Johnny YesNo is being issued on DVD for the first time, in a special box set from Mute that includes the original cut of the movie and a “new re-imagining” of it, plus Cabaret Voltaire’s original soundtrack, 140 minutes of bonus material and 2 CDs of exclusive Cabs tracks and new mixes.
The film was made in 1982 by then little-known director Peter Care, who went on to helm big-hitting promos for the likes of Depeche Mode, R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen, and whose TV credits include an episode of Six Feet Under. It was created with a cast of unknown actors and originally released on Cabaret Voltaire’s own video label, Double Vision (that’s the VHS cover pictured right). The accompanying music was recorded by the original Cabs line up of Stephen Mallinder (vocals, bass), Richard H. Kirk (guitars, keyboards, tapes) and Chris Watson (keyboards, tapes, drum computers).
The boxset, entitled Johnny YesNo – Redux, includes a contemporary revisit of the film, featuring a completely new cast, a relocation to LA and a fresh soundtrack mixed by Richard H. Kirk from original Cabs material. It’s scheduled for release by Mute on November 14.
The original film was a rampantly paranoid, sex and drug-infused nightmare vision of urban life, much of it recorded in and around Manchester city centre. The redux version, which you can watch of a trailer below and see a still from above, retains the decadent, dissolute vibe, but is altogether glossier, reminding us of nothing so much as Gaspar Noe’s Enter The Void; it looks like much of the grit and the grain that made the original so powerful and evocative is absent. However, we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve seen the whole thing. There’s certainly no question that the Redux box is as definitive a DVD edition of Johnny YesNo as we’re ever likely to get, and therefore it’s beyond essential.
More information here.