American Horror Project

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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Glowingwabbit
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 1:27 pm

Re: American Horror Project

#51 Post by Glowingwabbit » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:15 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:30 pm
Very interesting. I have not properly seen any of these to be able to comment on them, but Stephen Thrower did a great appreciation of The Child on the second volume of the Video Nasties trailer compilation, stating that it was one of the films that inspired him to write his book Nightmare USA, so it might have given an indication that it would be next (I would not be surprised if Axe turns up on a future volume, since Thrower also particularly enthused about that one on the first Video Nasties set). The Child looks to be the major film here and looked really good in the trailer and the clips of it shown in Thrower's introduction, with a strangely otherworldly tone to it. It is the only film directed by Robert Voskanian and according to Thrower it is probably the only US film made by a director and producer of Armenian descent, which Thrower suggests might account for its unusual style!
I doubt Axe would be a part of one of these volumes since Severin already released it on a double with Kidnapped Coed and the disc features a commentary by Thrower and other special features with him.

Obviously that release was US only, so it doesn't rule out a UK release but I doubt it would be in one of these volumes since they seem to be aiming for US/UK. I recommend picking up the Axe/Kidnapped Coed disc as it's pretty loaded and includes a 3rd film called Bloody Brothers which the director made by editing those two movies together in order to keep the rights.

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Thornycroft
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:23 pm

Re: American Horror Project

#52 Post by Thornycroft » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:05 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:30 pm
According to imdb Dream No Evil stars Edmond O'Brien (The Killers, The Wild Bunch). The full film has recently appeared on YouTube, albeit dubbed into German without subtitles, so not in a particularly optimal form, but from the look of it seems to be heavily focused on childhood traumas still having an impact on future adult interactions. The imdb keywords for this one include "father daughter relationship", "preacher", "evangelist", "epilepsy", "dissociative identity disorder", "farm" and "disposing of a dead body"!
I'm particularly interested in Dream No Evil as it's the work of John Hayes, director of the flawed but beguiling Grave of the Vampire and jaw-dropping hardcore psychological horror Baby Rosemary. Thrower dedicates an entire chapter of Nightmare USA to Hayes and, while he doesn't downplay the many flaws of Hayes' films, presents a convincing case for him as a complex, varied, and underappreciated director. It doesn't help that many of his films have historically existed only in poor-quality, re-edited versions or been completely impossible to see, though several have recently been revived by Vinegar Syndrome. From the few of his films I've seen he really excels at the strange melancholy tone you mention, often tinged with a mounting desperation.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: American Horror Project

#53 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:02 am

Thanks Glowingwabbit, as that somehow had passed me by. The Axe/Kidnapped Co-ed set apparently includes a soundtrack CD as well, which appears to be becoming a regular thing for Severin releases.

Thornycroft, which particular films by John Hayes have Vinegar Syndrome released? The two that you mention?
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Glowingwabbit
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 1:27 pm

Re: American Horror Project

#54 Post by Glowingwabbit » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:15 am

I'm pretty sure he has some films spread across the Vinegar Syndrome's 5 Films 5 Year blu-ray series (Baby Rosemary, Cut-Throats, Hang Ups). Their site is down until 4/1 so that's what I saw from a quick Amazon search.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: American Horror Project

#55 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:05 am

I actually have those 5 Films, 5 Years sets but had not made the connection! On checking I can confirm that Hang Up (from 1970) is on Volume 2, Baby Rosemary (1976) is on Volume 3 and The Cut-Throats (1969) is on Volume 4!

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Thornycroft
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:23 pm

Re: American Horror Project

#56 Post by Thornycroft » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:31 pm

I can't comment on Hang Up, but Baby Rosemary is extraordinary. I have some fondness for The Cut-Throats but it's pretty standard cheap sexploitation with only a few hints of the qualities that make Hayes an interesting director. VS originally released Hang Up as a double-feature with Sweet Trash, the latter previously being so obscure that in Nightmare USA Thrower couldn't 100% confirm it even existed!

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Mr Sausage
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Re: American Horror Project

#57 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:45 pm

I'm intrigued. What makes Hayes an interesting director and Baby Rosemary extraordinary?

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Thornycroft
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:23 pm

Re: American Horror Project

#58 Post by Thornycroft » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:31 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:45 pm
I'm intrigued. What makes Hayes an interesting director and Baby Rosemary extraordinary?
Hayes is a director that manages to imbue his films with interesting tonal qualities that make them compelling, even when technical and narrative deficiencies should sink them. Grave of the Vampire is a perfect example - it contains a narrative shift so sudden and jarring the film shouldn't be able to recover, yet there's a pervasive sense of loneliness that draws you back in. When I first saw it the only comparison I could think of was the films of Jean Rollin. It's a poor comparison, as the two directors share few visual or thematic ideas, but Rollin's vampire films were the only ones I could recall with a similar suffocating sadness.

As for Baby Rosemary, it's one of the most grim and unsettling hardcore films I've ever seen. Focusing on themes of childhood trauma and parental abandonment (both of which recur throughout Hayes' filmography) it follows a young woman as she attempts to rekindle her relationship with her estranged alcoholic father and deal with the emotional and sexual dysfunction that's destroying her relationships. Even when the sex depicted isn't physically (or verbally) violent it retains a sense of unease, which is only amplified by an uncertainty as to whether Hayes is employing some of the more grotesque cliches of '70s porn for what they reveal about his characters, or merely as cheap titillation for the audience.

But it's the spiral into despair and horror in the film's back half that leads me to call Baby Rosemary extraordinary, culminating in the most haunting final image I've ever seen in a hardcore film. Obviously the standard caveats about the quirks and deficiencies of cheap exploitation cinema apply, but I'd call it one of the best of its genre.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
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Re: American Horror Project

#59 Post by tenia » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:57 am

This description of Baby Rosemary reminds me of Memories within Miss Agie.

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Adam Grikepelis
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: American Horror Project

#60 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:50 pm

Perhaps not so coincidentally, given their commentary track on Dream No Evil, the latest episode of Kat Ellinger & Samm Deighan‘s wonderful podcast focusses on three of John Hayes’ non-horror outings, including Baby Rosemary.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: American Horror Project

#61 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:02 am


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