I don’t consider myself to be an obsessive label collector. When it comes to the “boutique” labels, like Arrow Video, I take many aspects into consideration. I have to look at price and the availability of releases from other companies. I also, of course, have to figure out if I like the film enough to get an expensive restoration or an even more expensive limited edition release. The good thing about Arrow, however, is that they really don’t disappoint. I take the same type of strategy into my Criterion Collection purchases. Many of the underground labels just involve me spreading out my time and money. I just pick up a few new things here and there.
The company that I can’t stay away from, however, is Unearthed Films. It has quickly become a “go to” for me over the last few years. Sure, it has some poor releases. I have reviewed many of their films, and found a handful of the very early releases to be a little weak. There are also a couple films that I’ve reviewed for this site that were just strange choices for their catalog. I truly thought that The Scarlet Worm would be one for that category.
I was incredibly happy to discover that The Scarlet Worm, however, was way better than I expected. While I liked a film like Revenge is Her Middle Name, I felt like it had a little more hype surrounding it than was necessary. The Scarlet Worm, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any hype at all. This lack of hype made the Blu-ray an easy pick up for less than ten bucks on eBay.
It isn’t the greatest western ever made. It isn’t even the sleaziest or goriest exploitation film; but, it is a very well made homage film. The cast consists of a bunch of unknown actors that do great work on the screen. Director Michael Fredianelli, is more well known as an editor, and you can see it in his work. He creates really nice lanscapes and stylized lighting. They fit together beautifully in his final edited picture. I am impressed by this guy so far, and believe he is someone to watch in the future. With the popularity of films like Bone Tomahawk, you may find the western gathering steam in the modern day. I think people will be looking back at this movie in a couple years saying, “how the hell did I miss this one?”
So if you are into girls, guns, and revenge stories, check this one out. It has enough sex, evil, brutality, and guns to hold the attention of anyone, not just the collector of Western films. Hopefully, it is even enough to bring some new modern era fans into an appreciation of the genre.