The Henry Paris Collection- new singles out on DVD and MORE!!

The Films of Henry Paris: Update Fall 2014

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Since 2010, Distribpix Inc. has been working very hard to restore the films of the legendary filmmaker Radley Metzger. More specifically, the 5 X-rated films that he created using the alias Henry Paris. These 5 films, which were all created in a span of about 2 years, and released from 1974-1979, had helped to further bolster the modern porn movement.His films along with others, like Gerard Damiano, Chuck Vincent and the Amero Brothers, all began to take on artistic merit, with larger budgets, real scripts, sets,talented actors, locations, etc. They were produced during the climax of the porn-chic period, right in the heart of NYC.  It was kool to go and see a porno, it was hip, it was the thing to do!! It was a time that can never be replicated, and it did not last very long. But, after 30 plus years, these films have not only stood the test of time, but continue to be sought after by legions of film fans, in both the mainstream and alternative cinema circles.

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The goal was to be able to start from scratch and remake all of the DVD versions, beginning with the release of deluxe versions and possible Blu Ray’s, in order to really try and get the attention of more mainstream fans, who took this stuff seriously. It worked. The long and hard efforts paid off. I learned so much in one year. Starting with the original negatives and doing proper film restorations on each one was the basic starting point. As well as a burning determination to uncover as much as we could on each film, to properly set the historical context. We began to complete each film one by one, in the same order in which Metzger had released them theatrically, beginning with The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann(1974). It was an exciting time for me and one in which I will never forget.

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Like Pamela Mann and all the other Henry Paris films, I have refused to cut or censor any of them, like many of the previous distributors before me. I knew this from the beginning, as it was a practice I had already adopted and clearly the only person in the classic adult genre, who was not afraid to do this, I did not veer away, but at the same time, I would have to accept the consequences. If the film had fisting, I wanted it kept intact. Urination, no problem……some bloody sex, Oh well! Insinuated rape, big deal……. If it was in the original negative, I want it to be in the final version. I did not make these films, but as a secondary producer, I believe in proper film restoration, especially for these archival motion picture film elements. Film restoration is a bit complex, it can be simple to explain, but the process itself has so many variables, some include the age of the film, the film stock itself, conditions in which they were stored, and how the negatives or prints were actually handled, by projectionists, colorists or even the director themselves. The more you work with film collections and elements, the more you learn, just like anything. The bottom line is that unless it is absolutely necessary, I would never want to play censor on a film that was made 35 plus years ago and one that I did not create. As we all know, once we start to censor, we get into dangerous territory. And I have spoken with several directors from the golden age of erotica, who whole heartedly agree, that once these films are cut up and butchered, they are no longer the original creation, and in many ways, the message or soul of the film is missing.

Films were cut for many reasons, sometimes it was an issue of playing time, other times it was a concern of potential legal issues, and other times, it was done to be able to distribute the film on home video. But I truly feel like these films all lose their true essence, their ultimate meaning, if they are edited, censored or cut up. Especially, when in most cases, it is the most climactic, or unparalleled scene, from the film. For example, when the staged abduction takes place in Pamela Mann, it is such a vital scene, it is obvious that the revolutionaries(Jamie Gillis and Darby Lloyd Rains) are not only having fun with their captor, Barbara Bourbon, but it may be the highlight of the film. It further sets the tone and helps illustrate just how incredibly silly, eccentric and over the top, these character’s lifestyles are.

pam_gargae5Without that scene, the film is not complete. So leaving that scene intact, was really refreshing and I think many realized that I had a different approach to restoring these films. And keeping the film’s original run time and scene order is vital. Proper restoration is first, and if money is going to come from the release, it comes second. It is nice to know that several other film restoration companies share the same opinions that I do about quality.

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Naked Came The Stranger (1975) was next and a great experience, maybe one of the most unique for me. I learned a lot on this project and really fell in love with the music on this one. I realized what true genius George Craig(director of music)really is. The film has become one of my all time favorites, I love the music and story, and the day we shot the bonus features for the DVD all around NYC and Long Island, was amazing.

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Then it was on to the big one, The Opening of Misty Beethoven(1976). We needed to go Blu, that was the way to go about introducing classic erotica in 1080P HD. A no brainer. It was a hard 7 months of my life, producing both the 2 DVD collector’s edition, the 50GB Blu Ray, the CD Soundtrack with over 13 licensed songs, not too mention the Kickstarter(KS) campaign, in which we were kicked off, about a 10 days into our campaign, while we almost raised our goal or 10k!!! Thank you so much Kickstarter.

