Horror of Dracula DVD

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Mr Lee has no plans in participating on this DVD. It is a "No, Never".

For Mr Lee to participate in a DVD, never mind coming up with his fees, there has to be a highly professional production team behind the project at the very least. The initial plans are enough for him to use his diplomatic phrase "Make an offer to my agent and we'll get back to you if it is of interest". This is not "Jinnah" or "The Wicker Man", films for which he would do almost anything.



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Then we just have to respect that. Otherwise that the film is gonna come out on DVD is great news:)



Alfonso Casal's picture
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First of all, let me say that it's great news that this film is going to come out in DVD format. The video and audio quality will, almost by definition, be so much better than anything we've seen so far.

However, let me anticipate what, I'm sure, many people will say: "Oh it's a pity Christopher Lee isn't doing a commentary track on this film, etc., etc." Actually, it's not that great of a pity, or all that much of a loss.

From what I've gathered the people behind this release are not going about it in a very professional way -- and CL is not going to lend his time and name to a product that isn't first-class. But, more importantly, what is it that Christopher Lee could say about (Horror of) Dracula that he hasn't already said a thousand times before? It's not as though this is some obscure or "lost" movie. This film has been commented on ad infinitum. Moreover, anything that Christopher Lee would have to say about HoD is readily available in many different media. In fact, get the DVD of Dracula, Prince of Darkness. There you'll find an excellent commentary track where Mr. Lee speaks as much about HoD as he does the instant film.

Now, if a certain film distribution company hadn't sat on their butts for 20 years and, in the 80s or early 90s, given us a laser disc of this film that included commentary by Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Terence Fisher (I'm sorry, I forget the date of Mr. Fisher's passing) then that would have been a far different story. But who's fault was that?

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:confused: He'll do commentary for almost every Anchor Bay DVD of the Dracula movies after "Horror" but not of the best one? I find that odd. In fact there must be more to that then meets the eye. If MGM is doing it, and not anchor Bay, they must hav emore cash to spare than Anchor Bay who, as much as I love their work and service to the masses of cult movie fans, aren't exactly sitting on a goldmine, whereas we have MGM, who should be more than willing to put up any amount (or Lee's working price) for his involvement, for as we all know, any involvement on Lee's part on ANY DVD, be it "Scars of Dracula" to "The Wicker Man" is well worth it.



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Quote:
Anchor Bay who, as much as I love their work and service to the masses of cult movie fans, aren't exactly sitting on a goldmine, whereas we have MGM, who should be more than willing to put up any amount (or Lee's working price) for his involvement

I believe it is Warner Bros and not MGM who will be releasing it, money doesn't come on to the equation when it comes to Dracula. The most important factor isn't there.

Anchor Bay may not be sitting in a gold mine but they have more important qualities.



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Quote:

:confused: He'll do commentary for almost every Anchor Bay DVD of the Dracula movies after "Horror" but not of the best one? I find that odd. In fact there must be more to that then meets the eye. If MGM is doing it, and not  anchor Bay, they must hav emore cash to spare than Anchor Bay who, as much as I love their work and service to the masses of cult movie fans, aren't exactly sitting on a goldmine, whereas we have MGM, who should be more than willing to put up any amount (or Lee's working price) for his involvement, for as we all know, any involvement on Lee's part on ANY DVD, be it "Scars of Dracula" to "The Wicker Man" is well worth it.

I think the point is that Warner Bros. isn't interested in spending the necessary time, effort, and yes money, to produce a first-class product. Oh, and by the way, your screen name isn't funny and comes very close to being extremely offensive and obscene.



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It may not be a good idea to let GUESTS post in the forum. Just a thought. I can just see someone posting in the name of "BrotherDaveBlowsChunks" now.

I am glad to hear of this impending DVD release. I also don't think not having a commentary will hurt badly. I just hope they do a good job on the transfer. I've seen some really disappointing transfers around of some movies. I won't name names but sometimes the VHS actually looks better. When it is done right, DVD is far superior though.



Kalle's picture
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Woho, Finally! I havent heard about this release anywhere, when is it coming out?

