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Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Old 01-07-23, 10:10 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Dammit! I was all happy with myself, not spending money. I checked the site this morning on my phone and was unimpressed with the $10 selection (I was wrong about them offering up "heavy hitters" for the final day....it appears the best titles were on Day 1). The only movie I liked on there was The Grave, but I bought it last year at the Halfway sale. Good thing, too, because by the time I opened the site it was already sold out.

But then tonight I start looking at the movie descriptions, check the stills and trailers, and before I know it I'm pulling out the credit card for:
Young Girls Do
Curfew
Girls School Screamers
Detention

(funny note, I still bought Screamers even after reading the Psychotronic review for it: "This movie was released by Troma. Because no one else would.")

My total was 10 for the $10 sale, plus Alley Cat. Made in Hong Kong and Undeclared War really interest me, but I'm gonna wait for Halfway or even Black Friday proper for them.
Old 01-09-23, 11:55 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Fifteen for me. Would try more stuff if they ran a sale like this in the future. I see above that one of the honchos said this was a one-time deal, but I'll believe that when I see it. They release a lot of titles that just don't sell well, especially on the partner labels, despite the lavish packaging and supplements, aggressive hyperbole, etc. Maybe it won't be a '10th Anniversary' sale, but I'm sure they could figure out some other reason to run it again in the future. Or something close to it. If not, life goes on.

Originally Posted by Paff
But then tonight I start looking at the movie descriptions, check the stills and trailers, and before I know it I'm pulling out the credit card for:
...Detention
This is an excellent picture, dealing with a very dark time in Taiwanese history that lasted for over 40 years (so some Googling is worthwhile). It's a strong example of why people should gravitate toward Taiwanese cinema and away from mainland Chinese cinema, where filmmakers wouldn't even be allowed to tell a tale like this without being literally imprisoned. In 2022! It speaks volumes about the awfulness of authoritarianism (right wing, in this case), neatly couched in horror/supernatural tropes, and without requiring those supernatural elements to have 'real-world' explanations (Scooby-Doo!) as mainland filmmakers must still contend with to this day.

I had hoped to get this in a sale at some point, and was pleasantly surprised when it popped up at $10.

Last edited by Brian T; 01-09-23 at 12:42 PM.
Old 01-10-23, 12:57 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by Brian T
Fifteen for me. Would try more stuff if they ran a sale like this in the future. I see above that one of the honchos said this was a one-time deal, but I'll believe that when I see it. They release a lot of titles that just don't sell well, especially on the partner labels, despite the lavish packaging and supplements, aggressive hyperbole, etc. Maybe it won't be a '10th Anniversary' sale, but I'm sure they could figure out some other reason to run it again in the future. Or something close to it. If not, life goes on.
Exactly. There's no way I would have bought half the movies I did if they weren't "only 10 bucks". It's very possible I wouldn't have bought any

Not everything is Thriller, selling out over the long weekend. They definitely cleared a ton of warehouse space that would have taken years at regular or even half-off prices.



This is an excellent picture, dealing with a very dark time in Taiwanese history that lasted for over 40 years (so some Googling is worthwhile). It's a strong example of why people should gravitate toward Taiwanese cinema and away from mainland Chinese cinema, where filmmakers wouldn't even be allowed to tell a tale like this without being literally imprisoned. In 2022! It speaks volumes about the awfulness of authoritarianism (right wing, in this case), neatly couched in horror/supernatural tropes, and without requiring those supernatural elements to have 'real-world' explanations (Scooby-Doo!) as mainland filmmakers must still contend with to this day.

I had hoped to get this in a sale at some point, and was pleasantly surprised when it popped up at $10.
Hope so. So far, I haven't been overwhelmed by Taiwanese cinema, but it's mostly because I've seen the bulk of the films at my film festival, and they've tended to be on the "arthouse" and experimental side. Or to put it plainly, slow and boring. Hong Kong is the Chinese territory I go for when I want thrills spills and chills.
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Old 01-10-23, 12:13 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by Paff
Hope so. So far, I haven't been overwhelmed by Taiwanese cinema, but it's mostly because I've seen the bulk of the films at my film festival, and they've tended to be on the "arthouse" and experimental side. Or to put it plainly, slow and boring. Hong Kong is the Chinese territory I go for when I want thrills spills and chills.
I hear that!

