kitparkerfilms

Posts Tagged ‘horror movies

Sins

The following movies were eventually released on good quality DVD’s:

 

APACHE RIFLES (Admiral-Fox/1964)

Picture and sound track were a jumbled mess. Technician at VCI eventually matched everything up.  (I still owe someone a steak dinner!)

 

THE COWBOY (Lippert/1954)

35mm color negative ruined by mold. Used 16mm color “EK” (print from the original color negative) for the DVD.  Black and white duplicate negative and color “separation negatives” survive.  BTW, I had a blast producing the commentary track with the authentic old cowboys who were the stars of the film.

 

THE GLASS TOMB (Hammer-Lippert/1955)

Original 35mm material missing. Used 35mm release print borrowed from the British Film Archive

 

THE GREAT JESSE JAMES RAID (Lippert/1954)

35mm color material missing. Used a 16mm color “EK.” 35mm black and white negative survives.

 

LIKE IT IS (Psychedelic Fever) (Lima/1968)

Missing sound track. Used audio from a bootleg VHS bought on eBay.  Sometimes pirates serve a useful purpose!

 

MAN BEAST (API/1956)

Master 35mm material was cut for release in the UK and the excised scenes scrapped. Used missing footage found in a 35mm US release print.  Scenes that were deleted prior to its US theatrical release were found in a Spanish dubbed print and are included as a Special Feature on the DVD.

 

MASSACRE (Lippert-Fox/1956)

Color camera negative survived – without titles. Used titles off a like-new 1956 16mm color print I bought from a collector on eBay.  Not the first time a film collector has saved the day.

 

MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR (Palo Alto-Lippert/1954)

35mm sound track decomposed. Used track from 16mm Armed Forces negative, which was longer than the theatrical release version. Extra scenes are part of the DVD special features.

 

MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (Republic/1941)

Nitrate picture and track negative decomposed. Used a “fine grain” master print borrowed from the British Film Institute

 

OUTLAW WOMEN (Howco/1952)

Original 35mm Cinecolor material decomposed. Used mint 35mm Cinecolor print

 

SEA DEVILS (Coronado-RKO/1953)

Combined 3-strip Technicolor negatives located at Technicolour in London and restored by Canal+, owner of Eastern Hemisphere distribution rights.

 

SHOTGUN (Champion-Allied Artists/1955)

Badly faded camera negative was all that survived. VCI technician was able to bring the color back to life in a tedious process of correcting the color scene by scene. (Another steak dinner, this one due Doug at Film and Video Transfers)

 

SINS OF JEZEBEL (Lippert/1954)

Original 35mm color negative missing. Used mint 35mm AnscoColor print labeled “Roadshow Version”.  Could find no difference between the Roadshow and Regular release; not surprising given its penurious producer, Robert L. Lippert.   Note:  Fortunately AnscoColor, unlike widely used Eastman Color, does not tend to fade.

 

STRANGER ON HORSEBACK (Goldstein-UA/1955)

No color film elements known to exist. Used 35mm AnscoColor release print borrowed from the British Film Institute.  16mm black and white negative survives.

 

THUNDER IN CAROLINA (Howco/1962)

As with “Apache Rifles,” picture and sound track were a jumbled mess. Technician at VCI eventually matched everything up.  (Guess I owe three steak dinners.)

To order on DVD, visit our site –

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Medallion had some good movies, and some junk.  I purchased the Medallion TV Enterprises library in 2008.

John Hertz Ettlinger (1924-1993) served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during WWII, and began his show business career as the manager of a movie theatre in New York.  His entrée into television was as a salesman for KTLA in Los Angeles; he subsequently co-owned KUDO in Las Vegas.

In 1954 he formed television syndicator, Medallion TV Enterprises, and operated it until his death.  Ettlinger was the grandson of John D. Hertz, founder of the largest cab company (Yellow Cab in Chicago), and Hertz Car Rental.  In his files I could only find one time John Hertz Ettlinger used his middle name, “Hertz,” preferring the made-up initial “A” for an unknown reason.

His heyday was in the 1960s when his top money-makers were the John Wayne/Batjac collection including “High and the Mighty” (WB/1954), a series of Italian sword and sandal “epics” that were inexplicably popular at the time, and a collection of grade-B and C horror films, including those produced by the infamous Jerry Warren, that seemed to appear on every Creature Features in the country.

Ettlinger proudly displayed his Beverly Hills address on the business stationery, he said he was one of the founders and an Associate Member of NATPE (National Association of Broadcasters) and MIP-TV, this gave him plenty of tax write-off’s for his many trips to Europe, particularly Cannes, where he was a fixture at the annual festival (and even died there!.)  Given Ettlinger’s presumed wealth, Medallion might have been equal parts hobby and business, particularly during the 1980s when TV syndication had declined precipitously.

In the early years of Medallion, Ettlinger produced short programming and commercials.  He made deals with producers to rep their libraries to television for a sales commission.  Years later, whenever possible, he purchased the copyrights to the pictures he had only represented.  This was a particularly good move — not only was he relieved of paying royalties for television, but a new and unanticipated cash cow came along later…home video…free of royalties.

Medallion’s first offerings were known as the “Governor Westerns.” [Somebody please tell me what those were].  In 1959 the company started to take off with a batch of Jack Broder productions, “Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla” (Realart/1951), etc., a series of 1940s PRC “Billy the Kid” westerns starring Buster Crabbe, a few Hal Roach features such as “Captain Caution” (UA/1940).  His  crown jewel was “A Walk in the Sun” (Fox/1945).

As the years went by Medallion would lose libraries and pick up others.

He earned a reputation, mostly undeserved, as someone who attempted to resurrect copyrights to movies that may have been in the public domain by adding copyright “©” symbols to his movies that did not originally appear on general release.  His files show that when this was done inappropriately, the Copyright Office indeed rejected the applications.  I didn’t add any of those movies to my library.

Renewing someone else’s copyright at the very end of the last year of initial copyright protection was an illegal way that pirates would secure copyright renewals to pictures they didn’t own, something I had heard for decades that Ettlinger was guilty of.

However, Ettlinger’s secretary was fastidious about sending paperwork to Medallion’s Washington DC copyright law firm to register or renew copyrights.   Although the secretary may have sent in the requests in September, October and November, for example, the law firm often waited until December to submit renewals to the Copyright Office.  An odd, suspicious, and I’d say risky, way of renewing copyrights, but Ettlinger never threw away a piece of paper, and the correspondence between him and his attorney’s show that he acted above board in such situations.

Ettlinger also purchased abandoned negatives from laboratories in a variation of “Storage Wars.”  This was for the physical elements only, with no rights conveyed.  However, again borne out by my examination of the Medallion files, in order to clear title, Ettlinger subsequently purchased copyrights from the producers or financiers (often The Walter E. Heller Co. and Ideal Factoring) who foreclosed on bankrupt pictures.

In 1993 John Ettlinger died, and the assets of his company were sold to Parasol Group Limited, which Nathan Sassover controlled.  Sassover proceeded to market the Medallion Library, and augmented it by producing various TV series of varying quality by adding new matter to footage in the public domain as with his “Drama Classics” and “The 40s.”  He also produced wholly original productions, including “The Adventures of Dynamo Duck.”  Apparently the programs sold very well in Europe until the public domain issue came to light, and licensees realized they paid a lot of money for very little exclusive programming.

Parasol then sold to Applause Networks, Inc. which became Internet Broadcast Networks, Inc., later known as, Mediacom Entertainment, Inc., and Sassover became CEO, President and Secretary of Mediacom.  [Maybe two people care about this, but I’ll go on]  Mediacom sold to Branded Media, which was financed by Group III Capital, Inc.

Neither Branded or Group III were very familiar with the motion picture and television business.  Impressed with Mediacom’s balance sheet, they were unaware  that a large percentage of the library was essentially in the public domain, or to which distribution rights had reverted to the producers.

Group III claimed there was a diversion of funds by Parasol, Sassover and another man, and sued.  They were awarded treble damages ($7,900,236) plus interest and attorney’s fees.  I found no evidence that Group III received any of that money.

Subsequently, Branded sold the library to EMN Acquisition Corp., which was in the business of placing advertising at airports.  They knew even less of the business than Branded Media.

