For March / April 1992

(Originally Published in "Pond Scum" #28)


Japanese animation fans take note! It's been a long time coming, but Japanese animation is finally making its appearance on domestic laserdisc! Two companies have already picked up several Japanese animated feature films for disc release (i.e., Lumivision, who have just released Twilight of the Cockroaches, and Voyager, who are working on Akira and Lensman), but there were apparently no plans to release any of the multitude of Japanese original animation videos (OAV's). Until now, that is. Thanks to AnimEigo, Inc., animation fans will be seeing some of those OAV's in the near future.

AnimEigo, Inc. specializes in subtitling Japanese animated science fiction and fantasy films. Their products are 100% legal, licensed versions of the original release (no cutting) with subtitles added. Their translations are from the original script and are added to the studio master tape provided by the original producer in Japan. AnimEigo has previously released several popular Japanese OAV's on videocassette, but the company now plans on releasing future titles simultaneously on videotape and laserdisc.

Their first scheduled disc release is Vampire Princess Miyu, a four-episode journey into the occult, Japanese style. The show is an elegantly chilling series of horror stories that evolve around the relationship between Miyu, childlike princess of the vampires, and Himiko, a psychically-sensitive "spiritualist" who vows to hunt her down. Scheduled for release on June 18, Vampire Princess Miyu (in Japanese, DS/SUB/100m, #AD092-001) will retail for $64.95.

AnimEigo is presently negotiating some very interesting and exciting titles for future release. Additionally, the company hopes to re-release their current products on laserdisc, which includes the popular eight-part Bubblegum Crisis series and its three-part sequel Bubblegum Crash, as well as Madox-01 and Riding Bean.



As you might remember from our Cool Stuff column last month, we reported that MCA/Universal had no current plans to release a letterboxed laserdisc edition of the restored Spartacus (even though it has been available on videocassette since last year). Well, we've just learned that the restored Spartacus will indeed appear on laserdisc soon - only not from MCA/Universal.

The Voyager Company is currently preparing a Criterion Collection edition of Spartacus for an early Summer 1992 release. The only details on the disc thus far announced are: 1) it will be the fully-restored version of the film; 2) it will of course be letterboxed; and 3) the film will be in CLV and the disc will also feature a large CAV supplementary section. No other specific details regarding content or pricing has been stated at this time, but we'll let you know more details when they become available.

As for an official MCA/Universal laserdisc version of the restored Spartacus, we understand they now have plans to release it six months after the Criterion edition.



Disc details regarding the upcoming Criterion Collection edition of Boyz N the Hood have changed significantly. Scheduled for release on March 10 (day & date with videocassette), Boyz N the Hood has the following features: an exclusive digital video transfer approved by director; letterboxed at the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio; audio commentary by director John Singleton; screen test - Ice Cube (Doughboy); screen test - Tyra Ferrell (Mrs. Baker); screen test - Angela Bassett (Reva Styles); deleted scene - Trey discusses his future with his mom; and another deleted scene - Furious confronts Doughboy. Additionally, should you so desire, the deleted sequences can be programmed to appear in their original sequence in the film. Boyz N the Hood (COM/DSS/LB/113m, #CC1289L) is now being released in a CLV-only edition and will now retail for $49.95.



The upcoming Criterion Collection edition of The Fisher King, scheduled for release on March 25 (day & date with videocassette), will include the following features: exclusive digital video transfer approved by director Terry Gilliam; letterboxed at the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio; audio commentary by director Terry Gilliam; storyboards; screenplay excerpts; scene analysis focusing on Robin Williams' Academy Award-nominated performance, with extra footage and technical analysis by Gilliam; behind-the-scenes photos; costume tests of Amanda Plummer, Mercedes Ruehl, Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams; deleted scene - Jack and Sondra's love life; deleted scene - Lydia dances; deleted scene - Jack locates Lydia; deleted scene: Jack's new girl; deleted scene - Jack revisits Parry's friends; deleted scene - Jack hallucinates as he scales the castle walls; and three original theatrical trailers. The Fisher King (DSS/LB/137m, $99.95) is in CLV, with film side 3 and supplemental side 4 in CAV.



Don't forget - Walt Disney's recently-released The Jungle Book is available for a limited time only. The title is scheduled to go on indefinite moratorium on April 30, 1992!



Many of you are probably aware that Walt Disney has released/reissued a number of titles on laserdisc recently. Well, four more titles, all previously unannounced, were just released to stores. Look for restored and/or remastered editions of Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Mary Poppins (still cropped) and The Sword in the Stone.



Fans of Stuart Gordon's wonderfully twisted Re-Animator should be cautious before purchasing Image Entertainment's new digitally-remasted disc edition. Unlike the original disc release which featured the original, unrated version of Re-Animator, this digital remaster instead contains the "R"-rated alternate version of the film.

The jacket contains no actual notice or rating warning potential viewers of this alternate disc edition. However, newly-shipping copies do include a sticker on the outer shrinkwrapping advising viewers that this is an "R-rated edition."

For the curious, the alternate Re-Animator actually runs several minutes longer than the standard uncut edition. Most of the gore has been removed and is instead replaced by a number of previously-cut "characterization" scenes.



For interested parties, Fox has just released to stores a newly-remastered letterboxed edition of My Fair Lady, which has a richer (and correct) color transfer. The remastered edition retains the packaging and catalog number of the original letterboxed release, although a notice does appear on the back cover stating "New Remastered Edition." By the way, the new disc was pressed at Mitsubishi (Japan).


Originally Published in "Pond Scum" #28

Last Updated: 11/30/97