Exclusive: “SADIST VIDEOS” documentary U.S.-debuts on “HOUSE” Blu-ray/DVDMovies/TV,News Michael Gingold
The Udo Kier-starrer HOUSE ON STRAW HILL was once condemned as a “video nasty” in its home country of Britain, and now a feature-length study of that phenomenon is joining the film for its U.S. disc debut.
Fango got the scoop from Severin Films that BAN THE SADIST VIDEOS, from PLAGUE TOWN and THEATRE BIZARRE filmmaker David Gregory, will have its Stateside uncut U.S. DVDebut as a bonus disc with the HOUSE Blu-ray/DVD combo pack when it’s released September 10. A fascinating account of the horrors of British censorship, the two-part BAN THE SADIST VIDEOS was made in 2006 and covers the period in the early ’80s when fright films and other violent flicks came under fire from politicians and the press, leading to censorship and the arrests of store owners under charges of obscenity. HOUSE, released in the UK as EXPOSÉ, was one of the final 39 condemned movies (and the only one actually made in Britain), and is still banned in its uncut form there. “There are a couple of really good VHS-era documentaries doing the rounds in the U.S. right now,” Gregory says, “but growing up in England, we had a very different experience of serious censorial oppression. We thought it might be time to bring out our doc on the period in the U.S.
“HOUSE has proved one of the most difficult discs we’ve ever produced due to severely damaged film elements,” continues Gregory, who runs Severin with Carl Daft. “The master is still not perfect, but it’s the only way to see the film uncut in its original aspect ratio. We wanted to give Severin fans something extra to compensate for the imperfect presentation of the feature, and the fact that it has taken so long to get the disc to market. Including what we consider one of our best documentaries to date, which until now has only been released in the UK, seemed like the way to go. We had considered canceling the title on many occasions because it was such a dire situation, but we just couldn’t give up on it and we have it to where it’s now acceptable to us, and hopefully to our customers. We also have another very exciting nasties release on the horizon, so we want to raise some awareness in the U.S. of that grim time for horror fans in the UK.”
The HOUSE supplemental package also includes audio commentary by director James Kenelm Clarke and producer Brian Smedley-Aston, and the featurette “An Angel for Satan—An Interview With Linda Hayden,” one of the movie’s sexy co-stars. To sweeten the deal further, Severin is offering an additional bonus for those who buy the disc directly from its official website: a limited-edition VHS replica of the original EXPOSÉ video release. Check out Fango #326, on sale now, for a brief chat with Kier about HOUSE.