Swedish cult classics on DVD

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A slew of Swedish cult classics is coming to DVD later this summer; six movies in one box set, ranging from futuristic dystopia to social commentary.

From one of Sweden’s most prolific small DVD labels, Studio S, comes Swedish cult classics. Movies that flopped, were ahead of their time, ridiculed by the press or shunned by the establishment. However, these cult movies were never bad movies, the label claims. The box set contains six movies that in their time were labeled as speculative, dangerous or violent, and indeed they feature plenty of sex, drugs, brutality and other insane delights. Wherever the movies were cut by the censorship, they have now been restored to their original state.

-They are both cult films and classics. Cult classics, simple as that. They give us an astonishing impression of a totally different approach to Swedish movies than what we are used to today, Studio S writes on their website.

All movies are released on DVD for the first time, and are as follows:

Raggare, 1959 (Blackjackets):
Young greasers gather at a café outside Stockholm. Roffe is the toughest greaser and kidnaps his girlfriend Bibban, when he discovers that she is out riding with other guys. Bibban falls in love with the sensitive Lasse. The film was labeled “a distinct problem of today” by media. Directed by Olle Hellbom, starring Christina Schollin, Bill Magnusson, Anita Wall, Hans Wahlgren.

Chans, 1962 (Just Once More)
16-year-old Marie has been released from a juvenile detention school. She is sent to Skåne to get as far as possible from Stockholm, where she previously lived. She is unhappy, runs away and hitchhike back to Stockholm. Directed by Gunnar Hellström, starring Lillevi Bergman, Hans Wigren, Gösta Ekman.

Miss and Mrs. Sweden, 1969
To increase sales of the magazine Veckohatten, the management decides to invest heavily in the beauty contest Miss Sweden. A communist cell is planning to sabotage the competition, because it is sexist. A satirical dystopia written by the poet and author Lars Forssell. Directed by Göran Gentele, starring Jarl Kulle, Gunn Wållgren, Margareta Sjödin.

Smutsiga fingrar, 1973 (Dirty Fingers)
A young woman dies from a drug overdose, and her brother and his friend try to find out who supplied her with the narcotics. Soon, they’re chased all over Stockholm by the cruel but suave ring leader Harry. Among what’s on the table is a fight in a brothel filled with naked girls, and when one of the thugs fails to kill the heroes, Harry has his men kill the thug with a razor blade glove. This movie has it all; suspense, drugs, murder, sex, abuse, nudity, torture, car chases and badly staged fist fights. Directed by none other than Arne Mattsson, starring Peder Kinberg, Ulf Brunnberg and Heinz Hopf.

Stenansiktet, 1973 (The Stone Face)
After losing his son in a traffic accident and his wife to mental illness, Harry moves to a gloomy Stockholm suburb. A local gang is harassing the neighborhood and Harry comes up with the idea of hiring the gang to kill the bureaucrats who are responsible for the construction of the suburb. The newspaper DN called the movie “a dime version of A Clockwork Orange. Directed by Janne Halldoff, starring Jan Blomberg, Bert-Åke Varg, Leif Möller, Ted Gärdestad.

Tabu, 1977 (Taboo)
An investigation of various sexual identities and peculiarities outside the accepted norm. The film tells the story of the sexual reformer Kristoffer and his protégés. The film was called “dangerous” by the press. Directed by Vilgot Sjöman, starring Kjell Bergqvist (now one of Sweden’s most recognised actors), Gunnar Björnstrand, Heinz Hopf and Viveca Lindfors.

Of the six movies, five are included in the book Swedish Sensationfilms, which is a strong testament to why they should be of interest to those film fans who are into the beginning of sleaze and exploitation cinema in Sweden.

Swedish cult classics hits the streets on August 29th.

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