CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS Comes to Limited Edition Deluxe VHS via New Wave Independent Pictures / Retrosploitation! Click for Trailer and Full Details on the Release!
The Teenage Videovore Johnny Dickie is likely to have already invaded your VCR with his 2012 VHS-centric, low-budget trashterpiece Slaughter Tales, and now, thanks to the rewind-inclined crew at Australia-based indie film distro New Wave Independent Pictures, Dickie’s punk rock, gore-soaked neon nightmare City of the Dream Demons is ready to unleash a flood of sludge, slime, gore and grime all over a VCR near you! We were able to catch up with NWIP main brain John Klyza and extract all the drippy details about their release of CotDD, which is now available on DVD (if you’re into that sort of thing!), VHX streaming, and of course, totally radical limited edition deluxe VHS. Here’s those exclusive words with John all about how the Dream Demons oozed their way into his domain…
CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS writer, director, editor and SFX dude Johnny Dickie in the (rotting) flesh!
Tell us a little bit about how you became familiar with Johnny Dickie’s work, and how you came to get involved with releasing CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS… I was impressed by Johnny Dickie's SLAUGHTER TALES. It hearkened back to movies like CREEPSHOW but from the angle of an actual young fan rather than a grown up fan. Those are two very different types of people. Most fans wait till they're adult to pull the trigger, but Johnny just went straight for it. The results, rough edges and all, were a delight when judged on its own merits instead of within the typical hierarchy where budget and names determine its general place on the ladder. Briarwood Releasing really ran with the flick's perceived shortcomings and maximized their marketing potential. I viewed a screener of Johnny's next movie CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS and saw it as the next step up for him in terms of a, I guess, linear storyline? So I approached him with the idea of distributing it as a sort of cheap punk GATES OF HELL riff type of thing.
The artwork for the release is totally killer, man. It has a familiar feeling to it for sure. Can you give us some details on it? I‘ve recently expanded my Retrospolitation label into a larger shell called New Wave Independent Pictures and was feeling nostalgic for my earlier releases over twenty titles ago, so I was looking to enlist Stephen Romano from Eibon Press for the poster art. He did our very first in 2012, SLEEPAWAY CAMP 4. Stephen had created a bunch of fake posters for an online gallery series called RETRO 13 at Dread Central, and some of them were for movies that didn't even exist. Like DAWN OF THE MUMMY 2: WRATH OF THE UNDEAD. For that one, he based it on the poster art of HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD, which itself was ripped off from GATES OF HELL. If you're still with me on this, I wanted to continue the chain of international homage and apply his art to a film that in fact did exist. So we were able to make a deal that allowed me to recycle his art and use it for CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS. I was able to hack away at it, hopefully respectfully, and create a different style with it.
The radical cover art from Stephen Romano paying homage to a couple of horror home video essentials!
I dig the homage, man. I’m sure a lot of others will pick up on it, too, and totally get the nod. Can you tell us a little about the extras on the release DVD / VOD release? You went with VHX for streaming… So now, this little DIY punk movie had this totally sophisticated poster and cover art which meant I had to step up my game and offer a product more substantial then the fly-by-night distributor styled release I initially planned. To that end, I made sure we had some more video content for the release - Johnny raided his hard drive for unrealized concepts he tried out after SLAUGHTER TALES, one of which would end up evolving into CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS. The DVD version has been programmed, and is available via Amazon. The VOD is already out, too. We hooked up with VHX to become our new digital partners because they allow a lot more freedom in packaging streaming releases - it meant we could include the same extras as the DVD release so no one misses out on anything. VHX are the guys taking VHS into the digital age, not as just a gimmick, but in a "this is the next step" way. I always wanted to live in a world where VHS never went anywhere, and man... VHX makes you believe.
And last but certainly not least, can you spill all the details for the VHS? The full package looks absolutely VHStellar, man… For the VHS, dubbed “The Underground Edition”, it includes a bunch of pre-order bonuses for 25 numbered copies only: the poster, so we had to do an A3-sized poster because it was just meant to be up there on the wall. We've got the killer cover art on semi-gloss cardstock in a clamshell case, with our house style spine design which lines up well with our recent and future releases. No serial numbers, because I don't want anyone feeling they have to grab all our titles. It's more like "grab what ya want" They'll look great on your shelf lined up in any order. Like the other formats, we have the extras in there. I wanted to include something to riff on the punk vibe, so we have the original Johnny Dickie concept art on a card insert. I'd say the extra I put the most time into is a mini-zine with color cover and a retrospective with Johnny inside. It's in the style of JR Bookwalter's 90's mag Alternative Cinema, which I was a reader of and know Johnny was too, seeing as how he included an issue in one scene. Pre-order pals also get a VHX digital code for the movie so they don't have to wait for the tape to arrive from our HQ here in Australia. One more thing on that, I've been offering PAL and NTSC choices on these releases and we'll see how that goes.
The absolutely stacked Underground Edition VHS for CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS. This is one outstanding analog package, man.
Man, dig that choice of PAL or NTSC. It’s good to know you can feed this slimy slab of indie horror to either of those regional machines without any sort of tape-oriented trouble. CITY OF THE DREAM DEMONS is available right now digitally streaming on VHX, and on disc via Amazon but all you Videovores out there will want to groove on over to the official New Wave / Retrosploitation store to secure a pre-order for the Limited Edition VHS bursting with all those groovy goodies. Your VCR will thank you, dude.