One thing I genuinely admire about UK-based distributor of Italian cult films on DVD, Shameless Screen Entertainment, is their willingness to involve the directors of the films they release. Last year, they put out a copy of Piero Schivazappa’s The Frightened Woman, which reassembled the film into a full length cut which the director then went on to approve. This April 27th, they’ll be doing the same again on an even grander scale with their release of Corrado Farina’s Baba Yaga.
This film had a particularly unfortunate history, having been re-edited by its producers behind Farina’s back while he took a few days off after locking the film. When he returned from his holiday, he found that his film had been butchered with the missing elements having seemingly been destroyed, and he had no choice but to attempt to salvage what remained. It was this version that was ultimately released on DVD in the US by Blue Underground in 2003, with the deleted materials presented in poor quality video dupe form as a bonus feature. Now, however, Shameless has gone one step further and it has been (as per the press release) “restored, re-graded, re-edited and re-imagined” by Farrina himself. Time will tell just how significantly different this new cut will be, and whether or not a better quality source has been obtained than what we saw on the Blue Underground DVD, but I suspect I’ll be holding on to that earlier release for posterity purposes.
The specs certainly sound good, offering both English and Italian audio with optional English subtitles (a significant step up from the BU DVD’s English-only presentation), and an array of extras including a new introduction and interview with Farrina, two short films he directed, and a “Shameless Fact Track” by the knowledgeable Wilson Bros. And, on top of all that, you’ve got to love the quote from Farrina on the front cover:
Finally, after 35 years, you can see my film as it was before the producers hacked it to pieces.
The press release also mentions that another little-seen Italian 70s gem, Luigi Bazzoni’s Footprints, will also be coming to DVD courtesy of Shameless.
Source: DVD Times