Monday, June 24, 2013

News: HANGAR 18 (1980) On Blu-ray/DVD This Week!

Yikes! Here's another Space: 1970-era HD release that nearly slipped by me! Anyway, the 1980 Sunn Classics UFO conspiracy film, Hangar 18, starring Darren McGavin, Robert Vaughn and Gary Collins, is being released tomorrow on Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Olive Films. There's very little info out there on this release, but it does look like it's a new, 1080p HD 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, though no extras are listed.

I missed Hangar 18 at the theater in 1980, but I did catch up with it a year or so ago on Netflix Instant. While certainly no Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, with some pretty unimpressive, low budget special effects, it was still an enjoyable flick, due, in no small part, to its familiar cast of professional character actors.

Even though this disc - like Olive's other Blu-ray releases - is a little more expensive than I'd like, I still hope to be adding it to my video library soon. It should be in stores tomorrow, or you can order it online from Amazon: Hangar 18 [Blu-ray] or Hangar 18 (DVD).

UPDATE: I've now discovered (because I finally went to the Olive Films website!) that this edition includes a bonus feature after all: a commentary track with director James L. Conway (The Boogens) and writer David O'Malley. That sweetens the deal a bit.

UPDATE 2: ...or maybe not. The review that appeared today at Blu-ray.com claims there are no bonus features on this disc. I guess I'll have to see for myself once I get my hands on it.

UPDATE 3: Having now purchased my own copy, I can confirm that, despite the info on the Olive Films website, the released Blu-ray does not include the promised commentary track, nor any other supplemental features. Oh well. The transfer is very decent, however. There are quite a few specks on the print, but the image is sharp and well-delineated, colors are bright and stable, and the overall presentation is quite satisfactory. If you can find it at a discount (as I did), it's worth picking up.

7 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorite movies.

    Don't ask me why, but it is.

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    1. I have always had a fondness for this one too. In some ways these low budget films handled some SF concepts better than the big budget pictures.
      I can totally see this kind of stupid accident happening whereas I simply couldn't buy into the "Close Encounters" mothership.
      And I have always wondered what that chicks back story was. Curious as to whether that back story was left on the cutting room floor.

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  2. That's one that's completely escaped my attention until now. Looks interesting.

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  3. Storm the KlingonJune 25, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    Dude, me and The Baxter (my fellow Star Kid and an integral part of the weekly MST3K-esque movie-mocking [with love!] group we call The Burn Unit) were JUST talking about this movie the other day, and wondering if it was available! I vaguely remember seeing it on TV years ago, but he remembers seeing it in the theatre when it was first out and he was like 13, and just laughing his ass off with the rest of the crowd (what there was of it). Just him telling me about this movie was making me cry laughing; I MUST get a copy!

    (Just so I stay within the Rules and Terms of Use of Space:1970-- no disrespect of the material is intended; it's got frickin' KOLCHAK in it, for Bowie's sake, that right there is reason enough to enjoy it! We kid and we laugh because we LOVE. I have a WAY better time watching an old "crappy" movie than I do the new movies that come out now and are just crap, because that just angries up my blood. I look at the long, LONG credits on the crap coming out now, and I think "All these poor people, they all worked so hard for so long on this utter crap". "Crappy" movies KNOW they're crappy (well, most do, and the ones that don't but are sincere in their effort are still awesome), and that they are there to deliver FUN, they don't lure you in with huge CGI budgets and the pretense of being The Next Big Thing and demand that you take them seriously. Give me rubber monsters, models, practical effects! The rubberiest alien STILL looks WAY more real than a bloody cartoon. I come not to bash the crappy film, but to praise it for its simple and sincere beauty, while finding mirth in its confusing plots, strangely stilted dialog, bizarre but clever effects/make-up, and heartfelt ACTING TALENT! I only laugh at things I enjoy, and I pretty much only enjoy old [pre-1985; my favourite era runs slightly longer than yours] sci-fi. If I had to choose between this and any of the megabudget disasters that've come out this year, this would win hands down.)

    Oh, and Richard Matheson passed away today, which sucks a mighty wang. He was just about my favourite writer ever, and I wish I had met him; George Clayton Johnson has always spoken so fondly of him.

    Your Pal,

    Storm the Klingon

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  4. My copy arrived today, sadly no bonus features. The movie hasn't looked this good since I watched it in the theater. Something I'm curious about, this film aired in the 80's on NBC under the title Invasion Force. The TV Guide blurb mentioned that the film had been modified with a different ending than what had been in the theater. I was dumb enough NOT to record that broadcast and have always wondered what that ending was. If I remember correctly the novelization had a different ending than the film. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who might read it in the future. Sorry for the rambling, so did anyone watch the NBC broadcast?

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  5. Well that's an unfortunate letdown, regarding the commentary. I wonder if they recorded one, but had to remove it for some reason or another.

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  6. I watched the '80s network version (where it was retitled "Invasion Force") but I don't remember how it ended. I vaguely recall a scene in which a couple of humanoid pilots were found inside the ship, but I'm not sure if this was in the original version or just the TV version. My impression at the time was that NBC was trying to make the movie more like "V", which was a big hit then.

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