As a huge fan of Carpenter’s early body of work and particularly Escape from New York, I was disgusted back in 2001 when the MGM Special Edition NTSC DVD only provided a re-mixed 5.1 track. This re-mix changed many sound effects, while positioning on others changed in the soundfield. Some examples of changes in sound effects is when Snake is injected, or the rape scene in the theater basement. There are a few others that I don’t recall at the moment. But the thing that is the most affected in this track is the score which was re-mixed by Alan Howarth, the most obvious and radical difference is the scene when Plisken tries to save the president at the train where the score was completely changed from how it originally was presented. As a purist I don’t like these changes at all but also just as a remix the track fails miserably IMO, the sound is muffled where the original audio mix was crystal clear.
A few years ago dark_jedi took the original Dolby Stereo track which was available on the first DVD release of the film and synced the track beautifully to the Special Edition DVD transfer, and since then it’s been my go to version whenever I get the urge to re-watch this film, thank you again, d_j! 😃 So, is there anyone familiar with and knows how the audio has now been treated on the blu-ray releases?
An other Carpenter classic that got its audio mix butchered on DVD is The Fog, I think MGM was the great masters in the field when it came to fuck up audio mixes on DVD, they even went as far as to state on their boxes that their alternative mono tracks were the original theatrical mixes on several titles even though it was just a fold down of the re-mix. On The Fog DVD I don’t know what went wrong, but the 5.1 re-mix is actually closer to the original mix than the included mono track but several sound effects is missing. Also, not an MGM title but I recall Anchor Bay’s THX DVD of Carpenter’s Halloween stated that their included mono track was the original mix when it was just a fold down of the 5.1 re-mix. I’m not saying that all re-mixes are bad but this kind of shit makes me furious, either you include the original track or you don’t.
We all know about the more famous titles where only bad re-mixes were provided such as on the The Terminator and Jaws DVD’s but please help and add to what I started in this thread as I fear this trend is here to stay, and it kills me to know that there is people out there that have no idea that their DVD’s or Blu-ray’s of their favorite films have butchered audio tracks.
We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions.
Sincerely, Lynne Hale email@example.com