Christopher Lee commentaries are always top notch, but its ok if this doesnt have one, I just hope that they make otherwise a good disk. I'd hate to see it as a barebones version with ugly covers on top. Oh god just let it have cool cover artwork and stuff :rotate:



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oh, thats ok, im just happy its finally coming out!



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Quote:
It may not be a good idea to let GUESTS post in the forum. Just a thought. I can just see someone posting in the name of "BrotherDaveBlowsChunks" now.

Guests cannot post, their name gets changed to "Guest" when they are deleted.

Quote:
oh, thats ok, im just happy its finally coming out!

So am I, but would have prefered it to be of the same quality of the Anchor Bay releases. Perhaps in the future.

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What does it mean that the Warner Bros. DVD team is not "highly professional"? Is the issue one of a rushed, sloppy job or does the question of Christopher Lee's involvement revolve around money?

I'm not at all averse to hearing that it's a money issue. Warner Brothers is a money-heavy company and should be paying Lee more than a VCI or Anchor Bay for sure.



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If you read the whole thread, it clearly states that it has nothing to do with money. As far as Warner Bros are concerned, they are using a third party company for its production. Hence, "Highly professional" applies to the manner of its production and other parties involved. Doesn't matter if Warner Bros can afford, they clearly can't because Mr Lee simply does not have a price.

I am not going to discuss the third party company, their plans or their approach to Mr Lee. Fact is, he won't be working on the DVD and it's final. He is in his perfect right to do so, unless a quality production team comes to the rescue which is very unlikely.

Just because Warner Bros owns the rights, doesn't mean they will come up with something that is in the same league of AB or VCI.

I hope this explains everything.

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Well, your answer explains that there is not much explaining to be put forth! As you said, you won't discuss "the third party," their plans or approach to Christopher Lee. Not that I think you should if what you know is held in confidence. This situation is still shrouded in mystery, and no amount of re-reading the thread will help to shed much light on it, I'm afraid.

I do find it amusing that Lee has done a commentary for a film like SCARS OF DRACULA (a film he loathes in many respects), while HORROR OF DRACULA (a film leagues better than SCARS and far more important to his career) will be issued without his commentary. I'm in no way upset at Christopher Lee because of this. The team responsible for putting the DVD together should be "professional" enough to present themselves and their work in the most favorable light and also meet Lee's requirements, whatever those requirements.

I do want to say, on a side issue, that I'm not that over-thrilled with the Anchor Bay presentations of Hammer films. It's an aspect ratio thing (several films have been overmatted for DVD presentation), and I hope Warner Brothers won't flub in this department, but that is another subject for another thread.



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Quote:

The team responsible for putting the DVD together should be "professional" enough to present themselves and their work in the most favorable light and also meet Lee's requirements, whatever those requirements.

I think you answer your own question there. There's no great mystery or hidden agendas or conspiracies. As you yourself note, the team responsible for this project did not meet Mr. Lee's requirements. That's all.

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I really don't want to come off as argumentative, but I didn't answer my own question. The DVD production team did not meet Lee's requirements, yes. But what were those requirements? This IS a mystery. If those in the know wish it to remain so, that's their business, and I'll leave it at that.



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Mirek,

We go round in circles.

Quote:
The DVD production team did not meet Lee's requirements, yes. But what were those requirements?

Professionalism. How do you define that? No idea, you would have had to have worked in the film industry for 55 years to know exactly what it means.



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Quote:

Details, please.

Mirek,

Let me say from the onset that I do not work for Mr. Lee, neither do I represent him, nor would I presume to speak for him. I only offer my own personal opinions here.

Your asking for "Details, please" about Mr. Lee's personal business decisions strikes me as being a bit rude, to put it bluntly. You, I, the public, and the world have been told that Mr. Lee declined -- which is his right -- because the production team did not meet his requirements. Furthermore, it has been clearly stated that this has nothing to do with money; and it has been implied that the decision was based on personal/artistic considerations. What more do you want to know? The exact details? Please forgive me for speaking bluntly; but, what gives you the right?

