Sex & Blood & Guts & Guns With Arrow Video In 2013! Bava & Metzger On Blu! New Spaghetti Western!

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer
I don't think I've ever been as excited about a single announcement as I am about the massive slate of insane titles that Arrow Video dropped today online. Arrow Video has really stepped up their game for the first quarter of next year, and they are looking to bring some world class releases to the UK for the first time in HD. This announcement brings classic horror, erotica, and spaghetti westerns to one of the UK's most venerable labels in a huge way. I know I'm being coy, but I'm also trying not to gush too much, though the temptation is huge. 

First and foremost, we get the continuation of Arrow Video's Mario Bava on Blu-ray collection. From the Alfredo Leone collection we get new Blu-ray discs of Black Sunday (Mask of Satan) and Lisa & The Devil. These were recently released on US Blu-ray with pretty decent transfers but slim pickens' for extras. Arrow Video's releases (Region B) look to easily outpace those discs by heaping on the bonus materials and giving these films that special Arrow touch that includes gorgeous new cover art by legendary poster artist, Graham Humphreys. Here are some more details on those two releases:
Black Sunday / The Mask of Satan / I Vampiri

Starring: Barbara Steele, John Richardson and Andrea Checchi
Directed by: Mario Bava
Rating: 15

Overview: STARE INTO THESE EYES... discover deep within them the unspeakable terrifying secret of BLACK SUNDAY... it will paralyze you with fright!

Legendary Scream Queen Barbara Steele (Shivers, Caged Heat) stars in this classic slice of gothic terror from the father of fantastic Italian cinema Mario Bava (Lisa & the Devil).

A beautiful witch is sentenced to death for her evil deeds by her own brother, condemned to die by having a metal mask hammered onto her face before being burnt at the stake. As she passes, she puts a terrible curse on all her future descendants as the spikes of the death mask pierce her flesh... But when two unwitting travellers discover her final resting place and worse, drip blood on her resting corpse, they unleash her once again in all her stunningly beautiful, terrifying glory....

Banned in the UK on its release, Black Sunday is a groundbreaking film that opened the door for Spaghetti horror in all its gory glory.

Special Features:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; 'The Mask of Satan' - the European version with score by Roberto Nicolosi & 'Black Sunday' - the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP version with Les Baxter score, on home video for the first time
- Three audio versions: Optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score
- English SDH subtitles for both English versions and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio
- Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
- Introduction to the film by author and critic Alan Jones
- Interview with star and horror icon Barbara Steele
- Deleted Scene from the Italian version with notes by Tim Lucas
- International Trailer
- US Trailer
- Italian Trailer
- TV Spot
- I Vampiri (1956) - Italy's first sound horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava
- US I Vampiri Trailer 'The Devil's Commandment'
- Trailer reel - trailers of all the major works by Mario Bava
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by Matt Bailey and Alan Jones, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
The Blu-ray release of Black Sunday will include pretty much all known footage from the film as well as three different audio tracks AND it will include a DVD of Bava's directorial debut, I Vampiri. This is one INSANE edition of this classic film and I cannot WAIT to get my hands on it!
lisadeviluk1.jpgLisa and the Devil / The House of Exorcism

Starring: Telly Savalas, Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina
Directed by: Mario Bava
Rating: 18

Overview: EVERY CORNER OF THE SOUL IS LOST TO THE ICY CLUTCH OF THE SUPERNATURAL!

From the father of Italian Horror Mario Bava (Black Sunday, The Whip and the Body) comes a tale of nightmarish surrealism and supernatural suspense.

Lisa (Elke Sommer) - an American tourist travelling in Spain - loses her tour party and seeks refuge in the tumbledown mansion of a blind countess after being guided there by the distinctly satanic butler of the house, Leandro (Telly Savalas - Horror Express, Kojak). The Son of the Countess notices Lisa's striking resemblance to his dead lover and pursues her as a night of murder, strange eroticism and dark hallucinations begins.

Re-cut in the US to cash in on the popularity of William Friedkin's The Exorcist and released as The House of Exorcism (included in this special edition) the original Lisa & the Devil is Bava at his abstract and delirious best, delivering a 70s horror classic and a masterclass in cinema as feverish nightmare.


