Pam Grier In this months movie selection from Arrow Video, we've got a trio of top-class Japanese action-stars, a hot sexy black mama any man would die for, a ninja on a mission, plus, a pure cavalcade of horror flicks that'll make you go bump in the night. Boy-oh-boy, February is sure looking good for us grindhouse fans. Especially if we're fans of  Yujiro Ishihara, Pam Grier, Sho Kosugi, and, ouch, monsters, ghouls, and ghosts. 

Nikkatsu Diamond Guys (Vol 1) Nikkatsu Diamond Guys (Volume 1) 

Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan, inaugurated a star system in the late 1950s, finding talent and contracting to their Diamond Line for a series of wild genre pictures. This collection celebrates these "Diamond Guys" with three classic films from directors Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill), Toshio Masuda (Rusty Knife), and Buichi Saito (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril).

An old hand at tough guy action roles, Hideaki Nitani (Tokyo Drifter) stars in Suzuki's Voice Without a Shadow. Asako, a former telephone operator, once heard the voice of a murder suspect which has continued to haunt her. Years later her husband invites his boss, Hamazaki, over for dinner and she realizes his voice is suspiciously like that of the killer. Before she can investigate further, Hamazaki is found dead and her husband becomes the prime suspect.

Next, 50s subculture icon, Yujiro Ishihara (Crazed Fruit), stars in Masuda's Red Pier as "Jiro the Lefty", a killer with a natural talent. Shortly after arriving in Kobe, he witnesses a man die in a crane accident which turns out to be a cover-up for a murder. Jiro soon finds himself on the run, tailed by a determined cop.

Finally, in Saito's The Rambling Guitarist, mega star Akira Kobayashi (Battles Without Honour and Humanity) stars as wandering street musician Shinji, who falls in with mob boss Akitsu after saving one of his henchmen in a bar fight. Tasked by Akitsu with evicting an offshore fishery, Shinji finds himself in the middle of a very unusual domestic dispute.

Bonus Materials
  • High Definition digital transfers of all three films, from original film elements by Nikkatsu Corporation.
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation.
  • Original uncompressed mono audio.
  • Newly translated English subtitles.
  • Specially recorded video discussions with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp on Diamond Guys' Hideaki Nitani and Yujiro Ishihara.
  • Original trailers for all three films and trailer preview for Diamond Guys Vol. 2.
  • Extensive promotional image galleries for all three films.
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.
  • Booklet featuring new essays on all three films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith, Tom Mes, and Mark Schilling.

Release Date: January 26th, 2016 / Genre: Crime / Running Time: 78 to 99 minutes / Number of Discs: 3 / Audio: Mono / Language: Japanese / Subtitles: English

Sheba, Baby
Sheba, Baby

Fresh off her career defining roles for Jack Hill in Coffy and Foxy Brown, Pam Grier continued her domination of the Blaxploitation genre, in cult filmmaker William Girdler's (The Manitou) 'Sheba, Baby'.

Grier plays Sheba Shayne, a private eye based in Chicago who is called to her hometown to stop the local mob boss (played by "that bad D'Urville Martin", Black Caesar) from moving in on her father's loan business. Aided by her father's partner, Brick Williams (Assault on Precinct 13), Sheba finds out that the violent thugs aren't going to go away without a fight. Car bombs, gun fights and boat chases ensue whilst armed with her curves, street smarts and a .44, Sheba is in for a bloodbath! 

Grier would appear in three Blaxploitation classics in 1975 (the others were Bucktown and Friday Foster), where she was at the top of her game and genre, with the Los Angeles Times calling her "cool, tough and glamorous - a female fantasy Wonder Woman", further cementing her status as the first female action star.

Bonus Materials
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations.
  • Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray).
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Audio commentary with producer-screenwriter David Sheldon, moderated by critic Nathaniel Thompson.
  • Sheldon: Baby - a brand new interview with David Sheldon.
  • Pam Grier: The AIP Years - a look over the wonder years of the Blaxploitation queen with film historian Chris Poggiali.
  • Trailer.
  • Gallery featuring rare publicity images and Lobby Cards.
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips.
  • Booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Patty Breen, webmaster of WilliamGirdler.com, illustrated with archive stills and posters.

Release Date: February 9th, 2016 / Genre: Action / Running Time: 90 minutes / Number of Discs: 2 / Audio: Mono / Language: English / Subtitles: English SDH

Pray For Death
Pray For Death

In Pray for Death, martial arts legend Sho Kosugi (Enter the Ninja) stars as a family man driven to exact vigilante justice - ninja style!

