Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Extra ! Extras !!

One of the problems of owning a substantial (read: bloated) DVD collection is finding the time to balance screenings of new acquisitions with old favorites. I must admit this is a skill I have yet to master, and I still have far too many films yet to be torn from their shrink wrap. Lately though I'm becoming more conscious of how far I've fallen behind on extras. When I first began collecting DVD in 1999 it was easy to watch everything - I must have seen Terror Takes Shape, the superb 82min making-of documentary found on the DVD of The Thing two or three times, and I really did sit through 49mins of Blood Feast out takes generously provided on the Something Weird disc. The documentary extra has become my weapon of choice over the years, this is the supplement I prize above all else, and the film collector has been treated to many incredible retrospectives - The Making of Close Encounters of The 3rd Kind (100mins), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth (75mins), Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner (211mins), Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist (77mins), Under Pressure: Making the Abyss (60mins), The Shark is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws (101mins), Universal Horror (95mins), Behind the Planet of the Apes (126mins) - all of which are highly recommended...

So, with that in mind I'm setting myself the challenge of seeing the following 10 documentaries over the next few weeks...

Fear of the Flesh: The Making Of The Fly (136mins)
Billy, How Did You Do It? (documentary about Billy Wilder, 183mins)
Notes on City of Women (60mins)
The Making of Psycho (94mins)
The Dead Will Walk (documentary about Dawn of the Dead, 76mins)
The Beast Within: Making Alien (177mins)
Stories (documentary about Eraserhead, 90min)
RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World (159mins)
The Battle Over Citizen Kane (113mins)
Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood (1979 documentary about Hunter Thompson & Ralph Steadman, 51mins)

We'll see how that goes !


  1. Ha! I was only having the same conversation with Debbie at the weekend. I was laid up with my back and decided for some very familiar entertainment that required minimum attention - I went with The Evil Dead and The Thing on Blu Ray - and due to me being unwilling to get up, I watched everything on the discs, including the Terror Takes Shape doc, which is always worth dipping into.

    I was the same as you, every commentary got a spin, no matter how banal the film ( I even listened to the Resident Evil commentary - the film is a guilty pleasure - but fuck me, probably one of the most annoying commentaries ever recorded), but nowadays, I really only go for the documentaries. My personal favorites are the ones on the Alien Special Editions, which regularly get a watch, and anything documentary wise on horror films. Some that you mentioned above I've not heard of - is The Fly one on a new DVD or something?, others I've seen a few times. I'm gonna see if I can get my hands on the Billy Wilder one (despite the serious amount of trash I watch, he is one of my favorite film makers) and The Fly one, and I might dip into the massive Friday the 13th one that came out recently.

    1. Yep, The Fly doc is on the 2-disc DVD edition and the Blu, so that's the first one I'm gonna dip into just because I went to watch the film a few weeks ago but it never happened for whatever reason, so instead it will be the doc... Yeah, I love a good documentary I must say, and I used to be a big commentary guy, although I had a slightly different method for listening to them - I'd rip out the commentary track as an mp3 and listen to it without the film, usually in work - it makes for a slightly disembodied experience but it saves a lot of time ! But I've fallen behind on commentaries as well - the audio ripper was on my old PC and when it died on me, so did my commentary listening. I still have three DVDs worth of mp3 commentaries some of which I return to when the mood takes me - like the round-table commentary on Synapse's 42nd Street Forever Vol 3 trailer collection which is incredible – John, if you don’t have this disc, seek out the Blu-Ray edition. I think the last live commentary I listened to was Tobe Hopper on Eggshells - and it was a good one too... I'm looking forward to seeing the Alien series documentaries, the films have been on my mind since Giger's death and the early parts of Godzilla reminded me of the first film when the Nostromo crew explore the derelict spacecraft... Yeah, the Wilder doc is meant to be really good, and the man is entertaining as hell. The Friday the 13th doc is really good, well worth setting aside a lazy afternoon for...

    2. Hmm, I have the two disc R1 of The Fly from a few years back, it has a documentary on the 2nd disc, I wonder is it the same as above, just not named? I don't have the 42nd Street Forever disc, Wes, I'll definitely add it to the list on your recommendation.

      The Alien ones are great, really candid, with lots of juicy info on the shoots. I try and watch em every couple of years, though I believe they've expanded them even more for the Blu Ray.

    3. Yeah, the doc is definitely on that 2-disc'er John, I have the exact same R1 edition... Yeah, I really am looking forward to some Alien stuff, the list above was not in any order, but the Alien doc might just jump to the top...