An individual's personal business decisions are a private matter. Certainly not something to be splashed all over the internet. Just as your personal business choices are private. You may respond by saying that Mr. Lee is a public figure, etc, etc. Well, not quite. He is not a president or a prime minister, he is an actor. And the only thing he "owes" the public is a good performance. Nothing more, nothing less.

I hope I did not offend. That was not my intention. But it did appear to me that some plain speaking was in order. Again, this is just my opinion. No better or worse than anyone else's.

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Alfonso, I've already made it clear that if no one wants to provide any details on this matter, it is fine with me. I do not NEED TO KNOW why Christopher Lee declined to do a commentary for HORROR OF DRACULA, and personally, I rarely listen to commentaries, preferring to experience a film direct, no matter how many times I view it.

But I have pointed out (correctly, I think) that the explanations that were given on this board for this decision were not really explanations at all. Words such as "professionalism" do not really convey much information. In point of fact, such words hide more than they reveal.

I don't believe a person must "have the right" to ask a simple question. I don't understand this immediate hostility to trying to find out just what was the trouble with the DVD production team. It's really no big deal to say something like, "Well, they decided they just wanted Mr. Lee to talk about the Dracula character and Mr. Lee will have none of that," or "They want Mr. Lee to appear dressed as the Count while giving commentary"... You know, I'm not asking for financial statements or glances at THE DIARY OF CHRISTOPHER LEE. Now that would be rude. Asking for more details on the commentary issue is hardly in the same league. It's quite trivial, actually.



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YAHOO!!!
Do we know if any extras are going to be added to the disk?:1roll:



Charles Prepolec's picture
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This really has become absurd.

Much like Alfonso, I neither work here nor would I dream to speak on Mr. Lee's behalf, but let's be clear here.

Mr. Lee has chosen not to be involved with the Warner DVD release of Horror of Dracula as the company producing the disc for Warner did not demonstrate a professional approach in their attempt to solicit his participation. The details of that approach are between the company producing the disc and Mr. Lee, no one else. Details are neither appropriate professionally nor are they anyone business. Essentially that is the be all and end all of the topic.

Yes, he has participated in other Dracula related titles and likely would have participated in this one...had the approach been from Anchor Bay, or from someone else demonstrating an equivalent level of professionalism. So the issue here is not really centred about whether or not Mr. Lee chooses to speak about his appearances in the role of Dracula (he has demonstrated that he will do so, and has done so in the past, but the situation and approach must meet his personal requirements, level of comfort, and above all interest, which obviously this outfit has not done). How you or I define 'professionalism' is irrelevant, as it is only Mr. Lee's definition that counts. Beating this topic to death will neither change his mind nor will it benefit the members of this site, Warner or Mr. Lee.

As we all hold Mr. Lee in a high degree of esteem (otherwise we wouldn't be here), then I suggest that we respect and trust his decisions and leave it at that. Surely Mr. Lee knows his business better than anyone else?

As for 'hostility' well, I'd say mirek has a point, it is not needed. However I do recommend that before posting, newer members should make use of the various multimedia files available on this excellent site. After all, this is Mr. Lee's site and contains more direct input from him than any other source, so get the goods straight from the horse's mouth (as it were)...if for no other reason...it may keep you from inadvertantly placing your foot in it.

Cheers!

__________________

Charles Prepolec www.sherlocknews.com

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Unfortunately, Charles, while you agree that hostility is not needed in this thread, you finish off with a hostile remark.... ("it may keep you from inadvertently placing your foot in it" [the proverbial horse's mouth]). Your recommendation that I go through media files has already been given by the administrator of this board, but I've already stated that these files do not open up for me. So I'm left without knowledge of these "files," which somehow will mysteriously, upon their hearing, make me change my opinion on the importance of the Dracula role in the career of Christopher Lee!

This really is absurd (I agree with you) and amusing in it's own petulant way. It appears that having an opinion on the career of Christopher Lee that does not conform to the "party line" is somehow unwanted around these parts, and that even if one bases it on DECADES of watching Lee's work and the public's reaction to it, such an opinion is to be minimized by contending that it is WRONG because ... well, because, that's the way it is according to some unwritten but well-understood rule around here. (And let's not forget those files....)

Gentlemen, I must have read hundreds of interviews with Christopher Lee, and heard or seen dozens more, and while the written interviews can be discounted as half-truths and even fabrications, not one quote of Lee's in any audio or video format, has altered my perception on the importance of the horror films Christopher Lee has done (not just the Draculas) in making him an internationally-known star. Christopher Lee could state that the Dracula role was the worst thing that happened to his career (and I believe he has), but that does not change what I view as the reality of the situation. And, please, I know all about 1942 and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and Richard Lester's Musketeer films. But those films came later in his career, and were not the basis for his very secure foothold on an international level, nor are they the basis for much of his devoted following. Indeed, several fans of the earlier horror and fantasy films are now filmmakers themselves and are delighted to have Christopher Lee's presence in their films (SLEEPY HOLLOW, LORD OF THE RINGS, etc.) precisely because of their fondness for him and the films they watched when children and teenagers. One cannot so cavalierly separate the earlier important career with the current career. It cannot be done, in fact.

BTW, in no sentence in this thread have I stated that I do not respect Christopher Lee's decision on the DVD commentary matter.



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Gentleman I sense a sparkling fuse in this thread and a bomb going off soon so let us not get to upset here. Mirek ,having a technical problem is always very annoying. The files work so keep trying. The interview is great and be prepared to laugh on the floor towards the end during audience questions.Smile

Charles
I agree 100% when saying it's not our bussiness to know any details to know why Mr Lee isn't participating that's between Mr Lee and Warner Brothers. Lets just be glad that they are infact releasing this great classic:)



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Mirek,

Hostility? I believe that since you first posted here, we have done nothing but try and give you an answer. Obviously, it is not good enough for you because you keep bashing it and going round in circles.

If you cannot hear the multimedia files and you don't believe what I'm telling you, not only sense that you are calling me a liar but you don't even respect the time and effort spent by people trying to help you. Not that I think that is the reason you started to post here on Dracula in the first place.

What is so "mysterious" to you and what does your Dracula views again have to do with Mr Lee not doing the commentary for the DVD?

You have made a lot of unfound comments both here and on the other thread without any evidence whatsoever. You assume, because that's all you can do.

I am really sad to say that, and this is a personal view and not that of Mr Lee, I will not speak for himself. I wish that fans like you moved to the next "Horror Star" because I find no pleasure in having to waste my time here explaining anything. Keep thinking Dracula was, is and will be but please don't come here to keep on at it at every given opportunity, it brings nothing onto this forums. If after 30 years you are able to keep talking about the same thing and nothing else, consider a Dracula list and I'm sure you will find there people who share your same interests and views on the subject.

No wonder he doesn't give Dracula the time of the day, it really isn't worth it. It's just really annoying having to keep listening to the same old closed minded views acquired from reading a few books and interviews and even dare to dismiss Mr Lee's own views on the subject.

Quote:
So I'm left without knowledge of these "files," which somehow will mysteriously, upon their hearing, make me change my opinion on the importance of the Dracula role in the career of Christopher Lee!

I don't feel you even deserve an answer on that.

Now, please go away and leave this community in peace before I break the rules, fax Mr Lee this thread and let him embarrass you in public. You keep forcing to get an answer, you'll get one.

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Please consider: Nowhere in my posts have I displayed the speedy hostility and annoyance that those more intimately involved with the site have. I have even made it plain that the commentary issue is NOT important to me and that in no way am I upset or peeved by the absence of a commentary or by Christopher Lee's decision not to record one for Warner Brothers. I have also made it plain that I do not need to know Christopher Lee's reasons for this decision. This should be a closed case by now, and I hope it is.

I am disheartened that you keep making assumptions that are incorrect: the chief one being that Dracula is the be all and end all in my book where it concerns Christopher Lee. I have written in previous posts that this is not so, and have labored to make this point, and yet you wish to think it so for whatever reason.

