CineSavant Column

Saturday September 24, 2022



This YouTube clip probably isn’t new, but associate Michael Arick sent it along knowing full well that we’d like it. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is graphically so arresting that almost any colorization effort could be impressive. The music selection heard here helps as well.

The link is to Metropolis Dance, Colorized. All those dazzling original B&W images were done with a camera, as they say. The clip incorporates the low-quality, high-impact uncut material found in Argentina in 2008.

Are there other fan cuts of Metropolis out there that I need to know about?  My grown kids should see the restored, ‘complete’ version, but they’re hooked on the Giorgio Moroder Disco Metropolis.  That’s how it goes — you try to brainwash them for 20 years, and they develop their own tastes and opinions anyway.



Farewell, MGM HD cable channel: A Facebook post appeared and then disappeared on Thursday, announcing that the MGM Cable Channel would be discontinued as of October 31, 2022.

The channel has been around since 1999; I’m not sure when it made the jump to HD. It was an excellent resource to see MGM – owned features in high quality: Orion, American-International, etc.. It was especially good for checking out the A.I.P. rarities as they were restored, in HD before Blu-rays were issued. That’s where we first saw the ‘corrected’ no-freeze-frame The Trip, for instance. And MGM HD showed the uncut Heaven’s Gate once or twice as well, I think.

The pain came with our cable companies. Every year I’d review Comcast or Spectrum or whatever, and find that they’d shuffled the HD no-commercials movie channels around. TCM was almost always in a tier of its own. When I signed up for a special HD package with 5 or six channels, just a few months later they’d all be withdrawn or spread out over other, more expensive tiers. Around 2017 I gave up on MGM HD … by then it was showing the same 200 titles in rotation. They showed some interesting items, but also did cute things like run The Red Shoes cropped to 1:78 widescreen. Who needs to see feet in a ballet movie?

Perhaps this is fallout from Amazon’s acquisition of MGM?  It reminds me of the way Disney has put almost all of the 20th-Fox library out of bounds . . . although occasional fresh Fox titles do show up here and there.



This doesn’t happen all too often — we open a box of new discs and one grabs us with really, really attractive artwork. I hadn’t heard of Arrow Video USA’s new disc set Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales of Terror but the cover art got our attention. The artist is Colin Murdoch.

I’m becoming more appreciative of good disc art. Sometimes it’s just fine to recycle original poster graphics, assuming any good material exists. It’s great when disc companies commission new art, although we long ago grew weary of quickie ‘paint-izations’ of familiar pub photos. This set of four faces may be from photos as well, but Murdoch adds atmosphere and emotion. I find it dramatic, curiosity-inducing.

The four titles in the set are Lady Morgan’s Vengeance, The Blancheville Monster, The Third Eye and The Witch. In Italian, that last generic-sounding title is called La strega in amore. It’s said to be from a novel by Carlos Fuentes, which for us makes it a must-see. Charlie Largent may be writing the review. The street date is a Halloween-friendly October 18.

The box graphic zooms or re-opens much larger ‘in a new window.’



And finally, Kino Lorber just reissued their two sets of Outer Limits TV seasons, on September 20. The initial release was four years ago, split between March and November of 2018. Those boxes held fold-out ‘digiPack’ card & plastic disc holders, six discs for season one and four for season two.

The new releases are still divided between seasons, but deliver the shows in multi-disc keep cases. All of the video extras are present, but not repeated from the 2018 editions are the insert booklets, with the lengthy notes and essays.

This time out each disc case gives us a simple index — finding individual episodes took some effort with the old set. I think it’s high time that David J. Schow’s publishers be encouraged to enlarge and revise his old Outer Limits Companion reference book. He’s written two OL books, and both are long out of print.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson