Cine Outsider header
front page    disc reviews      film reviews    articles    interviews  
previous
George Romero and Jonathan Demme on Criterion Blu-ray in February
The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have confirmed their UK Blu-ray titles for February 2018 and it's a treat for cult movie fans, Jonathan Demme's Something Wild and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead.
review archive
Older news stories have been archived by year and month, most recent first. They can be accessed by clicking on the links below.
  2017 2016
2015 2014 2013
2012 2011 2010
2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004
 
A bumper crop of Blu-rays, DVDs and other goodies from Arrow in February

27 November 2017

Arrow has announced the launch of a new web site and an abundance of quality releases for February 2018 from Arrow Video and Arrow Academy, plus two additions to the Arrow Records and Arrow Books roster this December.

The new web site can be forund at www.arrowfilms.com. The new site features all the products from Arrow’s key brands – Arrow Video and Arrow Academy – and also has previous and anticipated forthcoming releases from the renowned Arrow Films and Nordic Noir labels. Additionally, the new Arrow TV range, and initial releases from both the Arrow Books and Arrow Records labels will be available to purchase from the site.

Arrow Video kicks off February with Herschell Gordon Lewis’s delightfully depraved The Gruesome Twosome. Deliciously demented and gore soaked as only Lewis knew how. The terror continues with the standard DVD and Blu-ray releases of Dario Argento’s incredible debut The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. The thriller establishes the key traits that would define Argento’s filmography, including lavish visuals and a flare for wildly inventive, brutal scenes of violence. More horror later in the month with the Blu-ray premiere of forgotten gem Scalpel - treat for fans of the arcane and macabre. And finally in February from Arrow Video, the second feature film from German provocateur Jörg Buttgereit, Der Todesking gets its UK Blu-ray premiere with limited edition packaging, a soundtrack CD, a 60-page book, and much, much more.

Arrow Academy starts February with the lavish Inferno, a documentary and part recreation of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s ill-fated film of the same name, starring Romy Schneider as the harassed wife of a controlling hotel manager (Serge Reggiani). Making its world Blu-ray premiere in February is Federico Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal, an allegorical pseudo-documentary, and possibly the director’s most satirical and overtly political film. Next up, a powerful adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s first novel 'Une vie', A Woman’s Life is a timeless story of love, betrayal and anguish set in the repressive patriarchal world of early 19th century Normandy. The star-studded classic Magnificent Doll makes its UK Blu-ray debut in February, tracing heroine Dolley Payne Madison’s (Ginger Rogers) journey to the White House from her youth in Virginia at the end of the Revolutionary War. Finally in February from Arrow Academy, Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films (1968-1971), a collection of collaborations between the French director and film writer Gorin, and comes loaded with extras.

In December, Arrow Books release The Hitcher, a must-have for fans of the cult Rutger Hauer thriller, in which scholar and author Alexandra Heller Nicholas investigates the film’s fascinating production history and reception.

Arrow Records proudly present the original soundtrack to Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava's sci-fi horror cult classic, Caltiki, the Immortal Monster. This limited green vinyl edition has been newly mastered and comes in beautiful, collectable packaging.


The Gruesome Twosome packshot

The Gruesome Twosome | Blu-ray | 5 February 2018 | £19.99

After dabbling in the unlikely world of children’s entertainment with the likes of Jimmy, the Boy Wonder and The Magic Land of Mother Goose, in 1967 the “Godfather of Gore” Herschell Gordon Lewis returned to the genre he helped create with the delightfully depraved The Gruesome Twosome

The young women of a small-town American college have more than just split-ends to worry about… Down at the Little Wig Shop, the batty Mrs. Pringle and her socially-inept son Rodney are procuring only the finest heads of hair – by scalping the local co-eds! Can they be stopped before they clear the entire campus of luxuriant-haired ladies? 

Also including HG Lewis’ Dracula-inspired vampire epic A Taste of Blood as a bonus feature, this is one Gruesome Twosome that’s well worth flipping your wig over.

Special Edition contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation 
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing 
  • Bonus Feature – 1967’s A Taste of Blood 
  • Introductions to the films by HG Lewis 
  • Archive audio commentaries for both films by HG Lewis
  • Peaches Christ Flips Her Wig! – San Francisco performer Peaches Christ on The Gruesome Twosome
  • It Came from Florida – filmmaker Fred Olen Ray (Scalps, The Alien Dead) on Florida Filmmaking
  • HG Lewis vs. the Censors – HG Lewis discusses some of the pitfalls of the blood-and-guts business including local censorship and angry moviegoers
  • Trailers and radio spot 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil


The Bird with the Crystal Plumage pack shot

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage | Blu-ray (£24.99) + DVD (£15.99) | 12 February 2018

In 1970, young first-time director Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) made his indelible mark on Italian cinema with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – a film which redefined the ‘giallo’ genre of murder-mystery thrillers and catapulted him to international stardom. 

Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante, We Own the Night), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi, Funeral in Berlin) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifying the maniac terrorising Rome, he launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless of the danger to both himself and his girlfriend Giulia (Suzy Kendall, Spasmo)… 

A staggeringly assured debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage establishes the key traits that would define Argento’s filmography, including lavish visuals and a flare for wildly inventive, brutal scenes of violence. With sumptuous cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and a seductive score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone (Once Upon a Time in the West), this landmark film has never looked or sounded better in this new, 4K-restored edition from Arrow Video!

Blu-ray and DVD Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation on the Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation
  • Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray)
  • English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack 
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films 
  • The Power of Perception, a new visual essay on the cinema of Dario Argento by Alexanda Heller-Nicholas, author of Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study
  • New analysis of the film by critic Kat Ellinger
  • New interview with writer/director Dario Argento
  • New interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp)
  • Eva’s Talking, an archival interview with actor Eva Renzi (Monica Ranieri)
  • Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp


Scalpel pack shot

Scalpel | Blu-ray | 19 February 2018 | £24.99

US television staple Robert Lansing (Star Trek, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone) stars as a deranged surgeon in this twisty-turny psychological thriller from Blood Rage director John Grissmer. 

In Scalpel, Lansing plays Dr. Phillip Reynolds, a man whose daughter Heather (Judith Chapman, As the World Turns, General Hospital) has run away from home a year prior following the suspicious death of her boyfriend. When he happens across a young woman one night, her face beaten beyond recognition, the unhinged Reynolds sees his an opportunity to put his trusty scalpel to use – hatching a plan to “reconstruct” her face in the image of his missing daughter, and so claim her sizeable inheritance. 

Photographed by celebrated cinematographer Edward Lachman, who would go on to serve as DP on the likes of Erin Brockovich and The Virgin Suicides, Scalpel is an exemplary slice of Southern-fried gothic, filled finally rescued from VHS obscurity in this revelatory new Blu-ray edition from Arrow Video.

Director-Approved Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Uncompressed Mono Audio Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith
  • Brand new crew interviews 
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
  • First pressing only: Collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Bill Ackerman


Der Todesking pack shot

Der Todesking | Dual format Blu-ray + DVD | 26 February 2018 | £29.99

The second feature film from German provocateur Jörg Buttgereit, director of Nekromantik and Nekromantik 2, Der Todesking (“The King of Death”) presents seven suicides across seven days of the week.

As a chain letter from the self-proclaimed “Brotherhood of the 7th Day” circulates encouraging its recipients to end their lives, a series of grim murder-suicides unfold. In one vignette, a young woman massacres a room of concert-goers before turning the gun on herself; in another, a man, driven to madness by some unspecified mental disturbance, repeatedly slams his head into a wall before collapsing in a pool of his own blood… These are just some of depictions of death and despair that make up the tortured fabric of Der Todesking.

Regarded by many as director Jörg Buttgereit’s most accomplished work, Der Todesking is an existential masterpiece - a powerfully haunting howl of rage from one of the genre’s most underrated filmmakers.

