Friday, May 29, 2009

I keep missing you, Avco-Embassy

Today I find myself totally missing those studios & video labels of past. The ones that didn't survive the 90's when everything became part of a corporation [the beginning of the end] Here's to the little guys, and their catalogue that entertained the hell out of me in my younger days. I'll post now and again about each of these studios & labels, and I'll get lost in nostalgia. What else is new?!

I'd like to start with this guy. He didn't really make it out of the 80s, but he left some real treats behind for us. And boy did I ever love my VHS copies of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE SURE THING, THE FOG, CHILDREN OF THE CORN, AMITYVILLE II, LOSIN' IT, HUMONGOUS, ZAPPED!, PHANTASM and a bunch more. Picking up an Embassy title always meant I was in for some real fun.
  Sample of Avco-Embassy/Embassy's Video offerings: Logos:

Factoids: Avco-Embassy became Embassy and was bought by Norman Lear in the early 80's (which he primarily used for distribution of TV-Shows, naturally) ... During the mid 80's Lear sold Embassy to Coca-Cola and since they owned Columbia pictures at the time, the two joined forces. Eventually Coca-Cola sold Embassy to Dino De Laurentis in the late 80's who renamed it The Dino De Laurentis Group (DEG) and home video became NELSON. By the early 90's it was all over for Embassy/Nelson, and rights to their catalogue are kind of all over the place. MGM & ANCHOR BAY picking up by far most of the titles so far.


Radiation Cinema! said...

Nice tribute to a studio that certainly was a hot item back in the day. This is a rare post concerning itself with the business side of the industry. I wish there were more like it. Fascinating. I remember well seeing the Embassy intro to many films, including the classics you mention, back in the VHS days. Didn't even realize they were defunked. A nice tribute to a great studio/label. -- Mykal

Dan North said...

Very nice and nostalgic. One of my fondest video memories was being given a second generation copy (or maybe third or fourth - it was pretty fuzzy) of The Evil Dead with the original Palace video logos. After a short VHS release in the UK, it had been withdrawn from rental and banned, so it was not easy to see. It's now freely available on remastered DVDs, but it was the experience of watching it "covertly" through the static and the dodgy sound that was really exciting.

And the truncated release of The Evil Dead was just long enough to establish Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley's Palace Pictures, helping them to make films like Mona Lisa and Company of Wolves.

FilmFather said...

Ah, Avco Embassy...their name and Escape from New York will always be inseparable to me.

And Dead & Buried and Vice Squad were great catch-them-on-HBO-when-the-folks-are-asleep viewing when I was a budding tween.

Mattson Tomlin said...

That Dead and Buried poster is now something I want.

Cinema Du Meep said...

Thanks for the posts! I'm so glad others feel nostalgic for these companies instead of them fading away from memory, forever.

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