It was the best thing to ever happen, talk about great and free press, and publicity! It was everywhere.

We generated a good amount of income with our own independent fundraiser through Project Misty,which was well over the 10 grand goal. This, in turn showed me that there was enough interest in moving on the blu ray, the fund helped out in a huge way, but was just a fraction of what was needed to get this produced. So many came out of the woodwork to show their disgust at KS, especially university professor-Laura Helen Marks, film archivist-Joe Rubin and of course, my sidekick, Ian Culmell . They all took the time out of their schedules,and really put things into perspective for me. They began sending messages and emails to Kickstarter. Eventually, many others followed they even shut down the KS site for a short time, they were caught off guard, and I loved it. No matter what anyone says, Kickstarter dropped the ball on this one, they were caught in their own bullshit and did not care to step up.  I will never forget that and still have all of that correspondence, between us. It was amazing to see how many people from around the world, stepped and supported us.

It also gave me a very unique experience when it comes to social network funding. I mean, I did it right, IMO. We had a kick-ass campaign video with a great message, very professional rewards, and a reasonable goal. And we had our campaign approved as well. I simply wanted to raise money  and awareness to restore one of the greatest erotic films of all time(won 4 awards in 1976, including BEST PICTURE, BEST ACTOR, BEST DIRECTOR). All of you who stepped up to support me, thank you so much, you are great. We all still made it happen.

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A huge year and learning experience and to this day, I am still amazed at the whole thing. Right before the release, we got hit by Hurricane Sandy and it took even longer to get the packages out. Most of the general public, don’t have a clue of all the work involved in a release of this magnitude, not a clue about the amount of research, travel and dedication, not too mention the costs involved. People think it was just a matter of authoring a few DVD’s, and that is so far from what we created, which was basically an entire make over of this cult classic! Myself and small team, took on that project and kicked its ass!! Great job guys.

The Misty Beethoven Blu Ray has sold very well, although it is essentially-almost of of stock, as the 2 DVD Collector’s editions have been out of stock for several months. These were both aggressive packages and the 60 page liner note books that came with both, are no longer available. Looking back, I may have spent a bit too much on the packaging on all fronts, but that is why I said that they may be limited in some aspects.

Leaving the social fundraising behind, I jumped right into the next films, Barbara Broadcast and essentially treated it the same way as Misty, but had more fun with it. It is a much more dialogue light film, but the sex is key and the steamy eroticism and comedic one liners, really move this one along. Both the 2 DVD set and Blu Ray plus 2 DVD combo pack are decent sellers, they are great packages with lots of value and there are plenty still in stock. The Barbara Blu Ray has not sold nearly as well as the Misty, which has been a great eye opener, considering that dozens of fans are requesting the remaining Henry Paris films to be made available on Blu Ray.RMF_banner_BB

That brings us back to Maraschino Cherry(1979), which has been recently scanned in 2k, b0th the hard and soft versions, and now completes all 5 of the Henry Paris films being scanned and restored. Before we commit, to another deluxe DVD version of Maraschino Cherry, or even the Blu Ray, we want to be able to get a bit more feedback on the best way to approach this. For example, do we do a Blu Ray 3 Pack, of the remaining titles(Pam, Naked, Cherry)??? As well as  a standalone Maraschino Cherry Deluxe dvd set??? AND, do we keep all the extras, or trim these Blu Rays down to the bare minimums, like the hard versions and maybe the trailers? A bit more to decide.

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So, now as I look back, while trying to move forward, I am in the process of making some very important creative and business decisions in order to be able to get these great deluxe packages back out. We are exploring ways to make the packages more cost efficient, while still being able to keep the high quality of both the content and the package as a whole. Many of the original deluxe versions are at very low stock levels, it is important for me to be able to get these back on the market with some new features as well as other surprises.

One negative aspect of the higher end, deluxe packages, is that many of the adult retail outlets have not been able to carry them, due to higher than usual wholesale pricing, or simply that they did not have the clientele, who would purchase the higher end collectibles. Pricing is very important in every part of the market, but collector’s are, in my opinion, a better customer for my product, as they understand the value and work involved, they appreciate the hard good and want to see it thrive. They also enjoy standing behind independent labels and support much of the work involved. While,the typical adult buyer, really just wants to see the film and in many cases, they don’t want extras and don’t even care about the quality of the film, which I can’t understand, at least not with todays technology, so easily accessible, to film studios and reasonably priced.

