All my good-time buddies have settled down. Yeah, it sounds like the intro to some chunked-up country song, but it's true. Even the lowliest of lowlifes in my friend circle have somehow managed to find a girlfriend. All of them except: ME. The only thing I have to show for myself is this awesome wall of DVDs, which, by my calculations, should be completely obsolete in less than seven seconds. F*ck my ass, I'm a hopeless fool! I've spent entire paychecks on accumulating what is the equivalent of my Uncle Mike's 8-Track Tape collection. While those pals of mine slag through the imminent creation of family, the only joy I'll be reveling in is the act of completion.
And I don't mean that in a sexual way. Sure, sometimes, on a dogsh*t Saturday night, when I'm all alone, I'll cover the entire floor of my tiny apartment in unopened discs and roll around in them. But that doesn't really rev me up. Call it: The absence of Female Companionship. The act is an empty one. The only thing that has kept me from going completely insane is knowing that someday, my worthless life's work would eventually come to a glorious end. Yes. I thought I'd be able to complete my Versatile library. Now, here, today, that doesn't sound like a viable option. I've journeyed this far to fail, and it's not my fault.
I blame those cocksucking Gods of technology. Just when I looked to be winning, they turned the tide against me. Huge waves of information have flooded my house and drowned my will to live. I'm not the only one; we're all about to be raped by HD-DVD and the Blue Ray Disc. It doesn't make any sense. Just when I've almost reached the top of Mount Everest, they dump all this sh*tty digital snow right back on my face.
There were only 23 more titles left unaccounted for. The ending to my Home Entertainment System is now ruined. All this time was spent, placing one glorious Most Wanted Disc after another on my shelf. I'd step back and marvel at its sheer immensity. Ah, perfection. Now, it's the equivalent of human feces. Ready for a landfill. And, instead of the studios tossing out a press release promising those last few floating MIAs, they've instead issued a generalized statement which flaunts the impending appearance of their accumulated HD Archives. And the list contains movies that haven't even been released in theaters yet.
I'm doomed. I'm doomed.
|The Blue Ray Bastard!|
Then there's the New War. Forget the War on Terror. The one that will soon be playing out in our living room will have us completely preoccupied and ignorant of anything else going on in the world. Maybe the manifesto on "Silent Weapons for a Silent War", the one found in that old printer picked up at an Army stock sale, is dead-on accurate. This type of sh*t here is numbing our intelligence. Which shall I choose? BRDs or HD-DVDs? Oh, the madness! I can't contain the anger growing inside my scrotum. It's The Beast Within starring Ronny Cox; and I'm afraid I'll only be able to watch it on rewind?
|More like Blue Gay.|
But, starting later this year, all of your time and effort is going to go towards building new HD-ready catalogues of films that have been previously imprinted on the current format. The following is what I consider to be the closing chapter on my DVD collection. These are the only guilty pleasures left sitting off the shelf. I need them badly. Or I will forever feel incomplete?
I know some geek in a vault with an exacting amount of pull is out there, somewhere, reading this. I know you can finish off my Versatile collection before the end of the DVD era; before my hobby becomes archaic. If I can purchase these last remaining titles on this below list, My DVD Archive will be able to stand as a monument to the format. My tiny shoebox apartment can become the true museum Imperial Mantooth is always claiming it to be?
Yes. The Terrance Hill/Ernest Borgnine Epic Super Fuzz is finally available on DVD. As soon as I come across its path, I'm going to scoop that sucker up. To be able to hit automatic replay on the scene where Borgy exclaims, "I will dance like Fred Astair!" is the sole reason DVDs were invented in the first place.
Abso-f*cking-lutely. Three other entries in my current most wanted wish list have also appeared in the Pre-Order section of everyone's favorite Nazi-owned website. Both Ice Pirates and Young Einstein have been announced for a February 15th due date. These are essential films. Important to the art of storytelling. Have you ever been to Ireland? There's an Ice shortage there that will probably spread to the rest of the World, and Ice Pirates exploits that idea ingloriously. Plus, it has space herpes. And f*cked-up robots. It's a classic. Then, we have Young Einstein. It's about putting bubbles into beer. Enough said.
|Bubbles in Beer!|
Now, onto the movies (and a few TV shows) that are bound to forever be lost if something isn't done right quick and on the double. I know there used to be a more dignified 10 Most Want Unreleased DVDs list. At one time, they peppered the web. I'm happy to say everything on those lists has since been digitally published, culminating with the release of the original Star Wars trilogy.
