CineSavant Column

Saturday December 21, 2019



Boy are we hoping that Warners will put out a nice disc of the UCLA Film Archives’ restoration of the 1933 Mystery of the Wax Museum. Gary Teetzel found these before-and-after frame grabs online, which look amazing to me — open it in a new window to see it full-sized. If a Blu-ray does come to pass I’ll be able to tell my meeting-Fay-Wray-story one more time, and we know there’s a crying need for that.

I’ll be reviewing it soon enough, but I sampled the new Kino Blu-ray of Dr. Cyclops and can report that it looks incredibly good — somebody did a full restoration of the Technicolor fantasy film. I remember very clearly the original nitrate IB Technicolor print in the Paramount collection at UCLA, and this looks better than my memory. It’s still the same ‘Dr. Cyclops’ and will likely appeal to core sci-fi fans and not a lot of other folk, but I can’t imagine it looking better than this.

Let’s see here … for fans of Steve Reeves’ 1961 The Thief of Bagdad waiting for word on a German disc announced here a month ago: a reader who received the German release gives a report I don’t know exactly how to interpret. He says it doesn’t look restored but it does look pretty good. Maybe we’ll have to wait for Tim Lucas to say yay or nay before knowing if it’s worth the import purchase. I am already hearing from purchasers of Major Dundee, who I assume they must have ordered the import disc long before my review … so far no complaints, grousing or death threats. That’s the true measure of acceptance!

I’m excited by my new disc of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and want to add my 3 cents to the discussion with a review … even if close friends don’t care for the movie. It’s true: in OUATIH, people drive around a lot!  We see many close-ups of stereo needles landing on record grooves!  Just with those details, it certainly tells the story of my twenties.

I’m also eager to take on Criterion’s The Fugitive Kind, Kino’s Cosh Boy aka The Slasher, and Severin’s new disc of the classic Russian Viy. I may double back for Charley Varrick to take in the new commentary. Just saw the new cut of Coppola’s The Cotton Club last night, and it’s exciting too.

And yesterday was the deadline to get in my OFCS ballot, and get to trimming a tree. I feel good because I just got interviewed for a new Scorpion release, and it went well. Hope you’re having a great ‘pre- Xmas’ weekend.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson