Tomas Sandquist and Jason Meredith run the Swedish distribution company Last Exit Entertainment. They have released awesome films like Horsehead and Der Samurai, which got more readily available releases from the US based company Artsploitation Films; however, if you order from Black Lava, you have undoubtedly seen their past releases of Philosophy of a Knife and Nails. Their dedication to the films of psychedelic-surrealist-horror-maniac Andrey Iskanov has been impressive to say the least.
When I was approached about their upcoming Visions of Suffering release, I was intrigued. I already owned the Unearthed Films rarity, but wanted to see what this “director’s cut” was all about. The first thing that jumped out was the fact that this new version was thirty minutes shorter than the original film. This may be the first ever director’s cut that is shorter than the original. With this being said, I was pretty pumped to figure out what the hell this movie was supposed to be.
Upon viewing, I found this to be an incredibly interesting ride. It is a re-make/re-boot/re-edit, with a sequel-ish subplot thrown in just to make it a little more confusing. The film itself has been cleaned up significantly, giving it the look of one with a much higher production value. The plot follows similar creatures and demons with the crazy look of many of his past special effects forays into the world of the demonic. This version maintains the visual feel of the original, while greatly improving upon lighting and color correction. Cutting the film down even made it feel like more of a movie than the original work. That film, while really good, still managed to drag. This new version eliminates the pacing issues from the original and even adds some grotesque scenes of necrophilia and other underground film atrocities for the fans of the darkest of obscure cinema.
So to all of the collectors out there, I would definitely jump on this one. Like many of Iskanov’s other films, it takes you down a surreal trip into the minds of some crazy ass characters. It has an art-house with practical effects that rival the best of the underground gore films out there. You will be able to buy this film from Black Lava and the Last Exit webshop. I would also keep an eye on Diabolik DVD and Strange Vice as well.
**It will have English, German, Swedish and French subtitles. The limited edition will have a soundtrack CD. The most up to date list of extras includes: a soundtrack CD, a personal introduction, by Andrey Iskanov, vehind the scenes photo gallery with music by Andrey Iskanov, footage from the world premiere at Sadique Master Film Festival and 2 music videos directed by Andrey Iskanov.**