Anchor Bay, Tartan Try on Blu14 Sep, 2007 By: Billy Gil
Two independent distributors — Tartan Video USA and Starz Home Entertainment's Anchor Bay Entertainment — are plunging into the growing pool of studios releasing Blu-ray Discs.
Oct. 2, horror purveyor Anchor Bay releases John Carpenter's Halloween, George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, and Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II, as well as volumes one and two of the “Masters of Horror” series. All titles are $29.97 each.
All releases include Anchor Bay Blu-ray previews, presented in high-definition. The single films (apart from “Masters of Horror”) include the special feature “Fast Film Facts,” exclusive to the Blu-ray releases.
Starz Home Entertainment president Bill Clark announced the upcoming release of “Masters of Horror” on Blu-ray in June, during the sixth annual Home Entertainment Summit: DVD & Beyond in Century City, Calif.
Additionally, Tartan Video USA will enter the Blu-ray arena with a Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo release of the cult classic Oldboy Nov. 6 (prebook Sept. 25).
Oldboy is Tartan's first official U.S. Blu-ray Disc announcement. Tartan U.K. also is releasing Black Book and The Seventh Seal on Blu-ray Disc, in addition to Oldboy.“To go with Blu-ray was a no-brainer for Tartan,” said Hamish McAlpine, founder and owner of Tartan Video, calling the format “superior to HD DVD.”
The Korean-language film, the second in director Chan-woo Park's “Vengeance Trilogy,” was touted by director Quentin Tarantino at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize. For $34.95, consumers get the Blu-ray Disc, which has three commentaries and deleted scenes (standard definition) with optional commentary, as well as the standard-definition DVD, which has five behind-the-scenes featurettes, cast and crew interviews, and the featurette “Le Grand Prix at Cannes.”
Oldboy previously was available in a single-disc DVD release and a three-disc special-edition release in a collectible tin that included more featurettes (the third disc's material is still available only on that limited-edition release).
Tony Borg, president of Tartan Video USA, said the distributor may release more copies of the special edition of Oldboy in first-quarter 2008. That's around the time it plans to release the third film in the “Vengeance Trilogy,” Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, in a special-edition DVD. Borg said the first film in the series, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, also will likely get the special-edition DVD treatment.
Borg said the company was “going to see what happens” with Oldboy before determining future Blu-ray releases.
“Oldboy is probably the highest-profile film for Tartan USA,” Borg said. “It'll be really exciting to see how it does through the holidays.”