Quality film news, reviews and features
21st February 2014 18:00:00
Posted by Mike Sutton

Spring 2014 Titles from Arrow

News
Arrow have announced their 2014 Spring titles via their Facebook page and it's certainly a very exciting collection. Not much firm news on individual specifications as yet but the covers are mouth-watering in themselves. More information on individual titles to come.

The Beast Within (1982, Philippe Mora)



Late one full moon-lit night, a woman stands alone on the roadside waiting for her husband to return to their broken-down car. Suddenly she’s pounced upon, dragged into the dark woods and savaged by a barely-glimpsed assailant – something barely human. But this is only the beginning of the terrors in The Beast Within…

Seventeen years on, and the devoted parents of teenager Michael are at their wits end. Their son lies in a hospital bed, his body wracked by a mysterious illness. With doctors unable to offer any diagnosis, Michael’s desperate parents are forced to seek out the answer themselves – by digging up traumatic past events and confronting the true nature of their son’s conception.

The Beast Within stands apart from other creature features due to its decidedly grim tone – the scenes in which the monster violates his victims have proven too strong for some critics – and standout transformation sequence courtesy of makeup artist Tom Hoerber (My Bloody Valentine). Add to these the strong lead performances from Paul Clemens and Ronny Cox (Deliverance, The Car, RoboCop), alongside a stunning score by the late, great Les Baxter, and you have yourself one absolute beast of a movie!

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach of Sadist Art Designs
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 5th May 2014

The Burbs (1989, Joe Dante)



The films of director Joe Dante have taken us to some strange places – a mysterious Chinatown antique store in Gremlins; a secluded resort populated by werewolves in The Howling; even deep inside the human body in Innerspace. But now he takes us to the strangest place of all – surburbia!

Family man Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) is looking forward to a week of putting his feet up at home in the quiet, leafy cul-de-sac of Mayfield Place. But his plans are scuppered by the arrival of new next-door neighbours, The Klopeks, whose behaviour and habits are more than just a little kooky. But things go from kooky to downright sinister when local old boy Walter disappears, leading Ray and his buddies to suspect their new neighbours of killing and eating him! Sure, the Klopeks are a strange bunch what with their digging up the backyard in the middle of the night – but they’re not devil-worshipping cannibal killers… are they?

If you’re looking for a knowing slice of tongue-in-cheek terror then look no further than The ’Burbs. A standout horror comedy from a director who has given us more than his fair share of fun frighteners, The ’Burbs assembles a superb cast including Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher and Corey Feldman in a tall tale of small-town terror. You’ll never look at those eccentric neighbours in the same way again!

Special Edition Contents:
- Limited edition SteelBook packaging
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 23 June 2014

The Delta Force (1985, Menahem Golan)



Cannon Films are known for producing some of the most enjoyable and eccentric action flicks of the ’80s – but The Delta Force, which boasts scenes of Chuck Norris flying through the air on a missile-mounted motorbike, surely stands as one of their most entertaining efforts.

American Travel Ways Flight 282 has been hijacked by a group of terrorists claiming to represent the New World Revolutionary Organisation. The Delta Force, under the leadership of Captain Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris), is called in to handle the situation. Still smarting from an ill-fated hostage rescue mission several years prior, this elite squad of special forces are determined to succeed in their mission this time – and assert the might of the American military once and for all.

Drawing on a number of true-life terrorist incidents for inspiration, most notably the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, The Delta Force is a non-stop thrill ride which culminates in one of the most explosive action flick finales of all time. With Chuck Norris on hand to provide the muscle and gravelly-voiced Lee Marvin (The Killers) in his last ever screen role, The Delta Force is one mission you can’t afford not to accept.

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 28 April 2014

Koyaanisqatsi / Powaqqatsi (1982 / 88, Godfrey Reggio)



ko●yaa●nis●qatsi (from the Hopi language)

n., 1. crazy life 2. life in turmoil 3. life out of balance 4. life disintegrating 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living

po●waq●qa●tsi (from the Hopi language, powaq sorcerer + qatsi life)

n., an entity, a way of life, that consumes the life forces of other beings in order to further its own life

Told without dialogue, narration, cast or characters, Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi are dizzying, hypnotic examples of cinema set to extraordinary scores by Philip Glass. The first instalment concentrates on the United States, contrasting its natural beauty with a population ever more dependent on modern technology. The second switches to the Southern hemisphere and focuses on cultures and traditions that are slowly eroding away as the modern world takes over.