One thing that bugs me about Taiwanese cinema is its perception in the west thanks almost entirely to film festival programmers (including at TIFF up here, though they've been getting better) who've positioned it as a navel-gaze-y alternative to the anything-goes craziness that was Hong Kong cinema (I say "was" here because Hong Kong rarely produces "thrills and chills" movies these days), and mainland China's mix of censor-pleasing knockoff blockbusters and rural/suburban miserabilism that dare not assign blame. I realize that its 'arthouse' films are what sets it apart from other Chinese cinemas internationally, but Taiwan also has a solid commercial film industry covering many genres, but overall its cinema seems to have become defined by works from the likes of Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, Tsai Ming-liang, etc., and younger generations who've continued their traditions. You definitely have to be in a certain frame of mind to watch a lot of it. It's kind of like if Korean cinema forever remained known in the west for films by former 'art house darling' [and #metoo sleazeball, and COVID fatality] Kim Ki-duk, rather than the dynamic, aggressive, politically savvy crime thrillers, action movies, and romantic dramas they're celebrated for today.

It also doesn't help that a lot of Taiwanese DVDs and Blu-rays for popular, mainstream movies don't have English subs; it's almost like they prefer to hold out for western releases to take care of that, but thanks to the film fests' reliance on pimping the usual 'arthouse' suspects, we don't really get to see the full breadth of films being made there. I suppose the same could be said about Hong Kong cinema; I'm admittedly a broken record when it comes to encouraging folks to venture beyond the action and martial arts movies it's mostly known for. There's so much more, but thanks to western distributors you'd never know it.

With Taiwan cinema, a good example is a movie being released just this month by Unearthed Films on Blu-ray called INVITATION ONLY. It was Taiwan's first slasher movie, released waaay back in 2009, and a big deal locally at the time. It's not a movie I'd recommend unless you're into the whole 'torture porn' cycle from that era. It's extremely gruesome, but it's slickly made, highly commercial, with very realistic and unsettling make-up effects. It was designed in part to push the boundaries of Taiwan's ratings system, as I recall. It did alright at the local box office and got released in other Asian markets (on disc as well), but it only makes it to North America fourteen years later. Are slasher movies even a thing over here anymore? I suspect the reason Unearthed Films picked it up is the director finally had a bona fide domestic smash in 2022 with a horror movie called INCANTATION, which is apparently on Netflix now (?), so they're basically cashing in on his first film in the genre.

Mind you, if one anticipates those kinds of extremes in a more politically-motivated horror film like DETENTION (or for it to be a manic HK-style ghost thriller), they might want to temper their expectations. More chills, some thrills, few spills. And it does have some artsy pretensions. And it could've been more blunt in actually naming its representative 'monster' (which still exists in real life), so it's not above criticism.

Over the years, I've found the only way to see popular, truly 'commercial' Taiwanese cinema is via Blu-ray and DVD releases from Hong Kong. Stands to reason that such a highly commercial film hub would promote like-minded fare from surrounding cultures. But again, that doesn't easily get them into our hands over here.

The thing I appreciate the most about Taiwan cinema now, though, is the political freedom and lack of censorship that it enjoys in relation to its regional counterparts (except, sadly, the self-censorship Taiwanese filmmakers are forced to impose on themselves if they want their films shown on the mainland - ugh). The powers-that-be in Taiwan understand that movies don't foment uprisings, so they leave them be, just like Hong Kong used to. Mainland Chinese cinema has never been free in that sense and never will be in our lifetimes, and Hong Kong cinema has had its longstanding socio-political creative freedoms suppressed by the mainland (remember all those legendary 'police corruption' action pictures?). Malaysian-Chinese cinema is essentially toothless as well. So that basically leaves Taiwan as the last vestige of real creative freedom in Chinese-speaking regions.

Incidentally, DETENTION was the highest-grossing domestic film of 2019. It's banned in China, along with the video game it's based on. Neither officially exist there.

I love that.

Last edited by Brian T; 01-10-23 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-10-23, 12:18 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

But... Rebels of the Neon God... though...

Eureka's Cinematic Vengeance Joseph Kuo release was a nice little Taiwanese set.
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Old 01-10-23, 12:33 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by dex14
But... Rebels of the Neon God... though...
Hey, I name-checked Tsai above with that film in mind! I think it's a gem, but it's kinda textbook arthouse, too.

Originally Posted by dex14
Eureka's Cinematic Vengeance Joseph Kuo release was a nice little Taiwanese set.
Great set. Hoping for a Volume Two, but I suppose that depends on how well the first one sold? It would be nice to see more Taiwanese martial arts films released as such in the west. Two reasons: the Taiwanese don't make them any more, and for years, a lot of westerners thought they were Hong Kong movies because HK distributors had wider reach, dubbed them, rewrote them, renamed them, etc. Same for a lot of 70's Korean martial arts films, especially with the likes of Godfrey Ho routinely plundering them for footage to mix in with HK and/or Taiwan material to make his Frankenstein monsters.

Last edited by Brian T; 01-10-23 at 04:49 PM.
Old 01-10-23, 03:00 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Dammit, Brian you're making a really good persuasive argument for me to go out and get Detention. It's available at Hamiltonbook for $9.95.
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Old 01-10-23, 04:27 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10



As mentioned, I wouldn't be surprised if Vinegar Syndrome finds another way to clear out stock for ten bucks down the road. Of course, that doesn't mean this title will be included, but you never know.

