Sunday, June 18, 2006

European Trash Cinema

I've been very busy lately with many real world things but I'm never too busy to sit down and catch a good film. At least not at the end of a long day. One of my favorite things to view is a heretofore unknown to me Eurpoean film of the (shall we say) less than art-house level. Thrillers, gangster films, murder mysteries, women in prison films, bloody horror tales or crime stories- I love'em all. We are currently living through a wonderful time to be a fan of strange cinema of this type as DVD companies continue to spring up each year catering to loonies like me. Between Synapse, Anchor Bay, Blue Underground, Media Blasters/Shriek Show and No Shame my 'To Get' list continues to grow longer no matter how much stuff lands in my mailbox each month. But no matter how many great DVDs come out month after month the sheer volume of whats out there is still NOT available through these channels. For a lot of the more obscure and more interesting stuff you have to go to the grey market. I've been buying from various dealers for years and I recently reacquainted myself with one of the best.

EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA VIDEO is run by Craig Ledbetter out of his home. The business grew out of his legendary magazine EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA years ago and even now that the 'zine is dead the video business lives on. I've been buying tapes and now DVD-R's from Craig for close to 10 years and I've never been unhappy with either his product or his great service. He's very up front about print quality and if he claims his copy looks good you can take it to the bank. Craig is also one of the most knowledgable people I've ever talked to about movies. Phone conversations with him tend to be long, entertaining and packed with information that sends me down new cinematic paths. When I recently started looking for a copy of the incredible obscure LUANA I should have contacted him first but I simply blanked. As soon as someone mention that he might have it I realized I hadn't been thinking. All it took was one phone call and I now have the long lost jungle epic in my hands.

And Craig is always on the hunt for more stuff. I've been looking to one day see a particular Peter Cushing rarity and what should show up in the latest ETC Video update?

"CORRUPTION aka LASER KILLER (1967)-As shocking today as when it was made in 1967! Peter Cushing plays a scientist who develops a skin grafting technique that he is forced to use on his wife when he accidentally disfigures her face. Unfortunately he has to kill his female victims to get the gland he needs so he goes on the hunt and relentlessly murders young women for his wife vain beauty. This is the only way to see this film uncut and in English (I have the RARE French prerecord that is in English with French subs) as it has never been released on dvd and there are no plans to! Comes with a color cover. $15"

Amazing! And here's one I just could not resist while ordering LUANA-

"FRAME-UP/THE FALLING MAN (1968)-Here's a special deal. These 2 films are different edits of the same material and so make for a fascinating viewing experience. So, I will put both versions on one dvd-r for the price of $15. Henry Silva stars as a man framed for murder (he's a hitman but this one he didn't do!) Keenan Wynn, and Beba Loncar and Evelyn Stewart co-star. A trippy film that you'll appreciate even more when you see the 2 different versions here! Comes with a color cover. $15"

I cannot wait to see this.

So, if you find you have a taste for the more eccentric side of cinema you might want to give ETC Video a try. I've included a link to the website above- just click on the title of this blog entry. I think you'll be glad you did.

No comments: