Just rolled a Screen Gems 16mm print of Creeps and I noticed a couple of things inconsistent with the video version.
First is the bit with Sir Tom. In older copies of the original film The Ghost Talks, there was picture damage evident at a couple of places, like when the Stooges are told, “I am a friendly spirit. Come closer.” What it looked like was that the picture was actually torn in half for just a few frames, with the damage appearing from left to right.
The same thing happened again during the skeletons’ chess game, right about the time Jules White-Skeleton says, “Don’t sit there like you’re dead!”
Now, stay with me on this. The damage on The Ghost Talks looked like it was digitally (and kinda sloppily) repaired with dvnr on the Spook Louder dvd set. Well, that’s fine but then we get the new Sony sets and, to me, it looks like the same problem was there, maybe on the negative, but was fixed with much more care this time around. Watch the bit where the Stooges look at each other and you’ll see it. Looks like maybe the speed ramps up a few frames and a strange, nearly undetectable blur moves over the screen left to right. Watch Larry turn to Moe and you’ll see the speed thing, like a frame was removed. It was picture damage. It was there and it was fixed really, really well.
Now, Sony, for some reason or other, used the repaired bit from The Ghost Talks and dropped it into the video version of Creeps. Just have a look. It’s there. But it’s not on the 16mm print! The film plays smoothly with no hint of picture disturbance at all. I can’t begin to wonder why this section was “flown in” from The Ghost Talks when there was, presumably, nothing wrong with the original neg (or, whatever master copy was used for the collection).
Next up is the NBC chimes joke at the end of the picture. On the Sony collection and many previous tv versions, we hear part of the first chime too soon (and loudly) while the Stooge kids cry for a story to put them to sleep. Then the familiar 1-2-3 of the triple conk on the dome. The 16mm doesn’t have that little screw up.
Probably fascinating to me only but, hey, there really hasn’t been that much Stooge talk lately. And I’m kinda burnt out on screenshots!
Next time on Scrutinize the Stooges, I shall attempt the molecular breakdown of a Stooges 16mm short printed on color film stock in order to ascertain exactly what vegetable was used to create the emulsion dyes, when it was grown and where.