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Who we are

Vinegar Syndrome was born in the winter of 2012, the brainchild of digital film preservationist Ryan Emerson and theatre programmer and film collector Joe Rubin. In our four years of existence, we have become internationally recognized as one of the leaders in the preservation and distribution of genre film from the 60s through the 80s. With a never wavering goal of performing expert level preservations of grindhouse classics and obscurities, our work has been praised everywhere from the New York Times, Village Voice, Dangerous Minds and The Foglenest Files. The Alamo Drafthouse Theatre chain recently labeled Vinegar Syndrome “perhaps the most important home video label in the world for genre film — the Criterion Collection of exploitation/horror/weirdo movies.”

What we do

At VS, we’re always searching for the rarest and most interesting genre films we can find. With a constantly growing in-house film archive consisting of thousands of 35mm and 16mm negatives and prints, there’s always a new treasure to be discovered and released.

Film restoration can easily become a tricky subject especially with a lack of general consensus on how to do it ‘right.’ Our goal is to as accurately as possible recreate a theatrical viewing experience. We never employ any noise/grain reduction and use digital restoration tools only to remove or reduce severe image damage. All film scanning, color grading, digital restoration and disc authoring is performed in-house by our sister company, OCN Digital Labs.

Our favorite part. Constructing a completed DVD or Blu-Ray offers these films an opportunity to have a new life on home video (and theatrically, in some cases), find new fans and rediscover old ones. All of our films are available for theatrical bookings as DCP and when available, 35mm prints.

Vinegar Syndrome?

Our namesake is a constant reminder of what we’re fighting against. Simply put, the term ‘vinegar syndrome’ describes a chemical reaction that deteriorates motion picture film over time. Film preservation is a race against time, especially with neglected genres and underground films.

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