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 Just so we know who we are

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laserkb

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PostSubject: Just so we know who we are   Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:24 am

Just thought I'd add that my name is Kenneth if anyone wants to reply to a named person rather than a username ID.

I've been an avid advocate of LDs for 19 years now with a collection that has grown out of all proportions. What started out as a few discs in a record case, then moved onto an increasing number of shelves, now has a dedicated room of its own. I've had to let some discs go over the years or else I wouldn't have room to sit down, and the ubiquitous DVD has rendered some redundant and surplus to requirements, but in general these are irreplaceable treasures that have taken a lifetime (well, it seems like a lifetime) to collect.

What I wondered is just how often any of us play certain titles. (The same is true for CDs, DVDs and everything else.) Some discs get one playback and then get shelved for ages. I've recently been watching some discs that were last played, say, 15 years ago. I find I've completely forgotten "what happens" so it's like watching a new movie. Others, however, are fished out regularly for repeat viewings. Does anyone have a title that they come back to over and over - perhaps one you play to friends as a demo disc of how good the format is? Which LD is Number 1 in your own Top 10?
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HippieDalek

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:33 am

I'm not really able to answer the question as I've only recently started collecting so haven't had the chance to watch anything more than once yet, but welcome to the forum!

And my name's Ewan.
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The LD Hunter

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:57 am

I think the one disc that gets played the most out of my house is THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE because it was my first disc and the one I use to test during re wires and new machines. Plus I love the music. Lol
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The LD Hunter

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:18 pm

Kenneth, how many discs do you have at this time for your collection to have it's own room?

Glad to see a collector that has been collecting for years. Most of the people I know or talk to have been doing this for only a few years.
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mc211177

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:28 pm

I use Saving Private Ryan to show my system off, with that Dolby Digital Track, wow!
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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:34 pm

I'm Rob!

I've been collecting for about 2 years, and I have to say it's great this forum has started,
I don't know anybody else who is into LD's and have tried in vein to convert my friends - they just don't see what I see with that big shiny disc Wink

What I really love about the LD's are the superior audio (I have my player hooked up tp a teac stereo amp and 2 floor standing Kef IQ5 speakers)
and the sleeves - you just don't get the cool covers on DVD's and certainly not on blu-ray because they are so tiny -
but as with LP's in comparison to CD's you get that big 12 x 12 space and they look like film posters, incidentally I often think that some covers are wasted - perhaps this is a different thread - whats your favourite LD sleeve? - I'll get onto it

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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:37 pm

I forgot to say the titles I keep playing are Dracula (1931/the encore edition) and War of the Worlds - audio on these is brilliant
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:33 pm

DL, I'm fascinated by the fact you like the audio on the Encore Edition of DRACULA (1931). Great movie, as are all those Universal classics of the 30s and 40s (probably my favourite sub-genre of all) but the audio? There's hardly any there!

I made an audio copy on minidisc of the soundtrack from this LD to play in the car and edited out all the silences and pauses. The entire recording lasts for 59:24, so a good 15 minutes of the movie soundtrack is BLANK. I kept in every bit of music and dialogue, every whisper, bat squeak and wolf howl, and it plays really well as an audio version, just like a radio play - but there are an awful lot of silent bits. Now, FRANKENSTEIN, made the same year, is a different thing entirely. The soundtrack never shuts up - all thunder, sparking electricity, screams and grunting. Superb.

I totally agree with you about the WAR OF THE WORLDS soundtrack. I particularly like the bit, straight after the prologue, when the music bursts out in STEREO for the opening credits. Magnificent stuff.
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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:33 pm

I know I know - but I just love it - the eerie creepy vibe is just great, you mentioned the wolf howl, its great!
Tod Browning was not at all comfortable with directing a talkie and there are many pauses with sweeping camera shots - but the dialogue and the old, as you rightly put it "radio broadcast" feel is great - what can I say - i'm a nostalgic guy - hell, I collect Laserdiscs!

I haven't got Frankenstein on LD - maybe you can help there?
I have it on the Universal remastered DVD set with "Bride" and thats great, I love all the old Universal Monster Movies.
Hope to get all the encore LD versions eventually.
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laserkb

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:29 pm

DL, It's great to find someone interested in the old Universal classics.

