Steven W. Hill | Chicago, IL United States | 08/24/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have to get this review right to the heart of the matter...the image quality on this DVD is what some would call "okay", others "atrocious" and most simply "bad." But that still doesn't mean I regret ordering a copy.The three movies presented on this disc are entertaining - no aspirations of great cinematic art here - and can always make for fun viewing, especially with friends. ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES is the dumbest; the word "sleazy" fits perfectly. And I love it; swampland monsters, jealous husbands and all. THE WASP WOMAN is a somewhat better film with an intriguing premise but not much production value. It happens to be my favorite of the bunch. Finally, A BUCKET OF BLOOD is the true "cult classic" on the disc, and hits the high end of the scale for grade-B movies.No, it's not the content that disappoints. It's the quality. The transfers are obviously made from inferior 16mm prints despite the label's claim of them being "archival" material. THE WASP WOMAN is the worst, gaining a yellow tint to make its own poor transfer that much worse. A BUCKET OF BLOOD "isn't terrible" is about the best one can say, and GIANT LEECHES falls somewhere between. And that isn't much praise, is it? Sound quality is muddy throughout, too. The disc packaging is a clear hard plastic jewel case, like for a compact disc, only DVD-sized. At least the price is good, especially when you consider you're getting three movies.Tough decision... to buy or not to buy. As I said, I don't regret buying it, but it sure is hard to recommend to others. If you just want the movies on DVD and image quality isn't an overriding concern for you, it's probably worth it. But don't say I didn't warn you. :)For the future, here's hoping for Roger Corman productions on DVD mastered from nice, clean 35mm film prints."
You probably won't be stung if you're careful...
Steven W. Hill | 12/17/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I should preface this review by stating I was very leary of this DVD after I read all of the reviews. I debated over buying it, for fear of what I would find on the technical level. I ordered it, received it, watched it and I can honestly say I am glad I bought it.The material here with the exception of BUCKET OF BLOOD is not avaialable on any other DVD at the time of this writing. BUCKET is presented, I'm sure, much better on the MGM DVD. My reason for even ordering this DVD is primarily to watch my favorite THE WASP WOMAN. When I got the disc, I knew full well that this movie would have the most technical problems and I was proven correct. The shoddy print presented here looks to be an old television 16mm print to these eyes. It has many splices and unusual fadeouts. The print identifies itself as ALLIED ARTISTS TELEVISION DIST. at the opening credits, obviously added for television viewing. The picture does have a yellowish tint and the images are very soft and indistinct, rather like watching an old television program. At the beginning of the movie, there are some really annoying video noises that distort the picture horizontally. Luckily, these are brief. For the most part, this movie's image is very watchable, rahter like watching late night television (where I discovered this little classic over 20 years ago). As for the other 2 films on this DVD, they are by leaps much better in image quality, with the best being ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES and following with BUCKET OF BLOOD. The soundtracks on these films all have their distorted flaws, but are certainly distinguishable.Another wonderful attribute of this collection are its clear menus. Each film has a detailed menu that far surpasses my expectation. The DVD itself is very attractively packaged in a heavy clear platic jewel case.Do I recommend this to others? I would suggest reading the other reviews as well. I bought this DVD knowing what I was getting myself into and came out satisfied, for the most part. The mediocre quality was what I expected, but the wonderful value this DVD offers makes it worth the price. At almost 6 bucks a movie, you can't go wrong. You have to sacrifice quality image here. Sure the films have their technical problems, but I think you will find that this will suffice for now. I'll certainly be waiting for another, better quality presentation of THE WASP WOMAN in the future. Are you listening, MGM DVD?"
ONE FOR THE PLEASURE
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 10/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have the chance to find and buy this DVD, you won't regret it. A volume 02 of this Roger Corman retrospective has already been announced, so let's just hope that Slingshot and the American National Film Museum will continue to release those little Corman goodies. Unlike Herschell Gordon Lewis who directed exploitation movies at the same period, Roger Corman had, and still has, a tremendous talent. His actors were credible and his movies had rythm.So I spent three wonderful nights watching those little pearls. ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, directed by Bernard L. Kowalski and produced by Roger Corman, is absolutely hilarious with those poor guys hidden under plastic trying to look like leeches and sucking the blood of Yvette Vickers in a Lolita role. BUCKET OF BLOOD, a satire of the beatnik circles of the late fifties, is, in my opinion, a collection piece. The first three minutes of the movie, with Julian Burton improvising poetry while a saxophone plays a solo, is unforgettable.THE WASP WOMAN, released in 1960, concludes brilliantly this DVD presentation with the one woman show of Susan Cabot, in the role of an elixir of youth addict yearning for syringes filled with the royal jelly of a wasp queen. What a screenplay !The copies presented here are rather good but unfortunately there are no bonus features with this DVD I will put with an immense pride on the shelves of my library.A DVD zone connoisseur."
Let's hope better quality for the second issue.
ihhc_nathan | Pisa, Italy | 07/28/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Very interesting DVD with three of earlier Roger Corman movies. It is
the first disk of a series that we do not know yet where it would end,
and as a first one it is presented with a very nifty menu, but when it
comes to the movies it reveals its weaknesses. The video quality of
the movies is barely sufficient, starting from the best one,
"Bucket of Blood", going through "Attack of the giant
leeches", touching the peak of the worst quality in the third
film, Wasp Woman, in wich there are video noises coming in waves as if
you had to tune the tv-station better. Negative point about the
format: I couldn't find indication about the original aspect ratio,
but surely all the movies were originally at least 1.85:1, and are
here presented in a full screen 4:3 Pan&scan format, wich could
let scare purists, but however please most lesser-asking people. A
serious weak-point is the lack of subtitles, that cut out the hard of
hearing ones and obstacles foreign persons that are not so well
acquainted to english language to an easy understanding. Anyway, when
you consider the price of the edition, you will agree that there is
still a margin that justifies the buying, especially for the very
interesting and charming "Bucket of blood" movie.
Attack of the Technophobia
Bo?tjan Vrečar | Ljubljana Slovenia | 02/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"European corman-o-buffs beware. This dangerously attractive and bargainpriced set of drive-in jams is recorded in the EP mode (Extended Play), which is used mainly on US VCRs. Even if you have a NTSC compatible machine (as I do), this tape will not be reproduced correctly due to a higher processing speed - which is somewhere between SP and LP mode. My advice is simple: get a DVD version.And comments regarding the three goodies? A must have for any fan of tasty low-budget flicks. Also highly recommended as a background videowall if you are throwing a family reunion party."