PDA

View Full Version : My First LaserDisc: Black Christmas (1974)


It's me, Billy
12-29-2012, 04:52 PM
Released near the end of LD's life in 1999 through Image Entertainment (on loan from Warner Bros.) and presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio! Now all I need is a LaserDisc player! haha! I've been shopping around on ebay and will get me one eventually. I've heard that the Black Christmas LD is somewhat rare, that not many copies were produced. For those of you who've seen the LD, how's it look?


http://s14.postimage.org/mrnbnhf2p/702698_181965908612162_245784854_n.jpg

http://s14.postimage.org/xpbm8ykr5/565860_181973108611442_1241789230_n.jpg

Paff
12-29-2012, 08:50 PM
Yes, it's a pretty rare disc, not many produced as the format was near the end. It also clears up a lot of the aspect ratio mystery, as this was clearly taken from a theatrical print (I believe you can see the "cigarette burn" reel change marks), so if you ever wanted to know how this looked in the theater, the LD is the answer.

Sadly though, this disc looks like ass. Most LDs look far better than this one. I should know, as I just spun it this past week. It's grainy as hell, and many of the darker scenes are just terrible. It makes a nice collector's item, but it sure isn't the best way to watch the movie.

It's me, Billy
12-30-2012, 11:51 AM
Yes, it's a pretty rare disc, not many produced as the format was near the end. It also clears up a lot of the aspect ratio mystery, as this was clearly taken from a theatrical print (I believe you can see the "cigarette burn" reel change marks), so if you ever wanted to know how this looked in the theater, the LD is the answer.

Sadly though, this disc looks like ass. Most LDs look far better than this one. I should know, as I just spun it this past week. It's grainy as hell, and many of the darker scenes are just terrible. It makes a nice collector's item, but it sure isn't the best way to watch the movie.

I kind of expected that. I guess when you're used to watching Blu-ray Discs and DVDs (and to a lesser extent HD DVDs), popping in a LD is going to be a different world. I guess I'm interested for the novelty of the thing. When LaserDisc was around I could never afford it due to the high cost of players and discs. I was always fasinated with the format though, thought it was so cool. I remember looking through the J.C. Penney and Sears Christmas Catalogs around 1990-1994 and seeing the LD players and discs for sale. Seems like they were always near the back of the catalog.

It's me, Billy
12-30-2012, 06:21 PM
http://s7.postimage.org/x3oapxxuh/536160_182391828569570_459686496_n.jpg

My Black Christmas (1974) Collection:

Top Left: 2008 Canadian Anchor Bay DVD
Bottom Left: 1986/1994 US Warner Bros. VHS
Center: 1999 US Image Entertainment/Warner Bros. LaserDisc
Bottom Right: 2002 Canadian Critical Mass Collector's Edition DVD
Top Right: 2008 Canadian Anchor Bay Blu-ray Disc

Ash28M
12-30-2012, 07:52 PM
http://s7.postimage.org/x3oapxxuh/536160_182391828569570_459686496_n.jpg

My Black Christmas (1974) Collection:

Top Left: 2008 Canadian Anchor Bay DVD
Bottom Left: 1986/1994 US Warner Bros. VHS
Center: 1999 US Image Entertainment/Warner Bros. LaserDisc
Bottom Right: 2002 Canadian Critical Mass Collector's Edition DVD
Top Right: 2008 Canadian Anchor Bay Blu-ray Disc


I still say i'm a bigger fan :)


Actually I sold my VHS though and my 2006 Special Edition since the Blu-ray shares all of it's features.

so I'm down to

The 2000 25th Anniversary Edition DVD, the 2002 Collector's Edition and the Blu-Ray and I'll keep them all as they all have different features.

Paff
12-30-2012, 08:10 PM
I kind of expected that. I guess when you're used to watching Blu-ray Discs and DVDs (and to a lesser extent HD DVDs), popping in a LD is going to be a different world.

That's certainly true, but my point is that the Black Christmas LD doesn't look that good, even for LD. LD picture quality was always a roll of the dice, especially for older movies. Some looked fantastic, some were VHS quality. You never knew.

If you do ever buy a player to watch your Black Christmas disc, buy some other discs and you'll be impressed with the quality of some discs. Not enough to throw out your Blu-Ray player, of course, but it can be a great way to watch a movie. Try something like the Star Wars "faces" discs (which is still the only way to see the THEATRICAL versions of the films), the Roan Entertainment "Spaghetti Nightmares" series (Demons 1 and 2, Tenebre, and Phenomena), or anything from Elite Entertainment's horror series. Oh! And try to find the Japanese disc of Evil Dead. That still blows me away in quality.