I've participated in some Amazon forums on the subject of 'vintage' versus 'contemporary' horror. I've always been a horror buff - that's why my LD collections of the Encore editions plus my Hammer discs and Corman's AIP classics and everything else is what forms the core of my collection (along with my science fiction stuff) - and my interest encompasses everything from the silent Lon Chaney classics through to the slasher pics of the 80s and 90s. But I find I have no interest in the latest torture porn, stuff like SAW and HOSTEL. Even things like WRONG TURN and CABIN FEVER just seem so lame and derivative. It's all been done before, and so much more effecrtively when done with style and atmosphere. Today those elements have been replaced by unnecessary swearing and OTT prosthetic effects for audiences with the attention spans of newts. And don't get me started on the remakes of classics like HALLOWEEN and THE FOG (go to Hell, Rob Zombie!). I know these movies have their fans (and they make money, which is what it's all about in the end) but I'm happy not to be counted among them.

No, for chills and thrills that are also as comfy as putting on an old cardigan, give me Boris and Bela and Basil every time. I won't deny the nostalgia factor. It all started with a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland when I was a kid in a doctor's waiting room, then there were all those marvellous double bills on Saturday nights on BBC 2 in the early 80s (just right for my new VCR). In fact, it was the obsolescence of my Betamax library that got me into laserdiscs - I simply wanted more durable copies of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLF MAN, etc. Probably the single most expensive new laserdisc I ever bought was an import copy of FRANKENSTEIN VERSUS THE WOLF MAN - black-and-white, full screen, mono, no extras, and worth every penny of the 40 quid I paid. I have the lot, even down to the Abbott and Costello monster pastiches. Plus there were loads of others from the rival studios. It was a golden age and there are some wonderful books out there about it. The best is "Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films 1931-1946" by Tom Weaver and the two Brunas brothers. It's old now but still available although very pricey these days.

Like other fans, I also own full sets of these Universal collections on DVD (both R1 and R2 editions - there ARE differences) but I still come back to the laserdiscs for that old nostalgic feeling. As a proof reader for a specialist publisher that deals in books covering these topics I know that there's a lot of interest out there, not just from diehard aged fans like me. I recently worked on what has become the definitive biography of Boris Karloff, endorsed by his own daughter Sara as the best such book ever written. It was wonderful to get the details and see the rare pictures from that glorious time in fantasy movie making. If you're interested, do a search for Tomahawk Press. It, they, we are based in Sheffield.
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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:02 am

Seems we have a few things in common here - Laserdiscs, Universal Classic Horror (and Hammer) and involvement in the publishing world... I am signed as a song writer and producer to BMG Publishing Co, I feel very fortunate to be involved in such a creative industry.

I completely 110% agree with your point about modern gore horror, I really don't have any time for it at all.

I've never really been a fan of gore, even with the old films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and stuff like Cannibal Holocaust, Its just so unnecessary.
It might sound a bit old fashioned but there is enough of that kind of horrible stuff in real life, I watch movies for escapism, to lose myself in a different world for a few hours.
Thats why I prefer fantasy horror and sci-fi, and classic TV such as Doctor Who.
They had boundaries, but with that comes the greatest ingredient - imagination!
Something you don't need when you are watching a young girl being hung on a meat hook!
And it works 2 ways, imagination on the part of the film makers and from the audience. So it becomes participatory.

Remakes are a thing i'm really not hot on - and I really think Rob Zombie is awful - mainly because the dialogue in his films is repulsive.
The Halloween remake had so much vile conversation in it - I might be being a bit naive here - but people just don't talk like that to each other, a step-father flirting with his step-daughter in front of her mother?? I don't want that in my movies.
Compare that to the original intro, there is still much implied, but only implied, the rest is up to us.

I did enjoy the recent Elm Street remake by Platinum Dunes, but thats because I grew up in the 1980's and I am a big Elm St. fan. It was nicely made and the CGI enhanced the dream sequences - but I do think that the original was a far superior film.
I also quite liked the WolfMan remake, I thought Benicio Del Toro was excellent as Larry Talbot. Also the production was brilliant and very gothic.

