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Rad (1986) was finally released on Blu-ray a few months ago

Before Blu-ray existed I was waiting for it to be released on DVD, which never happened. Then, in 2006 I found out that it had been broadcast in HD (1080i) on TV and someone recorded it. From that recording, bootleg DVDs were made. They were better than VHS, but they had tons of macroblocking in high-motion scenes (due to too much compression), so not nearly as good as an official DVD release.

The last time I checked on it, which was probably last winter, the consensus was that a Blu-ray release (or DVD release, for that matter) would never happened, because Talia Shire owned the rights and didn't want it to ever be released.

A few minutes ago I found out it was released on Blu-ray (4K and 1080p) in May. Good news, right? Wrong:

Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive / Limited Edition of 12,000 | SOLD OUT / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Vinegar Syndrome | 1986 | 93 min | Rated PG | May 22, 2020

Copies are selling for hundreds of dollars.

WTF? Why only 12,000 copies? Once you're all set up to put a movie on disc, the discs themselves cost next to nothing to stamp out, and there's obviously a much bigger market for the movie than a measly 12,000 people. They don't like making money? I wish it had been released by Shout Factory. They've released a lot of movies as obscure or more obscure than Rad (Cohen & Tate [1988]) for example), and they charge a normal price for them, and don't do such small production runs that they sell out instantly.


I posted about it on the RAD page here. Vinegar Syndrome is more nitche in getting obscure cult movies. I was kind of surprised they got the rights to Rad as I think it would have sold more through Shout Factory. I preordered in March and got my copy around the beginning of June. Talia Shire talks pretty fondly about the movie on the commentary. I do know its available through streaming services.


What did it sell for before it was sold out?

"Talia Shire talks pretty fondly about the movie on the commentary."

The Rad board is one of the places I read that Talia Shire was the one preventing it from being released, for example:

The rights issue
posted a year ago by TommyJarvis82 (1351)
11 replies | jump to latest

I heard the movie is considered an "orphan work." Yet, I've also heard that Talia Shire is holding it back for personal reasons. Maybe it's a combination? Does anyone know the truth?

Who knows what was really going on. Someone else in that thread said Rad is an "orphan work" under public domain, which I doubt highly. If that were true, Shout Factory would have released it years ago, and other home video companies probably would have too.

"I do know its available through streaming services."

Yeah, that doesn't interest me. I want the Blu-ray, or at least a 1:1 Blu-ray rip. I'm not going to pay a ridiculous price for it though.


I paid $34.99 for the 4k/bluray combo.


Nice. That's steep for a Blu-ray (most of my Blu-rays cost $10 new, give or take a couple of dollars), but I would have paid that much had I known about it, considering how long I've been waiting for it to be released. I won't even consider paying hundreds of dollars though. Hopefully they do another run of them.

Edit: This is from Vinegar Syndrome's website:

"We will not be repressing this release in any format once it sells out."

That's utterly asinine. Why would any company intentionally limit how much money they can make off an investment?

If they don't want to make enough to go around, I'll just look for a 1:1 rip. The content is far more important to me than the physical disc and packaging.


It's a very nice packaging and slipcover. Vinegar Syndrome's run was limited with its rights so any chance it could get released again might be through Sony.


According to a post on the big thread about this release:

Bill Allen has previously stated that Talia Shire was the reason the movie never got released on physical media.

Her son seems to have changed her mind, since it's his company which was founded about a year ago which holds the rights. That weird "12,000 copies and no more ever" contract with Vinegar Syndrome suggests that Talia is still being a bitch about it, regardless of her enthusiasm on the commentary track.

Also from that thread:

The film is licensed to VS from Schwartzman Pictures, not Sony.

There's nothing on the rear cover to indicate that Sony had anything to do with this release, or hold any release rights to the film anymore.

Tristar Pictures (acquired by Sony in 1989) was the original theatrical distributor, and Sony has or had the TV distribution rights as of the mid 2000s, but the only distributors I see for video releases are Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray) and Utopia (streaming releases), and the sole copyright holder is Talia's son's company, Schwartzman Pictures.


That I didn't know but okay. It's cool they left the old Tri-star Logo at the beginning of the movie.


Yeah, that was mentioned in that thread too:

Didn't expect this to start with the TriStar logo. But I suppose the Universal releases of some Hitchcocks retain the Paramount logo, Flight of the Navigator retains the Disney logo, The Dark Crystal retains the Universal logo so it happens.

I got a 25.5 GB 1:1 rip of the main 1080p Blu-ray title with all of the audio tracks, so that's good enough for me (I could get a 1:1 rip of the 4K disc but I don't want it). It's a great looking film-to-video transfer; excellent color timing and the film grain was preserved. If it ever gets re-released on Blu-ray by a different company, or if the eBay prices of the existing release ever drop down to sane levels, I'll buy it.

I'm listening to the Talia Shire commentary right now. It would be a lot better if her son wasn't part of it. He obviously had nothing to do with making the movie, and he tends to ramble on and on, sometimes to the point that his own mother has no idea what he was trying to say.


Which streaming service?


It's on Vudu, Amazon, and Apple Tv.


Damn, not in my country