Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Video Mania: Guida alle VHS rare e collezione
This 2005 book from Nocturno and Kultvideo presents an overview of the early years of Italian language home video, showcasing a selection of the rarest and most interesting genre releases, with gialli, horror, westerns, erotics and poliziotto well-represented.
Curated by Mario Degiovanni and Davide Pulici, it's strongly reminiscent of an Italian version of the likes of FAB Press's Shock Horror, with the authors doing for Italian language product what Marc Morris and company have done for British pre-certs in providing an archeological overview and field guide for the collector.
Indeed, anyone familiar with the UK scene may find some surprises in the labels included, with Cinehollywood well represented within the 120 tapes profiled, while Fletcher Home Video, it turns out, operated in Italy as Techno.
Given the preponderance of Italian product in the British video nasty listings, it's also fascinating to see how things went the other way, with films like Anthony Balch's Horror Hospital and James Kenelm Clarke's Expose (as La Casa sulla collina di paglia) sitting alongside the work of Fulci, Bava and Franco – the difference being the absence of something like the Video Recordings Act to condemn some tapes to obscurity and elevate others to cult status.
There appear to be a few factual errors – Lemora, a Child's Tale of the Supernatural is credited as a British film from 1963 – but these pale into insignificance against the wealth of information and trivia included within, even if the chances of seeing many of the films profiled, such as Renato Polselli's Oscenita or Demofilo Fidani's porno Burning Lips, probably lie somewhere in the range of slim to none.