Thursday, October 24, 2013

Arrow's January/February Lineup Part I

Yep, Part I, there's so many I need to split the post in two. Read on...
Phantom of the Paradise

Released: 17 Feb 2014

Starring: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Directed by: Brian De Palma

Overview: 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.

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

The Stuff

Starring: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris
Directed by: Larry Cohen
Rating: 15

Overview: Are you eating it ...or is it eating you?

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!

Hell Comes To Frogtown
Released: 27 Jan 2014

Starring: Julius LeFlore, RCB, Roddy Piper
Directed by: Donald G. Jackson, R.J. Kizer
Rating: 15

Overview: 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:
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
-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
-Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeff Zornow
-Original Trailer
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Calum Waddell


Released: 27 Jan 2014

Starring: Ron Palillo, Abigail Wolcott, Carel Trichardt
Directed by: William A. Levey


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:

-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 with 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

White of the Eye

Released: 24 Mar 2014

Starring: David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg
Directed by: Donald Cammell


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!

Rabid Dogs

Released: 24 Feb 2014

Starring: Lea Lander, George Eastman, Riccardo Cucciolla
Directed by: Mario Bava
Duration: 96

Overview: 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.

-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!

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