3-Disc Director-Approved Limited Edition contents:

  • Director’s approved HD transfer from the original 16mm negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original Stereo Audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Limited edition packaging featuring new artwork by Gilles Vranckx
  • Limited edition certificate featuring original artwork
  • Replica “Brotherhood of the 7th Day” Chain Letter
  • Der Todesking Soundtrack CD
  • Limited Edition 60-page book

Disc 1 [Blu-ray] & Disc 2 [DVD] – Der Todesking

  • Audio commentary by Jörg Buttgereit and co-writer Franz Rodenkirchen
  • From Bundy to Lautréamont - Jörg Buttgereit in conversation with journalist Graham Rae at the 2016 Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films 
  • The Making of Der Todesking – vintage production featurette 
  • Footage from the original 1990 Berlin premiere
  • Corpse Fucking Art – 1992 documentary bringing together the making of featurettes of Nekromantik
  • Der Todesking and Nekromantik 2 Der Gollob (1983, 25 mins) – short film by Jörg Buttgereit, newly transferred in HD and viewable with optional director’s audio commentary
  • Two short films by producer Manfred O. Jelinski: Die Reise ins Licht (1972, 27 mins) and Geliebter Wahnsinn (1973, 7 mins)
  • Stills Gallery Jörg Buttgereit
  • Trailer Gallery 

Disc 3 [CD] – Der Todesking Soundtrack – Limited Edition Exclusive

  • CD featuring the complete Der Todesking score

60-Page Book – Limited Edition Exclusive

  • Exclusive perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film from Graham Rae and Kat Ellinger, all illustrated with new artwork and original archive stills

 

ARROW ACADEMY RELEASES

Inferno pack shot

Inferno | Blu-ray | 5 February 2018 | £24.99

In 1964, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of thriller masterpieces Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear, began work on his most ambitious film yet.

Set in a beautiful lakeside resort in the Auvergne region of France, L’Enfer [Inferno] was to be a sun scorched elucidation on the dark depths of jealousy starring Romy Schneider as the harassed wife of a controlling hotel manager (Serge Reggiani). However, despite huge expectations, major studio backing and an unlimited budget, after three weeks the production collapsed under the weight of arguments, technical complications and illness.

In this compelling, award-winning documentary Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea present Inferno’s incredible expressionistic original rushes, screen tests, and on-location footage, whilst also reconstructing Clouzot’s original vision, and shedding light on the ill-fated endeavour through interviews, dramatisations of unfilmed scenes, and Clouzot’s own notes.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Lucy Mazdon on Henri-Georges Clouzot, the French cinema expert and academic talks at length about the films of Clouzot and the troubled production of Inferno
  • They Saw Inferno, a featurette including unseen material, providing further insight into the production of Inferno
  • Filmed Introduction by Serge Bromberg
  • Interview with Serge Bromberg
  • Stills gallery
  • Original trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ginette Vincendeau


Orchestra Rehearsal pack shot

Orchestra Rehearsal | Blu-ray | 12 February 2018 | £24.99

Made in 1978 for Italian television, Orchestra Rehearsal is possibly Fellini’s most satirical and overtly political film. 

An allegorical pseudo-documentary, the film depicts an Italian television crew’s visit to a dilapidated auditorium (a converted 13th-century church) to meet an orchestra assembling to rehearse under the instruction of a tyrannical conductor. The TV crew interviews the various musicians who each speak lovingly about their chosen instruments. However, as petty squabbles break out amid the different factions of the ensemble, and the conductor berates his musicians, the meeting descends into anarchy and vandalism. A destructive crescendo ensues before the musicians regroup and play together once more in perfect harmony. 

Abounding with its director’s trademark rich imagery and expressive style, Orchestra Rehearsal marks the last collaboration between Fellini and the legendary composer Nino Rota (due to the latter’s death in 1979) who provides one of his most beautiful themes in the film’s conclusion.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release 
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original 1.0 mono sound
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Richard Dyer on Nino Rota and Orchestra Rehearsal – the film scholar talks about the great composer and his last collaboration with Fellini
  • Orchestrating Discord, a visual essay on the film by Fellini biographer John Baxter
  • Gallery featuring rare poster and press material on the film from the Felliniana collection of Don Young
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Martin


A Woman's Life pack shot

A Woman’s Life | Blu-ray | 12 February 2018 | £19.99

A powerful adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s first novel Une vie, A Woman’s Life is a timeless story of love, betrayal and anguish set in the repressive patriarchal world of early 19th century Normandy.

