Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Way back in the ancient times before the popularity of the internet(s), we actually had a Video Junkie magazine.  Now remember kids, this was all the way back in 1996/97 when information could be conveyed in 140 characters or more.  Crazy stuff, eh?  The magazine proved to be so popular that we had to stop it after only two issues.  Why?  Well, because you can’t improve upon perfection.  Seriously, we had a good run but the combination of enthusiasm and knowledge didn’t mix well with the lack of funds.  It is a shame because – if I may be so bold – I think we really started finding out rhythm in issue #2.  Nestled among plenty of reviews, overviews and our first (and only) interview was a nice piece titled Video M.I.A. Written by Fangoria’s own Mike Gingold, it profiled films currently missing in action on the home video format (back then dominated by something called VHS).  Mike featured 7 titles in his piece and nearly all of them actually got released from motion picture purgatory in the ensuing 15 years since that article first appeared.  Here’s an update on most of the titles featured.

  • THE BOOGENS (1982) – shortly after the article, this early 80s monster mash saw release on VHS from Republic Pictures in July 1998.  Sadly, THE BOOGENS proved to be a worst case scenario – a long desired release that really wasn’t very good and definitely not worthy of its reputation.  Many a Fangorian – who had dreamed up far better scenarios in the 16 year wait – was disappointed. Still not on DVD though.
  • THE CANDY SNATCHERS (1973) – this cool little crime caper really lucked out in a big way in that it got the Holy Blessing of Saint Quentin Tarantino, who brought it up in interviews.  This meant every film geek suddenly had to see it and, naturally, it got a DVD release from Subversive Cinema in 2005.  It was a nice Collector’s Edition with tons of extras.  It is currently out-of-print, but it is out there.
  • HITCHER IN THE DARK (1989) – Umberto Lenzi’s take on the popular THE HITCHER (1986) ended up finally hitting legit DVD via Shriek Show in 2003.  No word on whether lead Josie Bissett was happy or sad about this as her MELROSE PLACE fame was definitely in decline by this point.  The company re-released it in 2005 as part of a High School Horrors triple film set, alongside HELL HIGH (1989) and THE MAJORETTES (1987).
  • THE JOHNSONS (1992) – Rudolph van den Berg’s atmospheric horror film broke free from Video Search of Miami’s bootleg prison and was officially released on DVD by Anchor Bay in May 1999.
  • THE LAUGHING DEAD (1989) – this gore-laden flick from writer-director S.P. Somtow (aka Somtow Sucharitkul) got some high profile coverage in Gorezone, but even that couldn’t facilitate an immediate video release. Popular on the bootleg circuit for years, the film eventually hit legit VHS and DVD in the UK.
  • WITHOUT WARNING (1980) – Greydon Clark’s sci-fried alien flick has still not hit legit US VHS or DVD.  However, a gorgeous print of the film debuted on MGMHD in the summer of 2010.  And for once, excited fans unable to see it weren’t disappointed; we reviewed it here.
Of course, that still leaves us with one flick – THE BOY WHO CRIED BITCH (1991).  The tale of psychotic 12-year-old kid (played by Harley Cross) who makes his mom’s life a living hell, this has still not been released on home video.  This despite the fact that several of its actors (Jason Biggs, Adrien Brody, Jesse Bradford, Moira Kelly, Chris McKenna) went on to big careers and that director Juan Jose Campanella won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film for THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (2009).  The film's writer/producer, Catherine May Levin, even made the semi-sequel THE BOY WHO CRIED BITCH: THE ADOLESCENT YEARS (2007), which has been released while the original still has not.  So what better way to kick off our new series focusing on films that actually got made (as opposed to “never got made”), but never got released on home video than with this entry still missing in action?  Here is what Mike had to say about it back then:

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