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Made just before his breakthough film, M*A*S*H, this too little seen 1969 psychological thriller from Robert Altman comes to UK dual format in June from Eureka's Masters of Cinema label.
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Arrow announces its next slate of Blu-ray/DVD releases

8 April 2016

Today Arrow Video anounced, via their Twitter feed, their next slate of Blu-ray and DVD releases for July. Most will be released in the UK and the US, with one title each getting a UK and US only release. Details below.

UK Only title

Satan's Blade (1984)

Release date: 11th July 2016 | RRP: £19.99

One of the lesser known entries in the annals of the ’80s slasher film, Satan’s Blade is an eerie slice of US regional terror ripe for rediscovery by horror fans.

Arriving at a snow-capped mountain resort, a group of youngsters are met by the news that a double-murder has taken place there the previous night. Despite this grisly revelation, they decide to stay on, unaware of the knife-wielding figure stalking the wintry landscape... Could the local legend of an ungodly mountain man with a grudge against outsiders have some truth in it?

Shot in Big Bear, California in 1980 but not released until 1984, L. Scott Castillo, Jr.’s Satan’s Blade overcomes the limitations of its shoestring budget with a game cast and all-pervasive, creepy atmosphere - key to which is a freakish nightmare sequence that’s sure to inspire more than a few sleepless nights.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film presented in both 4:3 (1.37:1) and 1.85:1 versions

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations

  • Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)

  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  • Brand new audio commentary by podcast The Hysteria Continues

  • Interview with writer-director L. Scott Castillo, Jr.

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ryan Tobin

  • Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Brian Albright, author of Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990


US Only title

Blood and Black Lace (1964)

Release date: 4th July 2016 | Dual format Blu-ray & DVD and Blu-ray Steelbook editions

The Cristian Haute Couture fashion house is a home to models… and backstabbing… and blackmail… and drug deals… and MURDER.

Having established a template for the giallo with The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Mario Bava set about cementing its rules with Blood and Black Lace. In doing so he created one of the most influential films ever made – an Italian classic that would spearhead the giallo genre, provide a prototype for the slasher movie, and have a huge effect on filmmakers as diverse as Dario Argento and Martin Scorsese.

Newly restored from the original camera negative and presented here in its original, uncut Italian form, this dual-format release allows fans to see Blood and Black Lace afresh and offers newcomers the ideal introduction to a major piece of cult filmmaking.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations [Standard edition only]

  • Optional Italian and English soundtracks presented in original uncompressed mono PCM audio

  • Newly translated subtitles for the Italian audio

  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack

  • Brand new audio commentary by Mario Bava’s biographer Tim Lucas

  • Psycho Analysis – a new documentary on Blood and Black Lace and the origins of the giallo genre featuring interviews with directors Dario Argento (Suspiria) and Lamberto Bava (Demons), screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colors of the Dark) critics Roberto Curti and Steve Della Casa, and crime novelists Sandrone Dazieri and Carlo Lucarelli

  • An appreciation by Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, the creative duo behind Amer and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears

  • Yellow – the much-acclaimed neo-giallo by Ryan Haysom & Jon Britt [Blu-ray exclusive]

  • Gender and Giallo – a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the giallo’s relationship with the social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s

  • Panel discussion on Mario Bava featuring Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava and Steve Della Casa, recorded at the 2014 Courmayeur Film Festival

  • The Sinister Image: Cameron Mitchell – an episode of David Del Valle’s television series, devoted to the star of Blood and Black Lace and presented in full

  • The alternative US opening titles, sourced from Joe Dante’s private print and scanned in 2K especially for this release

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys [Standard edition only]

  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Howard Hughes, author of Cinema Italiano and Mario Bava: Destination Terror, an interview with Joe Dante, David Del Valle on Cameron Mitchell and more, all illustrated with archive stills and posters

 

UK/US titles

The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974)

Release date: 4th July 2016 | RRP (UK): £19.99

Jack Hill spent the seventies specialising in tough female characters. He made movies about girl gangs (Switchblade Sisters) and women in prison (The Big Doll House, The Big Bird Cage), turned Pam Grier a star with Coffy and Foxy Brown, and contributed to the Cheerleaders line of drive-in favourites with The Swinging Cheerleaders.

Kate, an undergraduate at Mesa University, goes undercover as a cheerleader for her college newspaper in order to expose ‘female exploitation in contemporary society’. But instead of oppression she finds love, friendship and a bigger fish to fry: corruption in the football team, headed up by the coach and his pals.

A favourite of Quentin Tarantino, who screened it at the very first Tarantino Film Fest, The Swinging Cheerleaders features a cast of cult favourites including Colleen Camp (Wayne’s World, Game of Death), Rainbeaux Smith (Caged Heat, The Incredible Melting Man) and future Playmate of the Month Rosanne Katon.

