Blu-Ray Review: Stray Cat Rock: The Collection

Stray Cat Rock_AV008As a slice of Japanese cinema of the early 1970’s, the five films that make up Arrow Video’s Stray Cat Rock Collection make for quite a quintuplet of quickly made flicks influenced by American biker films of the previous decade. Directed by Yasuharu Hasebe and Toshiya Fujita, the films feature the same cast members but are actually mostly unrelated other than in their thematic elements.

“Youth gone wild!” and “Crime Doesn’t Pay!” seem to be the orders of the day here as the series was created by Nikkatsu to compete with rival Toei’s popular Delinquent Boss films. So there’s male and female gangs, exploitative violence, not as much sex or nudity as you’d think (but it’s certainly there), a bit of slapstick, a random concert and more. While there’s plenty of seedy and salacious content, some of the trailers included advertise the films partially as comedies, which is amusing in and of itself. In other words, some viewers will need to approach this set with a wide open mind because what constitutes “comedy” here might seem a bit humorless or just plain strange outside of its home country. This is a good thing at the end of the day as expanding one’s cinematic horizons is a core reason to watch films you’ve never seen previously.

The overall tone of the films will probably seem scattershot to some viewers used to movies that stick to a certain predictable style from start to finish. For all the raging delinquency, drug use, wild dancing, sex and violence on display there’s also a lot of karmic retribution and negative actions leading to more and worse reactions for some characters. This makes the collection a really intriguing set of films that, warts and all make for some pretty cool “B” movie bliss. As usual, some excellent transfers and nice bonus material round out this Arrow Video release and make it a must for collectors. Continue reading

Some More Arrows To Make Me Quiver

New Arrows 002 (Custom) 

Well, now. Here’s how to make an icky Monday a far better one without doing much at all. My mailbox was stuffed with some nice upcoming release screeners from Arrow Video and MVD so I’ll be socked away checking out some stuff I’ve not seen before as well as revisiting some old friends. Spider Baby actually came earlier than the others, but it’s here just to even out the photo. Anyway, back to the screening room for me. So much for being anything resembling “productive” today.

Arrow Video July Releases: Dead on Target (Again)

Arrow MVD New Trio

The fine folks at Arrow Video continue to whip out releases from their UK catalog through MVD to film fans and collectors stateside well worth buying and July’s three Blu-Ray/DVD sets are a nice trio for your library. This time, it’s an odd triple threat of 1970’s Japanese pop style, a bleak Gallic “spaghetti” western and a fun, funky horror film starring a pre-A Nightmare on Elm Street Robert Englund. That video below of Stray Cat Rock: The Collection should hopefully tease some of you into action in the form of adding it to your want list somewhere or bugging someone to get you it (or all three films) as a nice gift.

Well, I’D bug someone to get me all three of these flicks. Hey, I have unusual tastes in films from unforgettable classic silents to a handful of loud, noisy super-budget blockbusters more easily forgotten. I won’t knock your tastes at all (well, unless you still watch “reality” TV with a straight face and actually get upset at every VERY obviously scripted moment better done the first time and not the 500th). Eeek.