Screen Syndicate, a side project of southern Illinois based multimedia Americana band The Salt Kings, explores the fascinating history of Roger Corman’s New World Pictures and the exploitation films produced and distributed by the company in the 1970’s.
The life of actress Roberta Collins is the vehicle used to navigate the period and also highlight a Hollywood story of unfulfilled promise. Collin’s lit up the screen in films like The Big Doll House, Women in Cages and Death Race 2000 often outshining her contemporaries including Pam Grier. Quentin Tarantino described Collins’ final shot In Women In Cages as one of "devastating despair."
Unable to break out of the B-movie grind Collins was mired in minor roles for increasingly poor productions before exiting the business and dying in obscurity in 2008.
The films were marketed as exploitation movies but came to be known as the first women empowerment films in US history because the women oppressed always dished out vengeance to their oppressors. They're now universally seen as precursors to the Orange is the New Black phenomenon, and the actors involved look fondly on this aspect of the films and their message.
Screen Syndicate combines original songs, film clips, trailers and other material into a unique film oriented live music experience. The band has performed at numerous film festivals in the United States and Europe with shows about pioneering African American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux and America, Illinois, a post 911 look at the road to war through songs, stories and film from deep southern Illinois.
Several videos can be viewed here.
Screen Syndicate - We See The Music