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New Releases

The Cremator
(Spalovač mrtvol)

A film by Juraj Herz
Czechoslovakia, 1968

"The Cremator is an irresistibly septic meditation on death and the hideous lure of fascism. I've never seen a film display such morbid euphoria" Peter Strickland


Presented from new HD materials, Second Run presents a special Blu-ray edition of one of its most enduringly popular titles – Juraj Herz’s The Cremator.

This brilliantly chilling film, a unique mix of Psycho, Dr Strangelove and Repulsion, is set in Prague during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. It tells the story of Karl Kopfrkingl (Rudolf Hrušínský), a professional cremator, for whom the political climate allows free rein to his increasingly perverse and deranged impulses for the ‘salvation of the world’…

Presented from a new HD transfer this region-free Blu-ray sepcial edition also includes Herz's rarely-seen 1965 debut short film The Junk Shop (Sběrné surovosti), a new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger and a filmed introduction by the Quay Brothers.

Release Date: December 2017


Vampir Cuadecuc
A film by Pere Portabella
Spain, 1970

"Portabella’s ravishing 1970 underground masterpiece… offers witty reflections on the powerful monopolies of both dictators and commercial cinema" Jonathan Rosenbaum


Pere Portabella’s extraordinary Vampir Cuadecuc was filmed on the set of Jess Franco’s shocker El Conde Dracula (Count Dracula, 1970) starring Christopher Lee and the exquisite Soledad Miranda. This atmospheric and experimental ‘making of’ documentary transforms the myth of the vampire into a powerful metaphor for bloodthirsty fascism.

Dispensing almost entirely with dialogue, Portabella relies on an abstract, fabulously idiosyncratic soundscape created by renowned Catalan artist and musician Carles Santos for its unearthly effect. Banned after completion, Vampir Cuadecuc remains a provocative, subversive and surreal experience.

Presented from a new director-approved HD transfer and available on both region-free Blu-ray and DVD formats, our release includes a new and and exclusive interview with director Pere Portabella.

Release Date: September 2017


New Releases

Witchhammer
(Kladivo na čarodějnice)

A film by Otakar Vávra
Czechoslovakia, 1969

“Made with relentless precision, rhythm and logic… beautifully staged in CinemaScope with stylish photography by Josef Illík and a compelling score by Jiří Srnka” Peter Hames


Witchhammer transforms the horrific tale of a notorious 17th Century witch trial into a powerful allegory of life under totalitarian rule. In a small Czech village, an investigation into a simple superstition quickly becomes a full-blown Inquisition, unleashing a tide of hysteria and cruelty.

The script, co-written by Ester Krumbachová (Daisies, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), draws on original court transcripts and forced confessions, revealing the malevolence of the Inquisitors who exorcise their own greed and lust through gruesome torture and execution.

Presented from a new HD transfer and available on both region-free Blu-ray and DVD formats, our release includes a new and and exclusive appreciation of the film by critic Kat Ellinger, and Otakar Vávra's experimental 1931 short film The Light Penetrates the Dark.

Release Date: October 2017


The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
(Baron Prášil)
A film by Karel Zeman
Czechoslovakia, 1961

“Karel Zeman and Ray Harryhausen were the two big inspirations for me… what Zeman did was amazing” Tim Burton


Often described as the ‘Czech Méliès’, visionary filmmaker Karel Zeman is treasured by generations of filmmakers worldwide, from Jan Švankmajer to Tim Burton, the Quay Brothers to Terry Gilliam, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Wes Anderson. His ground-breaking innovations in the use of live-action and animation mark him as one of the great masters of 20th Century fantasy cinema, ranking alongside his more celebrated Western counterparts Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen. The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is perhaps Zeman’s most beloved achievement.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD formats, this magical film is presented from a new 4K restoration, and also includes a wealth of additional special features.

Release Date: July 2017


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