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An American Hippie In Israel Hitting Blu-ray This September

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An American Hippie In Israel Hitting Blu-ray This SeptemberGrindhouse Releasing’s Blu-ray of this latest sliver of Seventies lunacy, An American Hippie in Israel, has been dated; and if we were you, we’d get to pre-ordering it immediately, if only because of how friggin’ strange it is.

From the Press Release
Grindhouse Releasing has set a September 10 street date for its deluxe Blu-ray/DVD release of Amos Sefer’s far-out cult classic AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL. The limited edition 3-disc set is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

We are very proud and excited to present AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL for the first time to U.S. audiences,” says Grindhouse Releasing co-founder Bob Murawski. “It’s an amazing film, and we’ve spent years making this Blu-ray the ultimate edition of a cult classic. From the film restoration to the massive wealth of bonus features we gathered from around the globe, AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL may be our best release to date!”

Originally filmed in 1972, AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL stars Asher Tzarfati as a dope-smoking Vietnam vet wandering through an insane desert landscape of “machine-gun wielding mimes, robots, bloodthirsty sharks, free-loving debauchery and poignant anti-war monologues.”

Lost for many years, AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL has become a midnight movie sensation in Tel Aviv, where it has been screening to packed crowds. Grindhouse Releasing plans to celebrate the Blu-ray/DVD release with a series of U.S. theatrical screenings planned for the fall.

The Blu-ray/DVD set is limited to 2,000 individually numbered copies.

Special Features

  • Deluxe Dual Layer Blu-ray Edition + DVD Combo + Bonus DVD
  • Spectacular New Hi-Definition Digital Restoration Of The Original U.S. Theatrical Version
  • PLUS – THE HITCHHIKER, The Uncensored Director’s Cut
  • Six Controversial Scenes Deleted From The Original Release
  • In-depth Interviews With Stars Asher Tzarfati And Shmuel Wolf
  • Asher Tzarfati – An Israeli Actor In Israel – Bonus Featurette
  • Interview With Production Manager Moshe Berman
  • Interview With Singer/Co-Star Susan Devore
  • Channel 10 Tel Avi News Segment
  • A Cult Is Born – Featurette On Revival In Tel Aviv
  • 16mm Screen Tests
  • Be Careful Children – Amos Sefer 16mm Short Film
  • Bonus 5.1 Audio Track – The Beverly Cinema Experience
  • Liner Notes By Acclaimed Horror Novelist John Skipp
  • Still Galleries, Trailer, Filmographies
  • Optional Hebrew Sub-Titles
  • Grindhouse Releasing Prevues Of Coming Attractions
  • AND OTHER SURPRISES!

    AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL

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    Walking Dead Movie In the Works?

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    The season 8 finale of The Walking Dead recently scored the lowest views of one of the show’s season finales since the very first. Ouch. But that doesn’t seem to be deterring the powers that be behind the scenes from thinking bigger.

    In fact, former showrunner Scott Gimple recently talked about the possibility of a The Walking Dead with Vulture saying, “That kind of variety, that’s we’re talking about. All the differences of the ways we tell the story, yeah, what we can feature and all that. There’s a whole universe of possibilities.”

    Hurm. I know AMC wants to keep the series going in any way possible so a movie doesn’t seem out of the question. But I wonder if enough people would want to shell out cash to see it in theaters?

    How would you feel about a The Walking Dead movie? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

    Synopsis:

    Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty drama portrays life in the months and years that follow a zombie apocalypse. Led by former police officer Rick Grimes, his family and a group of other survivors find themselves constantly on the move in search of a safe and secure home. But the pressure each day to stay alive sends many in the group to the deepest depths of human cruelty, and Rick discovers that the overwhelming fear of the survivors can be more deadly than the zombies walking among them.

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    Universal Ready to Rip and Tear a New Doom Adaptation

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    We just found some pretty incredible news for those who love video game-to-film adaptations: actress/singer-songwriter Nina Bergman tweeted that she’s joined the cast of a new Universal adaptation of Doom, the 1993 video game series from developer id Software. Bergman states the film will be shooting soon in Bulgaria and that she will be working with a “super cool Director”, who she also describes as “…an actors director, not scared of taking chances, thinks outside the box, writes crazy cool female characters and dialog.” This was a response to a now deleted tweet from writer/director Tony Giglio, who wrote three of the Death Race films and directed Timber Falls, Extraction, and S.W.A.T.: Under Siege.

    Bergman describes the film as the “next Doom“, so it’s uncertain whether or not this will be a sequel, a reboot, or a whole new reimagining.


    Universal released a film adaptation in 2005 with stars Karl Urban and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It was directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and drew in about $55 million off a $60 million budget. Not a critical success by any stretch of the imagination, the film has since garnered a cult following, as evidenced by our own Matt Donato’s recent appreciation in his Drinking With the Dread column.

    While I’m most certainly excited for a new adaptation of Doom, I’m curious how this one will play out. Bartkowiak’s adaptation didn’t touch upon perhaps the most important aspect of the series, which is that all the monsters and demons are denizens of Hell, which sends the “Doom Marine” into the bowels of the ultimate inferno to wage war on their own turf. Admittedly, to pull something like that off and make it look good will certainly cost a pretty penny, so who knows if Universal is ready to make that gamble with this new adaptation? If they do decide to go that route, I have a feeling that the film will automatically be seen in a better light that the 2005 film.

