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Saturday, December 3, 2011


Living in the present day has a lot of advantages that people only a few decades ago had not! Can you imagine living in a world that has no computers, no internet, no HD- or 3D-television, no DVD's, no cell phones,.... hardly I guess! Everybody is so used to this that it would be very hard to go back to that time! Living in present day times is for genre fans like living in genre heaven! Everything what makes a genre fan's heart skip a beat is today available only a klick away! Instant gratification!
At the end of the 60's and in 70's it was another story. If you where a genre fan there were not that many venues to cater your hobby. You went to the movies, bought movie magazines, went to conventions if you were lucky enough to live close enough to city that held these conventions or bought the records with the original soundtracks of all the movies that you loved so much. Through the music you could recreate the movie in your mind. And that was probably it! So die hard fans were looking for a means to see a movie again and again when recreating in their minds was not enough anymore! Enter 8mm movies!
Developed by Kodak Eastman during the early 1930's in America, 8mm became the home movie standard format for the home movies market. In the decades after the launch of the 8mm format it was mainly used to film home activities like weddings, birthday's, parties.... or the killing of J.F. Kennedy in Dallas, filmed by a man named "Zapruder" with his 8mm camera. During the 70's the demand by genre fans to have a copy of a favorite movie grew more and more. The idea that people would never see a movie again when they had seen it was replaced by the wish to be able to build a movie library of favorite movies. So in those pre-video days the 8mm movies appeared on the market for fans that could be projected at home on a screen or white wall with the same projector that was used to project the home made movies.
All the genres that are today still popular were also popular in those days but the number of movies offered where very limited to the blockbusters of those days! Another problem was that you could not buy these movies very easily. It was often a real adventure to get them. You could order them through the mail on the basis of ads in trade papers or movie magazines or you needed to travel to the nearest town to buy them at the local photographer's store or in a shopping mall. And then it was not guaranteed that you could buy all the parts of a movie to have a complete set. For a genre fan it was a lot of hassle to have a certain movie! Another disadvantage was the fact that those movies were limited in footage to around 20 or 30 minutes for each part so you had a heavily cut movie. In the end the 8mm movies became not very popular and stayed in a niche of movie fandom and almost completely disappeard with the rise of the video format at the end of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's.
For Marisa Mell fans there are almost no 8mm movies in existence. The illustration with this entry comes from a 8mm Spanish copy of the Umberto Lenzi movie "Milano Rovente". I know of an 8mm copy of the German movie "Der Brave Soldat Schwejk" and that is it! Fortunately it became much better with the video craze and nowadays with DVD's and the internet you can have almost a complete series of Marisa Mell movies at your disposal!

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