New Compendium Examines a Quarter Century of Underground & Cult Film Distribution
For over twenty-five years, Nico B has spearheaded the home video imprint Cult Epics (NSFW) catering to niche audiences of underground, obscure, and controversial cinema from all around the globe.
His new book, Cult Epics Comprehensive Guide to Cult Cinema, is a beautifully realized hardcover collection of reviews and full color still images representing the history of the label’s diverse output.
On this episode of ZekeTalk, I had the chance to talk to Nico B about the book, Cult Epics, and the nature of the movies he puts out on DVD and Blu-Ray.
To listen to the episode online, simply press the “Play” arrow in the main image above.
A limited edition of 1000 copies, the book is divided into sections and subsections with individual essays on certain topics, films and filmmakers. Spotlighted directors include the recently departed Radley Metzger, Walerian Borowcyzk, Gerald Kargl, Agusti Villaronga, and the vintage Bettie Page-starring work of Irving Klaw, among many others. Ms. Page lands a healthy presence in the book, including material she wrote later in life specifically for Nico B’s releases. Clearly, she harbors a special place within the hearts at the center of Cult Epics.
When going through the book, though, it is the many, many choice film stills, promotional images, movie posters and DVD cover art reproductions that can’t help but truly catch one’s eye. Representing the entire sphere of Nico B’s Cult Epics’ distribution output, including commentary on his own forays into filmmaking (PIG, Bettie Page: Dark Angel, SIN), literally almost every page offers something of the eye-popping variety. Uncensored and straight-forward, the naked-bodies-per-page ratio is, by film compendium standards, particularly high. Almost all are women, and all are rarely beautiful, harkening back to whatever glory days they once took part in.
But of course, like any self respecting movie fan, I read Cult Epics Comprehensive Guide to Cult Cinema for the articles. In this quickly escalating age of women speaking out and speaking up about poor sexual treatment, and finally being heard, some may question the existence of a sexualizing volume such as this one. Which is precisely why the high quality objective writings that occupy every part of the book are so vital. If Cult Epics wanted to simply put out a sleaze-filled book, that certainly could’ve been accomplished with a fraction of the effort. Here we have excellent, informative, and journalistically solid writings courtesy of reputable film critics Ian Jane, Nathaniel Thompson, Stephen Thrower, Heather Drain, Mark R. Hasan, and more. All should be thrilled to see their past work, most of which are previously published reviews of Cult Epics’ releases, get a second life in a prestigious volume such as this.