Monday, November 9, 2009

70s Sci-Fi Obscurities

Although it sometimes seems like every cult show or film is available on DVD (Genesis II, Planet Earth, The Shape of Things To Come, Galaxina!?), for the really obsessive 70s sci-fi buff, there are yet a few obscurities that are still unavailable on disc. In fact, most of them have never been released on home video in any format. This includes genre television shows like Project: UFO and Logan's Run, and my two personal holy grails: the Canadian flying saucer epic Starship Invasions, starring Robert Vaughn and Christopher Lee, and Toei Studios' Message From Space, starring Vic Morrow and Sonny Chiba.

I saw Starship Invasions on network television in the late 70s, and actually went to see Message from Space at the old Waterville, Maine Cinema Center (it's a church now). Starship seems to have all but disappeared from this reality (though YouTube user CyprusCorners has a retitled version uploaded - along with lots of other genre treasures), while Message did run at least a few times on cable's Starz Action movie channel earlier in this decade.

I keep hoping that some adventurous DVD label will release these films on disc in their proper aspect ratios and digitally remastered... but considering just how comparatively obscure these titles are, I'm thinking it's unlikely. Sure, there are bootlegs and "gray market" versions floating around, but aside from being expensive, the quality is usually awful.

Is there some forgotten film from the era that you wish was available on DVD? Let me know in the comments. Who knows who might be reading this blog?

8 comments:

  1. Not a film, but a tv series...Star Maidens!
    Saw the series in syndication, and have the British novelization of the first two episodes and some action figures!
    Keith Wilson, Space: 1999's production designer, worked on it right after 1999 was cancelled, so it has a very similar visual feel.
    A pre-Blakes 7 Gareth Thomas was one of the leads, and Christiane Kr├╝ger as Octavia was HOT!

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  2. PHOTON! This show needs to be rediscovered...

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  3. I first saw Starship Invasions on NBC's Friday Night at The Movies. Although the SFX was not as great as those used in Space:1999, Star Wars, and the like, the film did have an interesting plot.

    It would be interesting if Warner Bros did decide to release this 1977 science fiction film.

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  4. I loved this film. I still remember the telepathic dialog of the aliens on their ship, "We are going to crash!" Oh, and remember the countdown watches? I so want this to be captured on DVD.

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  5. 1. It is possible to find a decent copy of Message From Space from VideoDaiKaiju.
    2. Photon was great. Sorely missed.
    3. Star Maidens was intriguing. An unusual British/German co-production.
    PS - I actually saw Starship Invasions in the theatre. Fun!

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    1. This post was written four years ago. Message From Space is now legally available in a couple of DVD editions, and I've covered them here on the site.

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  6. 1. It is possible to find a decent copy of Message From Space from VideoDaiKaiju.
    2. Photon was great. Sorely missed.
    3. Star Maidens was intriguing. An unusual British/German co-production.
    PS - I actually saw Starship Invasions in the theatre. Fun!

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  7. In what Bizarro universe does ROBERT VAUGHN get top billing over CHRISTOPHER LEE??? And don't get mad at me, U.N.C.L.E. fans, but that was a looooong time ago, and besides, he's CHRISTOPHER LEE!!! Oy!

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