Here are the films that haven't been so lucky (they are not listed in any particular order):
|Sew it up and fly...South!|
1) Song of the South (Disney):
This will probably never see a proper release. Not one issued by Disney, at least. They've shelved it and locked it in a vault. Because of its incredibly rude behavior and racial stance. According to them, it's wearing a Clan hood. I've watched it a couple of times, and don't really see what the big deal is. Then again, I'm an adult, and my views are already set inside and sheltered. The movie's portrayal of blacks in a post-slave era is not entirely accurate, but I feel the film is important to the history of art. And the Disney legacy. It should be seen. It shouldn't be hidden, and quieted, and disremembered until it's all but forgotten. That's utter bullsh*t. F*ck Disney. I mean; they built a theme ride based completely on the film. And it's their most popular attraction. Splash Mountain was the longest line I stood in last time I was at Disneyland. Yet, more than half the people there kept asking where the characters came from. That's sad. Indeed. We can go to Blockbuster and pick up Soul Plane, but we can't rent Song of the South? Thankfully, Buena Vista did release a Japanese laserdisc some years ago. People for the preservation of art have gone above and beyond the call to preserve this on the DVD format. It is currently available on Ebay for $19.99. It even comes in a professionalized, customized keep case that looks like the real deal. And it has extras including trailers and an old (audio only) interview with the cast. I want to see an authentic release, but this may be the only way of ever purchasing it. As the Ramones might say, "The KKK took Walt's Baby Away."
2) The Frisco Kid (Warner Brothers):
This was the first movie Harrison Ford starred in directly after Star Wars. It's not a spoof, but a pretty straightforward western starring Gene Wilder as a Rabbi traveling across the United States to get to San Francisco. Most of the humor arises out of realistic situations, which makes for a pretty interesting project. It only gets better with age. This is one of the better contemporary Westerns; it would be a shame to lose it or have to wait another seven years before it's released on HD-DVD. I recently saw the film on HBO 2 while visiting Webmaster B in Montana. I guess I could have DVD-R'd it, but they didn't have a recorder available at the time. I did save it on their Satellite play list, but they've probably erased it by now. As of this moment, there are no bootlegs floating around Ebay, or elsewhere. I guess we'll have to wait it out.
3) Willard/Ben Double Feature:
This is a no-brainer; and one of the few Borgnine classics absent from my shelf. Warner Brothers and New Line really dropped the ball back in 2003. They should have released these two gems on DVD in conjunction with the Crispin Glover remake. It was suspected, but turned out to be a no show. I love Crispin's take on the project, it was one of my favorite films that year. In the top ten, easily. Let's just say I identified with the main character a little too closely. That said; it shouldn't stand as the only available version of this harrowing love story. Hungry rats are a horror staple. Yet, they're being grievously ignored. I mean, where's Food of the Gods part 1 and 2? When the rats drag off that baby in streaks of blood? Classic. It made my mom turn off the TV, and she could run with just about anything. FOTG is not essential to my collection. I'd love to have it squeezed in there, but the original Willard and its sequel Ben are must-haves. Come on, you faggots! Get with the program.
4) License to Drive:
It's the Empire Strikes Back of the Feldman-Haim trilogy. Artisan released a pretty lackluster version of Dream a Little Dream last year sans any special features. I'm okay with that; at least it's on Disc. Warner Brothers has released two versions of The Lost Boys. This year's Special Edition turned out to be a winner. Except, I would have really liked a full-length audio commentary with both Coreys in the room at the same time. 20th Century Fox better not drop the ball on LTD. Come on, get Feldman and Haim in a recording booth and give us what we want. I also want both the Theatrical version and the Home Video Version on the same disc. Is that too much to ask for? Yes, there are numerous differences between both cuts. And give us all those deleted scenes so deliciously hinted at in the original theatrical trailer. I'd also like the promos where Corey Haim is locked in his room, chained to a giant ball. There's a lot of material out there. Get it on a DVD, quick. You cocksuckers better make it good, too. Us Corey fans have waited a long time. Please, please make sure the original theatrical music is in place also. I will never forgive you guys if you don't. Ah, who am I kidding? The last few toss-offs thrown out by Fox have been pretty empty affairs. We'll be lucky if we even get a theatrical trailer attached.
