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 Post subject: Original UK VHS release of Aliens.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:30 pm 

Country: United Kingdom
Hello Marines.

I've been trying to establish when the very first release of Aliens was to UK retail. The earliest tape that shows up on ebay is from 1989- one with Ripley and Newt on the cover, a CBS Fox "All Time Greats" release. The earliest Alien tape I can find right now is also a 1989 release. So I was wondering, was this tape genuinely the original VHS release for Aliens in the UK? I'm guessing the film was bootlegged extensively, especially if it took three years to be released on tape.

Also, does anyone have any information on when and on what channel Aliens was first shown on UK tv? I'm guessing it was first broadcast around 1989/1990.

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:59 am 
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As far as I can gather, they were the original sell-thru releases yes. However, they had both previously been released on rental.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:12 pm 

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Hey, thanks for the reply.

I wonder why they took so long to release them? I know ET took five years to be released on VHS and was bootlegged a lot in that period of time.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:19 pm 
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I remember having the special edition recorded from tv in the early 90's cant give an exact date lol but it was def the special edition because I remember flicking through channels and it da just started with the extra newt family bit and I was trying to workout what film it was as it looked good so I started to record it then I see it was aliens and was like what the hell is this I had seen the film multiple times by then but had never seen or knew anything about a special edition it was a lovely surprise and fun to see what at the time was new footage I had no idea about


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:20 pm 
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it was deff early 90's because it was the talk of school the next day I guess maybe 92-93


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:46 pm 

Country: United Kingdom
That's interesting, thanks. Where had you seen the film before?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:57 pm 
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Special edition? I'm sure it was 1991. I was unemployed and had to save up for it!

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 Post subject: Re: Original UK VHS release of Aliens.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:01 pm 
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This is the first VHS copy I ever got of Aliens when I was in the UK. 1992 issue.

AliensVHS.JPG
AliensVHS.JPG [ 20.22 KiB | Viewed 713 times ]

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:00 pm 

Country: United Kingdom
Thanks for posting that, think I've seen that version on ebay as well.

So apparently the 1989 edition actually was the first VHS release for Aliens in the UK:
http://www.videocollector.co.uk/aliens/34571
Wonder why it took them three years to release it?

Also, according to imdb, it was first shown on tv by ITV in 1990. Presumably the theatrical version.

Hybrid wrote:
Special edition? I'm sure it was 1991. I was unemployed and had to save up for it!

Do you remember how much you paid?


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:25 pm 
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Loftus wrote:
So apparently the 1989 edition actually was the first VHS release for Aliens in the UK:


It was the first RETAIL release yes, but had been available on rental prior to that.

Loftus wrote:
Wonder why it took them three years to release it?


Right then, brief history lesson inbound.

You have to bear in mind that in the 1980s, the idea of home video was still a relatively new one back then.

The major studios only cottoned onto the idea of releasing their films onto rental tape by the mid-80s despite rental libraries being around for some time, so it was a few more years after that before they realised there was another chunk of cash to be had by releasing them on sell-through after their popularity on the rental market had wayned.

The late 80s was about the time companies like Fox started to release their back catalogues onto sell-through once they realised there was a market for them. I seem to recall the Star Wars films came out on sell-through roundabout the same time and they had been huge rentals back in the day.

Of course, things are very different today where you can typically expect to view a film online or buy it on disc within 6 months of it being at the cinema, but sell-through was still an emerging market back then.

If you were wondering about what video libraries had on their shelves PRIOR to the mid-80s, that's a topic for another thread :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:42 pm 

Country: United Kingdom
Simon, that's a really good point about the novelty of home video at the time. However, there were definitely less popular movies than Aliens released on VHS to retail at the time, so I'm still slightly surprised they waited so long.

Might start that video libraries thread soon. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:29 pm 
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I remember when movies going to VHS started up....it took almost two years for a movie to end at the theaters and then be sold on video tape. And then the cost was around $60-90 to purchase one!

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:18 pm 
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Loftus wrote:
That's interesting, thanks. Where had you seen the film before?

yeah a few times before that's what confused me when I turned it on tv it was with the extra newt family scenes and I was like whats this looks good then I clicked damn its aliens with new stuff get the video recording this is gonna be good


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 Post subject: Re: Original UK VHS release of Aliens.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:22 pm 
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Well i bought these about 25 years ago from my lokal video librarie here in germany.

I watched these for the last time on my old video player around 5 years ago i think and they where still great to watch.

20180808_184357.jpg
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20180808_184419.jpg
20180808_184419.jpg [ 1.34 MiB | Viewed 591 times ]


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:40 pm 
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I throw my VHS tapes all in trash..., including the Aliens tapes, (German and UK first relies...), no need and no space for that...
But I still have my laserdisk version of Aliens...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Maybe they held off until Alien3 was announced/released?

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:51 am 
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Loftus wrote:
Simon, that's a really good point about the novelty of home video at the time. However, there were definitely less popular movies than Aliens released on VHS to retail at the time, so I'm still slightly surprised they waited so long.


Ahh, now, the reason less popular films were readily available when many bigger titles were not was because the major studios were still testing the market and independant distributors saw an opening and started releasing whatever films they could get their hands on (as had been the case several years earlier with rentals). So yeah there were a few big titles you could purchase in the late 80s, but not that many as the major studios were slow on the uptake (some slower than others I might add).

