First up, Warner Home Video has revealed a pair of major catalog Blu-ray collections for Halloween-timed release. The first is a 4-film Special Effects Collection that’s set to contain Mighty Joe Young (1949), Son of Kong (1933), Them! (1954), and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), all of which are new to Blu-ray on 10/6. Both Mighty Joe and Beast are Ray Harryhausen classics, so it’s great to finally see them coming to HD. Also that day, look for a new Hammer Horror Classics Collection from Warner, including Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), The Mummy (1959), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). The late Christopher Lee appears in all but Frankenstein, so again it’s great to see these films coming to Blu. All of them will be available both in the collections and also individually, which is terrific news for fans and collectors.
Meanwhile, Twilight Time has revealed their plans to release The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The World of Henry Orient (1964), Places in the Heart (1984), and A Month in the Country (1987) on Blu-ray on 7/14 (the pre-order date is 7/1 at 4 pm EST on Screen Archives Entertainment). All will include at least audio commentary with film historians, isolated score tracks, and the trailers.
Kino Lorber has just re-slated F/X2 for Blu-ray release on 12/8. Other great catalog titles that Kino currently has on the way include Busting, The Satan Bug, Vigilante Force, The Wonderful Country, Man with the Gun, Defiance, Hidden Agenda, The Destructors, Hornet’s Nest, Billy Two Hats, The Honey Pot, Moby Dick, Unforgettable, Support Your Local Sheriff, Support Your Local Gunfighter, House of the Long Shadows, and Young Billy Young. You can find more details as to the street dates and extras on the company’s Facebook page.
We're not done yet: Scream Factory has just announced a pair of new catalog horror titles coming to Blu-ray on 10/20, including Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995) and Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood (1996). Extras will be announced later this Summer.
And finally, Well Go USA Entertainment has set Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal for Blu-ray and DVD release on 8/4, directed by Peter Pau.
Robert also provided us with images of Network’s newly-revealed Space: 1999 – Season Two Blu-ray cover artwork and a promotional poster used to promote the release at the Andercon convention in the U.K. yesterday…
We’re still trying to determine who the U.S. distributor will be, but rest assured we won’t stop until we find out. We have a sneaking suspicion that the potential U.S. distributor may be waiting for Network to finally complete work on the title so that they don’t have to share its production costs.
Finally today, a complete shift of gears – I had the great fun on Saturday of being a part of the first day of production for the forthcoming Axanar feature film. Axanar, as most of you should know by now, is an independently-produced Star Trek feature film. No fan film this; it’s a fully-professional but 100% non-profit effort, funded by Kickstarter backers, as CBS owns the franchise. But the goal is to create a dramatic film that absolutely fits in the Trek cannon (midway between Enterprise and The Original Series), even if it can’t officially be called cannon.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m serving as Script Consultant on the project. The scene we shot is one that takes place on the planet Vulcan, between Ambassador Soval (played as always by veteran actor Gary Graham) and a new character. It runs about a page and a half. My good friend Alec Peters, who is the Executive Producer and driving force behind the project, had the team well organized and running like clockwork for the day. Another old friend, Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise) is the Director of the film. Rob and I actually did a re-write on the scene a few days before shooting to really help bring out character and hone the dialogue. The shoot took place out in the studio parking lot, in natural light, in front of a green screen. Our old friend Charles de Lauzirika (director of Crave and many great Blu-ray documentaries) was there as a Consulting Producer. Also on hand to help was another good friend: Kevin Rubio of Troops fame. Our thirty-something person crew worked like mad for a good ten hours to capture the scene in 6K, using the Red Dragon camera. The result should really be special. I’ve just seen a rough edit this morning, and VFX supervisor Tobias Richter and his Light Works team are already hard at work on the background plates. The scene is going to debut at the start of the next Kickstarter for the project, which launches on 7/8 (this is to cover the production and post budget, whereas the previous Kickstarter covered pre-production, set construction, props, studio space, etc). We’ll also be showing the final scene during our Comic-Con panel down in San Diego next month – more details on that later this week.
I actually wrote a series of live blogs during the shoot on Saturday, which you can find on the project’s official website (here, here, and here) and they’re up on the Facebook page too. Meanwhile, here’s a picture of all of us – our whole cast and crew – as we wrapped at the end of the day (photo by Aaron Harvey)…
Speaking of Axanar, Alexander Bornstein’s terrific soundtrack CD for Prelude to Axanar just arrived at the studio on Friday, so they’ll start shipping out to Kickstarter backers this week. And the Prelude to Axanar Blu-ray is at the replicator, so that should be available in a few weeks as well. We’ll definitely have a review up here at The Bits as soon as it’s available.
All right, we’ll leave you today with a look at hot new Blu-ray cover artwork for some of the titles we mentioned above…
- Bill Hunt