Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DVD/Blu-ray updates: Corman films and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD!

By Michael Gingold
We first broke the news here about the updated schedule for the many Roger Corman DVDs and Blu-rays coming from Shout! Factory this year, and now we’ve got an update courtesy of disc supplement producer Michael R. Felsher. He’s currently putting together extras for a few of those titles, and gave Fango the first word on what to expect from them.

First and foremost is GALAXY OF TERROR, Bruce D. Clark’s 1981 space shocker that’s notorious for featuring a rape by giant maggot, and for being an early credit of AVATAR’s James Cameron (who served as art director and, according to some, directed portions of the film as well). It has never been on U.S. DVD before, and Felsher tells us, “The new transfer is a beauty, and will thrill folks who have seen the old Embassy VHS version over the years.”

Shout!’s disc is set to arrive July 20, and Felsher has been racking up a host of on-camera interviews for it. “We’re reaching out to practically everyone who worked on this film in one form or another,” he says. “It’s amazing how many well-known genre directors, special effects creators and actors worked on this thing. There are so many great stories about GALAXY’s production, and so far we’ve received nothing but positive feedback from folks willing to sit down and discuss the movie—and yes, that even includes some rather big names associated with the movie who went on to considerable success afterward.”

There will be plenty of visual material supplementing their discussions as well. “I’m compiling as many lobby cards, posters, stills and behind-the-scenes photos as possible,” the producer continues. “This movie is a truly unique entry in the ’80s sci-fi canon, and we’re doing everything we can to fill this DVD to the brim.”

At the same time, Felsher is also busy with new DVDs of another pair of Corman-produced favorites, Paul Bartel’s original 1975 flick DEATH RACE 2000 and Jimmy T. Murakami’s 1980 hit BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS. “I can’t be too specific, but we’re definitely adding new special features to the upcoming reissues of these titles,” he says. “On DEATH RACE in particular, we have a lot of behind-the-scenes stories that haven’t been told yet.”

DEATH RACE drives in June 22 on both DVD and Blu-ray, while BATTLE lands September 7 on DVD. Coming a little sooner is another DVD Felsher contributed to, Lionsgate’s reissue of the supernaturally tinged 1986 car-chase flick THE WRAITH, which streets March 2. “We have a commentary by writer/director Mike Marvin, as well as a new on-camera interview with him,” Felsher reports. “[Co-star] Clint Howard gave us a wonderful on-camera chat for his featurette as well, and fans will really love that. He’s a great guy to talk with! The final featurette has interviews with the film’s stunt and transportation coordinators, who discuss the infamous Turbo Interceptor vehicle and the dangerous stunts. Turns out the car used in the movie is housed just a few miles from my apartment in Detroit. I knew living here would work out!”

And as if all that weren’t enough, Felsher is also getting started on the extras for George A. Romero’s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, for which a disc street date has yet to be determined. “As with DIARY OF THE DEAD, I was on set from day one till the final take,” he reveals, “and I hope to include a ton of exclusive interviews and footage on the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray. If everything goes to plan, it will be very different in many ways from some of the docus I’ve previously done. But work is just now beginning, so we shall see what is to come!” Stay tuned for further updates on all these titles, and click here to check out the official website of Felsher’s Red Shirt Pictures.


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