Friday, December 02, 2011

Pam is back? Actually, she never left.

Hot on the heels of Pam Grier’s comeback in Quentin Tarantino’s JACKIE BROWN (1997) and the release of the Tarantino/Miramax-backed blaxploitation coffee table book What It Is, What It Was!, New Horizons Home Video reissued three of the movies that Grier starred in for producer Roger Corman under the tag line “She’s back.” Here’s the four-page promotional brochure that New Horizons sent out in early 1998 to advertise their Pam Grier (“The Queen of Blaction”) line of VHS tapes. It’s the same approach Orion Home Video had taken ten years earlier when they released a half dozen of Pam’s American International movies at the height of the video boom, except those were priced higher for rental and these carried a $14.98 SRP. Compare this brochure to the ho-hum way in which Shout! Factory is currently pushing the same movies on DVD/ Blu-ray -- three of them together in a “Women in Prison” collection and the fourth in a separate “Lethal Ladies” volume -- and you might actually believe for a minute or two that Pam's name is no longer a major selling point. It is, but since Shout can’t get its niche titles into major retail chains anymore unless they’re packaged as 3’fers, and because rental shops and smaller independent stores like Entertainment Outlet are nonexistent outside of a few major cities, no one is going to see Pam’s name on the front of a DVD/Blu-ray case anyway unless they go looking for it -- online.

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