Roger Corman Library

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THX1378
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Roger Corman Library

#1 Post by THX1378 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:29 pm

I was just looking over at DavisDvd and it listed that Buena Vista is putting out some catalog titles in November and December. Some of them that are listed are a Rock & Roll High School: Special Edition on December 6th; Big Bad Mama, Death Race 2000: Special Edition on December 13th. Are these the same special editions that came out years ago from Roger Cormans dvd label a couple of years ago or is there going to be anything new put on them?

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Buttery Jeb
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#2 Post by Buttery Jeb » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:40 pm

I remember reading something from early this year about Corman selling off his film library to Disney. This looks to be the first fruits from that merger (better these then more remakes).

No idea about specs for those discs though.

-BJ

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#3 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:51 pm

Buttery Jeb wrote:I remember reading something from early this year about Corman selling off his film library to Disney. This looks to be the first fruits from that merger (better these then more remakes).

No idea about specs for those discs though.
Yeah, the extras on the existing Rock 'n' Roll High School DVD are pretty good as is. Although, the transfer and soundtrack could do with a nice upgrade.

Here is the official word on the Buena Vista-Roger Corman merger:

From Business Wire:
Buena Vista Home Entertainment Acquires Rights to Extensive Roger Corman Library; BVHE to Distribute Over 400 Genre Titles From Legendary Producer/Director

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 7, 2005--Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) has acquired an extensive library of films from legendary producer/director Roger Corman, it was announced today by Bob Chapek, President of BVHE. BVHE now has video distribution rights in the U.S. and on select films in Canada to over 400 cult-classic genre films from Roger Corman's company Concorde-New Horizons.

Roger Corman began his filmmaking career in 1953 as a producer/screenwriter and directed his first film in 1955. Since 1953, Corman has produced over 300 films and directed over 50. Some of his most notable films include the 1960 original cult-classic "The Little Shop of Horrors," which was later made into a musical, along with iconic films such as "Big Bad Mama," "The Intruder," "Death Race 2000," "Grand Theft Auto" and "Cry Baby Killer." Often referred to as one of the greatest American independent filmmakers of all time, Corman is best known for his unconventional, vanguard approach to classic genres of horror and science fiction and for giving first opportunities to many now famous actors and directors, both of which left lasting effects on Hollywood filmmaking today.

"We're pleased to have BVHE representing New Horizons' historic library of films, as well as our upcoming pictures," said Corman. "I have great faith in Bob Chapek and his team and look forward to our product thriving under their excellent marketing, sales and distribution arms."

"We are thrilled to have video distribution rights to Roger Corman's film library," said Chapek. "Corman's avant-garde films have undoubtedly influenced Hollywood filmmaking and cultivated generations of classic genre film fans, so we're elated to bring this legendary film library to existing fans and new audiences alike."

THX1378
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#4 Post by THX1378 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:35 pm

I have the Rock N Roll High School: Special Edition that Corman put out and it isn't that bad but the soundtrack could use an upgrade. I put off getting Death Race 2000 for the same reason and lack of extras on the dvd hoping that Paul Bartel or David Carradine would do some extras for another edtion but that never came to be.

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#5 Post by Narshty » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:37 pm

Thank God my copy of Piranha is safe and sound. I have my doubts as to how The Mouse would treat that little gem. Especially with the upcoming (second) remake coming next year.

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#6 Post by THX1378 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:15 pm

I would hope that when they do put Piranha back out that they put it in the right aspect ratio. The DVD out now is a pan and scan and the aspect ratio on IMDB is listed as 1:85:1. It doesn't list what ratio that Death Race is but I'm wondering if it's about the same.

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dx23
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#7 Post by dx23 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:20 pm

From the imdb.com:
Corman Films To Be Distributed on DVD by Disney


B-movie king Roger Corman has signed a distribution deal with Disney that will bring his library of more than 400 films to DVD at the mass-market level. He had previously been selling them to retailers on his own. Some of the films included in the collection include the low-budget classics The Little Shop of Horrors, Rock and Roll High School, Death Race 2000, The Intruder, Grand Theft Auto, and Cry Baby Killer. In a statement, Bob Chapek, head of Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment, said, "Corman's avant-garde films have undoubtedly influenced Hollywood filmmaking and cultivated generations of classic genre film fans, so we're elated to bring this legendary film library to existing fans and new audiences alike."
http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2005-09-09/

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Polybius
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#8 Post by Polybius » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:18 am

I guess it would be rude to point out that however nice a guy, canny businessman and/or generous encourager of new talent Roger may have been and still may be, he's a truly dreadful director and most of his movies really suck.

