Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Few Words on the Sources

It's been over 9 months since I started this blog and I've said nary a word about the sources, other than the odd reference to them in a review as a source for this or that film. To be honest that isn't fair. You really should be poking around them and exploring them to see what you can find.

In order to help push you toward trying some of them I'm going to take a few moments to say a few words about each.

Asian Cult Cinema is the web site that was left behind when Tom Weissner ceased publishing the magazine earlier this year. A very good source for both Asian Cinema and some of the more off-beat cinema from elsewhere in the world. The website was set up to sell the very films that were being talked about in the magazine. I've been dealing with them for several years now and I have always been happy with both their products and services.

One of the best things about them is their sales. Their close outs and occasional sales can't be beat. I highly recommend that you get on their email list and check the website periodically for anything that they add to their excellent collection.

Diabolik DVD is a company I have only recently started using for getting hard to find over seas DVDs. They have a wonderful selection of films from all over the globe. The best part is where many companies concentrate getting their films from just Europe or Asia they go all over the world. I recently picked up a copy of a box set of eight Peter Greenaway films from them that came out in Australia. I need to mention that their customer service is excellent and and have been a pleasure to deal with. If you're looking for way out stuff from around the globe this is a great place to start. used to be Nina's Discount Oldies. Its a killer source for oldies music and for old (and new) movies. There are two reasons you NEED to keep the website on your short list of go to places for movies. (and a couple of reasons to be careful)

The first reason you need to keep them bookmarked is that the company is a killer source for discount, bargain and close out videos. Looking for something that you can't find because it may have gone out of print or favor? Look here. There is a really good chance they may have it. They are a killer source for everything like old MGM Fox or Warner Brothers. I frequently check Amazon and then zip over to Oldies to see if they have a copy cheaper. There are times when Oldies will beat even Amazon e-sellers.

The other reason that Oldies is great is they are the parent company of Alpha Video. These are a a great source of cheap public domain films. They get as cheap five dollars a pop. (An aside about Alpha Video. I love Alpha but I have two problems with them. First their prints can be all over the place. I have a copy of My Favorite Brunette that is almost unwatchable since its so dark. On the flip side some of their films are great like their copy of Most Dangerous Game which is razor sharp. This brings up the other problem with the company, they have been accused, rightly of using the public domain prints of other companies without compensation. I know they have had battles with several other companies such as Sinister Cinema. Honestly I'm torn, about their use without credit, but at the same time I'm not going to lie and say that I can turn them down because of their price).

Oldies has two slightly negative things you need to be aware of if you deal with them. First if you're not dealing with close outs their prices tend to be full retail. (I won't go into their over pricing of Warner Brother Archive titles). You have to watch the prices.

The other problem is that occasionally they will run out of one of their discounted title and it will go on back order. Generally this will mean you will have to reorder it down the line since they will only keep a back order open for 30 days before canceling it. Its annoying but its the way they roll. I should also mention that their customer service tends to be excellent.

R &B Enterprises is the business of a great couple who live in the New York metro area. I first met Brendon and his wife Robin at a comic book show a few years ago and I try to see them every time they do a show in New York. They are wonderful wonderful people who have become my go to people for any old movie that doesn't appear to be currently out on DVD from a major company. If I stumble upon something I'll email them and see if they have it, more times than not they do. Keep in mind what they list on their website is only a tiny portion of the films and old TV shows that Brendon and Robin have for sale. When I see them at the nostalgia shows I know that I'm going to find some real treasures. (This is the source of many of the old movies I've reviewed here at Unseen). If you're looking for an old film and can't find it check with Brendon and Robin. (Trust me they'll become your go to guys- hell I dropped alarge chunk of change earlier today at a show)

Shocking Video is my go to source for off beat and exploitation films. The snarky web address of revengeis may seem to warn of a company with a bad attitude. Actually its just a an address for a really cool video company. This is the place to go to if you want to find really strange and wild films from all over the world. I have a nice binder of their DVDs and I can't recommend them enough. I mean how can I say a bad word about the company that made me interested in things like Turkish cinema.I love them. (ADDENDUM 9/2012 They appear to have closed up shop_

SINISTER CINEMA. All capitals because this is the one company I have been dealing with longer than anyone else ever. Its been decades, I mean decades, ever since I was a little kid. They are an amazing company that is a fantastic source for older horror, science fiction, westerns, mystery, serials and other subjects. They are a company that has great prints of great movies. I literally have HUNDREDS of their films. Yea, they are one of my suppliers of my cinematic addictions. As much as I hate to undercut their prices I have to say that the best to deal with Sinister is to wait for their several time a year discount sales. They'll have deals that will reduce their prices from 16.95 a disc down to 8. (Right now they are having a sale going on until January 15th) They also have these great studio collections that put say four films from Republic Studios into an affordable set. I love them. If you want copies of Bela Lugosi movies or Edgar Wallace films or program westerns or Lemmy Caution films, this is your source.

Video Search of Miami was once in Miami but is now located elsewhere. Originally connected to the Asian Cult people the company was bought out and moved. They are still a great source of films that can't be had in the US any other way. Originally started as a "club" which allowed them to make copies of films from over seas the company has evolved and changed dealing with films that you can't get any other way. If you're looking for something that no one else has this is a great place to look. (ADDENDUM 9/2012 They appear to have closed up shop)

Yes Asia if you love Asian cinema and want the latest titles, this is the place. Actually they deal with films from all over the world. They are an indispensable source for the films that feed my addictions Every now and again I'll go to their wonderful bargain section and just buy titles that seem interesting and give them a go because its cheaper than going to the theater. Every year when the New York Asian Film Festival comes around I take a list of films and compare it to the Yes Asia website so I can have an at home version of the festival. My only real complaint is their invoices are in Chinese so you'll probably have no idea what is written on them.

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