I’ve just bought Flesh for Frankenstein from a reputable Amazon market place seller (can’t remember name but I’ve bought loads of stuff from them). The price was a very cheap £20 and I strongly suspected it was a bootleg. When I got the DVD it was sealed and the plastic wrapping seemed old as if it had been sealed for a few years. I’ve trawled the internet to find ways to identify bootlegs but can’t find much about Flesh. I’ve also seen reference to serial numbers but again nothing about Flesh for Frankenstein. Any help please?
Check on the playing surface side, along the inner circle there should be a serial number, this number should appear to be etched into the surface of the disk itself. What made you suspect it was a bootleg other than the price? If you have dealt with the seller before and have had no problems, why now?
Simply because it’e out of print and and other marketplace seller have it much more expensive. Theere certainly appears to be number -It starts with 11.1
Does anyone have any more tips on spotting Criterion bootlegs? I usually buy from marketplace. Now I’m paranoid.
I think I can help you out, bro—
I bought a Flesh for Frankenstein Criterion from a reputable ebay seller a couple of weeks ago, I was informed that it was not a bootleg and indeed everything on it looks authentic—there’s no smudging, the insert and the booklet looks and feel exactly identical to Blood for Dracula (which I have an original Nimbus disc with the white ring of), but the disc for Flesh for Frankenstein isn’t reflective (like Blood for Dracula’s) and instead has bleed-in all white artwork on the disc. Needless to say, I kind of freaked out thinking that I had gotten a really, really good fake. But I remained calm and did some research which led to me to various forums and even Amazon.com. First, I checked Criterionforums.org which showed me a picture of the Flesh for Frankenstein disc from 1998 which had a reflective surface and a clear inner-ring; shit, that really made me think that I had a bootleg. But then I checked Amazon.com images and both of the discs they show for Flesh and Blood have the bleed-in all white artwork. Now, I’m confused. Then, on a discussion board a guy asked the same question regarding his copy of Flesh for Frankenstein and another board member directed to an article from 2002 that made me feel a whole lot better. Essentially the article was about the partnership between Ritek Global Media Group and Image Entertainment (whic owns Criterion, I think); the article stated that Ritek was going to be manufacuring some of Image’s DVD releases including packaging and discs. The board member who thought he had a bootleg claimed that on the inner ring of his Flesh for Frankenstein (or Blood for Dracula, I can’t remember at the moment) said that after the serial numbers there was a Ritek Global Media Logo and he had even talked to board members who had purchased their copies of Flesh and Blood from Borders and had gotten discs with Ritek logos. (Btw, Ritek USA, a different corporation also manufactures blank DVD discs, so I freaked for a second until I found out it was an entirely different company). Also, it seems that the Ritek manufactured discs also tend to have cover art that is rounded at the corners, not edged like most criterions but it still feels absolutely authentic. Also, my disc that has the Ritek logo plays awesomely and does not look like a bootleg at all—it has all the same chapters and all the same features it was supposed to (according to DVDBeaver.com) and the fade-in, fade-out main menu plays without any glitches and the picture looks great. I also popped the disc into my DVD drive on my computer and it read it as [Frank] just like it read the Nimbus disc of Blood for Dracula as [Dracula]; you see, a bootleg disc would come up as [Undefined].
So, I think that it’s just a case of switched manufacturers rather than a case of bootlegging. Criterion switched Flesh and Blood’s disc manufacturer from whoever it was to Ritek in early 2002 which is probably why pressings after 2002 look a little different. Also I saw a youtube video where a guy shows off his entire collection (which are all authentic) and he shows of a copy of Blood for Dracula with the rounded corners so I think it’s safe to assume that Oldskoolsi doesn’t have a bootleg. Also, my serial number begins with 11.1 too. If my copy of Flesh was a bootleg, it would have cost just as much to manufacture as the original.
I recently e-mailed criterion just to make sure, tho.
Hope this helps.