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James Whale’s atmospheric and entertaining black comedy-tinged horror starring Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas and Charles Laughton returns to selected UK cinemas in April, followed by a dual format release from Masters of Cinema in May.
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More cult thriller and horror titles on Blu-ray in May from Arrow Video

23 February 2018

If you don’t know how you’re going to spend your May Bank Holidays yet, wonder no more as Arrow Video announce their typically enticing May 2018 slate. There’s more than enough thrills and horror to keep even the most hardcore cult fan entertained over a couple of long weekends.

First up is Dark Blue, a hard-boiled tale of police corruption from the author of LA Confidential and The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy. Starring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Banks, this is a powerhouse of a thriller that explores racial tensions and violence within the LAPD.

That’s followed by cult classic monster movie, Rawhead Rex, which claws its way to Blu-ray with a brand new 4K restoration and an amazing selection of extras, including a collector’s booklet and an FX featurette. Sticking with the monster theme, the next release is the Blu-ray of The Bloodthirsty Trilogy from Japan’s Toho Studios. This is Dracula like you’ve never seen him before, and a real gift to fans of classic gothic horror and Japanese cinema.

Speaking of gothic horror, Arrow Video’s next May title, Death Smiles on a Murderer combines gothic traditions and giallo to produce a haunting, dreamlike horror. Directed by Joe D’Amato under his real name, Aristide Massaccesi, the film is seen here in a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative and flaunts a whole load of extras for fans of cult film.

Last, but by no means least, is the real jewel in Arrow Video’s May crown. On Limited Edition Blu-ray, you can see Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, in all its uncut glory (as well as it’s R-rated and ‘Krug & Company’ cuts). With a huge choice of special features and a selection of limited edition collector’s items, this is not only a must-have release of the film, but also a fitting tribute to the master that was Wes Craven.

 

Dark Blue Blu-ray pack shot

Dark Blue | Blu-ray | 7 May 2018 | £19.99

Kurt Russell (The Thing) gives a searing performance as an L.A. cop in this story of corruption from novelist James Ellroy (LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia) and David Ayer (Training Day). 

Spring, 1992. Days before the trial on the Rodney King L.A. riots. Eldon Perry (Russell), a veteran in the LAPD’s Special Investigations Unit struggles with the racially charged violence erupting around him and questions his own underhand methods for dealing with them. 

Featuring a support cast of some of the finest character actors including Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) delivering classic hard-boiled dialogue wrapped in a powerhouse punch of direction from Ron Shelton (Bull Durham).

Special Edition contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing 
  • Audio commentary by director Ron Shelton
  • Code Blue – an archival documentary on the making of the film featuring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, screenwriter David Ayer, director Ron Shelton and others
  • By the Book – an archival featurette on the look of the film featuring art director Tom Taylor, production Dennis Washington, costumes designer Kathryn Morrison and more
  • Necessary Force – an archival featurette on the authentic portrayal of the cops in the film featuring technical advisor Bob Souza, Shelton and Russell
  • Trailer and TV Spots
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching
  • First pressing only: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver

 

Rawhead Rex Blu-ray pack shot

Rawhead Rex | Blu-ray | 14 May 2018 | £24.99

Adapted for the screen by acclaimed horror writer Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Nightbreed) from his short story of the same name, Rawhead Rex sees a hulking, ancient demon tearing a bloody swathe across the Irish countryside. 

When an unsuspecting farmer pulls up a stone column embedded in a barren field, he accidentally unleashes hell by freeing Rawhead Rex – a hulking monster that has been trapped there for thousands of years. With the seemingly unstoppable demon rampaging through the local village, American historian Howard Hallenbeck is faced with the task of putting Rawhead back in the ground for good. 

The first of several films to be adapted from Barker’s seminal Books of Blood series, Rawhead Rex has garnered a strong cult following over the years – now clawing its way to the surface in a stunning new 4K restoration from the original camera negative.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation 
  • Original Uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing 
  • Audio commentary with director George Pavlou, moderated by author Stephen Thrower
  • Call Me Rawhead – an interview with actor Heinrich von Bünau
  • What the Devil Hath Wrought – an interview with actor Ronan Wilmot
  • Rawhead FX – featurette bringing together interviews with creature effects artists Peter Mackenzie Litten and John Schroonraad, special effects supervisor Gerry Johnson, second unit cameraman Sean Corcoran and make-up artist Rosie Blackmore
  • Interview with cameraman Sean Corcoran 
  • Rawhead Rising – artist Stephen R. Bissette on the aborted Rawhead Rex graphic novel adaptation
  • Animated behind-the-scenes image gallery 
  • Original trailer 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter
  • First pressing only: Collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Kat Ellinger

 

Bloodthirsty Trilogy Blu-ray pack shot

The Bloodthirsty Trilogy | Blu-ray | 14 May 2018 | £29.99

Inspired by the runaway success of the British and American gothic horror films of the sixties, Toho Studios brought the vampiric tropes of the Dracula legend to Japanese screens with The Vampire Doll, Lake of Dracula, and Evil of Dracula – three spookily effective cult classics collectively known as The Bloodthirsty Trilogy

In The Vampire Doll, a young man goes missing after visiting his girlfriend’s isolated country home. His sister and her boyfriend trace him to the creepy mansion, but their search becomes perilous when they uncover a gruesome family history. Lake of Dracula begins with a young girl suffering a terrifying nightmare of a vampire with blazing golden eyes. Eighteen years later, the dream is revealed to be a hellish prophecy when a strange package containing an empty coffin mysteriously turns up at a nearby lake. In Evil of Dracula, a professor takes up a new post at an all-girls school only to discover the school’s principal conceals a dark secret and the pupils are in grave danger. 

Abounding with images of dark thunderous nights, ghostly mansions and bloody fangs, Michio Yamamoto’s trilogy emphasises atmosphere and style and is sure to please both fans of classic gothic horror and Japanese genre cinema.

Special Edition contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation transferred from original film elements
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio 
  • Newly translated English subtitles 
  • Kim Newman on The Bloodthirsty Trilogy, a new video appraisal by the critic and writer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
  • First pressing only: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp

 

Death Smiles omn a Murderer Blu-ray pack shot

Death Smiles on a Murderer | Blu-ray | 21 May 2018 | £24.99

A haunting and dreamlike gothic horror/giallo hybrid, Death Smiles on a Murderer is a compelling early work from the legendary sleaze and horror film director Joe D’Amato (Anthropophagus, Emanuelle in America), here billed under his real name Aristide Massaccesi. 

Set in Austria in the early 1900s, Death Smiles on a Murderer stars Ewa Aulin, (Candy, Death Laid an Egg) as Greta, a beautiful young woman abused by her brother Franz (Luciano Rossi – Death Walks in High Heels, The Conformist) and left to die in childbirth by her illicit lover, the aristocrat Dr. von Ravensbrück (Giacomo Rossi Stuart – Kill, Baby... Kill!). Bereft with grief, Franz reanimates his dead sister using a formula engraved on an ancient Incan medallion. Greta then returns as an undead avenging angel, reaping revenge on the Ravensbrück family and her manically possessive brother. 

Presented here in a stunning 2K restoration, D’Amato’s film is a stately and surreal supernatural mystery which benefits from an achingly mournful score by Berto Pisano, several shocking scenes of gore, and a typically sinister performance from Klaus Kinski as a morbid doctor.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation 
  • Original Italian and English soundtracks
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio 
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack 
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by writer and critic Tim Lucas 
  • D’Amato Smiles on Death – an archival interview in which the director discusses the film
  • All About Ewa – a newly-filmed, career-spanning interview with the Swedish star
  • Smiling on the Taboo: Sex, Death and Transgression in the horror films of Joe D’Amato – new video essay by critic Kat Ellinger
  • Original trailers 
  • Stills and collections gallery 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
  • First pressing only: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Stephen Thrower and film historian Roberto Curti

 

The Last House on the Left Blu-ray Limited Edition pack shot

The Last House on the Left | Limited Edition Blu-ray | 28 May 2018 | £29.99

The directorial debut of Wes Craven, the man behind such horror favourites as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes and Scream, The Last House on the Left justly retains its reputation as one of the most harrowing cinematic experiences of all time, nearly half a century on from its original release. 

On the eve of her 17th birthday, Mari and friend Phyllis set off from her family home to the big city to attend a concert by shock-rockers Bloodlust. Attempting to pick up some marijuana on the way, the pair run afoul of a group of vicious crooks, headed up by the sadistic and depraved Krug (David Hess). Gagged and bound, the young women are bundled into a car trunk and driven to the woods, where the gang subject them to a terrifying ordeal of sexual humiliation, torture and murder. 

Unleashed on an unsuspecting public in 1972, The Last House on the Left shocked audiences with its graphic and unflinching portrayal of interpersonal violence, paving the way for a whole host of cheap imitators looking to capitalise on its success. It is Wes Craven’s original alone, however, that remains one of the true watershed moments in horror (and indeed, film) history.

Limited 2x Blu-ray Edition contents:

  • Three cuts of the film newly restored in 2K from original film elements 
  • Original Uncompressed Mono Audio 
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing 
  • Double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork 
  • 6 x lobby card reproductions 
  • Limited edition perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by author Stephen Thrower 
    Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper

Disc One – The Uncut Version:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Uncut Version 
  • Brand new audio commentary by podcasters Bill Ackerman and Amanda Reyes 
  • Archival audio commentary with writer/director Wes Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham 
  • Archival audio commentary with stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln
  • Junior’s Story – a brand new interview with actor Marc Sheffler 
  • Marc Sheffler in Conversation at the American Cinematheque
  • Brand new interview with wardrobe and make-up artist Anne Paul 
  • Songs in the Key of Krug – never-before-seen archive interview with David Hess
  • Celluloid Crime of the Century – archival documentary featuring interviews with Wes Craven, Sean S. Cunningham, actors David Hess, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler and Martin Kove 
  • Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on The Left – archival interview with Wes Craven 
  • Scoring Last House on the Left – archival interview with actor/composer David Hes
  • It's Only a Movie: The Making of The Last House on the Left, archival documentary
  • Forbidden Footage – the cast and crew of Last House on the film’s most controversial sequences 
  • Deleted Scene 
  • Outtakes and Dailies 
  • Trailers, TV Spot & Radio Spots
  • Image Gallery

Disc Two – The 'Krug & Company' and R-Rated Cuts:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Krug and Company and R-rated cuts of the film 
  • The Craven Touch – brand new featurette bringing together interviews with a number of Wes Craven’s collaborators, including Sean S. Cunningham, composer Charles Bernstein, producer Peter Locke, cinematographer Mark Irwin and actress Amanda Wyss
  • Early Days and “Night of Vengeance” – filmmaker Roy Frumkes remembers Wes Craven and Last House on the Left 
  • Tales That'll Tear Your Heart Out – excerpts from an unfinished Wes Craven short