Jeanne (Judith Chemla) is a young woman full of childish dreams and innocence when she returns home after finishing her schooling in a convent. Yet little by little her illusions are stripped away when she marries a local Viscount, Julien de Lamare (Swann Arlaud), who reveals himself to be a miserly and adulterous partner.

This poignant period drama from French director Stéphane Brizé (The Measure of a Man) has impressed audiences and critics alike with its tragic tone and striking performances. The film competed at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, where it won the Fipresci Prize for Best Film in competition, and now comes to UK audiences in a Blu-ray special edition that includes a selection of fascinating extra features.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • From the Novel to the Film, by Stéphane Brizé, a featurette in which the director talks about adapting Maupassant’s work
  • Making A Woman’s Life, interviews with cinematographer Antoine Litslé, and sound engineer Pascal Jammes
  • Stills gallery
  • Original trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original French poster art and newly commissioned UK artwork
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Margaret Deriaz

Magnificent Doll

Magnificent Doll | Blu-ray | 19 February 2018 | £19.99

Following her Best Actress Oscar win in 1940 for Kitty Foyle, Ginger Rogers was able to spend the next decade and beyond balancing dramatic roles with the lighter musical and comedy performances for which she had become known. The RKO films with Fred Astaire behind her, Rogers found herself in a position where she could appear in Tender Comrade, a black-and-white film about wives living on the home front, one year, and lavish Technicolor musical Lady in the Dark, the next. In 1946, she was cast by Frank Borzage (7th Heaven, Street Angel) as one of America’s most beloved First Ladies, Dolley Payne Madison, in Magnificent Doll

Written by Irving Stone, whose popular biographical novels would inspire such films as Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life and Carol Reed’s The Agony and Ecstasy, Magnificent Doll traces Madison’s journey to the White House from her youth in Virginia at the end of the Revolutionary War to the famed episode in which, during the Battle of Bladensburg, she refused the leave her exalted residence without a portrait of George Washington. In between she is wooed by two great men of American politics, Senator Aaron Burr (David Niven) and his colleague, James Madison (Burgess Meredith). 

Lavishly designed, Magnificent Doll boasts cinematography by five-time Academy Award nominee Joseph A. Valentine (Shadow of a Doubt), striking outfits by legendary costume designers Travis Banton (best known for his work on a number of Josef von Sternberg’s pictures with Marlene Dietrich) and Vera West (whose credits include Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula and other classic Universal horror pictures), and hats by the celebrated milliner and fashion designer Lilly Daché.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation
  • Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM) 
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 
  • Brand new audio commentary by writers and film historians David Del Valle and Sloan De Forest 
  • Brand new visual essay by film critic and novelist Farran Nehme on the dramatic roles of Ginger Rogers 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
  • Firtst pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nathalie Morris


Godard and Gorin: Five Films 1968-1971 pack shot

Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films (1968-1971) | Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD | 26 February 2018 | £59.99

After finishing his controversial film Weekend in 1967, Jean-Luc Godard shifted gears to embark on engaging more directly with the radical political movements and social upheaval of the era, and thus create a new kind of film, or, as he eventually put it: “new ideas distributed in a new way.” 

This new method in part involved collaborating with the precocious young critic and journalist, Jean-Pierre Gorin. Both as a two-person unit, and as part of the loose collective known as the Groupe Dziga Vertov (named after the early 20th-century Russian filmmaker and theoretician), Godard and Gorin would realize “some political possibilities for the practice of cinema” and craft new frameworks for investigating the relationships between image and sound, spectator and subject, cinema and society.

The Blu-ray debut of these essential and long-unavailable films is something to be celebrated by cineastes who can discover an influential and vital moment in the history of French cinema, one that provides a crucial glimpse of Godard’s radicalization, and of the aesthetic dialogue between him and Gorin that, in essence, served to invent a modern militant cinema. As Godard told an English journalist of the era, film is not a gun — but “a light which helps you check your gun.”

