Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Roger Corman's horror classic Tales of Terror gets a US Blu-ray release from Kino

Here’s a first look at the reversible artwork for the US Blu-ray/DVD release of Roger Corman’s 1963 classic, Tales of Terror, starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone and Joyce Jameson, which is due out in April.

It was be released through the US label Kino Lorber Studios Classics, and the transfer will be based on MGM’s HD master (2.35:1 widescreen). The extras will include a new interview with producer/director Roger Corman, audio commentaries by film historian Tim Lucas, David Del Valle and actor David Frankham, Roger Corman’s Trailers from Hell review of the film, and theatrical trailer.

Tales of Terror is also available on Blu-ray as part of Arrow's Six Gothic Tales release, and will be available separately from 9 March with the same extras that were included in the boxset (read more here).

So what do you make of the covers? Let's us know, by leaving a comment below.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe get a loving tribute in Baltimore

Baltimore’s Westminster Hall was the setting on Sunday 18 January for the annual Edgar Allan Poe Birthday Celebration which was this year given the groovy title, Behind the Mustache: The Lives of Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe. It gave fans a chance to honour Poe on the eve of his 206th birthday and to celebrate Vincent Price, the man who introduced generations of audiences to Poe’s works through his 1960s films with director Roger Corman.

On hand to laud Poe was veteran actor John Astin, who portrayed Poe in the one man play, Once Upon a Midnight, Price’s daughter Victoria, author of Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography, and Jeff Jerome, Curator Emeritus, formerly with the Poe House and Museum.

Victoria gave a sell-out crowd an hour-long presentation about her dad’s life and legacy, before attending a wreath-laying ceremony at Poe’s gravesite, where she got to stand in the same spot as Vincent did many years before.

For more on the event, check out the Baltimore Post Examiner article here:

Also check out the Edgar Allan Poe: Evermore Facebook page and the official Vincent Price Facebook page for more about the event

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Vincent Price's House of Wax villain gets sculpted into a collectible action figure

From Distinctive Dummies comes a fantastic new 12" figure featuring Vincent Price as disfigured sculptor turned demented killer Henry Jarrod from 1953’s classic murder mystery, The House of Wax

Artist Steve Thompson has done a great job in capturing Price’s likeness under the gruesome fire scarred makeup and this is certainly one I’ll be adding to my collection, which already includes all four of Distinctive Dummies Mego-style Price figures from the two Dr Phibes films, Madhouse and The Masque of the Red Death, as well as the 12" figure of Price as Frederick Loren in The House on Haunted Hill (which came in colour and mono versions). 

Click on the link to order yours now, while stocks last!:

For more about House of Wax, read my 60th anniversary post (click here)

Friday, 9 January 2015

Persistence of Vision (2012) | The documentary about 'the untold story of greatest animated film never made' now yours to own on DVD

Originally conceived in the 1960s, but only ever released in a heavily compromised version in the early 1990s (under different titles), The Thief and the Cobbler was animator Richard Williams’ ‘greatest animated film that was NEVER made’. The history of the film’s troubled production from script to ‘almost’ screen (over 28 years – the longest in the history books) is legendary and became the subject of Kevin Schreck’s 2012 documentary Persistence of Vision, which is now available to buy in a re-mastered, limited edition, two-disc DVD set.

Williams’ film began life as an adaptation of the stories of Mullah Nasrudin, a wise fool from Middle Eastern folklore, but due to legal hassles ended up turning into the story of a shy cobbler who tries to win the affections of a distant princess who is also being seduced by the evil Grand Vizier, Zig-zag. When Zig-zag wages war on the princess' peaceful Golden City, it’s an unspeaking local thief who sets things right by accident…

 A host of famous names stars of stage and screen lent their voices to Williams' original film when it was recorded in London in the early 1970s, including Kenneth Williams, Windsor Davies, Joan Sims, Anthony Quayle and Vincent Price.  But when Miramax released their version in 1993, many were dumped or replaced by the likes of Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Beals and Toni Collette.

Luckily, Price’s brilliant turn as the rhyme-speaking Zig-zag was not lost and remains a personal favourite of mine (he's at his melliflous best). Courtesy of The Vincent Price Exhibit, this rare photo of Price was taken in London in 1970 and shows the actor with director/animator Richard Williams working on character designs for the film. Below, courtesy of the Persistence of Vision Facebook page, are two screen grabs from a deleted scene (*) from the documentary, in which story development artist John Culhane reminisces about Price coming to the London studio to record his voice track. 

Persistence of Vision is available for a small donation of just $25.00 USD, the DVD set is region-free and includes the workprint of Williams' true vision of his incomplete masterpiece in its entirety. To order your copy now, click here:

• Optional English language subtitles for Persistence of Vision
• Original 1992 workprint of Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler in its entirety
• Q&A with director Kevin Schreck recorded at DePaul University in Chicago
• Q&A with The Thief and the Cobbler animator Steve Evangelatos at the Vancouver International Film Festival
• Montage of pencil tests and rough animation from The Thief and the Cobbler
• 8 deleted scenes
• 4 international TV clips
• Original Persistence of Vision international festival trailer

* Click here, to see that deleted scene from the film.