    This news also comes ahead of this year’s E3 festival, where rumors are swirling that Bethesda will announce a sequel to 2016’s Doom, which went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed releases that year, including winning Best Action Game from the 2016 The Game’s Awards. If this is also true, we could be seeing a resurgence of Doom in all the best ways possible.

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    Sinfonia Erotica Blu-ray Review – Jess Franco Meets The Marquis De Sade In This Romanticized Roughie

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    Starring Lina Romay, Armando Borges, Aida Gouveia, Mel Rodrigo

    Directed by Jesus Franco

    Distributed by Severin Films


    After going my whole life without ever seeing a Jess Franco film, Severin Films is slowly forcing me to appreciate the man’s work. Previously, I had only ever seen Franco’s gargantuan output as an exercise in quantity over quality, which it arguably still is, but viewing the two recent “lost” pictures Severin just released has brought about a new appraisal. Franco’s films may have been done on the cheap, but the man clearly had vision, ambition, and brought as much production value to his films as budgetarily possible. He also brought controversy and damnation, since many of his works seem heavily focused on nudity and all manner of depravity. Even by today’s standard, when you can see virtually anything sexual on the internet, Franco’s level of lasciviousness is mildly shocking, if only because certain acts are typically verboten on the silver screen.

    Sinfonia Erotica (1980) plays like it was trying to keep up with Tinto Brass’ Caligula (1979), only swap out Roman decadence for the posh trappings of a chateau in the French countryside. Franco remakes his own 1973 film Pleasure for Three here, though without having seen that picture I can’t say what he’s done differently. The storyline comes from the writings of the Marquis de Sade, whose writings were infamously erotic and dripping with all manner of sin. Franco brings as much of the page to screen as possible, leaving little to suggestion. Homosexuality, a “Devil’s threeway”, oral sex between all parties, rape, manual stimulation… all graphically presented in a way that is between Skinemax and actual pornography. But is there anything more to this threadbare feature than a storyline skeleton on which everyone can hang their clothes before getting down?

    Kinda. The general plot here is the return of Miss Martine (Lina Romay) to the palatial estate she shared with her husband, Marques Armando de Bressac (Armando Borges), a notorious hedonist. Upon arrival, Martine is not greeted by her husband because he’s off gallivanting with Flor (Mel Rodrigo), his younger male lover. During one of their trysts in the fields they come across Wanda (Aida Gouveia), an unconscious nun who is about to be rudely introduced to some bad habits. After Marques and Flor molest the barely coherent woman, she develops a craving for their brand of unorthodox lust. Martine, meanwhile, is struggling not only with the fact her husband is essentially ignoring her after returning from a lengthy absence but that he now plans to enlist Flor and Wanda to help kill her. Of course, none of these machinations or revelations will stop any of these pleasure seekers from continuing to drown in the Devil’s work and writhe in passion.

    While I can’t say this is a good movie, I do give Franco credit in a few areas. For one, I find it commendable that he’s chosen to redo an earlier film of his in the hope of making something grander. It shows maturity as an artist as well as a refusal to allow a perceived past failure to remain stagnant. Secondly, his location scouting ability is really something because one constant I have noticed across the three Franco films I’ve seen thus far is the man loves to shoot at places that seem like they’d be out of his budget range. The mansion and its impressive grounds are the ideal setting for this posh perversion picture, allowing Sinfonia Erotica to feel less like the Eurosleaze it is. Likewise, costuming and production design are a notch above what viewers might expect from such a ribald title.

    In terms of horror, aside from watching two men rape an incoherent nun the only murder comes during the climax. The deaths are quick and simple, with no lingering shots or impressive effects work. Violence is wholly secondary to sex here.

    The real coup here is that Severin Films is able to present this film in HD at all, sourcing their release from a newly unearthed 35mm exhibition print found in a crawlspace in Spain. Although scanned in a 4K the disc opens with a disclaimer discussing the provenance of available materials and suggesting viewers cut a little slack when watching something that might not have otherwise seen the light of day. That said the 1.66:1 1080p image isn’t awful by any means. Soft shots are frequent, film grain is often heavy and sometimes clumpy, and colors are lacking punch. Still, given what Severin was working with the picture does look reasonably cleaned up, though white flecks and damage are still visible, and the overall image is acceptably presented. Plus, like I’ve said many times before some films just look better when they stay rough around the edges and this is definitely one such example.

    No dub is available, leaving the only audio option as a Spanish DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track. This is a simple track with minimal sound design. Dialogue is understandable enough, though for most viewers this won’t matter since the subs are doing all the work. There is some hissing but it remains a minor issue. The score, composed by Franco, has a classical romantic feel, heavy on the piano and adding an air of regality to the proceedings. Subtitles are available in English.

    “Jess Franco on First Wife Nicole Guettard” is an interview with the director in his later years (the year isn’t stated) discussing his working and personal relationship with the woman he divorced in the late ‘70s.

    “Stephen Thrower on Sinfonia Erotica” is a typically informative featurette wherein Thrower discusses the period in Franco’s career during which he made this film, as well as covering various edits and title changes.

    Special Features:

    • Jess Franco On First Wife Nicole Guettard – Interview With Director Jess Franco
    • Stephen Thrower On Sinfonia Erotica – Interview With The Author Of ‘Murderous Passions – The Delirious Cinema Of Jesus Franco’
    • Sinfonia Erotica
    • Special Features
    1.8

    Summary

    This is probably the sort of film that appeals to only the most fervent of Francophiles out there but the work Severin Films has done to bring it home is commendable and the results, while far from earthshaking, are impressive given the difficulty level. As for the film, it’s an interesting exercise in debauchery and not much more.

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