MovieChat Forums > Death Valley (1982) Discussion > Was this released theatrically?

Was this released theatrically?


It was great to come across this board because I figured that there was probably not more than a handful of people in the whole world who saw this thriller besides me. I nearly thought I imagined the whole thing because this movie is quite obscure! I only saw this once. What a relief there are others out there!!! I must have seen "Death Valley" when I was 12 or 13 years old. Now that was a long time ago! What I remenber, was watching this on cable over my cousin's house at 1:00 in the morning or something. I remember this being a very low budget film with that kid from "A Christmas Story." My recollection is this was not a top of the heap movie but it was on the suspenseful side, so I became engrossed. I can barely remember anything that happened except for some of the violent stuff. (The sheriff getting picked and possibly a babysitter getting killed?) Also, I thought there was a scene where the killer posed as a waiter at a diner or something, in order to intimidate the kid? Am I right about this scene? Wow, I remember this making me nervous back then. I'm sure today it wouldn't have that kind of effect on me since I've seen so many more thrillers since then and because it is probably a stinker. (Although I can still remember it, so it left some impression on me). I was wondering if this hit the theaters back then or went straight to video? I think it was the latter.

reply

It was released theatrically in New York City and reviewed in the NY Times in 1981.
It was rated "R", and one of the theaters it opened in was the ginormous Rivoli Theater on Broadway in Times Square.

reply

Thanks for the info! I'm from Boston and I didn't remember it being released here.

reply

DEATH VALLEY (1982) was released by MCA Home Video back in the 1980s. I don't think it's ever been on DVD (I admit I don't keep well track of new DVD's releases of movies I already have on tape).

I remember buying it new from a Blockbuster a long time ago (it was a special order).

DEATH VALLEY isn't too bad. If you'd watch it again you'd likely find it to be an Ok view.

-CG

reply

you bought it new from a blockbuster. it must have been at least 60 bucks. back then

reply

i think it had a very limited release around spring of 82.

reply

Dear saint-21: HI.

An original MCA Video of "DEATH VALLEY" set me back $79.99 + tax. I also clearly remember there was dust on the shrinkwrap because it had been sitting in the warehouse for so long. At least I still have the movie and it's still in good shape.

But it was an expensive little devil . . .

It never dropped in price before going OOP.

I'd wager against a DVD release of this. Anything's possible, but it sure isn't likely.

Regards, CARTER GORMAN

reply

yeah. in the 80s certain movies stayed the same price till they got discontinued.I worked in a video store and learned all these things about the cost of videos. Alot of MCA tittles did however get dropped in price, i think death valley and Nightmares never did though... I wonder if theres a crate of Death valley's just sitting in some warehouse collecting dust these days? or did Mca just trash the leftover stock!!!

Yeah carter, hold on to that tape, Belive it or not videos can play great for many years... unlike dvds, they do get more drop out in picture.. alot of that has to do with dirty head drums..

reply

Dear saint-21: Ain't that the truth about people who NEVER clean the heads of their VCR's and then complain how tapes don't look good or sound good.

I keep my VCR heads clean. :)

I've got too many tapes I like to watch to let the heads get magnetic build-up.

A groovy movie to own: ACT OF VENGEANCE (1974) on THORN/EMI/HBO Video.

Politically incorrect sleaze. Gotta luv the '70s.

-CG

reply

I keep my VCR heads clean. :)

While dirty heads do mess up the playback, and record flawed tapes, WORN heads are much worse.

I worked with computer tape drives, and several of the 14 units could not read tapes written just days before. As it turned out, the unit that actually wrote the tape could only read one of those tapes several times before it became unreadable. The problem was tracked down at great effort, and was a result of an unsealed concrete floor and remodeling a cinder block wall generating abrasive dust that radically wore out the magnetic heads.

The real threat to the tapes was the worn heads would pick up a permanent magnetic polarization. It wasn't really strong, but each time the tape passed over the head, it was partially erased until there was not enough recorded signal remaining on the tape.
That was visible on test equipment.

On the computer tape units, it required about 15 man-hours to replace the head and calibrate everything. As you would guess, the failing tapes still could not be read, and their data was gone forever.

*SIGH* I wonder how long I can keep my videotape machines working...
Also, if home video units are not used periodicly, lubricating grease stiffens, the rubber belts and wheels get "deformed" from sitting in the same spot (rubber wheels actually get 'flat spots', belts get egg-shaped and both produce variations in speed).

reply

[deleted]

It just came out at the same time as DEADLY BLESSING with Sharon Stone and Maren Jensen. I believe both are combination Blu-Ray and DVD sets from "Shout Factory". There is more detailed info in the IMDB discussion threads for DEADLY BLESSING...

reply

it sure was i got caught sneaking in to see it

Look daddy, I'm gay-Gay Rodd Flanders

reply

I think I also saw this when I was maybe 11-12 all I can remember is the cover which is awesome and that I thought it was scary, just rewatched it and of course it wasn't that scary this time around, still cool to see it again though.

reply

When I was growing up it was on tv all the time.

reply

I don't think it was ever released theatrically here in the UK, but it WAS released in the long-defunct laserdisc format (does anyone under 30 actually know what laserdiscs were?). It was issued by CIC Video in 1982 and naturally was in PAL, not NTSC (so not much use to those of you in the States unless you had a multi-format player). I still have my laserdisc copy, now 33 years old and playing every bit as well as the day it was pressed. You can't often say that about a videotape. I've checked to see if anyone's offering a copy anywhere and the answer is no, so I guess it's now a pretty rare item.

It's still a great movie - the scenery looks fabulous, little Peter Billingsley as the kid is still engaging, but having two 'Stephen McHatties' stretches one's credulity a bit too far.

reply

It was actually released in the UK as a B-Pic to Universals "Cat People" in October of 82;
I saw it at the Studios cinema in Bolton just outside of Manchester.

reply