Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some Quick Thoughts on Arcade (1993) - The Version You've Never Seen!


One of several hot topics to have popped up throughout the 1990s was virtual reality. Long before the internet, many were certain that virtual reality would sweep the nation of its feet, if not the entire world. With that said, there were also several movies that tackled the subject matter of virtual reality, such as The Lawnmower Man, Johnny Mnemonic, and Brainscan. One such movie to focus on virtual reality is an offering from Full Moon Entertainment, Arcade, from 1993 and directed by Albert Pyun (Dollman, Nemesis)

Arcade is an extremely interesting Charles Band-produced feature, especially since, along with Dark Angel: The Ascent and Shadowzone, it's one of the better Full Moon movies to not have turned into a franchise, at least in my personal opinion. It's a tale about a hot new virtual reality game called Arcade that has just hit the video game market and has become very popular with the kids in town. The game transports you into a 3D world and it's up to the player to outsmart Arcade. However, there's a catch. If you lose, Arcade absorbs your very soul into its virtual lair. Now it's up to two teenagers, Alex (Megan Ward from Encino Man, Crash and Burn and Trancers 2 & 3) and Nick (Peter Billingsley of A Christmas Story and Beverly Hills Brats) to enter the world of Arcade and free the other players from the evil game. Unfortunately, Alex has never been very good at video games...

One notable aspect of the film itself is its delayed release. The CGI effects in the final film, seen in this trailer below, were not the original intended effects.



The original effects were changed to what you see in the trailer above because both Band and Pyun were less than satisfied with how the original effects turned out. So they went back and redid everything.

However, I was lucky enough to not only come across a trailer for the film featuring the original CGI FX, but to also come across an actual full-length version of the film, featuring the deleted CGI. And how was I able to see this? Somehow, the version of the film with the original CGI FX got released on PAL VHS, in Argentina, of all places.



video

I gave this watch not too long ago, and I must say, that despite some moments in this version of the film being dated at best, I found it to be somewhat darker than the released version. Tony Riparetti's score for this version helps set up that tone, as the score ranges from somewhat cheesy yet still energetic to ambient. I was also very surprised to see some dialogue and scenes missing from the released version as well.

In closing, if I had to choose one version of the film to see as the definitive version, I would actually lean towards this version. Seek it out if you can!

Here are some screencaps of the original FX:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

First posting in 2 months, and I'm now on Tumblr!

To start things off, I want to apologize for the lack of postings on this blog, again. I've been really busy and when I'm not busy, I'm just too lazy to post on here.

With that out of the way, I would now like to announce that I am now on the Tumblr. Always behind the times as usual, I decided that it was time to start my own Tumblr. I never really felt compelled to join and always told myself that the makers of Tumblr would have to pay me to join. Well, as stated, I now have a Tumblr and will try to use it frequently, but I still think that the makers of Tumblr should still pay me to use it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: Night Raiders (1990) - Cineplex Odeon Video (Canada) VHS

Title: Night Raiders
Box Tagline: "They've got their own way of taking out terrorists. Hit them hard. Hit them fast. Hit them after dark."
Original title: Night of the Kickfighters
Genre: Action
Year of Release: 1990
VHS Release Year: 1991
Tape Catalog #: COHV6143
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 89 Minutes
Director: Buddy Reyes
Starring: Adam West, Andy Bauman, Marcia Karr, Lisa Alpert, Carel Struycken
Distributor: Cineplex Odeon (Home) Video/MCA Home Video Canada
Box Type: Slipcase

Notes:

- Released on video in 1991 by Cineplex Odeon Video and MCA Home Video Canada
- The Cineplex Odeon Video logo appears at the beginning of the tape.
- Was originally released on video in the United States by AIP Home Video as "Night of the Kickfighters."
- As of 2013, this film has yet to be released on Region 1 DVD. It is, however, available on DVD in Germany, but it is dubbed.

My quick thoughts:

Low budget and unintentionally hilarious are only understatements for this DTV action classic! Seriously, this movie is on the same level as a Zucker Bros. movie. The lead in this, Andy Bauman, looks a lot like Howard Dean. And some of the camera work and martial arts just have to been seen to be believed. Seek it out!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: Gulliver's Travels (1983) - Cineplex Odeon Home Video (Canada) VHS



Title: Gulliver's Travels
Box Tagline: "Based on a novel by Jonathan Swift; "Journey to the Land of the Giants."
Original title: Los Viajes de Gulliver
Genre: Animation
Year of Release: 1983
VHS Release Year: 1988
Tape Catalog #: COH5090
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 82 Minutes
Director: Cruz Delgado
Starring: Alexa Bates, Nelson Modling, Elmer Modling, Marina Moreno, Leon Liberman, Thomas Entwhistle
Distributor: Cineplex Odeon Home Video/MCA Home Video Canada
Box Type: Slipcase

