This information arrived very near April First, which on first glance made me very worried. But no, it’s real enough: an outfit called Ignite Films “Classics for the Future” has put up splashy announcement for a fancy restored disc of William Cameron Menzies’ 1953 Invaders from Mars, said to become a Fall 2022 release in Blu-ray, 4K UHD and DVD. I frankly wondered if the day would ever come.
The news is two days old, but still buzzing around; close associates are certainly pleased. I wish I could write Bill Warren with the good news.
The issue first arrived in the form of a listing for the schedule of this year’s TCM Film Fest, which listed a restored Invaders from Mars to be presented by John Sayles. What was this restoration, and from what source?
Gary Teetzel got on the trail looking for answers, and forwarded a quote from a 2016 Home Theater Forum post by Jan Willem Bosman Jansen, who owns a company called Ignite B.V.. Jansen claimed copyright through a purchase of 64 films owned by the late Richard Rosenfeld. Some of have already been released on Blu-ray (he mentioned Kino). Invaders from Mars was in that group of titles.
Then on Thursday morning, restoration specialist Scott McQeen posted on LinkedIn, saying he was involved with the restoration, and adding a trio of frame grabs. The restoration is not only genuine, it looks superb.
And finally, Gary intercepted a post on the Ignite Home Page officially announcing the disc for Fall 2022, with presales beginning on April 23. They have more frame grabs, and a sign-up link for their newsletter.
A restored 4k UHD of Invaders from Mars? That’s certainly a welcome thing. With so much conflicting information about the movie’s ownership and disposition of film elements, I would not have been surprised to discover that the movie was lost, or incomplete, or otherwise ‘unserviceable’ for one reason or another. I’ve already heard from a different direction that Joe Dante has recorded a video piece for the disc release.
Severin Films has announced a second Christopher Lee boxed set, The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection 2 . As is their habit, they’ve even assembled a nifty promo trailer for it. It will be fun to catch up with a watch-able copy of the goofy Uncle Was A Vampire, in ‘Ultrascope’.
Next up, yet another installment of a funky fan cut from YouTube that many readers likely have already seen. It’s FredFlix’s Oct 5, 2018 chop ‘n’ channel of a vintage Roger Corman movie into a different form: What If Not Of This Earth Were A Twilight Zone Episode?
I think I liked this more as a cut-down than for the way it’s been integrated into the format of the TV show. Don’t expect elaborate graphics, but FredFlix has appointed it with vintage TV commercials. The real takeaway is a renewed desire to see Corman’s picture restored, in good quality.
And April’s new Milestone Newsletter has an anti-war, pro- Ukraine tone that we found pleasing, with some good links and video samples. The ’60s poster at left says it all.
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson