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The Movie Hollywood Forgot: After Missing for 45 Years, Zephina Media Remasters Buster and Billie

Presumed Destroyed, the Recently Rediscovered Masters of the 1974 Cult Classic is Completely Restored Using Digital Scanning

(PRUnderground) March 29th, 2021

In 1974, one romantic drama graced theaters across the nation to become an instant cult classic. Released by Columbia Pictures, Buster and Billie would rapidly become a hot topic in cinematic circles everywhere for its controversial and violent ending. Following suit with the tragedy of the story, the film itself would become lost and presumed destroyed when the original masters went missing for 45 years. After decades of rumors, speculation, and mystery; not only have the original masters been located, but Buster and Billie has been restored and remastered by Zephina Media for re-release in Blu-Ray. 

Featuring young actors Jan-Michael Vincent (Buster), Joan Goodfellow (Billie), Pamela Sue Martin (Margie), Clifton James (Jake), and Robert Englund (Whitey); Buster and Billie’s steamy storyline and tragic ending provided viewers with a unique cinematic experience that was revolutionary for its time. Set in a small town in Georgia in the late 1940s, Buster and Billie follows the classic theme of “boy meets girl”, but with an unprecedented twist. Buster Lane, the popular guy in school is engaged to be married to his high-school sweetheart Margie Hooks. Billie-Jo Truluck, is the promiscuous underprivileged girl in school who is known for fulfilling favors to Buster’s friends. 

Frustrated at his fiancé, Buster begins to visit Billie, and what started as a physical relationship blossomed into a steamy romance. Billie’s new-found exclusivity enrages Buster’s friends, as they no longer had access to Billie’s promiscuity. What happened next shocked viewers and critics alike.

Unphased by the critics, fans of Buster and Billie began to show unwavering support once the film seemed to disappear from history. Bootleg versions began to arise from time to time, but in the 45 years it was missing nothing ever came close to the original film quality. Often the subject of “whatever happened to…” discussions among movie fans, the disappearance of the film became a pop culture mystery, until now. 

In late 2019, Sony Pictures located the original Buster and Billie elements in their underground vaults. Eager to restore the picture to its glory and then some; Zephina Media began a complete restoration using  digital scanning to bring this cult classic back to life for fans everywhere.

The project, which began in early 2020 and has finally come to fruition in 2021, with results far better than expected. Fans can expect to experience Buster and Billie on a whole new level, featuring vivid colors, top-tier quality, and mastered sound. 

“It’s been quite a treasure hunt” says Seth Doherty,  Project Manger for Zephina Media.  “I think fans of Buster And Billie will be pleased with the results.”  

The restoration process involves taking a digital picture of each frame of the original film negative and applying software and other techniques to clean and restore color. 

“Sony took very good care of the film reels”  said Doherty.  “We held our breath because its been nearly 50 years since the reels were put through a projector, or in this case, a scanner.  But at the end of the day, the film was in great shape and easy to work with.”     

To learn more about Buster and Billie or to grab a copy on Blu-Ray, please visit: 

About Zephina Media

Zephina Media is a film production company based in Saint Clair, Michigan. Founded in 2019 by Audrey Westrick, Zephina Media seeks to bring the world’s greatest stories to life, or even back to life through film direction and restoration. In 2021, Zephina Media took the task of restoring and remastering cult classic Buster and Billie to cultivate a one-of-a-kind film experience for cinema fans around the world.

The post The Movie Hollywood Forgot: After Missing for 45 Years, Zephina Media Remasters Buster and Billie first appeared on PRUnderground.

Press Contact
Name: Seth Doherty
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