Welcome once again to the annual SGM Awards, this in fact is the 5th year of the awards and whilst some results do feel somewhat predictable there's always a few surprises in there. It's been interesting to note over the past five years both the massive improvement in the quality and diversity in product out there for the horror fan but also the stunning response we get in nominations for these awards - each year the numbers rise dramatically and although it now literally takes days to count and recount all the nominations we are assured that these awards reflect the masses of you genre fans out there.
So, let's not waste anymore time and get down to business...for a change this year though we're going to start with the nominations for your favourite DVD suppliers then work our way through the books & magazines until we reach the grand finale of your favourite DVD releases of 2004 (no peeking now!)
In the past few years the Eastern horror scene has blossomed (with major thanks inevitably going to a certain long haired TV creeping ghoul) and hungry genre fans have been taking advantage of the relatively low cost of many DVD releases from the East. That said, Japan still seems to be producing some stunning prestige DVD editions and cost aside 'collectors' can't seem to get enough of them which is reflected in the 3rd place position being awarded to the ever popular 'CD Japan'.
Those of you who like to purchase your Eastern DVD delights a bit closer to home have been voting in numbers to show your support for USA based Asian supplier 'Poker Industries' which moves up a place this year to take the 2nd place spot. But it perhaps is no surprise whatsoever that the No.1 spot for the fourth year running heads over to Hong Kong supplier 'DDD House' - this long running respected company has been bringing eager genre fans across the globe not only a reliable service but a great value one also.Best Euro DVD Supplier 2004:
Horror fans in the UK for many years (more so since the heyday of the Video Nasty scene) have looked to our friends across in mainland Europe for assistance in supplying us with our beloved uncut genre fun. Whilst things are ever so slightly more relaxed these days since the DVD boom we still find our Euro cousins to be the main blood rich vein for cannibal and exploitation fun and the number of your nominations reflect that...
In 3rd place this year we see the welcome addition to the awards of a new face in the form of Austrian suppliers 'Medienhandel' (and we don't doubt we'll be hearing more of them in future award years). The 2nd place spot is held yet again by our horror loving friends in the Netherlands 'Chainsaw Video' who each year creep closer and closer to that number one spot. But there is no change for first place yet again as 'Absurd Online' maintain a tight grip at the No.1 spot. Yes it's the fourth year in a row for 'Absurd Online' and proud they should be of maintaining such a high level of support - keep up the great work!Best UK DVD Supplier 2004:
The nominations for the Best UK Supplier perhaps should not be that surprising with the mainstream high profile suppliers monopolising the top spots ahead of the smaller genre specific dealers.
In 3rd place 'CD Wow' muscle in with a small catalogue but a price-busting offensive on their competitors. The 2nd place position is wrestled away from Blackstar/SendIt by the corporate muscle that is 'Amazon' with many readers enjoying its mix of global shopping and marketplace business. But the pole position at the top spot is held for the fourth year running by the hard working team at 'Play' who readers have supported in great numbers for their solid value and reliable service.Best US DVD Supplier & Top DVD Supplier 2004:
Moving on to the nominations for the Best USA Supplier for 2004 it's interesting (and welcome) to note that two of the top three positions have been a battle of sorts between two of the hottest genre suppliers, so much so that we had to recount the nominations for the top three places four times (yes it was that close!)
Dropping to a still very respectable 3rd place are the hard working folk at 'Diabolik DVD', but skipping in there for 2nd position (and almost nabbing the top spot) is the team at 'Xploited Cinema'. But it is the power of the mainstream market that won the much coveted No.1 position with 'DVD Pacific' slipping into first position for the first time with it's massive catalogue and amazingly low retail price fixing that put a welcome smile on SGM's readers...so much so that it was a virtual landslide when it came to your nominations for the all encompassing Top DVD Supplier Award with 'DVD Pacific' easily taking your votes! Congratulations to all the hard working staff at 'DVD Pacific'!Worst Supplier 2004:
Finally, on the DVD Supplier front we should take a moment out to make mention of the nominations for unwelcome title of Worst DVD Supplier of 2004...and although they have been making a very impressive return into the DVD producing market with the mouth watering Cannibal Ferox Ultrabit release (in conjunction with EC) 'Sazuma' are still failing to hit the mark with you folk out there by snatching back the crown for Worst Supplier. Let's hope we see this change over the year ahead!
We can feel the tension rise out there as we kick into some of the most coveted nominations out there...and where better to start than with your favourite genre magazines...
Astonishingly neither both the excellent 'Rue Morgue' and 'Fangoria' magazines (or new UK cracker 'DVD World') make it into the top three positions and this year we see the welcome entry of Tim Lucas's excellent long running 'Video Watchdog' into the fray proudly taking the 3rd position. But yet again it was recount time here at SGM Towers as the voting for the top two positions for Best Genre Magazine was very close indeed...following several pots of tea and much sweating we can reveal that there's no change at the top spots with Paul Brown and Nigel Burrell keeping a very respectable 2nd place with their excellent 'Is It...Uncut?' magazine but the No.1 position is held for the third year running by Allan Bryce and his team at 'The Dark Side' - still the best genre magazine (and rightly proudly so!)Best Genre book 2004:
Following the move for world domination with the SGM Awards results for 2003, we were all wondering here whether or not the ever popular FAB Press would run away with it all yet again this year...and they almost did if not for the sneak assault for the 3rd place by the team at Headpress/Critical Vision with the mouth watering weighty tome tribute to the late great 'Archaic' Alan Hewetson in 'Skywald Horror-Mood'. Harvey Fenton though can breathe easy though as his FAB Press not only proudly nab the 2nd position with the essential read that is 'DVD Delirium vol.2' (every home should have this) but have snared the No.1 Genre Book of 2004 Award with Alan Jones personal tribute to the Italian master 'Profondo Argento' - congratulations to both Alan Jones and Harvey at FAB Press!
Now, before we look at your favourite DVD releases of 2004 let's look at the people behind those much cherished releases as we check out who your favourite DVD Producers were?Top European DVD Producer 2004:
First up in the category for Top European DVD Producer we head over to the Netherlands were in 3rd place 'Japan Shock' continue to unsettle readers with a steady schedule of nerve jangling extreme releases. Germany is our next port of call as 'Dragon Films' continue to garner deserved support for such titles as their lovely 'Door Into Darkness' release. But leaping into 1st place this year and understandably snapping up the award for Top European DVD Producer 2004 is the team at 'X Rated' who have had genre fans stampeding to snap up their much wanted genre releases.Top US Producer 2004:
It is with some pride that we note that the 3rd place position for Top US Producer this year goes to a distinctly British team in the form of the hard working Pete Tombs and Andy Starke at 'Mondo Macabro' (well done chaps!) but there is no change at the top with 2nd place going to 'Anchor Bay' (USA) who whilst are still entertaining the masses are lagging behind their UK counterparts in the popularity stakes and in proud 1st place as Top US Producer for 2004 goes to Bill Lustig and his team at 'Blue Underground' - congratulations to the Blue Underground family!Top UK Producer 2004:
Whilst the UK market continues to be a fickle and frustrating one for UK producers (as far as sales for genre product goes) there are still welcomingly several hot genre producers continuing to ply their fare here. This year the 3rd place for Top UK Producer goes to the smallest of those indie producers with 'Cryptkeeper' being rightly applauded for their continued commitment to the indie genre scene. In 2nd place we see the debut to the Awards nominations for the growingly popular 'Artsmagic' with their ever-popular Eastern genre line. But perhaps it should come as no surprise that the award for Top UK Producer for 2004 should go to 'Anchor Bay' (UK) who proudly hold on to the title for the third year running - congratulations to everyone at Anchor Bay UK!
