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Kung-fu, killers, art-house and alien moms from Arrow in December

24 September 2021

Arrow Video’s December films include a stylish giallo and slasher homage from a stunning new talent, Kim Basinger in an 80s comedy that’s out of this world, another volume of German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder classics, and an unparalleled stocking filler – a Limited Edition ten-disc Blu-ray box set of all-out action films by the legendary Shaw brothers. The releases will come in Arrow Video’s superb packaging, with new artwork, painstaking restorations of the films, brand new commentaries, never-before-seen footage and featurettes, as well as fold-out, double-sided posters, lavish books, and illustrated collectors’ booklets.

First in DecemberArrow Video presents The Last Matineea stylish neo-giallo love letter to classic slashers that will send your popcorn flying and have you diving behind your seat! Next up is Rainer Werner Fassbinder Vol. 2, a collection of his key works from the mid-section of the director’s career in high definition digital restorations prepared by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation. Next is the release of Shawscope Volume One, a stunning Limited Edition Blu-ray box set. After an undisputed reign at the peak of Hong Kong’s film industry in the 1960s, Shaw Brothers (the studio founded by real-life brothers Run Run and Runme Shaw) found their dominance challenged by up-and-coming rivals in the early 1970s. Finally in December, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters), Kim Basinger (The Nice Guys) and Jon Lovitz (Southland Tales) star in My Stepmother is an Alien, a fish-out-of-water comedy with a sci-fi twist, that questions whether a romance between two star-crossed lovers who are literally worlds apart can ever work.

 

The Last Matinee Blu-ray pack shot

THE LAST MATINEE [AL MORIR LA MATINÉE] (2020)

Limited Edition Blu-ray | 6 December 2021 | £24.99

A cold, wet day. A declining cinema. All you want is to get out of the rain and watch a good film. But who else is in there, hiding in the dark? When Ana takes over projection duties from her ailing father, she doesn’t expect anything worse than a broken reel or a burned-out bulb. But there’s a sadistic killer in the auditorium, and soon blood is running in the aisles as he starts picking off the audience members one by one. Can Ana and the few remaining survivors escape the murderous madman, or will they be victims of his matinee massacre?

Uruguayan director Maxi Contenti marks himself out as a talent to watch with a film that Rue Morgue calls “Visually stunning… indulgently violent!” It’s a killer time at the movies!

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation 
  • Original uncompressed stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio Commentary with director Maxi Contenti 
  • VFX featurette exploring the special effects of the film
  • Interview with director Maxi Contenti 
  • Killer Attractions: Maxi Contenti & Ricardo Islas in Conversation, discussion between the film’s director and star Ricardo Islas, director of Frankenstein: Day of the Beast 
  • At the Premiere, featurette on the film’s premiere 
  • Music video for ‘Espada’ by Phoro, directed by Maxi Contenti 
  • Puppet Pal V, Contenti’s first feature film 
  • Six short films by director Maxi Contenti: The Plastic Kingdom (2011), Popping Eyes (2009), Hobby Metal (2006), Les Escaliers Fruitiers (2005), La Galleta aka The Cookie (2003), Miedo aka Fear (2001) 
  • Deleted and extended scenes
  • Trailers and teasers 
  • Image galleries including behind-the-scenes and promo stills, concept artwork, storyboards and posters
  • Fan artwork image gallery 
  • Double-sided fold-out poster 
  • Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach

 

The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Collection Vol 2 Blu-ray cover art

THE RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER COLLECTION VOL. 2 (1974-1979)

Limited Edition Blu-ray | 6 December 2021 | £64.99

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, wrote, directed, produced and starred in over 40 films in his short but prolific life, before passing away of a drugs overdose in 1982 aged just 37. Rainer Werner Fassbinder Vol. 2 brings together a collection of his key works from the mid-section of his career in high definition digital restorations prepared by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.

Among Fassbinder’s best-loved works, Fear Eats the Soul sees the director paying homage to the classic melodramas of Douglas Sirk in its poignant portrayal of a relationship between a widowed cleaning lady in her sixties and a Moroccan immigrant in his thirties that causes an outrage with her family, friends and neighbours. Fassbinder’s long-gestating adaptation of Theodor Fontane’s classic German novel Effi Briest, his most expensive production to date as well as one of his most ambitious, tells the tale of a seventeen-year-old girl who is married off by her parents to a wealthy Baron more than twice her age.

