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A seductive range of cult genre titles on Blu-ray from Arrow in June

30 March 2019

The sun comes out for film fanatics this June as Arrow Video release a prophetic sci-fi classic, a post-apocalyptic Canuxploitation action thriller, a cult spine-chiller, a new volume of unmissable horror obscurities, and a dazzling giallo, all beautifully packaged and positively groaning with fascinating extras.

First up is The Andromeda Strain, a brilliant sci-fi thriller from the mind of Michael Crichton, who would go on to create Jurassic Park. Directed by Robert Wise this suspense classic about a killer virus is presented in a stunning, exclusive new restoration from the original negative, and comes packed with featurettes and a collector’s booklet.

More sci-fi in June with Def-con 4, a slice of post-apocalyptic ‘Canuxploitation’ from legendary producer Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to George Miller’s Ozploitation classic Mad MaxDef-Con 4 is an inventive and action-packed low budget sci-fi romp, making its UK High Definition debut with this brand new restoration from Arrow Video.

Next comes The Sender, a shocking psychic thriller filled with unforgettably chilling nightmare imagery, hailed by none other than Quentin Tarantino as his favourite film of 1982. Directed by Academy Award winner Roger Christian, and starring the wonderful Kathryn Harrold, this stylish shocker features a commentary by the director and brand new cover artwork.

Fans of horror obscurity will be in seventh heaven with the eagerly-awaited release of American Horror Project Vol 2, containing three little seen 1970s offerings - Dream No Evil, Dark August and The Child– offering up a fascinating and blood-chilling foray into the deepest, darkest corners of stars-and-stripes terror. Lavishly packaged, the collection, curated by horror film expert Stephen Thrower, comes with a limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films. 

Finally in June, the legendary Klaus Kinski stars in Double Face, a psychological, psychedelic, and at times just plain psychotic crime story that stands as one of the most engaging and enjoyable films in the career of director Riccardo Freda. A densely-plotted, visually-stunning giallo, that evokes much of the same ambience of paranoia and decadence as such classics of the genre as One on Top of the Other and A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin.

 

The Andromeda Strain Blu-ray cover art

The Andromeda Strain (1971) | Blu-ray | 3/4 June 2019 | £24.99

Before he created Westworld and Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton first blurred the line between science fiction and science fact with his breakout success, The Andromeda Strain. Two years after the novel’s publication, Robert Wise (The Haunting) directed the film adaptation, a nail-biting blend of clinically-realised docudrama and astonishing sci-fi visuals that ushered in a new subgenre: the “killer virus” biological thriller.

A government satellite crashes outside a small town in New Mexico – and within minutes, every inhabitant of the town is dead, except for a crying baby and an elderly derelict. The satellite and the two survivors are sent to Wildfire, a top-secret underground laboratory equipped with a nuclear self-destruct mechanism to prevent the spread of infection in case of an outbreak. Realising that the satellite brought back a lethal organism from another world, a team of government scientists race against the clock to understand the extraterrestrial virus – codenamed “Andromeda” – before it can wipe out all life on the planet.

Aided by innovative visual effects by Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running) and an unforgettable avant-garde electronic music score by Gil Melle (The Sentinel), Wise’s suspense classic still haunts to this day, and is presented here in a stunning, exclusive new restoration from the original negative.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • New restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original camera negative
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-Ray presentation
  • Original uncompressed mono audio, newly remastered for this release
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by critic Bryan Reesman
  • A New Strain of Science Fiction, a newly-filmed appreciation by critic Kim Newman
  • The Andromeda Strain: Making The Film, an archive featurette from 2001 directed by Laurent Bouzereau and featuring interviews with director Robert Wise and screenwriter Nelson Gidding
  • A Portrait of Michael Crichton, an archive featurette from 2001 directed by Laurent Bouzereau and featuring an interview with author Michael Crichton
  • Cinescript Gallery, highlights from the annotated and illustrated shooting script by Nelson Gidding
  • Theatrical trailer, TV spots and radio spots
  • Image gallery
  • BD-ROM: PDF of the 192-page “cinescript” with diagrams and production designs
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Peter Tonguette and archive publicity materials

 

Def-Con 4 Blu-ray cover art

Def-con 4 (1985) | Blu-ray | 10 June 2019 | £24.99

The last defence. The last hope. The battle for the future of the world has begun.

