King Kong (1933): Best Region 0 DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by One-Shot Scot, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. I know there are rumors that Warner will be releasing a terrific,
    totally-restored version of the 1933 _King Kong_ -- packed with extras
    which may even include the missing "Giant Spiders of Skull Island"
    scene -- by the end of this decade. However, my Pioneer LD700 LaserDisc
    player is barely working and my October 2004 viewing of Criterion's
    _King Kong_ was full of skips, jumps and picture disruptions. This title
    is the ONLY reason that I have held on to my failing LaserDisc player
    for the last 2 years.

    It appears that the only authentic, studio-approved DVD of _King Kong_
    is the Region 2 PAL version _King Kong und die weisse Frau_, which was
    released November 5, 1999. I have even seen this PAL version in a local
    store, with a selling price of $25. But since I don't have a
    multi-region player and because I had the Criterion CAV LaserDiscs, I
    didn't buy this DVD.

    After reading a couple of very positive reviews of the Korean Region 0
    DVD, I ordered one from a seller on eBay for a delivered price of $19.
    Three weeks later, the DVD arrived, complete with a cardboard slipcover,
    and Amaray box and a factory-pressed DVD -- not the burned disc that I
    was expecting and the DVD plays perfectly.

    The Korean DVD appears to be a copy of the German DVD, complete with all
    of the extras: A 23-minute featurette entitled "Making Film" (the audio
    of the featurette comes out the left channel only), a theatrical
    trailer, a photo gallery and three text-based extras; Synopsis, Cast &
    Crew and Special Effects -- all of which are written in Korean
    hieroglyphics. The disc also has both English and German soundtrack,
    plus Korean subtitles which can be turned off in the menu.

    The picture and sound of the Korean DVD are a lot better than the
    Criterion LaserDisc: Much cleaner, sharper picture with better contrast
    and better black levels. The audio is clear and free of noticeable
    background noise. All of the deleted scenes -- Kong undressing Fay Wray,
    Kong eating the natives, Kong eating the New Yorkers, Kong dropping the
    woman etc. are there. The only difference in the Korean/German version
    is that the prelude text featuring the "Old Arabian Proverb" has been
    changed to German, but the original text can be found in the "Making
    Film" documentary.

    My ONLY complaint about the Korean Region 0 DVD is that is a sped-up PAL
    version. I must admit that I didn't notice this until I had watched the
    DVD about 5 times and even then I only noticed it by comparing the
    running time with what was stated on the box. I even have the CD of Max
    Steiner's complete King Kong Symphony, which was recorded by the Moscow
    Symphony Orchestra in 1996 and I didn't notice the change in tempo of
    the movie soundtrack.

    The Korean box -- as well as every other movie reference -- says that
    _King Kong_ runs 100 minutes. The actual running time of the Korean DVD
    is 95 minutes 32 seconds, which accounts for the 4% speed increase of
    the PAL version.

    Some other Region 0 versions of _King Kong_ include:
    Manga Films (Spain) Region 0 - PAL
    Continental Home Video - Region 0 - NTSC
    Editora D+T (bootleg) - Region 0 - NTSC

    So, here's my question: Is there a Region 0 DVD version of _King Kong_
    that is superior to the one that I now have? Is there a superior region
    0 DVD that runs the full 100 minutes?

    I see that a Taiwanese "Buda Video Company" DVD (MPEG2, DVD-10, shipped
    from Singapore) has turned up on eBay in the last week.
    One-Shot Scot, Nov 15, 2004
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  2. I don't know of any Region 0 dvds but this is the R1 Warner contracted out
    Joseph Phillips, Nov 16, 2004
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  3. Thanks for this post. Do you have a source for the information
    regarding the outsourcing of this Warner title to Cheezy Flicks?

    Amazon carries 6 of their titles:

    Death at Love House (1976)

    Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)

    Inn of the Damned DVD


    Dracula Vs Frankenstein (1973)

    Blackbeard the Pirate (1952)

    However, Amazon does not show _King Kong_ as being a pre-order item,
    even though this title is supposed to be available in November.

    I pre-ordered this DVD directly from Cheezy Flix in mid October 2004,
    but I am not so sure that Cheezy Flix is a reputable seller. They did
    send me a receipt, but they have not responded to any of the e-mail
    that I have sent to them in regard to this title in care of their
    "Contact Us" address.

    They also have lousy feedback squeezed in between shill posts:

    "Placed my order two weeks ago.....never received.......never processed
    my charge for the order.....could not even respond to my email asking
    about the order......a total waste of my time.......I would certainly
    never order from this merchant again and would not recommend anyone to
    ever order from them either."

    "i have not gotten any of the normal emails from this seller like order
    processing, order sent to warehouse, order has been shipped, tracking
    info on your order i am begining to wonder if it was even mailed yet
    nothing no word except for the reciept they sent."

    "I ordered a movie over a month ago and after waiting 3 plus weeks to
    recieve it, I recieved the wrong movie. I have sent to emails to them
    explaining this and have not recieved a response. I sent the emails the
    week of 9/20. I supplied all my info so they could reach me. I believe
    this is poor customer service."

    "I ordered convoy, they got their money, sent me an email with a
    tracking number that is bogus. Its been about 8 weeks since I ordered
    and I cannot find a phone number to talk to a live person. NOT
    One-Shot Scot, Nov 16, 2004
  4. One-Shot Scot

    Bill Coleman Guest

    I'm sure the lawyers for Warners will be very interested in that site...

    Bill Coleman

    Bill Coleman, Nov 16, 2004
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