Media Home Entertainment
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Media Home Entertainment, Inc. was an independent video distributor established in 1978 by filmmaker Charles Band. In 1984, the company was purchased by Heron Communications Inc., a subsidiary of Gerald Ronson's Heron International. Finally, in 1993, the company ceased operations and its last titles went through Fox Video (and before that, CBS/FOX Video) on VHS (while Image Entertainment continued to distribute their output on Laserdiscs). In 1990, Media sold its properties to Video Treasures for budget distribution.
1st Logo (1978-1981)
Nicknames: "MEDA in Space", "Cheesy MEDA", "Early Cheesy Media"
Logo: On a twinkling space background, the navy blue stylized word "MEDA" lights up ala a shocking pink outline. The logo sparkles three times in sync with the fanfare. Then, a four-pointed star appears below the logo and flies across the screen from left to right, wiping in the words "Media Home Entertainment Inc." in similar font and coloring. The logo sparkles some more and briefly glows pink.
Variant: On B/W movies, the logo is shown in black and white.
Trivia: "MEDA" is not a misspelling. Meda was the name of founder Charles Band's then-wife, and it also serves as a play on words, since "MEDA" can also be phonetically interpreted as "ME-D-A" (i.e., "Media").
FX/SFX: The lighting/glittering effects, the star writing, all done using primitive cel animation.
Music/Sounds: A dramatic orchestral fanfare. On some releases, it sounds distorted, due to film deterioration.
Availability: Extremely rare, this was used on the very first Media Home Entertainment tapes starting in 1978, including Animal Farm, Night of the Living Dead, and Halloween, but quickly replaced with the 2nd logo beginning in 1981. It's definitely on banned Beatles tapes released by the company, including John Lennon Live, Magical Mystery Tour, and The Beatles: Live at Shea Stadium.
Editor's Note: A pretty cheesily-animated logo, though it is a quite interesting one, considering it's probably one of the first ever home video logos.
2nd Logo (1981-1988; 1989)
Nicknames: "The Space Logo", "Cheesy Media", "Cheesy Lasers"
Logo: We begin with a space background, followed by an animated cluster of yellow laser beams. While this is happening, 2 light blue outlines of the word "MEDIA" begin to move towards each other from opposite sides of the screen (one on top and one on bottom), in a very odd futuristic font, which is styled so that it looks somewhat like this...
...with the first line connecting to the "M", and the second connecting to the "A". The two words continue their move towards each other, and when they meet, a stream of orange laser beams pass through the outline(s) which rotate backwards, so that we see a little of the logo's bottom. Then a stream of pink laser beams cause the outline(s) to flash, resulting into the complete logo which is a silver chrome with a light blue glow. The bottom text "MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT, INC." (in black but also glowing light blue) zooms in from the center of the screen.
Bylines: In 1984, when Heron Communications bought Media, these would appear, inside a blue rectangle:
- 1984-1986: "A HERON COMMUNICATIONS CO."
- 1986-1988: "A HERON COMMUNICATIONS INC. CO."
- A B&W variant has been spotted.
- There is a still variant.
- On VCL releases distributed by the company, the stacked yellow words "EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED BY" fly down and reside at the center on the same space background, just before this logo begins.
FX/SFX: The lasers, outlines, and space background. Choppy rotation aside, this actually looks quite realistic for its time.
Music/Sounds: Same fanfare as the last logo, but is silent on some other releases.
Availability: Common. Tapes that have used this logo include Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II, the first three Nightmare on Elm Street films, Day of the Dead, and Halloween. Outside of the United States and Canada, the logo can be found (PAL-tweaked) on VPD releases in the United Kingdom and Video Classics releases in Australia. The last video to use this logo was The Hidden, although it did make one appearance on the original VHS of Troma's War. On the Full Moon/Cult Video VHS release of Laserblast from the late 1990s, this makes a surprise appearance along with the original FBI Warning screen as well, with the Samuel Goldwyn logo following the MHE logo. Surprisingly, this logo also appeared on A Family Circus Easter when it aired on Disney Channel in the United States on Easter Sunday of 1999. On an Amazon Prime print of P.O.W. The Escape (a.k.a. Behind Enemy Lines), this is surprisingly retained as well, followed by the Cannon logo.
Editor's Note: This logo is a favorite of many thanks to the music and really nice animation.
3rd Logo (1988-1993)
Nicknames: "CGI Bars", "Media Bars"
Logo: On a black background, several sets of bar segments move up from the bottom of the screen at an angle. As we rotate towards the front, we see that the bars are forming the Media logo, similar to the one in the previous logo. After the logo is fully formed, the chrome fades in. The end result is exactly like the print logo used on their box packaging since 1981.
- 1988-1990: "DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC. A Heron Communications, Inc. Company"
- 1990-1991: "DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC."
- 1991-1992/1993: "A Heron Communications, Inc. Company" (with "DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC." blacked out)
FX/SFX: The CGI forming of the word "MEDIA". This is also well executed computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A low-key synth orchestral theme with "ticking" sounds near the end. It is slightly shortened on a few releases.
- Some of the very early releases to feature this logo still use the 1978 fanfare.
- Due to declining business, the company's very last VHS releases went through (CBS) Fox Video and eventually Fox Video. The above logo would play as normal, but there would be an announcer saying "(Available on video) From Media Home Entertainment." When the music ended, the announcer said, "Distributed by (CBS) Fox Video". When the announcer got to the (CBS) Fox Video part of that, the 1st Fox Video logo (or the 3rd CBS/FOX Video logo) played. Although on the 1991 release of Scanners II: The New Order, there was no announcer spiel, just the full Media logo preceding the 1st Fox Video logo with "DISTRIBUTED BY" in yellow above it.
Availability: Seen on all Media tapes from the era. Some of these include Payoff, Down Twisted, Beverly Hills Brats, High Spirits, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, the uncut version of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Teen Witch, Ambition, Scanners II: The New Order, Speed Zone, Full Moon in Blue Water, Haunted Summer, Rabid Grannies, Ministry of Vengeance, Think Big!, Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters, American Boyfriends, Class of Nuke 'em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown, The Invisible Kid, Two Evil Eyes, World Gone Wild, Alien from L.A., I Come in Peace, Wild at Heart, The Applegates, The Pope Must Diet, Closet Land, Prospero's Books, Black Rainbow, Scorchers, Taking the Heat, Scam, I, Madman, Lurkers, Nails, Dead Ringers, Sonny Boy, Spontaneous Combustion, Primary Motive, Deadlock, and Keeper of the City, among others. Also appeared on some early '90s Video Treasures reprints after its logo appeared before the Media logo, including The Check Is In The Mail..., I Come in Peace and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, among others. Some of these same latter-day releases were also distributed in Canada by HGV Video Productions, even some using the same U.S. packaging. It makes a surprise appearance at the start of a recent Movies! broadcast of Hell's Angels '69 and also appears on the Tubi, Epix.com and Shout! Factory TV prints (and possibly the Amazon Prime version as well).
Editor's Note: A nicely-animated swan song to this influential home video company.