Sunday, August 18

New Evilspeak DVD from Code Red and My Take on the Blu-ray Situation...

A new Special Edition DVD of Eric Weston's Evilspeak (1981), where a geeky yet demonically computer-possessed Clint Howard goes on a horrifically gory rampage, has just recently put up on Code Red DVD's online shop.

This new release sports an new transfer from a high definition telecine of a newly discovered 35mm interpositive of the U.S. version that features all the gore but is still missing around ten minutes of exposition seen on Anchor Bay's out-of-print British two-disc DVD release. Anchor Bay's old stateside disc is identical to this Code Red except the gore was composited in from a poorer quality theatrical print. The CR disc also features a new commentary from Weston and interviews with Howard, Don Stark, and Joe Cortese.

This is great news considering the aftermarket price range of prior out-of-print DVDs, but some are pissed that Code Red's head, Bill Olsen, has been quite ornery when presented with questions over a possible Evilspeak Blu-ray release. To quote the man himself, "Problem with EVILSPEAK Blu is that I have to re-create the whole menu & etc. It would've been a lot cheaper if I did both at the same time. This why I rather do barebone/movie only to keep the budget low. also I need to get a 4th storage place to keep 1,000 Blu for that title, since I must press 1,000 Blu at a time, unlike DVD which is 500 per pressing. I doubt it'll sell 1,000 copies, people only buy CODE RED when it's [out of print]."

...merely because its my favorite Code Red release.
If you've been following Code Red on Twitter (@CODEREDDVD), you're probably aware of Olsen's rather combative nature. I'm not going to make excuses for him, but I'm tired of the overreaction to his stubbornness with releasing onto Blu-ray. As I've touched upon before, BD seems have just become more "another format" and less the premium way of seeing movies and I remain unconvinced that it's the best investment for tiny outfits like Code Red (who is basically just Olsen). It is however strange CR just announced plans for BDs of Just Before Dawn (1981), Voices from Beyond (1991), and Nailgun Massacre (1985). I wouldn't fret about the current status of Evilspeak since if these perform well it's a safe bet it'll eventually appear. Although I can't see the point in Voices from Beyond on Blu-ray out of being a terrible waste of time that looks shot through gauze. Sorry, Fulci fanatics...

What really irks me is a few voices proposing a Code Red boycott due to Evilspeak only arriving on standard definition (for now). I'll agree a Blu-ray would be nice, especially since this is advertised as being downconverted from a HD master, but just because you're into the format doesn't grant you a right to be a total dick to others that don't follow your narrow opinion. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing such arrogance from rabid BD fans. Unjustified bashing of the format from those misinformed does occur, and I can see how that's irritating, but there's many that see the benefits of Blu-ray, and maybe even own a player and library, yet don't get so far up its ass that the actual content becomes secondary to defending the honor of the latest video medium that probably won't have the longevity of DVD.

At this point with the continuing rise in popularity of streaming media, movie fans should all be thankful distributors like Code Red are still trudging along at all. Disc-based media's days, even for your precious Blu-ray, are sadly numbered and I'd much rather see small distributors continue forward as long as possible--be it on Blu-ray or DVD or both. Those choices are far preferable to the delusion of calling a list of titles from a tiny box attached to the Internet your "collection". Even the assholes will miss DVD when it's gone...


jeffrey.meyer.81 said...

Thanks again for the heads up, Jayson. I love CODE RED's Retribution release, and I hope that EVILSPEAK won't be sold out for long, as it currently states. I wish the Blu Ray snobs would realize that we've been in an economic slump since ca. 2008 and not everyone has or can afford to upgrade. We're still SD in my household and it's still a hell of a lot better than VHS, which is how I first encountered Evilspeak. This wouldn't be such a big deal if Anchor Bay would print their out of print releases on demand. Thanks again!

bill said...

Originally Posted by Bill Wolford View Post
I think it means that you're only allowed to buy one title for yourself. I guess this is supposed to help from buying a bunch, then price gouging unsuspecting buyers on other sites. (This is happening on e-bay & right now.)
Yes, and Bill does this himself under 'anonymous' accounts such as "the exterminator' (didn't they both happen to close up shop online roughly around same time this Summer?) ... trust me, that account IS/WAS him ... he may have others as well ... he manufactures scarcity by pulling his stock very shortly after making it available and claiming 'sold out' then he makes more money per piece by selling at collectible/OOP prices through these accounts ... it's a very old and typical capitalist business practice ... we are ALL victims of this with most everything we buy here ... Any denials or defense statements on Bill's part should be taken with a grain of salt regarding any of this ... he also only does this with certain titles wherein he feels it more lucrative to do so (i.e., engineered scarcity) ... also, it would look suspect if he did it with his 'entire' catalog or the bulk thereof ... you dare tread upon the staircase?

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