Thursday, 23 August 2018

Four new upcoming titles on Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro!

Towards the end of this year and into next we have some pretty great and obscure stuff lined up! Check it out:

DANGEROUS CARGO (1977)

This is one where you’ll probably want to take a shower after you watch it. From the degenerate director who brought you TANGO OF PERVERSION and THE WIFE KILLER (both available now on DVD from us!) comes another Hellenic sleaze-fest, DANGEROUS CARGO! DALLAS’ Debbie Shelton stars, in a role she’d probably rather forget, as a woman taken captive when pirates take over a ship carrying weapons and ammunition to the far east. These pirates are very much the grimy 70s kind, and not the fun-loving, 18th century “yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum” variety. Quite a bit of ugly, sweaty, and hairy sex and violence ensues. Ms Shelton gets nude A LOT. And it doesn’t end well for anyone involved.

MM is proud (?) to present the US home video debut of this nasty bit of Greek exploitation, as part of our ongoing exploration of genre films from that neglected country. And yes, this will be on BLU-RAY, god help us all. Keep an eye out for promo teaser trailer sometime in the next couple of months. We hope to unleash this film unto the world around the end of the year or maybe early next. It will likely have a “straight to retail” release, with no ‘red case’ limited edition.













LA PUNITION (1970)

A.K.A. THE PUNISHMENT, is a very 1970s French arthouse/exploitation crossover that pre-dates such hit Euro S&M-themed films as STORY OF O and THE IMAGE. Karin Shubert stars as a prostitute who has failed to please a customer and so finds herself locked in a room by her pimp to receive her “punishment”. Although filled with unpleasant violence and disturbing sex, LA PUNITION is a psychedelic marvel, an “evil gem of a movie” as one IMDB reviewer puts it, a ravishingly visual film made around a decidedly seedy story. This movie is often compared to the 70s films of Alain Robbe-Grillet like EDEN AND AFTER or SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE, but it hits much harder than those.

Coming to Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro probably sometime early next year from a new 2K restoration from the original negative. Expect a limited “red case” edition of around 500 copies to proceed the standard retail release.


















WOMAN CHASING A KILLER BUTTERFLY (1978)

A.K.A. THE GIRL WITH THE BUTTERFLY TATTOO or simply THE KILLER BUTTERFLY (probably the title we’ll use).

Over the years we’ve released some pretty strange movies here at Mondo Macabro. But this might very well be the strangest yet. Directed by Kim Ki-young, director of the original version of THE HOUSEMAID, often called “the best Korean film of all time”, BUTTERFLY is a horror-tinged psychotropic melodrama freak-out about nothing less than death itself and the will to keep living. After a young man survives being poisoned by a girl at a picnic he falls into a deep, suicidal depression. But standing in the way of his desire to kill himself is a Nietzschean bookseller who refuses to die even though he’s killed several times, an ancient mummy who is revived in the form of a beautiful woman who happens to be a cannibal, and an insane anthropologist who wants to keep his daughter alive by getting her laid. And also, of course, butterflies. KILLER BUTTERFLY is the most eccentric work in the filmography of the very eccentric Kim Ki-young, made at time of crisis in the Korean film industry when he was running out of hit movies but not bizarre ideas.

MM is incredibly excited to bring this amazing film to the US for the first time ever in a world-premiere Blu-ray release sporting a new 2K restoration from the original negative and loaded with tons of exclusive extras. Hopefully we’ll have this one available before the end of the year, though early next is possible as well. Expect a ‘red case’ LE followed by a standard version a couple months later.


















QUEENS OF EVIL (1970)

And finally, this wonderfully bizarre bit of hippy horror from Italy!

QUEENS OF EVIL stars Ray Lovelock as a freelovin’ dude just tryin’ to get away from it all, who stumbles into a seemingly perfect situation: a very stylish home isolated in the countryside inhabited by three extremely beautiful young ladies (played by Silvia Monti, Evelyn Stewart, and Haydee Politoff) who are totally into him and his free-love ethos. But of course, things don’t go exactly as he would hope, and soon enough things take a bizarre turn into the realms of pagan ritual and witchcraft!

A wonderfully stylized example of late 60s/early 70s counterculture exploitation cinema with lots of artsy touches and an occult horror payoff, it’s a real mystery that QUEENS OF EVIL has never gotten a US release before now. Mondo Macabro is very excited to rectify that sad situation with this Blu-ray release of a new 2k restoration of the film from its original negative. Expect a LE to be unveiled sometime early next year, with a retail edition coming a couple of months later.




Monday, 16 July 2018

BLOOD LUST limited edition specs and cover!