With all this said, I have some very good news to announce, that I think will appease a large part of the adult market, particularly-retail stores and their distributors. And anyone else who wants to get in on the action.

All 5 of the Henry Paris films are now all available in single DVD versions. Each DVD contains the full- uncut feature, the film’s theatrical trailer and a slideshow/ephemera gallery of images. Each film has been scanned in 2k resolution from the original negatives. These will all be very reasonable priced and are a fair balance between efficient DVD features and also, clean looking, yet affordable packages. Each DVD comes in a clear case, with reversible box art. Below is a sample of the front and reverse sides for the Barbara Broadcast Single DVD (2014).

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Barbara Broadcast Single DVD version Box art- Front Side

Barbara Broadcast Single DVD version Box art- Front Side

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Barbara Broadcast Single DVD Version 2014- Reverse Side

As a special bonus for the fans that want too buy all 5 of the DVD’s at once, we are now offering a very awesome looking and totally limited 5 Pack Collector’s Box Set, with a hand numbered case and 500 custom postcard magnets(4×6). There are only 500 numbered box sets and they are a great gift for the hard good DVD collector. A very attractive set indeed.

*Please understand, these are the single DVD versions of the Henry Paris films, if you already invested in the deluxe versions, you do not need to purchase these. These Single DVD editions, will allow many people to purchase and experience the films. in an efficient manner. And the Box Set will get them all 5- in a great package without going overboard. If your a die hard collector and love the hard good, than you may want to buy one anyway, for your shelf. These will make great gifts as well.

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The dvd’s from the Henry Paris collection are now all available for sale as standalone versions OR as the complete 5 pack collector’s set.

The 5 Pack Collector’s Box Set set is exclusively available from Distribix.com

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The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann : 2 Disc Collectors Edition – Unbiased Review !

Softcore Maestro Radley Metzger of Camille 2000 and The Lickerish Quartet fame was to adopt the nom de porn of “Henry Paris” (derived from his middle name and longstanding love for the City of Lights) for a frugal five explicit endeavors, although he had already flirted with the form in bothScore and The Image.  All of those with the exception of the last, 1978’s Maraschino Cherry (which is already available as a double disc Platinum Elite Collector Edition), will be released by Video-X-Pix as part of our Henry Paris Collection for which the legendary filmmaker has graciously made his privately owned prints available to us. Although it was to be his eminently witty spin on Shaw’s PygmalionThe Opening of Misty Beethoven from 1976, that would predominantly preserve his well-deserved reputation as one of the most artistically accomplished and intelligent filmmakers in all of adult, 1974’s The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann – best described as a sophisticated comedy of bad manners – wowed contemporary critics and audiences alike.  As Distribpix is planning to release the remaining foursome chronologically, it also happens to be the first one out the door in an exhaustive 2 disc collector edition jampacked with jawdropping extras and a real steal at $29.95 and, no, I’m not just saying that because I’m Steven Morowitz’s bitch !  Oh behave !

Behave is one thing Pamela Mann (the radiant Barbara Bourbon, a classically trained legit stage actress convinced to take the porno plunge due to the director’s lofty pedigree) rarely does, outside of polite society she’s very much a part of that is, and her workaholic businessman spouse (hunky Alan Marlow, the despicable womanizer returned to earth in female form from Roberta Findlay’s scathing Angel Number 9) is starting to catch on to her wicked ways.  To cement his suspicions, he hires bumbling albeit supremely self-assured private dick Frank, played to po-faced perfection by Eric Edwards, already something of an industry veteran even at this early stage.  His opening dialogue with character actor extraordinaire Kevin André (who was to provide perhaps his finest turn the following year as the Ghost of Christmas Present in Shaun Costello’s seasonal classic The Passions of Carol, incidentally also available as a sterling Platinum Elite Collector Edition), as they watch Leo and Linda Lovemore enjoy some afternoon delight with considerable confusion as to which of the two’s the adulterer, is absolutely priceless.

