This is topic Gremlins Review in forum 8mm Print Reviews at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on March 04, 2005, 01:25 AM:
I just got my copy of Gremlins from Ken Souza! Thanks!
The print quality is a little on the warm side but just barely. Most of the scenes are nice and sharp with just a few scenes being a little soft. Compared to todays releases of course!
The sound is in Stereo and really sounds nice and rich. To my ears it sounds better than some of the newer release I have heard!
Content. I think whomever cut this one did a wonderful job. If you had never seen the complete film you would think that you saw the complete version and not felt that you had missed much. In fact I like the digest much better than the complete version. Most of the dead weight is gone! [Smile]
From the opening of the film where Hoyt Axton goes to the chinese store and finds Gizmo to when he takes it home and then Zach Galligan of course does the 3 things he isn't supposed to do.. this film moves nice and effortlessly.
And there are tons of scenes with Gizmo. And as a plus we get to see a young
Cory Feldman before he discovered drugs!
The new baby Gremlins are being hatched and then one is taken to Zach's professor at school. The scenes as the Gremlins are hatching from the eggs are included and it looks great. The "blender" scene and the Xmas tree scene with Zach's mother is intact as well as all the Gremlins hanging out at the bar. And then it follows to the toy store where we see Gizmo riding around in the Ken and Barbie car. Stripe takes out his chainsaw, fires his gun, and then gets done in. Key Luke, the old chinese man comes to take Gizmo back home and the end shot is with him walking away into the night with the full moon and voice narration. (and gizmo humming along!)
Great digest, nice print, fabulous sound loaded onto 2 x 600 ft reels.
Great Hobby isn't it? !
Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on March 29, 2005, 08:33 PM:
Stereo sound? Hmmmmmmmm. My copy is everything you said except it is mono. :-(
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on March 29, 2005, 11:16 PM:
Might be someone re-recorded it before Alan got it. How about you Chip, you gonna re-record yours? [Wink]
Posted by Mal Brake (Member # 14) on May 23, 2005, 02:14 PM:
Derann released this film with a stereo track; I have a copy.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on May 24, 2005, 02:55 PM:
I too have the stereo print and it os excellent, and very well edited.
Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on May 24, 2005, 04:44 PM:
Chip its very strange you had a mono print as Derann only released it with Stereo.
BTW Alan, I think you will find that the thanks for the editing go to none other than Mr K W himself. One of the many side lines that Keith has had over the years [Wink]

Posted by James N. Savage 3 (Member # 83) on May 24, 2005, 05:41 PM:
I believe this was one of Derann's last actual "digests" released. I have the mono version. The editing is well done and puts the story together very nicely, while giving fan's of the movie most of the classic memorable scenes, including the scene in the movie theater when the gremlins were watching Snow White.

The sound was very good mono. The picture quality was good, while not the best I've seen on a Derann release. My biggest complaint is that reel one is full screen, while reel two is mostly letterboxed. I'm not sure why, but it can be distracting when framing the picture out on the home screen.

All in all, a very nice release though.

Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on June 11, 2005, 12:16 PM:
James, I didnt notice all that on my copy which by the way is in full stereo and scope. I didnt know it had been released in any other formats from Derann. Strange.

Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on June 11, 2005, 07:27 PM:
I ran Gremlins as a theater projectionist. Kevin states his copy is scope but I think he means "adapted scope" because the print was indeed flat in 35mm cinema format. Kevin no doubt means letterboxed format. And this was done within the nightclub bar scene (where Phoebe Cates takes the bright light Polaroid images) due to the puppeteer special effects.

Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on June 12, 2005, 12:46 AM:
Keith Wilton, editor at large! That is great. A man of many talents. That is a great edited print. I really feel you get everything out of the movie...except for the dead wood.
Very nice indeed. And the sound? Very, very good!
Posted by James N. Savage 3 (Member # 83) on June 14, 2005, 08:25 AM:
Thanks for the info. It makes sense to me now, as to why those particular scenes were masked out. I just wish they had masked the rest too, just to keep it consistent through out the digest.

Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on June 14, 2005, 09:39 AM:
Lot of confusion here. You are saying that it needs a scope lens chip? The feeling I had from James's item is that it didn't? Have I missed the point here somewhere? Yes mine is probably adapted scope. You then went on to say that I meant letterboxed! So which is it? [Confused]
I thought that after 30yrs in the hobby I understood this but now I question my sanity where all this is concerned.

Kev [Smile]
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on June 14, 2005, 06:29 PM:
I think what Chip was saying was that the original 35mm print of Gremlins was in adapted scope (the top and bottom were masked during projection to achieve a widescreen image), and the super-8 print made from this film is letterboxed (the masking bars are part of the super-8 frame so it's a widescreen image within a fullscreen frame).

I think.

Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on June 14, 2005, 07:55 PM:
Virtually all movies in theaters (35mm) are filmed 1:85 widescreen. Some of us collectors refer to this as widescreen, adapted scope, or letterboxed. I think Jan is right on this one. Let's leave it right there so nobody else gets ME LOL

Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on June 15, 2005, 12:15 AM:
Well, wait - now I'm confused. Are you saying that virtually all 35mm films are shot with anamorphic lenses, or that they're exposed as a standard full frame, then masked to letterboxed widescreen during printing or projection? [Big Grin]
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on June 15, 2005, 01:49 AM:
I have noticed when I was a projectionist that the majority of films are filmed in full screen and then masked to give a Widescreen image. In other words if you were to roll the frameline up or down you might see the bottom of a boom mic if you weren't carefull!
When I was working as a projectionist the only film that I had screened that was in true cinemascope was "The Hunger" with David Bowie. I actually had to place a scope lens in front of the main lens and the focusing was a pain!
All the other films were flat and masked.
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on June 15, 2005, 10:00 PM:
I want to be a projectionist, too!!!! *feels like a dwarf among giants*
Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on June 15, 2005, 11:41 PM:
Okay guys, here's more fuel to the fire...

A film can be filmed FLAT as 1:85 letterboxed.

A film can be filmed SUPER 35 for flat release on video, and be 35mm scope in theaters. This from what I heard avoids the dreaded pan and scan video copies.

And a film can be filmed cinemascope (panavision) for scope in theaters, and scope effect as letterboxed on video releases.

I'm not sure when 133 (like a TV screen changed in theaters to 1.85 (after the invention of cinemascope, that is).

Gremlins was filmed flat, and remains flat, no scope lens is required to show the print. Whether they letterboxed it during shooting or afterwards I really don't know.

Enuff said on this one.


Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on June 16, 2005, 07:54 PM:
Hopelessly confused.

I give up. [Frown]
Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on June 19, 2005, 05:53 PM:
I spoke to Chip this afternoon on the phone and have now at his request checked my print of Gremlins. He's right it is not scope but letterboxed. Sorry Chip, that's what time does for you. But it is in full stereo sound.

Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on June 19, 2005, 06:05 PM:
And I, too, have been enlightened during a recent online chat with Chip as to the subtle differences between such terms as "scope," "letterboxed," "widescreen" and so on. Whew.
Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on June 20, 2005, 12:53 PM:

[Big Grin]
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on June 20, 2005, 08:12 PM:
Oh, ha ha.

[Roll Eyes]
Posted by Andrew Wilson (Member # 538) on April 15, 2006, 03:53 AM:
i too have the first part of this movie and i have to agree with other members views.its beauifully edited with good print and mono sound.there is one thing does anyone one notice that the titles and writing ie the name of billys school is back to front.neverless its a excellent 24minute digest.i would now like to get part two but i dont think derann do it anymore.andy.p.s ive just noticed that on the box it says print any other members have prints like mine.

[ April 15, 2006, 05:36 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Wilson ]
Posted by Eberhard Nuffer (Member # 410) on April 15, 2006, 07:20 AM:
Hello all,

I have the Derann 1990 catalogue. "Gremlins" was available in stereo and mono version from Derann (Order # AFS1028 for stereo, AF1027 for mono). The stereo version cost 13 pounds more than the mono version).

Happy Easter to all on the forum,

Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on April 15, 2006, 10:27 AM:
How weird, a reversed print? I sure hope you didn't pay too much for it. Why not try this, though: set up your projector sideways and put a mirror right in front of the lens at a 45-degree angle... that way you should get a mirrored image on the screen and be able to watch Gremlins the proper way around. If you're picky about this sort of thing, that is. [Wink]
Posted by Douglas Meltzer (Member # 28) on April 15, 2006, 03:34 PM:
There's always rear screen projection!

Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on April 15, 2006, 03:59 PM:
That would make focusing a pain, though. Even using the projector at all - if you constantly have to run behind the screen. [Wink]
Posted by Jean-Marc Toussaint (Member # 270) on March 21, 2019, 04:22 AM:
So... Why unearth a 14 years old review? To answer two questions that have been asked previously regarding this fine digest.
I watched my print a few days ago.
1/ Sound is mono on the one I have. As Eberhard confirmed, Derann was then offering this title either in mono or stereo.
2/ the master used to create this cut-down is "open-matte". It uses the full academic frame (1.37) for some scenes, while it is masked for others. So framing of the super 8 version varies from one scene (and sometimes from one shot) to another, depending on the camera used. When it was originally screened in theaters, the aperture plate on the projector was masking the top and the bottom of the image in the flat (1.85) format. No one could see the framing differences.
I have a few prints on 35 in open matte, if you don't use the aperture plate, you sometimes see dolly tracks or a boom mike in the shot [Big Grin]
But the most interesting one is "Heavy Metal" as, when projected without the plate, you see the animation table with the pegs meant to keep layouts and cells in place...
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on March 21, 2019, 11:03 AM:
As I may have posted in other threads, when UK TV companies worked from film that they telecined (and all transmissions were 3:4 ration)themselves occasionally one went out dull screen open matte and some scenes were masked due to the camera or effects done.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on March 22, 2019, 09:14 AM:
My understanding is that Keith Wilton edited this one incognito for Derann.

