Armchair Vacation: Kino Launches Kino-Cult


Every day, more and more films are added to the various streaming services out there, ranging from Netflix to YouTube, and are hitting the airwaves via movie-centric networks like TCM. Therefore, sifting through all of these pictures can be a tedious and often times confounding or difficult ordeal. But, that’s why we’re here. Every week, Joshua brings you five films to put at the top of your queue, add to your playlist, or grab off of VOD to make your weekend a little more eventful. Here is this week’s top five, in this week’s Armchair Vacation.

In this new digital age, as more and more studios take to the world of Video On Demand for their various smaller releases, even more home video companies are delving into the world of online streaming. While you have staples like Netflix and Hulu, niche companies like The Warner Archive and even cable network TCM have jumped into either the pay by view VOD game or the subscription service streaming racket.

And now it’s time for something a bit more dark, dare I say.

Kino Lorber has launched a brand new service entitled Kino-Cult, which as the title would have you think, takes some of the best and darkest of their niche genre titles (often from their Redemption line), and offers them to purchase for anywhere from the deliciously priced $6.66 for a single film to $9.99 for their special introductory bundle.

Billed as DRM free and shown in STHD (Spine-tingling High Definition), this service offers up the aforementioned bundle pack, including such cult classics as The Asphyx, Hatchet For The Honeymoon, The Iron Rose and a film this writer loves passionately, Night Tide. All for films are available on the site for under $10, and are well worth the purchase.

The highlight of the non-bundle pack pictures? For under $7 you can nab an STHD copy of the classic Ganja And Hess, Bill Gunn’s legendary take on the vampire mythos. Available in its original form here, after years of being shown in its butchered, recut version, and with a restoration from the Museum Of Modern Art, this is one of the most influential cult horror films of its day, and this restoration is one of the most beautiful among the list here.

Jean Rollin and Jess Franco are all over this lineup, with films like Fascination and Female Vampire showing off a decidedly campier and more erotic take on the horror genre. And if you’re looking for something even more kinky and more experimental, a handful of Alain Robbe-Grillet films are included on this initial launch lineup, including the best of the bunch, Successive Slidings Of Pleasure. Toss in some films from directors like Mario Bava, and even a package that includes every launch title for those with $95 to do away with, and you have a streaming service worth checking out. Films like Franco’s The Awful Dr. Orlof don’t come around but once in a lifetime, and now is as good a time as ever to check this, and many more, cult masterpieces thanks to the folks at Kino Lorber.

Oh, and horror isn’t the only genre focused on here. Are you a fan of Italian crime pictures? Ugo Piazza’s fantastic and deeply influential Caliber 9, the start of his Triology, is available in all of its glorious HD beauty. That’s definitely one not to be missed.

For the full run down of films and to purchase, head to Kino-Cult

Joshua Brunsting

Josh is a critic, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, a wrestling nerd, a hip-hop head, a father, a cinephile and a man looking to make his stamp on the world, one word at a time.

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