Massive documentary on Florida exploitation movie maker coming to DVD.
Filmmaker Daniel Griffith is well known for the endless series of thoughtful, meticulously detained behind the scenes features and long form documentaries he makes for cult film DVD and Blu-ray releases, everything from working on the back end of Shout! Factory’s MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 box sets to producing feature pieces about the making of Hammer’s VAMPIRE CIRCUS for Synapse Films.
Griffith knows and loves cult cinema and takes pleasure in celebrating even the most fringe-dwelling figures, respectfully shining a light on their legacies for generations to come.
One of his most interesting recent pictures is THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP: THE FILMS OF WILLIAM GREFÉ, a feature-length documentary from Griffith’s Ballyhoo Motion Pictures imprint that tells the wild tale of Florida’s most beloved exploitation filmmaker.
Have you ever seen a Grefé film?
This writer’s first waltz with Grefe’s world came in a 4am teenaged TV screening of Grefé’s 1966 romp DEATH CURSE OF TARTU, a technicolor voodoo meltdown shot on some Tampa beach and as awesomely tacky a picture as you’d ever see. For years I told people about the movie, but no one believed me it existed, until much later Something Weird Video put it out on DVD on a double bill with the equally awesome Grefé joint STING OF DEATH and I had the goofy proof.
I loved them both.
Here’s some text from Griffith’s official press release for THE CAME FROM THE SWAMP:
When it came to independent filmmaking in the sunshine state, William Grefé was the wildest of the wild! During the 1960s and 70s, the Miami-based producer/director transformed the darkest corners of the Florida swamps into his own personal backlot. From rampaging crocodiles possessed by an ancient Seminole witch doctor (DEATH CURSE OF TARTU) to a slithering serpent named STANLEY, William Grefé would grind out low-budget exploitation films for drive-ins and hardtops around the world. Now, without the benefit of cages or other protective devices, the untold story of Florida’s most daring moviemaker comes to the screen…IN PSYCHEDELIC COLOR!
Featuring over 20 interviews, including STEVE ALAIMO (“Wild Rebels”), DOUG HOBART (“Sting of Death”), GARY CRUTCHER (“Stanley”), RANDY GRINTER (“Whiskey Mountain”), CHRIS ROBINSON (“Stanley”), FRED OLEN RAY (Scalps), FRANK HENENLOTTER (“Basket Case”), JOHN DAVIS CHANDLER (“Hooked Generation” & Mako), DAVID F. FRIEDMAN (“She Freak”), and HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS (“Blood Feast”), plus a special guest appearance by WILLIAM SHATNER (“Star Trek”), this explosive documentary packs enough THRILLS, CHILLS, and GILLS to make your skin CRAWL!
Come on..tell me you’re not even a bit excited about this movie…
THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP is a limited edition, 2 disc set featuring three hours of bonus material, including the 1977 film, WHISKEY MOUNTAIN (presented in Widescreen for the first time on home video). Other features include a NEW documentary short on the history of Crown International Pictures, two vintage William Grefé short films (one starring William Shatner), one vintage promo film, a special Legends Award intro from actor Bruce Campbell, deleted scenes, a William Grefé trailer gallery, still gallery and more! This collectible set will be released on April 19th, just in time for the Drive-In theater season!
Only $29.99 plus shipping. That’s not all! The first 100 copies sold will receive a FREE STANLEY insert booklet signed by William Grefé and Daniel Griffith!
For more on the film and the world of Daniel Griffith, visit the official Ballyhoo Site.