This page covers only legal retail DVDs containing Super-8 shorts which can be bought online or in stores. For more information about the various bootleg releases, please see the 'Releases & Bootlegs' page. You can also view detailed information on two fanmade DVD projects via the sub-menu above.
There have been various rumours & releases of Super-8 shorts over the years, but as the copyright for each short seems to reside with it's director, any form of official release is entirely at their discretion. In 2002, there was much excitement when Anchor Bay Entertainment revealed that Within The Woods would be an extra on the forthcoming Book Of The Dead Edition DVD of The Evil Dead. The short was remastered and listed in publicity materials, the fans got excited, but and then at the eleventh hour, it was pulled from the DVD. Separately Anchor Bay UK tried to get the short for their Evil Dead Trilogy boxset in 2004, but again had no luck. Additionally; clips from Within The Woods and Six Months To Live were edited out of the Incredibly Strange Film Show featured in the same boxset. You can see the Within The Woods section for more information on this.
In 2002, the German distributor Dragon Films Entertainment released a special edition of Scott Spiegelís gory 1989 slasher Intruder (under the title Night Of The Intruder) on Region 2 PAL DVD. The DVD features two shorts directed by Scott Spiegel, Attack Of The Helping Hand and Torro! Torro! Torro! (the latter co-directed with Josh Becker). However, Dragon is one of a handful of German distributors notorious for releasing official-looking bootlegs of films they havenít actually licensed, and Intruder was no exception. The two shorts (as well as some rare workprint footage from the film) may well have been mastered from a bootleg VHS tape. If it had been an official Special Edition with Scott's involvement, it would likely have included digitally remastered versions of both the shorts, as per the French Alien Apocalypse DVD (see below).
For anyone wishing to buy this DVD, its worth noting that Dragon Films also released a bearbones standard DVD alongside their special edition, which comes without many of the extras (including the shorts). You can tell the difference between the two by their covers; the special edition DVD cover is shown above, and the standard DVD cover can be seen here
Within The Woods was included on another German DVD, the distributor T.U.T. (The Union Television) released Evil Dead with the short as an extra, in 2004. The quality is very poor, and is not the best generally available. Again this would likely have been taken from a bootleg VHS tape. It's highly unlikely they would have been given permission to include the short if Anchor Bay couldn't in the USA or UK.
A low quality version of The Blind Waiter was available for a time as streaming RealMedia file on Josh Beckers website Beckerfilms. Over the past few years, Josh has had a number of his Super-8 shorts professionally transferred & remastered to DVD at CinePost in Marietta, Georgia. The results are stunning - crisp, bright, vivid, full of colour, a world apart from the widespread poor quality bootleg VHS tapes.
In 2005 Josh licensed two of these new transfers; Oedipus Rex & The Blind Waiter for inclusion as extras on the French DVD of Alien Apocalypse, released by Free Dolphin Entertainment. A number of other shorts were scheduled to appear as extras on DVDs to be released by independent US distributor; Synapse Films. Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except was to include Stryker's War, the 45-minute Super-8 prototype for that film, and Running Time was to feature Holding It. One of the DVDs was also to feature a documentary on the making of the Super-8 shorts featuring interviews with Josh & Bruce Campbell, which has apparently already been filmed. With little news since the original announcement, and Synapse dropping both DVDs from their upcoming schedules, it is unknown if these DVDs will ever happen.
Early in 2010, rather than continuing to wait on Synapse, Josh decided to move forward alone and sell all the shorts directly to customers via his website. There were five shorts discs available; disc one had Stryker's War, disc two had The Blind Waiter & Oedipus Rex, disc three had Holding It, disc four had Acting And Reacting & The Final Round, and disc five had Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter, The Case of the Topanga Pearl, Super Student, and Public Enemy Revisited.
Each short had it's original untampered musical score, and all five DVDs came with printed disc artwork (as shown above) in blank paper slipcases. To buy everything cost $60 plus postage, although it was well worth the price with all the profits going directly to the shorts' creator, as well as the fantastic quality of the telecine transfers. Josh would also autograph the discs free of charge if you asked him. Unfortunately in 2016, Josh decided to discontinue selling DVDs though his website, and it's unknown if Josh will re-start or make additional titles available in the future, so currently they are unavailable to buy.
