‘Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland’ Trailer: The Story of Empire International Pictures Arrives in Documentary Form
Posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Documentaries exploring the strange niche corners of the film world aren’t new, but they tend to be fascinating. Director Mark Hartley built his career on this subgenre with films like Not Quite Hollywood, which explored the Australian exploitation film scene, and Electric Boogaloo, which told the truly insane story of Canon Films and the people who worked there. Cem Kaya’s Remake, Remix, Rip-Off took a deep dive into the world of early Turkish cinema, where little things like copyrights were ignored by plucky and energetic filmmakers with no money. At their best, these kinds of docs offer genuine insight into specific film movements, especially since the directors, writers and producers involved tend to be at a point in their lives when they’re perfectly comfortable telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. At their worst, they’re still a ton of fun, offering up a smorgasbord of great clips from oddball movies.
The latest incredibly specific film history documentary on the scene is Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland: The Saga of Empire Pictures, which tells the story of producer Charles Band and the eclectic (and occasionally great) schlock his small studio brought to the screen during the ’80s. The first trailer for the film has arrived and you can (and should) watch it below.