Fight Over "Destroy All Planets" Rights Brewing



Fight Over "Destroy All Planets" Rights Brewing

by Armand Vaquer

A new controversy is brewing over whether or not a Gamera DVD being issued by Retromedia is legitimate or not. Cries of "bootleg" are being posted at the Monster Zero message board. Is it?

The movie in question is Retromedia's DVD of Destroy All Planets 2010 which features a commentary by one of the movie's stars, Carl Craig.

At issue is whether Retromedia has the rights to issue the U.S. version of this movie. Shout! Factory is slated to release the same movie (the subtitled Japanese version) in a few months and this is seen by some as a bit of one-upsmanship by Retromedia.

The movie was originally released in 1968 by Daiei, which was bought out by Kadokawa Pictures.


Removed by request of the quoted person for failure to seek permission and being taken out of context

Fred Olen Ray, who is the owner of Retromedia, said this in a response to Ryan Clark's review post at Amazon.com:

Since this program only became available yesterday it's physically impossible for "Ryan" to have seen it or even have received a copy of the DVD. Your "review" is a lie and obviously fueled by a personal agenda. Retromedia was the first company to ever present the AIP-TV Gamera films to the public on DVD and quickly became the source of material for all the cheap DVD labels that flooded the market afterwards. Retromedia also successfully initiated and won a copyright case based on their release of DESTROY ALL PLANETS, so your claim of illegality is BS as well. This DVD doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. It's simply the best edition of the AIP-TV version of the film ever released on DVD and it has an actors commentary track with star Carl Craig. That's all it advertises as being and that's what it is. Next time try watching the film first before rendering your "opinion", and if you happen to work for a rival DVD company, I'd have to say I'm disappointed... these kind of smear tactics are nothing less than juvenile.


[Note: Ryan Clark never claimed to have viewed the DVD nor received a copy of it.]

In a comment post at the Classic Horror Film Board, Ragone took note of Ray's assertion of rights with:

Fred Olen Ray (who is Retromedia) has retorted to Ryan's comments on the Amazon page (Ryan is just a fan, and not an employee of Shout!), where Ray asserts that "Retromedia also successfully initiated and won a copyright case based on their release of DESTROY ALL PLANETS, so your claim of illegality is BS as well." I'd like to see the paperwork on that, because the rights to the AIP Gameras reverted back to them [i.e., Kadokawa Pictures. - Armand] once their contract with AIP expired. Now, I'm not accusing anyone of any wrong doing, but I'm curious to sort out the truth here (and not through second and third-hand parties).


If all U.S. rights to this film reverted back to Kadokawa (by virtue of buying Daiei), then Retromedia would be in hot water. However, if Fred Olen Ray is correct in claiming that he has the U.S. rights over the U.S. version (and can provide the paperwork to back that up), then he should be able to continue to offer the movie. At this point, no back-up material has been provided by Ray (he's welcome to send it me me and I'll be happy to post it).


Removed by request of the quoted person for failure to seek permission and being taken out of context


To see the CHFB thread for the above quotes, go here.

Removed by request of the quoted person for failure to seek permission and being taken out of context

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. The courts may have to be the ultimate decider in this matter.

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