Special Features:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of both versions of the film: 'Lisa and the Devil' and 'The House of Exorcism' producer's cut
- Optional English and Italian audio on 'Lisa and the Devil'
- English SDH subtitles on both features and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian Audio of 'Lisa and the Devil'
- Audio Commentary on 'Lisa and the Devil' by Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
- Audio Commentary on 'The House of Exorcism' by producer Alfredo Leone and star Elke Sommer
- Introductions to both films by author and critic Alan Jones
- The Exorcism of Lisa - Assistant Director Lamberto Bava, screenwriter Roberto Natale, Roy Bava and Alberto Pezzotta discuss the making of both versions of the film
- Deleted Scene
- Original trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Stephen Thrower illustrated with original stills and archive posters
Like the Kino disc, Arrow Video's will feature both versions of this film, but Arrow adds a ton of extras that simply cannot be beat, as well as both audio tracks. These two releases are in a class of their own.

Next up is the introduction of the undisputed king of '60s arthouse erotica, Radley Metzger. While Tinto Brass may be th eking of titalation, Metzger is the master of seduction, and the three titles on Arrow's Slate are among my favorites from his impressive oeuvre. While Metzger's name may not be a household one these days, his Audobon pictures was one of the most adventurous distribution companies back in the '60s and was responsible for a lot of the Swedish new wave appearing in America. In early 2013 we'll get Camille 2000, The Lickerish Quartet, and Score on Blu-ray from Arrow and I could not be more excited. Here are those details:
camilleuk.jpgCamille 2000

Starring: Danièle Gaubert, Nino Castelnuovo and Eleonora Rossi Drago
Directed by: Radley Metzger
Rating: 18

Overview: From an age before the hardcore explicitness of Porno Chic comes a swingin' late 60s erotic film brimming with Italian opulence, liberated sex and modish inflatable furniture.

When Marguerite, a promiscuous woman with a troubled past and a deep distrust of men meets Armand, she lets her guard down and falls in love. But can they resist old habits and latent emotions in order to stay together? Find out in this visual, sensual cinematic feast of multiple sexual partners, from the director of Score and The Opening Of Misty Beethoven.

A vivid mix of colour, grandiose set design, bizarre costumes and frank sexuality, Camille 2000 is an essential piece of erotic film history and a must see for cult movie fans.

Special Features:
- High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation
- Brand new high definition restoration of the extended cut - available for the first time in the UK
- Optional English SDH subtitles
- Audio commentary with director Radley Metzger and film historian Michael Bowen
- On the set of Camille 2000 - featuring stars Daniele Gaubert, Nino Castelnuovo and Radley Metzger
- Sylviana's Bare Striptease - previously cut scene from the feature
- Cube Love Scene - A newly discovered alternate take
- Restoration Comparison
- Original trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress
- Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Robin Bougie

lickerishuk.jpgThe Lickerish Quartet

Starring: Silvana Venturelli, Frank Wolff and Erika Remberg
Directed by: Radley Metzger
Rating: 18

Overview: A mind-bending classic of erotic cinema, The Lickerish Quartet brings us a rich jaded couple and their grown-up son - bored after a night watching pornography - visiting a travelling stunt show, the star of which is bears a striking similarity to the woman in the sex film they just saw. Invited back to the castle for a drink, she soon becomes embroiled in a night of bizarre carnality, fantasy fulfilment and highly charged love games.

Hailing from a time when erotic cinema was embraced by the mainstream, The Lickerish Quartet is a dream-like fantasy of liberated love and questing eroticism which blurs the boundaries between staid reality and the surreal realms of unbridled sexual fantasy.

Directed by the groundbreaking sometime pornographer Radley Metzger, The Lickerish Quartet takes us back in time to an era when nudity was a novelty and sexual explicitness felt like a revolution...


