Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Zombie flicks - low budget, inferior to your productions?

Colin, the supposedly £45 movie, was bad enough, here's another that looks pretty atrocious but illustrates that not everything that makes it market is slick and professional; bedroom producers are springing up and able to market and distribute their micro-budget efforts where years ago they would have gotten no further than family/friends passing round a VHS tape: Harold's Going Stiff (not in the least recommended!). The other intriguing aspect of this lamely-punning film is how it plays with representations of age, as it seems to feature a romance between the titular aged zombie and a 20-something woman (reflected in that schoolboy double entendre title).

You can get a sense of the underground boom in zombie production at
As with zero-/micro-budget productions within other sub-genres of horror, some of these are plainly and crudely using sex to sell.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Back catalogue boxsets: eg of Fri 13th

When we're studying British Cinema (Audience + Institutions) for the exam, one of the major aspects we consider is marketing, as part of the overall picture of how it functions as a business.
Since the DVD came along and replaced VHS, film studios have relied heavily upon reissues, as well as multiple editions (special/collector's/ultimate edition, director's cut etc) as a way to create extra revenue (money/income). Box office (cinema) revenue is just one part of their revenue streams.
With so many 80s horror franchises being 'rebooted' or 'reimagined' its no surprise that new editions of the 80s horror movies are being released, tempting those who already own these on DVD (or Blu-Ray) to pass over another sizeable lump of cash for new extras and uncut editions.
Here's one example, a detailed review from the excellent of a new Friday the 13th boxset.

Since writing this I noticed there were many examples on YT of fans vodcasting their own reviews too, such as this example; click onto the YT view page and you'll find more/better examples along the right-hand side:

[DVD Review] 'Friday The 13th' Ultimate Collection Limited Edition
Sunday, September 18, 2011

By: David Harley
When Paramount released the first Friday the 13th box set back in 2004, it was a huge disappointment. Fans were finally able to buy the first eight films together, true, but none of them were uncut and bonus features – which Jason aficionados knew existed through the festival circuit, overseas releases and the like – were nowhere to be found. The supplemental materials included were a bit better than most people gave them credit for being, but the sting of not having uncut versions sent fans over the edge - folks, we’re never going to get them uncut due to monetary concerns and guild regulations.

A year later, Peter Bracke released Crystal Lake Memories, a tome to the series that contained the sort of in-depth analysis and interviews the bonus disc lacked. To this day, no Friday extra has come close to rivaling the 320-page book for content and entertainment value. A documentary that used Memories as a starting point, entitled His Name Was Jason, was released on February 3, 2009 and was a total joke. There wasn’t nearly enough information on how the films were made, instead focusing on common knowledge about the series as well as interviewing internet personalities and up-and-coming directors. God bless these guys, I love (most of) them but I don’t care what they think about Jason and, judging by how much it’s looked down upon these days, neither does anyone else. Some of the producers went on to tackle another big horror franchise the following year with Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.They learned from their mistakes and made one of the greatest horror docs of all-time.

That same day in 2009, Paramount began releasing their Deluxe Edition line of the entries they owned (the first eight films). Originally planning to release them on DVD and Blu-ray, the films stopped being released in HD after Part III and there’s still no news on whether we’ll ever see the rest of the Paramount flicks on Blu-ray. These newer editions regurgitated a lot of stuff from the first box set, but had a healthy amount of new bonus features including an uncut version of the original (the only uncut film officially released so far), a fan commentary with Adam Green and Joe Lynch on The Final Chapter, the god-awful Lost Tales From Camp Blood shorts, new interview segments, deleted scenes (most of which were previously released but there are a few additions) and even a Best Buy exclusive which was included as a bonus disc with the 2004 set. In the end, everyone came away happy – Paramount got to capitalize on the reboot with new editions and fans got more bonus features and better A/V quality – except for those hoping to get the rest of the series in HD.

Almost 7 years later (one day shy, if you want to get technical), Paramount is rereleasing their Deluxe Editions in a new box set – The Ultimate Collection, limited to 50,000 copies – that includes a replica hockey mask, a book that stores all of the discs and two pairs of 3D glasses for Part III. But is it worth double dipping for? Instead of dissecting each film – let’s be honest here, guys: you’re investing in a $40+ box set comprised of eight well known horror flicks, you couldn't care less about what I think of them – let’s go through the new selling points.

The new box is made of thin sheet plastic, which is roughly the same height as most other box sets out there (it’s a smidge taller than the Futurama releases, whic