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Old 21st February 2014, 12:34 PM
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Exclamation Kino Lorber to Revive Tartan Asia Extreme Collection

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HONG KONG – Specialty North American distributor Kino Lorber has picked up distribution rights to the Palisades Tartan library, which includes the iconic “Asian Extreme” movie collection.

Ownership of the 90-title collection remains with Palisades Tartan, giving Kino Lorber U.S. home entertainment rights including packaged media, digital and repertory theatrical rights. The deal also includes rights to some titles in Canada.

Company principal Richard Lorber said that Kino Lorber will now take certain titles out on limited theatrical release. Others will be issued on Blu-Ray (under the Palisades Tartan label) for the first time in North America.

While some of the titles have previously been represented by Vivendi and eOne, these deals have now expired. Kino Lorber plans new digital releases since many of the titles have not been widely available on the most current new media and digital platforms.

The Asia Extreme label was assembled and pioneered by the U.K.’s Tartan Films before it expanded into the U.S. in the early 2000s and filed for bankruptcy in June 2008. It notably includes Park Chan-Wook’s “Oldboy,” and the other instalments of Park’s ‘revenge trilogy’ “Sympathy For Lady Vengeance” and “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance;” Johnnie To’s “Election,” and “Triad Election;” Yoji Yamada’s samurai epic “The Hidden Blade;” and Shinya Tsukamoto’s cult classic “Tetsuo The Iron Man;” Kim Jee-woon’s “A Tale of Two Sisters” (pictured); Thai horror “Shutter,” as well as early films by Kim Ki Duk “Samaritan Girl,” “The Coast Guard,” “The Bow” and “Breath.”

The Palisades Tartan-branded titles included Carlos Reygadas’ “Battle In Heaven;” Michael Winterbottom’s “9 Songs;” Ulrich Seidel’s “Import Export;” and Feng Xiaogang’s “A World Without Thieves.”

“We are exultant to be able to bring the gems of the Palisades Tartan library back to market on all home entertainment physical and digital platforms. It’s why we exist as a company—these films define our mission,” said Lorber.

With the Tartan titles expanding its library to nearly 900 titles Kino Lorber is one of the key indie art house distributors in North America. It releases some 25 films per year theatrically. Some 70 titles a year go to home entertainment via its own DVD brands and direct digital distributor deals with the major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
Interesting news. I was wondering what would happen to a lot of these titles. They seemed to be stuck in limbo ever since Tartan announced they were going out of business and then later merged with Palisades to release... well, pretty much nothing except for the Vengeance Trilogy films about 8 times.
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Old 21st February 2014, 12:37 PM
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Palisades Tartan catalogue for reference.
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Old 21st February 2014, 12:45 PM
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Nice one! I still have quite a few Tartan videos/DVDs lying around. Last House on Dead End Street springs to mind.
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Old 21st February 2014, 12:52 PM
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Natural City should look tremendous on blu.
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Old 21st February 2014, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mr 420 View Post
Nice one! I still have quite a few Tartan videos/DVDs lying around. Last House on Dead End Street springs to mind.
Yeah, I have a fair few myself too. Their catalogue was quite numerous and varied, plus there were plenty of titles that I was mildly curious of and missed out on checking out before they 'disappeared' and the DVDs started selling for silly money. Whilst they will probably release the more commonly known 'guaranteed' sellers first I'll be very interested in seeing what they release from the sizable catalogue.

I also think that the Tartan US & UK rights are quite different, as I remember Tartan in the UK releasing a lot of Bergman films and things like Bride of Re-Animator, Society, and Black Christmas some of which are obviously owned by different rights holders in the US.
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Old 21st February 2014, 01:02 PM
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Unless i'm missing something Last House isn't in the catalogue.
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Old 21st February 2014, 01:05 PM
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Unless i'm missing something Last House isn't in the catalogue.
It's definitely a UK release, Demi. I was just looking at it the other week. I don't think it was around for that long though?
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Old 21st February 2014, 01:11 PM
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It's definitely a UK release, Demi. I was just looking at it the other week. I don't think it was around for that long though?
Yes, it is indeed - a nice 2 disc release it was too, with some interesting extras.

Apparently, TLHODES is supposed to be coming to BD courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome in the not too distant future, which would explain why it isn't showing in Tartan's catalogue anymore.
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Old 21st February 2014, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bizarre_eye@Cult Labs View Post
Yes, it is indeed - a nice 2 disc release it was too, with some interesting extras.

Apparently, TLHODES is supposed to be coming to BD courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome in the not too distant future, which would explain why it isn't showing in Tartan's catalogue anymore.
The Tartan release used The US Barrel release set of extras and these included some very interesting early Watkins shorts, but infuriatingly misses out the commentary.

From what I can gather the VS master isn't the original 3hour version, but the same version as seen before.
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Last edited by mr 420; 21st February 2014 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 21st February 2014, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr 420 View Post
The Tartan release used The US Barrel release set of extras and these included some very interesting early Watkins shorts, but infuriatingly misses out the commentary.

From what I can gather the VS master isn't the original 3hour version, but the same version as seen before.
From what I've heard, the 175 min 'Cuckoo Clocks of Hell' version may not even exist anymore. I recall it being speculated that it lay undiscovered in a lab somewhere in New York City. If that's true, and if it still exists, even if discovered it may not be in a usable condition even for DVD let alone BD. If Watkins did indeed stash it away somewhere (unlikely due to him helping out on the US Barrel release) its location may have died with him sadly.
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