Special Features:
- High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation
- Brand new high definition restoration of the original feature - uncut and available for the first time in the UK
- Optional English SDH subtitles
- Audio commentary with director Radley Metzger and film historian Michael Bowen
- The Making of The Lickerish Quartet - A behind-the-scenes look featuring rare footage of Silvana Venturelli, Paolo Turco and Radley Metzger
- Cool Version Love Scenes - originally produced scenes where the original version too hot!
- Giving Voice to the Quartet - a look at the different audio tracks between the original location and dubbed soundtracks
- Original trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress
- Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Robin Bougie

scoreuk.jpgScore

Starring: Claire Wilbur, Calvin Culver and Lynn Lowry
Directed by: Radley Metzger
Rating: 18

Overview: A MAN AND A WOMAN AND A WOMAN AND A MAN AND A MAN AND A WOMAN ETC., ETC

Riding an early 70s wave of ever more liberal big screen morals, Score takes us to the imaginary city of Leisure, where an experienced couple are playing dangerous games of seduction on the swinging scene. They're taking bets on who can screw who as they play fast and very loose with a newly married couple - Betsy and Eddie - two cute kids who are about to get their world turned upside down...

As the two couples dance around one another and the wine and pot begin to take hold, will the young and naive pair break their vows and succumb to the new morality of their hosts? Will Betsy wear the dog collar and leash? Find out in Metzger's paean to sexual liberation, softcore Lesbianism and gender-bending erotic freedom!


Special Features:
- High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD Presentation
- Brand new high definition restoration of the film - available for the first time in the UK
- Optional English SDH subtitles
- Audio commentary with director Radley Metzger and film historian Michael Bowen
- On the set of Score - a behind the scenes look at the making of Score containing rare footage of Claire Wilber, Lynn Lowry, Cal Culver, Gerald Grant and Radley Metzger
- Keeping Score with Lynn Rowley (The Crazies, Shivers) - a brand new interview with Score's star
- Original trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress
- Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Robin Bougie
All of these films have appeared on US Blu with largely the same set of extras, but the new custom artwork and liner notes by Cinema Sewer's Robin Bougie are DEFINITELY selling points. I know many haven't heard of Radley Metzger, but I'll sell him every goddamned day, the man is and was a genius and I keep hoping that he'll one day get the recognition he deserves. I do my best, and I definitely recommend checking out all three of these releases. Awesome stuff!

Also coming as an upgrade is a Blu-ray release of Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing. A very exciting release that will, I'm sure, compare favorably with Scream Factory planned Blu-ray. Here are those details:
deadlyuk.jpgDeadly Blessing

Starring: Sharon Stone, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Berryman
Directed by: Wes Craven
Rating: 15
Duration: 98 mins

Overview: They'll Build A Barn From Your Bones!

Wes Craven unearths the darkness that festers beneath an isolated community in Deadly Blessing, a rural tale of mistrust and bloody murder from the director of Last House on the Left.

When Martha marries into a close knit sect she finds herself shunned as an outsider by its fanatical members, but when her husband dies mysteriously while riding a tractor expressly forbidden as a tool of the devil, things take a darker turn. Marked as a incubus by her neighbours, time is running out for Martha and her visiting friends, as plagued by nightmares and fearing for their lives, they face the violent fury and retribution of old time religion.

One of Hollywood's masters of terror presents a tale of rural horror and simmering evil from the golden age of video terror.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature
- Optional English SDH Subtitles
- Audio commentary with Wes Craven [Blu-ray only]
- Brand new UK-exclusive interview with Wes Craven [Blu-ray only]
- Introduction by star Michael Berryman
- Craven Images: The Horror Hits of Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes Series, Cut and Run, Weird Science) - An interview with Deadly Blessing's iconic star
- Deadly Desires: An interview with screenwriter Glenn M. Benest
- Easter Eggs
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Rue Morgue art director Gary Pullin
- Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by author and critic Kim Newman
One new Arrow Video DVD on the list is the controversial French thriller, Baise-moi. It's been a long time since I've seen this film, so I can't completely vouch for it, but it is something different. Explicit sex and violence in a crazy Thelma & Louise adventure across France. Extras are still being worked out, but the liner notes by House of Psychotic Women author, Kier-la Janisse is very exciting!:
baiseuk.jpgBaise-moi

Starring: Raffaëla Anderson, Karen Lancaume and Céline Beugnot
Directed by: Virginie Despentes, Coraline Trinh Thi
Rating: 18

Overview: Sex and shooting assault the senses in Baise-moi [literally 'Fuck Me' or 'Kiss Me'], a bloody buddy movie that's like Thelma and Louise on acid. Banned on release in France, the film has provoked as much horror as it has debate.