5) Scavenger Hunt:
Another 20th Century Fox Vault languisher. I don't care about special features with this one. I just want the goddamn movie. It's my honest belief that this is one of the funniest films to come out of the late 70s. And it's ten times better than Midnight Madness, which has seen two releases. One by Anchor Bay and one by Disney. I love seeing the old Jack in the Box Clown Head speaker. That thing is awesome. I could watch that one scene on replay all day long. And this is one of the few Scatman Crothers vehicles ever made. His legacy needs to be preserved. His work with Richard Mulligan is top-notch entertainment. A real treasure.
6) Moving Violations:
I'm on a run with unreleased Fox comedies. I hope to see these last three films released in bulk. This isn't a great film by any stretch of the means. Though, it is John Murray's only starring role to date. And Jennifer Tilley does some of her best work as a Rocket Scientist. It's one of the few DMV-themed projects, and works on that level. It's always nice to see younger brothers proving their worth. This ranks why higher than Jim Hanks' Buford's Beach Bunnies (which, strangely, is available on DVD).
7) The Star Wars Christmas Special:
Much like Song of the South, I doubt this will ever get a proper George Lucas approved release. It's not in the cards. The man can't even come to terms with the fact that it exists. Neither can I. It's a hellride to sit through. You've probably already read a million and one reviews concerning the thing. If not, here are the highlights: Bea Arthur dances with Walrus Man (I don't know or care what his "supposed" character name is; the action figure was called Walrus Man so that's what I'm going to call him), Luke Skywaker has so much make-up caked on his face that he looks like Boy George, both Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are coked and stoned to the gills and proceed to sing a made-up-on-the-spot Holiday song about Life Day, a Stormtrooper rips the head of Lumpy's stuffed Bantha, Grandpa Itchy has virtual sex with Diane Carol, and Art Carney exposes his chest hairs. It's something you have to see to believe. And once you've seen about five minutes of it, you never want to watch anything Star Wars related ever again. Yeah, and people actually thought the new trilogy would be good. This should have been some sort of indication. There is a pretty cool Boba Fett cartoon about an hour into the madness. It would be nice to browse this monstrosity with chapter stops. If only to horrify the friends that never come over to my house. I'll probably have to settle for one of the many bootlegs offered at just about every Con in the country. I've seen a few on Ebay, but they're hella-expensive.
8) Night of the Lepus:
Its giant rabbits. That eat people. Nigger, that's all I have to say. Five Minutes to Live sells a pretty decent copy of this film for $20. I've also seen it on Ebay. But the FMTL people are into preservation, and they produce pretty nice box art. If this isn't released before the HD-DVD invasion, I'm going to have to go with their version. www.fiveminutestolive.com actually has a thousand obscure titles that will never see the light of day, like The Gong Show Movie and Mr. T's Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool (no use including them on this list, these titles have been completely abandoned). I suggest you peruse their site. I've ordered from them before, and have yet to be disappointed. If you get a chance, check out Gimme Gimme Octopus, a brain-melting kid's show from 70s Japan. Everyone claims that Tarantino ripped-off the ending to Kill Bill Vol. 1 from Lady Snowblood. Wrong, he ripped it off from Gimme Gimme Octopus. The proof is in the show's production date. I love the giant peanut. The show almost reminds me of a live action Spongebob.
9) Raggedy Ann & Andy - A Musical Adventure:
When people hear me mention this brilliant animated effort, they think it's for little girlies. Then they watch it, and their brains explode. This is pure 70s psychedelia at its best. And the songs are extraordinary; written by Joe Raposo of Sesame Street fame. The Blue Camel with the Wrinkled Knees is my all-time favorite film character. That is me on screen, in cartoon form. And his song kills my heart every time I hear it. In fact, sitting here, writing about it, I had to go put on the soundtrack (available only on vinyl if you're lucky enough to find it on Ebay). Out of all the missing DVDs, this is the one I want the most. Luckily, it is available on Ebay for cheap. I think it was released in Japan at some point. Though, I'm not so sure it's a legitimate version.
