Sunday, December 29, 2013

ARROW VIDEO 2014 PREVIEW

As 2013 winds down we look forward to what's coming in the new year from our favorite genre film distributors here at the Mausoleum. UK-based distributor Arrow Video have for years assembled quality titles with sweet transfers, new artwork and interesting special features. They've celebrated the careers of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, George A. Romero, Mario Bava and Brian DePalma just to name a notable few, plus rescued many an obscure and scuzzy b-movie from the dirty vaults of horror cinema, they've always been a class act.

I must admit that since the inception of Shout! Factory's horror imprint Scream Factory here in the US I've been hard-pressed for cash to purchase import titles from Arrow and others (Second Sight, Shameless) and my import collection has suffered for it. Unfortunately the sad truth is I only have so much in the budget for movies, somehow I have to feed the mouths and keep the lights on and something had to give. However, I do love Arrow Video, in fact they are the only reason I went region-free a few years back and they continue to be one of my favorite distributors, and 2014 looks to be a great year once again. 


It's great to see Arrow continue their brilliant series of Mario Bava and Brian DePalma Blu-rays in 2014. Arrow have been on a DePalma jag this past year the way that Scream Factory have championed John Carpenter , it's just fantastic stuff. 2014 will also see the release of some euro-eroticism from Tinto Brass, Jack Hill's Pit Stop (1969), Larry Cohen's The Stuff (1985) and the Southwest thriller White of the Eye (1987) which are among my most anticipated titles going into the new year, check out the sweet steelbook editions of Phantom of the Paradise (1974) and White of the Eyes (1987) - wow.


Read on and check out the releases through March 2014 with street dates, artwork and special features plus Amazon pre-order links... 



HELLGATE (1989) 

Release Date: January 27th 2014

Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Ron Palillo, Abigail Wolcott, Carel Trichardt
Director: William A. Levey

BEYOND THE DARKNESS TERROR LIVES FOREVER

SYNOPSIS: Legends abound of ‘The Hellgate Hitchhiker’. So the story goes, a beautiful young woman was once brutally defiled and murdered by a biker gang. Now, returned from the dead, she wanders the roadside luring unsuspecting motorists to their doom…

Refusing to heed the warnings of locals, a group of college friends set out on a cross-country road trip looking for fun and frolics. But they get much more than they bargained for when they wind up in the abandoned mining town of Hellgate and hemmed in by hordes of the undead!

Providing gore and gags in equal measure, Hellgate recalls the good old days of early 90s fright flicks and challenges other gleefully twisted flicks such as Re-animator and Return of the Living Dead for sheer grisly delirium!
SPECIAL FEATURES:
-Limited edition Blu-ray [1000 Copies]
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature
-Road to Perdition, B-Movie Style: An extensive interview with Hellgate director William A. Levey
-Alien Invasion, Blaxploitation and Ghost-Busting Mayhem: Scholar, Filmmaker and fan Howard S. Berger reflects on the intriguing film career of William A. Levey
-Video Nasty: Kenneth Hall, writer of the Puppet Master series, speaks about the direct-to-video horror boom that allowed Hellgate to become a classic of the cassette rental era
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
-Collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Lee Gambin, illustrated with original artwork and stills

DETAILS:
Region: B/2
Rating: 18
Cat No: FCD850
Duration: 91 mins
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: Mono
Colour: Colour



HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN (1988)

Release Date January 27th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Julius LeFlore, RCB, Roddy Piper
Director: Donald G. Jackson, R.J. Kizer

SYNOPSIS: With the 20th Century drawing to a close, nuclear war has wiped out civilization as we know it. The embattled human race’s last remaining hope lies with one man and his loaded weapon.

Sam Hell may be an ex-con, but he also happens to be one of the last surviving fertile men on the planet. Now, under the custody of a group of feisty female fighters, Sam finds himself enlisted on a mission to impregnate a harem of beauties. Sounds cushy enough, but the ladies in question are prisoners of Frogtown – home to a gang of mutant (and ill-mannered) amphibians!

