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Horror and action genre classics and rarities from Arrow in March

21 Dacember 2018

A bumper bundle of cinematic treats have been announced for March release by Arrow Video, with a collection of Asian action classics with a kick-ass female lead, a groundbreaking horror gem, an iconic J-horror box set, and some horror rarities making their home video debuts.

First up is the Sister Street Fighter Collection, a wild ride through some of the best exploitation cinema Japan produced in the 1970s, featuring four Sister Street Fighter films from Japan’s legendary Toei Company. Starring Etsuko Shihomi as the titular character, alongside Sonny Chiba, these lurid actioners are filled with wall-to-wall action, and feature some of the craziest villains ever depicted onscreen and are all presented in a lavish special edition crammed with extras.

Next up is the sorely unappreciated horror gem KolobosThe Real World meets Saw by way of Suspiria in a super-smart, super-gory late ’90s slasher effort, released in the midst of the post-Scream slice-and-dice revival. This Arrow 2K restoration includes a brand-new making-of featurette and comes with a fascinating booklet looking at this neglected, influential genre standout.

Arrow also present The Ring Collection in March, the genre-defining trilogy that kicked off in 1998, when director Hideo Nakata (Dark Water) unleashed a chilling tale of technological terror on unsuspecting audiences. RingRing 2 and Ring O, together with the ‘lost’ sequel Spiral, are gathered together in glorious high definition and supplemented by a wealth of archival and newly created bonus materials, including deleted scenes, interviews and video essays. Also released is a beautiful, limited edition Blu-ray steelbook and standalone DVD & Blu-ray releases of the original film.

Finally, in March Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz, three films from one of the most underrated and oft-neglected genre filmmakers of his generation – the Spanish-born director’s horror classic Vampyres, along with the ultra-rare Whirlpool from 1970, and 1978’s The Coming of Sin, the two latter films making their Blu-ray world premieres. By turns terrifying, titillating, artful and scandalous, the films collected here are all newly restored from original film elements, and a must for any exploitation cinema fan’s shelf.

 

Sister Street Fighter Collection Blu-ray cover art

Sister Street Fighter Collection | Blu-ray | 4 March 2019 | £29.99

After the massive success of The Street Fighter, the Toei Company decided to build a new karate series around a female lead, and cast a young actress who had appeared in a cameo role alongside her mentor Sonny Chiba. Still a teenager at the time, Etsuko Shihomi exploded onscreen in her first leading role and created a new character type: a tough fighter who was fierce, fearless, good-hearted, and decidedly non-sexualised, a departure from Toei’s typical formula.

In 1974’s Sister Street Fighter, Shihomi is the half-Chinese, half-Japanese Li Koryu, who travels to Yokohama to investigate the disappearance of her brother, an undercover cop. Li discovers a smuggling ring run by a drug lord with his own personal army of deadly fighters, and must penetrate his evil lair with the help of a fellow karate master (played by Chiba). Shihomi and director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Wolf Guy) made two additional films based on the same character over the next year, Sister Street Fighter: Hanging By A Thread and Return Of The Sister Street Fighter, with a final unrelated follow-up (Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist) helmed by original Street Fighter director Shigehiro Ozawa appearing in 1976.

Genre entertainment of the highest order, the Sister Street Fighter films are a wild ride through some of the best exploitation cinema Japan produced in the 1970s. Funky and over-the-top, filled with wall-to-wall action, and featuring some of the craziest villains ever depicted onscreen, the series embodies female power in a male-dominated genre and is a magnificent showcase for the physical presence and martial arts skills of its lead star.

Special Edition contents:

  • High Definition digital transfers of all four films
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations
  • Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio
  • Original English dubbed audio for Sister Street Fighter
  • New optional English subtitle translation for all four films
  • English SDH subtitles for the English dub for Sister Street Fighter
  • New video interviews with actor Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, and screenwriter
  • Masahiro Kakefuda
  • Original Japanese theatrical trailers for all four films
  • Original U.S. theatrical trailer for Sister Street Fighter, plus original English opening titles to the film
  • Original German theatrical trailer for Sister Street Fighter, plus original German opening titles to the film
  • Stills and poster gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Kungfubob O’Brien
  • First pressing only: Illustrated booklet featuring writing on the series by Patrick Macias and a new essay on the U.S. release of Toei’s karate films by Chris Poggiali

 

Kolobos Blu-ray cover art

Kolobos | Blu-ray | 11 March 2019 | £29.99

The Real World meets Saw by way of Suspiria in this super-smart, super-gory and sadly overlooked late ’90s slasher effort from filmmakers Daniel Liatowitsch and David Todd Ocvirk, released in the midst of the post-Scream slice-and-dice revival.

A group of youngsters arrive at a snow-covered house under the guise of participating in a “ground-breaking” new experimental film. With the entire property fitted out with cameras, their every move will be recorded. But when the house locks down, trapping the youngsters within, it soon becomes clear that something sinister is afoot. Scream - you’re on camera… 

Marketed as little more than a generic horror flick at the time of its release, Kolobos, far from being a run-of-the-mill slasher clone, has much more in common with the booby-trap stylings of Cube (1997) and the reality TV theme of My Little Eye (2002), which it preempted by some three years.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original negative
  • Original Stereo and 5.1 audio options
  • Audio commentary with co-writers and co-directors Daniel Liatowitsch and David Todd Ocvirk
  • Real World Massacre: The Making of Kolobos – brand new featurette on the making-of Kolobos including interviews with Daniel Liatowitsch, David Todd Ocvirk and co-writer/producer Nne Ebong
  • Face to Faceless – a brand new Interview with “Faceless” actor Ilia Volok
  • Slice & Dice: The Music of Kolobos – a brand new interview with composer William Kidd
  • Behind-the-Scenes Image Gallery
  • Super 8 short film by Daniel Liatowitsch with commentary
  • Original Trailer
  • First pressing only: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Phillip Escott

 

The Ring Collection Blu-ray artwork

The Ring Collection | Blu-ray | 18 March | £59.99

In 1998, director Hideo Nakata unleashed a chilling tale of technological terror on unsuspecting audiences, which redefined the horror genre, launched the J-horror boom in the West and introducing a generation of moviegoers to a creepy, dark-haired girl called Sadako. The film’s success spawned a slew of remakes, reimaginations and imitators, but none could quite boast the power of Nakata’s original masterpiece, which melded traditional Japanese folklore with contemporary anxieties about the spread of technology.

A group of teenage friends are found dead, their bodies grotesquely contorted, their faces twisted in terror. Reiko (Nanako Matsushima – When Marnie Was There), a journalist and the aunt of one of the victims, sets out to investigate the shocking phenomenon, and in the process uncovers a creepy urban legend about a supposedly cursed videotape, the contents of which causes anyone who views it to die within a week – unless they can persuade someone else to watch it, and, in so doing, pass on the curse…

Arrow Video presents the genre-defining trilogy – Ring, the film that started it all, plus Hideo Nakata’s chilling sequel, Ring 2, and the haunting origin story, Ring 0 – as well as the ‘lost’ original sequel, George Iida’s Spiral, gathered together in glorious high definition and supplemented by a wealth of archival and newly created bonus materials.

Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of Ring from the original camera negative, approved by director of photography Junichiro Hayashi
  • High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations
  • Lossless Japanese DTS-HD master audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Bonus feature: Spiral, George Iida’s 1998 sequel to Ring
  • New audio commentary on Ring by film historian David Kalat
  • New audio commentary on Ring 0 by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • The Ring Legacy, a series of new interviews from critics and filmmakers on their memories of the Ring series and its enduring legacy
  • A Vicious Circle, a new video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger on the career of Hideo Nakata
  • Circumnavigating Ring, a new video essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the evolution of the Ring series
  • Spooks, Sighs and Videotape, a new video essay by critic Jasper Sharp on the J-horror phenomenon
  • The Psychology of Fear, a newly edited archival interview with author Koji Suzuki
  • Archival behind-the-scenes featurette on Ring 0
  • Ring 0 deleted scenes
  • Sadako’s Video
  • Multiple theatrical trailers for the Ring series
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Violet Lucca, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Jasper Sharp, Kieran Fisher and Kat Ellinger
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork

 

Ring Blu-ray Steelbook

The Ring | DVD, Blu-ray and Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook | 18 March 2019 | £15.99 / £24.99

Limited Edition Blu-ray Special Edition contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director of photography Junichiro Hayashi
  • High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Lossless Japanese DTS-HD master audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • New audio commentary by film historian David Kalat
  • The Ring Legacy, a series of new interviews from critics and filmmakers on their memories of the Ring series and its enduring legacy
  • A Vicious Circle, a new video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger on the career of Hideo Nakata
  • Circumnavigating Ring, a new video essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the evolution of the Ring series
  • Sadako’s Video
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Booklet containing new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director of photography Junichiro Hayashi
  • High definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Lossless Japanese DTS-HD master audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • New audio commentary by film historian David Kalat
  • The Ring Legacy, a series of new interviews from critics and filmmakers on their memories of the Ring series and its enduring legacy
  • A Vicious Circle, a new video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger on the career of Hideo Nakata
  • Circumnavigating Ring, a new video essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the evolution of the Ring series
  • Sadako’s Video
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork

DVD Special Edition features:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director of photography Junichiro Hayashi
  • Standard definition DVD presentation
  • Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • New audio commentary by film historian David Kalat
  • The Ring Legacy, a series of new interviews from critics and filmmakers on their memories of the Ring series and its enduring legacy
  • A Vicious Circle, a new video interview with author and critic Kat Ellinger on the career of Hideo Nakata
  • Circumnavigating Ring, a new video essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the evolution of the Ring series
  • Sadako’s Video
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork

 

Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz Blu-ray cover art

Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz | Blu-ray | 25 March 2019 | £69.99

One of the most underrated and oft-neglected genre filmmakers of his generation, Spanish-born director José Ramón Larraz (Symptoms) finally receives his due with this collection of his work, the first of its kind, bringing together a fascinating cross-section of films from the first half of his lengthy cinematic career.

In Larraz’s debut feature, the hitherto ultra-rare Whirlpool (1970), Vivian Neves stars as Tulia, a young model invited to a photographer’s secluded country home for what purports to be a quiet weekend retreat - but soon transpires to be anything but. 1974’s Vampyres – perhaps the best known and most widely-released of all José Larraz’s films – sees a duo of blood hungry female vampires prowling the British countryside, from where they lure unsuspecting male motorists back to their imposing, dilapidated mansion for draining... in more ways than one. Meanwhile, in 1978’s The Coming of Sin (La Visita del Vicio in its native Spanish), a young gypsy girl experiences a violent sexual awakening as her dreams of a naked young man on horseback become reality. 

By turns terrifying, titillating, artful and scandalous, these three films collected here – all newly restored from original film elements, with Whirlpool and The Coming of Sin making their Blu-ray world premieres – collectively offer film fans a unique perspective on the fascinating, highly-varied career of one of the horror genre’s most overlooked auteurs.

Limited Edition contents:

  • Three films from José Ramón Larraz: Whirlpool, Vampyres and The Coming of Sin, all newly-restored in 2K from original film elements 
  • Newly-produced, extensive bonus features and unseen archival content
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing for all features
  • Newly comissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
  • 80-page perfect bound book featuring new writing by Jo Botting, Tim Greaves and Vanity Celis

Vampyres contents:

  • Original US Theatrical Cut 
  • Brand new audio commentary by Tim Lucas
  • Obsessive Recurrence: The Early Films of José Larraz – author and critic Kim Newman reflects on the recurring themes and underlying obsessions linking together the early productions of José Larraz
  • A Curious Casting – actor Larry Dann on the strange story behind his casting in Whirlpool
  • Deviations of Whirlpool - featurette comparing the differences between the US Theatrical Cut and a previously circulated, alternate cut of the film
  • Extract from an archival interview with José Larraz
  • Image Gallery
  • Original US Theatrical Trailer

Whirlpool contents:

  • Brand new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger
  • Brand new interviews with producer Brian Smedley-Aston, actors Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, makeup artist Colin Arthur and composer James Kenelm Clarke
  • Reimagining Vampyres – a brand new interview with Larraz’s friend and collaborator Victor Matellano, director of the 2015 Vampyres remake
  • Extract from an archival interview with José Larraz
  • Jose Larraz and Marianne Morris Q&A at 1997 Eurofest
  • Image Gallery
  • Trailers

The Coming of Sin contents:

  • Spanish and English language versions of the feature 
  • Brand new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan
  • Variations of Vice: The Alternate Versions of The Coming of Sin – exploitation expert Marc Morris on the strange and scandalous release history of José Larraz's most censored film
  • Remembering Larraz – author and filmmaker Simon Birrell shares his fond and extensive memories of his long-time friend and collaborator José Larraz
  • His Last Request (2005, 27 mins) – short film by Simon Birrell made under the guidance of José Larraz and starring Spanish horror legend Jack Taylor
  • Extract from an archival interview with José Larraz
  • Image Gallery
  • Original Spanish Trailer