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OPERATION: DVD

Since the blockbusters tend to take care of themselves in regards to DVD release, once again Operation: DVD delves into the realm of overlooked titles for this current objective. Instead of going after a certain film, or a certain group of classic films from a defunct Hollywood studio, Operation: DVD will focus its efforts on certain films from a single movie star who will be remembered as one of the great horror movie icons of the twentieth century. That star is, of course, Vincent Price. Vincent Price was not always a horror movie icon. In fact his career did not become entrenched in that genre until long after he had become a well-established film actor. Sure, Price appeared in a horror films throughout his career, but as an actor, he also made his mark in notable Hollywood entries like LAURA, LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

While I am certain that the best of Price’s non-horror movie output will become available on DVD on its own (a superb edition of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS is already available), this Operation: DVD objective will focus on the horror movies that Price made during his peak years in the genre. However, I should mention that some great Price titles like THE TINGLER, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL and THE BAT have already showed up on DVD from Columbia TriStar, Warner, Anchor Bay and Roan. Additionally, THE FLY and RETURN OF THE FLY have been release by Fox. Heck,  a collector’s edition of Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS has been released on DVD by Buena Vista, which includes Burton’s affectionate short film VINCENT.

Getting back to the to our objective… One of the most interesting things about Vincent Price’s horror movie output is the fact that all of the turmoil within the home video industry has placed the rights to the majority of his films in the hands of a single company. Topping the list of the most desirable Vincent Price horror movies for release on DVD would be HOUSE OF WAX. HOUSE OF WAX is the lone Warner Home Video title on the list, and while the movie was produced in 3-D it would be impractical to issue a 3-D version on DVD. Perhaps a few brief scenes could be included that way as a supplement (3-D glasses anybody?). Additionally, rumors persist that an original magnetic stereo soundtrack for HOUSE OF WAX was unearthed by a private collector and is now in the possession of Warner. Any DVD release of HOUSE OF WAX will hopefully feature the stereo soundtrack. Next up are the "Poe" movies that Price made at American International Pictures. The wonderful AIP/Poe series are the films that cemented Vincent Price’s reputation as a horror movie icon. Therefore, these films deserve immediate attention for release on DVD. The rights to the AIP catalog now reside at MGM Home Entertainment, as part of their acquisition of Orion Pictures. Since the AIP/Poe movies were shot in CinemaScope and Panavision, any DVD release should naturally feature 16:9 enhanced wide screen presentations. DVD releases of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, PIT AND THE PENDULUM, TALES OF TERROR, THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE HAUNTED PALACE, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and THE TOMB OF LIEGIA are an absolute must! Other notable Price outings from the MGM library include the cult classics THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN and THEATRE OF BLOOD.

 

For a more complete listing of Vincent Price horror movies deserving of a DVD release I am including this partial filmography:

SELECT VINCENT PRICE HORROR FILMOGRAPHY

Film

Year

Home Video Company

Status

HOUSE OF WAX

(1953)

Warner Home Video

Unreleased

THE MAD MAGICIAN

(1954)

Columbia TriStar Home Video

Unreleased

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER

(1960)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

MASTER OF THE WORLD

(1961)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

PIT AND THE PENDULUM**

(1961)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

TALES OF TERROR

(1962)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

TOWER OF LONDON

(1962)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

DIARY OF A MADMAN

(1963)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

THE COMEDY OF TERRORS

(1963)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

THE HAUNTED PALACE

(1963)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

THE RAVEN

(1963)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

TWICE-TOLD TALES

(1963)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

(1964)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH

(1964)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

WAR GODS OF THE DEEP

(1965)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

THE TOMB OF LIEGIA

(1965)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

THE WITCHFINDER GENERAL
aka THE CONQUEROR WORM

(1968)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

THE OBLONG BOX

(1969)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN

(1969)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

CRY OF THE BANSHEE

(1970)

MGM Home Entertainment

Unreleased

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES

(1971)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN

(1972)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

THEATRE OF BLOOD

(1973)

MGM Home Entertainment

Released

** PIT AND THE PENDULUM has been released without the benefit of a 16:9 enhanced transfer and is in need of an anamorphic enhanced re-release by MGM Home Entertainment- please take the time to contact MGM on this matter.

If you would like to see any of the above Vincent Price movies released on DVD, please contact the following:

DVD Department
Warner Home Video
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-1543
Telephone: 818-954-6000
Fax: 818-954-6480
Web Site: http://www.dvdwb.com  
DVD Department
MGM Home Entertainment
2500 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061
Telephone: 310-449-3370
Fax: 310-449-3026
E-Mail Page: http://www.mgmhomevideo.com/cgi-bin/cgi/email.html
Web Site: http://www.mgmhomevideo.com/mgmhv/dvd  
DVD Department
Columbia/TriStar Home Video
10202 W. Washington Blvd., Rm 8708
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Web Site: http://www.cthv.com/ 
Also, don’t forget to request that the all the wide screen films should be issued with the anamorphic enhancement for playback on 16:9 displays.

Please take the time to support your fellow collectors with Operation: DVD objectives. When DVD collectors present a unified front, things really do happen. Please send your suggestions for future Operation: DVD objectives to my e-mail address: dmg@thecinemalaser.com.


Go to our Operation: DVD index page


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