Sunday, February 17, 2013

Christine Returns... In The Most Ass Way Possible

"How do you want it signed, again? 'Fuck Your Mother'?"

The following dick-shrapnel was posted on Twilight Time's Facebook Wall yesterday, roughly 24 hours after the 3,000 pre-order limit had been reached:

Twilight Time DVD Label: There may still be a chance for some of those who want a copy of CHRISTINE--in the next few weeks a limited quantity of *signed* by Keith Gordon copies will be given away as part of a TT purchase promotion.

Okay, now for those of you who didn't plow head-first into this bullshit the first time, this will be the second signed 80s horror film they've offered to customers... if you purchase $100 worth of other Twilight Time titles. In the case of FRIGHT NIGHT it was signed by director Tom Holland, and the announcement wasn't made until all of the pre-orders  had already shipped, meaning that pretty much every asshole who wanted Fright Night had already thrown money their way.

For them to do it once was cheeky, but perhaps understandable. Maybe the opportunity didn't arise until the last minute, and they weren't sure if it would work. Turns out they did it again with JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, which is another one of the less than half-dozen Twilight Time titles to have actually sold out.

I was pissed not because I really needed a Tom Holland signature, but because I was one of those jackasses ordering the disc the day it went up; I was showing them that I was willing to pay $30 for a good 25 year old cult movie, and they repay me by telling me they have a super special version AFTER I get my copy. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt once, maybe even twice... but this is just bullcrap. They're holding spare copies hostage with the express permission to move other titles, and considering there's plenty of schlubby mother fuckers who never even had the chance to buy the $30 release in the first place, that's a low blow. Offering an exceptionally expensive promo copy to people willing to buy stuff they aren't interested in is NOT some sweepingly altruistic move on your part, Twilight Time. It's a dick move.

As I said, I've already got my order in. I'm not mad because I can't get Christine, waah waah, their business model should fail - I'm mad because it's a complete dick move from a company that started their latest "Top Tier" seller with a limit of 10 copies per customer. I don't particularly care if this becomes an eBay hit like every other collectible on the market (it's already selling for about $100 on average), I just wish they'd offer these promo copies for the people that actually wanted them - you know, the crazy mother fuckers willing to order it the day it goes up, a whole month before it ships -  were given a chance to get them without pre-ordering their copy first.

There's a unique symbiosis going on with Twilight Time that I don't think I've seen from any other retailer; they're basically using titles like Christine, The Mysterious Island, and Fright Night to make enough money to justify doing less popular titles like Bye Bye Birdie, Dimitrius and the Gladiators, Rapture and The Blue Lagoon, and even children's films like Enemy Mine. I've not given much thought as to why Horror and Science Fiction fans in particular are so keen on buying their favorites, whereas drama, musical and comedy features tend to cater to a less referent crowd, but it's become clear that this holds true for Twilight Time's releases if nothing else.

We, friends, are the support system for this label, and while I and everyone else with sane expectations have been perfectly happy with the product we got (minus NOTLD '90 and its ridiculous color timing bullshit), it pains me slightly to think that I'll be back next year without hesitation to buy THE BLOB '88, jumping through hoops to pre-order minutes after it goes up and then waiting a month to see if I got a lemon of a transfer. If their sole focus was on obscure classic films, this would make perfect sense... but with all due respect, I couldn't care less about Beloved Infidel or Bonjour Tristesse, just as I'm sure the fanbase of these two films gives a half a shit about the Tom Goddamn Savini remake of Night of the Fucking Living Dead. Though I wouldn't be surprised if the guys behind Twilight Time happen to be that rare breed of consumer who do like both - it happens. Hell, the customer base for Day of the Dead and Grave of the Fireflies aren't intrinsically linked, but here I am...

Could we change the course of this nonsense by ignoring the release and saving our money? Not really. I have little doubt that if every goddamn one of us turned our backs, semi-pro scalpers would still snap up every copy and do their best to spin BD25s into Solid Gold, and then we're in the same exact boat except without Christine, The Blob, and Mysterious Island on Blu-ray... and fuck that option, man.

I can only blame Twilight Time themselves so hard when the business model is taking popular films and offering a small window to make them available; Christine justifies Pony Soldier, and Twilight Time would rather sacrifice the good will of the former to make the latter happen in any way, shape or form. I get it. I just wish they were slightly less douchey about it.


Tommy said...

jesus that is fuckin low. i had a feeling this would happen though...

Nicholous said...

Hmm. Maybe I'm just desensitized, but I don't see how this is a big deal. I expect them to want to sell their product, and I don't see how it's a shock that they would want to try to get their most ravenous customers (collector-minded horror fanboys) to buy the shit that isn't moving however they can. It'd be one thing if they were holding back copies and then selling them on eBay, but holding back a few, getting them signed, and giving them away as an incentive to buy Steel Magnolias or some Flint movies more just seems a sign that TT can't movie non-Horror titles for shit and need some extra money.

I'm personally happy not having Keith Gordon's autograph (or Tom Holland's), and having paid $30 for the lone BR I want, instead of buying a bunch of crap I don't want.

And as far as what it means to those that missed out... I've yet to get shut out on a title I wanted, and I find it hard to feel sorry for those that have. Most that are missing out probably weren't that interested until said title becomes a "hot commodity" anyway. Besides, even if they held back 100 copies, it at best would've delayed the sell-out by maybe a day, if not mere hours.

X-human said...

You've pretty much summed it up. The only thing I'll add is that the owners admitted in interviews that they'd never heard of Fright Night before Sony offered it to them and had never seen NotLD before they made their release (clearly).

I've been reflecting on my TT purchases and I have to admit that all but Mysterious Island are titles I probably wouldn't have bothered to pick up so soon had there not been an artificial shortage. I might have put off getting them for over three years anyways.

So I'm left wondering if all those trolls I argued with were right about TT all along.

Silver Ferox Design said...

I want CHRISTINE on BD but they're all gone due to bullshit re-enactments. Fuck them.
Kentai you da man.