Discs with extras worth finding:
Elite's special edition of Night of the Living Dead. It has a still photo gallery, many in full color, that I don't think has made to any DVD
Criterion's edition of Carrie. It has an audio commentary.

killit
12-30-2012, 08:55 PM
That ld is the only way I've seen black Christmas other than the remake in the theater which I thought was fucking amazing btw. Love this film, wish I had the ld still. Since everyone here is a bc superfan, what is the primo way to see this film these days?

Ash28M
12-30-2012, 09:01 PM
That ld is the only way I've seen black Christmas other than the remake in the theater which I thought was fucking amazing btw. Love this film, wish I had the ld still. Since everyone here is a bc superfan, what is the primo way to see this film these days?

The Blu-ray is the best I've seen it look.

It's me, Billy
01-18-2013, 04:52 PM
What I've found so far:

http://s13.postimage.org/ri3y6sq9j/395495_190235354451884_1485086345_n.jpg

On the way (currently in shipment)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Elite Letterboxed Edition)
Heathers (Letterboxed Special Edition)
The Odd Couple (1968) (2.35:1 Letterboxed)
Scream (Unrated, Letterboxed)
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Letterboxed)

wago70
01-18-2013, 07:21 PM
Good times! I remember ordering Black Christmas LD and it being very hard to get soon after release.
I also remembering getting it from Digitaleyes (they were called something else at the time) and, even though the packaging was perfect, the actual LD cover was all dented up.

Paff
01-18-2013, 07:43 PM
Those Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street are pretty loaded special editions, especially for laserdisc. For a long time, those were highly sought-after by horror fans, as the initial DVDs had nowhere near the special features. Even as LD was dying or dead, those discs would still fetch a good price on E-bay. I think all the special features have been ported over now though.

Paff
01-19-2013, 09:17 AM
oh, and dumb question....you got anything to PLAY these discs on yet?

startide
01-21-2013, 01:52 AM
On the way (currently in shipment)

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Elite Letterboxed Edition)
Heathers (Letterboxed Special Edition)
The Odd Couple (1968) (2.35:1 Letterboxed)
Scream (Unrated, Letterboxed)
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Letterboxed)

Billy, please post pics when they arrive. Am esp. interested in IKWYDLS. :) I'm always fascinated when a format is on the way out while another is on the rise and that year (with H20) is a perfect example.

ReelFear
01-21-2013, 04:00 AM
I've owned this LaserDisc as well, but sold it on Ebay years ago. I still have my VHS signed by John Saxon, my 2 DVD's signed by Margot Kidder and Keir Dullea, and the Blu too. One of the best movies ever and should be enjoyed in every format!

It's me, Billy
01-28-2013, 12:49 AM
oh, and dumb question....you got anything to PLAY these discs on yet?

I have been bidding on ebay and just now won a LD player. The Pioneer CLD-1070. It was listed as being "in great shape and works well" and it comes with the remote and manual. I won it for $41.00 plus $15.00 shipping, $56.00 total.

http://s8.postimage.org/e6dbdt3p0/KGr_Hq_JHJEk_FDyo_R7q_GLBQ_y4_s_S_60_57.jpg

It's me, Billy
01-28-2013, 12:57 AM
Billy, please post pics when they arrive. Am esp. interested in IKWYDLS. :) I'm always fascinated when a format is on the way out while another is on the rise and that year (with H20) is a perfect example.

Yeah, I'll post some pix soon. Unfortunately, I didn't get Elm Street 3. The seller had incorrectly listed the '84 original SE LD under Elm Street 3, so I sent it back for a refund. Those Elite Letterboxed LDs of Elm Street 2 and 3 must be very rare. I've never seen them on ebay (the one I tried to buy was from a seller on amazon), only the open-matte discs that were released in the 80s from Media/Image.

Paff
01-28-2013, 01:58 AM
I have been bidding on ebay and just now won a LD player. The Pioneer CLD-1070. It was listed as being "in great shape and works well" and it comes with the remote and manual. I won it for $41.00 plus $15.00 shipping, $56.00 total.

http://s8.postimage.org/e6dbdt3p0/KGr_Hq_JHJEk_FDyo_R7q_GLBQ_y4_s_S_60_57.jpg

Should have consulted with some of us first. There's definitely better players out there in the same price range. LD is not like DVD, where one player is as good as another. It's also important to have a player that will play 2 sides. That one doesn't. You'll have to flip the discs manually after an hour, instead of the player doing it itself.

It's me, Billy
01-28-2013, 11:01 AM
Should have consulted with some of us first. There's definitely better players out there in the same price range. LD is not like DVD, where one player is as good as another. It's also important to have a player that will play 2 sides. That one doesn't. You'll have to flip the discs manually after an hour, instead of the player doing it itself.

