For July 1992

(Originally Published in "Pond Scum" #29)


It's official...Fox Video's long-awaited exclusive widescreen collector's edition of Alien (CS/DSS/LB, #1090-85, $99.98) will be released on October 1, 1992.

This three-disc, six-sided CAV boxed set features a new digitally-mastered film-to-tape transfer supervised by director Ridley Scott and contains a full-color insert including program notes and a viewer's guide to ancillary materials. Additionally, a two-sided collector's section includes: an interview with Ridley Scott; behind-the-scenes insights of H.R. Giger; out-take footage including the controversial "cocoon sequence"; deleted, graphic creature footage; teaser trailer (featuring the "egg" advertising concept); hundreds of production photos and conceptual artwork; screenplay excerpts; annotated history of the film comparing original screenplay to finished film; and behind-the-scenes footage. We can't wait!



As part of its ongoing efforts to improve and upgrade laserdisc product, Fox Video has released a newly remastered letterbox edition of My Fair Lady. This new edition has been improved in color, clarity and detail. Consumers can recognize the new version of My Fair Lady by the "Newly Remastered" legend which appears on the lower left back of the laserdisc jacket.

Consumers wishing to exchange their old letterbox version only of My Fair Lady for the remastered letterboxed edition should submit a written request to: Image Entertainment, 9333 Oso Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311, Attention: Customer Service, for a return authorization. All requests must be submitted in writing; no phone calls will be accepted.



A new press run of the letterboxed edition of South Pacific is finally available from CBS/Fox as well. Virtually 100% of the previous pressing of the title were defective due to massive crosstalk, but the new pressing is problem-free. There is no real way to tell from the disc jacket whether the South Pacific sitting in your local store is the repressed version. However, since the defective run has long ago "sold out," chances are good that what you'll find will play fine.



In 1991 when The Criterion Collection originally released the first three Bond films - Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger - each title had a secondary audio track recorded specifically for the laserdisc release. Voyager recorded the following people discussing the Bond films in general and the movies on which each had worked: directors Guy Hamilton and Terence Young, writer Richard Maibaum, editor Peter Hunt, and production designer Ken Adam. Unfortunately, MGM has unlimited right of approval on all Criterion releases of their films, and together with the Bond producers, has exercised that right and forced them to remove the secondary track from their laserdiscs, thereby attempting to censor what these filmmakers and historians have said.

Because Voyager feels that it's important to enable these people to be heard, they are making available audio cassettes of the commentary tracks for those Criterion customers who would like to receive them. Inside every CLV Bond reissue title is a coupon that you can mail to Voyager to receive any of the censored commentaries. Each audio cassette costs $10.00 to cover duplication, shipping and handling charges.



There's bad news for fans of Japan's laserdisc publication, LD Quarterly. Starting with current issue #28, jacket pictures are no longer shown for every laserdisc listing. The catalog will only show covers for new releases from 1991 to present; titles before 1991 will continue to be listed, but without pictures. Also, the catalog is now half the size of previous issues.



Import laser fans may wish to check with your local dealer regarding the availability of three new Japanese laserdisc catalogs.

The 1992 Cinema Laserdisc Catalog is a complete movie catalog categorized by science fiction/fantasy, action/adventure, comedy, drama, etc., containing photos for all titles. This catalog also provides full English translations for all titles. 320 pages, ¥2,200.

The 1992 Complete Animation Laserdisc Catalog is a complete full-color animation catalog listing original Japanese animation, TV, theatre, domestic animation, science fiction, etc. 192 pages, ¥1,600.

Lastly, there's The 1992 Classical Music Laserdisc Catalog, which, as you might have gathered, is a listing of all classical music titles, arranged categorically. 232 pages, ¥1,900.



In a national corporate decision, Tower Records has begun selling all exclusively-distributed Pioneer and Image titles for ABOVE suggested retail prices (generally by $5.00, sometimes more)! It has been stated that the reasoning behind the price hike is due to their low profit margins on laserdisc product.

Discs affected by the price hike include those from Buena Vista, Carolco, CBS/Fox, Columbia/Tri-Star, Full Moon, Hollywood, Image, LIVE, Nelson, Paramount, Pioneer, Pioneer Artists, Pioneer Special Editions, Republic, Touchstone, Vidmark, Walt Disney and any other titles exclusively distributed through Pioneer and Image.



Speaking of rising prices, as of June 1, 1992, MGM/UA raised the prices on selected titles. Formerly $24.95, A Day at the Races, A Night at the Opera, The Bandwagon, Easter Parade, Forbidden Planet (lb), Meet Me in St. Louis, Singin' in the Rain (CLV) and The Wizard of Oz will go up to $34.95. The $29.95 2001: A Space Odyssey (lb) and North by Northwest (lb) will be $39.95. The $39.95 Laurel & Hardy Double Feature, Pat & Mike / Adam's Rib, Romance on the High Seas / My Dream Is Yours, Singin' in the Rain (CAV), Thank Your Lucky Stars / It's a Great Feeling and That's Dancing (CAV) are now $44.95. Finally, the Andy Hardy Double Feature goes from $39.95 to $49.95.



We've heard that Columbia/TriStar will not be continuing their exclusive distribution arrangement with Pioneer/LDCA after June 1992. At that time, the studio will begin handling the distribution of their laserdisc product themselves by going direct with dealers and sub-distributors.

And if you haven't figured this out by now, chances are slim that any further Pioneer Special Edition titles, not already officially announced, will see the light of day.



Republic Home Video has also terminated their exclusive with Pioneer/LDCA, and will be distributing their laserdisc product direct.



Playboy Home Video has concluded an exclusive laserdisc distribution agreement with Image Entertainment. Effective immediately, the agreement calls for at least ten new Playboy laserdisc releases per year through 1994. The first three titles have been slated for release on June 25, and include Playboy's Playmate of the Year: Corinna Harney, Playboy's Erotic Fantasies and 1992 Playboy Video Playmate Review.



Due to too-tight shrinkwrapping that is causing the discs to warp, Warner Home Video has recalled their new release of JFK. Correctly wrapped discs should be in your local stores by the time you read this.


Originally Published in "Pond Scum" #29

Last Updated: 11/30/97