10) Night of the Creeps:
Space Slugs! This is 50's Sci-Fi wrapped in 80s cheese. It's Funcore at its best. And it has Rusty Griswold 2 (aka Jason Lively) as one of its main stars. I've always liked that kid. Maybe because I always associate him with seeing my first exposed on-screen breast. It's gotta be that. He aint that talented. Otherwise, we would have seen him in more movies. But seriously, this is his classic. Between this and European Vacation, he doesn't ever need to be in anything else. He's always going to be sitting on somebody's shelf, somewhere. I also recently watched this at Webmaster B.'s house in Montana. I think they were showing it on Cinemax, so it's fairly available. Ebay is selling bootlegs. And Chris Seaver, over at Low Budget Pictures (home of Mulva and Teen Ape) is offering a pretty classy ripped version for cheap. Check it out and snap it up before they're gone. Hopefully, though, we'll see an official release, maybe sometime around Halloween. After all, it is a Columbia Tri-Star picture. It's in a vault somewhere, waiting to be set free.
11) Night of the Comet:
Here's a feminist take on the Dawn of the Dead mythos. It's got hot girls in a mall, shopping and avoiding the undead. What more could you ask for? It too is readily available on Ebay. There are some pretty decent copies floating around out there. It was at one time rumored to have been released alongside Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park and Monster Squad by some rinky-dink pressing house, but those authentic versions never immerged.
12) Nate & Hayes:
An action-adventure film that rode the coattails of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark; this Tommy Lee Jones vehicle has long been absent from the shelves of Blockbuster. I don't remember it too well, but I remember it kicking ass as a kid. I mention it here because someone in our forums was asking about it. Hopefully, someone will uncover its whereabouts soon enough.
13) Terror Vision:
I love this movie. A giant monster is beamed into some kid's living room via Satellite. Its Day-Glo esthetic is creepy and unsettling. We've got Chad Allen and his lunatic grandfather fighting space aliens behind a couch. Big guns. And hot girls dying in hot tubs. I want to know why this isn't in my hands right now. Oh, because it was originally distributed by Lighting Video. They went out of business in 1986. God only knows where the original print of this thing is hiding. Those awesome bootleggers over at Ebay have managed to scrap together a disc. Trust me on this one; the transfer is going to be ugly. As far as I can tell by some of the research I've done, this was never released on Laser Disc, so what you'll be getting on DVD-R will be about as healthy looking as television snow. Too bad, really. I miss watching this on a lonely Saturday Night.
14) My Demon Lover:
I'm not talking about the recent straight-to-video release going by the same name. This sucker here was made in the midst of Family Ties' popularity, when every single person on that show was offered a movie deal. Even the next door neighbor, Skippy, got in while the iron was striking red hot. You might remember his Trick or Treat which sported the immortal line, "No False Metal!" It contained cameos from both Ozzy Osborne and Kiss Demon Gene Simmons. Those two names alone where enough to get that backwards record scenario at least two different DVD releases. The same cannot be said for My Demon Lover. Remember Scott Valentine? He played Mallory's boyfriend Nick. This was his one and only starring role. It's not a very good film, but it's better than Teen Wolf. Blasphemy, you might say. But it's true. Scott Valentine had the best kind of 80s presence. He deserves to be remembered. Anchor Bay, this is where you guys come in. Are you listening? Good, I hope so?