Keith also wrote the review in Super 8 Film Review at the time, which commented that the "editor" had cleverly removed the extra story lines and concentrated solely on the story of the Gremlins.

He was right of course, it was a very good and clever edit, and much deserving of a bit of self-congratulation!

Many Derann super 8 reductions from 35mm source material were printed open gate (Predator, anyone? with the unfortunate words video, etc. showing on the bottom of the Predator POV shots...) With Gremlins, one whole section of the 35mm print is "hard masked" to 1.85:1

So, a portion of the super 8 print is also hard masked. Keith pointed this out on his original review, explaining that this was nothing to do with the 8mm print, but inherent in the original print. As Jean-Marc points, the whole 35mm print would be masked to 1.85:1 in cinemas.

Run the super 8 with the picture masked to 1.85:1 throughout for an original cinematic experience.

Just why director Joe Dante wanted one whole reel hard masked was never totally clear, although the rumour is that this reel would show the operating mechanics of the Gremlins in open gate and therefore the risk of them showing if the print was racked incorrectly. If this is true, he certainly did us super 8 fans a favour.

Off topic, but related to the picture ratio; on the original VHS release, the picture was also masked to 1.85:1

As TVs were 4:3 back then, the image had black masks top and bottom. Warner Bros. Home Video ran a message at the beginning to explain that this was the choice of the director, and not a fault.

How times change.

I bought my print mono back in the day, but subsequently had Derann re-record it into stereo at the cost of £6.00 per part, so £12.00 in total! [Smile]

Happy days. Still have it and it's a cracker.
Posted by Leon Norris (Member # 3151) on March 22, 2019, 10:08 AM:
Its a good one! I had this film twice! One in mono and the other in stereo! Nice print and well edited! And it has nice color also!
Posted by Burton Sundquist (Member # 5813) on March 22, 2019, 09:38 PM:
...Here are some of my rookie screen shots which don't rate posting for a review but they work to illustrate the "letterbox" or " masking " topic discussed in this thread.

Film opens full frame for title sequence:

...Then carries on with the small mask along the bottom



Then from the Bar scene on it is further masked for scope effect.

Posted by Leon Norris (Member # 3151) on March 23, 2019, 04:56 PM:
Nice screen shots Burt!
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on March 24, 2019, 04:13 AM:
I recall that there was some concern that with a 35mm print as master material, that many of the darker scenes would lose detail in the final 8mm print.

As Burton's fine screen shots show, there was no need to worry! [Smile]
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on March 24, 2019, 04:32 AM:
Very good screenshots Burton. Perfectly fine for a review as well. Our print is now jiuned onto a 1200 reel.the quality of this release is first class.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on March 25, 2019, 06:07 AM:
Can get confusing with screen ratios. Vaguely and I mean very vague remember that the 70mm blow up was 2:20 ratio. Only real upside was they could load up the 6 track audio stripe.
Yes nice photos.

Looking up this thread I wonder where Jan is these days.
Posted by Leon Norris (Member # 3151) on March 25, 2019, 07:21 AM:
I just spliced my print on a 1200 ft reel! With the trailer. Nice run!
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on April 01, 2019, 11:41 AM:
Funny for me as it's a 8mm film that didn't really draw me in. Each to his or her own I guess.
Good so many enjoy it tho.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on April 02, 2019, 01:47 AM:
It is funny how different films mean different things to people.

To me as a teenager at the time, Gremlins was a big title and it's arrival on super 8 from Derann, signaled to me that (thanks to our friends in Dudley) super 8 was really back from the brink of the early 80's. [Smile]

Happy days...
Posted by Leon Norris (Member # 3151) on April 03, 2019, 07:11 AM:
And its still a good seller! It does popup once in a while!
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on April 03, 2019, 12:13 PM:
I was always disappointed that they didn't or couldn't (possible copyright issues or demands from the parent studio?) release this as a full feature.

You did get a lot of good edits in this.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on April 03, 2019, 02:41 PM:
I seem to recall that in the very early stages of this title being announced, Film for the Collector stated that it would be a 600ft release. So thank goodness we got the 2 x 600ft edit.

Perhaps the condensed version was something to do with the master material being a 35mm print. Also, a lot to do with the market at the time, which made this mini-feature so much more affordable.

I have to say, as much as I love Gremlins, I watched the Blu-ray recently and I still really like this 50 minute version!

Bit of off topic trivia, but here in the UK in 1980's, distributors were paranoid about video pirates (rightly so as it happens) and would etch a print ID number into one frame of the emulsion of a big release print. That way, they could trace a video pirate to a specific print. I always remember the Delorean in Back to the Future skidding to a halt in our local cinema as the print ID flashed up on the wheel hub (OK, I may have seen it more than once in one week...)

There is a print ID on the 35mm used for the super 8 of Gremlins, which can be seen if you look carefully...
Posted by Leon Norris (Member # 3151) on April 04, 2019, 10:28 AM:
That was a good choice when derann made this release a two parter! And I'm glad I kept all my film for the collector magazine! Most in mint condition! I miss it! Lots of info!

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