Synapse Films came to be after I left Elite Entertainment. I left Elite and started Synapse with my long-time friend, Jerry Chandler. We're in our 12th year now and going strong. Like Elite we focused on horror films, but we expanded to doing comedies, dramas, documentaries, etc. We are the longest running independent DVD company that still continues to release films on a monthly basis.
Q: How do you think DVD and the internet has changed the way people watch movies?
Were just now seeing how powerful a medium the internet is for watching movies and, unfortunately, what I'm seeing, so far, is bad. With faster internet speeds and more powerful computers and larger hard drives, it's very easy for bootleggers and pirates to spread copies of things illegally. But, that being said, I think the future is in fiber optic film distribution. Sooner or later, I wouldn't be surprised if actual "physical" discs are no longer feasible. In the future, I bet we'll just click a button and a movie will play on our home systems.
Q: What tend to be your favorite sub-genres? (horror and sci-fi)
I'm a big fan of "haunted house" movies. I love 'em. Things like POLTERGEIST, LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, BURNT OFFERINGS and the original version of THE HAUNTING. I don't know why, I've just always been a fan. There's a lot of atmosphere and, I guess, the fear of having something infect where you live kinda gets to me. For sci-fi, I'm more of a fantasy epic fan than a futuristic/spaceship themed movie fan. I love stuff like CLASH OF THE TITANS, THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, HERCULES, etc.
Q: What three horror movies have affected you the most?
Well, my all-time favorite horror film is THE EXORCIST. It scarred me for life. I saw it when I was 6 or 7 years old and I should NEVER have watched it at that age. I cried, I was horrified and slept in my mom and dad's bed for days afterward and I still won't watch it alone. The next was the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I saw it on TV when I was younger, watching it late at night and it was pretty frightening for me. I remember some shadows from the trees outside our living room window moving around and scaring me while I watched it. I guess the next would be the original FRIDAY THE 13TH, not because it was scary to me (it wasn't), but it was my first exposure to the work of Tom Savini and the elaborate special effects that could be achieved to gross you out. I hadn't seen DAWN OF THE DEAD yet, though… I say FRIDAY first. Savini's work was groundbreaking and it helped solidify my love for the genre, really.
Q: You've recently released three Japanese movies by Minoru Kawasaki which are these weird genre spoofs. What made you decide to release these movies?
We love Japanese films. We have a whole series of Japanese films through our label, so Japanese companies tend to send us a lot to look at. When we got these in, we didn't know what to expect. My business partner started watching them and he was laughing pretty hard. They were just funny and struck the right chord with us, so we put in an offer and get the titles. Unfortunately, the general public didn't think the same way we did, as they pretty much tanked for us sales-wise. Too bad, because they really are funny and people should see them.
Q: You also have the 42nd STREET FOREVER series, which are collections of exploitation movie trailers from around the world. Are you surprised that these have been so well-received? They just don't make trailers like that anymore...
Before we even did the first release, we'd had loads of requests for something like this from the fans. These trailers are classic and, you are right, they certainly DON'T make 'em like that anymore. I've always been a fan of trailers. In the 80s, during the videocassette days, there was a compilation called MAD RON'S MOVIE TRAILERS FROM HELL that was one of my favorites. I'm just glad we can do a series like this for the fans. We will continue to make new volumes as long as people keep buying them, and we don't see any signs of stopping any time soon. They are a big hit with places like Best Buy, too, so that's nice to hear.
Q: You also release IMPULSE PICTURES DVD titles, which are more T & A rather than horror and sci-fi. Are you going to expand into any more DVD lines?
We haven't given it much thought, really, but if anything else pops up that doesn't fit the foreign sex or horror/cult markets, then we might.
Q: What are some of your upcoming releases?
We have about thirty titles that we have yet to announce officially, so we quite a line-up for the future. But, so far in 2009, we have the following coming:42ND STREET FOREVER VOL. 4, SCHOOLGIRL REPORT #5 & #6, Christina Lindberg's classic called EXPOSED, John Russo's THE BOOBY HATCH, a few Brazilian films like THE CHICK'S ABILITY and VIOLENCE AND FLESH, Ed Lee's HEADER, SICK GIRL, BASKET CASE 3, THOU SHALT NOT KILL… EXCEPT and a few more surprises I can't announce yet!