Soundies: The Ultimate Collection Is the Pick of the Week

Just like with a few of my previous PotW posts, I have to do this one differently as well. I don’t have a real social and movie-going life on the outside of the Internet. However, browsing through this week, I found at least one that sounds interesting and intriguing. It is called Soundies: The Ultimate Collection, which will be a four-disc set presenting 200 shorts, including those of jazz, country-western, folk, and boogie-woogie roots of rock n’ roll.

What are soundies, you say? Well, they were three-minute American musical films, each displaying performances, which were generally edited together on a reel that ran on a continuous loop. In the 1940s, they were made to be viewed on self-contained, coin-operated, 16mm rear projection machines called Panorams, which were found in nightclubs, bars, restaurants and other public places. They included “cheesecake” sections- striptease, burlesque routines or shots of women in bathing suits, which were used to lure in wartime personnel on leave. I think they were created to give people some optimism and a chance of hope during and after World War II.

They also starred little-known performers who would go to have famous careers, such as Duke Ellington, Doris Day, Alan Ladd, Ricardo Montalban, as well as those whose careers were dwindling. They gave many outlets to African Americans, such as Dorothy Dandridge, Louis Armstrong, and others, who were missing from mainstream audiences.

Reading about this really attracted me to this set because it sounds like one that could represent a bygone and important era of American history, a history that needs to be forever remembered. I think this would do wonders for many history classes in schools, except for Florida, where history doesn’t matter, among other things. Read my review.

Other releases:

One False Move (Criterion): Carl Franklin’ 1992 neo-noir indie classic starring the late, great Bill Paxton as a small-town police chief who awaits a gang of killers (Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Beach, and Cynda Williams). Available on 4K UHD & Blu-ray. Read David Wangberg’s review.

The Boogeyman (Vinegar Syndrome): Ulli Lommel’s grisly 1980 indie “Video Nasty” about two siblings who face off with a boogeyman from their past: their mother’s abusive boyfriend who spirit lives on in the mirror that witnessed his murder. Available on 4K UHD & Blu-ray.

Effects (AGFA): An underground DIY horror movie created by George A. Romero’ friends Tom Savini, Joe Pilato, and John Harrison which concerns crew members of a company who shoot a horror film that begin to suspect that the “killings” in the movie are real, and that they are actually making a “snuff” film. Available on 4K UHD & Blu-ray.

Prague Nights (Deaf Crocodile): A 1969 anthology film consisting of odd tales of bizarre temptation gone wrong in a house of Prague that supposedly contains the philosopher’s stone.

Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story (Cinedigm): A documentary about the legendary Robert Englund who became one of the groundbreaking horror icons of our generation with his iconic portrayal of supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger in the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise. It also features interviews with Englund and his wife Nancy, Lin Shaye, Eli Roth, Tony Todd, Heather Langenkamp and more.


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