Kino Lorber, Inc. announces a new partnership with Eurociné (Paris) for North American distribution of its library of cult classics, highlighted by the erotic thrillers of Spanish-born director Jess Franco. Films will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on the Redemption Films label, as well as other digital platforms. Mastered in HD from archival 35mm elements, the films will be offered in deluxe editions with a carefully curated selection of special features.
For years, Franco has been a favorite of Euro horror enthusiasts -- for the dreamlike tone of his films and the sheer audacity with which he indulges his morbid sexual curiosity. With the release of these Blu-ray editions, Kino Lorber brings Franco to a wider audience, and places him alongside Mario Bava and Jean Rollin in the pantheon of cult directors ripe for rediscovery.
Without a doubt the 40-year partnership of Jess Franco and Lina Romay was one of the most provocative director/actor, husband/wife collaborations in contemporary cinema. For Franco, the horror film was a vehicle through which he could explore his darkest sexual fantasies, and in the mysterious and sensual Romay he found an exhibitionist who not only indulged his every cinematic whim, but did so with absolute confidence and bravado. They remained lovers and collaborators up until Romay's untimely death in February of 2012, at the age of 57.
Eulogizing the actress, Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas wrote, "No other woman gave quite as much of herself to the fantastic cinema as Lina Romay...Theirs was an ideal meeting of exhibitionist and voyeur, both giving generously to one another in one of cinema's most provocative love stories." In one of the highlights of the release, Franco speaks frankly of his relationship with Romay in the poignant featurette, "Destiny in Soft Focus," filmed especially for this edition.
Daniel Lesoeur, head of Eurociné, commented, "We are happy to provide Kino Lorber the opportunity to make our films available to American audiences in their original versions, remastered from the 35mm negatives, and we look forward to a long and rewarding association."
Female Vampire comes to Blu-ray and DVD on October 16th, mastered in HD from the original film elements, with a SRP of $29.95 for the Blu-ray and $24.95 for the DVD. It is presented in French with optional English subtitles, or an English dubbed soundtrack. Special features include the extended erotic version (Female Vampire, 100 min.), the standard horror version (Erotikill, 70 min., presented in English only), "Destiny in Soft Focus: Jess Franco Remembers Female Vampire," a new documentary by Elijah Drenner and David Gregory, "Words for Lina," a tribute by co-star Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, produced by Daniel Gouyette, and the original theatrical trailer.
Exorcism also streets on October 16th, with a SRP of $24.95 for the Blu-ray, and $19.95 for the DVD. This edition contains both the extended erotic version (Exorcism, 97 min.) and the standard horror version (Demoniac, 69 min), as well as original theatrical trailers.
"One of the most erotic and transgressive works in the horror genre." -- Tim Lucas, Editor of Video Watchdog
Includes the Complete Alternate Version: Erotikill
Channeling his deepest libidinal desires and darkest fears into films, with no apparent concern for narrative convention or the boundaries of mainstream taste, Jess Franco is a cinematic iconoclast. And Franco was never better than when working with his wife, Lina Romay (1954-2012), a haunted waif who would go to any extreme to assure that the director's wildest imaginings were brought to the screen without compromise.
Their most highly-regarded collaboration, Female Vampire stars Romay as the mysterious Countess Irina Karlstein, a beautiful vampiress who feeds on victims at their moments of sexual climax. Because she destroys those whose essence she consumes, Irina is doomed to a life of solitude, wandering through the Western Coast of Europe in a dreamlike state, shrouded in a lush musical score by Daniel White.
This Redemption edition includes the extended erotic version (Female Vampire), as well as the shorter horror version (Erotikill), in which Irina draws her liquid sustenance from more conventional parts of the human anatomy.
* Mastered in HD from the original film elements.
* French with optional English subtitles or English dubbed
* Extended erotic version: Female Vampire (100 min.)
* Standard horror version: Erotikill (70 min., English only)
* "Destiny in Soft Focus: Jess Franco Remembers Female Vampire," a new documentary by Elijah Drenner and David Gregory
* "Words for Lina," a tribute by co-star Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, produced by Daniel Gouyette
* Original theatrical trailer
Spain 1973 Color 2.35:1 1920 x 1080p Not Rated
Includes the Complete Alternate Version: Demoniac
A gleefully sordid grindhouse gem punctuated with disarming moments of visual eloquence, Exorcism is a quintessential Jess Franco film that takes the director's idiosyncratic sexual obsessions and folds them within the trappings of the conventional horror film.
Made during the height of the demon possession film craze, Exorcism stars Franco's wife and muse, the incomparable Lina Romay, as a performance artist who stages faux satanic rituals for the gratification of the Parisian elite. When a defrocked priest with a penchant for S&M (Franco) witnesses one of Anna's erotic spectacles--and mistakes it for an actual black mass--the moral crusader launches a one-man Inquisition upon the sexually liberated women of Paris. The film has been released in various forms, under numerous titles.
This disc includes both the extended erotic version of the film (Exorcism), as well as a shorter, less explicit horror version with alternate footage (Demoniac).
* Extended erotic version: Exorcism (97 min.)
* Standard horror version: Demoniac (69 min.)
* Original theatrical trailers
1975 Color 1.66:1 1920 x 1080p Not Rated
Director: Jess Franco
Blu-ray SRP: $29.95
DVD SRP: $24.95
Street date: October 16, 2012
Director: Jess Franco
Blu-ray SRP: $24.95
DVD SRP: $19.95
Street date: October 16, 2012