I didn’t find any new movies worth mentioning, but Roger Corman’s Sci-Fi Classics could be entertaining if you haven’t seen them. This set has 3 movies from 1957/1958, Not of This Earth which he remade twice afterwords, the first remake being Traci Lord’s first non-porn film filled with all the expected nudity, Attack of the Crab Monsters, and War of the Satellites. These have been unavailable to fans except for really poor copies for quite a while, and are worth studying for anyone interested in making good movies on extremely limited budgets. You should read Glenn Erickson’s review over at DVD Talk for a detailed understanding of what each of these films are.
I normally don’t talk about DVD production companies here, but I thought I should mention Shout Factory, because I really like what they are doing these days. They are the ones who are releasing Roger Corman’s Sci-Fi Classics this week, along with a TV program I had about given up on seeing on the shelves, Dark Skies: The Declassified Complete Series from 1996. Dark Skies was arguably the best UFO Conspiracy TV series ever made, as long as the argument was that the X-Files covered a lot of stuff that had nothing to do with UFO Conspiracies, so it lacked the same focus. So that’s two genre sets in one week that lots of folks, including myself, have been eagerly awaiting. And that’s not the first time they have done this; back in August I went absolutely nuts when they released Max Headroom, the full American series. I had given up ever seeing that one come out by the end of the ’90s, and because of the impossible licensing issues involved I still doubt we will ever see the UK version of the show, also staring Matt Frewer as Edison Carter, released anywhere. I believe I also mentioned them when I found out they were planing to release ReBoot this March, one of my favorite western animation series and a direct conceptual descendant of TRON. And if that doesn’t cement their geek cred, come April they are releasing The Ernie Kovacs Collection, containing the majority of the surviving footage of television’s first and most important genius.
There are a few other TV shows being released this week, including Merlin: The Complete Second Season, which is licensed in the US to air on NBC. I first stumbled upon this show while channel surfing, hitting a random episode somewhere in season two, and not being overly impressed. Then a friend of mine talked me into watching it with her starting with the first episode of season 1, which was streaming on Netflix. Surprising how a show makes so much more sense when you see it in order, and I was quite drawn in as they introduced the characters and set the premises. I will avoid going into any rants about how Fox used that fact to kill Firefly, or any comments about how you can watch Doctor Who in any order you like, since he isn’t doing it sequentially either. Not being a Horror fan, I don’t know anything about the show Nite Tales: The Series, but it is also being released this week.
For Anime selections this time around, we have Kampfer – Complete Collection, a bit of a gender bender of a magical girl story, and Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, where brain wiped assassins struggle to escape their masters and remember who they are. It is being released in two packages, parts 1 and 2, on the same day. It appears to have the better animation and pithier story, but I am not sure that trading the instant gratification of not having to wait to find out what happens is worth the higher price of having to buy two box sets at once. They should have included the option of a single Complete Collection box set at a reduced total price, for those who are sure they want the entire thing right out of the gate. If you don’t know if you want this in your collection, you can watch the subbed version online before making your decision.