Starring wrestler-turned-actor Rowdy Roddy Piper, known to John Carpenter enthusiasts for his body-slamming and bubblegum-chewing antics in They Live, Hell Comes to Frogtown is unashamedly a B-movie through and through with more guns and girls than you can shake a frog’s leg at.
SPECIAL FEATURES:
-Limited Edition Blu-ray [1000 copies]
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
-Original uncompressed stereo 2.0 PCM audio
-Grappling with Green Gargantuans: Wrestling icon "Rowdy" Roddy Piper speaks about his leading man turn in Hell Comes to Frogtown
-Amphibian Armageddon: Actor Brian Frank remembers his role as Commander Toty
-Creature Feature Creator: Effects wizard Steve Wang reveals the secrets behind Hell Comes to Frogtown's mutant manifestations
-Extended Scene
-Original Trailer
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeff Zornow
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Calum Waddell

Region: B/2
Rating: 15
Cat No: FCD849
Duration: 87 mins
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: 2.0 PCM
Colour: Colour



FRIVOLOUS LOLA (1998) 

Release Date: February 10th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Anna Ammirati, Patrick Mower, Max Parodi
Director: Tinto Brass

SYNOPSIS: One of the sunniest of Tinto Brass’s erotic comedies, this sets its breezy tone from the opening scene in which Lola (Anna Ammirati) cycles around a small Po Valley town in a flapping skirt that leaves nothing to the imagination.

But it’s the 1950s, and her baker fiancée Masetto (Max Parodi) is determined that Lola remains a virgin until their wedding night. However, she is equally set on establishing whether or not he’s a good lover before they tie the knot. His dough-kneading technique seems promising, but how can she be sure without an expert to compare him with? In short, can Masetto live up to the erotic ideals professed by Lola’s mother’s lover (Patrick Mower)?

Fortunately, the outwardly innocent town turns out to be a hotbed of licentiousness, with opportunities for voyeurism and maybe more around every corner – all in the interests of self-improving research, of course.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Region: B/2
Rating: 18
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color



CHEEKY (2003) 

Release Date: February 10th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi
Director: Tinto Brass

SYNOPSIS: When free-spirited beauty Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) moves to London, her search for a flat leads to a lesbian seduction by estate agent Moira (Francesca Nunzi), much to the horror of Carla’s boyfriend Matteo (Jarno Berardi) still stuck in their native Venice. And then he discovers a cache of letters from an ex-boyfriend, accompanied by a highly revealing and very public photograph of her…

Ravishingly shot in two of the world’s great cities, bouncily scored by Pino Donaggio, and crammed with wall-to-wall nudity and casual sexual flings, Cheeky is as lighthearted as its title suggests, but it’s subtler and more philosophical than the average sex romp.

In particular, it’s a genuinely moving look at problems arising when a desire to remain scrupulously faithful collides with the lure of baser instincts. Carla genuinely loves Matteo, but how can she reassure him when he spots temptation around every corner?
SPECIAL FEATURES:
-High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film uncut and in widescreen for the first time!
-Optional English and Italian audio
-Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio
-Featurette on the film with director Tinto Brass
-Original Trailer
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by -The Red Dress
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Maitland McDonagh, illustrated with original
archive stills.

Region: B/2
Rating: 18
Cat No: FCD761
Duration: 91 mins
Language: English/Italian
Subtitles: English/English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (16x9)
Audio: 2.0 mono
Colour: Colour


PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974) 

Release Date: February 7th 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Cast: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Director: Brian De Palma

SYNOPSIS: Brian De Palma’s inspired rock’n’roll fusion of Faust, The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray boasts an Oscar-nominated score by Paul Williams, who also stars as an evil record producer who not only steals the work of composer/performer Winslow Leach (William Finley) but gets him locked up in Sing Sing – and that’s not the worst that happens to him along the way.

Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the naïve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes.



STEELBOOK EDITION 
Prodigiously inventive both musically and visually, this is one of De Palma’s most entertaining romps, not least because it was so clearly a labour of love.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
The edition feature a bumper crop of extras but it will also include a very special newly filmed 70 minute interview where renowned director Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams! See the full specs below and pre-order your copy on SteelBook: http://bit.ly/1h9LhtM or Blu-ray: http://bit.ly/1h9Lb5k now!

