Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Mr. Yellow » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:05 am

Darn, all this talk is killing my enthusiasm lol
"Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them." - Ishiro Honda

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:30 pm

Terasawa wrote:
MikeSTZillak wrote:Isn't the AIP version public domain?


No, it shouldn’t be in the public domain, but distributors certainly treat it that way. The AI-TV version has the adequate copyright notice on the title card. AI-TV’s successors (Filmways, Orion, now MGM) almost certainly didn’t renew the copyright though, but that’s probably because they didn’t have a chance to before their rights expired and it reverted to Nikkatsu. Even if the copyright for the AI-TV version expired, I’m pretty sure all versions of the film should be protected here through international copyright laws. I’m not a lawyer so I can’t explain the ins-and-outs, but that’s how I understand it.

I'm pretty sure, in circumstances where the US rights to a foreign work would otherwise lapse into the public domain, they revert to the rights holder in its country of origin -- hence why these dubbed kaiju movies aren't actually PD, it's just that they're released under the Japanese studios' radar and no one in the US has any claim to them or can be bothered enforcing whatever claim they have.

(The situation in cases like Half Human and Varan the Unbelievable might be different, but I doubt it.)
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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Mr. Yellow » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:54 pm

Semi-related, I wonder if this could allow Scorpion to release some of those AIP MGM movies.

Having The Amazing Colossol Man and War of the Colossol Beast as well Earth vs. The Spider would be tops!
"Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them." - Ishiro Honda

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Terasawa » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:50 pm

Mr. Yellow wrote:Semi-related, I wonder if this could allow Scorpion to release some of those AIP MGM movies.

Having The Amazing Colossol Man and War of the Colossol Beast as well Earth vs. The Spider would be tops!


Well, MGM has no claim on those films. AIP was founded by Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson, and the short version of the story is that some of those types of films are now in the control of those men's estates.

Nicholson got out in the early '70s (right before his death in fact), and at some point several of AIP's films transferred to his control. They're now controlled by his estate, which is overseen by his widow, Susan Nicholson Hofheinz (Susan Hart, one of AIP's actresses in the early '60s). Arkoff on the other hand didn't sell his stake in the company until around the Filmways takeover in 1979-80, and like Nicholson, he was able to retain control of some of those early AIP titles.

The release history of those films, especially in the '80s-2000s, is confusing to me: films from both Arkoff and Nicholson estates were released on VHS by TriStar in the early '90s. These VHS releases are to this day the only official North American releases of some of these films (more on that below). Lionsgate would later releases four DVD double features of Arkoff titles in the very early 2000s. Those films were Day the World Ended & The She-Creature, War of the Colossal Beast & Earth vs. The Spider, Saga of the Viking Women & Teenage Caveman, and How to Make a Monster & Blood of Dracula. The Arkoff estate also authorized new movies under some of these titles, although I think all of these "remakes" are just direct-to-video fodder with only tenuous connections to the original films. Also, some of these films are still played on the AMC networks (notably IFC) around Halloween. So while they're still in circulation, new DVD and Blu-Ray versions of these titles would be great. Shout! worked out a deal with the Arkoff estate so that the MST3K versions of those movies could be released to DVD. I'm uncertain if there are plans for more standard releases, but as the MST3K deal was in ~2015-16, it seems unlikely.

The Nicholson estate has been almost deadly silent since the late '90s. As I mentioned before, the estate is controlled by lawyers acting on behalf of Susan Nicholson Hofheinz. The films in her control are reportedly:

Apache Woman (1955), It Conquered the World (1956), The Oklahoma Woman (1956), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), Naked Paradise (1957), and Terror from the Year 5000 (1958)

She also has the rights to The Eye Creatures and Zontar, the Thing from Venus, two dismal "films" made by Larry Buchanan for AI-TV. These are remakes of Invasion of the Saucer Men and It Conquered the World, which is how these are part of the Nicholson estate.

Fans of these movies seem to consider her something of a witch because of her unwillingness to do anything with these films. I don't know all the details, and they are her films anyway, but allegedly her lawyers have sued filmmakers for using clips from the trailers of these films in documentaries. She has been approached by Shout! but nothing doing. I imagine other distributors have tried too. Unlike the Arkoff films, these are not even shown on television anymore. Colossal Man, ICTW, and Saucer Men (maybe more) used to get decent play on AMC at least through 1999. MST3K used several of these films; Terror from the Year 5000 and Teenage Werewolf were 1997 episodes that were among the first to fall out of Sci-Fi's re-run rotation. In fact, regarding MST3K, five of the eleven unreleased episodes are in Hofheinz's control. It seems very unlikely we'll see any of these films on home video for a long time, if ever.

