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There’s Always Vanilla Blu-ray Review


“There’s Always Vanilla” is lesser George A. Romero.

Filmmaker George A. Romero may have been best known as one of the masters of the horror genre, but he made a few films outside that genre. 1971’s “There’s Always Vanilla” is one of those films. The story revolves around Chris (a wandering free spirited man who just wants to live his way) and Lynn (a model/actress who lives practically). The two cross paths and eventually fall for one another, but their lifestyles soon clash which causes problems for their relationship.

For George. A. Romero fans like myself, “There’s Always Vanilla” was a definite curiosity. Having not previously seen this rather obscure and forgotten film, it was fascinating to see him tackle a different genre (in this case a romantic drama-comedy). Content wise, screenwriter Ruddy Ricci crafted a 70’s era story about love, art, conformity, domesticity, sex, free spirits, business, responsibilities, and not fitting in. Unfortunately, the script doesn’t quite work. . It’s easy to see why Romero shunned this movie as it feels underdeveloped. For a “comedy,” there’s nothing traditionally funny here. It feels more like a dramatic romance story. I can see where the comedic moments are, but they’re underwritten so they never have an impact. In fact, the entire script feels tonally strange and incomplete. There’s so many ideas floating around in this raw, flee flowing indie film, but they never quite come together. It’s an ambitious experiment to be sure, but it’s an ambitious failure as a whole.

As messy as the film is, you can certainly see George A. Romero honing his style here. He definitely tries to make the best of the flawed script with a plethora of artistic edits and shots. Also, on a side note, it is fun to see some familiar faces from “Night of the Living Dead” and other Romero works here. In fact, the two stars Raymond Laine and Judith Ridley were both in multiple Romero films.


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The 2K restoration transfer is decent. The colors are a little washed out and some shots look better than others, but it’s just nice this is getting a proper hi-def release.

Audio Track: Uncompressed PCM Mono. How does it sound? This is a solid Mono track

Extras: * “There’s Always Vanilla” trailer * Filming location and collectible still galleries. * “Digging Up The Dead: The Lost Films Of George A. Romero”- A candid and insightful archival interview with George A. Romero who talks about his style, early films, the problems of making ‘Vanilla,’ etc. * “Affair Of The Heart: The Making Of There’s Always Vanilla”- A new half-hour making of documentary that contains interviews and discussions about the project and its reception. * A thoughtful commentary by film journalist Travis Crawford.

April 1, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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