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Magic, Myth & Mutilation: The Micro-Budget Cinema of Michael J Murphy, 1967-2015 - Indicator Series

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Starring: Caroline Aylward, Rob Bartlett, Russell Hall, Judith Holding, Steve Longhurst, Phil Lyndon, Patrick Olliver
Director: Michael J Murphy
Plot Synopsis:

Magic, Myth & Mutilation: The Micro-Budget Cinema of Michael J Murphy, 1967–2015 (US Limited Edition)

Director: Michael J Murphy

Cast: Caroline Aylward, Rob Bartlett, Russell Hall, Judith Holding, Steve Longhurst, Phil Lyndon, Patrick Olliver


Amongst overlooked filmmakers, British director Michael J Murphy ranks as one of the most sorely neglected. Having cut his teeth on a variety of homemade 8mm shorts, he had completed three feature-length productions by the age of eighteen. Over the next five decades, Murphy would go on to make many more films across a variety of genres, dividing his production time between Greece, Portugal, and the UK, with family, friends, and local stage performers becoming his regular cast and crew in exchange for holidays in the sun.

Despite this prolific output – a total of more than thirty completed films over a half-century, of which twenty-six survive – Murphy’s work remains rarely seen and little championed. Fitfully available on videotape, and barely represented on DVD, this comprehensive and long-gestating ten-disc Blu-ray collection seeks to rectify that situation once and for all. Boasting all-new 2K restorations from archival 16mm and 8mm elements, as well as a number of new digital captures from Murphy’s personal tape masters, this extensive retrospective of the obsessive auteur’s work is bolstered by a wealth of extra features, including surviving fragments from lost works, and a 120-page book, all of which provides the definitive account of the weird and wonderful worlds of Britain’s great unheralded DIY filmmaker.


• All-new 2K restorations by Powerhouse Films, using film elements from the Murphy archives, of Tristan and Iseult (1970), Happy Ever After (1974), Secrets (1977), Almost a Movie (1979), The Cell (1980), Stay (1980), Death in the Family (1981), Invitation to Hell (1983), The Last Night(1983), Bloodstream (1985), Moonchild (1989), Torment(1990), Atlantis (1991), Road to Nowhere (1993), Tristan(version one, 1999), ZK3 (2012), Nekros: Isle of the Dead (2014), and The Return of Alan Strange (2015)

• Standard Definition presentations, newly digitised from Murphy’s tape masters, of Qualen (1983), Tristanaka Legend of the Hero (1986), Death Run (1987), Avalon(1988), Second Sight (1992), The Rite of Spring (version one, 1995), The Rite of Spring (version two, 1995), Tristan (version two, 1999), Roxi (2004), and Skare (2008)

• Original mono soundtracks

• Over 34 hours’ worth of film content

• Audio commentary with Murphy, and actors Sally Duncan and Phil Lyndon on Invitation to Hell (2008)

• Audio commentary with author and arts professor Johnny Walker on Invitation to Hell (2022)

• Audio commentary with Murphy, Duncan and Lyndon on The Last Night (2008)

• Audio commentary with Murphy, actors June Bunday, Judith Holding and Lyndon on Atlantis (2010)

• Audio commentary with Murphy and Holding on Skare (2009)

Murphy’s Lore (2022): three-part documentary assessing Murphy’s six-decade career, featuring interviews with Murphy, Bunday, Holding, Chris Jupp, Stephen Longhurst, Patrick Olliver, filmmakers Jackson Batchelor, Sam Mason Bell and Tom Lee Rutter, film historians Darrell Buxton and Walker, and film programmer Paul Cotgrove

• The Horror-on-Sea Interview with Michael J Murphy (2013): the prolific filmmaker in conversation with Bunday and Lyndon, recorded for the British horror festival

The Making of ‘Invitation to Hell’ and ‘The Last Night’ (2008): retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Murphy, Lyndon and Duncan

The Making of ‘Atlantis’(2010): two-part retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Murphy, Lyndon, Bunday and Holding

The Making of ‘Skare’(2009): retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Murphy and Holding

The Making of ‘Roxi’ (2004): documentary featuring interviews with actors Mary-Anne Barlow, Bruce Lawrence, Ross Maxwell and Valia Yanarou

The Making of ‘ZK3’ (2012): retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Murphy, Holding and Lyndon

‘The Rite of Spring’: Behind the Scenes (1999)

‘Nekros’: Behind the Scenes(2012)

• ‘Skare’ Script Readthrough(2008)

• Surviving fragments from six lost Murphy films: Atlantis: City of Sin (1967), Boadicea (1968), Gods and Heroes (1971), two versions of Seventh Day (1976/77), and Insight(1978)

• Outtakes from Moonchild, Torment, Atlantis, Second Sight, and Skare

‘The Return of Alan Strange’ Test Footage (2014)

Michael J Murphy on ‘Beast’(2010): interview with the filmmaker about Chris Jupp’s remake of his lost version of Skare

• Video Tour of Michael J Murphy’s Home (2014)

• Michael J Murphy Tribute Video (2015): documentary short made for the Murlyn Films International website

• Home video footage shot by Murphy

• Trailers for Invitation to Hell, The Last Night, Bloodstream, Legend of a Hero, Death Run, Avalon, Moonchild, Torment, Atlantis, Road to Nowhere, The Rite of Spring, Tristan, Roxi, Skare, ZK3, Nekros: Isle of Death, and The Return of Alan Strange

• Original ‘Stay’ 7" single needle-drop recording

• Image galleries

• Script galleries

• Limited edition exclusive 120-page book with new essays by Murphy experts Wayne Maginn, Paul Higson, Darrell Buxton and Johnny Walker, a comprehensive filmography, and film credits

• World premieres on Blu-ray

• Limited edition box set of 6,000 numbered units for the UK and US

All extras subject to change

  • Release Details
    Release Date: January 31st, 2023
    MPAA Rating: R
    Movie Release Year: 2015
    Release Country: United States
    Movie Studio: Powerhouse Films
  • Technical Specs
    Length:2082 Minutes
    Specs:10 x Blu-ray Discs
    Video Resolution/Codec:1080p AVC/MPEG-4

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