VCI

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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Lino
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
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#51 Post by Lino » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:11 pm

STARCRASH! YAY!

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Scharphedin2
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#52 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:01 pm

VCI is scheduled to release a number of new discs next week.

Mr. Wong: Detective is a set of five films that Boris Karloff made for Monogram Pictures in the title role as Mr. Wong -- apparently Monogram's answer to the Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan series that were pouring out of the major studios at the time. I have never seen any of these flicks, but since DD is practically paying us money to order them during the sale, I saw no reason not to haul it into my shopping basket.

Also, there is a third volume of true B-movie crime pictures: Forgotten Noir Collection Three. Whereas the first two collections each consisted of 3 double-features, VCI is apparently giving us three triple-features this time around! Lots of fun and a couple of surprisingly decent films in the first two sets, so I again tossed this one into my basket without looking twice.

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Ashirg
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#53 Post by Ashirg » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:56 pm

DVD Beaver already reviewed Volume 7 and Volume 8.

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Scharphedin2
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#54 Post by Scharphedin2 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:20 am

VCI will be releasing Jacques Tourneur's western Stranger On Horseback with Joel McCrea in September.

Also in September they will release a war-adventure flick titled Surrender-Hell! (never heard of this before, but with a tagline like "A Thousand Bolo Knives At His Back! A Thousand Screaming Killers At His Command!" I already know that I will be unable to resist reaching for the wallet). Aside from that, the disc will include three war documentaries as bonus material: John Huston's excellent Battle of San Pietro and John Ford's This Is Korea! (the Huston film was already previously released on one of the Anthology Box Sets, but Ford's film has not to my recollection been released by any reputatable company in the past). The last documentary is The Stillwell Road, which is trumpeted by VCI as "narrated by Ronald Reagan."

Finally, VCI is also releasing a six-film box of British "overlooked gems." including Tread Softly Stranger and Crimes at the Dark House.

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HerrSchreck
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#55 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:09 am

Hah hah.. if Crimes At The Dark House is what I think it is, it's one of Tod Slaughter's most sinister turns. In the first few seconds of the film he slithers over to his comrade in the mining fields of australia (of yore) and drives a huge pointed wooden peg into his buddy's brain with a large wooden mallet... and slithers away giggling.

I adore those old slaughter films. The Face At The Window is a gem, as is Dark House, Never Too Late To Mend, Murder In The Red Barn, all seeing him playing just about the same fiendishly giggling character who goes completely out of his brain at the end... but they're so efficiently directed by gents like George King and photog'd by aces like Hone Glendenning.. you just cant resist them, like the Universal Horror sequels.

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Scharphedin2
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#56 Post by Scharphedin2 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:39 pm

Coming amongst other things from VCI in November is Volume 4 in the series of Forgotten Noir box sets.

This time "...& Crime" has been appended to the title for some reason. The set will feature 9 films on three discs by such directors as William Berke and Sam Newfield from the years 1941 - 1951.

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Cronenfly
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Re: VCI

#57 Post by Cronenfly » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:08 am

This one's for HerrSchreck, c/o Glenn Erickson:
Correspondent Dean Blake reports that on March 31, VCI will release a double bill of two very good quasi-noir pictures. Reign of Terror (aka The Black Book) is a terrific mini-epic about the French Revolution, filmed on a tiny budget by Anthony Mann and clearly a major statement about the HUAC & blacklist years. The Amazing Dr. X is a fine thriller about a fake spiritualist that features masterful lighting by John Alton. I reviewed a pretty beat-up disc of this a few years back and can't wait to see a copy from better materials.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: VCI

#58 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:50 am

Yipee-eye-o-tie-yay! Here's hoping for a City of the Dead type ace transfer from VCI (as any owners of that fabbalus title can see, they are capable of producing CC-quality telecine).

Amazing Mr X is quite good too-- a strange pic, really. But I thought the Image disc not too bad, despite some crackling/damage on the print. The vital news is of course Black Book.

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Jeff
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Re: VCI

#59 Post by Jeff » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:05 am

Here is the art for the Reign of Terror/Amazing Mr. X double feature. Each film has a commentary track.

Jonathan S
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Re: VCI

#60 Post by Jonathan S » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:33 am

I sure hope Reign of Terror (The Black Book) is a great transfer as I understand Sony has 35mm elements and were considering its inclusion in one of the future noir sets Sony's Mike Schlesinger mentioned last year. I think that may be less likely now that VCI appear to have beaten them to it.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: VCI

#61 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:56 am

Ach... Jay Fenton. I'd rather watch an infomercial-- which is basically the same thing, except the infomercial isn't about Jay Fenton.

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Ashirg
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Re: VCI

#62 Post by Ashirg » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:01 am

Arlene Dahl will be doing the commentary track with Alan Rode on Reign of Terror.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: VCI

#63 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:14 pm

This edition is looking up to all-round-ville. Every fan of noir who'd like their brains blown in should buy this-- if the transfer is decent enough.

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tryavna
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#64 Post by tryavna » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:50 pm

Scharphedin2 wrote:VCI will be releasing Jacques Tourneur's western Stranger On Horseback with Joel McCrea in September.

Also in September they will release a war-adventure flick titled Surrender-Hell! (never heard of this before, but with a tagline like "A Thousand Bolo Knives At His Back! A Thousand Screaming Killers At His Command!" I already know that I will be unable to resist reaching for the wallet). Aside from that, the disc will include three war documentaries as bonus material: John Huston's excellent Battle of San Pietro and John Ford's This Is Korea! (the Huston film was already previously released on one of the Anthology Box Sets, but Ford's film has not to my recollection been released by any reputatable company in the past). The last documentary is The Stillwell Road, which is trumpeted by VCI as "narrated by Ronald Reagan."
I've really been meaning to comment on these two releases for a while now. If you haven't picked these two releases up, Scharph, you really should. Surrender Hell is pretty forgetable -- nowhere near as exciting as those tag-lines would have you believe. At best, it makes for an interesting point of comparison to Fritz Lang's American Guerilla in the Philippines, which is itself Lang's weakest movie. But the documentaries are the real gems here, particularly Ford's Korea docu (since Huston's was already available). Ford's film is quite nice: a very humanistic treatment of a very under-studied conflict. The climax builds up into what I think is the most moving ending of all of Ford's non-fictional films. The docu with Reagan narrating is decent but unexceptional -- more oriented toward fact than poetry.

Tourneur's Stranger on Horseback was a pleasant surprise, an anticipation in many ways of the Scott-Boetticher cycle, which was just about to start. In fact, it's fun to think of McCrae working in films like this, while Scott was working with Boetticher -- and then both of them more or less ending their careers with Peckinpah's Ride the High Country. Tourneur's film also reinforces my impression that VCI's other Tourneur release (Appointment in Honduras) is best approached as a chamber-western with a change of scenery, because Stranger is quite clearly in the chamber-western sub-genre. There are a couple of nice extras on the DVD, and they inform us that McCrea specifically requested Tourneur as director, thanks to the rapport they had established on the set of Stars in My Crown.

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Cash Flagg
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Re: VCI

#65 Post by Cash Flagg » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:01 pm

From DVD Drive-In:
Once upon a time there were countries, cities, schools, movies, electric appliances, The Beatles, politicians, then… GLEN AND RANDA. On April 28, VCI Entertainment will release the rarely seen 1970 science fiction film, GLEN AND RANDA for the first time on DVD. Independent filmmaker Jim McBride follows a hedonistic, young couple as they roam the post-apocalyptic world in search of a fabled, unspoiled city of dreams. The record of the journey is Glen and Randa, a desperate odyssey by the last survivors of an atomic holocaust, stumbling through the wreckage of a vanished civilization. The DVD will include a 1.85:1 widescreen anamorphic transfer and include a video interview with director McBride.

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Ashirg
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Re: VCI

#66 Post by Ashirg » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:11 am

On the same day (April 28) they are releasing The British Cinema Collection, Vol. 2. This time it's 5 comedies.

Our Girl Friday (1953, 88 min.) - Color
Three men and Joan Collins shipwrecked on a desert island!

Dentist in the Chair (1960, 84 min.)
Two goofy dental students are tricked into selling stolen dental equipment.

Runaway Bus (1954, 78 min.)
When heavy fog prevents all aircraft from leaving London airport, a group of passengers take an airline bus to get them to an alternative airport.

Carry on Admiral (1957, 83 min.)
Two friends get drunk and decide to switch identities. One is a public relations executive and the other is a captain of a ship.

Time of His Life (1955, 74 min.)
Richard Hearne is an ex-con father of a very proper British lady (Ellen Pollock). She keeps him locked in the attic so he won’t wreak havoc on her daughter’s birthday party. But he gets out... and wreaks havoc.

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essrog
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Re: VCI

#67 Post by essrog » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:28 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:This edition [of Black Book/Reign of Terror] is looking up to all-round-ville. Every fan of noir who'd like their brains blown in should buy this-- if the transfer is decent enough.
Dave Kehr seems pleased enough with it -- "not pristine," but "highly watchable." Good enough for me.

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zedz
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Re: VCI

#68 Post by zedz » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:24 pm

essrog wrote:Dave Kehr seems pleased enough with it -- "not pristine," but "highly watchable." Good enough for me.
"Highly watchable" is about 1000 times better than the previous best available version. (The same would probably go for "watchable"). I can't wait to see this. This should be a blind buy for anybody who's remotely interested in Mann, Alton or noir.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: VCI

#69 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:27 pm

I'm there.

Jonathan S
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Re: VCI

#70 Post by Jonathan S » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:14 pm

Having watched VCI's Reign of Terror, I'm afraid it proves a bit disappointing. The general visual quality is pretty good (sharpness varies somewhat, suggesting 16mm much of the time) but there are a great many noticeable splices - a hundred or more, I'd guess - varying from a few frames to several seconds missing, with dialogue often clipped. VCI do mention this in a technical note on the DVD itself.

