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Stigma 
Written by: on May 25th, 2010


Theatrical Release Date:
USA, 1972
Director: David E. Durston
Writer: David E. Durston
Cast: Philip Michael Thomas, Harlan Cary Poe, Josie Johnson, Peter Clune, William Magerman, Connie Van Ess, ‘Cousin Brucie’ Morrow, Richard Geisman, Raina Barrett, Kevin Andre, Rhonda Fuller, Kathleen Joyce, Jean Parker, Edwin Mills, James Grace, Diane Baker, David E. Durston

DVD released: June 8th, 2010
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98


Synopsis: A black doctor recently released from prison uncovers a case of syphilis in a small town. His attempt the get the locales involved and informed about the deadly disease is quickly met with indifference.

Stigma was written and directed by David E. Durston (The Love Statue, I Drink Your Blood). The cinematographer on Stigma was Robert M. Baldwin, who’s other notable film’s include Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, Blood Bath, The Exterminator, Basket Case 2 and Frankenhooker. Stigma’s production manager was Henri Pachard who would go onto have a prolific career directing XXX films like Babylon Pink, The Devil in Miss Jones Part 2 and Blame it on Ginger.

From the outset this film has a myriad of problems like its indecision over whether it wants to be a exploitation film or a film with a message. And while there is room for both to exist. The end result is a muddle affair that also suffers from a lethargic paced opening act that even tries to thrown some comedy into the mix. The one area in which this film works best, is the way in which it handles the towns peoples indifference towards the African American doctor. The majority of the credit why these scenes work falls squarely on the shoulders of Philip Michael Thomas (Miami Vice) who is cast in the role of the African American doctor.

The DVD:

Code Red presents Stigma is an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Outside of a few very minor instances of print debris, this is a clean looking transfer. Details look crisp, colors, flesh tones and black levels fare well throughout.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio sounds clear and balanced. There are no major issues with issues with distortion or any other audio defects.

Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer for the film (1 minute 29 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a alternate trailer for the film (1 minute 2 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a T.V. spot for the film (32 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a interview with writer / director David E. Durston, who discusses the meaning behind the film’s title, working with producer Charles B. Moss, the cast and the film’s premier on Broadway. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary with David E. Durston, moderator Jeff McKay and Code Red’s CEO Bill Olson. This is a informative audio commentary in which some topics discussed include locations, the cast, critical reaction to the film, cinematographer Robert M. Baldwin, production manager Henri Pachard, how he became involved in this project and the two XXX feature film’s he directed Boy-napped and Manhole which was filmed in 3-D. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Sliths, Horror High, The Black Klansman, Rivals, Brute Crops, a Long Ride From Hell, Changes, The Statue, Mean Johnny Barrows, Family Honor, Death Journey, Derby and Cry Your Purple Heart Out. Overall Stigma gets a solid DVD release from Code Red that is highlighted by the insightful audio commentary track with David E. Durston.

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