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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Telephone Book -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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These Few Words are less about The Telephone Book, a 1971 soft-core mini-epic shot essentially in black & white, and a part of the NY underground film scene in that era, and more about the new company releasing it, Vinegar Syndrome.

Vinegar Syndrome (I love the name) is a new distributor, who also do their own transfer and digital clean-up work.

What's apparent from spending a bit of time with three of their early releases, The Telephone Book, Massage Parlor Murders and The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis,is that they love film.  And they get it.

Right out of the gate, even with low-budget productions, their quality is superb, and actually far better than much of the work Universal has done on their Hitchcock films.

The Telephone Book is derived from an original print -- the neg is apparently long gone -- and the folks at VS have scanned and harvested every last vestige of information from the element.  Same thing with Massage Parlor and Lost Films.  Anyone unfamiliar with the work of Mr. Lewis should know that he came out of the documentary world -- The Naked Eye.  And went on to direct and shoot a myriad of low-budget, mostly soft-core productions, that are legendary.

Before there were Spielberg and Scorsese, there was Mr. Lewis.

If you're interested in these films, a fun look back at the era -- love the cars and sideburns -- these Blu-rays are as perfect as the films ever looked (yes, I'm aware that Telephone is derived from a print, but it looks great regardless)

But the overall point here is to welcome Vinegar Syndrome to the world of Blu-ray.  With a bit of success with these titles, hopefully they'll move up the ladder and begin working on higher end productions.

There should be no doubt in pre-ordering their titles, as quality is very much at the top of the game.  If you see the words Vinegar Syndrome, and desire to own the title, have no fear.

I look forward to their next endeavors.

RAH

 

Mark-P

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Interesting choice of name for a film distribution company. Kind of like opening a bakery and calling it "Moldy Cakes"
 

bujaki

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What a "gentle" slap to Universal! That a small company known as Vinegar Syndrome could do better work for a minor film than Universal did for some of the major Hitchcock films is nothing short of shameful.
 

Charles Smith

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Fascinating. Welcome, indeed, VS!

Never heard of these films, but I'm intrigued.
 

bgart13

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Yes, they've already shown how capable they are with the few HQ productions that have been released. It's nice to know that there's room for a new company in this day, especially with how few cult titles are out there yet to be released (not to mention that state of economy, etc.).
 

Russell G

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I'm a huge fan of the company and have been dropping their name elsewhere on the board. Nice seeing them get the respect they deserve. Their product might not be for everyone subject wise, but their giving these films the type of respect that few of the major players give their much more high profile catalogues.

Kudos to them two for in cases where the prints are particularly rough, instead of a single bluray they've been dropping the titles as two-fer one "Drive-In Classics" for $15 on DVD. If it was a major studio, odds are it would be a $20 DVD-R with minimal clean up.
 

Ignatius

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I've picked up all their releases so far and they really are wonderful. It's one thing to spend time and money putting out editions of well-known and much loved films, it's another thing entirely to focus almost exclusively on films that have no home video history whatsoever.

At the moment they're the only company from whom I would happily blind-buy every title (and plan to). Their dedication to preserving obscure and forgotten films for future audiences is worth supporting.
 

Corey3rd

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The Telephone Book is the greatest X-rated comedy of all time. Sadly because of bad theatrical distribution, a lack of legit home video deal and no exposure on HBO in the '80s, the Telephone Book has yet to truly reach it's audience. This Blu-ray is finally it's chance to be beloved. I caught this as part of the Cinema Overdrive program in Raleigh. I walked in clueless and left a fanatic.

A woman falls in love with the world's greatest obscene phone caller. That's all you need to know. That and the fact that the obscene phone caller was also the voice of Ma Bell at the time.

I'm thrilled that Vinegar Syndrome was able to finally get "The Telephone Book" onto my doorstep at the same time that telephone books end up there.
 

Charles Smith

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I looked at their website, and have definitely never seen any of these films. The Telephone Book definitely looks like a must.

It sounds to me like these are the people who should have handled Thundercrack! -- as opposed to Synapse who is certainly a worthy company but who has managed to sit on this one for several long years (and has again been promising it in 2013 but with no further update over the past several months).
 

Robert Harris

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Charles Smith said:
I looked at their website, and have definitely never seen any of these films. The Telephone Book definitely looks like a must. It sounds to me like these are the people who should have handled Thundercrack! -- as opposed to Synapse who is certainly a worthy company but who has managed to sit on this one for several long years (and has again been promising it in 2013 but with no further update over the past several months).
Synapse is not sitting on Thundercrack. They are working to create a high end presentation. An unfair comment.RAH
 

Charles Smith

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And I take it back, with sincere apologies.

That is wonderful to hear. Been hoping and waiting for many years, and will be delighted when its time comes.
 

Lromero1396

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bujaki said:
What a "gentle" slap to Universal! That a small company known as Vinegar Syndrome could do better work for a minor film than Universal did for some of the major Hitchcock films is nothing short of shameful.
Darn straight! I'm so happy that Vinegar Syndrome is doing such a wonderful job, unlike so many companies these days **cough cough**Paramount**cough cough**
 

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