In 2007 I wanted to repatriate negatives to three movies produced by John Champion (brother of Gower);  “Hellgate” (Lippert/1951), “Panhandle” (AA/1948) and “Shotgun” (AA/1955).  A fourth, “Dragonfly Squadron” (AA/1954), was sought by Jeff Joseph of SabuCat Productions, who wanted to restore it in 3D.

The problem was a $250,000 storage bill at FilmBond in Burbank CA, where thousands of reels of Medallion material, including the Champion movies, had languished for many years.  It took a year to eventually gain release of those materials, and that is how I was introduced to EMN, who made a pennies-on-the-dollar deal with FilmBond for the release of all of the elements.

In 2008 I purchased the library from EMN, and VCI Entertainment has released most on DVD.  I gave the public domain material, plus the negative to “Dragonfly Squadron,” and the thousands of cans of film that was either in the public domain, or where rights had previously expired, to Jeff Joseph of SabuCat Productions.

The following makes up most of the Kit Parker Films Medallion TV Enterprises Collection, some of which have territorial restrictions.

 

Actors and Sin
Assault of the Rebel Girls aka Cuban Rebel Girls
Attack of the Mayan Mummy
Breakdown
Celebrity Billiards
The Crawling Hand
Creature of the Walking Dead
Curse of the Stone Hand
Death on the Four Poster
Dinah East
Escape from Sahara
Eye Witness aka Your Witness
Fabulous Fraud
Farmer’s Daughter
Four Fast Guns
Four in a Jeep
Gay Intruders
House of Black Death
How to Succeed with Girls
I’ll See You in Hell
Island of Desire
Jungle Hell
Let’s Live Again
Love From Paris
Man Beast
Monster From the Ocean Floor
Moscow Nights aka Les nuits Moscovites
Nature Girl and the Slaver
Nine Miles to Noon
Nylon Noose
Outlaw Women
Panhandle
Passport for a Corpse
The Rebel Son aka Rebel Son of Tarus Bulba
Sea Devils
Serpent Island
Slasher aka Cosh Boy
Slime People
Sputnik
Summer Run
Summer Storm
Thunder in Carolina
Twilight Women aka Another Chance aka Women of Twilight
Two Colonels
Uncle Vanya
Untamed Women
Violent and the Damned
Wall of Fury
Wild World of Batwoman
Yesterday and Today

*These titles were distributed by Medallion; I purchased them from the producers.

To order on DVDs, visit our site –

www.sprocketvault.com

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The Fiend Without a Face…

 

 

 

…became Richard Gordon’s most well known movie, but most film fans do not know his name because he generally didn’t take a screen credit.  On the other hand, classic horror movie fans know him well as the producer of “The First Man Into Space,” “The Haunted Strangler,” “Corridors of Blood,” and many others.

I first met Richard Gordon over 30 years ago when he sold rights to one of my movies.  He began Gordon Films, Inc. in 1949 as an international sales agent importing and exporting films to the United States, and was still going strong over 60 years later.   He was the consummate film fan, particularly of movies from the 1930s, who knew every bit player as if they were family members.   During that time he produced two dozen, mostly horror movies, and was the last person living who had worked with both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.  Dick was working on a deal to sell a few of my movies to England when he was stricken a few months ago.

Dick was born in England in 1925, and was a textbook example of an English gentleman; reserved, articulate, private, well spoken, respectful, cultured (he had an amazing art collection,) mannerly (the type who would stand up when a lady got up from the table), and a canny businessman.  He upheld a custom, from an era of long ago, of hanging up pictures of his clients on the wall behind his desk.  But there was a lot more to Richard Gordon.

Dick and his friend Joe Cattuti, were devoted to each other, and the two of them travelled around the world for half a century.  Dick and Joe, and my wife, Donna, and I, had dinners with them which always lasted over 3 hours.  Joe and Donna would talk about all kinds of things, but it always started out about fashions.  Dick and I focused on movies: How it was going to the movies as a child in England; how he and his brother, Alex*, asked strangers to accompany them into horror movies (there was an “H,” for horror, rating which excluded youngsters from attending without an adult,) his time in the British Navy in WWII where he learned German (and how it helped him in business), how his father, whose favorite movie was “The Thief of Bagdad” (1924), hated his own job and encouraged his sons to go to America and give a shot at their passion.

I asked him what he thought about the fact that each of his movies entertained millions.  He looked bemused and responded, “Well, not quite millions.”   I defended my math:  First there were movie theatres, then countless airings on TV, and later cable, satellite, VHS, DVD, and now video on demand…all around the world.  He paused for a few seconds and the look on his face told me he had never actually thought of it that way before. (Tens of millions would be more like it.)  

One year I met him in Pittsburg at a horror convention where lots of old movies are shown, and old stars would sit in a room and autograph stills for a fee.  On the flight there I thought to myself that it would be completely out of character for Dick to charge for an autograph;  that he’d find it undignified, as well as disrespectful to his fans.  When I got there he was signing autographs, and not only didn’t charge for them, he provided the stills.   

Richard Gordon, a class act.

 

If you can only read one book over the next year, let it be “The Horror Hits of Richard Gordon”

http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Hits-Richard-Gordon/dp/1593936419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320263427&sr=8-1

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-richard-gordon-20111103,0,4233442.story

http://www.dvdjournal.com/reviews/f/fiendwithoutaface.shtml

Richard Gordon’s producer-brother, Alex, also had an interesting life in the movies…and was a great guy!:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0329966/ 

 

Visit our website to order DVDs from the Kit Parker Films Collection –

www.sprocketvault.com

Keep up to date with our new Sprocket Vault releases by liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sprocketvault/

Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHjjG-o5Ny5BDykgVBzdrQ .

“Bombproof,” in equestrian jargon, is a horse that can be put into any situation, remain calm, and persevere until the job is done perfectly.

Author Tom Weaver is just that way with interviews.  The ones he’s conducted with horror movie stars, directors and producers, throughout a couple of dozen books…are all winners.  He bats a thousand.

His latest, “The Horror Films of Richard Gordon” (BearManor Media, 2011), just came out, and I can’t wait to get my copy.  A Weaver/Gordon combo is guaranteed to be a page-turner.

Out of many interviews, there have been occasions when the interviewees are problems…want to give only “yes and no” answers, are boring, senile, or even drunk!  Even if all four, and the house is on fire, Tom somehow perseveres.  He prepares in advance, and works harder conducting interviews than anyone I’ve known.  He just makes it look so eeeeasy.

I first met Tom a few years ago when he agreed to come from his home in Sleepy Hollow,New York, toLos Angeles, and conduct interview/commentary tracks for one of my “Positively No Refunds” DVD double-features.  I’ve met him a couple of times since, and he’s always comes across as a warm, thoughtful, teddy-bearish sort of guy…quick-witted, a master of plays on words…with a radio voice.  He loves to wear comfortable clothes (I’ve never seen him in anything other than well-worn shorts and t-shirts,) and eat comfort food (packs more cholesterol in a day than most people do in a week, maybe two).

Now that I’ve introduced the Tom I know, the movies on the “No Refunds” DVD are “Bride and the Beast” (1958) and “White Gorilla” (1945).   Charlotte Austin, star of “Bride” was one of the participants, along with beloved science fiction movie icon, Bob Burns.  Both movies had “gorillas” in them, and for those who don’t know, Bob is the expert on movie gorillas. “Bride” bit-player Slick Slavin (Trustin Howard) also joined them. Tom didn’t need to worry about bomb-proofing with this group…just wind them up and let ‘em roll.  The funniest commentary tracks I’ve produced so far!

People ask me how I come up with those witty descriptions of my movies on the back of DVD covers.  The answer is easy…I don’t write them – Tom Weaver does.

The Horror Hits of Richard Gordon:

http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Hits-Richard-Gordon/dp/1593936419/ref=sr_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306199227&sr=1-19

Other Tom Weaver interview books:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_21?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=tom+weaver+interviews&sprefix=tom+weaver+interviews

Charlotte Austin’s Filmography:

http://www.fandango.com/charlotteaustin/filmography/p2878

Bob Burns’ web site:

http://bobburns.mycottage.com/

 

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Visit our website to order DVDs from the Kit Parker Films Collection –

www.sprocketvault.com

Keep up to date with our new Sprocket Vault releases by liking us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sprocketvault/

Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHjjG-o5Ny5BDykgVBzdrQ


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