UPDATE SEPTEMBER 9TH 2022:
After doing more research, it turns out that the 1987 cut was never released on VHS, which apparently means the version on youtube is ripped from the only existing master tape. The tape did get here and i managed to do a quick recording of it. It’s going through Topaz as I type this. It will be far from perfect, but this is mostly a project for myself. I’ve already noticed a slight hiccup in my transfer, but I’ve got more important projects to worry about at the moment. Like my upscale of that Herbie Hancock Laserdisc, this is just practice. If anyone wants a link anyway, I’ll be happy to send it once it’s done.
This film is one of the ultimate cult/nerdy art films, and I thought it might be fun to upscale it to HD. However, there are 3 different versions of it. There’s the original 1987 cut which ran almost 2 hours long, there’s the 1991 revision which is the one most people have seen, then there’s the 2005 revision which added several CG shots overtop the 1991 version. The 1991 and 2005 versions are both available on DVD, though the dvd of the 1991 version is rare. The original 1987 cut is only on VHS and is very rare. There’s rips of all three on youtube, and I have the 2005 version on DVD, but I specifically want to save the original 1987 cut. Unfortunately, the only copy on youtube is from a quite damaged tape with picture and sound cutting out often.
I managed to snag a VHS on ebay that may be the 1987 cut, which I only think because the tape is copyrighted before 1991. It also does not appear to be on the Polygram label which mass marketed the 1991 version, so it may have the original. I won’t know until it gets here, and if it isn’t the original, I may need someone who has or knows someone who has an original 1987 release to provide a rip for me to work with.
If and when I get a good quality source of the 1987 version, it’ll be a simple upscale with the usual Topaz Video Enhance AI.