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Cult favourites, exploitation classics and more from Arrow in April

29 January 2021

Arrow Video’s April films include the ultimate 4k UHD releases of a pair of extraordinary classics, a highly entertaining and informative filmmaking documentary, a restored exploitation masterpiece, a wickedly funny horror comedy, and a little seen action thriller from Greece. The lineup includes beautifully packaged world-beating limited editions, illuminating audio commentaries, astonishing behind-the-scenes footage, full length documentaries, brand new essays on the filmmakers, reversible sleeves, lavishly illustrated collectable booklets and monographs and newly commissioned artwork.

First in April, Arrow Video presents Death Has Blue Eyes, a gripping paranormal action thriller with shades of giallo, the debut feature from the director of the cult classic video nasty Island of Death (1976). Also in April comes Clapboard Jungle, a deeply insightful exploration of what it takes to get a film made and released, when navigating the current film business is more difficult than ever before. Next up is the sensational Switchblade Sisters, from Jack Hill, the iconic cult director of Spider Baby, Coffy, Foxy Brown,and The Swinging Cheerleaders, and the same month we're getting Battle Royale, on Limited Edition brand new 4K UHD and Blu-ray, a set that includes the incendiary sequel Battle Royale II, the director’s cut of the first film, an extended cut of the sequel, a soundtrack CD, 120 page book, a wealth of extras, as well as a booklet and collectable trump cards. At the end of April, she’s back! Elvira, Horrorland’s hostess with the mostest, busts out on positively bursting-at-the-seams special edition of her big screen debut, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and last but by no means least in April, a Limited Edition 4k UHD Blu-ray of Donnie Darko.

Death Has Blue Eyes Blu-ray cover art

DEATH HAS BLUE EYES (1976) | Blu-ray | 5 April 2021 | £24.99

Death Has Blue Eyes is a gripping paranormal action thriller with shades of giallo from the director of the cult classic video nasty Island of Death (1976).

When local gigolo Chess (Chris Nomikos) greets his vacationing friend Bob Kovalski (Peter Winter) at Athens airport, the pair embark on a string of scams and erotic dalliances that eventually lead them into contact with an elegant wealthy woman, Geraldine Steinwetz (Jessica Dublin), and her glamorous daughter Christine (Maria Aliferi). Geraldine blackmails the two cheeky bachelor boys into acting as bodyguards for Christine, whom it transpires has telepathic abilities and has had her eye on them for some time. After fleeing from a series of assassination attempts, it soon becomes clear that Geraldine herself might not be quite whom she seems, as the two young men find themselves caught up in a political conspiracy of international dimensions.

In his debut feature, maverick filmmaker Nico Mastorakis presents us with a generous meze of non-stop car, bike and helicopter chases, a bevy of beautiful girls with guns, sensational softcore sex scenes, psychic thrills and Cold War political intrigue set against the picturesque landscapes of 70s Greece, all presented for the very first time in a new HD master in both widescreen and full-frame versions.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • Brand new restoration from the original camera negative, approved by the director
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Two versions of the film: the widescreen 1.85:1 version and the full-frame 1.33:1 version
  • Original mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Exclusive new interview featurette with Nico Mastorakis
  • Exclusive new interview with actress Maria Aliferi
  • Dancing with Death: tracks from the Death Has Blue Eyes original soundtrack
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Julian Grainger

 

Clapboard Jungle Blu-ray cover art

CLAPBOARD JUNGLE (2020) | Blu-ray | 12 A~pril 2021 | £24.99

Navigating the current film business is more difficult than ever before. Rapidly changing technology and an overcrowded marketplace have led to an industry in which anyone can now make a film, but few can make a living.

Following five years in the life and career of independent filmmaker Justin McConnell (Lifechanger), this documentary explores the struggles of financing, attracting the right talent, working with practical effects and selling the finished product in the hope of turning a profit. Featuring interviews with a range of industry luminaries – including Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak), Sid Haig (Spider Baby), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), Mick Garris (The Stand), Dick Miller (Matinee), Tom Holland (Fright Night) and George A. Romero (The Crazies), alongside a host of others – not only are technical aspects and interpersonal skills discussed but also the emotional stamina and little-known tips needed to survive in the low budget film industry.

