6

I see several listings of this movie on Amazon, and though it doesn't say so outright I suspect that these are all bootleg and of poor quality. The latter can't be stressed enough, apparently these are all copies of VHS tapes that were already worn out by the time the copies were made.

Does this film have a peculiar copyright status, or are the ownership rights contested or ambiguous? Will it ever be released on DVD (I don't know that it's a candidate for Bluray, considering the low budget it may not even have been 35mm.)

  • Considering how forthcoming companies are about the legal status of their properties, it seems exceptionally unlikely that you would be able to get a meaningful answer to this question. – Donald.McLean Dec 16 '13 at 19:33
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    @Donald.McLean If it were an easy question, I'd have no need to ask. – John O Dec 16 '13 at 19:34
  • I think what Donald.McLean is trying to say (and excuse me for being so bold Donald), is that you may never know unless you find a way to contact the creators (Robert Dyke and Tex Ragsdale). Heck, I can't even figure out if Magic Films (the company that produced Moontrap) is even still around. Though I did find an image of the DVD cover on a google image search, that would seem to indicate that it was released at one point. – 22nd Century Fza Dec 17 '13 at 5:53
  • @22ndCenturyFza For all I know they have accounts here. – John O Dec 17 '13 at 15:05
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    Bruce Campbell (one of the stars of this and many other B movies) is pretty active on Twitter and often answers fan questions. He might know something or at least give you a funny snarky reply. – jfrankcarr Dec 25 '13 at 4:34
6

As far as I can tell, the company that was involved in making the film (MOONTRAP LIMITED PARTNERSHIP) had a legal argument with the company funding the production; SGE ENTERTAINMENT in which they were accused of having

improperly distributed to its principals, funds that were designated for the payment of production expenses.

and that as a result of the judgement (which cancelled the distribution contract)

[the] defendant will lose the benefits of an agreement to distribute the film in perpetuity.

You can read the full judgement at http://statecasefiles.justia.com/documents/michigan/court-of-appeals-unpublished/19981218_C185564(0077)_185564.OPN.PDF?ts=1383754926

Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the legal battle (which seems to have ended in something of a stalemate) it follows that if either party now attempt to distribute the film, that would breach the judgement reached and result in immediate legal action on both sides.

EDIT/UPDATE - It looks like a company called DigiDreams has secured the rights to distribute the film in Germany. They've acquired a 35MM source (slightly higher quality than the VHS copy) and have upscaled it to Bluray quality as well as adding a director's commentary and an interview with the actors. It's described as :

"not perfect (there are some jump cuts in the print where footage has been repaired) but certainly a improvement on the VHS version we’ve been wearing out since it was first released."

There doesn't appear to be a US or UK release yet, but the German copy has the full US soundtrack on it, so you can always purchase it from overseas.

  • This is an awesome answer. Thank you @Richard , I'm grateful for it. Lately I've noticed that this was released on laserdisc at one point, and I've been trying to track that down. I may release the movie on bittorrent if I can get that and the hardware to transfer/encode it. – John O Jan 19 '14 at 2:28
  • I gather the LD version is just a VHS rip. – Valorum Jan 19 '14 at 9:19
  • Yeh, I don't think many laserdisc editions ever had commentary tracks or extra scenes. But VHS tapes from that era are all pretty much unwatchable. Even more so if it was a rental copy. Laserdiscs were optical, and as long as the glue that holds the discs together hasn't failed and the discs fallen apart, should be as clear as it was on the day that it was made. So VHS-quality, but day-one-VHS-quality on a really high-end VCR maybe. Of course, finding a copy doesn't look easy. – John O Jan 19 '14 at 18:29
  • The vid above isn't bad quality. – Valorum Jan 19 '14 at 18:46
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    @MacCooper - Looks like I misunderestimated the ability of like-minded people to make money – Valorum Sep 1 '14 at 19:27
3

I was working on a review of Moontrap and doing my research for the piece, I came across your question. A German video label will be releasing Moontrap on blu ray and DVD in March of this year. I don't know about the status of the region coding on the discs but i must caution that this video label likes to upscale their releases so you'll probably end up with DVD quality on the blu ray. The good news is they always include an English language track. Here's the link to Amazon Germany's listing for the disc:

http://www.amazon.de/Moontrap-2-Disc-Edition-Platinum-Edition-Blu-ray/dp/B00IAR21NE/

I hope this helps you as I, like you, enjoyed the movie.

  • 1
    This is an excellent post, but it would probably have been better as a comment, as there is already an accepted answer to the question. This also isn't really an answer, so it would be much better as a comment. – James Sheridan Feb 19 '14 at 7:00
  • This is new information that was not present in the original answer, although it does not help answer the question of why it was not reissued. – FuzzyBoots Jul 16 '15 at 2:49

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