Sinister Cinema

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Sinister Cinema is an American horror video distributor based in Medford, Oregon. The company was (believably) founded in the late 1980s. All of their releases were made to order, and their early VHS releases came in generic printed packaging. As of 2022, the company is still actively distributing films. Their website can be seen here.

1st Logo (Late 1980s-Early 1990s)

Logo: On a black background, a yellow circle with a white bat on it rises up from the bottom of the screen, both outlined in orange. The moon then rises up and eases back, as well as moving towards the top left of the screen, as "SINISTER" slides in from the right in a orange color and set at a diagonal angle. Finally, "CINEMA" in a red Art Deco-esque font fades in below the words. The moon continues to jitter a bit more before it fades out.

Technique: Basic 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: An organ arrangement of Chopin's Marche Funèbre, AKA Funeral March.

Availability: Seen on early VHS releases from the company.

2nd Logo (Early 1990s-Early 2000s)

Logo: Cutting in from black, a yellow moon slowly zooms out to the top left before stopping on a dark blue gradient background (which is usually confused with black). The words "SINISTER CINEMA", with "SINISTER" tilted upward, move from the right side of the screen. When they stop moving, a bat flies on its way to the moon and then freezes when it reaches it. Then "SINISTER" cracks, causing it to "bleed" all over the word "CINEMA", causing half of the former and all of the latter to turn red via a cheap wave effect. The final product is a 3D version of the previous logo.

Variant: At the end of the tapes, it just shows the end of the logo with "SINISTER" bleeding from cracks.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A couple of high-pitched piano tinks with a dark droning synth in the background, followed by a piano flourish as the bat flies. There is then a rising low windy synth sound transforming into a horrific synth sound, and then 2 dramatic piano notes, ending with a low timpani hit. For the short version, it only uses the horrific synth sound, piano notes and timpani hit.

Availability: Seen on later VHS releases from the company.

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