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Clive Barker's A-Z Of Horror DVD Box-Set
 
Completion Date: 
March 24, 2013
Production Time: 
Six Days
Number Of Discs: 
3
Language(s): 
English
Subtitle(s): 
None
Source(s): 
Pre-existing AVI, MP4 & MPEG-2 DVD files
 
 
This is a project I've been wanting to do for some years. I remember it fondly when it was shown on UK BBC2 in 1997, two years after BBC2's excellent 27th May to 2nd June 1995 Forbidden Weekend of censorship & horror related films & documentaries.

It was a documentary series written and hosted by Clive Barker, exploring the history of horror, from the cinema to art. A tie-in book was also released featuring art work by Barker and film reviews by Stephen Jones. While there are twenty-six chapters in the book, the six-part series had just twenty-one segments, two of which were different to those in the book. Each of the segments (with the exception of that dealing with The Crow (N for Never Again in the TV series but included within Z for Zombie in the book) was introduced by Barker and he also narrated one or two of the segments.
 

DVD cover artwork - 14mm spine (click to enlarge)
 
I recorded the whole series on VHS at the time, but didn't keep the recording for too long, and regretted it. It's never been released at any time on VHS or DVD either. Around 2005, I found a US bootleg DVD website selling copies of the complete series and I bought a copy. The quality wasn't great with the 4h 59m 49s of NTSC VHS source footage compressed in to 4.8GB over two discs (Disc 1 was 2h 15m 38s @ 2.2GB and Disc 2 was 2h 44m 11s @ 2.6GB).


The front cover for the Clive Barker's A-Z Of Horror tie-in book
 
If that wasn't enough, the source footage itself looked 3rd generation, and the credits were truncated in places. The set did however have around 40mins of the Exorcist documentary 'The Fear of God: 25 Years from The Exorcist' which played after Episode 2, although it abruptly ends mid-way though (presumably at the end of the source VHS tape).

Some years later on the 18th of July 2012, I got in touch with an US IMDB forum posted who mentioned having a copy of the series. I set up a trade, and received a copy from him on the 29th of August 2012. The quality of this set was far better. Not only did it look like it was taken from first generation source footage with every episode playing complete from start to finish including credits, with the 4h 19m 14s of PAL source footage compressed in to 17.5GB, split across six single layer DVD-Rs. It was only after getting it, that I realized that this set was transferred by OriginalTrilogy.com UK user Meedermow (small world!).

After getting Meedermow's okay to re-package his set with proper artwork, I designed a DVD cover and disc art. As with my previous project; The Mary Whitehouse Experience Box-Set, I also added in BBC2 idents to play before each episode to add to the nostalgia factor, along with two next-week's-upcoming-episode promo trailers which had been recorded at the time and included on Meedermow's DVDs too.

It would be hard to improve on this set given the really decent quality of Meedermow's transfers, and that any possible VHS source materal would be over 15 years old by now. That said, if anyone reading this has anything they think would be a decent extra to add to this set, such as late-90s BBC2 promos for horror films or cult shows, one-off documentaries, or other such material then please get in touch.
 
 
 
Disc 1 of 3 - Disc Artwork & Menus
 
Total DVD Running Time: 
01:35:28
ISO Image Size: 
6.52GB
Region: 
0 (Worldwide)
Disc Format: 
PAL DVD9
Video Format: 
MPEG-2 / 720x576 / 4:3
Audio Format: 
AC3 2ch Stereo
 
 

Disc 1 - Disc artwork

Disc 1 - Main menu
 

Disc 1 - Episode 1 chapters
   

Disc 1 - Episode 2 chapters
 
 
 
 
 
Disc 2 of 3 - Disc Artwork & Menus
 
Total DVD Running Time: 
01:23:09
ISO Image Size: 
5.61GB
Region: 
0 (Worldwide)
Disc Format: 
PAL DVD9
Video Format: 
MPEG-2 / 720x576 / 4:3
Audio Format: 
AC3 2ch Stereo
 
 

Disc 2 - Disc artwork

Disc 2 - Main menu
 

Disc 2 - Episode 3 chapters
   

Disc 2 - Episode 4 chapters
 
 
 
 
 
Disc 3 of 3 - Disc Artwork & Menus
 
Total DVD Running Time: 
01:21:49
ISO Image Size: 
5.52GB
Region: 
0 (Worldwide)
Disc Format: 
PAL DVD9
Video Format: 
MPEG-2 / 720x576 / 4:3
Audio Format: 
AC3 2ch Stereo
 
 

Disc 3 - Disc artwork

Disc 3 - Main menu
 

Disc 3 - Episode 5 chapters
   

Disc 3 - Episode 6 chapters
 
 
 

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