Synapse Films released Intruder in the US on December 13, 2011. This two-disc Blu-ray & DVD combo set also included the Super-8 short prototype Nightcrew, or at least some of it. Scott lost his only Super-8 print of the film around 1980, unfortunately. He would take it along to parties with a projector and show it, but it got lost, which made him so mad as you might expect. He still had some omitted footage, 6m 47s of which is presented here, edited into as coherent a narrative as is possible. It's not the whole story, but it will give you a flavour of the full version.
On April 10, 2012, Synapse Films finally released Josh's long awaited Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except two-disc Blu-ray & DVD combo set. Alongside a host of new and exclusive extras, Synapse also included the Super-8 prototype Stryker's War.
While this is a release really worth getting, there are two down-sides; Stryker's War has been re-scored to remove any copyright issues (although the version you used to be able to buy from Josh directly still had it's original score), and the bitrate is lower than Josh's standalone version giving a slightly reduced quality picture.
In June 2017, Bill Ward got in touch out of the blue, with some screenshots he'd taken from a number of the ten or so Super-8 Shorts he owned on VHS, to be used on this site. He had been intervewed back in May 2015 and said he would send over an new material he turned up. We emailed back and fourth over a few weeks, and together with his good friend Scott Spiegel, we put together a DVD box-set containing eleven shorts for sale to fans.
The set contained Inspector Clutz Saves the Day (1969), Pies & Guys (1971), Corny Casanovas (1971), Piece of Mind (1973), For Crymin' Out Loud (1973), A Night in a Sanitarium (1973), Loose Loot (1973), Three Smart Saps (1973), Three Pests in a Mess (1974), Booby Bartenders (1974), and finally Curse of the Werewolf Teaser (1974). The list of shorts ran at 67m 16s in total, and play in chronological order. Each short came with an optional commentary track recorded by Scotty, along with the YouTube DVD promo, and motion menus. The DVD set was available in both 'Standard' ($30) & 'Deluxe' ($40) versions. They're both the same, although the 'Deluxe' set came with two extra 6" x 4" photos, plus any of the set's elements you request, could be signed by Bill & Scott. below you can see final photos with all the elements of the DVD set, along with the artwork created for this DVD set.
This was the first time these earliest shorts have been publicly seen. The shorts themselves were made up of both footage the group shot themselves, and stock footage they had access to, along with occasional Three Stooges dialogue, stock music & sound effects. Scotty transferred many of the huge number of shorts he owned from Super-8 film to S-VHS tape back in the 1990s, and later on to DVD, when he added/upgraded certain stock shots simply unavailable at the time. That aside, the content of the shorts themselves (including any music) remained untouched. This DVD was pretty much the experience you would have had on viewing these shorts when they were first shown back in the early '70s. If this first DVD does well, follow-up DVD sets containing further shorts from other members of the film-making group are possible.
The DVD cover was recycled & modified from the un-used artwork personally created for the Josh Becker's Super 8 Shorts Fanmade DVD back in 2010. The Disc art was created from a scan of an original Cyldon 400ft aluminium 16mm film reel. The 'vintage' style booklet/program was made from scratch, using standard cropped-down A4 paper which was tea stained & dried, printed on, stapled (with pre-rusted staples), then lastly distressed to make it look old. A total of 75 were made, so it was a big undertaking. The introductory notes were written by Bill, and the notes on the transfers and each short, by Scotty. Scotty actually wrote about eight times the volume of notes which could be fitted in the final 8-sided booklet, so much of this extra text has been merged into each shorts' section on the Super-8 Shorts - Full Shorts List page. Scotty's full unedited text can be found on the DVD's computer viewable DVD-ROM folder, along with Bill's raw notes, 132 Super-8 Shorts related behind the scenes, promo & miscellaneous photos, Super-8 Shorts Related Newspapers, Magazines & Text Files, information on the Super-8 Shorts Josh Becker used to sell, the Super-8 Shorts Score Project, and an offline backup of the BookOfTheDead.ws website as of the 13th of July 2017.
A website was personally designed & set up specifically for this project, and it's the only place you can buy the DVD; Super8Shorts.com. Bill is managing the email, duplication & order side of things, so it's him you'll hear back from when you ask a question or place an order. You can also follow the Super8Shorts.com Facebook Page to keep up with the latest updates and new of future releases.