The new scan is soft and does have it’s own issues. This is a film that is forty years old after all and it didn’t benefit from a complete restoration using an original negative in a wet gate scan. As well, Shout! Factory is very upfront with the print they did use indicating that it was the best they could find. I take that to mean with the amount of time and financial resources allowed for this project which is completely fair. There are fans of this film but it’s not in high demand. That being said, I more than accept the issues with this transfer and I’m greatly appreciative that it was made available in the first place mainly because of fans like us.
So what do I think when comparing the two versions? The original theatrical release and the silver screen edition? As the one who created it, I think the silver screen edition generated a false expectation of what to expect. The color restoration was an approximation based on multiple sources including VHS, LaserDisc and original set photography. That being said, it was also at the mercy of the de-saturated Blu Ray from which that version was created. As a result, it’s much darker than it should be when compared to the new Shout! release. It’s possible this new transfer is too bright but I’m not about to go ahead and correct it.
I hope everyone is enjoying their new copies and aware that it’s because of you that this new Shout! release happened. We were all loud enough that someone heard us. 😃