Fassbinder himself plays the protagonist of Fox and His Friends, a sweet working class soul whose relationship with wealthy industrialist Eugen, he discovers, is based almost wholly on his unexpected lottery win. Chinese Roulette is a tense psychodrama set in an isolated house during a weekend break in which infidelities are revealed and families break down. Fassbinder’s international breakthrough film, The Marriage of Maria Braun charts the rise to prosperity of its tenacious and pragmatic central character across the post-war years as she holds out hope for the return of the young soldier she was married to for less than 24-hours before he was dispatched to the Russian front and later reported dead.

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY BOX SET CONTENTS:

  • High definition digital transfers of all films prepared by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of all films 
  • Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 sound for all films
  • Optional English subtitles for all films 
  • Exclusive 140-page collectors booklet containing archive articles and new writing by Deborah Allison, Geoff Andrew, Margaret Deriaz and Travis Miles

DISC ONE – FEAR EATS THE SOUL:

  • Audio commentary by critic and lecturer Mark Freeman
  • My Name is Not Ali, Viola Shafik’s 2011 feature-length documentary on the life and death of El Hedi ben Salem, star of Fear Eats the Soul 
  • Interview with director of photography Jürgen Jürges
  • Theatrical trailer

DISC TWO – EFFI BRIEST:

  • Audio commentary by Ken Moulden
  • Interview with actor Ulli Lommel 
  • Interview with director of photography Jürgen Jürges
  • Theatrical trailer

DISC THREE – FOX AND HIS FRIENDS & CHINESE ROULETTE:

  • Audio commentary by Hamish Ford on Fox and His Friends 
  • Interview with actor Ulli Lommel on Chinese Roulette 
  • Original theatrical trailers for both films

DISC FOUR – THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN:

  • Life, Love & Celluloid, a 1998 feature-length documentary on Fassbinder, written and directed by his regular editor, Juliane Lorenz 
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1977, a candid 30-minute interview with the director 
  • The Fassbinder Family, featurette detailing the actors who worked with Fassbinder time and again throughout his career

 

Shawscope Volume 1 Blu-ray pack shot

SHAWSCOPE VOLUME ONE (1972-1979)

Limired Edition Blu-ray box set | 6 December 2021 | £149.99

After an undisputed reign at the peak of Hong Kong’s film industry in the 1960s, Shaw Brothers (the studio founded by real-life brothers Run Run and Runme Shaw) found their dominance challenged by up-and-coming rivals in the early 1970s. They swiftly responded by producing hundreds of the most iconic action films ever made, revolutionising the genre through the backbreaking work of top-shelf talent on both sides of the camera as well as unbeatable widescreen production value, much of it shot at ‘Movietown’, their huge, privately-owned studio on the outskirts of Hong Kong.

This inaugural collection by Arrow Video presents twelve jewels from the Shaw crown, all released within the 1970s, kicking off in 1972 with Korean director Chung Chang-wha’s King Boxer, the film that established kung fu cinema as an international box office powerhouse when it hit Stateside cinemas under the title Five Fingers of Death. From there we see Chang Cheh (arguably Shaw’s most prolific director) helm the blood-soaked brutality of The Boxer from Shantung and two self-produced films in his ‘Shaolin Cycle’ series, Five Shaolin Masters and its prequel Shaolin Temple, before taking a detour into Ho Meng-hua’s King Kong-inspired Mighty Peking Man, one of the most unmissably insane giant monster films ever made. Chang’s action choreographer Lau Kar-leung then becomes a director in his own right, propelling his adoptive brother Gordon Liu to stardom in Challenge of the Masters and Executioners from Shaolin. Not to be outdone, Chang introduces some of Shaw’s most famous faces to the screen, including Alexander Fu Sheng fighting on the streets of San Francisco in Chinatown Kid and, of course, the mighty Venom Mob in The Five Venoms and Crippled Avengers. Finally, Lau and Liu successfully meld high kicks with humour in two of their masterworks, Heroes of the East and Dirty Ho, also featuring such fan favourites as Wong Yue, Hsiao Hao and Kara Hui.