Possibly the worst movie ever made. For that reason alone, it's important to the history of cinema. Since the dawn of film as we know it, there have been many competitors for this title, but you're not bound to see a more astringent piece of entertainment than this thing here. What makes it so special? Well, Mystery Science Theater couldn't even uncover it for rib-poking purposes. I've never run into another living person that even remembers this tiny piece of lint. Heck, it took me two weeks to track it down with a Google search. Earthbound was released by Schick Sun Classic Pictures in 1981. There's no accounting for what happened to this Studio. It's one of the greater Hollywood mysteries AJ Benza never got around to uncovering. This fledgling production house was known for such Z level schlockumentaries as In Search of Noah's Ark and The Lincoln Conspiracy. Earthbound was one of their few scripted projects. The story revolves around a grandfather and grandson (a relationship similar to the one seen in Terror Vision) that decide to haul a bunch of Space Aliens around in their Winnebago, eluding the FBI and the local cops. The plot even throws in the old tired-and-true "saving the property that's about to be sold to corrupt individuals" conclusion. Although this came out after two Star Wars movies, the miniscule special effects budget could only afford an Orangutan that had been spray-painted neon green as its centerpiece Space Creature. Earthbound was originally shot as a pilot for NBC, but they wisely passed on it. It's a special kind of movie. A must have for anyone that loves rotgut cinema. Forget Plan 9 From Outer Space. Earthbound is the real deal. Sadly, this Burl Ives classic is truly a lost treasure. There are no records of it ever being released on VHS or Laserdisc. The only hope for this one is if someone happens upon the original print in director James L. Conway's basement. Or if a super geek in the know stumbles upon it in the tape library of a local UHF affiliate station. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
16) Hot to Trot:
I foresee a huge Bobcat Goldthwait renaissance coming up. It's going to happen very soon, and you won't be able to attend a party without discussing the integral comedic importance of Mr. Goldthwait. Sure, some people accuse him of ripping off Sam Kinison, but these two comedians took very different stances on the human condition. Their only similarity seemed to be their trademark yells. Sam's was generated more from a direct anger. Bobcat always seemed to be hiding behind a nervous tick. He made a lot of films in his heyday. Most sight Shakes the Clown as his definitive work. It having been written and directed by the man himself, that may be true. But Hot to Trot stands as his best Warner Brothers effort ever produced, and the rest of the films he made while under contract to that studio have since been released on DVD. Sure, One Crazy Summer might be one of his greatest performances ever captured, call t lightening in a bottle, but you simply cannot discontinue the greatness of this Talking Horse movie. Forget Mr. Ed. Forget Francis the talking Mule. They never had a straight man as willing and eager to take the punch as Bobcat Goldthwait. Warner Brothers last released this on VHS in 1998 as part of their "Hits" collection. Included in that collection was Richard Pryor's Moving. I'd like to see DVD releases for both of these overlooked 80s comedies. Moving doesn't necessarily belong in my collection, but Hot to Trot sure as Hell does.
17) Blood Beach:
A precursor to the Tremors film series, this goofy horror exercise appeared in the wake of Jaws' success. It played off the Jaws 2 poster tag with "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...You can't get to it." The trailers for this sucker used to scare me as a kid. Beachgoers were sucked into the sand, and then ground to bone dust and blood. It's so awesomely simply. Too bad the final climax is so cheesy. What's eating those beautiful bikini girls? A giant space slug. As you can tell from this list, Space Slugs (also seen in Night of the Creeps and Terror Vision) are being horribly overlooked on DVD. Ebay is offering this title on bootleg, but judging from the cover art, it's going to be a failry piss-poor transfer.
18) Bigfoot & Wildboy:
Out of the Great Northwest comes...The most awesome TV show in history. This is hands-down the best Krofft series ever produced. It originally aired as part of the Krofft Supershow in 1977, before being split into its own short-lived series. Bigfoot and Wildboy were a stinky pair of superheroes that lived in the woods. It featured Chris Knight (Peter Brady) as a werewolf and Sorrell Booke (Boss Hog) as a mean ol' coot hell-bent on doing some tree damage. Oh, and the luscious Cindy was so hot! A lot of people think this was a Six Million Dollar Man spin-off. Not true. That Bigfoot was a faker, and had nothing at all to do with this series. Besides, the Six Million Dollar Man is scheduled for release later this year, and the Bigfoot Episodes of that series have already been released in the UK. There is a small amount of hope that Kroffts' Bigfoot will see a DVD pressing. Just yesterday, their entire 17-episode series run of Lidsville arrived in my mailbox. Sadly, they have too many series to get through before reaching Bigfoot and Wildboy. By the time they get to these episodes, they'll be pumping out HD-ready versions of Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost. According to the Sid & Marty commentary on one of the Lidsville episodes, the next of their series to see release will be Dr. Shrinker. Which means they've completely leaped over The Bugaloos. I'm okay with that. The Bugaloos makes me sick at my stomach. "Bay-ah-mah!"
