Network has unveiled two lesser-known drive-in gems from the golden age of American genre cinema, both restored in glorious HD and making their Blu-ray debuts in stunning multi-region releases, as well as DVD and Digital releases too. First up, fasten your seatbelts for the deranged, lost grindhouse classic Miss Leslie’s Dolls, which is being unearthed on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD for the first time on September 3rd after decades of gathering dust. Then on September 17th, the criminally underseen psychedelic 1960s noir Who Killed Teddy Bear starring Sal Mineo makes its worldwide Blu-ray and VOD debut, complete with fascinating extras.
A rare specimen from the more deranged end of the grindhouse spectrum, Miss Leslie’s Dolls is a memorably demented tale of possession and transvestitism from director Joseph G. Prieto (who, under the name Joseph P. Mawra, directed the outrageous 1965 lesbian sexploitation ‘documentary’ Chained Girls). Believed lost for decades, it has been remastered from original film elements especially for this release. Stranded in the backwoods during a thunderstorm, a beautiful teacher and her three promiscuous students take refuge at a lonely house owned by the middle-aged Miss Leslie. Miss Leslie, however, is less a mild-mannered spinster and more an axe-wielding, homicidal cross-dresser intent on transferring his spirit into the nubile body of any girl foolish enough to come visiting… Miss Leslie’s Dolls has been newly scanned from one of the few surviving prints in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The restoration carried out involved careful grain management, both automated and manual removal of film dirt and damage, and correction of major instability, warping and density fluctuations.
A grim police detective embarks on a one-man crusade to track down a depraved sex maniac when a nightclub dancer receives a disturbing series of obscene phone calls. Finding himself getting far too close to the victim for comfort, the hard-boiled cop must track down the unbalanced pervert before he can carry out his sick threats… Refused certification on its original theatrical release due to its sleazy, taboo-breaking nature, this psychological crime thriller features strong performances from Sal Mineo as a bodybuilding, pornography-addicted bus boy and Juliet Prowse as a victimised nightclub hostess. Showcasing Oscar-nominated cinematographer Joseph Brun’s breathtaking imagery of pre-clean-up Times Square and 42nd Street, this forgotten neo-noir masterpiece of American independent cinema still retains the power to shock, and crackles with energy from its smart dialogue, electrifying performances and groovy dance sequences. Previously available only on DVD, Who Killed Teddy Bear has been newly scanned from one of the few surviving 35mm prints in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The restoration carried out involved careful grain management, both automated and manual removal of film dirt and damage, and correction of major instability, warping and density fluctuations. Missing frames/sections have been re-instated from a 16mm print and the image matched as far as possible but a difference in visual quality may be occasionally noticed.