Legal issues delayed the release of the 1987 movie

By Clark Collis
September 01, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT

On Thursday, we detailed the four-year-long quest by Synapse Films to restore Dario Argento’s horror classic, Suspiria. But, in chronological terms, that pales in comparison to the time genre fans have been waiting for the company to release the 1987 creature feature, The Kindred.

“About ten years ago, we announced The Kindred,” says Synapse Films President Donald May Jr. “We had purchased it and it got entangled in a horrible legal battle. It was no fault of ours, we just had to hold tight until everything was finalized.”

And what is the situation now?

“You know what? It’s Entertainment Weekly — I will let you guys know, you’re the first to hear about it,” says May. “Almost ten years later, I can now say that, yes, we are doing The Kindred, finally, for 2018. While we didn’t spend four years restoring it, it took us ten years to get out of all the legal mess to finally announce it again, ten years later. I could probably write a book as to what happened with The Kindred. [Laughs] We’ll do The Kindred on Blu-ray and DVD, because honestly it’s never been legally available on Blu-ray or DVD in the U.S. So, we’ll be the first company to actually release it.”

Directed by Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow, The Kindred stars David Allen Brooks as a man who discovers he has a “brother,” the monstrous result of an experiment conducted by his scientist mother. Mayhem, unsurprisingly, ensues, in a film whose cast also features Rod Steiger, Amanda Pays, and Kim Hunter.

“It’s awesome, it’s really fun,” May says of the movie. “It was done at the tail-end of the era when everything was practical. So, you have practical effects with the creatures being made out of latex, with blood that’s made out of Karo Syrup, or whatever. There’s no computer effects in the film and that’s what we love about it. It’s a creature feature with practical gore and some really amazing prosthetic effects. I can also say that our version of The Kindred actually has more gore in it than the original U.S. version had. We ended up finding material which has extra gore which hasn’t been released here. You might think, Well, it’s a fairly unknown movie that doesn’t quite have the cachet of something like Suspiria. But we like to treat all the films that we do with the same type of respect. So, we’re doing The Kindred for next year and hopefully we’ll have a lot of extras for it.”

Watch a vintage trailer for The Kindred, above.

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