I have been known to blur the lines of my own "no gore" rule. I can take a bit if its done for comedy effect, like in Elm St or the fantastic Evil Dead Trilogy - but I always seem to tolerate it more if there is a supernatural influence.

I can stomach a demon, ghost, monster or as I would say "supernatural slasher" (eg, Michael Myers) going about his evil business, cutting a well rounded cast to ribbons.
What I cant stomach is a human doing it to another human - thats just horrible, real life. Like Saw or Hostel. It just makes me not want to let my wife and daughter go anywhere without me.

Anyway - I'm starting to rant he he Laughing

Top 10 Horror Films:

1. Dracula (1931)
2. Halloween - I'm not putting a date as if you've read this far you will know which version I mean.
3. The Bride of Frankenstein
4. The Exorcist
5. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
6. Nosferatu (1922)
7. An American Werewolf In London
8. The Shining
9. Jaws
10. The WolfMan (1941)

Honourable Mention: Bram Stokers Dracula (1992), NOES III - The Dream Warriors, Pan's Labrynth & Alien.

Thought you might like this pic - its my copy of Monsters of the Movies by Denis Gifford.

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laserkb

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PostSubject: Top 10 genre films   Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:24 am

I always hesitate when asked to compile a Top 10 of anything. I find such lists change with my medication and the phases of the moon! I'd never be able to do Desert Island Discs - I could choose eight different records every day.

However, looking at my horror collection, I find it divides into at least 2 sub-genres. Ghost and supernatural stories are quite different from horror - you can even get comic and romantic examples (THE GHOST BREAKERS or THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR) but here is my TOP 10 GHOST STORIES (all on laserdisc except where noted) and chosen because they all genuinely spooked me, at least when I first saw them.

1. THE HAUNTING (the original, of course)
2. THE CHANGELING
3. THE UNINVITED
4. THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
5. THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (actually, rather sweet this one)
6. NIGHT OF THE DEMON (in the U.S. it's CURSE OF...)
7. BURN, WITCH, BURN
8. SESSION 9 (only on DVD)
9. URBAN GHOST STORY (only on DVD)
10 WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU (1968 TV film, only on DVD)

As for more conventional stuff, my Top 10 HORROR FILMS omits any of the old Universal classics (they'd have their own list), so these are the ones that had me peeking from between my fingers. (After all, I was quite young for most of them.) They're all on laserdisc.

1. HALLOWEEN (again, the original)
2. CANDYMAN
3. DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS
4. SUSPIRIA
5. THE FOG
6. I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE
7. THE DEVIL COMMANDS
8. PAPERHOUSE
9. PHENOMENA (Argento)
10. SALEM'S LOT (original TV mini-series)

Ironically, the horror film that comes top on many people's lists is Kubrick's THE SHINING, yet I think it's one of the worst. I thought Kubrick was a fantastic director and liked all his other films (except EYES WIDE SHUT) but he really didn't understand the horror genre. He pressed all the right buttons, but it still doesn't work for me. Casting his two leads was the biggest mistake - how can Jack Nicholson pass for Mr Ordinary Guy when he seems half-demented to start with? And poor old Shelley Duvall was right out of it. Even the effects (all that blood) seemed cold and intellectual (in other words typically Kubrickian). Only the bit in the maze had a genuine sense of terror and frisson, the rest was OTT scenery-chewing. No wonder Stephen King was unhappy and, though his remake has its critics, I think it's superior by miles. The two leads are convincingly ordinary and it includes really creepy bits from the book (such as the moving topiary) that Kubrick omitted.


Last edited by laserkb on Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Darth Laser

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PostSubject: Re: Just so we know who we are   Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:44 am

Whistle and I'll come to you is brilliant - I am a big M R James fan, for me he surpasses all others for creating a genuinely spooky atmosphere.
Have you ever seen the ghost stories for christmas series? Hammer legend Christopher Lee recounting The Number 13 in the guise of a school master, classic British TV.

I do enjoy Kubricks Shining - but I read that King hated it,
I was never a big fan of the Stephen King adaptions - I do enjoy them but they all feel like low budget TV movies, but Salem's Lot is a genuine classic.
The kid knocking at the window is such a well executed effect.

We should start a new thread; TV programmes on LD - I'm quite keen to get the cartoon of Masters of the Universe
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