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Bloody Terror and the recent scarcity of new reviews
Reviews have been a bit thin on the ground of late. In our latest blog, Slarek briefly outlines why and explains why our upcoming review for Indicator's new Norman J Warren box is going to be posted a little differently to the site norm.
10 August 2019

Site regulars will have doubtless noticed that reviews have been a little bit sparse of late, and while the temptation is to ask what you’re doing browsing for film or disc reviews when you should be outside enjoying the sun, I’m too polite for that. Well, I was until I just wrote it. Since the whole idea of a site blog was to keep readers updated on the site’s state of play, it seemed only right to do so on this point and simultaneously provide a heads-up on the unusual manner in which an upcoming Blu-ray review is to be posted.

So why the sparsity of reviews? Tragically simple, I’m afraid. We’ve been busy. As regulars will be aware, those who write for the site are either in non-site related full-time employment or working freelance every hour that can be contracted in the sure knowledge that you never know when another such period of employment might materialise. And despite outward impressions, we do strive to maintain the semblance of a home life and just recently the pressures of the former and the demands of the latter have severely restricted our free time.

Gort, meanwhile, having recently returned to the Cine Outsider fold, cheerfully agreed to take on the job of reviewing Indicator’s Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J. Warren 1976-1987, which theoretically should be very much in his ballpark. What caught him out was not just that he’d only previously seen one of the films in this set, but also that all five movies are accompanied by a small mountain of special features. Seriously, there are a whopping five hours’ worth of extras on the Satan’s Slave disc alone, and that’s without counting the image gallery. And yes, even Gort has a full-time job and a home life… With this in mind, I expected him to write a capsule review of each of the five films and spend a couple of lines apiece on the extra features, and was thus a little surprised when promised completion dates were repeatedly missed. The fact that the release was delayed helped a little, but that revised date is almost upon us and the review is still some way from completion. Why? Because our humble writer has elected to treat each disc in the set as a separate release, something reflected in the length and detail of the resulting reviews.

It’s thus become clear that this is going to be one of those reviews that will be spread out over several pages, with each film and its extra features given a page of its own. This is one of the reasons that I’ve made the decision not to post the finished review several days after the release date (that’s Monday, people), but to instead post it in five stages as each of the individual disc reviews are complete. It’s not the first time that we’ve done this, but the last was a few years ago, so I thought it best to flag our intentions in advance to avoid confusion.

An argument against doing this is that we’re covering a single box set and if you’re wondering if it’s for you then you’ll likely want to read the whole review before you splash out your hard-earned dosh on it. In its favour, however, is that the fact we can get the introduction plus a review of the first disc posted by or at the latest on the release date and upload the subsequent parts of the review during the course of the following week. Think of it as a serial with (hopefully) daily episodes and feel free to peruse the individual reviews as they are posted or wait until the last one and sit down for the whole thing in a single bash.

I will be kept busy in the meantime with the process of setting the reviews and getting the screen grabs, a process that takes longer than you might believe because I’m still running the site on the very same software that I used to create it back in 2003. Efficient it is not, but it’s all I know. Suggestions for alternatives are more than welcome. I’m also working to get my review of Eureka’s Blu-ray of The Incident completed for posting tomorrow or Monday at the latest. It’s a lengthy but thankfully single-page review for a film that fully deserves the detailed coverage it will get here.

Thus this week should see an end to our recent dry period for reviews, even if we are technically cheating a little by splitting one of them into five segments. Of course, once this is done I have Indicator’s Marlene Dietrich & Josef von Sternberg at Paramount, 1930-1935 box set on my plate, which features six films, all of which are resplendent with their own special features and a small pile of discs from Eureka and others. Oh carumba…