From kickass kung fu killers to crazy kaiju knockoffs to culture clash comedies, this carefully curated and gorgeously presented selection of all-time Shaw Brothers classics merely represents the tip of the iceberg of the studio’s rich output, making it both an ideal starting point for newcomers and a treat for hardcore fans alike.

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY COLLECTION CONTENTS:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of all twelve films, including seven new 2K restorations by Arrow Films 
  • Illustrated 60-page collectors’ book featuring new writing by David Desser, Terrence J. Brady and James Flower, plus cast and crew listings and notes on each film by Simon Abrams 
  • New artwork by Sam Gilbey, Matthew Griffin, Chris Malbon, Jacob Phillips, Ilan Sheady, Tony Stella, Darren Wheeling and Jolyon Yates 
  • Hours of never-before-seen bonus features, including several cast and crew interviews from the Frédéric Ambroisine Video Archive 
  • Two CDs of music from the De Wolfe Music library as heard in six of the films, exclusive to this collection

DISC ONE – KING BOXER:

  • Brand new 2K restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original negative 
  • Newly restored uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Mandarin audio, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dub
  • Brand new commentary by David Desser, co-editor of The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema and The Cinema of Hong Kong
  • Newly filmed appreciation by film critic and historian Tony Rayns 
  • Interview with director Chung Chang-wha, filmed in 2003 and 2004 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Interview with star Wang Ping, filmed in 2007 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Interview with Korean cinema expert Cho Young-jung, author of Chung Chang-wha: Man of Action, filmed in 2005 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Cinema Hong Kong: Kung Fu, the first in a three-part documentary on Shaw Brothers’ place within the martial arts genre produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003, featuring interviews with Jackie Chan, Jet Li, John Woo, Sammo Hung, Gordon Liu, Lau Kar-leung, Cheng Pei-pei, David Chiang and many others 
  • Alternate opening credits from the American version titled Five Fingers of Death 
  • Hong Kong, US and German theatrical trailers, plus US TV and radio spots 
  • Image gallery

DISC TWO – THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG:

  • Brand new 2K restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original negative 
  • Newly restored uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio 
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Mandarin audio, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dub 
  • Interview with star Chen Kuan-tai, filmed in 2007 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Interview with assistant director John Woo, filmed in 2004 by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • Interview with star David Chiang, filmed in 2003 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Conversation between stars Chen Kuan-tai and Ku Feng, filmed at a Shaw Brothers reunion in 2007 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Hong Kong and German theatrical trailers, plus US TV spot 
  • Image gallery

DISC THREE – FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS / SHAOLIN TEMPLE:

  • Uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio for both films 
  • Newly translated English subtitles for both films, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dub 
  • Newly filmed appreciation of Chang Cheh by film critic and historian Tony Rayns 
  • Interview with star Kong Do, filmed in 2003 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Elegant Trails: David Chiang and Elegant Trails: Ti Lung, two featurettes on the actors produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003 
  • Alternate standard-definition version of Shaolin Temple 
  • Alternate opening credits from Five Masters of Death, the US version of Five Shaolin Masters 
  • Alternate opening credits sequences for Shaolin Temple
  • US and German trailers for Five Shaolin Masters 
  • Hong Kong and German trailers for Shaolin Temple
  • Image galleries for both films

 DISC FOUR – MIGHTY PEKING MAN:

  • Uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio 
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Mandarin audio, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dub 
  • Brand new commentary by Travis Crawford 
  • Brand new interview with suit designer Keizo Murase, filmed in 2021 by Daisuke Sato and Yoshikazu Ishii 
  • Interview with director Ho Meng-hua, filmed in 2003 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Interview with star Ku Feng, filmed in 2004 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Behind-the-scenes Super 8 footage from the archives of Keizo Murase
  • ‘Unrestored’ standard-definition version 
  • Alternate opening credits from Goliathon, the US version of Mighty Peking Man
  • Hong Kong, US, German and Dutch theatrical trailers, plus US TV spot 
  • Image gallery

DISC FIVE – CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS / EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of Challenge of the Masters from the original negative by Arrow Films
  • Uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio for both films, plus Cantonese mono for Challenge of the Masters
  • Newly translated English subtitles for both films, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dubs 
  • Newly filmed appreciation of Lau Kar-leung by film critic and historian Tony Rayns
  • Interview with star Gordon Liu, filmed in 2002 by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • Interview with star Chen Kuan-tai, filmed in 2007 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Textless opening credits for Challenge of the Masters 
  • Alternate English credits for Executioners from Shaolin
  • Hong Kong theatrical trailers for Challenge of the Masters
  • Hong Kong and US theatrical trailers for Executioners from Shaolin
  • Image galleries for both films

DISC SIX – CHINATOWN KID:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the 115-minute International Version from original film elements
  • 90-minute Alternate Version 
  • Uncompressed original Cantonese audio for the International Version, with newly translated English subtitles
  • Uncompressed original English audio for the International Version, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles 
  • Uncompressed original Mandarin audio for the Alternate Version, with newly translated English subtitles
  • Select scene video commentary by co-star Susan Shaw from 2021
  • Elegant Trails: Fu Sheng, a featurette on the actor produced by Celestial Pictures in 2005
  • Hong Kong, US and German theatrical trailers, plus US TV spot
  • Image gallery

DISC SEVEN – THE FIVE VENOMS / CRIPPLED AVENGERS:

  • Brand new 2K restorations of both films from the original negatives by Arrow Films 
  • Uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono audio for both films plus Cantonese mono for The Five Venoms
  • Newly translated English subtitles for both films, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dubs
  • Brand new commentary on The Five Venoms by critic Simon Abrams 
  • Interview with star Lo Meng, filmed in 2003 by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • Chang Cheh: The Master, a featurette about the director produced by Celestial Pictures in 2003
  • Hong Kong and US theatrical trailers for The Five Venoms 
  • Hong Kong theatrical trailer for Crippled Avengers
  • Image galleries for both films

DISC EIGHT – HEROES OF THE EAST / DIRTY HO:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of Dirty Ho from the original negative by Arrow Films
  • Uncompressed Cantonese, Mandarin and English original mono audio for both films
  • Newly translated English subtitles for both films, plus English hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dubs 
  • Brand new commentary on Heroes of the East by Jonathan Clements, author of A Brief History of the Martial Arts
  • Newly filmed appreciation of both films by film critic and historian Tony Rayns
  • Interview with Heroes of the East star Yasuaki Kurata, filmed in 2003 by Frédéric Ambroisine 
  • Alternate opening credits for Shaolin Challenges Ninja, the international version of Heroes of the East
  •  Alternate English credits for Dirty Ho
  • Hong Kong theatrical trailer for Heroes of the East, plus US TV spot 
  • Hong Kong theatrical trailer for Dirty Ho 
  • Image galleries for both films

DISC NINE – MUSIC FROM SHAOLIN TEMPLE, MIGHTY PEKING MAN AND CHINATOWN KID (CD)

DISC TEN – MUSIC FROM THE FIVE VENOMS, CRIPPLED AVENGERS AND DIRTY HO (CD)

 

My Stepmother is an Alien Blu-ray cover art

MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN (1988)

Blu-ray | 13 December 2021 | £24.99

Dan Aykroyd, Kim Basinger and Jon Lovitz star in a fish-out-of-water comedy with a sci-fi twist that questions whether a romance between two star-crossed lovers who are literally worlds apart can ever work.

When widowed astronomer Steve Mills (Aykroyd) inadvertently causes a gravitational disruption in deep space, a race of hyper-advanced alien lifeforms sends one of their own to investigate, disguised in the alluring human form of Celeste (Basinger). Tasked with seducing the lovelorn Steve in a bid to gain access to his scientific research, Celeste finds herself falling for the man she’s been sent to swindle. But they’ve not counted on Steve’s young daughter Jessie (Alyson Hannigan, TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who’s none too thrilled by the prospect of a new mother – especially not one from another planet.

Funny and touching in equal measure, My Stepmother is an Alien is an offbeat and at times surprisingly risqué comedy that confirms the adage that what unites us is far greater than what divides us… even if what divides us happens to be an entire galaxy.

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative 
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation 
  • Original lossless 2.0 stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by critic Bryan Reesman 
  • Cosmetic Encounters: Directing My Stepmother is An Alien, a brand new interview with director Richard Benjamin
  • Original trailer
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Amanda Reyes