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Cult thrillers, a horror rarity and a Japanese sf from Arrow in April

25 January 2019

Arrow Video’s April line-up is bound to put a spring in the step of film fans, with a mind-boggling Japanese sci-fi, a rare and wonderful giallo, a cult thriller penned by John Carpenter and an 80s horror rarity. All the releases are laden with specially commissioned extras, including interviews, commentaries, and new artwork.

First up, it’s Fist of the North Star meets Starship Troopers, with the amazing Japanese sci-fi chiller Terra Formars from the formidable Takashi Miike (Audition) adapted from the popular Manga series of the same name. It’s a riveting story of astronauts up against mutant cockroaches after a botched attempt to colonise Mars, and the UK home video debut includes a wealth of extra features.

Next is the gloriously excessive giallo The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire, that boasts a rogues gallery of perverse characters, violent, fetishized murders, and one of the genre’s most bonkers red-herring laden plots. The pristine release features a new 2K restoration, a whole heap of extras including a brand new commentary by horror experts David Flint and Adrian J. Smith, and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.

Also in April, Arrow release the sensational John Carpenter-scripted action thriller Black Moon Rising, starring Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) as Sam Quint, a master thief attempting to reclaim prototype supercar the Black Moon from Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), to get back an important computer disc loaded with explosive secrets. The Blu-ray comes packed with extras including a new interview with composer Lalo Schifrin, behind the scenes footage and alternative scenes, and striking new artwork.

Following on from last year’s Arrow release of Doom Asylum, comes director Richard Friedman’s 1987 horror Scared Stiff, a back-in-the-day VHS favourite. Scripted by Twin Peaks scribe Mark Frost, and starring The Fury lead Andrew Stevens, this is a smashing little shocker, now given the much-deserved Blu-ray treatment, and served up with some spine-tingling features. 

If you’re looking for a cult goody right now, get over to Arrow Video on Amazon Prime Channels now, to see the wonderfully weird Dave Made A Maze, a superb homage to fantasy adventure films from the 1980s dubbed a “homemade Labyrinth for adults”, that features incredible and imaginative production design that literally takes you out of this world.

 

Terra Formars Blu-ray cover art

Terra Formars (2016) | Blu-ray | 1 April 2019 | £24.99

The ever-prolific Takashi Miike, the director behind the likes of Audition, the Dead or Alive trilogy and Blade of the Immortal, returns with this intergalactic epic in which a team of space explorers find themselves pitched against a horde of oversized anthropomorphic cockroaches.

In the mid-21st century, humankind has been forced to look to colonising other planets as a means of combating overcrowding on Earth – their first stop, Mars. With a population of cockroaches having been introduced on Mars some 500 years prior to help prepare the way for human colonization, a manned mission sets out to the red planet with the aim of clearing away the bugs. Upon arrival, however, they discover that the roaches have evolved to huge, vicious creatures capable of wielding weapons.

Based on the popular Manga series of the same name, Terra Formars is an action-packed space adventure brought to life by one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary filmmakers.

Special Edition contents:

  • High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA options
  • Newly-translated English subtitles
  • The Making of Terra Formars – feature-length documentary on the film’s production featuring a host of cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Extended cast interviews
  • Footage from the 2016 Japanese premiere
  • Outtakes
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical and teaser trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options
  • First Pressing only: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Tom Mes

 

The Iguana With the Tongue of Fire Blu-ray cover art

The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971) | Blu-ray | 8 April 2019 | £24.99

One of several ‘animal-in-the-title’ cash-ins released in the wake of Dario Argento’s box-office smash The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is a gloriously excessive giallo that boasts a rogues gallery of perverse characters; violent, fetishized murders, and one of the genre’s most nonsensical, red-herring laden plots (which sees almost every incidental character hinted at potentially being the killer).

Set in Dublin (a rather surprising giallo location), Iguana opens audaciously with an acid-throwing, razor-wielding maniac brutally slaying a woman in her own home. The victim’s mangled corpse is discovered in a limousine owned by Swiss Ambassador Sobiesky (Anton Diffring – Where Eagles Dare) and a police investigation is launched, but when the murdering continues and the ambassador claims diplomatic immunity, tough ex-cop John Norton (Luigi Pistilli – A Bay of Blood) is brought in to find the killer…

Benefitting from a sumptuous score by Stelvio Cipriani (Nightmare City, Death Walks on High Heels) and exuberant supporting performances from Valentina Cortese (The Possessed, Thieves' Highway) and Dagmar Lassander (The Frightened Woman, The Black Cat), The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is a luridly over-the-top latter-day entry in the filmography of acclaimed director Riccardo Freda (Caltiki – The Immortal Monster, Murder Obsession). An archetypal giallo from the genre’s heyday, Freda’s film is presented here in a stunning new restoration with a host of newly produced extras.

Special Edition contents:

  • New 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio 
  • Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits 
  • 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 giallo connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint 
  • Of Chameleons and Iguanas, a newly filmed video appreciation by the cultural critic and academic Richard Dyer 
  • Considering Cipriani, a new appreciation of the composer Stelvio Cipriani and his score to The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire by DJ and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon 
  • The Cutting Game, a new interview with Iguana’s assistant editor Bruno Micheli 
  • The Red Queen of Hearts, a career-spanning interview with the actress Dagmar Lassander 
  • Original Italian and international theatrical trailers 
  • Image gallery 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • First Pressing only: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich

 

Black Moon Rising Blu-ray cover art

Black Moon Rising (1986) | Blu-ray | 15 April 2019 | £24.99

Buckle up for ride in the Black Moon, a sleek, high-tech supercar, powered by hydrogen and capable of speeds of over 300mph!

Tommy Lee Jones (Rolling Thunder, Under Siege) stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon. When a gang of thieves steal the car, Quint seduces their leader, Nina (Linda Hamilton, Terminator), to get to the disc. But in order to reclaim his property, Quint and Nina must break into an impenetrable skyscraper and take down Ed Ryland (Robert Vaughn – The Delta Force), the head of a dangerous stolen car syndicate…

A fast-moving, hydrogen-fueled action thriller written by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), Black Moon Rising has earned admiration from cult movie audiences for its thrilling chase sequences, pounding synth score, and slick direction courtesy of Harley Cokeliss (Battle Truck, The Glitterball).

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original 35mm interpositive 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation 
  • Uncompressed PCM 2.0 stereo audio and alternative 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack 
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary by Lee Gambin, author of Show Me: The Making of Christine
  • Black Moon Ascending, a new interview with director Harley Cokeliss 
  • Thief in The Night: Producing Black Moon Rising, a new interview with producer Douglas Curtis
  • Sound of Speed: Composing Black Moon Rising, a new interview with composer Lalo Schifrin and film music historian Daniel Schweiger 
  • Carpenter’s Craft, a new video essay on co-writer John Carpenter’s screenwriting career by author and critic Troy Howarth 
  • Making Black Moon Rising, an archival documentary featuring behind the scenes footage and cast and crew interviews 
  • Alternative Hong Kong version scenes, a presentation of selected scenes from the Hong Kong theatrical version with a different score and sound effects 
  • Theatrical trailer and radio spots 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love
  • First Pressing only: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kieran Fisher

 

Scared Stiff Blu-ray cover art

Scared Stiff (1987) | Blu-ray | 22 April 2019 | £24.99

TV star Mary Page Keller (Pretty Little Liars) appears alongside Andrew Stevens (10 to Midnight, The Fury) as a couple terrorised by an age-old curse in this much-underrated late-80s offering from director Richard Friedman.

Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries with it a dark and blood-stained past – and one that is about to terrorise them in the present.

The second feature helmed by Richard Friedman, who went on to direct such genre favourites as Doom Asylum and Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge, Scared Stiff (AKA The Masterson Curse) builds to an astonishing practical FX-laden climax sure to please fans of 80s horror.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
  • Original uncompressed Stereo audio
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with director Richard Friedman, producer Dan Bacaner and film historian Robert Ehlinger
  • Mansion of the Doomed: The Making of Scared Stiff – brand new documentary featuring interviews with Richard Friedman, Dan Bacaner, Robert Ehlinger, actors Andrew Stevens and Joshua Segal, special effects supervisor Tyler Smith and special effects assistants Jerry Macaluso and Barry Anderson
  • Brand new interview with composer Billy Barber
  • Image Gallery 
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options
  • First Pressing only: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by James Oliver