God bless Mondo Macabro for tackling the kind of esoteric European and Asian productions that wouldn’t get a second glance from another DVD company. Not only do they create the best possible technical presentation for these films, they also supplement them with extras that transform the films into educational experiences about the off-the-beaten-track side of international cinema. The Snake God is their final release for 2013 and it offers a pretty dazzling example of their approach to home video.
Things start off with an excellent anamorphic transfer of this film, a first in the U.S. for this previously rare film. Benito Frattari’s scope-format lensing looks gorgeous here, with vivid colors (especially those tropical greens) and an impressive level of detail. The original Italian mono mix is used for the audio, with English subtitles included, and presents this soundtrack in a clear, well-balanced fashion.
An educational set of extras is included. First and foremost is a 15-minute interview with writer/director Piero Vivarelli from 2010. The filmmaker is in fine fettle here as he offers a string of witty, sometimes outrageous comments about his career intercut with clips from his films. Topics covered include working with Lucio Fulci on Italian rock musicals, how he is a self-confessed “sex maniac,” making a movie with porn queen Moana Pozzi to anger conservatives and his friendship with Fidel Castro(!). Also included is his short but funny summation of The Snake God. Vivarelli has passed away since this interview was done so its inclusion is particularly valuable here.
Also included is a trailer, which offers a sexy, visually expressive montage set to the film’s score that really pushes its interracial angle. “About The Film” is a text essay on the film: it’s lengthy (22 panels), extremely well-researched and intelligently written. It covers everything you could want to know about the film, how it was conceived and its critical reception. It also includes some interesting material about a few later films that Vivarelli made in a similar vein and the topic of Italian “exotic-erotic” films in general. A set of text bios for Vivarelli, Cassini and Cunningham close things out. Like the essay on the film, they are full of fascinating info: Cassini in particular has a wild life story.
In short, The Snake God is another gem from Mondo Macabro and a must for fans of international cine-madness.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of The Snake God, click here.