Friday, April 22

The Tomb of Ligeia

In episode #61 of THE FANTASTIC FILMS OF VINCENT PRICE Doc takes a look at the 1965 Roger Corman film TOMB OF LIGEIA.













In this gothic romance Vincent Price plays Verdan Fell, a man grieving over his late wife Ligeia (Elizabeth Shepherd). He meets and falls in love with another woman, Lady Rowena (also played by Shepherd) but is still obsessed over Ligeia, and harbors a dark secret within the walls of the ancient abbey. This is the final film Price made with Director Corman, and is one of his best.




About this series: Dr. Gangrene, Physician of Fright and Award-winning Nashville-based TV Horror Host (aka writer/film historian Larry Underwood) explores the films of the merchant of menace, Vincent Price, in chronological order from first to last, approaching them from a scholarly perspective, offering commentary, review and criticism.


Music: "Backed Vibes", "Hot Swing" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Opening Credits Artwork: Used by permission from Mark Maddox, http://www.maddoxplanet.com/ All film clips © respective studios and used purely for academic purposes and Fair Use under Copyright Act 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107

Tuesday, April 12

Jim Ridley Honored at this Year's Nashville Film Festival



Sam Adams at INDIEWIRE.com posted the news yesterday that the Nashville Film Festival will hold an empty seat in every theater "from now on." Sounds like they mean not only this year but every year going forward, from that statement, which is a remarkable tribute to an equally remarkable man.


Jim's passing continues to stun and sadden me. Jim was always such a great friend and ally to all of us here, a true champion for all of Dr. Gangrene's creative ventures. He was so excited back when I first started my TV show, I remember him telling me how great it was that Nashville had a horror host again. He made mention of my events time and again in those early days of cable access zaniness.



 
I remember a couple years back I ran into him in Nashville one day shortly after I'd started my Fantastic Films of Vincent Price series. He was so excited to hear about it and told me one of his favorite Price films was HIS KIND OF WOMAN, starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, and of course Vincent Price. It is a great film; zany, unusual, quirky and energetic - much like Jim himself. Makes total sense he'd love that one!


As editor, Jim was naturally the one who gave the go-ahead for a Dr. Gangrene cover on the Nashville Scene. I remember he had me come in for a photo shoot to accompany the article (written by Randy Fox), but instructed friends at the Scene (like Randy) to keep the fact I was going to be on the cover quiet, so it would be a surprise for me. And quite the pleasant surprise it was!! Time and time again he would write reviews or mentions of events we were hosting over the years, from live shows to movies, events and more -  and he'd even work humorous mentions of Dr. Gangrene into other folks' events, such as the following from Jan 22nd 2016, during a blurb for a Creeping Cruds show:

The Independents w/The Creeping Cruds & The Lonesome Town Drifters 

When: Fri., Jan. 22, 9 p.m. 2016
Price: $12
To non-fans, “horror ska” is redundant, but South Carolina’s The Independents are still skankin’ to wake the dead after almost a quarter-century of shock rock. Managed for a few years by the late Joey Ramone, an ardent admirer, founders Evil Presly and Willy B. have moved farther from the band’s early ska elements toward a punk sound that’s not as garage-y as, say, The Cramps, but still laden with references to black angels, corpses in the rain, and even the much-missed Rudy Ray Moore. Joining them are Nashville’s own psychotronic rockers The Creeping Cruds. If you plan your evenings around the chance of spotting horror host Dr. Gangrene, here’s a pretty safe bet. JIM RIDLEY
Too funny! That one I stumbled across totally out of the blue. But that's how Jim worked, making kind gestures like that without a second thought or expecting anything in return. He got a kick out of it, and I would have thanked him next time I saw him - to which he would naturally have shrugged it off as if it were nothing.


At last year's 12 HOURS OF TERROR festival Jim handed out stacks of paperbacks to the crowd for free.  He gave me one called THE SCREAM by John Skipp and Craig Spectre, which is a heavy metal horror (a favorive sub-sub genre of mine) novel. Jim raved about how much he loved Skipp and Spectre's writing. The book is fantastic, I need to do a proper review of it.


I'll leave you today with this shot of Jim from last year's 12 HOURS OF TERROR fest, where he  introduced THE EVIL SPAWN. Thank you again for your friendship and everything you did for us over the years, Jim. You rock, my friend.

Friday, April 8

Farewell Jim Ridley

It is with great sadness that I bid farewell to Nashville Scene Editor and friend Jim Ridley. I first met Jim in college at MTSU, and we stayed in touch over the years. He was always super-supportive of my horror host gig, and always more than happy to provide coverage for Dr. Gangrene events, and even allowing Dr. Gangrene to grace the cover of the Scene Halloween 2011. Over the past couple of years it seemed I kept running into him around town, at The Belcourt theater, some random event, or McKay Books, and Jim always had a huge smile on his face and wanted to know what I'd been up to lately. One of the friendliest, kindest and funny fellas you could ever hope to meet. Farewell Jim, you will be missed my friend.


