In recent years streaming options for entertainment – movies, TV shows, music – have increased and become more commonplace in the average U.S. household but, at the same time, physical media like Blu-rays and DVD continues to prosper among movie lovers and film collectors. Specialty distributors like Severin Films, Vinegar Syndrome and Kino Lorber are releasing new acquisitions at an astonishing rate and obscure genre films and forgotten art house fare are suddenly available on Blu-ray in presentations that look better now than they did during their original theatrical release such as The Five Days (1973, Severin), cult director Dario Argento’s rare non-horror period piece, Ulli Lommell’s witchcraft thriller The Devonsville Terror (1983, Vinegar Syndrome) and Francois Truffaut’s Mississippi Mermaid (1969, Kino Lorber). Deaf Crocodile, a distributor based in Los Angeles, stands apart from its competitors for restoring and releasing movies from around the world that many film buffs never even knew existed. Among their recent releases are Zerograd (1988), an absurdist Soviet satire, The Unknown Man of Shandigor (1967) by Swiss filmmaker Jean-Louis Roy and Solomon King, a lost Blaxploitation indie from 1974. The real surprise for me, however, is Misiunea Spatiala Delta (English title: Delta Space Mission), an animated science fiction fantasy from Romania that was released in 1984.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Vinegar Syndrome
A Double Dose of Santo and Blue Demon
For American moviegoers weaned on comic books and superheroes like Superman, Batman and The Hulk, the names El Santo and Blue Demon might not be as familiar. But in Mexico, they are major cultural icons. They were the main attractions in a popular film genre known as the lucho libre (wrestling hero movies) but had first established themselves as bona-fide professional wrestlers. In real life, Santo and Blue Demon were often rivals in the ring but they teamed up on the screen nine times and two of their most representative features together are Santo y Blue Demon vs. Dracula y el Hombre Lobo (Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolf Man, 1973) and Santo y Blue Demon contra el Doctor Frankenstein (Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dr. Frankenstein, 1974), which are good entry points for beginners.