May’s Arrow Video Releases Are Pretty Sharp Stuff

While there will be only three Arrow Video releases for May 2016 from MVD Entertainment Group, all should please fans of their respective genres. I’m all over this trio like a cheap suit on sale to a broke guy looking for work:

Hired to Kill AV051 Nico Mastorakis’ and Peter Rader’s 1990 film Hired to Kill (MSRP: $39.95, May 17) was and is a total hoot. Between the wild action scenes and the awesome cast that includes Oliver Reed, George Kennedy, and Brian Thompson, this mid-budget “B” features Thompson as a merc posing as a fashion designer sent in to bump off an evil dictator type with the help of seven female assassins (posing as models of course!). Yep, it’s as silly as it sounds and double yep, Mastorakis makes it work well in his inimitable style. Bullets, bombs and bikinis all blazing in a 1990’s manner? Sign me up!

Bonus Materials

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original Stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio Commentary with editor Barry Zetlin
  • Hired to Direct – a brand new interview with director Nico Mastorakis on the making of Hired to Kill
  • Undercover Mercenary – a brand new interview with star Brian Thompson
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills Gallery
  • Original Screenplay, entitled Freedom or Death (BD/DVD-ROM Content)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver
  •  

“But wait, there’s more!”

Killer Dames AV053With Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers By Emilio P. Miraglia (MSRP $69.99, May 24), you’re getting two Miraglia gialli guaranteed to get under your skin like one of the killer’s inevitable pointy knives will find its target in an unwilling victim. Hey, it’s not a giallo without at least one demise in the key of red, folks. The upcoming 3000 copy limited edition box set features The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times along with a wealth of special features old to new:

Bonus Materials

        • Limited Edition box set (3000 copies) containing The Night Evelyn Came Out of the
          Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
        • Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
        • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
        • Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (lossless DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray Discs)
        • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
        • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
        • Limited Edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by James Blackford, Kat Ellinger, Leonard Jacobs and Rachael Nisbet 

          THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE

        • New audio commentary by Troy Howarth
        • Exclusive introduction by actress Erika Blanc
        • Writer Stephen Thrower on The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave
        • The Whip and the Body – archival interview with Erika Blanc
        • The Night Erika Came Out of the Grave – exclusive interview with Erika Blanc
        • Still Rising from the Grave – archival interview with production designer Lorenzo Baraldi
        • Original Italian theatrical trailer
        • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranck 

          THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES

        • New audio commentary by Alan Jones and Kim Newman
        • Exclusive new interview with actress Sybil Danning
        • Writer Stephen Thrower on The Red Queen Kills Seven Times
        • Archival introduction by production/costume designer Lorenzo Baraldi
        • Dead à Porter – archival interview with Lorenzo Baraldi
        • Rounding Up the Usual Suspects – archival interview with actor Marino Masé
        • If I Met Emilio Miraglia Today – archival featurette with Erika Blanc, Lorenzo Baraldi and Marino Masé
        • My Favorite… Films – archival interview with actress Barbara Bouchet
        • Alternative opening
        • Original Italian theatrical trailer
        • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
        •  

Blood Bath AV052 Finally, 1965’s Blood Bath (MSRP: $49.95) comes to Blu-Ray/DVD in a package that brings all four versions of the film to disc along with plenty of extras. The history of this oldie is pretty wild, but you’ll have to watch the bonuses on the disc to grasp what happened when famed producer/director Roger Corman got involved with a to-be-shot Yugoslavian film called Operation Titian. Things didn’t quite work as he wanted and the film ended up being handed over to different directors who each came up with their own cuts destined for American audiences in theaters and later on TV. It’s been years since this one has been seen so yours truly is grinning inside at the prospects of every version with a few friends new to the flick.

Bonus Materials

  • Limited Edition collection of the complete ‘Blood Bath’
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of four versions of the film: Operation Titian, Portrait in Terror, Blood Bath and Track of the Vampire
  • Brand new 2K restorations of Portrait in Terror, Blood Bath and Track of the Vampire from original film materials
  • Brand new reconstruction of Operation Titian using original film materials and standard definition inserts
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on all four versions
  • The Trouble with Titian Revisited – a brand new visual essay in which Tim Lucas returns to (and updates) his three-part Video Watchdog feature to examine the convoluted production history of Blood Bath and its multiple versions
  • Bathing in Blood with Sid Haig – a new interview with the actor, recorded exclusively for this release
  • Archive interview with producer-director Jack Hill
  • Outtakes from Track of the Vampire, scanned from original film materials
  • Stills gallery
  • Limited edition booklet containing new writing on the film and its cast by Peter Stanfield, Anthony Nield, Vic Pratt and Cullen Gallagher
  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artworks
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
  • Limited edition booklet containing new writing on the film and its cast by Anthony Nield, Vic Pratt, Cullen Gallagher, and Peter Beckman

This may seem a slim selection to some. But to those collectors and fans of Arrow’s steady library of winners, it’s more additions to a growing library of excellent genre flicks.

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