Vinegar Syndrome Labs

Story of a Junkie

Regular Price
Sale Price
Regular Price
Sold Out
Unit Price
- +
Over 1000 left in stock
My checklist
Have it Need it


2024 Subscribers: This is NOT included in your Subscription. If you'd like to purchase it, you will need to login to view your special 50% off SRP pricing.

This special limited edition spot gloss slipcover (designed by Adam Juresko) is limited to 3,000 units and is only available on our website and at select indie retailers. Absolutely no major retailers will be stocking them.

Welcome Vinegar Syndrome Labs (VSL) to the VS Sub-Label family! As with each of our sub-labels we are hoping to expand and defy expectations with the diversity of films we restore and release. As the name implies, VSL will serve as a kind of testing area for releasing genres and eras of film that one might not immediately expect to come from VS. The ultimate objective of VSL will be to see if these types of films will find an audience, and if so, pursue and release more of them…and even if not, still serve as a means of restoring more of the weird, rare, and unusual movies you might not expect from Vinegar Syndrome.

John Spacely, known on the streets as Gringo, has spent much of his life selling - and using - drugs, mostly heroin. Since relocating from his native California to the Lower East Side of New York, Gringo has gained a group of steady customers for the dope he sells, amongst them musicians and actors and, in the process, has also developed a reputation as a colorful street character; hanging out amongst the dilapidated environs of Lower Manhattan. But with his own drug habit starting to get the better of him, Gringo must challenge himself not to end up on an even darker path, from which there may be no way back.

An unflinching study of addiction from multi-award winning documentarian, Lech Kowalski, STORY OF A JUNKIE (originally titled Gringo) stars Spacely as a semi-fictionalized version of himself, mixing staged interactions with grim documentary realism. Filmed entirely on location, and featuring a supporting cast of Gringo's real life friends and customers, Vinegar Syndrome Labs presents the Blu-ray debut of this remarkably human document not just of the long-gone punk counterculture on the Lower East Side, but of the fascinating and colorful personalities who populated it..

directed by: Lech Kowalski
starring: John Spacely
1985 / 79 min / 1.33:1 / English Mono

Additional info:

  • Region Free Blu-ray + Soundtrack CD
  • Newly scanned & restored in 4K from its 16mm original camera negative
  • "The Dance of Death" (19 min) - an interview with director Lech Kowalski
  • "Thirteen Weeks of Hell: Editing Story of a Junkie" (11 min) - an interview with editor Val Kuklowsky
  • "Drop the Needle" (12 min) - an interview with composer Chuck Kentis
  • "Troma: The Last Stop on the Train" (4 min) - an interview with Troma President Lloyd Kaufman
  • Archival interview with producer Ann S. Barish (10 min)
  • Soundtrack CD by composer Chuck Kentis
  • Reversible sleeve artwork
  • English SDH subtitles