Fantoma Films releases DVD titles by Fassbinder, Jodorowski, Coffin Joe, Kenneth Anger

Fantoma logo (top) and three of its Coffin Joe releases

James Healey’s San Francisco-based Fantoma Films is filling a niche demand for important, if little known films on DVD. Healey’s company licenses the movies and uses American Zoetrope’s mastering facility to transfer the prints to the digital format for release on DVD. A look at Fantoma’s releases illustrates the rarefied tastes to which the company plans to cater.

Fantoma’s first release was Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Fando & Lis. Widely considered to be a modern surrealistic masterpiece and the debut of a major filmmaking talent, the movie played once at the 1968 Acapulco film festival and shocked viewers so much that they rioted, shutting down the festival and nearly killing Jodorowsky himself.

Fantoma’s newest release, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Whity also hails from the arcane, but is likewise a favorite of critics and movie buffs alike. Whity was the first of Fassbinder’s psychological dramas and won Berlin’s Golden Bear Award in 1971 (Germany’s equivalent of a Best Picture Oscar) but has remained virtually unseen and unavailable in the U.S. until now.

Fantoma promises more obscure gems in the future, and with state of the art mastering facilities and a critic’s eye for films, films buffs can expect to be treated to some great DVD viewing by the new company.

Check out Fantoma’s website for exciting news regarding the upcoming releases of six classic films by Brazilian horror legend Coffin Joe, including At Midnight I’ll You’re your Soul, Awakening of the Beast, and This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, all scheduled for a March 2001 release. Coffin Joe, the screen name of Jose Mojica Marins, has been described as a cross between Luis Buñuel and Russ Meyer. His passion for real spiders and snakes, nudity, and gore are without precedent.

Also planned is the very special DVD release of the Sundance award winning documentary, Coffin Joe - The Strange World of Jose Mojica Marins. (Click here for more info on this incredible documentary.)

Stay tuned for additional news regarding the planned release of a trilogy of underground films from the legendary Kenneth Anger, author of "Hollywood Babylon".