SPECIAL FEATURES:
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the feature, available in the UK for the first time!
-Uncompressed Stereo PCM / 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio options
-Isolated Music and Effects soundtrack
-Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
-Paradise Regained: A 50-minute documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian De Palma, producer Edward R. Pressman, the late star William Finley, star and composer Paul Williams, co-stars Jessica Harper and Gerrit Graham and more!
-All new 72-minute interview with Paul Williams by Guillermo del Toro
-The Swan Song Fiasco: A new video piece exploring the changes made to the film in post production
-Archive interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton
William Finley on the Phantom doll!
-Paradise Lost and Found: Alternate takes and bloopers from the cutting room floor
-Original Trailers
-Radio Spots
-Gallery of rare stills including behind-the-scenes images by photographer Randy Black
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress [Amaray release only]
-Limited Edition SteelBook™ packaging featuring original artwork [ SteelBook only]
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth and an exploration of the film’s troubled marketing history by Ari Kahan, curator of SwanArchives.org, illustrated with original stills and promotional material.

Region: B
Rating: 15
Duration: 92 mins
Language: English
Subtitles: English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: 2.0 PCM Stereo, 4.0 DTS HD Master Audio
Colour: Colour



RABID DOGS / KIDNAPPED (1974) 

Release Date: February 24th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Lea Lander, George Eastman, Riccardo Cucciolla
Director: Mario Bava

SYNOPSIS:
Following difficulties in his career Mario Bava happened across an idea that would enable him to compete with the younger directors lighting up the Italian box office such as Dario Argento and Sergio Martino.

Rabid Dogs begins as $70,000 of wages are being transferred when the Ajaccio gang hit. With a hail of bullets in a quick raid they speed off in their waiting getaway car. Tough, violent and realistic, Bava’s film ramps up the tension and doesn’t stop as hostages are added and the film builds to its dizzying finale.

Unfolding in real time, a rare device seen only in earlier films such as High Noon and 12 Angry Men yet totally unheard of in Italian cinema at the time, Rabid Dogs is a singular film in Bava’s filmography and one of the greatest crime films of the period.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; ‘Rabid Dogs’ – Bava’s original version posthumously completed from his notes & ‘Kidnapped’ – the re-edited, re-dubbed and re-scored version, supervised by Bava’s son and assistant Lamberto Bava and producer Alfredo Leone
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both versions
- Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
- End of the Road: The Making of Rabid Dogs – A documentary featurette including interviews with Lamberto Bava, Alfredo Leone and star Lea Lander
- Original Trailer
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, a history of the multiple versions of the film from Semaforo Rosso to Rabid Dogs to Kidnapped by Peter Blumenstock, illustrated with original stills and posters
Much more to be announced!

DETAILS:
Rating: 18
Duration: TBC
Language: TBC
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color



THE STUFF (1985) 

Release Date: March 10th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris
Director: Larry Cohen

Are you eating it …or is it eating you?

SYNOPSIS:
The Stuff is the new dessert taking supermarket shelves by storm. It’s delicious, low in calories and – better still – doesn’t stain the family carpet… What’s not to like?! Well, for a start it has a life of its own, and we’re not talking friendly live bacteria…

Young Jason seems to be the only one who doesn’t love The Stuff – in fact he won’t go anywhere near it, after having seen the pudding crawling around the fridge one night. What’s more, everyone who eats The Stuff has started acting really weird… Now, teaming up with wise-cracking industrial saboteur “Mo”, Jason must put a stop to The Stuff and the organisation behind it or face a gooey, gloopy demise.

Coming courtesy of horror auteur Larry Cohen (director of the It’s Alive series and scribe behind the Maniac Cop trilogy), The Stuff is a titillating treat for the taste-buds which blends elements of films such as Street Trash with the straight-up B-movie flavour of The Blob. So grab a spoon and dig on into The Stuff – the taste that delivers… much more than you bargained for!

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Rating: 15
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color



BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE 

Release Date: March 17th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Hoki Tokuda, Makoto Satô
Director: Teruo Ishii

Synopsis: From Teruo Ishii “The King of Cult”, Blind Woman’s Curse (also known as Black Cat’s Revenge) is a thrilling Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock), in her first major role.

Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi’s gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies.

A bizarre blend of the female Yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in Horrors of Malformed Men), Blind Woman’s Curse is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to Biker movies!