In the 1980s, faced with the demise of the drive-in and the rise of the multiplex, New World Pictures – the independent studio established by Roger Corman – increasingly relied on smaller-scale productions, made with an eye to the cable TV and home video markets. Among these was Def-Con 4, an example of so-called “Canuxploitation” or Canadian exploitation cinema, riding on the coat-tails of the boom in post-apocalyptic disaster movies that began in the previous decade.

Two months after the planet is ravaged by nuclear war, astronauts Howe (Tim Choate), Jordan (Kate Lynch, The Twilight Zone) and Walker (John Walsch, Blow Out) are forced to return to earth – now an apocalyptic wasteland consumed by radiation and roamed by cannibal gangs. Forced into desperate pacts with unlikely allies, among them eccentric survivalist Vinny (Maury Chaykin, WarGames), the astronauts must draw on all their resourcefulness to survive this brave new world.

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to George Miller’s Ozploitation classic Max Mad, Def-Con 4 is an inventive and action-packed low budget sci-fi romp, elevated by a pounding score by New World stalwart Christopher Young (Hellraiser) and making its UK High Definition debut with this brand new restoration from Arrow Video.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • New 2K restoration from the original 35mm interpositive
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless mono soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brave New World, a new video interview with New World Pictures editor Michael Spence
  • Nemesis Descending, a new video interview with composer Christopher Young
  • New video interview with author Chris Poggiali on the history and legacy of New World Pictures
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell

 

The Sender Blu-ray cover art

The Sender (1982) | Blu-ray | 17 June 2019 | £24.99

Your dreams will never be the same.

Following his Academy Award success working on Star Wars and Alien and directing two breakout short films, British newcomer Roger Christian made his feature directing debut with The Sender, a shocking psychic thriller filled with unforgettably chilling nightmare imagery.

After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, an amnesiac young man (Željko Ivanek, Hannibal) is labelled “John Doe #83” and admitted to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. Dr Gail Farmer (Kathryn Harrold, Modern Romance) tries to establish a connection with him, but soon begins to experience frightening hallucinations. She quickly realises that the cause of these waking nightmares is none other than the mysterious John Doe, and the strange woman (Academy Award nominee Shirley Knight, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs) who visits the hospital claiming to be his mother…

Hailed by none other than Quentin Tarantino as his favourite film of 1982, and boasting an virtuoso early score by Trevor Jones (The Last Of The Mohicans), The Sender is a stylish precursor to the “rubber reality” dream-logic special effects seen in films like the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, but retains a horrific power of its own.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-Ray presentation
  • Original uncompressed stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by director Roger Christian
  • Newly-filmed interview with screenwriter Tom Baum
  • Newly-filmed appreciation by critic Kim Newman
  • Deleted scenes from the screenplay, including the original ending
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Luke Insect
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Alan Jones and an excerpt from the novelisation by Tom Baum

 

American Horror Project Vol 2 pack shot

American Horror Project Vol 2 | Blu-ray | 24/25 June 2019 | £59.99

Continuing its mission to unearth the very best in weird and wonderful horror obscura from the golden age of US independent genre moviemaking, Arrow Video is proud to present the long-awaited second volume in its American Horror Project series co-curated by author Stephen Thrower (Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents).

Starting off with a little-seen 1970 offering from underrated cult auteur John Hayes (Grave of the Vampire, Garden of the Dead), Dream No Evil is a haunting, moving tale of a young woman’s desperate quest to be reunited with her long-lost father – only to find herself drawn into a fantasyland of homicidal madness. Meanwhile, 1976’s Dark August stars Academy Award-winner Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire) in a story of a man pursued by a terrifying and deadly curse in the wake of a hit-and-run accident. Lastly, 1977’s Harry Novak-produced The Child is a gloriously delirious slice of horror mayhem in which a young girl raises an army of the dead against the people she holds responsible for her mother’s death. 

