3 More Days Until Halloween, #1: RITUALS (1977) and SAVAGES

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Three more days till Halloween. My modus operandi now is to post two movies a day: one that is questionably good, but interesting to me (and possibly you) for some obscure …
reason, and one that is a “classic” or an act of genius (…but which is still comparatively unseen in America).

RITUALS is without doubt a classic cult film. Recently re-released uncut and better than it’s ever looked by Code Red, I hesitate to show this VHS version here – but there is something to be said for sharing this in the way I originally saw it (with the night scenes so dark that they are almost incomprehensible – and all the more scary for it). Though ostensibly a DELIVERANCE rip-off, RITUALS surpasses the better known film in many ways and, though we don’t have the clean print of RITUALS that we have of DELIVERANCE (even after Code Red’s restoration work), it is just as beautiful a film if you watch closely.

I’ve also included a “bonus movie” in case you still want to watch something weird but would rather watch the cleaned up DVD release of RITUALS. SAVAGES could certainly be considered a horror film, even if a large majority of the movie is watching beautiful people in beautiful settings being beautiful. It is directed by James Ivory (ROOM WITH A VIEW, HOWARDS END) and, as far as I know, is the only film he also wrote. However, unlike the films that built his reputation, SAVAGES is a semi-psychedelic, dark, and pessimistic satire. The description tagged onto this beautifully presented streaming version is referring to some other movie, so don’t read it an think “I don’t want to watch Spanish people taking drugs and suffering from discrimination….”

The video version of RITUALS is no longer on the internet.  The version linked to here is the cleaned up Code Red DVD release.  It’s hard to keep a company like Code Red going, so please keep them alive and kicking by buying a DVD from them:

RITUALS:

http://youtu.be/din-D8jFuds

SAVAGES:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmrv06_savages_shortfilms

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