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Vinegar Syndrome

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vinegar Syndrome
IndustryFilm restoration
Home video
Founded2012; 10 years ago (2012)
FoundersJoe Rubin
Ryan Emerson
ProductsDVDs and Blu-ray Discs (2013–present)
Exploitation.TV (2015–18)

Vinegar Syndrome is an American home video distribution company which specializes in "protecting and preserving genre films".[1] The company was founded in 2012 in Bridgeport, Connecticut by Joe Rubin and Ryan Emerson, who created it to restore and distribute lost and otherwise unavailable films. Their catalog has since expanded to include other types of cult and exploitation films, including horror films and action films.

Vinegar Syndrome has been compared to the Criterion Collection for its importance to "physical media and film preservation,"[2] as well as similarly garnering praise for high-quality home video offerings.[3][4]

In September 2021, Vinegar Syndrome announced the establishment of Vinegar Syndrome Pictures (VSP), a sub-branding dedicated to the production and distribution of films.[5] The first film released under the VSP banner was New York Ninja, which was shot in 1984 and abandoned until Vinegar Syndrome acquired the footage. Without access to the original audio or screenplay, Vinegar Syndrome then restored and reconstructed the film, adding music and newly dubbed dialogue.[6][7]


2012–13: Early history

Vinegar Syndrome, named for the acidic smell of deteriorating film, was founded in 2012 by Joe Rubin and Ryan Emerson.[8][9] The company was founded to restore and distribute X-rated films from the 1960s to the 1980s, including pornographic films released during the Golden Age of Porn, on home media.[8] Rubin and Emerson emphasized that the company is not a part of the pornography industry, with Rubin noting that they choose to restore films that they feel "provide value",[8] and stating: "We are film archivists who happen to focus on preserving sex films."[10] The first three films to be released on DVD and Blu-ray by Vinegar Syndrome were each directed by Herschell Gordon LewisEcstasies of Women, Linda and Abilene (both 1969), and Black Love (1971).[11] Previously thought to be lost, they were released in 2013 in a box set titled The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis.[11] Since that debut release, Vinegar Syndrome's catalog has expanded to include cult and exploitation films in a variety of genres, including horror films and action films.[12]

2015–18: Streaming service ventures

In 2015, Vinegar Syndrome began developing a subscription-based, VOD-style streaming service called Skinaflix, described by Rubin as "Netflix for sex films, but curated for cinephiles".[13] Funded by an Indiegogo campaign, the service was initially intended to offer sexploitation films and other X-rated works, but its catalog was expanded to include films from other genres prior to its launch.[10] Additionally, the name of the service was changed to VinegarSyndrome.TV and finally to Exploitation.TV before its launch.[12] Exploitation.TV was launched online and on Roku devices on August 20, 2015.[12] The service was discontinued on July 31, 2018, in order to allow Vinegar Syndrome to focus on its core operation of restoring and distributing films for physical home media.[14]

2021: Vinegar Syndrome Pictures (VSP)

In September 2021, Vinegar Syndrome published a press release announcing the establishment of Vinegar Syndrome Pictures (VSP), a sub-branding dedicated to the production and distribution of films.[5] The first film released under the VSP banner was New York Ninja, a film originally directed by and starring John Liu.[5][6] Though shot in 1984, the footage for New York Ninja was shelved when the film's original distributor went bankrupt, and was eventually acquired by Vinegar Syndrome.[6] Despite not having access to any audio, storyboards, or scripts from the original production, Vinegar Syndrome reconstructed the film using a new director, Kurtis M. Spieler, and dubbed dialogue recorded by such actors as Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Michael Berryman, and Cynthia Rothrock.[6][7][15]

The second film released under the VSP banner, in association with Magnolia Pictures, was the 2021 British film Censor, directed by Prano Bailey-Bond.[5] Pre-production on a new feature film by VSP is scheduled to begin in late 2021.[5]


DVD and Blu-ray

Vinegar Syndrome began publishing films on DVD and Blu-ray in 2013, starting with the release of the Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis box set.[11][16] In 2015, Chris Coffel of Bloody Disgusting ranked Vinegar Syndrome as one of the five best Blu-ray labels releasing horror films on physical media, praising the company's customer service and calling the quality of their releases "breathtaking".[3] That same year, Matt Serafini of Dread Central wrote of Vinegar Syndrome's releases: "Vinegar Syndrome has only been on the scene for a few years, but they've proved themselves a force to be reckoned with."[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Vinegar Syndrome (@VinegarSyndrome) on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Rife, Katie (November 23, 2018). "It's Black Friday—How about a free Blu-ray of Cutting Class, starring a young Brad Pitt?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Coffel, Chris (July 20, 2015). "5 Blu-ray Labels Saving Physical Media". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Serafini, Matt (December 31, 2015). "Top 10 Cult Horror Blu-ray Releases of 2015 to Add to Your Collection". Dread Central. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Vinegar Syndrome Pictures - Press Release". Vinegar Syndrome. Archived from the original on December 11, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Grode, Eric (November 19, 2021). "With 'New York Ninja,' Lights, Camera and, Finally, Action". The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Crump, Andy (November 2, 2021). "Vinegar Syndrome Finds Itself in a New York Ninja State of Mind". Paste. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Piepenburg, Erik (January 23, 2014). "Smut, Refreshed for a New Generation". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  9. ^ Hamburger, Ellis (January 24, 2014). "Vintage porn is making a comeback". The Verge. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  10. ^ a b Nastasi, Alison (February 11, 2015). "Meet the Archivists Working to Preserve Classic Sex Films". Flavorwire. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Hunter, Rob (March 19, 2013). "'The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis' Collection Reveals the X-Rated Side of the Wizard of Gore". Film School Rejects. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Rife, Katie (July 23, 2015). "Cult DVD label Vinegar Syndrome launches all-exploitation streaming service". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  13. ^ Abrams, Simon (February 27, 2014). "Meet Skinaflix, the Netflix for Aficionados of Old-School Porn". Riverfront Times. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  14. ^ "Exploitation.TV on Facebook: "We have decided to discontinue service on Exploitation.TV as of July 31st, 2018..."". Facebook. June 21, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  15. ^ "New York Ninja (VSP) – Vinegar Syndrome". Vinegar Syndrome. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  16. ^ Hall, Phil (August 10, 2017). "Saving Cult Classics in Connecticut". Take Magazine. Retrieved June 3, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 April 2022, at 03:10
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