It was announced yesterday that the American Genre Film Archive is hoping to do something special. The collective has gotten together to help preserve the morbidly prestigious titles from the SOMETHING WEIRD collection. To do so they have launched a kickstarter to purchase a 4K film scanner so they CANcreate new high def masters. The first film planned for the revival is the 1971 cult classic THE ZODIAC KILLER. Read ahead for details on the crowdfunder and how you may contribute.
The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) announces a new initiative to help preserve and redistribute titles from the Something Weird collection. The non-profit archive – which counts among its board members and advisors filmmakers Nicolas Winding Refn and Paul Thomas Anderson, and Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim and Karrie League – has launched a fundraising campaign via Kickstarter that will enable AGFA to purchase a 4K film scanner. The scanner will be used to create new high definition masters from original film elements in the Something Weird collection, as well as one-of-a-kind rarities in the AGFA archive.
Mike Vraney founded Something Weird Video in 1990. Sadly, he passed away in 2014 after a long, heroic battle with lung cancer. Vraney dedicated his life to unearthing and preserving unknown exploitation and horror movies that altered genre film history. Now AGFA has started working with Something Weird’s Lisa Petrucci, Mike Vraney’s widow and partner, to redistribute titles from the massive 35mm film collection.
“Something Weird is thrilled to be working with AGFA,” says Lisa Petrucci. “And I truly believe that Mike Vraney would be pleased with this collaboration, knowing that the lost films he rescued from the scrap heap will be forever preserved and shown theatrically to new audiences.”
The first film that AGFA will preserve is THE ZODIAC KILLER (1971). Shot in San Francisco, the movie was made in hopes of capturing the real-life Zodiac Killer. The plan didn’t work. Instead, the most outrageous and compelling “tabloid horror” vortex in the history of planet Earth was unleashed.
“THE ZODIAC KILLER is an ultra-bizarro time capsule and a crown jewel in the Something Weird treasure chest that must be seen at all costs,” says AGFA advisor Joe Ziemba. “It is a dream come true to be part of the team that is helping Something Weird preserve movies that I’ve spent my whole life exploring.”
AGFA wants to raise $30,000 by October 28 to fund this digital preservation and distribution project. Donation levels start at just $5 and go up to a $10,000. Each donation of $15 or more comes with its own unique perk, starting with tickets to see THE ZODIAC KILLER when the new digital transfer screens at Alamo Drafthouse. Depending on the donation level, additional perks range from photocopies of unseen Something Weird promotional materials to the adopting a 35mm film print in the AGFA archive, from the chance to program an Alamo screening to a life-time ticket for Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday at the Alamo.
Formed in 2009, AGFA focuses on outlaw exploitation movies that were produced from the 1960s through the 1990s – everything from manic hicksploitation epics to bloodthirsty shoestring goreblasts. AGFA has saved 35mm film prints from landfills, incinerators, and from being literally tossed into the ocean. It is a sanctuary for endangered movies.
Access is a crucial part of AGFA’s preservation mission. Every year, the archive loans hundreds of prints to arthouse institutions, film societies, festivals, universities, and distribution companies for home video release. Every act of heroism that goes into the maintenance of the collection is done by people who believe in AGFA and the future of exploitation film preservation. All of the work at AGFA happens on a shoestring – or no-shoestring – budget. The mission to complete 4K digital transfers of rare movies in the Something Weird library, which can then be easily duplicated and loaned for theatrical use, helps ensure that these nearly-extinct titles can be shared with the largest audience possible and, in effect, truly come alive. For full details, visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/agfa/agfa-and-something-weird