Last Monday, while the rest of the world was busy sleeping off the Birdemic World Premiere, I awoke early on for what I knew was sure to be a deeply spiritual experience.
The supervision of the restoration of Loose Screws.
For those of you not in the know, Loose Screws is to Screwballs as Evil Dead II is to Evil Dead. The epic followup to the standard bearer for 80s Canuxploitation teen sex comedies, Loose Screws dominated discriminating VHS collections throughout the decade. After Severin uncorked Screwballs last year, the hands of fate clearly pointed towards Severin releasing the sequel.
For years, I had only stored hazy 4×3 memories of Loose Screws in my memory bank. Alas, at 9, I was too young to see the film in its widescreen glory, so I never got a chance to witness the full scope of director Rafal Zielinski’s epic vision. This is because until now, just like Screwballs, Loose Screws had never been out on DVD, let alone Blu-Ray, in its original aspect ratio.
When we found out that a rare 35mm IP of Loose Screws was sitting in a vault in outermost Glendale, it was a cause for celebration. Because the existence of such a pristine element meant the stuff of which DVD dreams are made.
So, by last Monday morning, I could barely contain my excitement as the first reel was strapped onto the Spirit. As the first frames flickered to life, I attempted to high five the telecine operator, but in my excitement missed badly and only ended up grazing his beard. Because this element was, pound for pound, the best, most well-preserved piece of IP I had ever seen.
Don’t believe me? Just wait until the DVD and Blu-Ray hit the street. Don’t want to believe me? Fine. Here’s some instantaneous proof. (Click frame grabs to enlarge)
1) The opening credit from the VHS, followed by the opening credit from the 35mm IP. As you can see, they had to compress the logo to fit the cropped picture. Also note the rich, mid-80s luster of the colors from the 35mm IP. Those colors simply do not exist anymore.
2) The mooning incident on VHS, then the 35mm IP. As you can see, the girl on the left with the red polka dot panties has been nearly totally expunged from the 4×3. I wonder if the technician who conformed the 4×3 version was a racist.
3) The breast inspection scene. That the bastards could have cropped a shot like this in the first place was reason enough for some sort of protest.
So, stay tuned to severin-films.com over the next few months, as we’ll have more on what is sure to be the 80’s teen sex comedy release of the year.