|Headquarters||Romulus, Michigan, U.S.|
Synapse Films is an American DVD/Blu-ray label owned and operated by Don May, Jr. and his business partners Jerry Chandler and Charles Fiedler. The company was started in 1997 and it specializes in cult horror, science fiction, and exploitation films. May graduated from Illinois State University in 199. He always had an interest in television and film. “I caught the laserdisc bug while working at a local laserdisc store while I was in college. I was selling laserdisc players and buying product and I pretty much spent every extra dollar I had on laserdiscs. I loved movies and the disc format and knew this was a business I wanted to be in.” May became a part owner of Elite Entertainment. This was after he quit his job at laserdisc retailer.
Synapse's focus has been to provide quality restoration and video transfers to genre films usually neglected or granted shoddy release on home video. May has brought to the company an expertise in video mastering and film restoration gleaned from nearly a decade of experience in the LaserDisc industry, and personal enthusiasm for exploitation film of all stripe.
The Synapse catalog ranges from European horror touchstones like Vampyros Lesbos, and Castle of Blood, to important genre documentaries including Roy Frumkes' Document of the Dead, from drive-in favorites like The Brain That Wouldn't Die to Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi film Triumph of the Will.
In 2004, Synapse released a definitive edition of the controversial Thriller – A Cruel Picture, a DVD which was not without controversy itself.
Recently, Detroit film scholar Nicholas Schlegel released his documentary The Synapse Story in its entirety on YouTube. The documentary details the history and vision of the label and its founders.
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