This picture was taken by my son Luke at last year's 12 Hours of Terror film fest at the Belcourt theater. Pictured here is Jim (pointing at me), myself and Belcourt film guru Jason Shawhan. This was taken the morning after the fest, all of us celebrating having survived the overnight terrors. Jim was ALWAYS excited about the 12 hour festival, and always hand-picked a zany film to screen at the festival. If you looked at the lineup and there was one entry that was uber-bizarre and wacky, chances are it was a Ridley contribution to the lineup. I will always remember him enthusiastically pelting the crowd with candy midway through the event. I HATE that he won't be able to see the Belcourt theater in all its restored glory this summer. I know he would have loved and sung its praises in THE SCENE. This year's 12 Hours of Terror will not be the same without you. Farewell buddy.




BTW, there is a Jim Ridley memorial fund to help pay medical and funeral expenses and support his family in their time of need. Our thoughts go out to his wife and kids.




https://www.gofundme.com/jimridley

Thursday, April 7

Update and Brains, Brains, Brains!




So good news! The powers that be over at SHOUT! FACTORY got wind of my recent posts and released their claim on my hosted version of  THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. Woo hoo!

This is excellent news, and I'll be posting the entire episode here on the blog shortly.

Thank you to Shout Factory for the assistance with this matter!




Speaking of Shout Factory, I mentioned in the first post about this topic that they had released an impressive blu-ray edition of THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. They did a new HD transfer, cleaned it up, and packed it with extras. Including new footage previously missing. There is also a nude scene alternate cut, not sure if it is on this release or not though. The Shout Factory version includes:
    • NEW High Definition (1080p) Transfer From The Negative Restored To Its Uncut Version
    • Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode - The Brain That Wouldn't Die (Standard Definition)
    • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian And Author Steve Haberman And Writer Tony Sasso
    • Alternate Scene From The International Cut
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Still Gallery
Who would honestly have ever thought this film would get that kind of treatment? THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE on Blu-ray? Gotta love it!!


BTW - For more information than you'd ever want to know about this film check out THE PROJECTION BOOTH podcast Episode 144 THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. Host Mike White takes an amazingly in-depth look at this film, one of my favorite episodes of that podcast, actually.



Shout! Factory Shenanigans and YouTube

UPDATE: Since the time of this initial posting SHOUT! Factory has reviewed and released claim on the video in question. See my post here for full details.



This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about SHOUT! FACTORY and THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE. This has been a hot topic here and on facebook, where I posted the article. Lots of people are angry and disappointed that SHOUT! FACTORY would continue pushing such a flimsy narrative as the fact they “own” this public domain film. That begs the question, why are they doing this?



It is very simple. Money. If you go to YouTube and type in “The Brain that Wouldn’t Die” you are presented with multiple pages of videos of that film – some feature the entire film, some just clips from it, some reviews. YouTube offers 22 videos per page – and there are hundreds of videos that can be “claimed” by a copyright holder. Some have views in the thousands (even hundreds of thousands).



Even if the monetary amount from any one video isn’t that much, multiply that by hundreds of videos and you see it quickly adds up. My fellow horror movie host Karlos Borloff in the DC area was mentioning this morning that he is having a similar issue, once again from our good friends at SHOUT! FACTORY. BUT it is with a totally different film – ATOM AGE VAMPIRE.

Who knows how many public domain films SHOUT! FACTORY is claiming “ownership” of on YouTube and monetizing.

The truth of the matter is that the blame for this lies with YouTube themselves, for allowing this to continue. They have a system in place where a person can claim to own a video and not have to show any proof. If it is questioned they merely continue to say they own it, and YouTube takes them on their word.
When I disputed the claim from SHOUT! FACTORY, here is the response I got back from YouTube:

Hi drgangrene,
After reviewing your dispute, Shout! Factory, LLC has decided that their copyright claim is still valid.
Video title: Dr. Gangrene's Creature Feature - The Brain that Wouldn't Die
Includes: Audiovisual content
Claimed by: Shout! Factory, LLC

SHOUT! FACTORY decided their claim is still valid!
Well of course they did! They’re not going to arbitrarily give up their easy money! How about you look at it yourselves YouTube, and make a determination, make them show proof of ownership – which doesn’t exist! -  before allowing them to make money off other people’s work!

It’s my hope that if enough people continue to expose YouTube’s shameful copyright system - as well as the shady practices of companies such as SHOUT! FACTORY - that something will eventually be done about this.


In the meantime here are the host bits – without the movie – for my hosting of THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE, for your enjoyment… at least until Shout! Factory decides to claim ownership of it, too.


Wednesday, April 6

The Brain that Wouldn't Die Fiasco

 * UPDATE - Since the time of this posting SHOUT! Factory has reviewed and released their claim. See the full update here.


I've been posting episodes of my CREATURE FEATURE TV series on YouTube lately, and last week decided to post the THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE episode. That one originally aired April 8, 2006 on Nashville's CW58 - almost 10 years ago to the day I type this. It was one we spent a little more time on than usual with set design, lighting, and skits. It turned out really well, and I looked forward to sharing it.






