Tuesday, 2 January 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR! aka What We Did Last Year, and What We Have Planned for This Year

2017 was a watershed year for MM. We released the retail version of the South Korean supernatural thriller SUDDENLY IN THE DARK, the limited edition (but not yet sold out!) JESS FRANCO TRIPLE BILL featuring HD upgrades of HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN and COUNTESS PERVERSE (as well as its X-rated variant SEXY NATURE), Paul Naschy’s directorial debut INQUISITION, the classy Spanish giallo THE FOX WITH A VELVET TAIL, the indescribable Latvian erotic art-horror film SPIDER, and we topped the year off with a sold-out limited edition blu of the 70s Spanish horror masterpiece THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE. Not too shabby! 
But 2018 will be even more impressive! 

Already up for pre-order at places like Diabolik DVD and Amazon is the retail version of BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE, as well as the US debut of the highly original 90s Greek film LOVERS BEYOND TIME! The latter is a unique and erotic sci-fi noir, pretty much unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. To sweeten the deal, we’ve added a full-length documentary covering the wild world of Greek fantasy and horror films made by the same director, among several other enticing extras. This release is DVD only, sorry HD purists. But lovers of weird films no matter what format they arrive on should be totally psyched! Both of the above releases are scheduled for February 13th.

Our next limited Red Case Blu-ray will be the Paul Naschy masterpiece THE DEVIL INCARNATE aka EL CAMINANTE! The region free disc will sport a brand new 4K restoration from the original negative plus a host of fascinating extras. The limited release will have a reversible cover as well as an exclusive booklet featuring a new essay on the film by Kat Ellinger! This will be limited to 666 numbered copies and will go on sale sometime this month or early February at the latest. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page or Big Cartel storefront for that forthcoming announcement. A retail edition will arrive sometime after the LE has sold out. 

But we know what title fans are looking forward to most from us, the long-awaited US Blu-ray debut of the Spanish horror classic WHO CAN KILL A CHILD! We are hoping this will arrive hot on the heels of DEVIL INCARNATE, but we’re still working on it so that’s still a bit up in the air. But we can reveal that it will be another brand new 4K restoration, so be prepared to toss out all previous DVD and BD versions! This will be the definitive edition. It will arrive first as another of our Red Case limited editions, followed by a retail edition later in the year.

But beyond that, what does 2018 hold in store for Mondo Macabro?

Well, as reported last week by Bruce Holecheck’s Cinema Arcana website and Facebook page, we have a wild Blu-ray double feature of the US ‘roughies’ THE RAVAGER and THE BUSHWHACKER coming up, straight from the Something Weird Video archives! We are super excited to be working with both them and the American Genre Film Archive to release this sometime in the middle of 2018. Not only that but it will be the first release in an entirely new sub-label: American Arcana! This new imprint will focus exclusively on US-made trash and genre films. We can’t reveal yet what else the label has in store, but we do have our eyes on couple of very crazy and fascinating titles, one of which was a previously lost film! Prepare to get excited! 

And now we come to the best part, and what you’re probably reading all of this for – all new title announcements!

First up is the next volume in our ongoing series exploring Greek exploitation cinema, and the first Blu-ray in that collection! It will be a double feature of two black and white films, THE WILD PUSSYCAT and THE DESERTER! Here’s what MM founder Pete Tombs has to say about these two obscurities:

The first of these is something of a classic of exploitation cinema - a genre (if it can be called that) rarely explored in Greece. And certainly very rarely before the 1970s and 80s. What is even more surprising is how relentless and indeed, eye opening the film is. We’re talking about THE WILD PUSSYCAT, a film produced in Greece in 1968 but not officially released there until 1972. And then only in a cut and compromised version. To the best of our knowledge it has never been released before on any form of home video platform anywhere in the world. 
The original Greek title of the film was Καυτή εκδίκησις – meaning “Hot Revenge”. It was later re-released as Hot Revenge of Sex, just to make things clearer. The simple plot concerns a woman whose sister was exploited and driven to suicide by a sleazy pimp. In order to get revenge on him the sister seduces the man, drugs him and imprisons him in a sound proof room, tormenting him through a large one-way mirror (he can see out, no-one can see in) by performing sultry strip tease dances and having sex with men and women while he can only look on, helpless to stop it.

Eventually she castrates the man and sets him free, leaving him crawling along the road howling like a beast.

Strong stuff! And, if the plot sounds familiar to fans of Italian genre cinema – yes, it was “borrowed” by Joe D’Amato for one of his 1970s productions, EMANUELLE’S REVENGE.
In spite of its lurid subject matter and upfront depiction of sex, THE WILD PUSSYCAT was not a low budget quickie with a cast of unknowns and a first time film maker. It was directed by Dimi Dadiras, one of the most successful director/producers of the period, and it features one of the big stars of Greek cinema – Gisela Dali, known in her day as “the Greek Bardot”.

There have been a handful of repertory screenings of the film in the US in recent years and its every showing has been greeted by audiences with wild howls of delight. It really is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and we are sure any fan of the Mondo line will find it essential viewing.
The disc includes two versions of the film – the uncut export print and the Greek domestic release which replaces much of the original’s sleaze and tease with a sub plot involving drug smuggling, juvenile delinquency and the sort of moralistic police detective who seemed to be a speciality of Greek crime films of this period.

To complete this essential package, we are also including the 1970 film O Lipotaktis (THE DESERTER). This is a fascinating and powerful film about a young soldier who escapes a seemingly endless war and finds himself trapped in an emotional and sexual battle between two desperate women. The great Gisela Dali also stars in this production, in a small but unforgettable role as a witch who casts a love spell on the young soldier.

Again, there are strong Italian connections here. The film was edited by Bruno Mattei. He also claimed to have directed much of it and a few years later released a version of it in Italy with himself credited as director, under the title of Armida, il Dramma di Una Sposa (Armida, the Story of a Woman). As with THE WILD PUSSYCAT we can find no evidence of this film ever having been released anywhere on home video before.

So, an essential double bill for anyone even remotely interested in the wider shores of exploitation cinema. We’re sticking our necks out with this one as these are ultra-obscure, even in Greece. But it’s good to live dangerously. We hope you’ll join us on our journey into the wild side of world cinema.”

They sound pretty great, huh? You know you want it. Release date and all other details about this blu are still TBD/TBA. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for a pair of new teaser trailers we've put together to hype this release. 
And now for the big one. It’s been awhile since we’ve revealed a “big” new title, but now that it’s already 2018 it’s time to announce … Lucio Fulci’s classic giallo ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER aka PERVERSION STORY! 

We’ve been working on getting this film in our library for some time now and have recently closed the deal. We don’t have many details to share for this one yet, but we can say that other than making its world Blu-ray premiere we are endeavouring to make sure this is the longest, most complete version yet released on home video! Because of that we can only say that this title is “coming soon”, and that it will be done when it’s done. Hopefully sometime in the middle or latter part of this new year.

One other thing we can reveal is that it will feature a brand new cover illustration by Justin Coffee, who did our previous releases NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND DESIRES and FOX WITH A VELVET TAIL. But this will be his best work yet. We can't wait to show it to you! 

That’s all we can announce for now, but that’s certainly not all we have up our sleeves for this year and beyond. Stay tuned later this year for more exciting announcements!