Special Edition Contents:
- New, restored digital transfers of both films, approved by director Godfrey Reggio
- 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio
- Newly created exclusive content
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 21 April 2014

L'Assassino (1961, Elio Petri)



Arrow Academy is proud to present L’Assassino, the debut feature of the late Italian director Elio Petri, a man whose films have often been unjustly overlooked in favour of other more heralded filmmakers.

L’Assassino tells the story of 30-something antiques dealer Alfredo Martelli (Marcello Mastroianni) who, at the film’s outset, finds himself under suspicion for murdering his wealthy older lover. As the investigation presses on, a series of flashbacks gives us an insight into Alfredo’s character and the nature of his relationship with his now deceased lover Adalgisa (Micheline Presle).

With its Kafkaesque mood and distincly political bent, Petri’s first film bears many of the hallmarks of his later work. In the director’s own words, “L’Assassino reflected the changes wrought by the early 60s. [What it was about] was a new generation of upstarts who lacked any kind of moral scruple.”

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New 2K digital restoration from the Cineteca di Bologna
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 19 May 2014

Milano Calibro 9 (1972, Fernando Di Leo)



Perhaps the one true film noir to emerge from Italy, Milano Calibro 9 is a gritty, ultra-violent masterpiece and an essential entry in the cannon of Italian crime cinema. Centering on the character of ex-con Ugo Piazza (played with stone-cold precision by Gastone Moschin) the film also benefits from the presence of giallo regular Barbara Bouchet and her considerable charms.

Released after a three-year term in prison for a bungled robbery, Ugo Piazza plans to lead the straight life for a while. But no sooner is he back on the street than he’s picked up by a bunch of hoodlums under the employ of his former boss, the ‘Americano’ – among them, the psychopathic Rocco – who are convinced that Ugo stole $300,000 before his incarceration. The gang forces Ugo to resume working for them in the hope that he’ll eventually lead them to their missing cash.

The first part in director Fernando Di Leo’s Milieu Trilogy, Milano Calibro 9 is an early example of the poliziotteschi – Italian crime films –which proliferated in the 1970s. Di Leo eschews the sleazy, more exploitative approach of some his contemporary filmmakers for a more serious take on his subject matter – although he’s not averse to show-stopping gun fights and long, lingering shots of the lovely Barbara Bouchet.

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 16 June 2014

The Abominable Dr Phibes / Dr Phibes Rises Again (1971 / 72, Robert Fuest)



Horror legend Vincent Price (The Fall of the House of Usher, Theatre of Blood) is Dr. Phibes, former musician, current murderer. Seeking revenge from the medical staff that left his wife for dead, he sets about knocking them off one-by-one in a series of elaborate murders based upon a Ten Plagues of Egypt. Death by bats, by boils, by blood and more await the nurse and surgeons who failed to save the life of the beloved Victoria Regina Phibes!

A camp classic, The Abominable Dr. Phibes sets itself apart from the seventies horror crowd with its knowing humour and art deco sets, and also prefigures the Saw movies with its increasingly fiendish set of murder devices.

Pairing the original film with sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again, The Complete Dr. Phibes provides viewers with a double diabolical dose of macabre thrills and black comedy.

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition digital transfers of both films
- Newly created exclusive content
- Deluxe Edition collector’s Box featuring original artwork
- 100-Page Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 9 June 2014

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961, Roger Corman)




A horse-drawn carriage pulls up on a deserted beach. A sombre figure dismounts and gazes up towards his destination – a foreboding cliff-top castle perched high above the crashing waves. Thus the perfect Gothic scene is set for Pit and the Pendulum, the second of Roger Corman’s celebrated Poe adaptations once again starring the ever-reliable Vincent Price (The Fall of the House of Usher, Theatre of Blood) alongside the bewitching Barbara Steele (Black Sunday).

