The Black Room (Gother than The Hunger Horror Thriller)


One of the most beautiful things about the “Boutique Label” movement is the careful consideration and attention paid to films that have simply flown under the proverbial radar and been ignored for far too long. Hyped considerably by Bill Landis in the pages of Sleazoid Express yet ignored elsewhere, Elly Kenner and Norman Thaddeus Vane’s The Black Room has finally come back to give you the creeps forty years later. Why should you care? Because this movie is legit adult scary, that’s why. Larry is a family man in a rut. He wants to get kinky with his wife but their kids put a damper on that at every given turn. Much to his eternal surprise (and eventual regret,) Larry spies an ad in the local paper for a secluded “black room” ensconced in the Hollywood Hills. There, he enters a unique arrangement with a kinky brother-sister duo and finds himself the main supplier of unwilling donors to keep the brother alive. Then the wife finds out and decides to beat Larry at his own game…Hilarity does not ensue.


There’s no beating around the bush here, The Black Room is a lost classic. Elegantly shot with tons of stylish camera work, this is Suburban Gothic Chic the film The Hunger desperately wanted to be and failed due to sheer pretentiousness. Kenner and Vane had no pretense here and were working to serve the story first. The crazy thing about this film is how it works both as a parable about the dangers of marital infidelity as well as an eerie predictor of the AIDS epidemic that wound up eating the Swinger Scene alive. The Black Room is one of the most unique takes on vampirism ever filmed and Vinegar Syndrome keep knocking out the hits by dragging this classic out of the murky, smeary mess of Vestron Video and into the 21st Century in grand style. The film has been blessed with an amazing 4K transfer from the OCN that is genuinely stunning after years of enduring the old tape and bootleg DVD releases taken from that old master. A smattering of interviews make up the extra features, my favorites being the talks with Elly Kenner and old friend Mark Shostrom. Totally worth picking up on the fly, simply see this movie now. Vinegar Syndrome, we love you.


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Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

The Black Room (2024 on Blu-ray)
Directors: Elly Kenner, Norman Thaddeus Vanes
Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
4 / 5