Notes:

- Released on Video in 1988 by Cineplex Odeon Home Video and MCA Home Video Canada.
- There are no previews on this tape.
- The Cineplex Odeon Home Video logo and Miramax Films logo appear before the film.
- Strangely enough, outside of Canada, this never got a release anywhere else in North America, despite being picked up for distribution by Miramax.
- As of 2013, the film has yet to see a release on DVD anywhere in North America. There is, however, a DVD available in Germany, although it only includes German audio. There is also a special edition DVD of the film in its native Spain, but Spanish is the only audio track that seems to be available on said DVD.

My quick thoughts:

Decent Spanish animated film. Have not read the book this is based on, so I cannot make any comparisons. Voice acting is good and so is the animation, although the animation is almost reminiscent of Jay Ward. For its North American release, this was dubbed into English, but strangely, none of the voice actors used for this dub are listed anywhere, as far as I know. Recommended to fans of European animation. 6.1/10.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: Becoming Colette (1991) - Cineplex Odeon Video (Canada) VHS


Title: Becoming Colette
Box Tagline: "As a writer, she was to become famous. As a lover, she was about to become a legend."
Original title: N/A
Genre: Docudrama
Year of Release: 1991
VHS Release Year: 1993
Tape Catalog #: COHV6189
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Director: Danny Huston
Starring: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Mathilda May, Virginia Madsen, Paul Rhys
Distributor: Cineplex Odeon (Home) Video/MCA Home Video Canada
Box Type: Slipcase

Notes:

- Released on Video in 1993 by Cineplex Odeon Video and MCA Home Video Canada
- At the beginning of the tape, there is a gift certificate promo for Cineplex Odeon Theatres, followed by a trailer for the 1992 made-for-TV Thriller, Criminal Behavior, starring Farrah Fawcett.
- The Cineplex Odeon Video and Castle Hill Productions logos appear before the film and after the previews.

My quick thoughts:

Not applicable. I have not watched this one yet and don't know if I ever will. I mostly bought this just to complete my ever-growing collection of VHS releases from Cineplex Odeon.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: The Secret of Nandy (1990) - Malo Video (Canada) VHS + Brief Review


Trying something new here. Showing off some of my rare VHS tapes that have their boxes cut. VHSCollector.com doesn't allow cut VHS boxes to be uploaded, so I may as well show mine off here.

Title: The Secret of Nandy
Box Tagline: "Now it's time to tell the truth."
Original title: La Porte Secrete
Genre: Mystery
Year of Release: 1990
VHS Release Year: Not Given
Tape Catalog #: Not Given
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Director: Danièle J. Suissa
Starring: Bibi Andersson, Michael Sarrazin, Marc de Jonge, Claudine Auger, Yvette Brind'amour
Distributor: Malo Video
Box Type: Slipcase

Notes:

- Released sometime in the early 1990s by Malo Video.
- To my dissapointment, there are no trailers on this VHS.
- The Malofilm Home Video logo appears before the film.

My quick thoughts:

Okay mystery thriller. Good performances by Andersson and Sarrazin and would recommend to fans of the latter actor. The twist ending is rather unexpected, even though the front cover almost gives it away. 6/10.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ultra-Rare trailer for Cursed (1990) + Brief review of said trailer

Not too long ago, I uncovered an ultra-rare trailer for Mychel Arsenault's 1990 Quebec-lensed horror film, Cursed (1990), which I reviewed here on this blog way back in January. I was quite surprised to see that this film actually did have a trailer, advertised as "Gargoyle". I managed to find it on a DVD+R of the Canadian cop thriller Slow Burn (1989), sourced from the Belgian/Dutch VHS release. That movie, in turn, was a quite entertaining actioneer, but more on that at a later time.

Anyway, I found the trailer to be, like the actual film, quite haunting, thanks to the addition of "O Fortuna" playing through the trailer, yet also cheesy at the same time because of some tacky editing, some exaggeration from the trailer's announcer (which to my surprise, turned out to be the late, great Don LaFontaine), and some scenes in the trailer being unnecessarily sped-up. Still, I'm glad to have found such a rare trailer, being the long time movie trailer connoisseur that I've always been.

I also noticed some scenes that were not in the actual film, so that leaves me to wonder if there's a version out there with this additional footage. I strongly doubt it, though.