I just think that, among all the $10 "no-brainers" (as someone called them earlier) in the VS sale, this is one that actually rewards using your brain (as in, reading more about the real horror behind it). And in terms of box-office, it was probably the most 'successful' movie in the sale, even if you have to consider that in terms of how it performed IN Taiwan, how many people saw it there, etc.

It also got 12 nominations for Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards and won five, mind you in a year where China notoriously boycotted because of the usual political tensions they themselves cause (shades of the movie!) and even forced HK legend Johnnie To to resign as jury president. He claimed other reasons . . . of course. Mind you, in Taiwan, nomination/award sweeps could be indicators of the 'arthouse' quality that Paff mentioned, but I suppose that aspect is culturally inextricable from the country's cinematic history. Or something.

Worth watching once, anyway. And ten bucks . . .
Old 01-10-23, 07:08 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by sleepyhead55
Dammit, Brian you're making a really good persuasive argument for me to go out and get Detention. It's available at Hamiltonbook for $9.95.
I was just gonna say Hamilton Books has several partner labels for more than 50% off. I grabbed Midnight Swim, the last Yellow Veil title I needed
Old 01-12-23, 12:30 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by Paff
My total was 10 for the $10 sale, plus Alley Cat. Made in Hong Kong and Undeclared War really interest me, but I'm gonna wait for Halfway or even Black Friday proper for them.
I didn't realize how many titles I ordered until I received my shipping notice

Ended up ordering Freeway (1996) & The Invisible Maniac (1990) on 4K and 7 of the $10 titles.
Old 01-12-23, 01:44 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by asianxcore
I didn't realize how many titles I ordered until I received my shipping notice

Ended up ordering Freeway (1996) & The Invisible Maniac (1990) on 4K and 7 of the $10 titles.
Shipping notice already? Are you a subscriber? They said this was their biggest sale ever, so I'm not expecting a shipping notice for quite a while.
Old 01-12-23, 01:54 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by Paff
Shipping notice already? Are you a subscriber? They said this was their biggest sale ever, so I'm not expecting a shipping notice for quite a while.
I'm not a subscriber.

I should clarify, I got a notice that they printed a shipping label for my order. Apologies for the confusion.
Old 01-12-23, 10:57 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

I got my shipping notice yesterday. Itís already on its way.
Old 01-15-23, 09:44 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

I got my 1st order already but I placed one everyday and subscribed. Think it was an error, but hey, Iíve got 3 more movies to watch while waiting for the rest
Old 07-01-23, 06:05 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10



They're doing a somewhat similar sale this week, but it looks like the price point is $12-18. New titles every day:
https://vinegarsyndrome.com/collecti...5x-vsmc-points
Old 07-01-23, 09:24 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Still some good deals to be had. Luckily I made it through Day 1 without purchasing anything, but there's still a long way to go.
Old 07-02-23, 10:24 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

I am going to try and be a little more reserved this time. Just 1 today.
Old 07-02-23, 01:02 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

I'm on the fence about Televised Terror vol 1. I love the concept, but this set only contains one movie from the 70s, the era when made-for-TV horror was actually good. (OK, Dark Night of the Scarecrow was actually '81, but close enough). But I don't know if it'll get any lower than $30...
Old 07-02-23, 02:00 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Originally Posted by Paff
I'm on the fence about Televised Terror vol 1.
I am too, for a different. I love late 80s-90s Sharon Stone but I'm not sure how much mileage in terms of rewatch I'll get out of this.
Old 07-02-23, 02:30 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

I'm also concerned that Vol 1 hasn't sold very well at all, meaning there's not likely to be a Vol 2, where they reach into the archives for some of the really good made-for-TV horror, like The Demon Murder Case. (Or at least I thought that was good when I was 15)
Old 07-03-23, 07:19 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

So far just 1 a day, that's not too bad.
Old 07-03-23, 08:46 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Just Shriek of the Mutilated for me today.
Old 07-03-23, 08:54 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Yesterday I grabbed The TV set and the Cardona one. Today Iíll probably get Shriek of the Mutilated and Death Magic.
Old 07-03-23, 10:45 PM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Nothing so far at all for me.
Old 07-04-23, 12:44 AM
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Re: Vinegar Syndrome - 10 for $10

Anyone know where to find lists of what was available for the first day? I missed that, and most online discussion of the sale that Iíve found only involves people listing what they bought, not what was available. Iím curious to see what was discounted so I donít accidentally order stuff at full price or in a half-price sale when it will probably be steeper discounted again down the road. None of the titles Iíve heard people have bought were of interest to me, or I already had them, but purchased a couple from todayís list.

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