Go Back   Forums @ The Digital Fix > Entertainment Discussion Forums > Film Discussion

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 29-10-2006, 08:20   #1
Guest 43175
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 124
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The worst transfer of a film to DVD

If there was a category for "the worst transfer of a film to DVD" then Pickwick's treatment of the Val Guest film "The Runaway Bus" MUST surely be the winner!
Poor quality, over-contrasty image, missing frames, freezing of the image for a few seconds at a time (more than once!), scratches, tears, and - at one point - 4 seconds of "leader film" goes through before the next reel starts!
It does say something for Val Guest's direction - and the film - that it remains watchable. As always, Margaret Rutherford steals the show, and Petula Clark gives a creditable performance as a perky air hostess.

Any other nominations in this category?

Alistair
Guest 43175 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 09:28   #2
Guest 56823
Trusted User
 
Guest 56823's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,174
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The transfer of Our Town (Sam Wood, 1940) is unwatchable. The company Sol Lesser Productions has released this several times with different covers, but it's always the same awful transfer. It's a shame that this classic still isn't available as a decent DVD release.

The DVD of William Girdler's blaxploitation Exorcist rip-off Abby is also notoriously awful.

Last edited by Todd Tomorrow; 29-10-2006 at 09:30.
Guest 56823 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 10:04   #3
Guest 155
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Aldershot, Hampshire
Posts: 1,538
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The worst I've ever seen is the Australian "digitally remastered" edition of Mad Dog Morgan.
Guest 155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 10:18   #4
Guest 45362
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,619
Thanks: 26
Thanked 150 Times in 115 Posts
The Prism release of Harlequin is unremittingly awful. It starts out well, but once you get past the credits it goes to pan-and-scan. It looks like a third generation VHS copy, and there is loads of print damage evident all through the film.

I was so pleased when this film finally got a release and so disappointed when I saw what a poor job had been made of it.

Just to make things worse, there are perfectly good prints around; the BBC showed the film not so long back, and it was proper widescreen and the print was excellent.

Apparently, the US edition is also much, much better, and appears under the title Dark Forces for anyone contemplating buying the film.
Guest 45362 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 10:33   #5
drush9999
Trusted User
 
drush9999's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: England - The Land of Do-As-You-Please?
Posts: 2,196
Thanks: 49
Thanked 35 Times in 30 Posts
Any release by PD companies like Alpha and Madacy in the US, or Pickwick and Elstree in the UK. Too many titles to mention
drush9999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 11:16   #6
Guest 57708
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 99
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My exploration of the Poundstore PD bins unsurprisingly threw up quite a few candidates. If forced to nominate just one . . .

Connoisseurs of terrible transfers should try to find the 23rd Century edition of Monte Hellman's cult Western, The Shooting. It is utterly dire. The film features a youthful Jack Nicholson but most of the acting honours belong to Warren Oates. This is very curious picture with what are described as existential or even Fortean dimensions but this horrid print has missing sections and holes on the soundtrack so there are a lot more mysteries than the director intended.

The 23rd Century label is very cheap but The Shooting is one of the worst DVDs ever made. Clearly from a sub-standard video source, there are jumps in continuity, missing titles and horrible faults on the soundtrack. The picture also exhibits tracking errors, blurred colour, video roll and practically every defect known to video and DVD except for the fact that it does actually play. It all adds a kind of Blair Witch level of a film found in a bottle to the mysteries of this object.

More horrid 23rd Century fun on my site:

Here


Last edited by JamesBW; 29-10-2006 at 18:30.
Guest 57708 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 11:24   #7
Guest 50820
Dippy & dizzy
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The West Country
Posts: 2,133
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"The Cat and the Canary"
Is easily the worst I have seen, looks like a bad VHS transfer.
Guest 50820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 11:35   #8
Guest 155
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Aldershot, Hampshire
Posts: 1,538
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebiroth
The Prism release of Harlequin is unremittingly awful. It starts out well, but once you get past the credits it goes to pan-and-scan. It looks like a third generation VHS copy, and there is loads of print damage evident all through the film.

I was so pleased when this film finally got a release and so disappointed when I saw what a poor job had been made of it.

Just to make things worse, there are perfectly good prints around; the BBC showed the film not so long back, and it was proper widescreen and the print was excellent.

Apparently, the US edition is also much, much better, and appears under the title Dark Forces for anyone contemplating buying the film.
There's also an Australian edition which looked okay to me if I remember rightly - I don't have it to hand right now.
Guest 155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 16:38   #9
Raigmore
Ambassador to Earth
 
Raigmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: David Vincent's neighbour
Posts: 7,589
Thanks: 221
Thanked 166 Times in 109 Posts
I've got a terrible R1 version of "The King & I" with Yul Brynner & Deborah Kerr. The images are so soft throughout that they almost seem out of focus.
Raigmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 18:03   #10
jamiesd
BODIE
 
jamiesd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Uk
Posts: 752
Thanks: 2
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Gold, Starring Roger Moore. My betamax copy is better.
jamiesd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 19:50   #11
Guest 4906
Large Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: London
Posts: 767
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think you'd have to look hard for a worse transfer than Simitar's [b]The Royal Hunt of the Sun", the 1969 film adaptation of Peter Schaffer's play.

