Friedkin’s Rampage (1988) on Polish DVD

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One look at eBay and you will notice that the word ‘rare’ is ubiquitous. By simply adding the word ‘rare’ items suddenly become attractive. A quick search on the term ‘rare dvd‘ in eBay generates 2815 results. But the amusing thing about this is that a number of these ‘rare DVDs’ are readily available at other online vendors for usually cheaper prices and therefore not at all rare.

But there are a large number of rare out-of-print DVDs that fetch extortionate amounts of money on auction and marketplace websites. Details of these rare titles can be found on the Rare and OOP DVD website. As a collector of DVDs locating, purchasing and owning rare titles brings an unusual satisfaction. Several years ago I found myself purchasing a DVD just for its rarity. Whilst I am no longer this devoted I still enjoy locating rare titles on DVD.

Recently I was reading issue 13 of Video Watchdog which contains essays on Manhunter (1986) and Rampage (1988), two films on serial killers that exist in different versions. I have never seen Rampage, though I do recall seeing it on the shelves of video rental shops in the late eighties and early nineties. Like William Friedkin’s other controversial film Cruising (1980), which incidentally is being released uncut on DVD this fall, Rampage, though made in 1988 and released in Europe, was not released in America until 1991 due to a number of unfortunate legal entanglements. The version released in America differed greatly to the one released in Europe. Both versions were available on Laserdisc but have never made it to DVD.

After reading the Video Watchdog I did a bit of online detective work and found that the film has been officially released on DVD in Poland. The DVD presentation might be flawed, no anamorphic widescreen transfer unfortunately, it still offers fans of Friedkin a chance to view this rare classic. The DVD can be ordered from the Polish website Merlin.pl or alternatively can be found on eBay. I ordered a copy early in the week and expect it to arrive next week. I will try and post a review when I get round to watching it. It makes one wonder how many other rare films are available in some of the more unexpected countries of the world.

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