In 2023 it will be thirty years since Redemption’s first releases appeared on the shelves and introduced the UK, and in 1997 the US, to the works of Jess Franco, Jean Rollin, Dario Argento, Bruno Mattei, and many others along with, at the time, virtually unknown and to many people, bizarre sounding genres like Exploitation, Sexploitation, Nunsploitation, WIP (Women in Prison), Naziploitation, horror and the cryptic sounding Giallo film.
Redemption was launched with just enough funds to license five films, Mask of Satan, Lisa and the Devil, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Killer Nun and Salon Kitty.There was no money for advertising or marketing and if those five films failed to sell then that was it, Game Over. I had already created the Redemption logo and a design style for the sleeves and had intended to use stills from the films to illustrate them but when the stills arrived from the producers, the images sent were often poor or in some cases non-existent. So I decided to create my own visual interpretations of the films and to use those images to reinforce and drive the identity of the Redemption brand.
I chose to use black and white photography because, combined with red and white type, it looked cool and stood out from all of the other videos on the shelf. I combined this with The Redeemer magazine which I had launched in 1992 the year before Redemption hit the shelves, to create what was at the time a unique visual style that mixed blood, fashion, and the gothic into a horror aesthetic that was Redemption.
Luckily for me it worked and those five titles sold really well and Redemption grew from there.
So now, nearly thirty years later I thought that it would be interesting to revisit some of the images we have created around the company over the years. This is a very random selection and has been determined primarily by what pictures were readily available. A lot of the earlier images need scanning and a lot more, created before digital, are on transparency and so also need scanning. These will be the subject of second online exhibition next year.
The 100 images in Redemption Revisited were, except for numbers 68 to 71 which I created for Skin Two magazine in the mid eighties, taken being 1992 and 2014 and while not all specifically used on Redemption products were created with the specific aim of promoting Redemption in one way or another. I have not included any images from our productions, the Black Mass club or the Satanic Sluts as they are worthy of their own exhibition.
Finally, we are considering publishing a History of Redemption book to celebrate our 30th and would be very interested to hear your thoughts on whether you would be interested in it? You are after all the people who made Redemption and have kept the company going and without you there would be no Redemption…