The summer really hots up in August, as Arrow Video releases a white-knuckle thriller, a cult comedy making its worldwide Blu-ray debut, two splatter horror classics, a giallo masterpiece and a rare Italian sword-and-sandal epic.
First up is the long awaited worldwide Blu-ray debut of Shock Treatment, the cult musical comedy written by and starring Richard O’Brien, the legendary creator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The lead characters from that film, Brad and Janet, here become involved in a devilishly deviant gameshow, in a film that bills itself as not a sequel… not a prequel… but an equal to Rocky Horror! With a host of fantastic extras, these limited edition ‘Nation’ and ‘Cosmo’ releases come with collector cards and a poster, in superb new packaging.
This month also sees the Dual Format release of the star-studded, action-packed crime thriller Ronin, from master director John Frankenheimer (Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate), starring Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, Heat), Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional) and Sean Bean (Stormy Monday, Game of Thrones). A fantastically entertaining heist-gone-wrong crime caper, featuring one of the greatest car chases ever committed to film, Ronin is presented in a brand new, cinematographer-approved 4K restoration, along with a host of behind the scenes featurettes, with a reversible sleeve, and a collector’s booklet with the first pressing.
Mid-August onwards sees horror fans spoiled for choice: starting with the Dual Format release of Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece giallo Don’t Torture a Duckling, starring Italian genre stalwarts Tomas Milian and Barbara Bouchet trying to find out who is responsible for a spate of mysterious murders in a sleepy village. Widely regarded as Fulci’s greatest film, the 1972 classic is presented in a High Definition Blu-ray, with a new commentary and interviews, and a collector’s booklet with the first pressing.
Then there is the Dual Format release of controversial splatter classic The Slayer, JS Cardone’s gruesome 80s chiller about a group of friends trapped on a remote island and stalked by a crazed killer. The infamous slasher film, previously only been available on home video in truncated or full screen versions, comes lovingly restored from the original negative, in a stunning transfer that will be a revelation to fans both old and new; and the first pressing includes a collector’s booklet with brand new writing on the film.
Another splatterific offering coming out on Blu-ray is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Tobe Hooper’s extraordinary 1986 sequel to his seminal horror classic, mixing horror and comedy to splendid effect and featuring the unforgettable sight of Dennis Hopper (Speed, Easy Rider) wielding twin chainsaws. A cult classic in its own right, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 serves up a heady blend of gratuitous gore, socio-political critique and jet-black humour, and is presented in High Definition Blu-ray presentation, from a digital transfer supervised by director of photography Richard Kooris.
At the end of August comes the Dual Format release Erik the Conqueror, a 1961 sword-and-sandal epic from Italian supremo Mario Bava, a rare detour from the master director away from genre thrillers like Rabid Dogs and A Bay of Blood. Inspired by the Kirk Douglas hit The Vikings, this is a tale of treachery, heroism and forbidden love starring George Ardisson (Juliet of the Spirits) in the title role, and Hollywood legend Cameron Mitchell (Blood and Black Lace). Restored in high definition for the first time, and packed with extras, as well as a collector’s booklet with the first pressing, this is a must for Bava fans and lovers of spectacular swashbucklers.