Director-approved, Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film materials

  • High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD Presentations

  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

  • Audio commentary by writer-director Jack Hill, recorded exclusively for this release

  • Brand new interview with Jack Hill

  • Archive interview with cinematographer Alfred Taylor

  • Archive interview with Hill and Johnny Legend

  • Q&A with Hill, and actors Colleen Camp and Rosanne Katon recorded at the New Beverly Cinema in 2012

  • TV spots

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

 

Crimes of Passion (1990)

Release date: 11th July 2016 | UK RRP: £24.99

In the early eighties British enfant terrible Ken Russell travelled to America and placed his unorthodox imprint on a pair of US movies. The first was the Altered States, so out-there its screenwriter disowned it. The second was the equally crazy Crimes of Passion, starring Kathleen Turner (Body Heat, Serial Mom) at the height of her powers.

Fashion designer Joanna Crane (Turner) leads a double life. By night she is China Blue, a prostitute who’s attracted the unwanted attention of two men. One is a sexually frustrated private detective hired by her employees. The other is psychopathic priest (played by Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins) in possession of a murderous sex toy.

With its outré screenplay by Barry Sandler and over the top score by Rick Wakeman, Crimes of Passion may just be the most outrageous Ken Russell film ever made – and that’s quite some feat!

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from original film materials

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of the director’s cut and unrated versions of the film

  • Optional subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

  • Audio commentary with director Ken Russell and producer-screenwriter Barry Sandler

  • Seven deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary by Sandler

  • Brand-new interview with Sandler recorded especially for this release

  • Home movie footage of Ken Russell visiting Florida for a retrospective screening of Crimes of Passion at the 2009 Orlando Film Festival

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil

  • Illustrated booklet containing new writing by Ken Russell’s biographer, Paul Sutton, correspondence between Russell and Kathleen Turner, and an on-set interview with Russell

 

Female Prisoner Scorpion: The Complete Collection

Release date: 25th July 2016 | UK RRP: £79.99

Starring the iconic and beautiful Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock) in a role that came to define her career, the four-film Female Prisoner Scorpion series charts the vengeance of Nami Matsushima, who assumes the mantle of "Scorpion," becoming an avatar of vengeance and survival, and an unlikely symbol of female resistance in a male-dominated world.

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion introduces Nami, a gullible young woman unjustly imprisoned, who must find a way to escape in order to exact revenge upon the man who betrayed her. The visually avant-garde Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 sees director Shunya Ito and star Meiko Kaji re-unite as Nami and six other female convicts escape prison once more. The Gothic horror-inspired Beast Stable finds Nami branded public enemy #1 and on the run. She soon finds refuge with a sympathetic prostitute, but runs afoul of a local gang. The final film in the series, #701's Grudge Song (from director Yasuharu Hasebe – Retaliation, Massacre Gun), shows a gentler side of Nami as she falls in with Kudo, an ex-radical suffering from physical and psychological trauma caused by police torture.

Spiritual kin to Ms. 45, Coffy and The Bride Wore Black, the Female Prisoner Scorpion is the pinnacle of early 1970s exploitation cinema from Japanese grindhouse studio Toei, and one of the greatest female revenge sagas ever told.

Limited Edition conternts:

  • Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies)

  • Brand new 2K restorations of all four films in the series presented on High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD

  • Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays) for all films

  • Optional English subtitles for all films

  • Double-sided fold out poster of two original artworks

  • Reversible sleeves for all films featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan

  • Booklet featuring an extract from Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji, an upcoming book on the star by critic and author Tom Mes, an archive interview with Meiko Kaji, and a brand new interview with Toru Shinohara, creator of the original Female Prisoner Scorpion manga

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

  • Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Gareth Evans (The Raid)

  • Archive interview with director Shunya Ito

  • New interview with assistant director Yutaka Kohira

  • Theatrical Trailers for all films in the series

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

  • Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kier-La Janisse

  • Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Shunya Ito

  • New interview with production designer Tadayuki Kuwana

  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Female Prisoner Sorpion: Beast Stable

  • Newly filmed appreciation by critic Kat Ellinger

  • Archive interview with director Shunya Ito

  • New visual essay on the career of star and icon Meiko Kaji by critic Tom Mes

  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701's Grudge Song

  • Newly filmed appreciation by filmmaker Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Kichiku: Banquet of the Beasts)

  • Archive interview with director Yasuharu Hasebe

  • Japanese cinema critic Jasper Sharp looks over the career of Yasuharu Hasebe

  • Visual essay on the Scorpion series by critic Tom Mes

  • Original Theatrical Trailer

 

Full details of each release will be posted nearer to the release date.