Why they would wait this long is beyond me, but it looks like Tom Hollan’s 1985 vampire classic, Fright Night, is finally coming to HD Blu-ray.
Specialty label Twilight Time has struck a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to license and release classic films from the Sony-owned Columbia Pictures library in high-definition Blu-ray editions. In line with Twilight Time’s innovative limited series concept, just 3,000 units of each title will be produced, aimed at the collector/classic film aficionado market, and available exclusively online through Screen Archives, the nation’s largest independent distributor of specialty soundtracks.
The November 8th Blu-ray debut of director Cy Endfield’s and special effects master Ray Harryhausen’s 1961 science fiction/fantasy classic, Mysterious Island, will be followed by a new release on the first Tuesday of each month. Scheduled follow-up on December 13th is the original Fright Night (1985), the horror/comedy cult favorite written and directed by Tom Holland and starring Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall.Twilight Time — the label that has made a recent splash in the classic film home video pond with the release of such titles as The Kremlin Letter, Violent Saturday, and The Egyptian — is the brainchild of 30-year Warner Bros. veteran Brian Jamieson and filmmaker/music restoration specialist Nick Redman. In his long tenure at Warner Home Video, Jamieson initiated and oversaw countless legacy restorations, including the films of Stanley Kubrick, Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One, and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. Redman, a film historian and Oscar nominee for his 1997 documentary The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage, is also a prime mover behind Twentieth Century Fox’s pioneering series of limited edition soundtracks, the inspiration for Twilight Time’s release model.
Twilight Time, Jamieson explains, is motivated by a desire “to optimize the film enthusiast’s dream, providing long sought-after collectible and fully restored titles in their original aspect ratios, all manufactured to the highest quality available and at an affordable price.”
Unlike movies-on-demand offerings, each Twilight Time release is a BD or DVD (not a DVDr) properly pressed from a restored transfer. Each is accompanied by a collectible 8-page booklet complete with original essay, stills, and poster art. And each Twilight Time disc provides, whenever possible, that extra most coveted by cinemusic enthusiasts: an isolated score. Mysterious Island offers a particularly high incentive along these lines, featuring music by pantheon composer Bernard Herrmann.
Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Executive Vice President for Asset Management, Film Restoration, and Digital Mastering, is enthusiastic about his studio’s new partnership with the label. “Our collaboration with Twilight Time will allow us to make available for Blu-ray release some of our library’s most collectible titles in a way fans have been asking for: restored and re-mastered with attention to detail and quality.”
And Jamieson concurs: “Sony and Twilight Time,” he says, “will be serving both the collectible drive of film aficionados, and, in a larger sense, the cause of cinema literacy.“