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Region: B/2
Rating: TBC
Duration: TBC
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Colour



PIT STOP (1969) 

Release Date: March 31st 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Brian Donlevy, Richard Davalos, Ellen Burstyn
Director: Jack Hill

RAW GUTS FOR GLORY! FLESH AGAINST STEEL!

SYNOPSIS: The most dangerous game ever devised, to pit man against man, flesh against steel – the figure-8 race! Jack Hill (Coffy, Foxy Brown) follows up Spider Baby, once again teaming up with Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses) in one of his greatest roles for this action-spectacular crash-o-rama!

Richard Davalos (East of Eden) stars as Rick Bowman, a street punk who winds up in jail after a street race goes wrong. Bailed out by race promoter Grant Willard, Davalos is put in the deadly track where he comes up against Haig’s maniacal winner Hawk Sidney. Featuring an outstanding supporting cast including Brian Donlevy (The Quatermass Xperiment) in his last film appearance, Ellen Burstyn, billed as Ellen McRae (The Exorcist) and Beverly Washburn (Spider Baby) Pit Stop is one of Hill’s lesser known films but arguably his greatest.

Filmed on a real figure-8 track, Hill and his crew were able to capture gripping real-life car wreck scenes lending the film a brilliant sense of realism. You’ve never seen a motion picture like this before – can you take it?

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Region: B/2
Rating: TBC
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color



SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941)  

Release Date: March 17th 2014
Format: Blu-ray 

Cast: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Director: Preston Sturges

VERONICA LAKE’S ON THE TAKE

SYNOPSIS: Director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is one of Hollywood’s hottest talents, with an uncanny gift for getting audiences rolling in the aisles. But he’s dissatisfied: he wants to abandon comedy for Serious Statements, and buys the rights to celebrated social-realist novel ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’

To make his masterpiece as realistic as possible, Sullivan naturally has to understand how the book’s downtrodden characters must have felt, so he takes to the road as a hobo, is taken under the wing of a failed actress (Veronica Lake), and learns several valuable home truths about the importance of not patronising his audience.

Writer-director Preston Sturges had an inspired run in the 1940s, turning out some of the funniest American comedies ever made (The Lady Eve, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek). Sullivan’s Travels is one of his best: not just hilarious but also truly wise.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- -New high definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Region: B
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: 2.0/5.1
Colour: B+W



WHITE OF THE EYE (1987) 

Release Date: March 24th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg
Director: Donald Cammell

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HUNTER AND A KILLER …IS HIS PREY

SYNOPSIS: A serial killer is on the loose in and around the small community of Globe, Arizona, and housewife Joan White (Cathy Moriarty) gradually comes to suspect that her opera-loving hi-fi engineer husband Paul (David Keith) might know more than he’s letting on…

So far so familiar, but in the hands of British visionary Donald Cammell (who wrote and co-directed Performance with Nicolas Roeg), the film becomes a dazzling kaleidoscope of images and ideas, spanning everything from Apache folklore, desert landscapes and stylish murder set-pieces that recall Dario Argento to a painfully vivid dissection of the emotional fissures undermining a modern marriage. It’s all set to an equally eclectic score co-written by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason.




Described by the distinguished critic David Thomson as “one of the great secret works in cinema”, White of the Eye is one of the most bizarre and unforgettable thrillers ever made.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Region: B/2



THE KILLERS (1964)

Release Date: February 24th 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Cast: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes
Director: Don Siegel

THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO KILL A MAN…

“I gotta find out what makes a man decide not to run. Why all of a sudden he’d rather die.”

SYNOPSIS: So muses hitman Charlie (Lee Marvin) after his high-priced victim Johnny North (John Cassavetes) gives in without a fight. Obsessed with the answer, Charlie and his hot-headed associate Lee (Clu Gulager) track down Johnny’s associates, and uncover a complex web of crime and deceit involving his femme fatale girlfriend Sheila (Angie Dickinson) and ruthless mob boss Jack Browning (Ronald Reagan in his last screen role).

Loosely inspired by the Ernest Hemingway story, and directed by Don Siegel (whose many other taut, efficient thrillers include Dirty Harry and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers), The Killers was commissioned as the very first ‘TV movie’, but was given a cinema release because of its violence – although a cast like that really belonged on the big screen in the first place.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

DETAILS:
Region: B

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