Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – March 18, 2008: REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES?

I wonder how Hollywood chooses which movies to release in high definition, besides the current ones at the Cineplex.

I would have thought by now that all of the Best Picture Academy Award movies would be available in HD. Nope.

A couple of years ago, I was scrolling through the programming guide on DirecTV and saw that an old Audie Murphy western was being shown in high def. I figured, OK, they are starting to put the catalog of ancient releases out in HD now. Great.

Then, nothing for a long time. Last year, the 1938 version of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) was released along with Casablanca. Wonderful. We are making headway. Then, nothing but some John Wayne westerns and Elvis Presley classics. They are reasonably entertaining films, but not spectacular. I did record The Guns of Navarone in HD on my DirecTV DVR at 3 AM one night, but it has never been offered as a hard copy HD DVD or Blu-ray.

So, last night, I watched the HD premier of Revenge of the Zombies, a 1943 B movie with John Carradine. I figured it they took the trouble to encode this one in HD, it must be something special, even though I had never heard of it.

So, here is the plot: A mad doctor (Carradine) is turning dead bodies into Zombies, including his wife, to make an invincible army of Nazi’s. Bob Steele, a 1930’s western actor, shows up in a cowboy outfit, clicking his heels together and addressing Carradine as “Herr Doctor”.

I mean, this was some of the worst garbage I have ever seen. Ben Hur is not out in HD yet, but Revenge of the Zombies is.

I suspect that Hollywood is just testing the commercial waters with various types of movies to see which ones take off in sales. Robin Hood and Casablanca did not sell many copies. They want to find out if we will purchase HD versions of the old horror movies.

So, why not Frankenstein or Dracula or The Wolfman? Why encode and broadcast something that should have remained on the cutting room floor?