For starters, the film runs 95m... about 20m less than quoted by the IMDb.

The transfer is very poor. I don't think it was telecined - I think it was transferred by pointing a video recorder at a screen. The picture is distorted, smeary, and everything has sharply-defined halos. It's flecked with constant dirt. At the end of almost every shot you're treated to the flash of a splice mark, and (something I've never seen elsewhere) the editor's grease pencil marks on the last frame of every shot. Very distracting!

The audio's very poor, too.

A shame, because it's an interesting film with a very appealing cast.
Guest 4906 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2006, 19:57   #12
John Hodson
Out to lunch...
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bolton, Lancashire
Posts: 12,507
Thanks: 9
Thanked 55 Times in 4 Posts
I foam over two John Ford films.

I try to avoid anything that has entered the public domain because usually (but not always) they turn out to be God-awful (which at the same time declaring themselves to be 'digitally remastered'). Case in point is the R2 Judge Priest - it couldn't look worse had they dragged the print behind two wild horses, smeared the screen in vaseline and re-recorded the soundtrack in a chippy.

Maybe there are worse transfers than The Quiet Man (any region), but I'm hard pressed to think of a better film that has received such shoddy treatment. It's like watching a 3D version of the film (sans specs) while enduring a particularly savage migraine.
__________________
So many films, so little time...
My Film Journal Blog
Emily Collingwood: I can't see him. All I can see is the flags...
John Hodson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 07:12   #13
Guest 45586
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 912
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The worst I've come across are: One-Eyed Jacks, which looked like a grainy 16mm dupe, pan-and-scanned; Tom Jones with those terrible day for night shots, though it may well have looked that way in cinemas; and Major Dundee with its unwatchable night scenes. I might also include sections of The Searchers as well which was like viewing through a film of mud.
Guest 45586 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 09:21   #14
Guest 45362
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,619
Thanks: 26
Thanked 150 Times in 115 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by drush9999
Any release by PD companies like Alpha and Madacy in the US, or Pickwick and Elstree in the UK. Too many titles to mention
Not quite; it is true that any title released under these labels should be considered with caution and low expectations, but some of the Alpha releases are surprisingly good considering the extremely low prices.

AFAIK Alpha, in particular, has had some changes in management and has improved the quality considerably of late.
Guest 45362 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 09:26   #15
Guest 2637
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: New Labours Screwed Up Kingdom,where the madness never ends,it just evolves.
Posts: 825
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Universal's release of 'Operation Petticoat'.Beyond comment.
Guest 2637 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 10:06   #16
Guest 10143
XBL: Jimblobb
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Hatfield, Herts.
Posts: 2,154
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My vote for worst transfer has to be the original US release of Highlander (I think it was subtitled as the directors cut, although it was the same as the European theatrical version)

I don't know if it's been fixed for other regions or not, but it was abysmal.

If i recall correctly, the picture was sharp, but it was so grainy it was virtually unwatchable.

James
Guest 10143 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 17:38   #17
Guest 29
Last Of The Independents
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Up North
Posts: 5,668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The first Hen's Tooth release of Cross of Iron was an abomination.
Guest 29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 20:27   #18
Guest 25476
Person A Non Grata
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Brighton
Posts: 593
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've been quite fortunate, I rarely make blind purchases and normally check reviews first. The worst transfer I've owned is the original Region 2 issue of Stanley Donen's Charade (was it Sanctuary??) which had the gall to call itself a 'restored version'.

All I can say about the transfer is that the pixellation was so pronounced it actually became a fascinating abstract diversion in itself. I ended up completely losing interest in the film and followed the swirly patterns of blocky colour instead. They should have ressurected Norman McLaren or Oskar Fischinger to do the commentary instead of the 'wonderful' track we got from 'Film Historian Ken Barnes'...
Guest 25476 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 20:50   #19
Guest 16217
Trusted User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 195
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 2 Posts
Two films from memory

The 'special edition' release of The Quiet man on region 1

First Great Train Robbery - Region 1 - very pixelly. Shame - I love the film
Guest 16217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-10-2006, 21:02   #20
Livius
Is it far?
 
Livius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Somewhere in the Med
Posts: 1,587
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Have to agree with all those who have mentioned The Quiet Man.
Not sure if I'd call it the worst transfer though. The fact that the movie is so well-loved & should look gorgeous makes the transfer seem even more abominable.
__________________
Riding the High Country
Livius is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
Cross of Iron, First Great Train Robbery, Gold, Harlequin, highlander, Jack Nicholson, John Ford, Judge Priest, L'Atalante, Mad Dog Morgan, One-Eyed Jacks, Operation Petticoat, Our Town, Roger Moore, Runaway Bus, Sam Wood, Suspiria, The Cat and the Canary, The King & I, The Quiet Man, The Runaway Bus, The Shooting, tom jones, Val Guest, worst transfer

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 14:57.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018 Poisonous Monkey Ltd. Part of The Digital Fix Network