Akira (Kosugi) has brought his wife and two boys to the United States in search of a better life. But their slice of the American Dream is quickly soured when they fall foul of a group of jewellery thieves. Unfortunately for the bad guys, they didn't count on Akira being a secret black ninja.

The samurai sword of vengeance falls swift and hard in this classic slice of '80s ninja action from director Gordon Hessler (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad), culminating in an action-packed showdown of Commando-esque proportions.

Bonus Materials
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation.
  • Brand new digital transfers of the Unrated and R-rated versions.
  • Original Uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 audio.
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Sho and Tell Part 1: Birth of a Ninja - an exclusive interview with Sho Kosugi, in which the star discusses the early stages of his film career, leading up to his role in 'Pray for Death'.
  • Sho Kosugi on Martial Art Forms - an archive interview with Kosugi, including footage of his ninja demonstration from the 1985 New York premiere of 'Pray for Death'.
  • Sho Kosugi Trailer Gallery: 'Enter the Ninja' (1981), 'Revenge of the Ninja' (1983), 'Pray for Death' (1985) and 'Rage of Honor' (1987).
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin.

Release Date: February 16th, 2016 / Genre: Adventure / Running Time: 92 minutes / Number of Discs: 1 / Audio: Stereo / Language: English / Subtitles: English SDH

American Horror Project (Vol 1)
American Horror Project (Volume 1)

Everyone knows the classic American horror titles: Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, to name but a few. But we want to tell you a different story: a story of the unsung heroes of stars-and-stripes terror, films that have remained on the fringes of the genre either through lack of availability or else sheer obscurity. This is where American Horror Project comes in.

Volume One of this series presents three tales of violence and madness from the 1970s. Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (Christopher Speeth -- 1973) sees a family arrive at a creepy, dilapidated fairground in search of their missing son, only to find themselves at the mercy of the cannibalistic ghouls lurking beneath the park. Meanwhile, The Witch Who Came from the Sea (Matt Cimber -- 1976), stars Millie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) as a young woman whose bizarre and violent fantasies start to bleed into reality - literally. Lastly, every parent's worst nightmare comes true in The Premonition (Robert Allen Schnitzer -- 1976), a tale of psychic terror in which five-year-old Janie is snatched away by a strange woman claiming to be her long-lost mother.

Newly remastered from the best surviving elements and contextualized with brand new supplementary material, American Horror Project proudly presents an alternative history of American horror and film heritage.

  • Brand new 2K restorations of the three features.
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations.
  • Original Mono 1.0 audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays).
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil.
  • American Horror Project Journal Volume One - Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new articles on the films from writers Stephen Thrower (Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents), Kim Newman (Nightmare Movies), Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) and Brian Albright (Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990: A State-by-State Guide with Interviews).

  • Introduction to the film by Stephen Thrower.
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith.
  • The Secrets of Malatesta - an interview with director Christopher Speeth.
  • Crimson Speak - an interview with writer Werner Liepolt.
  • Malatesta's Underground - art directors Richard Stange and Alan Johnson discuss the weird, mysterious world of Malatesta's underground.
  • Outtakes.
  • Draft script (BD/DVD-ROM content).
  • Stills gallery. 

American Horror Project (Vol 1)

  • Introduction to the film by Stephen Thrower.
  • Audio commentary with director-producer Matt Cimber, actress Millie Perkins, and director of photography Dean Cundey.
  • Tides and Nightmares - brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with Cimber, Perkins, Cundey, and actor John Goff.
  • A Maiden's Voyage - archive featurette comprising interviews with Cimber, Perkins, and Cundey.
  • Lost at Sea - director Cimber reflects on his notorious cult classic.

  • Introduction to the film by Stephen Thrower.
  • Isolated score.
  • Audio commentary with director-producer Robert Allen Schnitzer.
  • Pictures from a Premonition - brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with Schnitzer, composer Henry Mollicone, and cinematographer Victor Milt.
  • Archive interviews with Robert Allen Schnitzer and star Richard Lynch.
  • Three Robert Allen Schnitzer short films: 'Vernal Equinox', 'Terminal Point' and 'A Rumbling in the Land'.
  • 4 Peace Spots.
  • Trailers and TV Spots.

Release Date: February the 23rd, 2016 / Genre: Horror / Running Time: 251 mins / Number of Discs: 6 / Audio: Mono / Language: English / Subtitles: English SDH

Powered by Blogger.