Edit: Here is a good piece about Susan Hart (with cooperation from her) which touches on her control of her late husband's films.
Last edited by Terasawa on Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Mr. Yellow » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:43 am

Sorry, I guess I misread Wikipedia. I thought it said MGM owned AIP titles.
"Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them." - Ishiro Honda

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Joseph Goodman » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:26 am

They do, just not the ones controlled by the Arkoff family or Susan Hart.

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Mr. Yellow » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:59 am

Aww crud, I had tried to look up a list but couldn’t find anything. My bad.
"Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them." - Ishiro Honda

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Great Hierophant » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:54 am

Terasawa wrote:
MikeSTZillak wrote:Isn't the AIP version public domain?


No, it shouldn’t be in the public domain, but distributors certainly treat it that way. The AI-TV version has the adequate copyright notice on the title card. AI-TV’s successors (Filmways, Orion, now MGM) almost certainly didn’t renew the copyright though, but that’s probably because they didn’t have a chance to before their rights expired and it reverted to Nikkatsu. Even if the copyright for the AI-TV version expired, I’m pretty sure all versions of the film should be protected here through international copyright laws. I’m not a lawyer so I can’t explain the ins-and-outs, but that’s how I understand it.


Renewal is not necessary for post-1963 works, if the original copyright was valid, then renewal is automatic for works from 1964 onwards. Gappa was filmed in 1967. Copyright protection required both notice and registration back then, so if the copyright was not registered with the Library of Congress, the original copyright may never have been valid despite notices on the TV prints. More information (than you ever need to know) on this subject can be found here : https://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/20 ... -will.html

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby mikelcho » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:41 pm

Getting back on track here, any further info on this? I'd really like it if they released Gorath, then I can finally get it officially without having to buy it off of Sci-Fi Station.

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby UltramanGoji » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:08 pm

mikelcho wrote:Getting back on track here, any further info on this?


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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby mikelcho » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:00 pm

Wouldn't it be great if Scorpion Releasing actually did what MGM doesn't seem to want to do and finally release Japanese subtitled/American dubbed versions of the three films The Human Vapor, The Last War and Gorath?

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby MikeSTZillak » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:21 pm

mikelcho wrote:Wouldn't it be great if Scorpion Releasing actually did what MGM doesn't seem to want to do and finally release Japanese subtitled/American dubbed versions of the three films The Human Vapor, The Last War and Gorath?

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:29 pm

Is The Last War even available in HD? I know Gorath and The Human Vapor are available in 720p (cause I have them thanks to certain individuals) but I haven't seen anything of TLW that's beyond DVD quality. Doubt anybody is willing to pay Toho for Blu-Ray quality elements when they themselves haven't released them on home video for years.
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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Terasawa » Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:00 pm

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Is The Last War even available in HD? I know Gorath and The Human Vapor are available in 720p (cause I have them thanks to certain individuals) but I haven't seen anything of TLW that's beyond DVD quality. Doubt anybody is willing to pay Toho for Blu-Ray quality elements when they themselves haven't released them on home video for years.


All three are available in HD on Japan's Amazon Video service but they haven't been released on Blu-Ray yet.

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby gvamp » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:10 pm

^If that's the case then we can probably rule them out as BD releases stateside as Toho probably won't want them to release before domestic releases. America and Japan do share the same region coding for BD after all.
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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Mr. Yellow » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:08 pm

Walt from Scorpion on BRD.com hasn’t elaborated on the Japanese monsters remark yet.
"Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them." - Ishiro Honda

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Godsteigman » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:37 am

I think it could be Voyage Into Space, or perhaps Gappa the Triphibian Monster or even Zeiram although I wouldn't call that character a monster, well at least a giant monster anyway ! :)

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby mikelcho » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:42 am

Godsteigman wrote:I think it could be Voyage Into Space, or perhaps Gappa the Triphibian Monster or even Zeiram although I wouldn't call that character a monster, well at least a giant monster anyway ! :)
Yeah, that would be great for the first two. Then I could put Voyage into Space with my copy of Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot: The Complete Series and have Gappa the Triphibian Monster in, hopefully, a reasonably good version without having to buy the Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock version at such fantastically sky-high prices.

By the way, who's Zeiram and what movie did he appear in? I've never heard of him.

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby Terasawa » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:27 pm

mikelcho wrote:By the way, who's Zeiram and what movie did he appear in? I've never heard of him.


Zeiram.

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Re: Scorpion Releasing hints at "Japanese Monsters" on Blu-ray

Postby mikelcho » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:27 am

Terasawa wrote:
mikelcho wrote:By the way, who's Zeiram and what movie did he appear in? I've never heard of him.


Zeiram.
I just looked this up. Very good story, indeed.


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