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Chat Transcript: Anchor Bay
on Home Theater Forum


The following is a complete transcript of the on-line chat with Michael Felsher of Anchor Bay Entertainment, held on Tuesday, May 20th on The Home Theater Forum. Thanks to Ron Epstein, Parker Clack and the staff the HTF for all their hard work, and for providing the transcript for all to read. Enjoy!

Home Theater Forum
http://www.hometheaterforum.com

Subject: Anchor Bay Entertainment chat
Date: May 20th, 2003

[RonEpstein] I'd like to thank everyone for giving up their TV viewing night and joining us here. Tonight we are pleased to have as our guest, Anchor Bay Webmaster and film information manager Michael Felsher. Welcome!

[Michael_Felsher] Thanks Ron, glad to be here as always

[RonEpstein] Well, I won't keep these members from asking questions any longer. At this time we will open up the floor for questions....

[RobLutter] Michael... thanks for coming! Do you guys still have plans for a Meet the Feebles SE? Also, are there gonna be any editions of older PJ films (IE: Frighteners:SE)

[Michael_Felsher] Meet the Feebles is not currently announced from us due to a variety of factors, but we do hope to eventually have news about it in the future. We are always interested in Mr. Jackson's work and we believe we will have a continuing relationship with him.

[NickGraham] Any word on the former Goodtimes/Universal titles like the Psycho sequels? The worldwide clamor for an OAR Dr. Giggles SE is astonishing (OK, maybe it's just me)

[Michael_Felsher] That would be up to Universal. We've certainly had a great relationship with them in the past, and I don't see any reason why it won't continue into the future.

[JeffKleist] What is being done to kick Panzer/Davis in the butt on their TV sets? Highlander Season 2 was almost 6 months late from their website, which means the AB release is delayed as well. Since you seem to be in so well with Sam Raimi and Co (and unfortunately so is Panzer/Davis) how about Bruce Campbell's Jack of All Trades?? Get it before P/D does! Oh, and after 3 years of asking, where's my Warning Sign? :)

[Michael_Felsher] Well both Davis/Panzer and ourselves are working together to insure more regular street dates for HIGHLANDER as well as HERCULES and XENA. Expect HIGHLANDER S2 in July then about every 4 or 5 months after that. We've asked about JACK..we shall see. WARNING SIGN huh?...well we shall see someday perhaps. Thanks

[Michael_Nelson] Thanks for coming. Any chance for more Jess Franco titles or re-releases of the early Hammer titles (anamorph)?? Plus, are you guys interested in those "B" horror films from the 1940's? Lugosi has several out there

[Michael_Felsher] Currently we don't have more Franco titles on the way, though we are discussing plans to revisit some of the Hammers in one fashion or another. We have a couple of vintage horror classics coming next week with DEAD OF NIGHT and QUEEN OF SPADES...there may be more of those to come as well.

[MikeS] Hello, thank you for coming. Will there still be a DVD of the Paul Verhoeven film Flesh & Blood (which I believe was once listed as 'coming soon')?

[Michael_Felsher] Actually that one we never announced, it has always been controlled by another studio...MGM I believe. Though we'd love to do it.

[Jon_Robertson] Hi Michael looking forward to the new Manhunter and Halloween discs more than I can say! Any plans for (if you've heard of this one, I'll be amazed) THE ORCHARD END MURDER (1981)? It's an obscure but wonderful British horror gem for you guys to track down - if you don't, no-one else will!

[Michael_Felsher] That's a good title, I don't think we've looked into that one. But I will now, thanks for bringing it up.

[Peter_M_Fitzgerald] Might we see AB dvds in the near future of these 3 terrific British films from the 1960s: 1. SANDS OF THE KALAHARI (1965, likely part of Studio Canal's Embassy catalogue) 2. UNEARTHLY STRANGER 91963, a great Quatermass-like gem from many future AVENGERS personnel) and 3. HOUSE OF MYSTERY (1960)? If not, please seriously look into acquiring them, as they'd fit well in AB's line.

[Michael_Felsher] thanks for the suggestions, I will see what the status of those titles are.

[ChristopherBlig] Thank you Ron..Good evening Michael, kudos for the Winter Kills Special Edition, one of this years best DVDs and I recommend it to all, my question is: any chance of Anchor Bay releasing the 60's Oscar-winning classic Charly on DVD in it's widescreen (and hopefully with a trailer) glory and if so, what can we expect on it?

[Michael_Felsher] Actually we no longer have the rights to CHARLY, so unfortunately we won't be able to release a DVD of it.

[AnthonyThorne] Hi Michael - the Verhoeven and Kinski boxes are great - any chance of a box of the Argento-directed titles? Also, what's the latest on the remastering and extras of the DAWN OF THE DEAD set?

[Michael_Felsher] We've actually been talking about an Argento set...maybe later next year. DAWN OF THE DEAD is going to be a massive undertaking. When it comes out it will easily dwarf anything we've ever done. More details hopefully in a few months.

[JasonS] Thank you! I'd read on a message board somewhere about you guys having the rights to Godzilla 1985, any details on Anchor Bay realeasing this? A SE maybe with the Japanese version intact?

[Michael_Felsher] GODZILLA 1985 will not be happening anytime soon. We are not able to acquire the Japanese version and that is the main reason we want to release the film. Hopefully one day it will be cleared up.

[ThomasC] Hello, could you provide any details on your upcoming Christopher Lee and Peter Cusing boxsets? Any idea on what titles or what extras they will contain, will it be like your Paul Verhoeven boxset(which kicked ass by the way)? Any more details on the upcoming Hills Have Eyes SE?

[Michael_Felsher] The Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing sets will be comprised of their Hammer titles we have here. HILLS is shaping up to be quite nice. We have a major featurette planned with new interviews with Wes Craven, Michael Berryman, Peter Locke and other cast & crew, plus new DTS & Dolby audio tracks. The release is planned for September and it will be a 2 Disc Set.

[NickGraham] My questions have all been answered now, so I will ask this...Warner dropped quite a few surprises and big announcements on us with their chat last month... any big news you'd like to share with us? Forgive my shamelessness.

[Michael_Felsher] hehe...well actually I was going to have a couple of things, but I can't announce them just yet. However there will be some big news in the next several weeks.

[AlStuart] Hi Michael, I was wondering if Anchor Bay would be releasing any of the following titles..... Suicide Club, Kairo (Pulse), Battle Royale, Son of Hitler (considering you are doing Peter Cushing boxsets), Dellamorte Dellamore and Wild Zero

[Michael_Felsher] Those are all great titles. Nothing planned currently though. Though one or two of them are closer than they were...that's all I'll say.

[ron_beam] what extras will the Silent Night Deadly Night dvd have?

[Michael_Felsher] oh that one's turning out to be a lot of fun. We are currently planning a double feature 2 Disc Set with Part 1 and 2. The original SNDN will have (tentatively) a director's commentary, an all-new widescreen transfer, trailers, etc, plus a section covering all the news articles and controversy surrounding the film's release back in the 80s. Expect it in October.

[BrianG] Any release plans for"NIght Of The Creeps" and "Trick Or Treats"? How about "Hard Rock Zombies"?

[Michael_Felsher] We've asked about NIGHT OF THE CREEPS and TRICK OR TREAT many times, but unfortunately they just aren't available to us. No plans for HARD ROCK ZOMBIES.

[JustinW] Will Ken Foree be involved in the upcoming DAWN OF THE DEAD SE in any way? Also, any news on the following?: SCARECROWS, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 1 & 2, MONSTER DOG (Alice Cooper), AMERICAN GOTHIC (Rod Steiger), THE UNNAMABLE. Thanks!

[Michael_Felsher] You can count on Ken Foree's involvement, we wouldn't want to do it without him! How could we? Those others you mention...well a couple may be in the works...but again can't say anything yet.

[TerryW] Welcome Michael. Hope this wasn't answered yet. Any upcoming Argento titles to be released/revisited like Phenomena, Tenebrae, Deep Red (with proper credits and decent cover art!) or Television material or Five Days/Four Flies/Trauma maybe?

[Michael_Felsher] Well that's something I would love to see myself. I've been trying to see if anything can be done, but right now I am not sure if we are able to. Those other Argentos remain in limbo for now, unfortunately.

[sgazi] Hey, Mike! Will you guys be releasing a LE tin double disc version of Slugs? Seriously though, any new info on Bubba Ho-Tep?

