Arrow Video Returns with New Slate of Region Free Releases

2/13/15 – UK

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Arrow Video, to collectors and fans, has some of the finest Blu-ray releases that money can buy… if you have a region 2 player. Fortunately, the UK based company recently announced that they will be releasing region free discs! That’s right, now you don’t have to go out and hunt for a Blu-ray player that is European friendly. Not only that, but they recently announced a slew of sought after titles for their first run to our country, including the nightmarishly weird, goopy Society by Brain Yuzna (Producer of Re-Animator) and the infamous video nasty Island of Death.

Before Scream Factory, Arrow Video offered new bonus features, new restoration and some slamming artwork to present an amazing film and I for one and really happy that it will now be available for us.

Arrow Video is delighted to announce the details of its forthcoming May 2015 titles. Amongst the exciting roster of releases scheduled for May, the eagerly anticipated 2K restoration of The Long Good Friday will be the first to debut on 4th May 2015, as both a DVD and Blu-ray combo and as part of a deluxe 6-disc box-set featuring exclusive content and both Bob Hoskins films, The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa, also receiving a brand new 2K restoration. Also set for release in May is the Burt Lancaster 1964 classic The Train on the Arrow Academy label, The 1969 Japanese yakuza flick Retaliation, Brian Yuzna’s fantastically subversive Society and a new restoration of Video Nasty, Island of Death.

May 2015 titles
– The Long Good Friday (Arrow Video) Limited Edition SteelBook Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
– The Long Good Friday + Mona Lisa (Arrow Video) Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
– The Train (Arrow Academy) Blu-ray
– Retaliation (Arrow Video) Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
-Society (Arrow Video) Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
-Island of Death (Arrow Video) Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
-The Long Good Friday (Arrow Video) Limited Edition SteelBook Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
Release date – 4th May

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WHO LIT THE FUSE THAT TORE HAROLD’S WORLD APART?

Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) is a businessman with great ambitions. Spotting the development potential of London’s derelict Docklands area years before the Thatcher government, he tries to broker a deal with his American counterpart (Eddie Constantine) that will make them both millions. But who is killing Harold’s other associates and blowing up his businesses – and why?

Universally regarded as one of the greatest British gangster films ever made, The Long Good Friday rocketed Hoskins to international stardom. He’s given sterling support from Helen Mirren (as his upper-crust mistress), Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Derek Thompson (Casualty), and there’s even an early appearance from future James Bond Pierce Brosnan.

But it’s Hoskins’ film through and through, his towering performance taking on a Shakespearean intensity as he’s forced to resort to the down-and-dirty methods that he thought he’d put behind him in order to find out who’s muscling in on his territory on what should be the best day of his life. He quickly finds out that this will be a very long Good Friday indeed…

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

• Limited Edition SteelBook™ Packaging featuring original artwork
• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of a brand new restoration sourced from the original camera negatives and approved by cinematographer Phil Meheux
• Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 sound
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director John Mackenzie
• Bloody Business, a documentary about the making of the film, including interviews with John Mackenzie, stars Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan, producer Barry Hanson and Phil Meheux
• Brand new interviews with Barry Hanson, writer Barrie Keeffe and Phil Meheux
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and BFI curator Mark Duguid, illustrated with original production stills
• More to be announced!
The Long Good Friday + Mona Lisa (Arrow Video) Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
Release date – 4th May
6-DISC SPECIAL EDITION BOXED SET CONTENTS:
• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of both films, in brand new restorations sourced from the original camera negatives and approved by cinematographer Phil Meheux (The Long Good Friday), director Neil Jordan and cinematographer Roger Pratt (Mona Lisa)
• Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 sound
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Newly illustrated packaging by Matthew Griffin
THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY DISCS 1 & 2 – BLU-RAY & DVD
• Audio commentary by director John Mackenzie
• Bloody Business, a documentary about the making of The Long Good Friday, including interviews with John Mackenzie, stars Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan, producer Barry Hanson and Phil Meheux
• Brand new interviews with Barry Hanson, writer Barrie Keeffe and Phil Meheux
• Original Trailer
• More to be announced!
THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY DISCS 3 & 4 – BLU-RAY & DVD [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]
• Q&A with Bob Hoskins and John Mackenzie, moderated by Richard Jobson
• Apaches (1977), John Mackenzie’s notorious farm safety film, presented in High Definition (1080p) for the first time
• Introduction to Apaches by cinematographer Phil Meheux
• More to be announced!
MONA LISA DISCS 5 & 6 – BLU-RAY & DVD
• Audio commentary by Bob Hoskins and Neil Jordan
• Brand new interviews with director Neil Jordan, writer David Leland and producer Stephen Woolley
• Original Trailer
100-PAGE HARDBACK BOOK [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]
• Featuring new writing on the film by critics Mark Duguid and Mike Sutton plus archive pieces, illustrated with original production stills

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The Train (Arrow Academy) Blu-ray
Release date – 11th May
ONE MAN’S IMPOSSIBLE MISSION – TO SAVE HIS COUNTRY’S PRICELESS TREASURES
Directed by John Frankenheimer at the peak of his powers, The Train was made during a tremendous run of top-class pictures that also included Birdman of Alcatraz, Seven Days in May and The Manchurian Candidate, with Seconds soon to follow.

France, 1944. Art lover and fanatical Nazi Colonel Von Waldheim has plundered a Paris museum for its masterpieces, including works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Cezanne. His intention is to have them transported by rail to Berlin, but one man stands in his way. Aware that the Allied forces are fast approaching the French capital, Resistance fighter Labiche need only stall the train for a few more days, but he’ll have to use all of his wits and skills to do so.

Featuring two Oscar-winners in its lead roles – Burt Lancaster as Labiche and Paul Scofield as Von Waldheim – and Jeanne Moreau and Michel Simon in support, The Train combines star power with spectacular action sequences to produce a classic war movie.

Special Edition Contents:
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the film
• Uncompressed 1.0 mono PCM audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer
• Optional isolated score by Maurice Jarre
• Burt Lancaster in the Sixties – a newly-filmed interview with Lancaster’s biographer Kate Buford, tracing the actor’s career throughout the decade
• French television report on the film’s making, containing interviews with residents of the village of Acquigny who worked as extras
• Archive interview with Michel Simon
• Footage of The Train’s gala screening in Marseilles
• Theatrical Trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Sheldon Hall, illustrated with original stills and artwork
Retaliation (Arrow Video) Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
Release date – 11th May
In 1969 future sexploitation specialist Yasuharu Hasebe (Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter) teamed up with the inimitable Jô Shishido (Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill) for a follow up to their yakuza hit Massacre Gun.

A tale of gang warfare that features a raft of the period’s most iconic stars, Akira Kobayashi (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, The Flowers and the Angry Waves) is a yakuza lieutenant who emerges from jail to find his gang dispersed and his aging boss in his sickbed. Shishido is the rival waiting to kill him and a young Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) is the girl caught in the crossfire.

Gritty and cynical, Retaliation is a hardboiled precursor to Kinji Fukasaku’s revisionist yakuza pictures of the 1970s.

Special Edition Contents:
• Limited Edition Blu-ray (3000 copies only)
• Restored High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation, on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!
• Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
• Newly translated English subtitles
• Brand new interview with star Jô Shishido
• Interview with renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns
• Original theatrical trailer
• Gallery featuring rare promotional images
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
• Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, newly illustrated by Ian MacEwan and featuring original archive stills

Society (Arrow Video) Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
Release date – 18th May
IT’S ALL ABOUT FITTING IN
After producing Stuart Gordon’s hit Re-Animator, Brian Yuzna (Bride of Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead III) turned his hand to directing with 1989’s Society, and gave birth to one of the ickiest, most original body horror shockers of all time.
Teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) has always felt like the odd one out in his wealthy, upper-class Beverly Hills family. For some reason, he just doesn’t seem to fit in. But his sense of alienation takes a sinister turn when he overhears a surreptitious audio recording of his sister’s coming-out party, which seems to implicate his family and others in a bizarre, ritualistic orgy. And then there are the strange things he’s been seeing – glimpses of people with their bodies contorted impossibly out of shape… Is Billy going mad or is there something seriously amiss in his neighbourhood?
Packing stomach-churning grue and thought-provoking social commentary in equal measure, Society is a biting horror satire which culminates in one of the most leftfield, gag-inducing “climaxes” in all of horror history – just don’t eat beforehand!
Special Features:
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
• Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• New Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna
• Governor Of Society with Brian Yuzna
• The Masters Of The Hunt with stars Billy Warlock, Devin Devasquez, Ben Meyerson and Tim Bartell
• The Champions Of The Shunt with FX Artists Screaming Mad George, David Grasso and Nick Benson
• Screaming Mad George music video
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Island of Death (Arrow Video) Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
Release date – 25th May
THE LUCKY ONES GOT THEIR BRAINS BLOWN OUT!!
Welcome to Mykonos, the holiday destination of choice for sun, sea and slaughter! From cult director Nico Mastorakis, Island of Death is a travelogue of atrocities with scenes so strong that the British Government was once compelled to ban it as a “video nasty”.
Arriving on the idyllic Greek island, Christopher and Celia appear to be every inch the perfect, handsome young couple. Little do the welcoming locals realise that they are in fact a pair of murderous degenerates, determined to spread their own particular brand of perversion across the island. DIY crucifixions, opportunistic bestiality, sexual peeing and murder by all conceivable forms ensue – including death by makeshift blowtorch, samurai sword, dump truck and more!
Shocking, brutal and totally politically incorrect in its outlook, Island of Death is a gruelling cinematic experience devised by director Mastorakis to out-do the excesses of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which he was hugely inspired by. Now fully uncut and newly-restored from the original negative, fans can enjoy Island of Death in all its sleazy, lurid glory.
Special Features:
• Brand new restoration from the original negative
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
• Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Brand new interview with director Nico Mastorakis
• The Films of Nico Mastorakis – the director hosts this documentary covering his varied career in cinema, including a look at Island of Death
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

-Andrew Peters

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