A warts-and-all exploration of what it takes to get a film made and released, Clapboard Jungle serves as a survival guide for the modern independent filmmaker and offers a fascinating insight into a side of the industry with which few are likely to be familiar.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Optional Spanish and Catalan subtitles
  • Audio commentary with director Justin McConnell
  • Crew commentary with Justin McConnell, co-producer Darryl Shaw, executive producer Avi Federgreen and editor/associate producer Kevin Burke
  • Guest commentary/panel discussion with Barbara Crampton, Richard Stanley, John McNaughton, Gigi Saul Guerrero and Adam Mason
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary by Justin McConnell
  • Five hours of extended interviews, featuring Anne-Marie Gélinas, Barbara Crampton, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Brian Yuzna, Charles Band, Corey Moosa, Dean Cundey, Dick Miller, Don Mancini, Frank Henenlotter, Gary Sherman, George A. Romero, George Mihalka, Guillermo Del Toro, John McNaughton, Jon Reiss, Larry Cohen, Larry Fessenden, Lloyd Kaufman, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Michael Biehn & Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Mick Garris, Paul Schrader, Richard Stanley, Sam Firstenberg, Tom Holland, Tom Savini and Vincenzo Natali
  • Two bonus documentaries from Justin McConnell, Working Class Rock Star (2008) and Skull World (2013), both with optional commentary and new director introductions
  • 13 short films from Justin McConnell, all with optional commentary and new director introduction
  • Trailers, promos, photo gallery and Easter eggs
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing by legendary genre producer/director Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, Society)

 

Switchblade Sisters Blu-ray cover art

SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (1975) | Blu-ray | 18 April 2021 | £24.99

From Jack Hill, the legendary cult director of Spider Baby, Coffy, Foxy Brown, and The Swinging Cheerleaders comes another iconic classic, Switchblade Sisters!

Lace (Robbie Lee), the leader of inner city girl gang the Dagger Debs, meets her match when new girl Maggie (Joanne Nail) moves into the neighbourhood. Mistrust and conflict turn to friendship as the girls end up in Juvenile Detention together at the mercy of abusive guards. Meanwhile, the Dagger Debs’ male counterparts the Silver Daggers have to contend with the arrival of a new gang, led by the villainous Crabs (Chase Newhart). But when the girls get back on the streets, a planned retaliation strike in tandem with the Silver Daggers backfires and puts Lace in hospital. Maggie assumes control, teaming up with Muff (Marlene Clark) and her gang of African-American militants from across town to declare all out war. But there’s a traitor in their midst...

Filled with sharp, clever dialogue and tongue in cheek humour, this Shakespeare-influenced girl gang / women in prison / action movie medley is a stone cold Grindhouse Classic!

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • 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 historians/critics Samm Deighan & Kat Ellinger
  • We Are The Jezebels, an archival documentary featuring director Jack Hill, producer John Prizer, casting director Geno Havans, production designer B.B. Neel, stunt coordinator Bob Minor, and stars Joanne Nail, Asher Brauner, and Chase Newhart
  • Gangland: The Locations of Switchblade Sisters, an archival documentary in which Jack Hill and filmmaker Elijah Drenner revisit the shooting locations of Switchblade Sisters
  • Jack Hill and Joanne Nail at the Grindhouse Film Festival, a 2007 archival interview with the director and actor
  • Interview with Jack Hill, Robbie Lee, Joanne Nail, an archival 1990’s interview with the director and stars in conversation with Johnny Legend
  • Galleries of behind the scenes stills, international posters, video covers, and lobby cards
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Heather Drain

 

Battle Royale UHD pack shot

BATTLE ROYALE (2000) | 4K UHD Blu-ray / Limited Edition Blu-ray | 26 April 2021 | £79.99

The kids of Third Year Class-B Shiroiwa Junior High School are back, in a brand new UHD restoration of the classic cult shocker adapted from the controversial novel by Koushun Takami.

Presenting an alternate dystopian vision of turn-of-the-millennium Japan, Battle Royale follows the 42 junior high school students selected to take part in the government’s annual Battle Royale programme, established as an extreme method of addressing concerns about juvenile delinquency. Dispatched to a remote island, they are each given individual weapons (ranging from Uzis and machetes to pan lids and binoculars), food and water, and the order to go out and kill one other. Every player is fitted with an explosive collar around their neck, imposing a strict three-day time limit on the deadly games in which there can only be one survivor. Overseeing the carnage is ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Hana-bi, Zatoichi) as the teacher pushed to the edge by his unruly charges.

Playing like a turbo-charged hybrid of Lord of the Flies and The Most Dangerous Game, the final completed work by veteran yakuza film director Fukasaku Kinji (Battles without Honor and Humanity, Graveyard of Honor) helped launch a new wave of appreciation for Asian cinema in the 21st century. Also included in the set is the incendiary sequel Battle Royale II, the directing debut of Kenta Fukasaku (after his father passed away during production), in which a new class of delinquents are recruited by the government to hunt down the survivor of the deadly games of the first film.

4K ULTRA HD LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:

  • Brand new 4K restoration of the Original Theatrical Version and Special Edition Director’s Cut of Battle Royale from the original camera negative by Arrow Films, approved by Kenta Fukasaku
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation of both versions of Battle Royale in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) (UHD version only)
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of both versions of Battle Royale(Blu-ray version only)
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Battle Royale II: Requiem theatrical cut and the Battle Royale II: Revenge extended cut
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Original soundtrack CD for Battle Royale [Limited Edition Exclusive]
  • Kinji Fukasaku: Man of Rage, an exclusive 120-page monograph on the director by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes [Limited Edition Exclusive]
  • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new essays by Matt Alt and Anne Billson and archival articles
  • Exclusive Battle Royale collectors’ Trump Card set [Limited Edition Exclusive]
  • Reversible poster with new artwork [Limited Edition Exclusive]

DISC ONE – BATTLE ROYALE: ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION (4K UHD BLU-RAY):

  • Brand new audio commentary by critics Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp
  • Battle Royale at 20: Back to School, an exclusive new 42-minute documentary about the legacy of Battle Royale
  • Bloody Education: Kenta Fukasaku on Battle Royale, a brand new exclusive interview with the film’s producer and screenwriter
  • The Making of Battle Royale: The Experience of 42 High School Students, documentary featuring footage from the shooting of the film and cast and crew discussions
  • The Slaughter of 42 High School Students, a look behind the scenes of the shoot
  • Behind the scenes footage with comments from the cast and crew
  • Filming on Set, a look at the shooting of key scenes from the film
  • Conducting Battle Royale with the Warsaw National Philharmonic, archive footage of Masamichi Amano conducting the soundtrack rehearsal

DISC TWO – BATTLE ROYALE: SPECIAL EDITION DIRECTOR’S CUT (4K UHD BLU-RAY):

  • Shooting the Special Edition, on-location featurette with footage of the cast and crew reuniting for the shoot of the Special Edition
  • Royale Rehearsals, featurette on Kinji Fukasaku directing the film’s young cast
  • Masamichi Amano Conducts Battle Royale, archive featurette
  • Takeshi Kitano Interview, filmed on location with the Japanese star
  • The Correct Way to Fight in Battle Royale, instructional video explaining the rules of the game
  • The Correct Way to Make Battle Royale: Birthday Version, a new version of the original instructional video made to celebrate Kinji Fukasaku’s birthday
  • Premiere Press Conference, preceding the film’s first public screening
  • Tokyo International Film Festival Presentation, with footage from the gala screening at the Tokyo International Film Festival
  • Opening Day at the Marunouchi Toei Movie Theatre, archive footage of the Japanese opening
  • Special Effects Comparison showing how the film’s violent killings were created
  • Original Trailers and TV spots
  • Kinji Fukasaku trailer reel, a collection of original trailers for Fukasaku’s classic yakuza films from the 70s
  • Image Gallery

DISC THREE – BATTLE ROYALE II: REQUIEM (BLU-RAY):

  • Bloody Graduation: Kenta Fukasaku on Battle Royale II, an exclusive brand new interview with the director and screenwriter of Battle Royale II
  • Behind the Scenes of Battle Royale II, on-location featurette during the film’s shoot
  • Rehearsals footage of the auditions and pre-production rehearsals
  • War and Struggle, featurette of the cast discussing their thoughts on war
  • Alternate Piano Scene
  • The Recording of the Music Score, archive footage of Masamichi Amano and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Opening Gala with The Orchestra, featuring a public introduction by the director and main cast
  • Battle Royale II Premiere, a featurette on the film’s first screening at the Marunouchi Toei Movie Theatre
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • Image gallery

DISC FOUR – BATTLE ROYALE II: REVENGE (BLU-RAY):

  • A Tribute to Kinji Fukasaku, featuring scenes of Kinji Fukasaku on the location of Battle Royale II
  • Kinji Fukasaku’s 73rd Birthday: A Speech by Kenta Fukasaku, paying public tribute to his father

DISC FIVE – BATTLE ROYALE (SOUNDTRACK CD)

  • CD featuring the complete score to Battle Royale by Masamichi Amano and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra

 

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark Blu-ray copver art

ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK (1988) | Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook | 26 April 2021 | £24.99

She’s back! Elvira, Horrorland’s hostess with the mostest, busts out on positively bursting-at-the-seams special edition of her big screen debut, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark!