True, I am mystified by how hearing several audio files will change my views. Perhaps they can, perhaps not. But using my imagination as best I can, I do not see how hearing even the most negative things said about the Dracula role in regards to the career of Christopher Lee could alter certain basic perceptions. Please note I never wrote something inane as, "Christopher Lee is Dracula and will always be Dracula!" or even "If it weren't for Dracula, Christopher Lee would never have been known!" (which some have written, as you know). I clearly recognize that Christopher Lee is an actor with a long and varied filmography, and that his talents extend far beyond a role he hasn't touched in decades. I also clearly recognize that in order to gain the accomplishments he wants and meet the challenges he sets for himself as an actor, even as a human being, he had to move away from the role and others like it. His determination is commendable, as is his talent. So, really, what is the problem?

You know, I've really taken a bit of time out of my life to write rather long messages in this forum, without hostility and with no malice, and I've been treated pretty shabbily overall.

Perhaps it's the weather, he said, hopefully.... But at least here in New York right now, it is a sunny morning, full of fresh smells after a night shower, and so am I invigorated and at peace. And peace is what I wish you.



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I am confused. I know the posts get mixed up sometimes. Charles were you speaking to me when you said this is absurd ? I appologise if I was misinterpreted. I understand the CL issue. I was wondering if any other extras were to be added.

BB Smile



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I'm just going to be happy to have the film on DVD to replace the tapes that ultimately get all messy from too many plays in the VCR. I must admit, though, that there is some disappointment in a DVD that doesn't have at least some "bells & whistles" inside, but that's such a small thing compared to the purity in sight and sound we get from the format.

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I guess it would be too much to hope for Warner Brothers to shoot a "Making of" documentary on HORROR OF DRACULA. I'm thinking of the excellent short documentaries that accompanied the first batch of Universal "Classic Monster" DVDs, and how nice it would be to see something similar done as a supplement to the Dracula film.



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Quote:

I must admit, though, that there is some disappointment in a DVD that doesn't have at least some "bells & whistles" inside, but that's such a small thing compared to the purity in sight and sound we get from the format.

I agree. This is one film that, along with Curse of Frankenstein -- my personal favorite -- really deserved "top-shelf" treatment. Although, one could say that the time for giving HoD the treatment it deserved passed with the deaths of Peter Cushing and Terence Fisher. Imagine if they had done a laser disc with commentary by CL, Cushing, and Fisher!

What we'll probably get is something along the lines of the same company's recent DVD release of The Mummy. A no frills treatment, but worth it in terms of improved video and audio quality. I'm looking forward to seeing those luxurious
colors everyone has always commented on.



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Any commentary by CL is a bonus and a selling point to many fans. I respect Mr. lees opinion and will buy it no matter what is on it. He has already done commentary for Scars and Prince . Obviously hes not gonna do everyone. It would have been nice but , oh well

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I changed my screen name from Senor Cajones. I apologize for the lewdness, I didn't think you were that strict roun' these parts. In no way did I mean to dishonor the boards... it's actually the name I use on many boards on the internet, and I haven't gotten a complaint yet. So I apologize... and hope to continue posting as Raoul Dooku. This screen name is a mix of Hunter Thompson's alias "Raoul Duke" with Count Dooku. I hope it's appropriate.



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I have combed every source I know for obtaining future release dates and info on forthcoming DVD's and have found absolutely nothing on this title. Can the originator of this thread please fill me in?

I am not interested in discussing the pros and cons of a Lee Commentary. It appears this topic has been already beaten to death.

Anchor Bay has a list of upcoming releases of their own up to and including the year 2003. Several are old Hammer titles (and we know they've done a superb job with them) and several other Horror titles from the 60's and 70's.

I found dvdexpress.com to be pretty useful in foreseeing the future the growth of my DVD library, however, I usually do not buy from them. I just use the "coming soon" feature of their site.

So, my question dear friends, is since we seem to know that Warner Bros. (or a subsidaty of theirs) is issuing the DVD, we do not know when and how the information can be verified.

Any info will be appreciated.

Cheers, all!

Lecafenoir

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