Hard To Get VDO Movies and How To Get Them: #3 ‘The Investigator’

Well to continue with this popular series on hard to get VDO movies (here are the links for those who missed out on the first 2 articles on ‘It Don’t Pay To Be An Honest Citizen’ and ‘Hotel Paradise’)



Today’s movie is the short film ‘The Investigator’ with Anne Heche.

Playing the part of ‘Ephraim MacDougall, heeereees VDO!!!

VDO as Ephraim MacDougall

For Americans (or for that matter for anyone) without an all region DVD player, their best bet is to pickup a VCD set from Hong Kong called Perverse Destiny Volume 1 from America Video Film.

So what’s a VCD?  Glad you asked…

Straight from the pages of VideoHelp.com


VCD stands for ‘Video Compact Disc’ and basically it is a CD that contains moving pictures and sound. If you’re familiar with regular audio/music CDs, then you will know what a VCD looks like. A VCD has the capacity to hold up to 74/80 minutes on 650MB/700MB CDs respectively of full-motion video along with quality stereo sound. VCDs use a compression standard called MPEG to store the video and audio. A VCD can be played on almost all standalone DVD Players and of course on all computers with a DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive with the help of a software based decoder / player. It is also possible to use menus and chapters, similiar to DVDs, on a VCD and also simple photo album/slide shows with background audio. The quality of a very good VCD is about the same as a VHS tape based movie.

What do you have to have to watch a VCD?

Either you need to have a computer with a CD-ROM drive or a DVD-ROM drive and VCD player software (Windows Media Player is one option for software, others are mentioned at http://www.videohelp.com/play.htm#vcd ) 

*or* you need a compatible DVD player (check for DVD Player compatability at http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers.php )

VCD is sort of the poor man in Asia’s way of watching movies without having to use a VCR. There are tons of legitimately released movies on VCD and they are very inexpensive (it has never cost me more than $15 to get one and that includes shipping to me in the USA from far off Asia).

Of the VCDs I have like Perverse Destiny, it’s handy to be able to watch them on my computer or on my DVD player. In fact I’m watching another VCD of another hard to get VDO movie as I type this :)

Here a picture of the Perverse Destiny VCD:

Perverse Destiny VCD

If you are in Europe you can get Perverse Destiny Volume 1 on a Region 2 PAL DVD from the Netherlands (RCV / America Video Film K6056 DVD, UPC Code #8 713045 202699). It looks like this:

If you are in Australia, you can get Perverse Destiny Volume 1 on a Region 4 PAL DVD (MRA Entertainment Group D0128, UPC Code #9 316797 415288).

The price for one of these DVDs with shipping to the USA will be closer to $20 and of course it won’t do you any good if you don’t have an ‘all-region’ DVD player.

All three versions of Perverse Destiny come with 3 short films: ‘The Investigator’ with VDO and Anne Heche, ‘Teach 109’ with Elizabeth Perkins, Jason Patric and James Earl Jones and ‘Override’ with Erika Alexander and Lou Diamond Phillips.

There are more VCDs and DVDs in the Perverse Destiny series with more short films with a science fiction/Twilight Zone kind of bent to them so if you end up liking these, you can get more of them to watch.

This just in…if you’re in the UK, you want to get your hands on a copy of this Region 2 PAL DVD:
Cinema Collection Volumes 1 & 2 PAL DVD

This Cinema Collection Volumes 1 & 2 PAL DVD is from ILC Prime (IPD11302, UPC # 5 031932 113020) and has the short films  ‘The Investigator’ ‘Teach 109’ ‘Another Round’ with Alison Elliot and Brett Cullen), ‘Hogg’s Heaven’ (with Keith Gordon and Shirley Knight), ‘Texan’ (with Dana Delaney, directed by Treat Williams), ‘Museum Of Love’ (with Samantha Mathis, directed by Christian Slater), ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ (with Viggo Mortensen, Fisher Stevens & Jeff Silverman) and ‘Hearts Of Stone’ (with Glen Plummer). Sorry but this volume doesn’t have ‘Override’ like Perverse Destiny Volume 1 does.

I know for sure that ‘Texan’ and ‘Museum Of Love’ are definitely in the Perverse Destiny series of films but I’m not sure which DVDs they are included on. The other films are all new to me (and I’m psyched to have more to watch).

By the way, it wouldn’t hurt you to read O. Henry’s ‘The Green Door’ before you see ‘The Investigator’.

I am biased as all get out on this, but this is my all time favorite O. Henry short story and VDO playing the lead character in an adaptation of ‘The Green Door’ impressed me to no end – I absolutely love this short film.

Check my next post for the entire short story…


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