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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

THUNDERCRACK! (Synapse Blu-ray)

Take one part Death Bed, one part Monty Python cartoon, one part Spider Baby and one part stag film and you have Thundercrack. But you don’t just have Thundercrack For an hour or an hour and half. You have Thundercrack For over two hours! That’s over two hours of complete debauchery, Horror, comedy, strange sexual exploits of the obscure and delinquent kind. That’s over two hours of a film that could have been lost to aging and degradation that has been lovingly preserved by Synapse. We are better people for having this near Andy Miligan exploit in our lives, but it comes at the price of our wits and our sanity. Thundercrack is a movie that is to be experienced, passed around and then turned over to the proper authorities as evidence in some long lost public decency case.

The first thing we understand when we watch Thundercrack is that it comes to us but by the grace of God. This movie had three separate versions floating around. A short version. A damaged version and a long damaged version. All of this has been restored to the best of Synapse’s ability and combined and preserved to offer the most complete version of the film possible. This is a treat, and we ask that you forgive the grindiest of elements that may seem to suggest that this restoration isn’t the masterpiece that it is. It is a true masterpiece, and sometimes you can only get so much from a damaged print. The years spent creating this disc were well worth it. Appreciate it, and if I know fans of this particular subset of Horror and Sex, you’re going to love it. Vinegar Syndrome fans… this one is right up your ally.

The whole thing watches like a Horror picture, mostly like a haunted house movie with intercuts of an animated house with rain coming down in front of it. This looks perfectly Monty Python to me. I adore it. I also think that music is creepy as Hell, perhaps more creepy than Thundercrack even deserves. Once you get into the spooky old house, the debauchery truly begins and the movie feels just a little bit like Spiderbaby meets a stag film with hardcore scene cut with strange carnage. It’s hard to find the balance in the thing. Perhaps the best way to watch it is as a Horror movie that occasionally requires you to drop your pants and get down with your bad self.

Thundercrack really is all over the place much in the way that I found that completely zany Death Bed would come out of left field with twists and turns (even beyond the killer bed). It has that same feeling of independent spirit that wanted a narrative but would settle for some really hot nude scenes mixed with some really outlandish scares. I suppose you can think of Thundercrack as an adult version of the spookhouse you went to when you were a kid only the gimmicks are a bit different.  

Director Curt McDowell has an interview that acts like a commentary track on this disc. If you go through much of his works, it focuses on adult fare with plenty of shorts. By 1975 he had already accumulated quite a library of short works. Titles like Sinkybutt and I Suck Your Flesh are clearly worth exploring with a Weiners and Buns Musical and Beaver Fever being works that must surpass the genre altogether (can we get a short film disc of all Curt McDowell’s short works next?) Also included is a documentary about filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar who made their own mark in genre work focusing on adult and short film. These guys made so many short films, it’s astonishing that they never broke out into the broader adult film market. The Blu-ray comes with a bonus disc that features tons of rare interviews and short films.

This is a special release. This is one that has to be seen to be believed and yes, all of the things you’ve heard about it are true. If you like Andy Miligan, it’s your job to watch this. If you like down and dirty, deranged pictures, this truly qualifies. If you’re tired of overproduced sex films of today and want raw, untamed naked people bumping uglies in a creepy house with awesome music, Thundercrack is calling. Great job, Synapse!

Short clip to let you know what you're in for:


You can order Thundercrack from Synapse now:

From Synapse:

YEARS IN THE MAKING! THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED RESTORATION OF THE UNDERGROUND FILM CLASSIC THUNDERCRACK! WILL FINALLY BE UNLEASHED TO THE PUBLIC!

Witness if you dare… THUNDERCRACK!… the world’s only underground kinky art adult horror film, complete with four men, three women and rampaging circus animals. With the initial setup of an atmospheric gothic tale — a dark and stormy night breakdown featuring a creepy old house on the hill — it quickly turns into an eerie orgy of graphic humor, horror and sex. A tour de force of underground filmmaking with a plot beyond description, this film fully exposes itself with amazing dialogue and trash-noir lighting through which to peer at the pickles, the puke and the polymorphs.

In 1975, Curt McDowell and writer/actor George Kuchar created the exceptionally perverse and utterly brilliant THUNDERCRACK!, a film not recommended for those with tender sensibilities. A true cult classic that has shocked, excited and amazed audiences worldwide for 40 years, this presentation is the first ever official North American video release!

Features

       All-Region (Region Free) Release!
       Rare archival interview segments with director Curt McDowell presented as audio commentary
       BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE Bonus Feature - IT CAME FROM KUCHAR (87 mins): Directed by Jennifer Kroot. Documentary about the twin underground filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar
       BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: An additional BONUS DVD loaded with fun additional extras! Rare interviews, short films, THUNDERCRACK! audition footage, outtakes and MORE!
       Multiple language newly-translated removable subtitles in English SDH, French, German and Spanish

       Chapter Selections

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