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Arrow Video announces its June Blu-ray and DVD release slate

17 March 2017

As spring begins to turn into summer, Arrow Video has some real treats in store for cult film fans, with a typically lovely blend of comedy, horror and action, all due for release in June.

First from the slate is Klown, a cult comedy from Denmark that sees comedians Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen (hosts of the Danish version of Shooting Stars) play extreme versions of themselves in a comedy-of-embarrassment that could be described as what you’d get if Lars von Trier directed The Inbetweeners. Based on the hit Danish sitcom, the press release claims that it can’t really tell you too much more about it as it’s far too crude to write up here. They obviously don't know us.

Next up, Arrow Video will be releasing the classic video nasty Madhouse, a terrifying bloodbath so gruesome that it was outlawed by the UK authorities. Directed by Ovidio Assonitis (The Visitor, Piranha II: The Spawning) this Italian production was shot entirely on location in Savannah, Georgia and blended the OTT excesses of Italian horror with the traits of the US slasher movie trend. A must-view for fans of grisy cinema.

This month’s Limited Edition release comes in the form of Dario Argento’s acclaimed directorial debut, The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. This is the film that redefined the giallo genre and began Argento’s golden era of filmmaking. With the Dual Format release gorgeously showing off Vittorio Storaro’s sumptuous cinematography and Ennio Morricone’s seductive score, the film has never looked or sounded better as it does here with its brand new 4K restoration.

Last but not least is a treat for fans of Japanese cinema with the release of Kinji Fukasaku’s Doberman Cop. Never before released on video outside Japan, this oddity is based on a popular manga and was released just as the popularity of the yakuza movie was waning. Starring Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, this American-style crime film is an action-comedy that’s one of Fukasaku and Chiba’s most enjoyable films as Chiba channels a Japanese Dirty Harry. A real missing link in 1970s Japanese cinema.

As always, all of the Arrow Video releases are packed with fascinating special features for cinephiles to really sink their teeth into.

 

Klown dual format cover

Klown [Klovn: The Movie] | Dual format Blu-ray & DVD | 5 June 2017 | £19.99

Comedians and TV personalities Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen (hosts of the Danish version of Shooting Stars) play extreme versions of themselves in the Curb Your Enthusiasm-alike comedy of embarrassment.

Based on the hit sitcom, Klown finds Frank on the verge of the fatherhood. So how better to prove his paternal credentials than ‘borrowing’ his awkward 13-year-old nephew to accompany him and Casper on their annual tour de pussy? What follows is far too crude and outrageous to describe here!

Imagine a Scandinavian relative of The Inbetweeners and The Hangover with a dash of Lars von Trier at his most playfully transgressive and you’re getting close to the shocking hilarity of Klown.

Special Edition contents:

  • High definition Blu-ray (1080p)
  • 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Commentary by director Mikkel Nørgaard and writer-actors Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen
  • Klown: It’s a Jungle Down There, an episode from the original television series, co-written by Lars von Trier
  • Klown from Behind, a ‘making of’ documentary
  • Crafting ‘The Willie’, a featurette on the film’s prosthetics
  • Inside Castello Alleycat, scenes from film’s brothel set
  • Deleted scenes
  • Alternative opening sequence
  • Outtakes
  • Gallery
  • Trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Danny Hellman

 

Madhouse | Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD | 12 June 2017 | £24.99

Helmed by legendary producer/director Ovidio Assonitis, the man behind such cult favourites as The Visitor and Piranha II: The Spawning, Madhouse is a crimson-soaked tale of sibling rivalry taken to a terrifying and bloody extreme.

Julia has spent her entire adult life trying to forget the torment she suffered at the hands of her twisted twin Mary… but Mary hasn’t forgotten. Escaping hospital, where she’s recently been admitted with a horrific, disfiguring illness, Julia’s sadistic sister vows to exact a particularly cruel revenge on her sibling this year – promising a birthday surprise that she’ll never forget.

An Italian production shot entirely in Savannah, Georgia, Madhouse (aka And When She Was Bad and There Was a Little Girl) fuses slasher elements with the over-the-top excess of ‘80s Italian terror – resulting in a cinematic bloodbath so gut-wrenching that the British authorities saw fit to outlaw it as a “video nasty”.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition presentations
  • Original Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
  • Brand new interviews with cast and crew
  • Alternate Opening Titles
  • Theatrical Trailer, newly transferred in HD
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
  • First pressing only: Booklet featuring new writing on the film

 

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (Limited Edition) [L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo] | Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD | 19 June 2017 | £29.99

In 1970, young first-time director Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) made his indelible mark on Italian cinema with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – a film which redefined the ‘giallo’ genre of murder-mystery thrillers and catapulted him to international stardom.

Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante – We Own the Night), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi – Funeral in Berlin) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifying the maniac terrorising Rome, he launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless of the danger to both himself and his girlfriend Giulia (Suzy Kendall – Spasmo)…

A staggeringly assured debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage establishes the key traits that would define Argento’s filmography, including lavish visuals and a flare for wildly inventive, brutal scenes of violence. With sumptuous cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and a seductive score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone (Once Upon a Time in the West), this landmark film has never looked or sounded better in this new, 4K-restored limited edition from Arrow Video.

Limited Edition contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the camera negative in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
  • English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
  • The Power of Perception, a new visual essay on the cinema of Dario Argento by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study
  • New analysis of the film by critic Kat Ellinger
  • New interview with writer/director Dario Argento
  • New interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • 6 Lobby Card reproductions
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet illustrated by Matthew Griffin, featuring an appreciation of the film by Michael Mackenzie, and new writing by Howard Hughes and Jack Seabrook

 

Doberman Cop [Doberuman deka] | Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD | 26 June 2017 | £24.95

Released just as the popularity of yakuza movies was waning in Japan, and as the country's film industry was undergoing some fundamental shifts, Doberman Cop is a unique entry in the career of director Kinji Fukasaku (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Battle Royale), and reunited him with star Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba (The Street Fighter, Wolf Guy) in an American-style crime movie that mixes gunplay and pulp fiction with martial arts and lowbrow comedy to create one of their most entertaining films.

Based on a popular manga by "Buronson" (creator of Fist of the North Star), Doberman Cop follows the fish-out-of-water adventures of Joji Kano (Chiba), a tough-as-nails police officer from Okinawa who arrives in Tokyo's Kabuki-cho nightlife district to investigate the savage murder and mutilation of an island girl who had been working as a prostitute. Initially dismissed as a country bumpkin (complete with straw hat and live pig in tow!), Kano soon proves himself a more savvy detective than the local cops, and a tougher customer than anyone expected. As he probes deeper into the sleazy world of flesh-peddling, talent agency corruption and mob influence, Kano uncovers the shocking truth about the girl, her connection to a yakuza-turned-music manager (Hiroki Matsukata), and a savage serial killer who is burning women alive.

Made to appeal both to the youth market with its biker gangs and popular music, as well as to old-time yakuza movie fans, Doberman Cop is an surprising oddity in Fukasaku's career, his sole film adapted directly from a manga and never before released on video outside of Japan. Featuring Chiba at his charismatic best — channeling a Japanese Dirty Harry while doing all his own stunts — and Fukasaku at his most fun, deftly showcasing the combined talents of his "Piranha Army" stock company of actors and other regular players — Doberman Cop is a classic action comedy and a missing link in 1970's Japanese cinema deserving of rediscovery.

Special Edition contents:

  • High Definition digital transfer
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Beyond the Film: Doberman Cop, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
  • New video interview with actor Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba
  • New video interview with screenwriter Koji Takada
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s book featuring new writing on the films by Patrick Macias