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Demons, El Duce, the return of Re-Animator & more from Arrow in February

27 November 2020

Arrow Video’s February films include Doctor Herbert West behind bars, an extraordinary and unmissable shock rock doc, a duo of demonic horror favourites produced by horror maestro Dario Argento in dazzling UHD, and a dark and disturbing gem from Japan. As well as that, Arrow are announcing a pair of hair-raisingly good Blu-ray exclusives for March. The lineup includes handsomely packaged limited editions, fascinating audio commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes, alternate versions of the films, new essays on the filmmakers, reversible sleeve artwork, collectable booklets and fold-out posters.

First in February, Arrow Video presents Beyond Re-Animator, the second sequel to Stuart Gordon’s undisputed 1985 splatter classic Re-Animator. Next in February comes The El Duce Tapes, a mesmerising and unmissable documentary, culled from VHS footage of the jaw-droppingly offensive Shock Rock band The Mentors. Next up, Demons 1 & 2, two tales of terror synonymous with Italian 80s horror, produced by Dario Argento. Finally in February, Shogun’s Joy of Torture, from the outrageous imagination of cult director Teruo Ishii.

 

Beyond Re-Animator Blu-ray cover art

BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR (2003) | Blu-ray | 1 February 2021 | £24.99

Jeffrey Combs (The Frighteners) returns as everyone’s favourite mad doctor in Beyond Re-Animator, the second sequel to Stuart Gordon’s undisputed 1985 splatter classic Re-Animator.

Finally being held accountable for his catastrophic experiments in re-animating the dead, Dr Herbert West (Combs) finds himself incarcerated at a maximum-security penitentiary. With the arrival of a new prison doctor who happens to be an enthusiastic student of West’s work, the medical deviant is afforded the opportunity to resume his grisly studies - this time on his fellow inmates, with predictably hair-raising results.

Once again helmed by gore guru Brian Yuzna (Bride of Re-Animator, Society) with memorably imaginative make-up effects by Screaming Mad George (Society, The Guyver), Beyond Re-Animator breathes new life into the hit horror franchise.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio options
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Audio commentary by director Brian Yuzna
  • Isolated score track featuring an interview with composer Xavier Capellas
  • Beyond & Back, an interview from 2018 with Yuzna
  • Death Row Side Show, an interview from 2018 with Jeffrey Combs
  • Six Shots by Midnight, an interview with S.T. Toshi, author of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft
  • All in the Head: Brian Yuzna on the Re-Animator Chronicles, an archive interview with the director looking back at the franchise
  • In Prison with the Dead, an on-set documentary made by Yazid Benfeghoul for his Gore News fanzine, featuring interviews with Yuzna, Screaming Mad George and others
  • Production Art Gallery by illustrator Richard Raaphorst
  • Electronic press kit featurette, plus interviews with Yuzna and the cast, and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Press conference footage, featuring Yuzna and the cast 
  • Interviews filmed at the Sitges Film Festival in 2002
  • Music video for “Move Your Dead Bones” by Dr. Reanimator
  • Alternate opening credits
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork by Gary Pullin
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Xavier Aldana Reyes and Michael Doyle

 

The El Duce Tapes Blu-ray cover art

THE EL DUCE TAPES (2019) | Blu-ray | 1 February 2021 | £24.99

In the early 90s, aspiring filmmaker (and General Hospital co-star) Ryan Sexton lugged a giant camcorder into some of the seediest clubs and the filthiest apartments in Hollywood. There he filmed hour upon hour of VHS footage of the jaw-droppingly offensive Shock Rock band The Mentors, focusing on their infamous lead singer, “El Duce.”

30 years later, the team behind The Nightmare and Room 237 and the editor of Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist, uncover this dusty stockpile of long forgotten – and unseen – footage. They begin to piece together a picture of the man under the black executioner’s hood and what his wilfully offensive act and controversial views might tell us about 21st century America.

An incendiary, tragicomic documentary (midway between The Decline of Western Civilization and Crumb) which has been hailed as “Essential Viewing” by CineVue and called “Dark and Irresistible” by director John Carpenter, The El Duce Tapes will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you floored.

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Brand new audio commentary with The El Duce Tapes crew
  • The Ryan Sexton Tapes – 34-minute illustrated audio conversation between Ryan Sexton and producer Tim Kirk about the shooting of the original VHS footage
  • The Nilbog Tapes – Video of the band recording the original score for the film
  • More El Duce Tapes – A free-standing alternate assembly of unused material, sort of a sideways sequel
  • Tape 2: Hollywood Reservoir – A piece of raw tape providing a peek behind the scenes of the process of shooting the footage and a candid document of El Duce and Ryan’s rapport
  • El Duce Stories – A humorous cut-up of a few of El Duce’s famously long aimless stories into one completely incomprehensible and endless word salad
  • Return to Rape Rock Mountain – A brand new interview with Steve Broy, aka Dr. Heathen Scum of The Mentors
  • Reality Check presents the all-female El Duce tribute band The Womentors
  • Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by John Pearson and reverse art by Benjamin Marra
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by Manish Agarwal

 

Demons 1 and 2 UHD pack shot

DEMONS 1 & 2 (1985/1986) | 4K UHD & Limited Edition Blu-ray | 22 February 2021 | £59.99 / £49.99

In the early 1980s, Dario Argento, the famed horror maestro responsible for such classics as Suspiria and Deep Red, branched out from directing into producing, shepherding the work of his fellow filmmakers to the screen – among them Lamberto Bava (Delirium, A Blade in the Dark), son of the legendary Mario Bava. Together, they crafted two tales of terror that would become synonymous with Italian 80s horror, in which the veil between the real world and the silver screen is torn asunder.

