OLD SCHOOL 3D ~ LEGITIMATE…?


Illegitimate 3D discs: Over the years, Video Cassettes and VCD’s (Video Compact Discs) have been released containing Anaglyph 3D versions of older, classic 3D films, ones that were often released in an early polarised version of the format, not too dis-similar to the methods employed today.

But picking up these early versions, whether it be Laser Disc, VCD or NTSC video, is becoming increasingly difficult. A market has sprung up over the past few years, but mainly in the U.S., of copying what are claimed to be “free from copyrighted” films and effectively selling bootleg copies.

Is this strictly piracy? I don’t think so, no, and the bootleg producers would no doubt argue than they have the rights anyway. But either way, the products are NOT available in any real sense so there is no conflict, no-one is being robbed of any revenue as second-hand copies are the only ones available and the copyright owner would not benefit in any way from these sales. But this is the only way to preserve these anaglyph versions of films such as Jaws 3-D and The Creature From The Black Lagoon 3D.

The latter though, 3D or not, has still only been released in its incorrect ratio of 1.33:1 rather than its native 2.00:1, so anaglyph or polarised 3D, this film has along way to go before it is fully restored and no such plans seem to exist.

So, I have recently picked up a few copies of old anaglyph prints of Jaws 3-D, Amityville 3D, Friday The 13th Part 3 3D and a rather interesting copy of Creature From The Black Lagoon 3D, with plays host to no less than TWO foreign soundtracks on top of each other and NO English version. The 3D was interesting though and I have plans to try to restore the soundtrack but we will have to see if my editing and mastering skills live up to my ambition.

These have only been added as a way of sampling the 3D of versions of these films which would otherwise be lost, unless they find the light of day via Blu-ray 3D in the future. The quality is poor in all cases but variable but for those like me who are keen to see these old school 3D features in, to some extent as they were intended, this will be an interesting experience and addition to my ever-growing film collection.

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