• Martyn Wakefield

Argento in 4K, a staggering debut and a devil gets his due! July releases from ARROW (NEWS)

Arrow Video’s July lineup includes a fully-restored 4K Argento favourite, a remarkable occult horror, a unique and unforgettable Spanish debut, a collection of three unmissable, lesser-known giallos, and a superb 80s slasher as it has never been seen before.


The releases include pristine restorations, brand-new extras including commentaries and featurettes, limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves, illustrated collector’s booklets, fold-out double-sided posters, lobby card reproduction artcards, and special editions with collectable O-cards.

First in July, Tenebrae, where Italy’s legendary master of horror Dario Argento (Deep Red, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) returned to the giallo thriller genre in which he originally made his name for his most blood-drenched and self-reflexive offering to date. Starring (Anthony Franciosa, Death Wish II), Daria Nicolodi (Phenomena) and John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and featuring stark, modernist photography by Luciano Tovoli (Suspiria), this one-time Video Nasty updates the classic giallo blueprint for a new decade – now fully restored in 4K alongside a plethora of extras old and new and including, for the first time ever, the alternate US cut, Unsane. It is also available in a lavish Limited Edition Arte Originale edition.


Next in July, brooding occult horror The Righteous, that insinuates its way beneath the skin by way of an intelligent script, taut direction, and strong performances. Writer and actor Mark O'Brien (Ready or Not) pulls no punches as he confronts grief, guilt, faith and atonement in his remarkable directorial debut. Set amongst the bleak and forbidding landscapes of Newfoundland, crisply captured in tenebrous monochrome by cinematographer Scott McClellan, and featuring robust performances from all its cast members, The Righteous is a sombre supernatural chiller that builds to a memorable crescendo, and signals the emergence of a major new filmmaking talent. The Blu-ray release includes a brand new audio commentary by O'Brien, and comes with a collector’s booklet.


The uncanny, the unsettling, and the unexpected combine to devastating effect in The Sacred Spirit, the extraordinary debut feature from Spanish writer-director Chema Garcia Ibarra. As if Ken Loach and Aki Kaurismaki remade the The X-Files, The Sacred Spirit is a provocative, humane, and unsparing vision that marks the arrival of a unique new voice in genre cinema. The Limited Edition 2-disc Blu-ray contains a selection of award-winning short films by Ibarra, a fully illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film, and a fold-out poster.


Also in July, Hell High, where unruly teenagers and a teacher with a horrific secret will clash in a stalk-and-slash that sets itself out from the pack with its brutality. An oft-overlooked slasher from 1989, the combination of raw horror elements, supernatural horror and viciously sadistic characters make this a standout title that won’t leave you on the roadside. The release features a brand new 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative, a brand new audio commentary with Director Douglas Grossman as well as a host of other new extras, and an illustrated collector's booklet. It is also available on Limited Edition Blu-ray with an O-card with alternate title artwork, as an Arrow Store Exclusive.


Finally in July, the Giallo Essentials Collection celebrates the range and breadth of the genre with three lesser-seen films from its early 1970s heyday: Silvio Amadio’s Smile Before Death; Francesco Mazzei’s The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive; and Giuseppe Bennati’s The Killer Reserved Nine Seats. With gory murders, wanton debauchery and left-field plot twists a-plenty, all three of these oft-overlooked gialli are restored in 2K from their original camera negatives – including brand-new, Arrow-exclusive restorations of Smile Before Death and The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive – alongside a range of in-depth bonus features. The release comes in rigid box packaging with original poster artwork in a windowed Giallo Essentials Collection slipcover.


New Releases


Tenebrae

On Dual Format Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray 18 July



A razor-wielding psychopath is stalking the thriller writer Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa, Death Wish II), in Rome to promote his latest work, Tenebrae. But the author isn’t the obsessive killer’s only target: the beautiful women who surround him are doomed as, one by one, they fall victim to the murderer’s slashing blade.


Tenebrae

On Dual Format Arte Originale Limited Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray 18 July



A razor-wielding psychopath is stalking the thriller writer Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa, Death Wish II), in Rome to promote his latest work, Tenebrae. But the author isn’t the obsessive killer’s only target: the beautiful women who surround him are doomed as, one by one, they fall victim to the murderer’s slashing blade.


The Righteous

On Blu-ray 18 July

Available on ARROW 10 June


A former priest, Frederic Mason (Henry Czerny), anguished by the tragic death of his young daughter, finds himself wrestling with his religious convictions when a mysterious young man (Mark O’Brien) appears wounded on his doorstop in need of assistance. After he and his wife Ethel (Mimi Kuzyk) welcome him across the threshold and into their household, Frederic sees an opportunity for redemption in this mysterious and troubled lost soul, who might just be an emissary from God, or maybe the Devil...


The Sacred Spirit

On Limited Blu-ray 18 July



A missing girl. A community in shock. Jose Manuel lives a quiet life. He works in his modest tapas bar, takes care of his elderly mother and attends weekly meetings of the Ovni-Levante, a group of devoted UFO enthusiasts who gather after hours at the office of a local estate agent to exchange information about extraterrestrial messages and alien abductions. When their leader dies unexpectedly, only Jose is left to know the cosmic secret that could alter the future of humanity. And only Jose knows what he must do.


Hell High

On Limited Edition (Arrow Store Exclusive) and Standard Blu-ray 18 July


Biology teacher Miss Storm accidentally caused the death of two teens as a child and is now trying to live a normal life. Her students see weakness in her and prey on it at every turn. When Jon-Jon steps away from the life of a jock and starts to hang out with the weird kids, Dickens, Queenie and Smiler all welcome him and take him along for the ride of his life. Miss Storm is their focus and they’re going to terrify, torment and destroy her, taking it too far and unwittingly putting themselves in danger.



Giallo Essentials

On Black Edition Limited Edition Blu-ray 25 July


In Silvio Amadio’s Smile Before Death, familicide with a sprinkling of Oedipal love is the order of the day when teenager Nancy (Jenny Tamburi, The Suspicious Death of a Minor) returns home to discover the apparent suicide of her mother, and quickly comes to suspect that her stepfather (Silvano Tranquilli, The Bloodstained Butterfly) and his mistress (Rosalba Neri, The French Sex Murders) are to blame. Next, horny priests and self-flagellating nuns abound in Francesco Mazzei’s The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive, as police commissioner Franco Boito (Renzo Montagnani, Massacre in Rome) investigates the brutal murder of a young clergyman, only to enter into an affair with the dead man’s lover (Bedy Moratti, Calling All Police Cars). Finally, in Giuseppe Bennati’s The Killer Reserved Nine Seats, an assortment of wealthy degenerates – including Italian cult mainstays Andrea Scotti (Django, Prepare a Coffin) and Howard Ross (The Pyjama Girl Case) – answer the summons of an eccentric nobleman (Chris Avram, A Bay of Blood) and assemble in the theatre attached to his ancestral home, only to find themselves trapped in the decaying building while a savage killer picks them off Agatha Christie-style!

4 views0 comments