19) Blind Rage:
I remember watching this late one night while working at the WB affiliate station in Beaverton, Oregon. I couldn't quite believe my eyes. Here's a film that is screaming for a proper remake. Fred "The Hammer" Williamson trains 5 blind Kung Fu experts to rob a bank. It contains some of the most unintentionally funny Kung Fu footage ever filmed, and must have served as some sort of inspiration for Stephen Chow. Blind Rage's cult status is only hampered by the fact that, like Earthbound, far too many people have no idea it exists. It stands as another lost film that will probably never see any sort of DVD release. Not even a bootleg.
20) K. Gordon Murray's Puss n Boots:
The Something Weird DVD release of The Wonderful Land of Oz/Jack and the Beanstalk double feature contains a page of the most horrifying trailers you will ever see. Granted, these are probably better than the actual films they are promoting, but I don't care. I want to see Kiddy Exploitation King Murray's heart-stopping live action Puss n Boots. I'd hoped that Something Weird would release this and its sequels in the wake of Shrek 2's success. There's still hope. I'd also like, as a special feature, the Something Weird release of The Secret of Magic Island, which promises a mean monkey villain trying to overthrow a world controlled by animals. This sucker is live action; it's not a cartoon. Mere words cannot do the madness justice. To get a whiff of the real thing, checkout the Oz disc and behold the horror. You might want to skip the main features, though. Consider it a warning. (Special note: Murray's bizarre Christmas Classic from the late 60s, the Mexican-made/English dubbed "Santa Claus", which features a very scary Satan fighting Ol' Saint Nick himself, was recently released by two different studios on the cheap. Check out Amazon. They still have a few copies left, and they're only 6 bucks a pop! What a bargain.)
21) It's Garry Shandling's Show:
Do you remember this gem from the 80s? Next to Married...With Children, it was my favorite sit-com of that era. It doesn't look too ingenious by today's standards, and Garry really revolutionized himself with Larry Sanders, but this things swings. Pound for pound, a single episode had more jokes than an entire season of The Cosby Show and Another World put together. It was all about breaking that fourth wall between the audience and the performers. It was a little something special. Out of all the TV shows still decaying in some studio basement somewhere, this is the one (aside form Bigfoot & Wildboy) I hope to see emerge before I die.
Yes, it's a horrible movie. But Andy Kaufman is a legend. And this is his only film. Ever. Over the years, especially since the release of Milos Forman's Man on the Moon (the second DVD I ever bought), various pressing houses have released a number of projects featuring or starring Kaufman. Where are they hiding this one? I remember thinking it was really bad, even as a small child. Doesn't matter, I think its imperative to have it sitting in my living room. I want to show it to all my imaginary friends. I'm sure it will piss them off.
23) My Sweaty Affair:
Finally, we come to the last DVD on my list. This is a must-have! Sold as a half-hour sitcom during the first year run of the Sci-Fi channel, and then later shown sporadically on late night MTV 2, these fifteen-minute episodes were as strange and lucid as anything I've ever seen on television. For those who've been unfortunate enough to have never seen the show, it was a sit-com about a couple of kids in college that were trying to overthrow an sinister Overlord that was going to school with them. It had Evil Robots, a crazy Frenchman hell bent on blowing up every fast food restaurant in sight, and an HR that was born straight out of David Lynch-ville. It was of an inspired craziness, not unlike the fifteen minute Tenacious D. episodes that HBO used to run. God, I hope these are released someday.
Please, DVD Gods that rest above me, hear my pleas. I've given too much of myself to this crude digital art form. You're the ones that pulled me into this massive hobby. Now it's up to you to finish me off.
I've offered the lube. Squeeze, and apply gently...
I'm not alone. I know there are others out there. They might not want to see the movies I mentioned above, but they, too, have their wish list in hand. And damn it, Hollywood, aren't we going to be the sore losers when this thing doesn't come out in our favor. You bastards really should have waited at least one more year before bestowing all this new fangled technology on us.
All we wanted were some movies. None of the above crap is going to look any better in High Definition anyway. I guarantee it.
If you abandon me in my hour of need, I'll refuse everything else you throw in my face. I will forever be at your door, yelling, "I hate you. And your Blue Ray Discs!"
I mean, really? DVDs made out of paper? What kind of f*cked-up bullsh*t is that?
You dumb mother f*ckers...