Here's installment Numero Two-o of our ongoing series. The rules are simple: try and identify this week's still. If you think you know the film it's advertising, leave a comment below. As the week progresses, if no one guesses correctly I'll begin adding hints. Simple enough, right?
Here ya' go -- good luck!
Congrats to Jonny Redman for correctly identifying this challenge's still as being from Silvio Amadio's Amuck! (1972), a sleazy, underrated giallo starring a Eurotrash beauty killer combo of Barbara Bouchet and Rosalba Neri. Farley Granger's also in it, if that sort of thing matters to you. It sat unreleased in the US until 1978, when Group 1 decided to give it a shot paired with Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon (their retitling of Juan Lopez Moctezuma's Mansion of Madness (1973)), later reissuing it under its less recognized moniker, Maniac Mansion (double-billed with Living Nightmare, their retitling of Mario Caiano's Nazi Love Camp #27 (1977)). Keeping all that straight? Its eventual VHS, like most Group 1 offerings, was issued through Catalina Home Video in an uncut but brutally cropped transfer. However, in the '90s Something Weird Video released a true oddity: they found and transferred a theatrical print under the previously unknown alternate title Leather and Whips. The good news is that it retained the full 'scope 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the bad news is that it's been shorn of almost 20 minutes! Of course it's way out-of-print now, so good luck finding a copy!
While no properly licensed DVD exists, bootleg outfit Eurovista did put one out sourced from the old Catalina release, and it's unfortunately the best game in town. Supplements include brief interviews with Barbara and Rosalba and a stills collection. (I don't think I've ever seen a trailer pop up on any compilations, but I know one exists -- I was outbid on eBay years back!) Amuck! is screaming for a legit DVD; it'd be the perfect title for a company like Severin to tackle and do up right. The rights are available, and the two lead actresses are obviously willing to discuss their involvement... so how 'bout it?
For a detailed comparison of the cut and uncut prints, click here. (Careful: Spoilers Galore!)
A new feature I hope you'll enjoy: it's Name that Movie Monday!
I'll be scanning a different promotional still every week; your job, should you choose to accept it, is simply try to identify the film it's advertising in the comment section below. As the week progresses, I'll add a hint or two about its distribution history.
If it proves popular, I'll see about digging out some goodies from the Archives to reward repeat winners. I plan to keep things reasonably obscure; this place ain't called Cinema Arcana for nothin'!
Below is the first photo. Good luck!
Congrats to Will Wilson, who correctly identified William Dear & Thomas L. Dyke's Northville Cemetery Massacre (1976), a fun, offbeat made-in-Michigan biker epic whose various squib-filled shootouts play like Peckinpah-for-a-buck. Starting life in the early '70s as Freedom R.I.P., the movie eventually saw theatrical release from The Cannon Group, Inc., who touted its "country music score" by ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith. The still above is actually reversed from the way it screens in the film proper; I guess someone at Cannon thought it was more aesthetically pleasing this way. On home video the title made its way to VHS through Paragon Video, and VCI put it back into circulation a few years ago with a nice DVD issue that contains several commentaries and other extras. It's well worth picking up.
Thanks to everyone who has emailed or messaged, wondering if the ol' Arcana was dead in the water. It's good to know at least some people are looking at this damn thing. The truth is simple: I've been a bit busy. A few months back I was hard at work on a giant Charles B. Pierce retrospective, but then life got in the way before I ever wrapped it up. I'm not even sure if it'd be relevant any more; I would've liked to have done a tribute to David Durston as well, but run into a similar conundrum.
Since then, I've been trying to finish up a pair of featurettes for Synapse Films, prepping another pair for Troma Entertainment, and doing research for a pair of interviews for the next issue of Ultra Violent. Free time's a little hard to come by, and it's Summer now, anyway. Time for beer and cookouts.
Busy or not, the Upcoming Releases list is constantly updated; I think it's the best of its type on the 'net. I've also added a little sidebar letting you know what I've been watching, if you care. I hope to start putting up past Top Ten DVD Round-Ups sometime soon; look for the 2008 edition sometime in the next week or two. I also have a a few other goodies in the works, so keep an eye out.
My interview with Giovanni Lombardo Radice has finally seen the light of day on Blue Underground's essential City of the Living Dead release; it's a Blu-Ray only supplement, but that's a-okay by me. The company did an excellent job with the disc, and I'm proud to be part of it.
Speaking of Eurotrash on Blu-Ray, Media Blasters have put a big smile on my face by announcingZombie Holocaust for a September release with a low, low retail price. Yup, Doc Butcher himself in hi-def. A few years back I threw together a Top Ten List of Eurotrash Favorites for longtime pal David Zuzelo's Tomb it May Concern blog; Dr. Butcher, M.D. was included. They're also issuing Joe D'amato's crackpot sickie Beyond the Darkness on the format, along with Bill Hinzman's cheapjack (but fun as hell) Flesh Eater. (Ah, to see that sneaky boob-grope in 1080p!) According to the company, these will all be fresh high definition transfers; can Burial Ground be that far away? (For the record, Burial Ground is pretty much the best movie ever.)