With all three films having been newly remastered from the best surviving film elements and appearing here for the first time ever on Blu-ray, alongside a wealth of supplementary material, American Horror Project Volume Two offers up yet another fascinating and blood-chilling foray into the deepest, darkest corners of stars-and-stripes terror. 

Limited Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • Brand new 2K restorations from original film elements 
  • High Definition Blu-ray presentation
  • Original uncompressed PCM mono audio
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
  • American Horror Project Journal Vol. II – limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films by Stephen R. Bissette, Travis Crawford and Amanda Reyes

Dream No Evil

  • Filmed appreciation by Stephen Thrower
  • Brand new audio commentary with Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan 
  • Hollywood After Dark: The Early Films of John Hayes, 1959-1971 – brand new video essay by Stephen Thrower looking at Hayes' filmography leading up to Dream No Evil
  • Writer Chris Poggiali on the prodigious career of celebrated character actor Edmond O'Brien
  • Excerpts from an audio interview with actress Rue McClanahan (The Golden Girls) discussing her many cinematic collaborations with director John Hayes

Dark August

  • Filmed appreciation by Stephen Thrower
  • Brand new audio commentary with writer-director Martin Goldman
  • Brand new on-camera interview with Martin Goldman
  • Brand new on-camera interview with producer Marianne Kanter 
  • The Hills Are Alive: Dark August and Vermont Folk Horror – author and artist Stephen R. Bissette on Dark August and its context within the wider realm of genre filmmaking out of Vermont 
  • Original Press Book

The Child

  • 1.37:1 and 1.85:1 presentations of the feature
  • Filmed appreciation by Stephen Thrower
  • Brand new audio commentary with director Robert Voskanian and producer Robert Dadashian, moderated by Stephen Thrower 
  • Brand new on-camera interviews with Robert Voskanian and Robert Dadashian
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Original Press Book

 

Double Face Blu-ray cover art

Double Face | Blu-ray | 24/25 June 2019 | £24.99

In the post-war years, the proliferation of transnational European co-productions gave rise to a cross-pollination of genres, with the same films sold in different markets as belonging to different movements. Among these, Riccardo Freda (I vampiri, The Horrible Dr. Hichock)’s Double Face was marketed in West Germany as an Edgar Wallace ‘krimi’, while in Italy it was sold as a giallo in the tradition of Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace, combining elements from both genres for a unique and unforgettable viewing experience.

When wealthy businessman John Alexander (the legendary Klaus Kinski, giving an atypically restrained performance)’s unfaithful wife Helen (Margaret Lee, Circus of Fear) dies in a car crash, it initially looks like a freak accident. However, the plot thickens when evidence arises suggesting that the car was tampered with prior to the crash. And John’s entire perception of reality is thrown into doubt when he discovers a recently-shot pornographic movie which appears to feature Helen – suggesting that she is in fact alive and playing an elaborate mind game on him…

Psychological, psychedelic, and at times just plain psychotic, Double Face stands as one of the most engaging and enjoyable films in Freda’s lengthy and diverse career – a densely-plotted, visually-stunning giallo that evokes much of the same ambience of paranoia and decadence as such classics of the genre as One on Top of the Other and A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the full-length Italian version of the film 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 author and critic Tim Lucas
  • New video interview with composer Nora Orlandi
  • The Many Faces of Nora Orlandi, a new appreciation of the varied career of the film’s composer by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon
  • The Terrifying Dr. Freda, a new video essay on Riccardo Freda’s gialli by author and critic Amy Simmons
  • Extensive image gallery from the collection of Christian Ostermeier, including the original German pressbook and lobby cards, and the complete Italian cineromanzo adaptation
  • Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neill Mitchell