Redemption Films in Administration

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It was 1994.?? I read John Martin's review of the Redemption Films VHS release of Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso (aka Deep Red,1975) in The Dark Side horror magazine.?? I must have read it about ten times until I was curious enough to purchase the video from Tower Records in Birmingham City Centre.?? I recall seeing it amongst a number of other Redemption VHS releases, all of them having the same sleeve template but each with unusual front cover images.?? Once I got home I immediately watched the film.?? I was drawn into the investigation; just what was it that Marc Daly (David Hemmings) saw, who could be the murderer??? Once the film ended I had to watch it again from the beginning, I had never seen anything quite like it before.?? From there on I was hooked on gialli.?? I started to seek out other Argento films, which was not an easy task in the pre-DVD era.?? I am now researching Euro-Cult fandom, it has become a large part of my life.?? And this all stems from reading a review of the Redemption Films VHS release.

Yesterday, it was announced that Redemption Films has gone into administration; a buyer is currently being sought in order to save the company.?? Redemption Films were undoubtedly one of the key players in the rise of giallo fandom in the mind 1990s.?? Their VHS releases, many in original aspect ratios and in original native language, enabled Euro-Cult fans to experience many rare films which they had only read about in fanzines.?? Titles such as What Have They Done to Solange? (aka Cosa avete fatto a Solange?, Massimo Dallamano, 1972), Who Saw Her Die? (aka Chi l'ha vista morire?, Aldo Lado, 1972) and The Fifth Cord (aka Giornata nera per l'ariete, Luigi Bazzoni, 1971) were given releases, many of which fell foul of the strict video censorship regime present during the James Ferman era of the BBFC.?? For those that wanted to find uncut versions of Redemption releases you would have to go to Holland or try your luck at some of the UK film fairs and find their 'Benelux' releases.?? I was able to purchase an uncut copy of Mario Bava's Bay of Blood (aka Reazione a catena, 1971) at a Memorabilia event at Birmingham's NEC in the mid nineties.??

The unusual cover designs separated opinion.?? Some fans liked the somewhat 'gothic' take yet others would have preferred the original cover art.?? Some did not care as long as they kept on releasing rare gems.?? Releasing niche titles meant low sales and little profit.?? The little known giallo Crazy Desires of a Murderer (aka I vizi morbosi di una governante, Filippo Walter Ratti, 1971) reportedly only sold 150 copies.?? Many fans hoped for Redemption to re-release their entire Euro-Cult catalogue on DVD but only a very few of their titles found their way on to the disc format.?? The quality of many of their releases left a lot to be desired.?? The last Redemption release I purchased was Killer's Moon (Alan Birkinshaw, 1978); a little-known British exploitationer set in the Lake District.??

Perhaps the giallo would not be as popular as it is if it were not for Redemption Films.?? Marc Morris, who worked on many of Redemption VHS releases, now has his own label Nucleus Films and works closely with Nouveaux Pictures, Arrow Films and this generation's incarnation of Redemption, Shameless Screen Entertainment.?? If Redemption fails to find a buyer and disappears into home video history like many other independent labels over the past few years it should never be forgotten forgiving Euro-Cult cinema the attention it deserved.

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