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cafeman
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#9 Post by cafeman » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:03 am

Polybius wrote:I guess it would be rude to point out that however nice a guy, canny businessman and/or generous encourager of new talent Roger may have been and still may be, he's a truly dreadful director and most of his movies really suck.
I couldn`t agree less. I find his movies quite stylish and remarkably well directed for the time given fro production. Sure, there`s some stinkers, but his Poe pictures are mostly rock solic classics, and his The Trip would now be considered a masterpiece if it were directed by, say, Antonioni.

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Gordon
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#10 Post by Gordon » Sat Sep 10, 2005 6:53 pm

Polybius wrote:I guess it would be rude to point out that however nice a guy, canny businessman and/or generous encourager of new talent Roger may have been and still may be, he's a truly dreadful director and most of his movies really suck.
Well, thank you for that comprehensive critique of Roger Corman's
career!

His Poe cycle contains the most witty and stylish film adaptations (loose
they may sometimes be) of the macabre writer's work to date, I feel.
I am also in agreement with cafeman sentiments regarding The Trip
which is probably the best LSD movie of the 60s. His anti-racism film
The Intruder (1962), starring William Shatner is one of the most
effective films about the banality of race hatred; soildly directed by
Corman and a convincing central perfromance. I can't see why anyone
wouldn't love his brisk sci-fi gem, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
starring Ray Milland. It's a punchy, disturbing little film. The Wild Angels
(1966) is a riot! Bruce Dern as a character called Loser, who, even
when dead, still features in the debauched trashing of a church!

Nah, Corman is a massively important figure in Amercian Cinema. He
launched the careers of so many great talents: Scorsese, Coppola,
Bogdanovich and loads more. He should get the Irving Thalberg Award
and an Honorary Oscar.

He has recently returned to directing, on the TV series,
Masters of Horror. The episode is called "Haeckel's Tale".
Last edited by Gordon on Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cafeman
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#11 Post by cafeman » Sat Sep 10, 2005 6:59 pm

Gordon McMurphy wrote:He has recently returned to directing, on the TV series, Masters of Horror. The episode is called "Haeckel's Tale".
Holy shit! This looks like the must-buy DVD Box of 2006. Carpenter, Hooper, Argento and a comeback by Corman...man oh man...Also, the fact that it`s an Anchor Bay Production also fills me with optimism.

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Gordon
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#12 Post by Gordon » Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:18 pm

Yup, it's a helluva project. I Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

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Polybius
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#13 Post by Polybius » Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:35 pm

Gordon McMurphy wrote:Nah, Corman is a massively important figure in Amercian Cinema. He
launched the careers of so many great talents: Scorsese, Coppola,
Bogdanovich and loads more.
None of which I denied and none of which makes him an actually talented director.

The Intruder is a small gem, and I like a lot of Corman's films (the Nurses movies, especially), but that doesn't translate to him being anywhere near a great director.

This blurring of the lines between the things he manifestly is (I'll state them, again, explicitly: talent scout, encourager of that talent, money maker and successful businessman) and isn't (a director of any real substance, Fuller and several others did much more with comparable budgets) is what I was on about.

I'm sorry, but I simply don't buy the hype.

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Gordon
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#14 Post by Gordon » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:58 pm

I personally do not think that there is much hype surround Roger
Corman the film director, quite the contrary in fact.

As much as I love Sam Fuller's films, not every thing he ever did was
pure gold. His style is pretty rough and tumble and often lacks subtlety.
But that is, perhaps, what people find appealing about his films: their attitude.
I generally don't but the hype of Fuller, or most other filmmakers.

As for what constitutes a "great filmmaker", I have always been at a loss.
Either I find a particular film aesthetically pleasing, enriching or it speaks
to me in some way, or it feels flat, lifeless or dull. Most of Corman's films
have given me great pleasure, in many ways. With the Poe films, it's
mainly due to Vincent Price's performances, but those series of films were
Corman's idea and he used great talent like cinematographer
Floyd Crosby and on their own terms, the films are genre triumphs.
How could anyone fail to be impressed by The Masque of the Red Death?
It's beautifully filmed and strikes a fine balance between seriousness and
absudity.

There's this whole thing about auteurs and 'director's trademarks' that I
have never got off on. Take someone like John Sturges. He doesn't seem
to have any 'trademarks', yet he was extremely consistant and successful
on many occassions. He must have been doing something right.

Corman was a fast filmmaker, but he was well prepared and knew
what he wanted and his horror films have a wonderful spirit to them and
I feel he had a wonderful visual imagination. The dreams sequence in
The Pit and the Pendulum impresses me greatly, as does the
weird POV shots in The Man with X-Ray Eyes and the hallucination
sequences in The Trip. I think a lot of this depends on how big a fan
you are of low-budget fantastique films - or how deep your prejudices are.
Being a fan of Poe would also be a big factor. Corman may not have been
a Bergman (though he was a huge admirer of him) or an Antonioni
'Master of Cinema', but he was a fine craftsman of low-budget films
aimed at a certain audiences, although I would hesitate to call his films
'low brow' entertainment, per se.

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Polybius
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#15 Post by Polybius » Sun Sep 11, 2005 2:44 am

Gordon McMurphy wrote:I personally do not think that there is much hype surround Roger
Corman the film director, quite the contrary in fact.
I've run across a lot of blurring of the line I wrote about before. I'll go a long way in my regard for some of Roger's films, but I'm not going as far as a lot of people seem to want to.
With the Poe films, it's
mainly due to Vincent Price's performances, but those series of films were
Corman's idea and he used great talent like cinematographer
Floyd Crosby and on their own terms, the films are genre triumphs.
How could anyone fail to be impressed by The Masque of the Red Death?
It's beautifully filmed and strikes a fine balance between seriousness and
absudity.
I like all of those films, but none of them are really triumphs. They're fun cinematic exercises, even with the superfluous padding (necessitated by the 90 minute run time demands, I know), but that's it.
There's this whole thing about auteurs and 'director's trademarks' that I
have never got off on. Take someone like John Sturges. He doesn't seem
to have any 'trademarks', yet he was extremely consistant and successful
on many occassions. He must have been doing something right.
You're preaching to the choir, on both counts. I always list John among my favorites and I'm extremely skeptical of the auteur theory. I'm ususally the guy here sticking up for screenwriters.
I think a lot of this depends on how big a fan
you are of low-budget fantastique films - or how deep your prejudices are.
Being a fan of Poe would also be a big factor.
I like them both. It doesn't make me think Corman was an especially talented director.
Corman may not have been a Bergman (though he was a huge admirer of him) or an Antonioni 'Master of Cinema', but he was a fine craftsman of low-budget films aimed at a certain audiences, although I would hesitate to call his films 'low brow' entertainment, per se.
I know there's a lot of room under Bergman (who I find pretty tiresome and pretentious, incidentally) before you get to the territory of abject hack.

I think we're just mainly operating from different viewpoints. You seem to see Corman mainly through his work. For whatever reason, I've been innundated with a shitload of praise for his films and his skill that simply doesn't match up with what I've seen onscreen. If I had a different perspective, one that took his work only into account, I might feel differently.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#16 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:28 am

Here's the specs from DavisDVD:
Roger Corman Cinema

Full details have just arrived for the first slate in Buena Vista's newly acquired "Roger Corman Early Films" banner. Death Race 2000, starring David Carradine, arrives with an all-new audio commentary featuring Corman and Mary Woronov and "Playing The Game: Looking Back At Death Race 2000" documentary featuring new interviews with Corman, actor, Martin Kove, actress Mary Woronov and writer Charles Griffith. Big Bad Mama comes with a new commentary with Corman and Angie Dickinson and "Mama Knows Best: A Retrospective" featuring all new interviews with Corman, Dickinson, director Steve Carver and writer Frances Doel.

And finally, the classic Rock 'n Roll High School will feature an audio commentary with director Allan Arkush, producer Michael Finnell and screenwriter Richard Whitley, an all-new commentary track with Corman and Dey Young, "Back To School: A Retrospective" an all-new making-of featurette with never-before-seen interviews, and "Audio Outtakes At The Roxy" original recordings of the Ramones during the shooting of the final scene. All discs will include fullscreen transfers and Dolby Digital mono tracks. Retail is $19.99 each.

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#17 Post by Penny Dreadful » Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:20 pm

When people praise Roger Corman, I don't think they're usually placing him in the pantheon of Great Directors, but rather comparing him with the other B-movie directors of his day. Corman was a cheap, miserly man when it came to movie budgets, but at the same time, he would go way out of his way to get the best cinematography, sets, script, and acting that he possibly could for his dollar. His films have an unmistakable artistic flair you don't often see in B movies. They're a lot of fun, and many of them are actually good without being "so bad they're good" (Death Race 2000, The Man with X Ray Eyes, and Rock n' Roll High School rank among my favorites). Ultimately Corman's concerns were commercial, but his films show that you don't need a huge budget to make a high-quality picture.

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#18 Post by Harold Gervais » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:57 pm

THX1378 wrote:I would hope that when they do put Piranha back out that they put it in the right aspect ratio. The DVD out now is a pan and scan and the aspect ratio on IMDB is listed as 1:85:1. It doesn't list what ratio that Death Race is but I'm wondering if it's about the same.
It is my understanding that the open matte presentation on Piranha is Joe Dante's preferred way to view the film. He may even say so on the commentary.
I'm just hoping for versions of Saint Jack & Battle Beyond the Stars that don't look like total crap.
Of directors who Corman helped launch, I'd also add Monte Hellman as a major addition.

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dx23
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#19 Post by dx23 » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:05 pm

From thedigitalbits.com:
Buena Vista has also announced more Roger Corman action classics for release on 2/7, including Rage and Discipline, Black Scorpion, Second to Die, When Eagles Strike and Hot Parts. And coming on 2/7 from the Corman library are the family classics Revenge of the Red Baron, Andy Colby's Incredibly Awesome Adventure!, A Very Unlucky Leprechaun, The Crazysitter, Hope Ranch and No Dessert Dad, 'Til You Mow the Lawn!. All will carry a $6.99 SRP except Rage and Discipline, which will set you back just $14.99.

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#20 Post by Narshty » Sun Apr 30, 2006 6:33 pm

Harold Gervais wrote:It is my understanding that the open matte presentation on Piranha is Joe Dante's preferred way to view the film. He may even say so on the commentary.
It was indeed filmed that way, but he doesn't actually endorse it. From this Onion AV Club interview:
We put out Piranha, although we didn't go back to the original materials. I would have liked to, but they just used a transfer from years ago and bumped it up to digital. It looked okay, but in general that's what they do with all the Corman stuff. It's not letterboxed, because they don't want to bother. It looks fine, but you think, "Well, I'd like to have my film look as good as the other films of mine," and it's not anamorphically enhanced. But that's a really low-end company.
I was heartened to read on Video Watchblog that there's a new high-definition transfer of Piranha that has aired on the Monsters HD channel. Hopefully that's what Buena Vista will use for their re-release, if they ever get round to it.

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dx23
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#21 Post by dx23 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:13 pm

Did Buena Vista lost the rights to the Corman titles? Several special editions of his films went OOP according to this thread.

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Jeff
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#22 Post by Jeff » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:53 pm

dx23 wrote:Did Buena Vista lost the rights to the Corman titles? Several special editions of his films went OOP according to this thread.
Buena Vista's rights to the Corman library don't expire until 2017. Who knows what's up? I wouldn't be surprised if they are "re-branding" the Corman titles as part of a new line. BV picked up the rights to 400 films from him, and they haven't come close to exploiting that yet.

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#23 Post by HypnoHelioStaticStasis » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:07 pm

I just saw over on DVD Talk that the special edition Intruder DVD is going OOP after less than a year of being released. What the hell is Disney doing with Corman's library? Does anyone have any new info on this? I tried looking for Big Doll House recently and its only going for primo prices. Not willing to blind buy for that.

Anyone have any idea if Disney is planning anything big? They have an enormous amount of titles now.

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Re: Buena Vista owns Corman library

#24 Post by HypnoHelioStaticStasis » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:12 pm

Looks like I get to answer my own question:
some poster on Home Theater Forum wrote:I just found this great news over at DVD Drive-In :

In April, Shout! Factory will commence a new series of DVD releases under the banner, “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics”, presenting classic titles from the New World Pictures film library. The first of these releases will be Barbara Peters' HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (April 13), a two-disc special edition of Joe Dante’s PIRANHA (April 6) and a double feature of UP FROM THE DEPTHS/DEMON OF PARADISE (April 13). All titles will be presented with new anamorphic transfers, and PIRANHA will also be available on Blu-ray disc. We’ll post more details as they come in, but 2010 looks to be a great year for Shout! Factory.
They definitely fell into the right hands.

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dx23
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Re: Buena Vista owns Corman library

#25 Post by dx23 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:15 pm

So Disney is licensing the rights to Corman films? I don't get why they couldn't release those themselves, but at least they are getting proper treatment from Shout.

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