Trailing the sexy socialite, Frank uncovers all sorts of escalating naughtiness. Having the idea planted in her pretty little head from a dinner conversation concerning Gerard Damiano’s blow job box office blast Deep Throat, very much the scandal du jour at the time, she wants to go Linda Lovelace one better by performing her “Look, ma, no gag reflex” party trick on a random stranger of, ahem, appropriate proportions.  Enter massively endowed Marc Stevens, picked up by the mischievous Pamela near Sutton Place with Queensborough Bridge towering over them.  For obvious legal reasons, their subsequent sex scene – one of the best orals ever – was shot in the privacy of a film studio, although the potted plants attempt to convince audiences otherwise. She selflessly supplies social rehabilitation services for happy hooker Georgina Spelvin, looking mighty fetching I must add, in one of the all time Sapphic sessions and drags off a moral reformer running for mayor (beefy Sonny Landham, ironically cast in retrospect considering the political upheaval he would cause in later life, disastrously running for Governor of Kentucky) for a fevered quickie mere moments prior to his addressing a women’s group.

The drawn-out garage rape sequence was cut from many prints shortly following theatrical release and was still missing from VCA’s otherwise honorable DVD release.  Coerced into an underground parking lot by a pair of propaganda-spouting revolutionaries, played to the hilt by perennial bad boy Jamie Gillis and the formidable Darby Lloyd Rains, who would rejoin forces with Metzger on his subsequent Naked Came the Stranger, Pamela’s violated at gunpoint.  Such a harrowing situation might seem out of place at first due to its – albeit admittedly cartoonish – brutality, until the director turns the tables by the last act revelation that Pamela’s tormentors are in fact her devoted domestics and part of the whole set-up. The adventurous Manns have constructed these elaborate games to spice up their threatening to go stale marriage, hiring a series of goodlooking detectives (Stevens being revealed as Edwards’ predecessor) to capture their escapades on film, Pamela’s seduction of the investigator – who subsequently refuses all remuneration as he has allegedly “failed” his assignment – forever the final movement of their association.

One of ultimately very few porn movies that actually yield entire new levels of meaning on each viewing, Pamela Mann continues to stimulate the brain as well as the groin. The general motif seems to be appearances, the various roles people will assume in daily life taken to farcically surreal extremes. No one is what he or she pretends to be, certainly not the game-playing Manns or the gumshoes hiding their identities as an occupational requirement, unwittingly ensnared to do the couple’s bidding. These deceptions extend well beyond the main characters. An actor (Levi Richards aka Rick Livermore though billed as “John Ashton” who took part in the memorable Spelvin sandwich with Stevens in Damiano’s Devil in Miss Jones) claims sexual confusion in order to fool the prostitute, just to see whether he could play a gay character on Broadway. She recognizes him anyway but plays along since she has always wanted to have sex with him. Who’s fooling who then ?

Brimming with subtle visual and aural jokes, film’s funniest conceit might be the presence of the female poll taker (“Lola LaGarce”, whose real identity is finally revealed) who regularly pops up to ask Pamela the most ridiculously long winded political and sociological questions – invariably answered by a brisk ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – and who explains her role at film’s end as providing socially redeeming value ! Rarely has a pornographer thumbed his nose quite so elegantly at morally upright naysayers. Beautifully photographed and meticulously edited by pseudonymous professionals at long last identified by esteemed hardcore historian Benson Hurst in the characteristically thorough liner notes, Pamela‘s one conceivable caveat might be its comparative lack of heart because of all the pretending going on. The audience intentionally never gets a proper grip on any of the characters, robbing the film somewhat of the warmth that Metzger’s other explicit works possess.

The presentation of this landmark in adult cinema artistry can quite simply not be overpraised.  Aside from a few brief blemishes to an otherwise pristinely preserved camera negative, the movie looks every bit as good as past DVD restoration jobs on legitimate Hollywood classics.  The image positively sparkles and sound’s not far behind, with English subtitles provided for viewers who don’t want to miss out on a single word of possibly the wittiest repartee the genre has ever witnessed.  A Metzger commentary track, moderated by Benson Hurst, predictably provides a wealth of background information, much of which even I was unaware of.  Lively talkers both, they expertly avoid the ennui that makes too many commentaries one shot listening at best.  The original theatrical trailer is included, along with an expansive photo gallery of stills and behind the scenes shots, including several of the demure director himself.  There’s a separate gallery on disc 2 of “ephemera”, meaning posters, pressbooks and contemporary reviews.

Spread out over both platters are mirroring featurettes on two of Pamela’s brightest stars, Georgina Spelvin and Eric Edwards, each running a hefty if in actuality all too brief 40 minutes apiece.  Since both were around at theatrical porn’s infancy as it were, they have tons of stories to tell, shedding light on their lives before and after adult.  Spelvin’s still a live wire at a sprightly 75 while Edwards, her junior by about a decade, proves the perfect gentleman he so often seemed on screen, thankfully having successfully battled cancer a few years back even though it has left hem visibly bruised and worn.  With so much information to impart, and somewhat pressed for time, both only briefly touch upon the film at hand but that’s a distinctly minor quibble well-compensated by the director’s commentary.