Our limited release of this film will come in the slightly larger (PS3 size) red Blu-ray case. It will also have a 12 page booklet written by Michael Gingold, with lots of fascinating information about the film and how it came to be made.

The LE will also include 14 full color, postcard sized reproductions of lobby cards, posters and promo materials and a cover exclusive to this limited edition.

The film will be presented in both English and German language versions, with optional English subtitles.

Extras include an interview with the film’s assistant director – Marijan David Vajda – who is the son of the writer-director of Blood Lust. We are also very happy to have an interview with actress Birgit Zamulo, who has many fascinating stories to tell about the making of the film. The interview was conducted by Sadi Kanturk who also produced the great interview with Eckhart Schmidt that was featured on our release of The Fan.

This edition will be limited to 500 individually numbered pieces.



Thursday, 14 June 2018

PERVERSION STORY L.E. specs and cover reveal!

We are still working out a few last minute things on our upcoming Blu-ray release of Lucio Fulci's classic giallo PERVERSION STORY aka ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER. But we can now unveil the full details of that upcoming release. Below you'll find the reversible cover art, both sides of which are unique to this edition, as well as the previously revealed slipcover design featuring brand new art by Justin Coffee. Even though it features a slipcover, this edition will have a red-colored case, though it will be a thinner case than we've used for our previous "Red Case" LEs, FYI.
As for features ...
HD presentation of the longer, 108 minute "European cut" of the film
English or Italian opening credits options
English or Italian with optional English subtitles language track options
Brand new interview with actor Jean Sorel
Brand new interview with actor Elsa Martinelli
Brand new interview with critic Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
Original trailer
MM previews
The numbered limited edition will feature a slipcover, a new thinner red case, a 12 page booklet with new writing on the film by Roberto Curti, and 8 postcard reproductions of the German lobby cards and poster for the film.
We will schedule the pre-order as soon as we get everything completely done. Hopefully we'll be able to announce that next week, with the pre-order coming at the end of the month or very early in July!




Friday, 16 March 2018

WHO CAN KILL A CHILD, LE covers and full specs

At long last - what you've all been waiting for! WHO CAN KILL A CHILD is coming to Blu-ray soon! The pre-order will arrive sometime next month (keep checking back, we'll have a firm date on that soon), but in the meantime here are the two covers for the limited edition plus all the specs for the disc and the packaging!
Limited to this red case edition will be a reversible cover with both images unique to this version, a booklet featuring a brand new essay by horror film expert Lee Gambin, and a series of postcards reproducing the US lobby cards!
The region-free disc itself will feature:
*Brand new 4K restoration from the original negative
*Two different English language tracks - the Spanish export version and the US 'ISLAND OF THE DAMNED' dub - as well as the Spanish language track with optional English subtitles
*Two options for the opening credits; the longer 'mondo'-style opening of the Spanish/export version and the shorter US 'ISLAND OF THE DAMNED' opening
*Brand new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan of the Daughters of Darkness podcast
*Brand new interview with horror historian and critic Kim Newman
*Archival Spanish TV documentary on the film
*Archival interviews with director Narciso Ibanez Serrador and cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine
*Trailers and radio spots


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!

Monday, 28 August 2017

New DVD announcement! The Greek Fantastique!

Dimitris Panayiotatos is the only Greek film maker to have specialised in film noir, fantasy and sci-fi. He has produced and directed documentaries, TV series and feature films and has created a consistent and compelling body of work over more than thirty years.

This DVD brings together his 1990 feature film Lovers Beyond Time, as well as an episode of the “Twilight Zone” style TV series Tales of Love and Terror. The disc also includes his 2009 feature length documentary on the history of Greek genre cinema and an interview with the director where he discusses his own career and the difficulties of working in genre cinema in Greece, a country where such productions have always been marginalized.

The disc includes:

LOVERS BEYOND TIME – 1990; Feature film, 80 minutes
Sylvia and Angelos have an intense relationship. Too intense for Sylvia, who breaks it off. Three years later, with Angelos dead, Sylvia lives with a doctor and works for a record company. Her new life is suddenly invaded by a succession of bizarre events: strange deaths occur around her and she experiences a series of involuntary orgasms, as though a man she can feel but not see is making love to her - in the street, at work, in her car. All of this seems connected in some way with a mysterious musician she is trying to track down, a man who constantly evades her; until one night her phone rings.... With influences ranging from early Cronenberg to Italian erotic thrillers of the 1970s, the film is a journey into the dangerous world of the irrational, where time contracts and expands and where people are at the mercy of natural laws that change suddenly, violently and without warning.

STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND – 2009; documentary, 90 minutes
This ground-breaking and important documentary reveals the hitherto untold story of Greek genre cinema over the last 50 years, dealing with Film Noir, Thrillers, Fantasy films and Sci-Fi. It includes a wealth of interviews with directors, writers and critics and clips from more than 50 films. Very little of the information included here has been available before outside Greece and it will be essential viewing to anyone interested in the wider world of genre cinema.

THE EROTIC, THE FANTASTIC – 2017; interview, 25 minutes
An interview with director Dimitris Panayiotatos where he talks about his own career, studying film in Paris in the 1970s, writing and publishing books and magazines on sci-fi and fantasy cinema and the difficulties of working in the fantastic genres in a country where comedy is king.

THE LAST MEAL – 1988 – TV episode, 25 minutes
An episode from a Greek Twilight Zone style TV series called Tales of Love and Terror.



Coming this winter to DVD only! (Sorry, no blu for this one.)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Daniela Giordano on INQUISTION and working with Paul Naschy

Daniela Giordano recently submitted this lovely written reminiscence about working with Paul Naschy on his directorial debut INQUISITION. We didn't receive it in time to include in the booklet for our forthcoming limited edition Blu-ray of the film so thought we'd share it here. Enjoy! 




I am very proud of this film. And I'm glad that it’s not been forgotten. I was the star and I played the role of a simple country girl who becomes a witch in order to destroy an inquisitor who has killed her boyfriend. The character of the witch was drawn from historical records, based on a woman called Catherine Brindeau, and Paul sought an actress who physically resembled her, as seen in an engraving in an old book he showed me. When he met me the first time he was surprised because, among other similarities, I also had the same speck in one eye which was mentioned in stories about that girl. In those times this was seen as the sign of the devil. Paul strived for authenticity in the film. All the instruments of torture were authentic. Even the famous Malleus Maleficarum shown in the film. This book, along with many of the other props, were from a famous Madrid museum and Paul had managed to get permission to use them in the film.

Paul Naschy directed me as a real director should. He was almost never angry on set. Being an actor he knows very well how to talk to other actors. The crew loved him. This is very important for things to work well. He was serious, but at the right moment he was able to make fun of something or tell a joke to break the tension.

I really preferred my character in the second part of the film, after Catherine has become a witch. Indeed, it was difficult to play the first part. I remember that Paul told me many times: “Please, try to be more sweet; you are a simple country girl and you respect your father…” It was hard for me to look submissive - considering that at this time in the movie business in Italy I was called “the wild girl” because of my personality (I was and I still am very independent).

One day, my scene included a number of everyday activities in the kitchen. Paul hands me a live chicken and says: "Now take this chicken, sit in that chair, wring its neck and then pluck it. Remember you're a simple country girl, in your kitchen, and you know how to prepare a chicken." Well, at that time in my life I’d never seen a chicken so close up! Except cooked and on my plate. You don’t  meet chickens on the street, at the beach or in a nightclub. And in the countryside you only see them on farms as you drive past. So I said: “No, I’m not going to kill this poor chicken. I can’t do it.” I saw Paul’s face darken. Then he went off with one of the crew and together they disappeared into the corner. Eventually he came back, handed me the chicken, now dead but still warm, and said harshly: “Now sit there and pluck it.” I managed it somehow but with tears streaming down my face. In the end, Paul cut most of the scene and left only a few seconds.

A particularly dangerous sequence came at the end, when I was burnt at the stake. Unfortunately, at that very moment the wind rose and blew the flames in my direction. I was tied to the wooden stake and really afraid when I felt the intense heat on my face. I expected Paul to halt the scene, but nothing happened. So my screams in the film are real. I was genuinely scared. And, I must say, so were the crew. It takes just a few seconds to damage an actress for life. The only safety measure was someone standing near the flames with a blanket in case I caught fire !!

At the time, so my agent told me later, the film had grossed more in Spanish-speaking countries than Jaws but it was not sold in Italy because distributors didn’t believe that my name alone would bring in audiences and also because there wasn’t enough sex. It was a big disappointment for me because I had hoped that the success of this film would start to raise the quality of the scripts that were being offered to me. Fortunately, over the years, Inquisition has made its own way around the world, first on video-tape and then on DVD. I am very happy that Mondo Macabro has now been able to restore the film and distribute it on Blu Ray for the first time anywhere in the world.


The limited edition blu-ray featuring a reversible cover with exclusive art on both sides and a booklet with brand new writing on the film by Pete Tombs will be available to purchase on Wednesday, April 12th at 7am P.S.T. 
Pre-order here