‘60s “Backwoods Double Feature” from Film Masters on Blu-ray & DVD June 25th

Backwoods Double Feature:

Common Law Wife (1963) + Jennie, Wife/Child (1968)

In Partnership with Something Weird, New 4K Scans of ‘Hicksploitation’ Cult Classics

On Blu-ray + DVD, June 25th

Make a jug of sweet tea, y’all, and enjoy some summer viewing with these “Hicksploitation” films from the ‘60s—over-the-top exploitation films that targeted cultural stereotypes of rural Southern culture. Old men cast their eyes on young women, moonshine brews in the swamps, young farm hands, town floozies … This pair of slice-of-life films transports you to the best of the backwoods!

Available June 25, the special Backwoods Double Feature collector’s edition—on Blu-ray and DVD from Film Masters—features Common Law Wife (1963) and Jennie, Wife/Child (1968), newly restored versions of two films originally released by Something Weird Video in 2003.

From a genre that doesn’t often see a lot of TLC, these films get a glow-up that provides a whole new appreciation for backwoods hillbillies. Both films are from original 35mm archival elements—with supplemental 1080p footage in Common Law Wife—for an upgraded viewing experience, on Blu-ray for the first time.

EXCLUSIVE BONUS! Ballyhoo Motion Pictures presents a new, hour-long documentary, That’s Hicksploitation: The Origin of Southern Sinema; that dives into the Hicksploitation genre, tracing its roots from the origins of film from 1930s all the way up to the 1970s. Exploring the cultural impact and importance, the documentary is narrated by C. Courtney Joyner, who also wrote the documentary.

In Common Law Wife, Shugfoot Rainey (George Edgley) trades in his longtime girlfriend (Annabelle Weenick) for a newer model … who just happens to be his niece, Baby Doll (Lacey Kelly). Unfortunately, his mistress does her research and discovers she is his common law wife … and he won’t be able to get rid of her that easily! Directed by Eric Sayers, the film is actually spliced together with an unfinished film, Swamp Rose, directed by Larry Buchanan (Mars Needs Women, 1968; It’s Alive, (1969); Naked Witch, 1964). Marketed as an “educational film” in the original trailer, it warned its potential viewers of the lecherous lives its characters led. As parts of the film were shot a few years later, Baby Doll is allegedly played by a couple different actresses, contributing to a frenzied, not completely cohesive, storyline. It’s backwoods at its best!

In Jennie, Wife/Child, aka Albert Peckingpaw’s Revenge, Albert Peckingpaw (Jack Lester) takes Jennie (Beverly Lundsford) to be his wife … But Jennie is a whole lot younger and has her eye on the young farm hand, Mario (Jim Reader)! Old Man Peckingpaw is bound to find out what’s happening on his farm sooner or later and, when he does, watch out! A catchy theme song draws you in immediately and the film features even more country-style earworms throughout. Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond, a later Oscar winner for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), elevates this film above others in the genre.

“What a treat to see these relatively little known low-budget potboilers from the ‘60s given first-class treatment with brand new restorations and extras,” said Lisa Petrucci from Something Weird, who pens the liner notes. “I think fans will appreciate the enthusiasm, time and effort that went into this wonderfully weird Blu-ray release.”

SPECIAL FEATURES:  Ballyhoo Motion Pictures documentary, That’s Hicksploitation: The Origin of Southern Sinema; archival audio commentary for Common Law Wife by director of Swamp Rose, Larry Buchanan, and film historian/Mondo Digital founder, Nathaniel Thompson; Millie De Chirico, film programmer, writer and host of the podcast I Saw What you Did, and Ben Cheaves, programmer at Turner Classic Movies, provide a new, feature-length commentary for Common Law Wife; De Chirico also provides the full-length commentary for Jennie Wife/Child; liner notes by Lisa Petrucci; original, restored trailer for Common Law Wife; and newly created trailer by Film Masters for Jennie, Wife/Child.

 Both films are presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Discs are region free and include English SDH.  Audio is DTS-HD/Dolby AC3s.

About Film Masters:

Film Masters is a consortium of historians and enthusiasts who seek to celebrate the preservation and restoration of films. We are archivists, committed to storing film elements for future generations and reviving films that have been sitting dormant for decades. By scanning in 2K and 4K, we give these lesser-known films the red-carpet treatment they deserve. Leveraging modern means of distribution to release forgotten films back into the world, we also produce original bonus materials, including feature-length documentaries, which aid audiences in contextualizing and celebrating these works of art as they were meant to be.  Visit us online at: www.FilmMasters.com

Backwoods Double Feature

Film Masters

Genre: Drama, Cult, Hicksploitation

Original Release: Common Law Wife (1963) / Jennie, Wife/Child (1968)

B&W / Not Rated

Format: Blu-ray + DVD

Running Time: Approx. 366 Minutes (Including 210 Minutes of Special Features)

                           Common Law Wife — 74 Minutes / Jennie, Wife/Child — 82 Minutes

Suggested Retail Price: $29.95 Blu-ray / $19.95 DVD

Street Date: June 25, 2024

Catalog #:  Common Law Wife — FMB011 / Jennie, Wife/Child — FMD011

UPC Code:  Common Law Wife — 760137150558 / Jennie, Wife/Child — 760137150565

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