Crime, Triple-Time! + Quick News Cuts
Back in April I reviewed a crime double-bill from Code Red, and just uploaded the next set of titles, plus a related soundtrack review, but before I get to them, DVD Savant posted an interesting link to a Hollywood Reporter piece on the recent screening of a longer version of Saul Bass’ Phase IV (1974), the trippy ants vs. man thing that more or less left viewers baffled yet impressed with the film’s striking visuals.
No surprise it looks unique – Bass was a major pioneer in film title and poster design, responsible for several now-classic Alfred Hitchcock title sequencs (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho) – and after taking baby directorial steps with the Oscar-winning short documentary Why Man Creates (1968), he tackled a feature.
According to the article, Paramount wasn’t crazy about his trippy / metaphorical finale, so they axed it. The article includes a sampling of the deleted Phase IV finale which really deserves to be included in some special edition. Michael Murphy still walks the Earth (not as a bug-man, but an actor in Toronto), so why not assemble the ultimate HD SE for fans?
Also reported by DVD Savant is a planned boxed set from Universal featuring their best-selling horror / thriller classics on Blu-ray, including Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D. Last month Digital Bits similarly posted info about Warner Home Video’s plans to release Alfred Hitckcock’s Dial M for Murder (1954) in both flat & 3D versions on BR October 9th, with House of Wax (1953) to follow.
The move to start issuing classic (and good) 3D films will certainly motivate collectors to perhaps change their hesitation to upgrade their TVs with new 3D sets. It’s still not the same as being in a dark cinema with people ‘Oooing’ and jumping en mass, but it’s what should’ve been been done at the onset: had TV manufacturers given the studios time to restore their top 3D classics prior to the launch of the new sets, the format would’ve had a bit of a boost; instead we had manufacturers competing against each other to establish their own proprietary standard in a stupid delivery war.
My hope is rare 3D films will finally get the restoration fans have been craving for decades, and those crappy dupes from 3D VHS discs & VHS dubs. That, Hondo (1953), and maybe the first glass-free, 3D feature length film – the Soviet production Robinzon Kruzo (1948).
Want to know what lies rotting as the studios busily invest in BD-3D + BD + DVD + Digital Copy combos? Check out the rare materials that were screened at the 2006 Word 3D Expo, as detailed in this lengthy blog. Who says there’s no film library except the current crop?
Lastly, Rue Morgue’s upcoming Cinemacabre will feature Nightreed:The Cabal Cut, screening Thursday July 19th at the Lightbox. The TBL’s website doesn’t list any details, so check back at RM’s site for further info about the expanded 155 edit. Yes, 155 mins.
As for the reason you’re reading this blog (Is there any other reason?), I just uploaded is a review of Ernest Pintoff’s detective thriller Blade [M] (1973), perhaps the worst shot film of the seventies, and Romolo Guerieri’s underrated crime thriller Ring of Death / Detective Belli / Un detective [M] (1969), plus a review of Frank Bongusto’s Un detective [M] soundtrack, released on CD in Japan some time ago, and in need of a reissue.
Coming shortly are reviews of the Blu-ray editions of The Robe (Jesus, is this release loaded!) and Demetrius and the Gladiators, plus related soundtrack reviews, and more!