Manu - a part time porn star - and Nadine - a hooker - set out to leave their town for Paris after witnessing and being subject to rape and violence. They rage against societal expectations in a fury of robbery, orgiastic lust and murder.

One of the most controversial movies of the last 20 years, Baise-moi was described as the most sexually explicit film to ever reach British screens by the UK press, the film offers the complacent viewer a cinematic slap in the face.

Special Features:
- Special Features to be announced closer to the time!
- Original theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Wilson
- Collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by author Kier-la Janisse
Arrow rounds out the first quarter with a pair of Arrowdrome releases that include the introductions of spaghetti westerns and Brian Trenchard-Smith to an already impressive line:
djangouk.jpgDjango, Prepare a Coffin

Starring: Terence Hill, Horst Frank and George Eastman
Directed by: Ferdinando Baldi
Rating: TBC

Overview: Django the drifter returns in this classic Sixties Spaghetti Western from Ferdinando Baldi (Texas Addio, Comin' At Ya!), starring Terence Hill (They Call Me Trinity) as the wandering gunslinger, hired as executioner to a corrupt local politician who is framing innocent men, sending them to hang in an evil scheme to take hold of their land.

But Django has other ideas and, cleverly faking the deaths of the condemned men, he assembles them into a loyal gang who'll help him take down the boss, a man who had a hand in the death of Django's wife years before.

Thrill as Django gets his bloody revenge with a hail of bullets in this classic from a series of B-movie westerns that helped to define a genre. Prepare your coffin now!

ARROWDROME IS A FLEAPIT SELECTED LIBRARY OF CULT FILMS; VIOLENT, HORRIFIC, SLEAZY, EXPLOITATIVE. TO EXPLORE STEP IN TO THE CULT ARENA! EVERY ARROWDROME RELEASE INCLUDES A REVERSIBLE SLEEVE OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK AND A COLLECTOR'S BOOKLET!

ALSO INCLUDES A COLLECTOR'S BOOKLET BY SPAGHETTI WESTERN EXPERT HOWARD HUGHES!

dediuk.jpgDead End Drive In

Starring: Ned Manning, Natalie McCurry and Peter Whitford
Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Rating: 18

Overview: The price of admission is the rest of your life...

From Ozploitation King Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot, Stuntrock) comes an Australian Grindhouse classic which pits the dregs of society against each other in a crazed battle featuring atomic punks, burnt out junkers and a totally corrupt police force.

In an apocalyptic future where crimes rates have spiralled out of control and the economy has permanently collapsed, those in charge have found a perfect solution to the rise of lawlessness... Lock away the undesirables, criminals and low down dirty scumbags in the old Drive-in movie theatres, now converted into violent concentration camps.

Now, two kids who thought they were only coming along to see the show are trapped by circumstance in the chaos of Dead End Drive-In, can they escape before they too become resigned to the crazed life in this hellhole like everybody else? . There's a party every day, a movie every night, and all the junk food you can eat. What more can a kid want... except to get out.

ARROWDROME IS A FLEAPIT SELECTED LIBRARY OF CULT FILMS; VIOLENT, HORRIFIC, SLEAZY, EXPLOITATIVE. TO EXPLORE STEP IN TO THE CULT ARENA! EVERY ARROWDROME RELEASE INCLUDES A REVERSIBLE SLEEVE OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK AND A COLLECTOR'S BOOKLET!
And I'm spent!

This line up is exhaustingly awesome and I can't wait to see every damned one of them. Kudos to Arrow Video for bringing the big guns in 2013!
Around the Internet:
  • Guro Taku

    12 seconds were cut from two scenes of BAISE MOI by the BBFC when they originally rated it 10 years ago. Both involved explicit sexual violence, i.e. hardcore penetration footage during a rape and something to do with an anus and a gun. I know the BBFC's stance on violence has changed over the years but I doubt this stuff will be allowed even now.

  • That is a good point, I'll ask for clarification

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