Mike Vraney was the founder of Something Weird Video, an American film distributor company based in Seattle, Washington. On January 2, 2014, Mike died after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. He was fifty-six years-old.
Vraney’s sterling efforts to dig out and release masses of horror and exploitation films have undoubtedly been a major boon to the world of cult cinema, especially as his iconic label — which started out as basically a fan operation — had moved into legitimacy long ago via officially sanctioned DVD releases in conjunction with Image Entertainment and had recently been releasing Blu-rays and their own documentaries. His passion for trash cinema will be sorely missed.
Something Weird Video specialise in exploitation films, particularly the works of Harry Novak, Doris Wishman, David F. Friedman and Herschell Gordon Lewis. The company is named after Lewis’ 1967 film Something Weird, and the logo is taken from that film’s original poster art.
Something Weird has distributed well over 2,500 films to date. Even when the movies themselves were pretty awful, Vraney ensured fans got their money’s worth by making up themed triple-bills and loading DVDs with masses of ultra-obscure and head-shaking extras.
Mike Vraney was inspired by his teenage job as a theater projectionist. His love for the obscure films that never made it to video prompted him to transfer hundreds of ancient reels of film to VHS and DVD.
Adrian J Smith