I'm just happy to have a working LD player that I didn't have to spend a lot of money on. I was a little surprised at how expensive some of the LD players on eBay are. Some are in the $400-$900 price range. No way would I spend that much cash on a dead format. Then there were quite a few listings for non-working players to be used for parts only. He'll, it was kind of difficult to find one that included a remote. Overall, I'm satisfied. (There were a lot worse looking players that I passed on.) At least I'll get to watch the LDs I bought.

killit
01-28-2013, 03:42 PM
I have been bidding on ebay and just now won a LD player. The Pioneer CLD-1070. It was listed as being "in great shape and works well" and it comes with the remote and manual. I won it for $41.00 plus $15.00 shipping, $56.00 total.

http://s8.postimage.org/e6dbdt3p0/KGr_Hq_JHJEk_FDyo_R7q_GLBQ_y4_s_S_60_57.jpg

Score!

It's me, Billy
01-28-2013, 05:29 PM
Try something like the Star Wars "faces" discs (which is still the only way to see the THEATRICAL versions of the films), the Roan Entertainment "Spaghetti Nightmares" series (Demons 1 and 2, Tenebre, and Phenomena)

I'm interested in rediscovering Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, but what are the "faces" discs you speak of? Also, I have the anamorphic widescreen DVDs of Tenebre and Phenomena from Anchor Bay. Are the Roan LDs still worth tracking down. Thanks for all the help Paff.

Paff
01-28-2013, 06:38 PM
I'm interested in rediscovering Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, but what are the "faces" discs you speak of? Also, I have the anamorphic widescreen DVDs of Tenebre and Phenomena from Anchor Bay. Are the Roan LDs still worth tracking down. Thanks for all the help Paff.

These are the so-caled "faces" discs:
http://www.therpf.com/attachments/f47/star-wars-laser-discs-3faces.jpg-56185d1307979588

If you do decide to buy Star Wars discs, these are the only ones to have.

At this point, I don't think there are many LDs that are worth owning over their DVD/Blu-Ray counterparts. Mostly, you get them as collector's items (like your Black Christmas disc), but very few if any have more features or better quality than the DVD/Blu. I mentioned the Roan discs simply because they're among the better quality horror LDs that were ever released (in terms of picture/sound/extas), and if you want to see LD on top of its game, that's a good place to start. Well, that and the Elite discs, but you're already going there. Seriously though, get that Elite SE of Night of the Living Dead, for the stills gallery alone. The sheer number of photographs (many in full color) from the making of the film will astound you.

Also wanted to add that Elite LD would eventually split off into Anchor Bay, Blue Underground, Elite DVD, and Synapse, so if you can imagine the heads of those companies all working on the same team, it was Elite LD.

Paff
01-28-2013, 06:59 PM
http://laserdiscplanet.com/images/Night_Living_Dead.jpg

http://www.lddb.com/cover/ld/17501-17600/thumb/17520.jpg

http://d12.laserdiscs.biz/images/large/Carrie-Criterion-Voyager-Janus-LaserDisc-CC1278L.jpg

Three must-owns for any horror fan with LD capability.

As for the player, you still should look out for a decent one. You don't want to go all-out like I do (I have a Faroudja scaler specifically for upscaling LD into my HDTV, several hundred dollars right there), but I also have 500 of these things and it will take a long time to upgrade to Blu-Ray. A good rule of thumb is to look for Pioneer players with the designation CLD-Dxxx (where xxx will be something like 406, 502, 704, etc). The second "D" means double sided as in it will switch to the second side of the disc automatically. You already know that the remote is critical, as you can't access things like commentary unless you have it as no universal remote will have that specific function.

Don't be afraid to ask any of us LD-heads for advice BEFORE you buy something.

It's me, Billy
02-03-2013, 09:21 AM
http://s18.postimage.org/3xk0gs4eh/702029_200517790090307_661830248_n.jpg

Next up: Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

SickNick89
02-03-2013, 02:35 PM
Those Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street are pretty loaded special editions, especially for laserdisc. For a long time, those were highly sought-after by horror fans, as the initial DVDs had nowhere near the special features. Even as LD was dying or dead, those discs would still fetch a good price on E-bay. I think all the special features have been ported over now though.

Actually the Elm Street LD still has extras that have never been ported over. There is some raw deleted footage and Freddy voice tests on the dsc that have yet to see the light of day anywhere else.
I remember pre-ordering the I Know What You Did Laserdisc from Suncoast back in 1998 and it finally coming in but they were unable to sell it to me because the disc had just been recalled because the trailer on it said "From the creator of Scream" and Cravens people asked to have that removed. Years later I did get the disc with the trailer intact off of ebay for pennies.

Crazferret
03-13-2013, 02:40 AM
Mine was BRAVEHEART. Quickly followed by the Criterion HALLOWEEN release.