Featuring the wonderful and beguiling Anne Wiazemsky (Au Hasard Balthazar) in multiple roles, as well as fascinating pan-European cast of actors in the various films, including Gorard regular Juliet Berto (Weekend), and Godard himself, this essential box-set comes loaded with extras, and a 100-page full-colour book, and is a must for film fans looking for something profound, exciting and vital in French film-making.

Un film comme les autres [A Film Like Any Other]
An analysis of the social upheaval of May 1968 made in the immediate wake of the workers’ and students’ protests. The picture consists of two parts, each with with identical image tracks, and differing narration.

British Sounds, aka: See You at Mao
An examination of the daily routine at a British auto factory assembly line, set against class-conflict and The Communist Manifesto.

Vent d’est [Wind from the East]
A loosely conceived leftist-western that moves through a series of practical and analytical passages (“an organization of shots,” Godard called it) into a finale based around the process of manufacturing homemade weapons.

Lotte in Italia / Luttes en Italie [Struggles in Italy]
Not necessarily a film about the struggles in Italy — largely shot, in fact, in Godard and Anne Wiazemsky’s home at the time — this is a discursive reflection on a young Italian woman’s shift from political “theory” to political “practice” and, at the same time, a self-questioning of its own practice and theories.

Vladimir et Rosa [Vladimir and Rosa]
A searing and satirical comic-reportage on the trial of the Chicago Eight, featuring Juliet Berto and Godard and Gorin themselves.

Special Edition contents:

  • High-definition digital transfers
  • High-definition Blu-ray (1080p) and standard-definition DVD presentations
  • Original uncompressed monaural audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • A conversation with JLG - Interview with Jean-Luc Godard from 2010 by Dominique Maillet and Pierre-Henri Gibert
  • 60-page full-colour book containing English translations for the first time of writing by, and interviews with, Godard and Gorin, and more
  • More to be announced before release!

 

ARROW RECORDS AND ARROW BOOKS DECEMBER RELEASES


The Hitcher book cover

The Hitcher | Book | 29 December 2018 | £19.99

Robert Harmon’s 1986 film The Hitcher is a complex beast: reviled at the time of its release, it has been adored in the long term as one of the most intoxicating, unrelenting highway cult films ever made. Starring Rutger Hauer in the title role whose alluring villainy would give his turn as Blade Runner’s Ray Batty a run for its money, The Hitcher – both the film and the character – is simultaneously of its time and of the now, a film about the real and the mythic, and a film that challenges our assumptions about masculinity and femininity. Its horrors unfold as The Hitcher tracks and tortures the film’s protagonists across the highways of Nowhere USA, and the film reveals a tangle of contradictions: it is, at times, simultaneously dense, shallow, obvious, subtle, absurd and deeply intelligent.

The critical paths into The Hitcher that this book explores are rich and plentiful, and through an exploration of its origins and production history, a close analysis of the film itself and a consideration of the immediate fallout following its release and its longer legacies, this book celebrates one of the greatest highway horror movies ever made.

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is a film critic and academic from Melbourne, Australia, who has written four books on cult, horror and exploitation cinema.

Featuring new artwork by Gary Pullin and original stills.

Caltiki the Immortal Monster vinyl pack shot

Caltiki the Immortal Monster | on Translucent Green Vinyl | 30 December 2017 | £25

Arrow Records presents the original soundtrack to Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava's sci-fi horror cult classic, Caltiki, The Immortal Monster

Previously unpublished on vinyl, Caltiki is not only one of the earliest Italian horror film soundtracks but also the first of several fruitful collaborations between horror maestro Mario Bava and the talented composer Roberto Nicolosi, whose compositions for the film combine brassy orchestral bombast with unsettling atonal atmosphere. 

This limited vinyl edition has been newly mastered from the original 1/4" analogue tapes by James Plotkin and is presented on 180 gram wax, housed inside a 350gsm sleeve. Featuring newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys, and accompanying film notes by Tim Lucas.