Well, itâ€™s been two years since we braved lousy traffic and traversed the wilds of the New Jersey Turnpike to visit the Distribpix Archive (click here for pictures of the last visit), but it was well past time for a return visit â€“ last weekend we did just that.
While the label has been quiet on the home video front this last year, itâ€™s not been a case of nothing happening in other arenas, not even close. As a matter of fact, things have morphed and grown drastically on many fronts that will prove vital for the Distribpix archive. Distribpix main man Steven Morowitz told us "This past year has been full of new opportunities for Distribpix and I am trying to capitalize on all of them, whether it be content licensing, streaming or web ventures."
A new web platform is scheduled to launch soon that will offer a virtual cornucopia of classic erotic content in stunning High Definition. The concept has been in the works for almost 3 years and will be a hub for all things Sexploitation. Initially, it was rumored that Distribpix would be partner of a streaming site called Skinaflix, but no such venture came to fruition. "Actually, a portal for HD classics has been an idea of mine for many years. It was just a natural progression into the new technology, and a necessity for future survival." Additionally, licensing deals have been signed with Showtime and the Playboy channel, so some Distribpix-owned content will be appearing there.
On top of that, Steven has been flying back and forth between the east and west coasts of these United States in what has been literally a one man quest for film elements, business opportunities, production sessions and lab visits. Indeed, the fruits of those labors will soon be upon us, but more on that in a bit. We want to leave the big news to the last part of the article to keep you reading. Stuff like this is work, damn it, so if weâ€™re going to go to the efforts to do all of this youâ€™re just going to have to show us a little patience.
Read this all the way to the end, because thereâ€™s some pretty big news to announce.
Letâ€™s start with ephemera. Specifically, posters. There are a lot of them here, some leftover and unused stock from original theatrical runs, others actually hung in front of various theaters back in the day. Thereâ€™s a veritable jackpot of dirty paper in here, much of it displayed and much of it filed away for safekeeping. As you enter the warehouse of the main office, hereâ€™s what you see:
A random selection of poster art and a neat vintage video store banner!
Posters for pick up titles like Barbara Broadcastâ€¦
â€¦as well as one-sheets for original Distribpix productions aplenty!
Everything is very neatly organized. There are boxes of postersâ€¦
â€¦and so too are there boxes of Ron Jeremy finger puppets!
Thereâ€™s a lot of stuff here!
Thereâ€™s even some original cut ups showing how promotional art used to be layered back in the days when all of this was done by hand and not by those new-fangled computers you kids canâ€™t get enough of.
There are also scores and scores and yet more scores of original ad mats and press books tucked away here. Iâ€™m just going to let these pictures speak for themselves, because thereâ€™s a lot of them â€“ also check out some of those original promotional slides and photos, those vintage headshots and other assorted bits of promotional photography all relating to dirty movies of days gone by.
But what about those film elements mentioned in the intro? Well, a lot of that stuff is hush-hush for now and youâ€™ll just have to be patient but Stevenâ€™s gone around picking up a substantial amount of 35mm and 16mm elements from archives across the country. Not all of this stuff is adult related, though some of it certainly is, and the titles heâ€™s been snagging are varied to say the least.
Hereâ€™s what we can show you, for now.
This is not only an archive, however, itâ€™s also a work space. Here a lot of the assembly is done for catalogue titles â€“ not just the older Video-X-Pix DVD releases but also the more recent stuff, like The Opening Of Misty Beethoven Blu-rays (which are now back in stock).
Thereâ€™s also a rubber boob autographed by Seka kicking around â€“ and hey, check it out, thereâ€™s cot to sleep on when youâ€™re burning the midnight oil and of course, the ever important climate control to ensure that your elements are kept in tip-top shape!
Now onto some other matters. As mentioned earlier, just because things have been quiet in terms of their home video output this year doesnâ€™t mean that Distribpix has been taking it easy. As steps are taken towards expediting scanning, restoration and authoring in the future, work has been continuing getting catalogue titles scanned and ready for release.
Letâ€™s start with Blue Sunshine â€“ it was announced earlier this year that the negative had been found and that a new 4k scan was going to be done. And it was. This will be out in the fall and it will be a pretty packed special edition made with the full cooperation of director Jeff Lieberman. Extras will be handled by Elijah Drenner and they look to be pretty comprehensive. More details on this will follow in a formal press release but for now, here are some images from the raw 4K scan (note that I shot these on a DSLR balanced on the back of a chair off of a computer monitor so obviously youâ€™re not going to see all of the detail that you will on the Blu-ray, but itâ€™s a nice little preview of what to expect).
Yep, thatâ€™s 4K alright.
Itâ€™s also been mentioned that Distribpix uncovered what is widely believed to be the best surviving print of Orson Wellesâ€™ Falstaff (Chimes At Midnight) â€“ and yep, itâ€™s been given a new scan too. Right now this is for preservation only, but we got a look at it and itâ€™s in excellent shape with beautiful contrast. You can and should read more about the history of this one here. Steven has nothing to do with any Falstaff restoration, as has been recently rumored.
But what about Distribpix catalogue titles? Those are also in the works. Note that the cover art seen here isnâ€™t final and that street dates have not been formally announced yet, however, there are some pretty tantalizing titles previewed below, some may be familiar while others will be appearing properly restored on home video for the first time - like Not Just Another Woman starring Tina Russell! The rest of the images below speak for themselves.
And if that werenâ€™t enough, Distribpix has officially entered into an agreement to release Cecil Howardâ€™s Scoundrels from Command Video onto Blu-ray/DVD for the first time, with other titles from the Command Video library to follow. Details are still being worked out but these will be taken from brand new 4K scans of the original negatives (the scan for Scoundrels is already finished) and be given the absolute best possible presentation on home video. "Scoundrels is the first title from Command Video to be getting a true HD restoration in every sense of the word, and the films of Cecil Howard are as deserving as any to get the red carpet treatment." Extras, including an interview, will commence for Scoundrels next week.
Again, details are still being worked out â€“ the time frame for this is still being worked on and there arenâ€™t any official street dates for these releases yet but work has started and you can consider this an official announcement. As soon as Steven has some screen grabs for us, we will post them here at R!S!P!.
As a side note to those who follow these releases, Steven wanted us to stress that he is well aware of the backlog of titles he has hoped to release from his archive and well aware of the excitement from fans abroad. But he wanted to stress that the past two years have had their fair share of technical ups and downs that have been out of his control. This has, without a doubt, been a major setback for the archive. Itâ€™s resulted in a lot of pressure and while itâ€™s not out of anything that canâ€™t be overcome, it will involve starting over on a few titles â€“ but the bright side of that it is that this offers the opportunity to make future upcoming releases even better than they would have been.
For more information, check out the official Distribpix website by clicking here!