I’ve mentioned that I became a Vinegar Syndrome subscriber for 2022 in different physical media articles. Within a year, Vinegar Syndrome holds two separate site-wide sales. These are the Black Friday and Halfway to Black Friday sales. What makes physical media fans go into a frenzy is that Vinegar Syndrome knocks 50% off MSRP for almost everything the company offers, so this sale is a big deal if you love DVDs, Blu-ray, and 4Ks.
What I would like to do with this article is highlight my pick-ups during this year’s sales and briefly touch upon each disc. Let’s get on with Halfway to Black Friday goodness!
Thriller – A Cruel Picture (4K/Blu-ray)
I know I’ll catch flack for this, but I have yet to see this Swedish exploitation classic. Thriller tells the tale of a young woman who is held captive, drugged, and thrown into prostitution, to which she seeks revenge on those who ruined her life. Not a happy movie by any means, but it fits into the grindhouse aesthetic that appeals to many, including Quentin Tarantino.
As a subscriber to Vinegar Syndrome, Thriller is part of my subscription and not something I needed to purchase separately. The four-disc package includes the uncut version on 4K and Blu-ray plus the alternate, cut version, titled: They Call Her One Eye, on 4K and Blu-ray. Both versions come inside individual cases—both cases housed within a cardboard slip box. Each version is packed with bonus features and has the potential to be in consideration for the physical media release of the year.
As a side note, this edition of Thriller sold out during the Halfway to Black Friday sale and this edition is no longer available at Vinegar Syndrome.
Cloak & Dagger (4K/Blu-ray)
The 1980s video game classic, Cloak & Dagger finally gets the love and attention it should. I haven’t seen the film in many years, so I’m hopeful that Cloak & Dagger holds up. Vinegar Syndrome released the movie with a 4K and Blu-ray disc housed inside a sturdy box with a magnetic clasp. The box features video game-style artwork and a 40-page book. A release like this excites me to revisit a classic from my childhood.
Scared to Death (Blu-ray)
Director William Malone is someone whose first handful of films have bypassed me. Last year, Vinegar Syndrome released his second film, Creature, so it’s only fitting that Malone’s first cinematic release, Scared to Death, gets the physical media treatment for 2022. I’ll be honest, I know nothing about the movie, but it was part of my subscription, so I’ll be checking it out soon!
Miami Connection (4K/Blu-ray)
Miami Connection is a release that connoisseurs of bad movies can get together to celebrate. Vinegar Syndrome released a three-disc set featuring a 4K, a Blu-ray with bonus features, and a third disc with an alternate pre-release cut. For me, I do not find Miami Connection “so-bad-it’s-good.” The last time I saw it, the film moved at a glacial pace, and I didn’t find myself laughing much at it. As this was part of my subscription, I now have an opportunity to give it a second chance.
Horror High / Stanley (Blu-ray)
Vinegar Syndrome has gotten in the habit of releasing double-feature releases lately. Their newest is Horror High and Stanley. I’m going to admit, I know nothing about Horror High, and the only thing about Stanley that I’m aware of is that most consider the film one of William Grefe’s better releases. As this was part of my subscription, it’s coming to my residence, but if I wasn’t a subscriber, I know this release wouldn’t be in my house.
Voyage of the Rock Aliens (Blu-ray)
So, this is part of my subscription as well. I’ll never knock a movie ahead of time, as the joy of cinema is occasionally getting surprised. At the same time, a lot of this 1984 film does not appeal to my senses. Vinegar Syndrome gave the physical media release plenty of love, so watching this will be a journey—good or bad? I’m not sure.
All American Murder (Blu-ray)
Everyone loves Christopher Walken. One thing about the man is that for every classic role, performance, and film, there’s three or four bad movies wedged in between. I recall seeing this movie way back when but haven’t revisited it since. I’ve checked out clips here and there, and there’s plenty of classic Walken to be found, so I figured snagging this for half off was worth it. If anything, Christopher Walken, in his prime, is worth the price of admission in itself.
If you could think of the last film deserving of a 4K UHD release, Ticks is probably at the top. Here’s another movie I haven’t revisited in years—yet I recall loving every minute. Vinegar Syndrome went out of their way with this two-disc set that features fresh artwork for the slip box case and a commentary track with Clint Howard. How can you beat that?
Here’s a disc that I might regret adding to my collection. Most people have only seen Hobgoblins, courtesy of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. It’s interesting to see what MST3K does to a bad film. Hobgoblins, on its own, has some fun moments, but other parts are a chore to sit through. Vinegar Syndrome packed enough features to make this a worthwhile pick-up, but I feel I won’t be revisiting this movie as often as others in my collection.
Fade to Black (Blu-ray)
Here’s another film I saw in my youth that I wanted to revisit. Fade to Black has been on my radar for a while, but I never got around to snagging it. Why did I finally choose to pick it up? The film was half off, but the limited-edition slipcover was running low. I decided that there was no time like the present to pick up a movie I wanted, at half off, with the slipcover to top it off. Everything lined up, and Fade to Black is now in my collection.
Treasure of the Ninja and the Films of William Lee (Blu-ray)
This release was a last-minute addition before the Vinegar Syndrome sale concluded. William Lee is a martial artist and filmmaker who directed and starred in a handful of 8mm D.I.Y. action films. Lee’s movies have flown under my radar, but this (secret) box set appears to be a loving tribute to low-budget filmmaking. There’s something to be said about getting your film features made at any cost. I appreciate that and am willing to roll the dice on a set like this.
The Films of Rudy Ray Moore (Blu-ray)
Rudy Ray Moore is freaking awesome. In the past, Vinegar Syndrome released Dolemite, Petey Wheatstraw, The Human Tornado, and Disco Godfather as individual releases. Within the last year, an empty box with custom artwork was made available for those with these films to house as one complete set. I already owned Dolemite and The Human Tornado—when the sale went live, I bought the final two films I was missing and the box. Now the collection is complete with a beautifully-crafted box to contain all the awesomeness that Rudy Ray Moore exemplifies.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes up the entirety of my Halfway to Black Friday order. It’s a wide variety of classic and not-so-classic films, which, now that I think of it: sums up Vinegar Syndrome quite nicely.