HIVE EXCLUSIVE: Filmmaker Lustig Guides Anchor Bay Special DVDs6 Jul, 2001 By: Ralph Tribbey
Film editor, writer, producer, actor and director William Lustig is a truerenaissance man. He's also added the role of DVD producer to his repertoire.
“My company serves Anchor Bay Entertainment as both a licensor of mostly Euro genre films, notably the Hammer, Fulci, Argento and spaghetti Western collections, and as an independent producer of about 90% of their DVDs,” Lustig told Video Store Magazine in an exclusive interview.
“As DVD producer, we supervise the entire process from finding the best film elements for transfer to the DVD bonus materials,” he said. “It's an exhausting, often frustrating job but the mostly positive response we get from DVD fans and critics keeps my staff and I energized.”
For the month of August, Lustig has teamed with Anchor Bay to whip up a fresh batch of DVD treats, including the release of his own cult horrorclassic Maniac, as well as the debut film for both director John Landis andfive-time Oscar winner Rick Baker, Schlock.
The seven-strong selection streets Aug. 21 (prebook July 24).
For Maniac (1980), which stars 007 Bond girl Caroline Munro (The Spy WhoLoved Me) and Joe Spinell, film director Lustig not only provides a commentary track but is joined by makeup effects artist Tom Savini, editorLorenzo Marinelli, and Spinell's assistant, Luke Walter.
“As a filmmaker, commentaries are a catharsis for me to express all my innermost thoughts about my films,” Lustig said. “During the recording, I try to be unguarded in the hope that my experiences, positive and negative, might inspire others.”
Priced at $24.98, the Maniac DVD is presented widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16x9 and features 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX, 6.1 DTS and Dolby 2.0 English audio options, plus 2.0 Dolby tracks for both French and Spanish, and Spanish subtitles. A limited edition version priced at $39.98 comespackaged in a tin container and contains a bonus CD featuring the film'soriginal score by Jay Chattaway.
Bonus features for both the regular and limited edition versions include a newly minted 49-minute documentary titled "The Joe Spinell Story"; a radio interview with Lustig, Spinell and Munro; plus theatrical, television and radio spots.
“Maniac's picture and audio have been fully restored using state-of-the-art technology,” Lustig says. “However, what is personally important for me isDavid Gregory's documentary 'The Joe Spinell Story,'" a heart-wrenching, true story of an immensely talented, kindhearted person who tragically succumbedto his demons. “Joe, who starred in my film as well as appeared in Rocky,The Godfather I and The Godfather II, was my friend from the mid-70s until his death in January 1989.”
Also making a DVD bow in August is famed director John Landis' first film,Schlock, which also launched the career of reigning makeup king Rick Baker and the film's star, Eliza Garrett. She is better known now as Eliza Roberts, wife and often co-star of Eric Roberts, having teamed with him in no fewer than 10 films.
Priced at $19.98, the Schlock DVD features commentary from writer-director Landis and Baker, plus the film's original theatrical trailer, radio spots and a specially prepared still gallery.