As I approach my 9th month of officially collecting curious moments here, I feel I should acknowledge the undisputed greatest collection of curious moments in the history of the medium. Frankly, without Something Weird Video, this site wouldn’t exist and my life would be less interesting. Beyond the obvious influence of my pen name and the title of the site, Something Weird was the gateway for me from horror oriented fare to the gonzo world of bizarre exploitation.
I spent the early days of DVD simply re-experiencing all of my favorites for the first time in widescreen. I finally got to see uncut versions of movies like Creepers and Unsane while I also discovered other lurid titles through companies like Redemption. It was while I was collecting these Redemption titles that I started to notice H.G. Lewis’s Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs also on the shelf at the local Media Play. Since they were also from Image and in the snap cases, I sort of grouped them all together. Still, I was on kind of a Eurohorror kick at the time (also, Rita Calderoni cranks my dials), so it took longer than it probably should have before I finally bought my first Something Weird title.
Blood Feast was my first and the floodgates opened. They’re just so damn collectible. They looked great on the shelf and the titles promised enough nudity and general weirdness that I just couldn’t resist. Most of them even sported a cute little warning about violence, nudity, and something absurd like exploding hippies or mutant sheep. To this day, I own more Something Weird Video DVDs than I do from any other single company. Today’s moment doesn’t come from any particular movie – many of those will be coming in the future.
Today’s moment is the opening montage that precedes all of the Image special edition DVDs. If you haven’t seen it before, give it a look. It’s the best way I can think of to spend the next two minutes.
It was not only worth a good laugh, it served as a sort of checklist. How could you watch this guy from Scum of the Earth inform kids of how sick they make him and not make seeing this movie a top priority?
After watching this a few dozen times, the novelty of the clips wears off and it becomes apparent just how well done this montage is. Not only does it set the stage perfectly for the content to follow, but it is also funny, exciting, freaky, and even a little bit sexy. All the clips are perfectly selected to function cohesively as a unit in spite of the fact that they’re taken completely out of context. I know most trailers try to do that, but none do it better. The music, narration, and visuals taken from films that span different decades and styles gel together perfectly. Even movies that I don’t particularly care for (burlesque stuff bores me after a few minutes) fit perfectly in their place.
When I think of other such montages from companies like Anchor Bay or Scream Factory, they don’t even compare. Sure, it might be entertaining to see a few clips from great movies, but after two or three viewings I’ll be looking to skip over it. Of all the times I’ve watched Something Weird titles, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like jumping over it. I now watch it with such reverence that I feel like I should remove my hat and stand whenever it plays.
This montage is also a breath of fresh air in how honest it is. You see what you’re going to get and it’s a safe bet that if you don’t enjoy this, then you probably won’t enjoy the content of the DVDs. If you do like it (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), you’ll be introduced to some of the wildest and most insanely entertaining movies available.
This thing is just the tip of the iceberg. As good as it is, SWV doesn’t blow its collective load with these 2 1/2 minutes. When I think of my favorite moments from their catalogue, none of them are present here. As great as all these moments are, this is a case where the sum is vastly greater than the parts.
This tribute is long overdue. Something Weird Video founder Mike Vraney passed away in 2014. I wish I could have let him know how much I appreciated his work.