CineSavant Column

Saturday July 14, 2018


Some odd announcements! Severin has just announced a Blu-ray of Del Tenney’s amazing, spectacular, guaranteed-to-have-sprocket-holes fright film The Horror of Party Beach. I’m sure that’s all that need be said to set off a tsunami of disc sales. Actually, it’s fun, especially the wince-inducing songs.

On the other hand, I immediately leaped to order a BFI disc of Kevin Brownlow’s It Happened Here, the stealth classic about the nature of Fascism. It’s a Savant favorite and one of the first that I reviewed for the old website, eighteen years ago. The audio on that Image DVD was so shaky that I needed to watch the movie with a continuity transcript from MGM. The new disc has subtitles!

Kino Lorber is talking about a new licensing deal with Universal, so we’ll be interested in seeing what becomes of that. Quite a few Universal winners of the ‘forties have come out on Region B discs, but I’m told that the obvious film noir titles are not part of the arrangement. It’s likely half a year off, anyway.

The new Noir City e-magazine is out, from the Film Noir Foundation, and the item being touted the loudest is an Eddie Muller interview with author James Ellroy. The full info on this, and some contests being run this month, is on the Film Noir Foundation’s main page. The cover re-thinks the cast of Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential with actors from the classic noir period. Instead of Kim Basinger playing a hooker who has ‘been cut’ to better resemble star Veronica Lake, they just substitute Veronica Lake. How does that work?

Voice Switches: In case my recent reviews left the wrong impression, some correspondents have offered corrections to information about who dubbed what, in two movies. Reader Andrew Leblanc wrote director Rüdiger Suchsland, who said that actor Udo Kier only narrated the English-language version of Hitler’s Hollywood. But Suchsland hasn’t yet said who voiced the German-language track.

And correspondent Phil Smoot assured me that, on the subject of the 1960 Village of the Damned, actor Martin Stephens didn’t dub his own voice. Perhaps Stephens told me that he dubbed himself for The Innocents the next year and I confused the films. Smoot is convinced that David Zellaby’s voice in Damned is a familiar woman voiceover artist who specializes in children’s voices, one he’s heard in countless English pictures.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson