While the regular DVD market is facing dwindling sales, boutique distributors are delving into the treasure trove of heretofore marginalized titles — particularly in the foreign and genre markets, and from the 1960s and ’70s — that often never received a proper commercial release on VHS, let alone their due in theaters. Two such debuts arrive on one disc in the form of Mondo Macabro’s DVD release of The Sadist with Red Teeth and Forbidden Paris, from Belgian filmmaker Jean Louis van Belle.
Starring Daniel Moosmann and Jane Clayton, 1970’s micro-budgeted horror flick The Sadist with Red Teeth represents an across-the-pond precursor to the sort of cheap, slapdash, from-the-hip genre fare that Roger Corman would later have such success with in the United States — except with more of an infusion of grandiloquent delusion. In the movie, comic book artist Daniel Bernard (Moosmann) becomes convinced that a near-fatal car crash (in which a friend perished) has turned him into a vampire, but it’s not before the advice of his creepy doctor (Albert Simono) comes into question.
Forbidden Paris, meanwhile, is a mondo-style shockumentary concentrating on the seedy underbelly of 1960s’ Paris — a sort of black-and-blue valentine to the city of lights that serves as spiteful, nasty counterpoint to some of the love letters of the New Wave. There are a few arresting moments of anthropological/sociological interest here — a family preparing for the fallout from an H-bomb, a freaky free love community — but the film’s narration comes across as piecemeal and haphazard.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, the double-feature from Mondo Macabro comes to DVD with a pair of brand new anamorphic transfers from the respective original film negatives. There is also a very good half-hour documentary featurette on ven Belle which interestingly delves into his editorial experience and philosophy on filmmaking, though it’s shot and pieced together in a willfully cryptic style that eventually begins to grate. There are also introductions to the movies themselves by van Belle, and previews for other Mondo Macabro titles. To purchase via Amazon, click here. C- (Movies) B+ (Disc)