The Bottom Shelf

On January 2, 2014, Mike Vraney died of lung cancer at the obscenely young age of 56.  Mike’s name may not ring a bell but if you’re a fan of cult movies, exploitation flicks and bizarre ephemera like stag films and burlesque shows, you owe Mike a huge debt of thanks.  In 1990, Mike founded Something Weird Video, one of the first and best labels dedicated to rescuing forgotten films from the dustbin of obscurity.  Something Weird was a trailblazer in the industry.  I’d argue that Mike’s passion for these movies and the success of Something Weird helped pave the way for all the cult boutique labels to follow, including Mondo Macabro, Synapse, Blue Underground and so many others.  [Read on here…]

The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest Se7en!

October 31, 2013 - 12:01 am   |   By

About a month ago, I received an anonymous package.  Well, anonymous except for The Digital Bits logo in the return address and a single word scrawled across the side: “GLUTTONY”.

“What’s in the box?” I yelled out loud to nobody in particular.  I opened it and was horrified by its contents.  It was full of DVDs and Blu-rays, all horror movies.  Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head, which I thought was kind of odd.  [...]

The Trouble With Twilight Time

August 05, 2013 - 7:00 am   |   By

As The Bits’ resident champion for the release of obscure and forgotten films on DVD, I naturally pay a lot of attention to smaller, independent labels like Shout! Factory, Olive Films, Kino, Synapse and, of course, Criterion. These companies and many others like them are doing important work, taking on projects that the major studios are no longer interested in producing. I support these companies both by writing about their work on this site and, more importantly, by purchasing their products as often as I can. [...]

Six years ago, I was standing at a crossroads with my trusty blues guitar when a stranger came up to me. “Nice guitar,” said the stranger in a seductive purr. “You play?”

“Not a lick,” said I. “But I heard tell that a fella needs himself a guitar in these parts.”

“True enough,” replied the stranger. “True enough. But it ain’t doin’ you much good strung across your back like that. Instrument like that ought be played.”

“Reckon you’re right but who’s gonna teach me? You?”

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Adam Jahnke

The Twin Peaks Blu-ray set is one of the most beautifully packaged home video sets I have ever seen.

by Adam Jahnke