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Angela Mao, Kirk Douglas and Buster Keaton on Eureka Blu-ray in August

9 June 2022

Eureka! Entertainment today announces its slate of August Blu-ray releases. They kick off with Angela Mao: Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind, a luxurious 2-movie set starring the Queen of Kung-fu, which will be released on Blu-ray for the first time ever in the UK as a part of the Eureka Classics. Up next is Man Without a Star, King Vidor's classic action-packed Western starring Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain and Claire Trevor will be released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of the Masters of Cinema series. Finally, we have The Saphead, Buster Keaton's first feature-length film, and perhaps the most overlooked, will also be released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as part of the Masters of Cinema series.

 

Angela Mao: Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind Blu-ray pack shot

ANGELA MAO: HAPKIDO & LADY WHIRLWIND (1972) | Blu-ray | 22 August 2022 | £28.99

Angela Mao and director Huang Feng (The Shaolin Plot) were a superstar pairing that produced an incredible series of top tier kung-fu classics including Deadly China DollWhen Taekwondo Strikes and the two films presented here – Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind.

In Hapkido (aka Lady Kung Fu in the West), a group of martial artists (Mao, Sammo Hung, and Carter Wong) start their own school to teach the Korean martial art, Hapkido, but a rival Japanese academy attempts to crush them – deeming Hapkido inferior to their Japanese fighting style. Similar to the plot of Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury (a canny decision by the filmmakers, capitalising on Mao often being referred to as a "female Bruce Lee" ), Hapkido was a huge hit in the West, even briefly beating Lee's Enter the Dragon at the North American box office.

Perhaps her most iconic film, Lady Whirlwind (bizarrely re-titled as Deep Thrust in the US, to capitalise on the success of Deep Throat, which probably made its tag lines—"The Deadly Stroke of Bare Hand Combat" and "Mistress of the Death Blow"—a tad misleading) stars Mao as a deadly fighter out for revenge on the man who wronged her sister (played by Shaw Brothers veteran Chang Yi). After tracking the man down, she finds he is on his own vengeful path against a gang of Japanese thugs and agrees to help keep him alive – as long as she gets to take her revenge when it's all over!

Two excellent martial arts films make their debuts on Blu-ray—and the first time Lady Whirlwind has ever been available in the UK—from brand new 2K restorations,

BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling [2000 copies]
  • Limited Edition Reversible Poster featuring original theatrical poster artwork [2000 copies]
  • 1080p presentations of both films across two Blu-ray discs, from new 2K restorations
  • Hapkido – Original mono Mandarin and English audio options, including two variations of the classic English dub
  • Hapkido – DTS-HD MA 5.1 English dub (newer dub originally created for the film's original DVD release)
  • Lady Whirlwind – Original mono Mandarin and English audio options
  • Optional English Subtitles, newly translated for this release
  • Hapkido – New feature length audio commentary with Asian film experts Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) & Michael Worth
  • Hapkido – New feature length audio commentary with Frank Djeng & martial artist / actor Robert "Bobby" Samuels
  • Lady Whirlwind – New feature length audio commentary with Asian film experts Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) & Michael Worth
  • Lady Whirlwind – New feature length audio commentary with Frank Djeng & martial artist / actor Robert "Bobby" Samuels
  • Lady Whirlwind – New feature length audio commentary by film journalist and author Samm Deighan
  • Brand new interview with Angela Mao, filmed in 2022
  • Archival interview with Angela Mao
  • Archival interview with Carter Wong
  • Archival interview with Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao
  • Hapkido – Alternate opening credits
  • Selection of trailers and TV spots
  • Stills Galleries
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original Hong Kong poster artwork
  • A Limited Edition collector's booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver [2000 copies]

 

Man Without a Star Blu-ray cover art

MAN WITHOUT A STAR (1955) | Blu-ray | 15 August 2022 | £16.99

Kirk Douglas stars in Man Without a Star, an exciting King Vidor (Duel in the Sun) Western about a wandering cowboy who becomes embroiled in a bloody dispute between rival ranchers.

Train-hopping his way to Wyoming, nomadic cowboy Dempsey Rae (Douglas) saves the life of young Jeff Jimson (William Campbell; Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte). Taking Jeff on as his protégé, Dempsey teaches him the life of a cowhand; how to ride a horse, rope and herd cattle, and how to shoot… Despite the land they work on being open range, Dempsey is horrified to find the local ranchers are resorting to the usage of barbed wire and refuses to work for anyone who uses it. But when an unscrupulous ranch owner (Jeanne Crain, Pinky) hires a brutal group of killers to push the other ranchers off the land, Dempsey is the only one who can help them fight back.

Director King Vidor expertly blends humour and excitement in this classic action-packed Western, making its UK debut on Blu-ray as part of the Masters of Cinema series.

BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray 
  • Uncompressed original mono audio 
  • Optional English SDH
  • Brand new audio commentary with writers Barry Forshaw and Kim Newman
  • Brand new interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard
  • Trailer
  • A collector's booklet featuring a new essay on the film by film writer Rich Johnson, and a new piece by critic Richard Combs about the Western films of King Vidor

 

Buster Keaton: The Saphead

BUSTER KEATON: THE SAPHEAD (1920) | Blu-ray | 22 August 2022 | £17.99

In 1920, having served a slapstick apprenticeship in the shorts of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Buster Keaton had earned the opportunity to headline his own series of two-reel comedies. The very moment at which he emerged as a star of his own shorts, Keaton was recruited to appear in his first feature film, The Saphead, based on a popular stage play.

Keaton stars as Bertie Van Alstyne, the pampered son of a powerful Wall Street financier (William H. Crane). Having known no other lifestyle but privilege, he wanders through a variety of misadventures—an attempt at courtship, a trip to an illegal gambling den, and a tumble onto the floor of the Stock Exchange—oblivious to the obstacles that stand before him.

Though Keaton was not the primary creative force behind The Saphead, as he was on his short films, it became hugely important in shaping his on-screen persona: the lonely, stone-faced man thwarted by circumstance, inept at the art of romance, yet undaunted in his struggle for love within a chaotic world. The Masters of Cinema is proud to present yet another Keaton masterpiece in its UK debut on Blu-ray, from a stunning restoration completed in 2020 by the Cohen Film Collection.

BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • Limited O-Card Slipcase [2000 copies]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a restoration undertaken by the Cohen Film Collection from a first generation nitrate print
  • Score by Andrew Earle Simpson (presented in uncompressed LPCM stereo)
  • Brand new audio commentary with film historian and writer David Kalat
  • Brand new video essay by David Cairns
  • Complete alternate version of The Saphead, comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles
  • A Pair of Sapheads – featurette comparing the two versions of the film
  • The Scribe (1966, dir. John Sebert) [29 mins] – In his last film role—produced to promote Construction site safety—Keaton plays a janitor who in his attempt to educate workers on safe practices, causes more accidents than he prevents
  • Previously unheard audio commentary on The Scribe with director John Sebert (recorded before his death in 2015) and writer / silent cinema aficionado Chris Seguin
  • Buster Keaton in conversation with Kevin Brownlow – a 2-hour audio interview with Keaton and film historian Kevin Brownlow from 1964
  • 1958 Buster Keaton Interview [90 mins]
  • A collector's booklet featuring new essays by journalist Philip Kemp and film writer Imogen Sara Smith, as well as an appreciation of The Saphead by film writer Eileen Whitfield

All Extras Subject to Change.