Indeed, the first proper retail VHS tapes didn't emerge until 1984 and were basically a collection of old kids cartoons and westerns, which were exclusive to Woolworths (anyone remember those old Video Collection titles?) The only other way to purchase a video film would be to buy a rental version from places like WHSmiths or HMV, which would be priced anywhere from £25 - £80 and bear in mind thats 80s money we're talking about, so £80 was worth a lot more back then.

But anyway, it was the late 80s when things started to change, the major studios started releasing their back catalogues onto tape and it then became customary for films to find their way onto rental about 6 months after release at the cinema and then another 6 months after that to find their way onto sell-through. I seem to recall it was a few years after that that, around 1991, that companies realised that the REAL money in home video was in retail and started releasing tapes for sale or hire simultaneously.

Obviously, there's a lot we take for granted these days regarding the availability of films, but it was those Halcyon days that shaped the current home video market and it took a while for film studios to adapt to the publics demands and we arrived at the system we currently have!

Loftus wrote:
Might start that video libraries thread soon. :D


That's my speciality :lol:


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:56 am 
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88reaper88 wrote:
Maybe they held off until Alien3 was announced/released?


No, Alien 3 was released 92/93. Aliens came out on retail 1989, well before that.

However, it is true that the VHS release of the Aliens Special Edition was delayed so they could include a trailer for Alien 3 at the start.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:16 pm 

Country: United Kingdom
SimonT wrote:
Loftus wrote:
Simon, that's a really good point about the novelty of home video at the time. However, there were definitely less popular movies than Aliens released on VHS to retail at the time, so I'm still slightly surprised they waited so long.


Ahh, now, the reason less popular films were readily available when many bigger titles were not was because the major studios were still testing the market and independant distributors saw an opening and started releasing whatever films they could get their hands on (as had been the case several years earlier with rentals). So yeah there were a few big titles you could purchase in the late 80s, but not that many as the major studios were slow on the uptake (some slower than others I might add).

Indeed, the first proper retail VHS tapes didn't emerge until 1984 and were basically a collection of old kids cartoons and westerns, which were exclusive to Woolworths (anyone remember those old Video Collection titles?) The only other way to purchase a video film would be to buy a rental version from places like WHSmiths or HMV, which would be priced anywhere from £25 - £80 and bear in mind thats 80s money we're talking about, so £80 was worth a lot more back then.

But anyway, it was the late 80s when things started to change, the major studios started releasing their back catalogues onto tape and it then became customary for films to find their way onto rental about 6 months after release at the cinema and then another 6 months after that to find their way onto sell-through. I seem to recall it was a few years after that that, around 1991, that companies realised that the REAL money in home video was in retail and started releasing tapes for sale or hire simultaneously.

Obviously, there's a lot we take for granted these days regarding the availability of films, but it was those Halcyon days that shaped the current home video market and it took a while for film studios to adapt to the publics demands and we arrived at the system we currently have!

Loftus wrote:
Might start that video libraries thread soon. :D


That's my speciality :lol:

Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. Really interesting how the home video market evolved. How much do you think the spread of bootleg VHS copies also factored into this whole situation?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:12 pm 
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I purchased Aliens on VHS in 1987, when it was very first released period, though that was here in the U.S. At that time, they were only released as rental VHS, but I purchased a brand new copy from a rental house that ordered an extra copy for me. It was $99. Yea, very expensive. At the time, it was so worth it to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:37 pm 
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Special edition? I'm sure it was 1991. I was unemployed and had to save up for it

Do you remember how much you paid?


I haven't a clue, but it was the first brand new cellophane wrapped factory fresh tape I ever bought.

I bought it through my local video rental store. I can still remember walking out of there with it in the cargo pocket of my combats.

I've not had a video player for years but that tape is still boxed safely along with a few other gems that I kept

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:11 pm 

Location: ATX
Country: United States
xeno1 wrote:
I purchased Aliens on VHS in 1987, when it was very first released period, though that was here in the U.S. At that time, they were only released as rental VHS, but I purchased a brand new copy from a rental house that ordered an extra copy for me. It was $99. Yea, very expensive. At the time, it was so worth it to me.


Totally worth it. :)

I got the special edition laser disc set for around $100 for my birthday. Circa 1991?

I hope that it's still at my parents' house, though I'm not holding my breath.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Red_2 wrote:
xeno1 wrote:
I purchased Aliens on VHS in 1987, when it was very first released period, though that was here in the U.S. At that time, they were only released as rental VHS, but I purchased a brand new copy from a rental house that ordered an extra copy for me. It was $99. Yea, very expensive. At the time, it was so worth it to me.


Totally worth it. :)

I got the special edition laser disc set for around $100 for my birthday. Circa 1991?

I hope that it's still at my parents' house, though I'm not holding my breath.



I also had the Special Edition laser disc. That was a fantastic set.


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 Post subject: Re: Original UK VHS release of Aliens.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:38 pm 

Location: ATX
Country: United States
^^^ Yeah, loved it. The extra production images were overwhelming. I doubt I even got through them all.

Remember flipping the disc over. LOL!

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:17 pm 
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Loftus wrote:
Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. Really interesting how the home video market evolved. How much do you think the spread of bootleg VHS copies also factored into this whole situation?


That's a very good point, I'm not sure to be honest.


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