This would already have been a well-stuffed extras package as is, but there’s much much more, making Mr Morowitz and his creative team perhaps the hardest working people in porn.  Disc 2 kicks off with the softcore cut of the film, running about 10 minutes shorter and prepared when the movie threatened to get into legal hot water in the state of New York although ultimately barely screened.  Barbara Bourbon shot an extended monologue that had her holding court at considerable length about censorship, free speech and hypocrisy (quite appropriate themes considering the narrative), portions of which literally pop up as pictures in picture to cover up any “offending” bits !  There’s two separate featurettes on locations, one specifically on Pamela’s both then and now and the other more generally related to all of Metzger’s movies.  The promotional 2011 trailer which played on Youtube, and thus devoid of sex or nudity, is present and accounted for with nearly 10 minutes of deleted footage – including an extra sex scene with the Lovemores, barely glimpsed in the finished film – finally rounds out the package.

Or does it ?  There’s a glossy photo postcard of the beautiful Bourbon cuddling a pet tiger and extensive liner note booklet that houses not only Hurst’s historical account of how the movie came to pass but an amazingly thorough essay on Metzger’s employment of library tracks with identification of most of them (a feature that can also be accessed as a separate text track on the DVD, surely a first !) by Ian Culmell and a scholarly analysis of the film by the esteemed Lawrence Cohen.  All of these goodies combine to make the current Video-X-Pix release of Radley Metzger’s The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann the instant benchmark by which all future adult DVD releases will be judged…and found wanting ?  Not if Steve Morowitz has his say about it !

Dries Vermeulen

Pamela Mann HD Screengrabs

A report from the lab….so we have some new and beautiful screen shots from the recently transferred, “The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann”. Overall, this transfer was very successful. The film looks better than it ever has. The colors have come back to life, and the old VCA version, is virtually unwatchable, when compared to this new HD transfer. Not only was the VCA release butchered, but the color and sound are totally fucked! Anyway, the difference to the film itself and the addition, of all previously cut footage, is reason enough to buy this one. But the truth is that this is our most ambitious project to date, and it has just about everything but the kitchen sink. This will go down as being one of the most spectacular classic adult film packages ever produced, and it looks like this will be ready in late Spring.  I will lay out a few of the details below:

*Pamela Mann hard version, uncut, transferred in HD ( all previously deleted footage is intact)

*Pamela Mann soft version, uncut transferred in HD( unique version, never before seen footage)

*Pamela Mann hard trailer

*Full length director commentary with Radley Metzger

*Over 75 original and never before seen slides

*Ephemera Gallery ( news articles, photos, etc)

*Interview with star of film Georgina Spelvin( Georgie)

*Interview with star of film, Eric Edwards ( Frank, the private detective)

*Multiple Documentary Featurettes( Locations, Externals, Life and Times, Music)

*The Deleted Scenes

*Liner note book, written by Benson Hurst, with contributions from our director of music content, as well as another guest writer

And more!!!!!

Details of the Transfer:

THE PRIVATE AFTERNOONS OF PAMELA MANN was restored using the original 35mm blow-up internegative and is presented in its original theatrical exhibition aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The film was scanned in 2K resolution using a Spirit 2K Datacine and the DaVinci Resolve system was used to perform additional color correction and color matching. The film was then backed up on HDD for DVD authoring. The audio was transferred from the 35mm optical track negative and is presented in its original mono form.
PLEASE NOTE that throughout the film there is occasionally a greenish scratch present in the right-most third of the image. This is an imperfection present in the original negative and could not be removed.

Here are some comparisons between the VCA version of Pamela Mann and the brand new HD transfer from Distribpix/Video-X-Pix.

VCA's standard def DVD release

Distribpix HD transfer-click for full size image

VCA's standard def DVD release

Distribpix HD Transfer- click for full size image

VCA's standard def DVD release

Distribpix HD transfer- click for full size image

VCA's standard def DVD release

Distribpix HD transfer- click for full size image

VCA's standard def DVD release

Distribpix HD transfer- click for full size image

I hope you enjoy this update and as soon as we have an exact release date, we will post it on the blog.