Here’s a nice set of Arrow/Arrow Academy releases coming your way this month. Get ready to catch them all:
Oops. With too much going on here and more on the way on a few fronts, I missed a few too many emails and have been getting to them when I can. Anyway, this month’s Arrow Video and Arrow Academy releases are below, all of them dropped today and I barely ducked out of the way as they landed all around me:
BLOOD TIDE [Blu-ray] (5/26)
WHITE FIRE [Blu-ray] (5/26)
THE WOMAN [Blu-ray] (5/26)
SOLID METAL NIGHTMARES: THE FILMS OF SHINYA TSUKAMOTO
[Blu-ray Box Set] (5/26)
These should do the job in keeping some folks inside for a spell, I think. Back in a bit – it’s been a very long day here.
Five new titles from Arrow Video and Arrow Academy arrive this month for US viewers and yes indeed, the UK arm of the company is also running a fine sales on some older releases. Read on:
If you have a multi-region Blu-ray player, Arrow UK has some 531 items on sale through April 22, but that total also includes film soundtracks, books and other goodies. Hey, you’re going to be stuck indoors for a bit, right? You can’t just read packages of toilet paper and cans of beans and watch the news all day, so… go get some of this while you can.
I remember both of this month’s new Arrow Video/Arrow Academy releases because I didn’t see either when they were first released (oops). Well, now’s my chance to finally see both, but I’ll be nice and fill you in on what you too, may have missed out on:
Apple TV owners, Arrow also has you covered with some nifty digital rental and must-buy treats, so check it out if you’re a user:
That Apple TV sale lasts from 3/2 to 3/17/2020. so act fast!
Arrow Video and Arrow Academy have got your back this month, but you may want to check it for a few sharp objects (ow!) as all three releases in February might be somewhat hostile to your health. Let’s take a look:
So sinister, so good this month, but I hear from a friend that Manon is a really nice and bleak dramatic flick from a master of suspense, and I like Clouzot’s work quite a lot. The other two are new to me, but I do want to take a look at these at some point.
While there are only two releases from Arrow Video this month, both are films I’ve not seen, so this is a good thing. Actually, every month is a good thing for film releases from Arrow, as their restorations are pretty stellar and in most cases, you get a wealth of special features that give some films a bit of commentary and perspective.
First up is 1988’s Edge of the Axe ($39.95, 1/28/2020), a film that I didn’t see back then, but it’s popped up in a few recommendations over the decades, so it’s now on the list of stuff to see. I’ll no doubt be diving under a blanket, if that cover art is any indication.
From cult Spanish filmmaker José Ramón Larraz (Vampyres, Symptoms) comes this long-neglected late 80s slasher classic, finally unleashed on Blu-ray for the first time ever!
The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. As the victims pile up, the authorities attempt to keep a lid on the situation, whilst computer whizz-kid Gerald and girlfriend Lillian seek to unmask the killer before the town population reaches zero. Nominally set in Northern California but shot primarily in Madrid, giving the film an off-kilter, American/European atmosphere akin to the likes of Pieces, Edge of the Axe is a late entry hack-and-slash masterpiece from one of the titans of Spanish terror.
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
- English and Spanish language versions of the feature
- Original uncompressed mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Spanish soundtrack
- Brand new audio commentary with actor Barton Faulks
- Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
- Newly-filmed interview with actor Barton Faulks
- The Pain in Spain – a newly-filmed interview with special effects and make-up artist Colin Arthur
- Image Gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes
Next up is Black Angel ($39.95, 1/28/2020) from 1946. This film noir is one I’ve wanted to see for a while, but haven’t gotten around to yet (what else is new, right?). I read a while back the person who wrote the book hated the film version, so that alone had me curious, as the cast made up of a few really solid actors and the director was pretty ace as well.
Elegantly directed by Hollywood veteran Roy William Neill (best known for his 11 Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone), Black Angel is an underappreciated film noir treasure, adapted from a novel by the acclaimed crime writer Cornell Woolrich (Phantom Lady).
When the beautiful singer Mavis Marlowe (Constance Dowling) is slain in her chic apartment, the men in her life become suspects. There is Martin Blair (Dan Duryea, Scarlet Street), her alcoholic musician ex-husband, nursing a broken heart; there is the shady nightclub owner Marko (Peter Lorre, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon) who has been sneaking around her place, and there is Kirk Bennett (John Phillips), the adulterer who found his mistress’s dead body and fled the scene. When Bennett is convicted and sentenced to death, his long-suffering wife Catherine (June Vincent) joins forces with the heartbroken pianist Martin Blair to uncover the truth… Black Angel is a consummate 1940s crime thriller which boats a suspenseful narrative, strong performances and atmospheric, meticulously lit cinematography.
Roy William Neill’s film is presented here in a sumptuous restoration, with several illuminating new extras.
- Brand new restoration from original film elements by Arrow Films
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- New audio commentary by the writer and film scholar Alan K. Rode
- A Fitting End, a new video appreciation by the film historian Neil Sinyard
- Original trailer
- Gallery of original stills and promotional materials
- Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Philip Kemp
With both set for release on the same day, I smell a double feature here. At least that’s my plan for these two.
Short and to the point because I’m buried in stuff and you have mass quantities to consume, or something. Here are a few big sales you might be interested in because some neighbor kid made me laugh today when she asked her Tired Mom in the elevator today why people need to shop when “Santa is supposed to bring everything!”.
Uh, about that…
“Well, this is going to be good,” I thought with a mild chuckle bubbling up. Sales first., story and cookies later.
December is here already? My brain in back in August, it seems. Anyway, Here’s what’s cooking on December’s menu from Arrow Video and Arrow Academy- three films I haven’t seen in some time, so all will be very welcome re-views, to say the least:
Slaughterhouse Five (12/3/2019)
Jake Speed (12/3/2019)
The Limits of Control (12/10/2019)
Go make a few leftover turkey sandwiches and camp out if you need to for these, I say.
Marketed as a a Django film in some territories, Ferdinando Baldi’s Texas, Adios definitely isn’t one. It has more in common with earlier western formula and pretty much sticks to its guns (ha!) throughout as a solid film that’s not as stylized as other spaghetti westerns, yet it’s unmistakably one that tries to be as American as possible. It’s a bit more violent than the older oaters, but it’s perfectly acceptable by today’s standards. Franco Nero makes for a decent single-minded hero when all is said and done, there’s not a love interest in sight, and the film gets a bit ruthless when it needs to make some points. Just don’t count the times no one reloads (unless the plot calls for it, guns seem to run on rechargeable batteries here).
Nero plays Burt Sullivan, a sheriff in a small town who travels to Mexico to bring a man named Cisco Delgado (José Suárez) back to justice in one piece. He’s got a strict moral code in effect, but he’ll absolutely kill anyone else who tries shooting him, of course. Cisco happens to be somewhat of a big deal feared criminal there, what with being a well-dressed meanie with a big villa, a ton of henchmen, and quite the cruel streak. Sullivan wants him alive because he killed his father many years ago also he can see him hang or be jailed in America. Naturally, Cisco very steadfastly has no travel plans to leave Mexico. Must be the weather and assorted torture he’s fond of exposing those he disagrees with that keeps him happy.
Sullivan’s brother, Jim (Alberto dell’Acqua [under the unwieldy moniker “Cole Kitosch”, which sounds like a designer of expensive clothing you’d never wear]) tags along and we find out that Jim’s got something not even he knows is a secret. I’m keeping that secret a secret because it’s a nifty twist that kicks the plot above its level (and adds some poignancy to the affair), but really isn’t much of a surprise if you’ve seen other films that have similar themes