Elite Entertainment

Elite Entertainment was an American home media distribution company, founded by Vincent Bancalari and Don May, Jr. in 1993.[1] The company specialized in LaserDisc and later, DVD releases of horror, science fiction, and cult films, many of which were public domain titles. Their first release was George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), which they distributed on LaserDisc in 1994.

Elite Entertainment
IndustryHome video
Founded1993; 28 years ago (1993)[1]
HeadquartersRockaway, New Jersey, U.S.
ProductsDVD, LaserDisc
Owner
  • Vincent Biancalari
  • Don May, Jr.

HistoryEdit

Elite Entertainment formed between Vincent Bancalari and Don May, Jr. in April 1993.[1] Both were working in the video distribution industry, and in conversation lamented the poor transfer of a recent home video release of Night of the Living Dead (1960).[1] In January 1994, they managed to secure a distribution rights deal with the filmmakers,[2] and subsequently crafted a series of special features for the release, including audio commentaries recorded in the ensuing months.[3] Elite Entertainment released Night of the Living Dead on LaserDisc in November 1994 in a 2-disc set.[4]

The company continued to release a series of cult horror films on LaserDisc throughout the 1990s, including The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, God Told Me To, Invaders from Mars, Maniac, and I Spit on Your Grave, among others.[4] Several unrealized releases included Eaten Alive (originally due for a September 1998 LaserDisc release),[4] as well as a LaserDisc double feature of The Boogeyman and The Devonsville Terror, originally due for a December 1998 release; the latter two films were subsequently released as a double-feature DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment.[4]

In the late-1990s, the company transitioned to releasing titles on DVD, including re-releases of several titles they previously released on LaserDisc, including I Spit on Your Grave in 2002.[5] In 2000, the company released The House on Sorority Row for the first time on DVD.[6] By 2000, the company had a total of 15 DVD releases in their catalogue, approximately one-third of which were public domain titles.[7]

Select releasesEdit

  • Note: Films listed in order of first release by Elite Entertainment.
Title Format(s) Released Letterboxed No.
discs
Notes Ref.
Night of the Living Dead LaserDisc November 1994 No 3 25th anniversary collector's edition [8]
November 23, 1996 No 1 Standard edition [4]
DVD July 10, 1997 No 1 Collector's edition
March 12, 2002 No 1 Millennium Edition
Horror Hotel LaserDisc December 28, 1994 Yes 1 [9]
Maniac LaserDisc March 28, 1995 Yes 1 Director's cut
DVD December 9, 1998 Yes 1 Director's cut [10]
A Nightmare on Elm Street LaserDisc March 4, 1996 Yes 2 Collector's edition [11]
Yes 1 Standard edition [4]
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge LaserDisc June 18, 1996 Yes 1 [4]
Lisa and the Devil LaserDisc August 1996 Yes 2 Double feature [12]
Baron Blood Yes
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 LaserDisc September 11, 1996 Yes 1 [4]
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors LaserDisc September 25, 1996 Yes 1 [4]
Dawn of the Dead LaserDisc October 1996 Yes 2 Director's cut [4]
December 1996 Yes 3 Collector's edition / director's cut [4]
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre LaserDisc December 4, 1996 Yes 2 Collector's edition [13]
The Stepford Wives LaserDisc April 30, 1997 Yes 1 [4]
Lady in White LaserDisc July 18, 1997 Yes 2 Director's cut [14]
DVD March 24, 1998 Yes 1 [15]
Prom Night LaserDisc October 1, 1997 Yes 1 [4]
Evil Dead 2 LaserDisc October 28, 1997 Yes 1 Special edition [16]
I Spit on Your Grave LaserDisc August 1998 Yes 1
DVD December 8, 1998 Yes 1
The Evil Dead LaserDisc November 3, 1998 No 1 [4]
DVD March 30, 1999 No 1 Collector's edition [17]
LaserDisc April 6, 1999 No 2 Collector's edition [4]
Tower of Evil DVD November 2, 1999 Yes 1 [18]
The House on Sorority Row DVD November 21, 2000 Yes 1 [6]
Popcorn DVD September 4, 2001 Yes 1 [19]
The Incubus DVD August 27, 2002 Yes 1 [20]
A Night to Dismember DVD October 29, 2002 (2002-10-29) Yes 1
Horror DVD May 27, 2003 Yes 1 [21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d May 1997, p. 24.
  2. ^ May 1997, p. 25.
  3. ^ May 1997, pp. 25–27.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Elite Entertainment LaserDisc Guide". Pulsing Cinema. January 6, 2019. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  5. ^ Hayt, Anthony (2016). "Moving past the trauma". The Routledge Companion to Cinema & Gender. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-40805-5.
  6. ^ a b "The House on Sorority Row: Releases". AllMovie. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  7. ^ Olson, Catherine Applefield (March 11, 2000). "Elite DVD's Fright Flicks Get Royal Treatment". Billboard. p. 68.
  8. ^ May 1997, pp. 26–27.
  9. ^ "Release Dates". Orange County Register. Santa Ana, California. December 16, 1994. p. 151 – via Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ Maniac [DVD]. ASIN 6305106991.
  11. ^ "From cowboy hunks to computer punks". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. February 17, 1996. p. 29 – via Newspapers.com.  
  12. ^ "Widescreen films on laserdisc". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. August 26, 1995. p. 20 – via Newspapers.com.  
  13. ^ "Have yourself a gory little Christmas". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. December 14, 1996. p. 31 – via Newspapers.com.  
  14. ^ Longsdorf, Amy (July 18, 1997). "LASER DISCS ARE STILL THE MOVIE SOURCE WITH THE FORCE". The Morning Call. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  15. ^ The Lady in White [DVD]. ASIN 6305106959.
  16. ^ Stephens, Bob (February 14, 1998). "Russ Meyer, Bergman and other Greats". The San Francisco Examiner. San Francisco, California. p. 17 – via Newspapers.com.  
  17. ^ "The Evil Dead: Releases". AllMovie. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  18. ^ "Tower of Evil: Releases". AllMovie. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  19. ^ "Popcorn: Releases". AllMovie. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Incubus: Releases". AllMovie. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "Horror: Releases". AllMovie. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.

SourcesEdit