However, within fifteen minutes of posting this video on YouTube I received eight copyright claims against it. This will sound familiar to anyone who has dealt with YouTube lately. It is common practice for people to try and claim copyright on well-known public domain films such as THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. They are bogus claims and are usually dropped once a dispute is placed. That wasn't the case this time, however.


For those not familiar with the process, the way it works is you post a video and if there are copyright claims against the video you receive email notification from YouTube informing you who is making the claim and against what element of your video (video, music, etc). From that point on the claimant is granted immediate rights to your video, meaning they can monetize it and make money off your video, block it in certain parts of the world, or even force it down immediately and give you a copyright strike.


Your only option at that point, if you feel the claim is unjustified, is to file a dispute. I did this, as seven of the claims were against music and clearly bogus claims from non-existent companies. One of the claims, however, was for the video itself, and came from SHOUT! FACTORY.






Now Shout! Factory is a well known video distribution company. They make great products, and I love their work. Their claim to own THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, however, is complete and utter horseshit.


______________________________________________________________________________


THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE is a 1962 b-horror film directed by Joseph Green, written and produced by Rex Carlton. it's a wonderfully trashy mad-science flick about a doctor who keeps his wife's severed head alive in a tray while searching for a replacement body in the local strip clubs.


It is also clearly in the public domain.



On September 29th, 1988 Rex Carlton Productions filed for copyright renewal of this film - the case # is PA#399511. They cited 1959 as the year of production and October 31, 1962 as date of publication.  Their copyright was NOT renewed, meaning the film was now in the public domain.


Skip forward to August 26th, 1993. A company named BEST BRAINS INC. filed for copyright of this film, case # PA668-012. it was for Mystery Science Theater 3000 #513, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. Copyright was granted, but it extended ONLY TO NEW MATERIAL - i.e. host bits of MST and their running commentary.

This is important to remember because MST is now distributed by, you guessed it, SHOUT! FACTORY, the company that is claiming on YouTube to own the entire film THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE. They do not. I disputed this and within 24 hours was told that Shout! Factory reviewed my claim and decided they still own it. End of story.


Now my only recourse at this point is to file a formal appeal, but, here's the thing. It goes straight back to the claimant - Shout! Factory in this case - who simply says yes or no to owning it once again. There is no review process by YouTube, the claimant does not have to show proof of ownership, nothing. YouTube simply takes them on their word and upholds their case. I would at this point receive a copyright strike against my channel, meaning I lose rights to monetize any of the videos on my channel for 6 months. Any channel that receives three strikes is permanently removed!


So at this point there is nothing to do. I could just leave the video up and let Shout! Factory make money off my video, but it is the principal of the matter. they don't own this film. IT IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. They know fully well they don't own it. I did not use any elements from the Mystery Science Theater version of this film. I've never even seen the MST episode. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a fan of their show, never have been. I respect what they've accomplished, but I'm not a fan. My material is 100% my own. The movie footage I used was from a copyright free copy of the movie.




ALPHA VIDEO version
of The Brain that Wouldn't Die




SO, SHOUT! FACTORY, if you see this post, please respond. You can reach me through email drgangrene at hotmail.com. If you really think you own this film, then I would love to know on what basis...


You distributed the impressive 2015 blu-ray edition of the film, and certainly own that cleaned-up edition - and you distribute the 1993 MST version, and clearly own that as well. But neither of those make you copyright owner of this movie. It is 100% in the public domain. The Rex Carlton Production company - who shot the film - couldn't renew copyright on it, and neither can you.




I am going to find another place to post this entire episode for folks to enjoy. In the meantime, I'll post just my host bits on YouTube, unless Shout! Factory decides to block that too.


Here is a link to the film on archive.org for those wishing to see the movie in its entirety:
https://archive.org/details/TheBrainThatWouldntDie_300


Note it's filed under PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Monday, April 4

Dr. Gangrene Halloween PSA nominated for award!

The Trick or Treat safety PSA we made last year has been nominated for a PSA award - please take a sec and watch and click like on this video, we'd appreciate it!!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH and "LIKE" VIDEO





The Masque of the Red Death

In the latest episode of the Rondo Award nominated FANTASTIC FILMS OF VINCENT PRICE Dr. Gangrene takes a look at the 1965 Roger Corman film THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH.



Vincent Price plays Price Prospero, a practicing Satanist who has retreated to his castle with a group of fellow aristocrats to avoid the Red Plaque that is ravaging the countryside. He has taken prisoner a peasant girl named Francesca (Jane Asher) to try and corrupt into his life and religion. One of the better Roger Corman films based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. About this series: Dr. Gangrene, Physician of Fright and Award-winning Nashville-based TV Horror Host (aka writer/film historian Larry Underwood) explores the films of the merchant of menace, Vincent Price, in chronological order from first to last, approaching them from a scholarly perspective, offering commentary, review and criticism.

Wednesday, March 16

Dr. Gangrene's Creature Feature - Total Recall



Dr. Gangrene hosts the 1990 sci-fi classic TOTAL RECALL. This episode originally aired on Thanksgiving, November 26, 2005. Recorded off the air, I left a few commercials in place.

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