[Michael_Felsher] You know if I get one more request for a double-disc on SLUGS, we might have to do it...and as for BUBBA, well having seen the film, all I can say is that it is one of the best horror comedies I've seen, probably ever...its a real special film and whoever is smart enough to claim it will do wonderful with it. Kudos to Bruce and Don C.

[Thomas_Hart] Thanks for coming. What is the status on "Meet the Feebles" and "Super Fuzz" (previously announced on your website), a R1 release of "Alligator", and my 2 favorites "Kingdom of the Spiders" and "The Children" (1980)?

[Michael_Felsher] MEET THE FEEBLES I mentioned above..can't do that one right now. SUPERFUZZ fell victim to an unexpected rights dispute after we had acquired the title... I don't think it's going to be cleared up anytime soon. ALLIGATOR is coming from our sister company in the UK though Region 1 rights aren't available yet. Same with KINGDOM and CHILDREN.

[PaulSD] great transfers, low/no ee, original poster art on the inserts-you guys are GREAT! Any chance for The Luigi Cozi/Caroline Munro movie StarCrash?

[Michael_Felsher] That one we asked about a long time ago...think it was tied up somewhere though. Thanks for the compliments :)

[Peter_M_Fitzgerald] At the end of a previous chat a couple of years back, you announced a ton of upcoming titles, most of which have been released. From that list, are these still on tap: THE COLDITZ STORY, THE DAM BUSTERS, THE CRUEL SEA, WENT THE DAY WELL, etc?

[Michael_Felsher] Those may be scheduled in the near future. The problem with a lot of those older titles is finding acceptable elements. We've been fortunate on some of the Ealing Films, but they took a lot of work...but we do anticipate releasing those you mentioned at some point.

[Matt_Bailey] Any chance of more features being licensed from Criterion like with the Halloween commentary or licensing titles to Criterion? If so, any hints you can give us?

[Michael_Felsher] We have an ongoing relationship with Criterion. Although i don't have specifics at this time, you can expect more collaborations between us in the future.

[JustinW] On AB's UK website CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is listed under future releases. Any info on the disc for those of us with region free players? Will it be coming out here in the U.S. as well? Any plans for any other Bob Clark films?

[Michael_Felsher] The problem with a lot of the UK releases is that the rights are sometimes available there while not being so here. CHILDREN is a good example of that. You can visit www.anchorbay.co.uk for info on their releases. They do great work. As for more Bob Clark films, we have inquired about a couple of others...we will see what happens.

[BernhardW] There was a discussion on the message board about AnchorBay holding the rights on The Wonder Years series. If this is true, is there any chance for a release?

[Michael_Felsher] That series is not one we have the rights to unfortunately, though we are planning full-series releases of CRIME STORY and a couple of other shows in our catalog.

[MikeS] I have the Anchor Bay UK DVD of Plague Dogs, which is full frame and edited. Any chance we'll see it here with the director's cut, OAR and special features?

[Michael_Felsher] Again that kind of goes back to the question about UK rights. We can't release that one here unfortunately.

[AlStuart] I'm not sure what happens to all the Trimark rights, if they all go over to Lion's Gate. But I figured I'd ask. Any chance for Kicking and Screaming or an uncut Braindead? Or Weekend?

[Michael_Felsher] Actually Trimark is a part of Lion's Gate so those titles would still be there.

[ThomasC] With the upcoming Halloween re-release will it have both the orginal version and the TV version? Also any idea when thoes Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing sets will be released? Any other Hammer movies are you going to be releasing? Thanks

[Michael_Felsher] The Halloween re-release will have the theatrical version and the TV scenes will be presented separately on the second disc. The Cushing and Lee sets will be early next year. More Hammer is planned, but nothing firm at this point.

[ChristopherBlig] to the best discoverers of hidden treasure movies, thank you Michael. My question: any chance for Anchor Bay releasing Magic, Endless Love, Young Doctors In Love, The Friends of Eddie Coyle or any other John Carpenter titles on DVD? Do you favor the inclusion of trailers on a DVD?

[Michael_Felsher] Can't really comment on most of those titles...rights issues as you know. We always try to include trailers whenever possible on our DVDs.

[PatrickMcCart] I only own one of your discs, but I still find it a superb work (Evil Dead: Book of the Dead edition). You really put a lot of good work into the DVDs where it counts... as for my question...VidAmerica released two Robert Youngson films, "The Golden Age of Comedy" and "When Comedy Was King" to VHS. Video Treasures released the Laurel & Hardy feature films with special features on VHS. I heard that VA and VT later became Anchor Bay... would you still have the rights to these titles for DVD?

[Michael_Felsher] Actually no those have long since expired. There were a lot of titles back in the old Video Treasures days I wish we still had. Some do manage to come back around to us though.

[Esten] Any chance of wrangling the rights for "Phantasm" II and III and "The People Under The Stairs" away from Universal? Also,any chance of a "Return To Oz" Special Edition? Thanks.

[Michael_Felsher] Well I wouldn't call it "wrangling" for one...hehe. Like I said, we have a good relationship with Universal, so anything's possible. RETURN TO OZ will not be revisited at this time though.

[NickGraham] My brain has started functioning again...since you have a good relationship with Raimi and co, and chance of the cult favorite series "American Gothic"? Also, any word on Carpenter cult classics like Prince of Darkness or They Live

[Michael_Felsher] We've asked about all those a great deal. Nothing so far though.

[JeffKleist] What ever happened with Angel's Egg? It was on your list awhile back.

[Michael_Felsher] That was a tangled situation, as it was part of a film we have the rights to called IN THE AFTERMATH...however we don't have the rights to release it uncut independently, which is why you haven't seen it.

[ThomasC] Any chance of releasing more Spaghetti Westerns or more Euro Crime flicks on DVD? Thanks

[Michael_Felsher] Currently we don't have any of those lined up for release, but we are always keeping our options open for more should the opportunity arise.

[Justin_S] Hi, any chance that you will ever be able to release Michele Soavi's THE SECT or the 90s horror comedy HIGHWAY TO HELL? Also, wil the Hills Have Eyes SE have a commentary?

[Michael_Felsher] Those two are not available currently here in the US to us. As for a HILLS commentary, we are planning one with Wes Craven (schedule permitting) and possibly another one as well. DAY OF THE DEAD which is our biggest release ever will have two commentaries incidentally.

[Michael_Nelson] Rumor has it that AB is trying to get away from the Euro Horror genre because they haven't released any in a while. Any truth to this? Any plans for more Paul Naschy films?

[Michael_Felsher] This is one rumor that has surprised us. At no point have we decided to abandon Euro-Horror...and in fact we have contacted Mr. Naschy about some of his films, however it is still way too early to say if anything will happen. If anyone else in the chat room today has any questions related to rumors they've heard about Anchor Bay, please mention them now. This is a great opportunity to clear the air and get the facts out there.

[Dave_Molinarolo] With Season 1 of Xena just recently release and Season 1 of Hercules coming up next month, along with Season 2 of Highlander coming in late July, has Anchor Bay determined the intervals of subsequent seasons of Xena, Hercules, and Highlander?

[Michael_Felsher] Yes Dave you can expect new seasons of each show roughly every 4-5 months. Xena Season 2 is due in September and Highlander S2 in July. Hercules Season One is in June then Season 2 right around Thanksgiving.

[KyleMcKnight] I'd also like to thak you participating in this chat. We all appreciate it. I was hoping you could let us in on any info you have on Disney letting you release any sets of their TV showings, such as Even Stevens or any movies such as Airborne and/or Tru Confessions...? I'd really love some of the shows going on on the Disney channel these days (including replays of Boy Meets World (which I'd love along with The Wonder Years) and Even Stevens). I'm nearly 23, but young at heart I guess. I look forwared to any release.

[Michael_Felsher] Right now we've not had any discussions with Disney on those titles you mention, but maybe in the future something can happen. Thanks Kyle.

[TerryW] Any chance for these TV Series as DVD Season Sets: Moonlighting, Darkroom, Tales from the Darkside, Freddie's Nightmares or Twilight Zone (1980's version)?

[Michael_Felsher] With all the increase in TV sets on DVD it is harder to acquire titles like that for DVD, though we are always pursuing them.

[BrianG] One of my favorite all time Christmas favorites "Yogi's First Christmas" any chance of obtaining this and "Killer Party" as well?

[Michael_Felsher] Yogi's First Christmas...well I can honestly say that I did not expect to be asked about that one tonight. I think that one is with a studio. Killer Party I will look into.

[ChristopherBlig] any chance for Nighthawks, Frank Langella's Dracula or any other Avco Embassy Pictures titles on DVD?

[Michael_Felsher] NIGHTHAWKS and DRACULA aren't forthcoming currently though the Avco/Embassy titles you speak of...you can expect a special edition of ROAD GAMES next month, and we are working on a few others from the old Avco/Embassy line, but can't mention them at this time. I miss Avco/Embassy.

[ThomasC] Most of my questions have been answered tonight the only thing left is could you give any if at all details about the upcoming Dawn Of The Dead Set? Will Doccument Of The Dead be included, cast commentary? thanks again and goodnight. :)

[Michael_Felsher] DAWN is something that is being kept under wraps at this point. All I can say is that when it is released it will be worth the wait...and then some.

[TimBarnes] Any chance of John Carpenter's Escape from New York S.E.

[Michael_Felsher] Oh I wish...but no that one is coming from someone else.

[Dave_H] you released my science project in 99? and i noticed a reissue instores. why is it only pan and scan this time, or is it actually full screen and the widescreen was just cropped for 2:35 on the old release? or is it just a missprint? any plans to make a new one or does everyone hate it.

[Michael_Felsher] We released a Full Frame Version of it recently for a retailer that wanted it, but the widescreen version is still out there. We don't have plans though to revisit the title though in the future.

[Peter_M_Fitzgerald] One further title suggestion, from Studio Canal's catalog (via their Polygram holdings): THE MAN FROM HONG KONG (1975, a.k.a. "THE DRAGON FLIES") Jimmy Wang Yu vs. George "James Bond" Lazenby and Sammo Hung! Plus the mid-1970s hit "Sky High" is the movie's theme song! Thanks much for DEAD OF NIGH/QUEEN OF SPADES and the upcoming ROAD GAMES!

[Michael_Felsher] Thanks Peter! MAN FROM HONG KONG is a cool title. We have two other Brian Trenchard-Smith titles coming in October. DEAD-END DRIVE IN and ESCAPE 2000... in fact ESCAPE 2000 is going to be a very nice special edition, and will be restored to its uncut form from the only remaining uncut negative in the world.

[JustinW] Getting back to TV on DVD, have you guys ever looked into acquiring the rights to the show ROSWELL?

[Michael_Felsher] Not available unfortunately. Very underrated show though.

[AlStuart] Since Region 2 is getting an Evil Dead box set which includes the short film WIthin the Woods, are there any plans to try to get the rights to it? And also Repulsion?

[Michael_Felsher] Evil Dead...Well first of all they aren't releasing WITHIN THE WOODS, that is definately not going to happen. And unfortunately while they are able to release a box set there, we can't do the same here. Not that we really need to release another EVIL DEAD DVD at this point...but I am sure someone else is going to ask about that :)

[TerryW] How about George Romero's Season of the Witch/Jack's Wife/There's Always Vanilla? Titles I've never had a chance to see. Thanks again for coming.

[Michael_Felsher] Those are titles we've inquired about.. Biggest problem is finding elements...but its not because of a lack of interest here.

[Paul_Hampton] Are AB's manufacturing problems now under control, and will MARK OF THE DEVIL get a release here?

[Michael_Felsher] I believe you are referring to the problem we had around the release of OPERA a couple of years back, which affected that title and some others run around the same time. Yes that problem has been long resolved and there have been no repeat occurences of it since. We have an excellent replicator and authoring house and they were quick to act and solve the problem. MARK OF THE DEVIL is not planned for re-release right now.

[richardsmith] Any plans for a special editon of Prom Night or the Seduction with Morgan Fairchild?

[Michael_Felsher] Not currently Richard, but there is a chance of PROM NIGHT at some point.

[ChristopherBlig] the titles DC Cab and Silver Dream Racer come to mind.. any chance on DVD for them? Thank you again Michael and Ronald and Parker, too!

[Michael_Felsher] Ah DC CAB...not now unfortunately. A commentary by Mr T. and Joel Schumacher would be an interesting experience.

[RonEpstein] Parker and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Felsher for taking the time to join us tonight. We'd also like to thank all of you for being here as well.

[ParkerClack] Michael good to see you again.

[Michael_Felsher] Thanks for having me, and I make this promise to everyone...no more ARMY OF DARKNESS DVDs.

Session Close: Tue May 20 22:50:46 2003

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