In 1985’s Demons, a motley assortment of unwitting filmgoers accept invitations to a screening at the mysterious Metropol theatre. However, as the brutal slasher film unspools, the horror breaks free from the constraints of the screen, unleashing a swarm of slathering demons, intent on spreading their evil plague across the globe. Then, in 1986’s Demons 2, Hell comes direct to the living room as bloodthirsty demons descend on a luxury apartment block, devouring the residents and propagating their deadly plague.

Arrow Video presents a brand new 4K restorations of both classic films, more vivid and terrifying than ever before, alongside a wealth of bonus features old and new, making this the ultimate experience in celluloid terror.

UHD / BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of both films by Arrow Films from the original camera negatives
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentations of both films in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) on the UHD edition
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of both films on the Blu-ray edition
  • Limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rachael Nisbet and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Exclusive mystery sneak preview movie ticket (admits one to the Metropol Theatre)

DISC 1 – DEMONS:

  • Two versions of the film: the full-length original cut in Italian and English, and the slightly trimmed US cut, featuring alternate dubbing and sound effects
  • Brand new lossless English and Italian 5.1 audio tracks on the original cut
  • Original lossless English and Italian 2.0 stereo audio tracks on the original cut
  • Original lossless English 1.0 mono audio track on the US cut
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for both English soundtracks
  • New audio commentary by critics Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain, co-hosts of the Hell’s Bells podcast
  • Archival audio commentary by director Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, moderated by journalist Loris Curci
  • Archival audio commentary by Lamberto Bava, Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti and actress Geretta Geretta
  • Produced by Dario Argento, a new visual essay by author and critic Michael Mackenzie exploring the legendary filmmaker’s career as a producer
  • Dario’s Demon Days, an archival interview with writer/producer Dario Argento
  • Defining an Era in Music, an archival interview with Claudio Simonetti
  • Splatter Spaghetti Style, an archival interview with long-time Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi
  • Italian theatrical trailer
  • International English theatrical trailer
  • US theatrical trailer

DISC 2 – DEMONS 2:

  • Brand new lossless English and Italian 5.1 audio tracks
  • Original lossless English and Italian 2.0 stereo audio tracks
  • 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 critic Travis Crawford
  • Archival audio commentary by director Lamberto Bava and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, moderated by journalist Loris Curci
  • Together and Apart, a new visual essay on space and technology in Demons and Demons 2 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Creating Creature Carnage, an archival interview with Sergio Stivaletti
  • Bava to Bava, an archival interview with Luigi Cozzi on the history of Italian horror
  • Italian theatrical trailer
  • English theatrical trailer

 

Shogun's Joy of Torture Blu-ray cover art

SHOGUN'S JOY OF TORTURE [ TOKUGAWA ONNAKEIBATSU-SHI] (1968) | Blu-ray | 22 February 2021 | £24.99

From the outrageous imagination of cult director Teruo Ishii (Orgies of Edo, Horrors of Malformed Men) comes this infamous omnibus of three shocking tales of crime and punishment based on true-life documented cases set during the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate.

The first tale sees the beautiful Mitsu (Masumi Tachibana) going to horrifying lengths to tend to her older brother Shinzō (Teruo Yoshida), a carpenter injured in a work accident, but the law catches up on them and metes out a terrifying retribution after they violate the ultimate taboo. In the second, unfettered passions in a Buddhist nunnery are not allowed to go unpunished after abbess Reihō (Yukie Kagawa) and her attendant Rintoku (Naomi Shiraishi) encounter a virile young monk from a neighbouring temple. In the closing segment, a sadistic torturer (Fumio Watanabe) attempts to show a tattoo artist (Asao Koike) how to depict convincing expressions of faces of pain in his work by allowing him to sketch a selection of Europeans as they are tortured for entering Japan with the aim of spreading Christianity.

Ishii’s notorious portmanteau of Edo-era excess signalled a change in direction for a director until then regarded for his crime and yakuza films, setting the ball rolling on the run of grotesque historical anthologies for which he is now best remembered. Vehemently denounced by the critics of the day, Shogun’s Joy of Torture set a new benchmark for the depiction of sex, sadism and depravity in Japanese exploitation, with Ishii staging his elaborate torture methods with an unmatched verve and inventiveness.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes
  • Teruo Ishii: Erotic-Grotesque Maestro – an exclusively newly filmed interview with the author Patrick Macias
  • Bind, Torture, Thrill – author and critic Jasper Sharp discusses the history of torture in Japanese exploitation cinema
  • Original trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips