Monday, April 23, 2007

Bye Bye Anchor Bay

Anchor Bay have undergone a name change, and it feels like the end of an era.

Criterion have the hardcore cultists who buy every title, sight unseen, even if the film itself (Michael Bay and Jean Luc Godard, I'm looking at you) happens to be really quite dreadful, those who will defend the new Eclipse line until they're blue in the face, but they certainly aren't the only DVD label of note.

Far from it. Other favourites include Eureka, and their Masters of Cinema imprint, Blue Underground, Subversive Cinema, Warner Bros. (especially when it comes to their older titles) and Anchor Bay. As of today, however, Anchor Bay is no more.

Anchor Bay is now Starz Home Entertainment, and if you check out the official site, you can see the immediate effect in design and labelling. In the UK, the branding seems to be split - one foot in each camp. At least for now.

Now, I don't know if this rebranding is a foreshadowing of content and philosophy changes to come, but we simply don't yet know. In their time, Anchor Bay have released a whole truckload of must-have DVD packages - and who else lavished such care an attention on titles like Can't Stop the Music, The Stunt Man and The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue? Could those days really be gone?

Bye bye, Anchor Bay.


droidguy1119 said...

The problem with this for me is it makes it sound like their products, i.e. Phantasm or Evil Dead or something, are a direct product of the Starz movie network. HBO and Showtime have their own DVD imprints, so it is silly to label an entire company that distributes as many products as Anchor Bay does, with the TV network, because it is misleading.

Brendon said...

I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head there, droidguy.