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Destroy All Monsters AIP dub 16mm (Help/Advice Needed)


I’ve just become aware of a complete 16mm print of Destroy All Monsters on eBay. It’s the original AIP dub released in the US in 1969; the print itself looks like a cropped version for TV.

The print, however, is extremely faded and red, and I don’t really know how much color correction can do for a case like that, so I’m not sure how useful it would be for preservations or reconstructed versions. On the other hand, though, it isn’t terribly expensive – about $150 after shipping, though there is an existing bid on it, and I don’t know what their max is.

I’m reaching out to you guys to ask for your advice, particularly with regard to whether a film in this condition can still benefit from color correction. After that, it’s a matter of whether to bid on the thing myself and see about finding someone who can scan and color-correct it, or to alert, say, someone at Criterion to its availability, on the off-chance they might find it useful for their possibly-pending release of this and several other Toho Godzilla films, since Toho doesn’t seem to keep any kind of elements for these original US versions on hand whatsoever.


It would be cool to see this as a grindhouse-style project, even with minimal clean-up and colour correction.

Do you think this print is in any way different, content-wise, to the other sources you have for the AIP version?
Even if the actual images turn out unusable, the print could be a good (better?) source for the soundtrack. It may also provide a verification (or not) of the frame-accuracy of your previous reconstruction.

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I’ve been doing some tests using Dr. Dre’s ColorMatch tool to match faded film scans and I think if we had a scan of this movie, the color correction from fading would be the least of our problems. I think a bigger issue would be the time consuming dirt and scratch cleanup, which would either have to be manual, frame-by-frame in photoshop or similar software, or using a professional film restoration software (unless something like Vegas or After Effects has a cleanup tool) which can cost quite a bit. To give you an idea of the colors I’ve been able to get in restoration, here’s an example. In order, they are 16mm eBay screencaps, RedMenace’s DAM Recon, and the color matched version.