Cult DVDs no more?

A New York Times article from Sunday 4th March states that there is a “precarious future” for DVD releases of cult/obscure films. With fan favourite labels such as Blue Underground and No Shame releasing little new product this is quite a concern for fans. To paraphrase the article, it appears that DVDs in the US, and to an extent in the UK, are released in mass. Instead of having less than one hundred DVD releases every week you now have more than double this number. The smaller, speciality companies are now finding it very hard to make a profit in this current climate especially considering the cost it takes to produce a DVD. There are some quotes from well known enthusiasts of cult film Don May Jr (Synapse) and Bill Lustig (Blue Underground, director of Maniac) which uncomfortable reading for the cult film fan. May comments: “I started in this business in 1992, and this is the worst I???ve ever seen the market”.

So where now for cult DVD? There are a number of Euro-Cult releases on the horizon in both America and Europe but they are certainly slowing down in comparison to several years ago. I am also sure that current fan ‘resistance’ to certain specialist DVD releases may also impact upon releases. After all, why would a specialist label go to so much trouble to license an obscure giallo, remaster it, produce bonus features and then release it to face hostile criticism? Sometimes criticism is constructive and beneficial but these labels now need fan support more than ever.

Source: Anchor Bay UK Forum

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