Vinegar Syndrome

Specters / Maya

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This special limited edition spot gloss slipcover (designed by Robert Sammelin) is limited to 6,000 units and is only available on our website and at select indie retailers. Absolutely no major retailers will be stocking them.

As the close of the 1980s drew nearer, Italy continued to turn out some of the weirdest and wildest entries the horror genre had to offer - and this set of atmospheric offerings, SPECTERS (1987) and MAYA (1989), from director Marcello Avallone, are no exception! Mixing sex, mythology and bloody supernatural slayings in a dizzying blend sure to please fans of 80s terror everywhere, these sacrificial slashers are finally unleashed in their Blu-ray world premieres, newly restored in 2K from their original 35mm camera negatives by the high priests of horror at Vinegar Syndrome, alongside a treasure trove of new bonus material.

SPECTERS: Whilst excavating the catacombs at an archaeological site in Rome, a team of researchers make an astonishing discovery when nearby drilling work in the subway system causes a wall to collapse, revealing a passageway leading to a series of hitherto unexplored tunnels. Delving deeper into the subterranean labyrinth, the team uncover a cavernous tomb filled with ominous inscriptions, as well as strange, unidentifiable skeletons and a crude, sacrificial weapon. Little do the archaeologists realize that the uncovering of this burial chamber, long-since sealed off from the world, has unleashed an ancient evil intent on wreaking bloody havoc.

MAYA: Lisa, a young woman from New York, arrives in a small Mexican seaside town to identify the body of her father, a researcher into Mayan culture who has been brutally murdered in a sacrificial-style killing. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s death, Lisa decides to stay in town, where she learns about the local folklore and superstitions with the help of Peter, a young American and friend of her father. As more people are found dead, all slaughtered in a similarly gruesome fashion, and the town’s celebrations of the dead loom, could the legend of a vengeful and bloodthirsty Mayan king returning from the dead prove to be true?

directed by: Marcello Avallone
starring: Donald Pleasence, John R. Pepper, Trine Michelsen, Peter Phelps, Mariella Valentini, Cyrus Elias
1987, 1989 / 191 min (combined) / 1.85:1 / English & Italian Mono *

Additional info:

  • 2-disc Region Free Blu-ray Set
  • Newly scanned & restored in 2K from their 35mm original camera negatives
  • Presented with their original English language mono* soundtracks, as well as their Italian language dub stereo soundtracks (untranslated)
  • Audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Eugenio Ercolani (Specters)
  • "Little Roman Ghosts" (28 min) - an interview with director/co-writer Marcello Avallone (Specters)
  • "Paranormal Roman Activity" (27 min) - an interview with producer/co-writer Maurizio Tedesco (Specters)
  • "Little Specters, Little Demons" (27 min) - an interview with special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti (Specters)
  • "A Horrific Anomaly" (31 min) - an interview with film historian Eugenio Ercolani (Specters)
  • "Simply Emma" (13 min) - an audio interview with actress Erna Schürer (Specters)
  • Audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth, Nathaniel Thompson and Eugenio Ercolani (Maya)
  • "The Mexican Connection" (20 min) - an interview with director/co-writer Marcello Avallone (Maya)
  • "Second Time Around" (21 min) - an interview with producer/co-writer Maurizio Tedesco (Maya)
  • "Scream Queen Memories" (27 min) - an interview with actress Mirella D'Angelo (Maya)
  • "Mystical Mayan Melodies" (21 min) - an interview with composer Gabriele Ducros (Maya)
  • Alternate Italian titles and credits for both films
  • Reversible sleeve artwork
  • English SDH subtitles

* Although both SPECTERS and MAYA were initially finished with an English stereo soundtrack, for reasons we are unclear of, the left channel of both stereo tracks suffered extreme and intermittent ringing and hiss resulting in their only ever having been distributed in mono. Despite our efforts to rectify these issues, we found that the tracks were irreparable and are therefore presenting the sound in mono, in accordance with all previous versions.