Friday, September 3, 2010

The Envy Report: Retrofantasma Vs. Terror in the Aisles

Our doppleganger program Retrofantasma in North Carolina has an amazing lineup for October including Hammer movies, Tom Atkins, and the classic 80's pseudo-documentary/clip show Terror in the Aisles. Back in the early 80's when horror movies were all the rage Universal released this 90-minute montage into theaters hosted by genre veterans Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen. It actually features more than just Friday the 13th/Halloween style movies though, including suspense films of the day such as Nighthawks, Vice Squad, etc. After its initial release on VHS and laserdisc the film went out of print, and apparently is unlikely to be released ever again due to rights issues. Sigh.

So that's the story, but get this - the print of Terror in the Aisles that Retrofantasma is screening is the last 35mm print of the film in existence, straight out of the Universal vault! I don't know about you but information like that just causes my jaw to hit the floor. It's hard to believe that a fairly major movie released in 1984 could be in danger of oblivion. Making matters worse is that a DVD/Blu-ray release is never going to happen, so unless you track down an old copy of the VHS forget ever seeing this again.

Hard to say how I would react to this film now, but I remember loving it as a kid. How can you go wrong with a film comprised of little else other than clips of some of the greatest horror movies of the 70's and 80's? With intros by two classic genre stars? If you never had the pleasure of seeing this, a road trip to North Carolina might be well worth it. Did I mention the same evening they are also screening the last existing 35mm print of Halloween III: Season of the Witch?!?

8 comments:

Johnson said...

I might drive down there for Happy Birthday to Me and Alice Sweet Alice on 11/19!

Jim Blanton said...

Let me know if you do! There are a number of great things coming up there. Did you see the lineup for their Escapism Film Festival at the end of September? Buck Rogers, Escape From New York, RoboCop, Big Trouble In Little China, and Wrath of Khan all in 35mm!!!

Daniel said...

It is a sad day when Terror In The Aisles has no DVD release. A great clip film that I still love to this day when it airs on Chiller from time to time.

That Escapism Festival sounds really cool!

Jim Blanton said...

Yes indeed . . . and you know what's sadder is that we will likely never see a clip film get a major theatrical release again, making Terror in the Aisles all the more unique!

Daniel said...

Here's a question......is TITA the ONLY clip film to have a major theatrical release? I have a few clip films on VHS but they were released on VHS only. I love these clip films though because they offer the viewer a smorgasbord of films that lets you decide if a certain film is even worth tracking down. They have led me on several wild goose chases!

Jim Blanton said...

That's a good question and I'm blanking right now on genre clip movies of a theatrical nature. There have definitely been theatrical clip films, for example the That's Entertainment series from MGM.

Anonymous said...

Halloween III is actually a BRAND NEW 35mm print. I checked with them and they told me it was newly struck this year! I feared it was HD. I wish I could make it over from England, you Americans are VERY lucky to get thisw opportunity!!!

Jim Blanton said...

Wow! I'm amazed that the studio actually put forth the effort, as Halloween III has always been sort of disowned (except by its loyal band of supporters, which includes yours truly). Hopefully this means they will be doing more in the way of preservation efforts with their back catalog titles!