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Grindhouse on Tartan

Here is the full press release announcing Tartan's new label, Tartan Grindhouse...

The Wheels of gore are turning as Tartan Video prepares to launch its blood-soaked DVD label, Tartan Grindhouse. Set to serve up tasteless morsels of cult film fare from the turgid history of exploitation cinema, Grindhouse releases will feature themed double bills split over 2-disc sets all for the unfeasibly reasonable price of £19.99. From legendary “nasties” such as The Last House on Dead End Street to more recent slices of sickening sleaze, such as Black Sun: Nanking Massacre,, via wild forays into the weird world of exploitation’s most legendary auteur, Jess Franco, there’s quite literally something for everybody!

Last House On Dead-End Street (1977) is the first Grindhouse release (due 22 May). This notorious ’70s cult horror flick was apparently the product of drug-fuelled antics. Inspired by the Manson murders, and dealing with the tricky subject of “snuff” movies, this prime slice of sick cinema sees an ex-prisoner and his gang torture their enemies before the unflinching eye of a movie camera. Cast and crew were only known pseudonymously, until Roger Watkins revealed himself to be the man behind this unique work. Completely restored and uncut, disc 2 features a host of great extras (including Roger Watkins’ short films).

Spain’s most prolific horror director makes his Tartan DVD debut in June, with a series deadly double-disc releases. The Jess Franco Collection Volume 1 (due 26th June) contains Dracula Vs Frankenstein (1972) and Curse Of Frankenstein (1972). Featuring British stalwart Dennis Price (Theatre of Blood, I’m Alright, Jack, Kind Hearts and Coronets), this double bill films see the good doctor pitting his wits against our favourite blood-sucker and the mesmeric Cagliosto.

Then, in July, Tartan offers up the Jess Franco Collection Volume 2 (due on the 24th). This time featuring the little-seen Devil’s Island Lovers (1974) and Night Of The Assassins (1976). Two more helpings of strange, even downright bizarre, sex and death thrillers from Spain’s king of the lens, the films concern themselves with a love-sick man determined to woo his deceased wife’s sister and the family fortune, and a castle of residents being slaughtered by a masked killer. The third double bill, set for 21st August, twins fully restored versions of two more of Franco’s extraordinary films: Linda (1974) and Bloody Moon (1981). This time, get ready for witchcraft and demonic possession, and a murderous maniac running amok in a girls’ school.

Later in the year, Grindhouse casts a grisly shadow in two different shades of dramatic darkness: Black Sun: Nanking Massacre (1995) is Tun Fei Mou’s disturbing retelling of the murderous slaughter of Chinese by invading Japanese troops in 1937. Stock footage is grafted onto the dramatised sequence of events. A powerful, shocking reminder of the brutalities of war, which still have a bearing on today’s global events. In contrast, Julien Magnant’s Bloody Mallory (2001) is a camp supernatural action comedy about a special agent investigating supernatural events with her trusty team of telepaths and gun-toting drag queens. Part Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, part Versus, this is one twisted tale!

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