More worrying to me is that they used a censored print. Much of the torture scene in the bakery (where the Robert Cummings character meets Robespierre) is removed, making some of the remaining dialogue rather meaningless. A famously gory shot in the climax - where one of the lead characters is shot in the mouth - is also much abbreviated. There may be other instances. The overall running time is under 87 minutes, suggesting a couple of minutes have been lost to censorship or damage.

I am comparing VCI's print (or prints, since they say several sources were used) to a 1980s UK broadcast which uses "Reign of Terror" in the main titles. On VCI's print it's "The Black Book" which according to imdb was the British title. So, ironically, it looks like VCI has a British-censored print and UK TV had an uncut American one! I've never seen Alpha's edition - is that a censored print and which title?

I haven't watched all of The Amazing Mr X yet but from a brief preview it definitely looks like 16mm - softer, though less heavily damaged, than the Corinth/Image edition.

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essrog
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Re: VCI

#71 Post by essrog » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:00 pm

This must have been the version that ran on TCM last year. I remember having only enough time to think to myself, "Did I just see a guy get shot in the face in a 1949 movie?" before the cut away from it. I had no idea the shot was actually longer in the original version.

Jonathan S
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Re: VCI

#72 Post by Jonathan S » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:10 am

In the uncut version the shot runs nine seconds, showing not only the moment of the bullet's impact as blood spatters across the lower half of the face but also the bloodied face falling forwards, almost into the camera. In VCI's censored print, you see only the middle three seconds of the shot, where the victim's hand obscures nearly all the blood.

The original is surely a landmark moment in American screen violence - and I suspect Mann only got away with it (in the US at least) because of the historical subject matter. I doubt it would have passed in a contemporary noir. It's also an important moment of symbolism in the film - the man who fires is specifically told to "shut his mouth".
SpoilerShow
There may even be an element of sexual symbolism as the victim, Robespierre, has been homophobically encoded (prissy woman-hating sadist) as gay throughout the film.

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Scharphedin2
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Re: VCI

#73 Post by Scharphedin2 » Fri May 08, 2009 4:19 pm

Here is a press release that I just received from VCI. Great news if they will also be the distributor of AllDay releases in the future, and very good news with respect to the long rumored Charley Chase collection:
VCI press release wrote:VCI to release "BECOMING CHARLEY CHASE"
VCI signs distribution deal with All Day Entertainment


VCI Entertainment's president, Robert A. Blair, announced today they had reached a deal with indie DVD producer All Day Entertainment to distribute their latest project - "BECOMING CHARLEY CHASE". Name a comedian in the first part of the 20th century--Charley Chase worked with them, either on or off screen. He was a brilliant comedy writer, film director, and a major movie star. Almost single-handedly, he transformed the world of screen comedy from chaotic slapstick violence into a newly sophisticated comedy of manners, and laid the groundwork for the modern sitcom. He was the world's biggest skinny man--and this is where his legend begins. This deluxe 4 disc collection provides a comprehensive look at Charley Chase's early years, from his days as a budding talent at Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios to becoming one of Hollywood's most in-demand comedy directors to his breakthrough as one of the top box office draws of the 1920s. Over 40 rare comedy shorts from 1915-1925 and surviving extracts of "lost" films digitally restored from materials provided by private collectors and major institutions from around the world! Featuring new music by the Snark Ensemble, Ben Model, the Redwine Jazz Band, and the West End Jazz Band!

Included in the deluxe 4 disc collection:
Over 40 rare comedy shorts from 1915-1925
Featuring new music by the Snark Ensemble, Ben Model, the Redwine Jazz Band, and the West End Jazz Band! Additional content:
- Audio commentaries by noted film historians
- THE PARROTT CHASE 45 minute restrospective on the life and career of Charley Chase
- THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE Behind the scenes with the Snark Ensemble on the making of the music for this set
- Archival interview with Charley Chase's daughter June
- Collectible CineNotes booklet
460 mins · 4 disc set · 1915-1925 · B&W · silent

Pre-Order Date: 7/07/2009 - Street Date: 7/28/2009
SRP: 39.99

All Day Entertainment is an independent DVD label begun in 1997 with the express mission of rescuing movies that fell through the cracks. Curated by film historian David Kalat, the All Day collection seeks out motion pictures whose artistic value, historic importance, and all-around entertainment merits a second chance in the commercial marketplace. For more information about All Day Entertainment visit, http://www.alldayentertainment.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

Thank you,

Christopher Rowe
PR Director for VCI

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Cash Flagg
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Re: VCI

#74 Post by Cash Flagg » Sat May 30, 2009 1:46 pm


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Cash Flagg
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Re: VCI

#75 Post by Cash Flagg » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:07 pm

From Classic Flix:
VCI has announced an August 4th release date for Actors and Sin. The 1952 comedy-drama stars Edward G. Robinson, Marsha Hunt and Eddie Albert. Bonus features include an interview with Marsha Hunt and the theatrical trailer.

It will retail for $14.99.
Already released in several public domain versions, VCI has announced an August 4th release date for what's sure to be the definitive edition of The Last of the Mohicans (1932). The Harry Carey starring vehicle will be on two discs and is not expected to have any bonus features.

It will retail for $19.99

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