Bizarre (1970)
Synapse Films
Cast: Richard Shulman, Janet Spearman, Dorothy Grumbar
Extras: Commentary Track, Video Interview, Trailer

Synapse Films has in the past released some independent films and some schlocky material but with ’Bizarre’ even this studio treads new territory. Originally released under the title ’Secrets Of Sex’ in 1970, this film is an anthology of weird episodes all surrounding a sexual theme in one way or another. To give it more cache the film uses a mummy as a narrator to lead us from one vignette to the next, adding a bit of horror flair and wit to the entire experience.

The episodes themselves vary quite a bit in theme and cover the most bizarre sexual fantasies you may have ever witnessed, including a ménage a trois with a lizard. Others feature topless safe crackers, photographers torturing their models and more. All very weird and bizarre, making it impossible to judge this film by any cinematic standards. It is a cult film through and through the way Russ Meyer films are. They are not good but something makes them watchable despite their obvious inadequacy. The same is true here to some extend. Fans of bizarre sexploitation will find plenty of dark fantasies here, including two episodes by William Burroughs that have not been released in the US before.

The transfer of the film is average. Given the schlocky nature of the film it doesn’t matter relay, though that the image is a bit grainy and washed out and that color is inconsistent and offers weak black levels. Again, anyone watching this views it for its content, not the cinematic merits, so it shouldn’t weigh in too much.

The audio on the release is the original mono track that is in comparable good shape.

This is the uncut version of the film that was never before released in the US and as extras, Synapse Films has added a commentary track by producer Richard Gordon and film historian Tom Weaver. It is an interesting commentary, if only to hear how these guys can get excited about this film and how they dissect it and sometimes also mock it.

A video interview with the writer as well as the film’s trailer are also included.

’Bizarre’ delivers what the title promises. A truly bizarre experience. This film is not for everyone by any means, but fans of the genre will find a cult gem like none other. View at your own risk.