Before we reach the main event of the SGM Awards that is the Best DVD Releases of the year let's take a look at what you readers voted for as the Worst DVD Release of 2004! Whilst votes came in their dribs and drabs for a whole slew of half hearted releases the war cry yet again was for one specific company...yes that's right you readers have the knives out (and understandably so) for 'Vipco'...once the darlings of the UK video genre scene back in the glory days of the video nasty but now looked upon with scorn by the same fan base who once sang its praise. And you voted in your droves for one specific release as the worst DVD Release of 2004 with Vipco's 'special edition' of 'Cannibal Holocaust' which not only came with six minutes of censor cuts but was packaged with a bonus disc of the butchered (missing 12 minutes) 'House on the Edge of the Park' - needless to say avoid at all costs!!Best Asian DVD Release 2004:
Interestingly it's not only the likes of Japan and China that is dominating the top Asian DVD Release nominations these days which is reflected in your voting...in 3rd place for Best Asian DVD Release we stay home grown though with the creepy anthology title 'Three Extremes'...but in 2nd place we look towards US fanboy extreme come good Quentin Tarantino and the much wanted 'Kill Bill' Japanese box set...not surprisingly though the nominations came think and fast this year for stylish Korean genre delight that is Chan-wook Park's 'OldBoy' (and it's special edition release from Starmax).Best European DVD Release 2004:
The votes for Best European DVD Release are always across the board with many DVD releases from many corners of the genre scene grabbing your interest. This is evident in the final voting for the top three places with 3rd place for Top Euro release going to Dragon Film's excellent release of the rarely seen Argento TV gem 'Door Into Darkness'...the 2nd place position is taken up by a different genre completely with the Kinowelt uncut release of Ralph Nelson's cavalry slaughter epic 'Soldier Blue' (proving that even bare bones releases can prove popular)...but the award for Best European DVD Release of 2004 goes to newcomers Universum Film with their uncut 30th Anniversary release of Alan Ormsby's serial killer classic 'Deranged' (which in turn blows MGM USA's version right out of the water!)Best US DVD Release 2004:
The genre DVD market in the USA has been growing nicely for many years now with several key DVD producers vying for your hard earned buck with some tasty special edition releases, each year the release schedule just keeps getting better and the strain on our wallets just gets worse! 2004 was another good one with your money (and hence votes) going for some interesting titles...in 3rd place in the run down for Top US DVD Release of 2004 we see Shriek Show enter the fray with their much applauded special edition revisit to the Fulci classic 'Zombi 2' (that's 'Zombie Flesh Eaters' for us UK folk!). In 2nd place we're thrilled to see Don May's Synapse is getting much support for their release of Bo Arne Vibenius' exploitation gem 'Thriller: A Cruel Picture' but it is perhaps no surprise that the award for Top US DVD Release of 2004 for 2004 goes to the release that fans have been screaming for...yes you guessed it, the much anticipated Anchor Bay (USA) special edition multi-disc release of George Romero's undead epic 'Dawn of the Dead - Ultimate Edition' (and 'ultimate' edition it truly is - an essential addition to any genre fans collection!)Best UK DVD Release 2004:
When it comes to mouth watering 'special editions' of genre releases in the UK outside of the big shot mainstream players there really is only one key producer who stands out on the UK genre market and that company is (of course) 'Anchor Bay' UK.
The voting for Best UK DVD Release of 2004 pretty much reflects that with Anchor Bay taking 3rd place for their release of vintage Brit genre gem 'Blood on Satan's Claw' (which bodes well for all their plans for the British horror back catalogue). 2nd place though goes to the big guns at Universal for their delightful special edition release of the truly excellent zombie comedy classic 'Shaun of the Dead' but it is with much respect that we happily announce that the Top UK DVD Release of 2004 is Anchor Bay UK's gorgeous lament configuration box set of 'Hellraiser' which not only lovingly presents the first three movies of the series remastered and uncut but comes with a host of new extra features and packaged in a way that even the most hard nosed of genre fans couldn't resist the temptation to 'open the box' - congratulations yet again to all the team at 'Anchor Bay' UK and we all look forward to their future endeavours!
So that just about wraps things up for another year with the SGM Awards for 2004. Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit your choices for your favourites for the year - I know for a fact that all the recipients of the awards are grateful to each and everyone one of you for your support. Let's now look forward to another year of genre goodness and lots of horror fun!Back to the Spotlight page