate Hong Kong slasher flick needs to overcome its legal wrangles and put in an appearance on disc. Although the edited 89m Hong Kong version would suffice, I'd like to see some one restore the footage of the $25,000 prosthetic corpse that was the first thing Hong Kong censors asked director Danny Lee to remove when he put it up for classification (Yes, even Category III films suffer cuts!). Ah, it won't be long now, and there'll be a subtitled Dolby 5.1 version out amongst the Asian disc retailers. Just a hunch…
Was John Badham's version that bad? With ex-Bond credits designer Maurice Binder assisting with the visuals, it certainly looked great. Once again, now that Elite's disc is gone, Universal should offer forth a Panavision 2.35 16x9 transfer and 5.1 remix, just for John Williams incredible score. Maybe some one could convince Badham to do a commentary and Laurent Bourzeau to whip together a retro documentary. Wouldn't that be something?
Dust Devil (1992)
How does such an atmospheric horror film get such poor treatment? Richard Stanley's Final Director's Cut looked amazing, and Simon Boswell's Spaghetti Western styled score was superb. I don't want to see Miramax's 86m version without the benefit of Zakes Mokae, I want to see a Widescreen edition of Stanley's 108m cut only, thanks…
Edge Of Sanity (1989)
He he he, Tony Perkins does Jekyll & Hyde by way of Jack The Ripper by way of Ken Russell. Former porn director Gerard Kikoine really churned out a kinky classic with this one! Originally released in US R and Unrated versions, I've only ever seen the Unrated edition, so have no idea how truncated the R rated cut was. What I do remember was how seriously bent the film was! It'd make a great DVD, and I could almost imagine some bright spark putting both versions on the one disc. Question is, who'd bother watching the edited version?
Just Jaeckin's trend-setting erotic drama, from Arsan's controversial novel, would be really wonderful to see in its Original Widescreen ratio & uncut for once (that means the cigarettes stay in!). The original French language track with optional subtitles wouldn't go astray either.
Emmanuelle L'Anti Virge (1977)
You know what? I'd really like to see Francis Giacobetti's sequel in its Original 2.35 Panavision ratio & uncut (instead of a modified for an NC-17 version) as well. Is that too much to ask?
Sure it was indicative of the era it was released, and Clint Howard was a pretty goofy anti-hero, but Eric Weston's demonic slasher was pretty gory by anyone's standards! It would be nice to see it letterboxed and uncut with that stereo track that pops up on some prints. Then maybe we can all get to the bottom of the reason why there's (apparently) a 92m and a 99m version of this one.
Australian soft-porn producer John Lamond really pitched in a minor classic when he shot this one in Hong Kong back in the seventies as an answer to the "Emmanuelle" films. Just a simple Widescreen & complete print would keep me happy (but then we'd have to go the whole hog and release David Hamilton's "Bilitis" and "Laura" as well, wouldn't we?).
From Beyond (1986)
Didn't we all read for years that Stuart Gordon had to tinker with this one to get it a contractually imposed US R rating? Wonder if any of that alternate or deleted footage still exists? Heaven forbid, maybe Gordon's original cut does somewhere too! A Widescreen version with surround sound would be long overdue and, although it would be nice to finally see uncut, the R rated version will do me just fine (Mind you, if that alternate & deleted footage shows up that would be many a fans dreams come true!)
Galaxy Of Terror (1982)
Okay, if Corman could give "Battle Beyond The Stars" a new pristine widescreen presentation augmented by a brand new Dolby 5.1 remix, then surely he could do the same for this underrated cult classic? If Norman J. Warren's "Inseminoid" could get a disc release, then why not what was one of the best of the low budget "Alien" clones? Its plot pre-dated "Event Horizon" by years, and the Celebrity Sleuths should get a kick out of seeing "Happy Days" 'Joanie' (Erin Moran) with her space suit (and everything else) off!
Goodbye Emmanuelle (1979)
If I'm going to rabbit on about the first two films, then I might as well request Francois Leterrier's final chapter in the trilogy, and ask nicely that it's restored back to its Cinemascope glory, please. I think an optional French language track with subtitles wouldn't go astray either, come to think of it…
Ha ha ha, with Jaeckin already mentioned, you didn't think that I was going to avoid mentioning this heavenly exercise in high-kink, did you? Okay, so it's a long way from John Willie's original comics, but it's also a long way from "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" (and it has more nudity). This is what Tawny Kitaen was up to before her ever so brief marriage to David Coverdale. I'd love to see this in its original Panavision ratio, uncut & restored to its full 100m length. And since it was mixed in Dolby stereo, I wouldn't mind hearing Pierre Bachelet's haunting score the way it was meant to be heard. Down to the Dolby labs, boys!
Click here to continue to page 2
© 2001, Icon In Black Media