Finding Vincent Price and Other International Adventures

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Last week the guys over at Criterion Cast reported that the Vincent Price Collection Blu-ray Volume I from Shout Factory was rapidly going out of print and now is out of print. That set stirred my interest when it was released in 2013, but I never picked it up, waiting for the price to drop just a little lower… And now you can’t get it for under $150 or so. The Criterion Cast also reported that Shout Factory has lost the rights to distribute the films as a set, although individual title releases may be a possibility. (The second volume of Vincent Price films, however, seems to be available for the near future.)

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But… I was looking over at the Arrow UK website and noticed that they’re having a sale on several films including four of the six titles in the first Vincent Price collection for £7.99, so you could get all of the films in the set except Masque of the Red Death and Witchfinder General. Now I’m not sure if the extras on the Arrow UK editions are the same as the Shout Factory set, but I decided to pick up the individual titles that appealed to me. Of course if you don’t have a region-free Blu-ray player, these Arrow UK editions won’t do you much good.

Which brings me to my next point. Should you consider getting a region-free player? I was on the fence about it for a long time, but I finally decided (again, after listening to the pros and cons from the Criterion guys, especially Ryan) that it was worth it for two main reasons:

You can play any DVD or Blu-ray from anywhere in the world.

Many times the films from Europe (or other countries) are significantly cheaper than the U.S. editions (if a U.S. edition even exists).

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The player I got is from Bombay Electronics, a modified Samsung Blu-ray player for $149 which I have had zero problems with and have never regretted purchasing. It has more than paid for itself in buying less expensive UK editions of films that cost crazy prices in the U.S., and that factors in international shipping as well. It’s also very easy to use.

I understand that a universal Blu-ray player won’t be for everyone, but if you’re a serious movie fan (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), think about it.

I’ve just had time to scratch the surface of this topic here, but please weigh in with your opinions and experiences, pro and con.

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