Because I’m a lazy ass and I don’t feel like writing a new introduction to essentially the same list, here’s the original introduction:
According to the Film Foundation, which is dedicated to movie preservation and restoration, half of all American movies made before 1950, and more than 90 percent of films made before 1929, are lost.
Because of the metal shortage of world war 2, many films were outright destroyed when they took the metal containers the films were encased in. That, and the fact that the film stock was either nitrate or acetate, one of which was highly combustible and the other easily faded.
Films unfortunately don’t last forever. Due to poor storage, mishandling, negligence, or just plain ol’ not giving a fuck. Another factor that people don’t think about is the advent of a new medium in which to watch the film.
Every time a film goes from one physical medium to the next, more and more films get lost. There’s literally hundreds and hundreds of films on VHS that will never see the light of day unless you wanted to buy an old ass player because film companies don’t care enough or don’t want to pay some fee to port them over.
Here’s another ten films that have either never been on DVD or are out of print.
10. The Night Brings Charlie
Let’s be honest, there’s better slashers out there but there’s a kind of charm to this type of film. The type of film that was made with five dollars and a “hey, I have a camera, let’s shoot something” attitude. And you could do that in the 80’s because video stores constantly needed product. That’s why the market was flooded with terrible shlock all shot in someone’s backyard on video. (Affectionately referred to as shitty-o by fans of this sort of thing) The Night Brings Charlie isn’t good, hell, it’s barely a film but it’s the perfect film to grab some friends and some booze to pop in for some laughs. The Mutilator and Microwave Massacre are on Blu Ray and they’re easily as bad as this. I’m just saying.
9. The Kindred
When you go to this films IMDB page, on the bottom, there’s a More Like This list and some of the titles listed are: Of Unknown Origin, The Deadly Spawn, Warning Sign, The Nest, Slugs and the greatest film of all time: Xtro. If being mentioned in the same breath as those titans of genre don’t sell you on this films quality, I don’t know what will. You have the amazing character actor Rod Steiger as a mad scientist fighting a genetically mutated baby fetus. Still not sold, eh? Well then fuck off outta here. You’re not good enough for The Kindred.
8. Rolling Vengeance
I feel like this films pitch was made after the writer came off a 48 hour coked fuel nightmare where all he watched on a loop was Death Wish, Monster Truck rallies and Deliverance. The film is about a man wanting revenge against hillbillies (Deliverance) who murder his family (Death Wish), by creating the ultimate killing machine- a monster truck. (Obvious) Is this film as badass as that premise? Well to answer that question, I need to ask you a question. Do you consider nachos a meal? Have you ever eaten a stick of raw Velveeta cheese before? Have you ever had an erotic dream about Chester Cheetah, the mascot of Cheetos? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might be ready to handle the amount of cheese this film is made of. Also, I ain’t no doctor or anything but you should probably get yourself checked out. Not about your weird cheetah fetish but your arteries are probably pumping nothing but Easy Cheese at this point. Oh and also the cheetah thing.
7. American Hot Wax
I believe it was Pat Benatar* who said “I love Rock N’ Roll, put another dime in the juice box of honey.” I have no idea what the second part means but I relate to the first part. I, Too, love the Rock and Roll and if you do too, you owe it all to Alan Freed. Freed was the most popular DJ of the 50’s and If he played your record, it was a hit. He was one of the first DJ’s to play black artists on air, like Stevie Wonder and Screaming Jay Hawkins. He had a huge role in popularizing Rock and Roll but it all came crashing down after the “Payola” scheme. If you want to learn more about “Payola”, Freed or even listen to some good ol’ fashioned devil music, you gotta watch American Hot Wax. Or just Google it. You could just go to his Wikipedia page if you really wanted to.
6. The Quest
The Go-Kids, Frog Dreaming, The Legend of Frog Dreaming, The Spirit Chaser, The Quest. Why does an obscure film starring E.T’s buddy, have so many fucking names? It’s like they don’t want anyone to find it. Henry Thomas plays Cody Walpole, a mechanical genius who’s convinced that there’s something at the bottom of a huge body of water that’s accumulated in an abandoned mineshaft. It’s a film that studios don’t make anymore, one where a kid goes on an adventure and there might be real danger. Kids in the 80’s were tough and if you want another kid adventure film in the same vein as The Goonies, Cloak and Dagger and Flight of the Navigator, The Quest easily fits the bill. Highly underrated and fun.
5. Get Crazy
I’m assuming, along with American Hot Wax, the reason this isn’t on DVD or Blu Ray, is the legal impossibility of clearing all of these songs. The soundtrack is integral to the film, so if the can’t clear it, I can see why no one wants to cut them out and add in some different tracks. Get Crazy is about a promoter who wants to sabotage a concert as payback and the characters who couldn’t care less. All they care about is Getting Crazy and they do. They do. Get Crazy is a glorified music video but it’s at least a fun music video.
4. Fade to Black
This film has old Universal Monster movie scenes inserted in and I’m assuming that’s a rights issue. Because this film definitely shouldn’t be forgotten. A lot of my pics so far have been fun, cheesy entertainment but I really think if Fade to Black got a proper release, it would gain a huge audience. Picture Taxi Driver but instead of driving taxis, Travis Bickle was obsessed with old movies. And was a teenager. That’s essentially Fade to Black. It’s about a kid who starts using horror movie plots to in act revenge on people who’ve done him wrong. It’s a solid film and as of this posting, it’s available on Amazon Prime.
3. Fair Game
Take equal parts: I Spit On Your Grave, Death Wish, The Most Dangerous Game and Mad Max, mix em all together and you got yourself Fair Game. Three kangaroo hunters (with the biggest truck in recorded history) grow tired of hunting marsupials and decide to have a little fun with the owner of an animal sanctuary. I’m pretty sure you can guess what “fun” they have based on the films listed in the crazy cocktail I created to describe this bonkers ass Australian film. I’m pretty amazed any woman was willing to…well, I don’t want to spoil it but if you want to know, it’s usually on the poster. It’s crazy.
2. Night of the Juggler
If you were to take a shot every time I mentioned Death Wish in this article, you’d probably be dead by now but there’s a good reason for that. And that’s because Death Wish is fucking rad and needs to be talked about all the time. Before Taken inspired a legion of old man wanting revenge films, there was the original old man-Bronson. He cleaned the fucking streets and every film after that wanted to be that and the closest one in my opinion, is Vigilante with Robert Forster. It’s a damn good flick but I’m not talking about that one. I’m talking about the 4th, maybe 5th best knock off Day of the Juggler. Replace the rape/murder combo with a kidnapping and Bronson with Brolin and add more vintage NY sleaze and Bam! You got yourself a Night of the Juggler. It’s a badass flick that you need to see uncut. Death Wish.
Death Wish is rad but you know what else is rad? Rad. Rad is rad. Directed by Hal Needham. Director of such classics as Hooper, Megaforce, Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey and the Bandit 2, Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run 2 and apparently a film called Bandit: Bandit Bandit
Rad is essentially Karate Kid but with BMX bikes instead of Kung Fu. Which automatically makes it about 167% more badass. There’s been numerous petitions for years to bring this film to DVD but to no avail. I don’t know the reason for it lingering in movie limbo but it needs to be free.
*Correction. It was Britney Spears