Having just quit her job as a Los Angeles TV horror hostess, Elvira receives the unexpected news that she’s set to inherit part of her great aunt Morgana’s estate. Arriving in the small town of Fallwell, Massachusetts to claim her inheritance, Elvira receives a less than enthusiastic reception from the conservative locals – amongst them, her sinister uncle Vincent, who, unbeknownst to Elvira, is in fact an evil warlock secretly scheming to steal the old family spellbook for his own nefarious ends…

Campy, quirky and stuffed to the brim with more double entendres than your average Carry On movie, 1988’s Elvira: Mistress of the Dark helped solidify the horror hostess (played by Cassandra Peterson) as a major pop culture icon, here owning every inch of the screen with her quick wit, sass, and of course, cleaving-enhancing gown!

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY STEELBOOK CONTENTS:

  • 2018 restoration from a 4K scan of original film elements
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed stereo 2.0 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Introduction to the film by director James Signorelli
  • 2017 Audio Commentary with director James Signorelli, hosted by Fangoria editor emeritus Tony Timpone
  • 2017 Audio Commentary with Patterson Lundquist, www.elviramistressofthedark.com webmaster and judge of US TV show The Search for the Next Elvira
  • Too Macabre – The Making of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark – 2018 version of this feature-length documentary on the making of the film, including interviews with various cast and crew and rare never-before-seen archival material
  • Recipe for Terror: The Creation of the Pot Monster – 2018 version of this featurette on the concept and design of the pot monster, as well as the film’s other SFX
  • Original storyboards
  • Extensive image galleries
  • Original US theatrical and teaser trailers
  • Limited edition Steelbook featuring newly produced artwork
  • Limited edition booklet featuring a foreword by writer and director Sam Irvin and writing on the film by Kat Ellinger and Patterson Lundquist

 

Donnie Darko UHD pack shot

DONNIE DARKO (2001) | Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray | 26 April 2021 | £39.99

Fifteen years before Stranger Things combined science fiction, Spielbergian touches and 80s nostalgia to much acclaim, Richard Kelly set the template – and the high-water mark – with his debut feature, Donnie Darko. Initially beset with distribution problems, it would slowly find its audience and emerge as arguably the first cult classic of the new millennium.

Donnie is a troubled high school student: in therapy, prone to sleepwalking and in possession of an imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. During that time he will navigate teenage life, narrowly avoid death in the form of a falling jet engine, follow Frank’s maladjusted instructions and try to maintain the space-time continuum.

Described by its director as “The Catcher in the Rye as told by Philip K. Dick”, Donnie Darko combines an eye-catching, eclectic cast – pre-stardom Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, heartthrob Patrick Swayze, former child star Drew Barrymore, Oscar nominees Mary McDonnell and Katharine Ross, and television favourite Noah Wyle – and an evocative soundtrack of 80s classics by Echo and the Bunnymen, Tears for Fears and Duran Duran. This brand-new 4K restoration, carried out exclusively for this release by Arrow Films, allows a modern classic to finally receive the home video treatment it deserves.

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:

  • New 4K restorations of both the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut from the original camera negatives by Arrow Films, supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentations of both cuts in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Original DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • 100-page hardcover book featuring writing by Nathan Rabin, Anton Bitel and Jamie Graham, an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly, an introduction by Jake Gyllenhaal and contemporary coverage, illustrated with original stills and promotional materials
  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece
  • Six double-sided collector’s postcards
  • Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece

DISC 1 – THE THEATRICAL CUT [4K UHD BLU-RAY]:

  • Audio commentary by writer-director Richard Kelly and actor Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Audio commentary by Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick and actors Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross and James Duval
  • Deus ex Machina: The Philosophy of Donnie Darko, a documentary by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures on the making of Donnie Darko, containing interviews with writer-director Richard Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick, cinematographer Steven Poster, editor Sam Bauer, composer Michael Edwards, costume designer April Ferry, production designer Alec Hammond and actor James Duval
  • The Goodbye Place, Kelly’s 1996 short film, which anticipates some of the themes and ideas of his feature films
  • 20 deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary by Kelly
  • Trailer

DISC 2 – THE DIRECTOR’S CUT [4K UHD BLU-RAY]:

  • Audio commentary by Richard Kelly and filmmaker Kevin Smith
  • The Donnie Darko Production Diary, an archival documentary charting the film’s production, with optional commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster
  • Archive interviews with Kelly, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross, producers Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Hunt Lowry and Casey La Scala, and cinematographer Steven Poster
  • Three archive featurettes: They Made Me Do It, They Made Me Do It Too and #1 Fan: A Darkomentary
  • Storyboard comparisons
  • B-roll footage
  • Cunning Visions infomercials
  • Music video: Mad World by Gary Jules
  • Galleries
  • Director’s Cut trailer
  • TV spots