Having learned of the sudden death of his sister Elizabeth (Steele), Francis Barnard (John Kerr) sets out to the castle of his brother-in-law, Nicholas Medina, to uncover the cause of her untimely demise. A distraught, grief-stricken Nicholas (Price) can offer only the vaguest explanations as to Elizabeth’s death – at first citing “something in her blood”, but later asserting that she quite literally “died of fright”. What sort of unspeakable horrors are buried within the walls of this castle that could cause one’s heart to stop so? With Francis determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, the terrible truth will not stay buried for long.

Right from its brooding kaleidoscopic opening titles, Pit and Pendulum draws you into its world of cobwebs, secret passageways and dusty suits of armour. All the necessary elements are present and correct and, along with one of Vincent Price’s most tortured performances, make Pit and the Pendulum every inch the Gothic melodrama.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 12 May 2014

Porky's (1982, Bob Clark)




Long before American Pie and Superbad came the original and best sex comedy. A firm favourite of teen movie fans, Porky’s introduced audiences to Kim Cattrall (Police Academy, Big Trouble in Little China) and made an absolute killing at the box-office.

It’s 1954 and the sex-obsessed boys of Angel Beach High School are looking to get laid. Porky’s is their destination, local nightclub and whorehouse. Only its redneck owner has other plans, as does his sheriff brother. Will Meat, Mickey, Tommy and the other guys in the gang get their own back? And will the barely-endowed Pee Wee finally lose his virginity?

Having established his credentials as one of Canada’s top horror filmmakers with the likes of Black Christmas and Dead of Night, Bob Clark took an unexpected turn into the world of the teenage sex comedy and inadvertently made the most successful Canadian motion picture of all time, an honour it still holds today.

Special Edition Contents:
- Limited edition SteelBook packaging
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 26 May 2014

Sisters (1973, Brian De Palma)



Before 1973, Brian De Palma was impossible to pigeonhole: he made comedies, political satires and openly experimental pieces. But with Sisters (originally released as Blood Sisters in the UK) he turned to the suspense thriller and discovered his natural home - and a style that would lead directly to later masterpieces like Carrie, Dressed to Kill and Blow Out.

When Danielle (Margot Kidder) meets potential boyfriend Philip (Lisle Wilson) after appearing on the TV show Peeping Toms (a nod to the Michael Powell shocker), she invites him home, only to attract the ire of her twin sister Dominique. From across the courtyard, Rear Window style, reporter Grace (Jennifer Salt) witnesses Philip being murdered by one of the twins - but the police find no body or any physical evidence. Naturally, Grace takes things into her own hands, and discovers more about the sisters’ relationship than she bargained for…

Strongly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski, and with a score by the great Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Psycho), Sisters was the first true “Brian De Palma” film.

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 14 April 2014

Theatre of Blood (1973, Douglas Hickox)




It's never been tougher to be a critic than in THEATRE OF BLOOD, one of the greatest horror comedies of all time. Vincent Price gives a career best performance as Edward Lionhart, a veteran Shakespearean actor who, when passed over for the coveted Critic's Circle award for Best Actor takes deadly revenge on the critics who snubbed him.

With one of the greatest ensemble casts ever assembled for a horror film including Diana Rigg, Harry Andrews, Jack Hawkins and Arthur Lowe, THEATRE OF BLOOD is an dementedly funny and deliciously macarbe cult classic.

Special Edition Contents:
- High Definition digital transfer
- Newly created exclusive content
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!
- More to be announced closer to the release date

Release Date: 28 April 2014


We hope to cover all these in depth on The Digital Fix as they come out. Watch this space...
About Mike Sutton
Mike has been reviewing DVDs and, latterly, Blu-Rays for this site on and off since June 1999. He is willing to review anything and everything but his first loves are American movies from the 1960s to the 1980s, Sam Peckinpah, Brian De Palma, Westerns, and Horror. His main contribution, however, is to sharply raise the average age of the reviewing staff.


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