Arrow Video

Cannon Film Distributors

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash, too. Our latest look at Top Shelf releases from smaller labels features two new Blu-rays from across the pond, and in addition to both being region B releases the two share a genre similarity too in that they’re both coming-of-age teen comedies. That said, they handle their themes quite a bit differently. First up is Gregory’s Girl which explores one gangly, Scottish teen’s efforts to woo the beautiful new girl at school. His friends are equally lost in a sea of hormones, but the film pursues it all with a light and innocent touch. Far, far away at the other end of the tonal spectrum is The Last American Virgin. It’s Porky’s-style comedy including crass behavior, nudity and sex, but it has zero interest in satisfying viewers with a typical happy ending. Keep reading for our look at the new import Blu-rays of Gregory’s Girl and The Last American Virgin.

read more...

top shelf killers phantom

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash, too. Arrow Films is not only the UK’s best specialty Blu-ray/DVD label, but they’re also one of the most exciting regardless of geographical boundaries. Part of their appeal can be found in their unabashed affection for genre entertainment, but they’re equally adept and interested in more highbrow fare. They love movies as much as we do, and the proof is in a catalog diverse enough to include both Cinema Paradiso and Hell Comes to Frogtown. They have two new releases hitting UK shelves next week, and they couldn’t be more different. Keep reading for our look at Arrow’s new Blu-rays of Don Siegel’s The Killers and Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise.

read more...

top shelf invasion of the body snatchers

Most home video releases are mass produced and marketed by faceless conglomerates interested only in separating you from your hard-earned cash. If you look closely though you’ll find smaller labels who love movies as much as you do and show it by delivering quality Blu-rays and DVDs of beloved films and cult classics, often loaded with special features, new transfers, and more. But yes, they still want your cash too. Top Shelf is our new bi-weekly look at these labels and the films they’re releasing. The movies won’t always be classics in the traditional sense and you may not even recognize the titles (or stars or directors), but somebody somewhere loves them which is enough of a reason for us to shine a light their way. This week we’re taking a look at two new releases from the UK’s Arrow Video. They’re the sleazier, more entertaining brother of Arrow Academy, and while they predominantly focus on resurrecting horror films like Squirm, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and anything Dario Argento has ever pointed his camera towards, they also dabble outside the genre with releases like The Last American Virgin. Horror is their bread and butter though, so horror is where we’ll start. Two of Arrow’s releases this month are considered classics from acclaimed directors Philip Kaufman and Wes Craven, but while they both have their fans only one of the films still holds up today.

read more...

Foreign Objects - Large

Quentin Tarantino has never shied away from the debt he owes to foreign cinema when it comes to his own films, and whether they’re called homages or ripoffs the bottom line remains that certain movies from overseas inspired some of his most well known features. Reservoir Dogs is a blatant lift of Ringo Lam’s City on Fire, Inglourious Basterds found inspiration from Enzo Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards and Tarantino’s two-part, female led revenge thriller Kill Bill? You need look no further than Toshiya Fujita‘s 1973 classic, Lady Snowblood. Japan, 1874, and the cries of a newborn baby can be heard echoing in the cells of a women’s prison. Deemed a “child of the netherworld” upon her birth we next see Yuki Kashima (Meiko Kaji) twenty years later as an adult walking a secluded and snowy road. A group of men approach carting their gang boss leader in a rickshaw, and when they attempt to forcibly move Kashima she slices and dices her way through them like blood filled bags of butter, painting the snow red as she goes. As the gang leader falls beneath her blade he asks who sent her, and he dies knowing only that it was revenge.

read more...

In 1973, Toshiya Fujita released hell upon the world in the form of a vengeful spirit named Yuki. Meiko Kaji starred in the film about a getting revenge at the end of a sword hidden in an umbrella, and it remains a masterpiece that, as you can probably guess, inspired a certain sword-wielding, yellow jumpsuit-wearing avenger killing for Quentin Tarantino. Now the wonderful team over at Arrow Films is releasing Lady Snowblood on Blu-ray and DVD, special edition style. On September 24th, they’re making a combo edition and a steelbook version available. Both include not only the original, but also its sequel. Both are Region B, so make sure your player is compatible. This year seems like the one to celebrate characters born in prisons seeking revenge on wrongs done to parents, so this timing is perfect. Thanks, Arrow.

read more...

The Italian cinema scene has felt a bit tepid in recent years with only the occasional title making waves internationally, but once upon a time the country was a movie-making powerhouse. One of its biggest areas of export throughout the 7’0s and 80s was the horror genre with big names like Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci churning out stylish frightfests oozing atmosphere and gore. Like all things they varied in quality, but the films were rarely less than entertaining. Fulci was easily one of the most prolific of the bunch often filming and releasing two to three movies per year. That pace continued through his final film in 1991, but his commercial and creative peak was arguably the early ’80s. The House By the Cemetery is sometimes referred to as the third in Fulci’s apocalyptic horror trilogy alongside City Of the Living Dead and The Beyond (reviewed by me here and here). Having finally seen the film it’s not entirely clear why that is… the horror at work here is of a much more grounded nature than in either of those other films, and the ending is far more traditional. Of course, that shouldn’t be mistaken to mean the story is logical, realistic or coherent. But if nothing else, the movie is a must-see for the bat-attack scene alone.

read more...

Foreign Objects - Large

Last week’s installment of Foreign Objects took a look at the third film in Dario Argento’s so-called “animal trilogy,” Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Why start with the third film and not the first? No reason. But today we’re continuing with the theme and covering the second film, The Cat o’ Nine Tails. Don’t worry about continuity though as the three movies are in no way related. A burglary at a local genetics institute catches the eye ear of a blind retiree, and when people associated with the incident start dropping dead he teams up with a reporter to try to crack the case. The duo discovers an elaborate chain of events surrounding the lab’s recent discovery of a genetic marker that may indicate criminal tendencies and a drug that may cure it. Is someone killing to protect the discovery… or are they killing to hide the fact that they’re a killer?

read more...

Director Frank Henenlotter is a bit of an acquired taste. His films, including the Basket Case trilogy and Brain Damage, mix horror, comedy and low-budget special effects with mixed results, and the thing they have most in common is their offbeat tone. 1990′s Frankenhooker isn’t his best known film, but it deserves to be thanks to a funny script, some ridiculous effects pieces and a perfectly pitched and wonderfully off kilter lead performance. Jeffrey Franken is a bright young man with an assured future and a thick Jersey accent, but when his girlfriend Elizabeth Shelley is killed in a freak lawnmower accident he loses it all. Well, he keeps the accent. He also keeps Elizabeth’s head.

read more...

The Coroner

It’s 1942, and a young boy sits on the floor of his bedroom innocently putting together a puzzle featuring a picture of a fully nude woman. He’s assembling it with the detached focus of someone whose sole interest is the challenge of the puzzle itself and not the naked woman smiling up at him. But does his mother see that? No. She comes in and instead of appreciating his handiwork she tears him a new ass for playing with filth… swats him around, tosses the puzzle pieces, and demands he go get a plastic bag so she can burn all his shit to prevent him from becoming like his deadbeat father. So the kid comes back with an ax and chops his mother into little pieces. What follows are eighty minutes of blood, gore, violence, nudity, and… hilarious dialogue, fun performances, and a ridiculously entertaining script. Is it intentionally one of the most absurdly funny slashers ever made? No clue. But does it matter?

read more...

Tobe Hooper is not what one would call a gifted and/or talented film-maker. He’s a genre legend due more to the idea of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre than to the reality of his film work. Seriously people, it’s not a good movie… effective at times yes, but good? No. His best film remains the television mini-series of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot (unless you believe he directed Poltergeist of course), but while he’s made some real stinkers the majority of his work falls into the generic middle ground between treasure and trash. Arrow Video in the UK has just released a new Blu-ray (the first) for one of Hooper’s better efforts, the 1981 horror thriller The Funhouse. The film is one of his most accessible horror efforts to date and a fun watch, and the disc is one of Arrow’s finest efforts as well.

read more...

Arrow Video has quickly made a name for themselves as one of the top labels for genre cinema in general and Dario Argento’s films in particular. Their Blu-ray releases of Argento’s work have seen their fair share of ups and downs though with some being near reference quality and others showing real issues in the video and/or audio departments. Now Arrow has released a new Blu-ray from another well known director, their first from the man many critics (inexplicably) appointed the heir to Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense-filled throne. Will their first foray into Brian DePalma’s films fare better than some of Argento’s? The Movie: Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson) is a well to do businessman living in New Orleans with his beautiful wife Elizabeth (Geneviève Bujold) and daughter. A party winds down and the family settles in for the night, but Courtland soon discovers his wife and child missing and a ransom note demanding cash. He pays what’s asked of him, but a botched rescue attempt by police leads to the death of both his wife and daughter. Years later the still bereft widower finds himself in Italy on a business trip and wanders into the church where he had first met Elizabeth… and where he meets a young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife.

read more...

Coroner

There were a lot of slasher movies made in the eighties, and Slaughter High is definitely one of them. The ingredients are all present including a pool of potential victims making incredibly poor decisions, a killer with motivation and excess time on his hands, at least one gratuitous and inexplicable nude scene, and some creatively gory deaths. A group of high schoolers make life miserable for a science-loving geek named Marty, but when a prank goes too far the poor nerd is left scarred, burned, and on the edge of death. Some years later the bullies are invited back to school for a reunion and discover on their arrival that not only has the school been closed but they’re the only ones on the invite list. Death is in session and soon they’re getting picked off one by one in gruesome and gory ways.

read more...

Another month, another Dario Argento Blu-ray release from Arrow Video in the UK. This time it’s a film considered by many to be among his best works in general as well as one of his finest giallos. Tenebrae features all the hallmarks of Argento finest films including a twisted killer in gloves, spectacular set pieces, a pulsating electronic score, and people meeting some very violent endings. It also happens to be the bloodiest of his films from that period. Like, ‘paint the wall red with the crimson arterial spray spurting from a severed arm’ bloody…

read more...

No matter what else Brian Yuzna has done or will do in his career, he’ll forever hold a spot in the horror hall of fame thanks to his involvement on Stuart Gordon’s classic Re-Animator. The film is gory, funny, perverted, and over the top and remains one of the best horror-comedies ever made. Yuzna went on to write and direct several of his own films as well as form a production company in Spain called Fantastic Factory. Nine films were produced under the label from 2000 through 2006, and Arrow Video has packaged four of them together in a box set for your viewing pleasure. The included movies are Arachnid, Beyond Re-Animator, Faust: Love of the Damned, and Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt. And yes, the unfortunate lady reduced to T&A above can be found in one of them.

read more...

The Dario Argento Blu-ray train keeps right on rolling over in the UK thanks to the fine folks at ArrowVideo, and their latest release just so happens to be my favorite feature from the Italian director. Common perception would argue that Suspiria is Argento’s finest hour while purists might point to his earlier giallo work with Deep Red or The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (and those of you with a predilection for wild women may claim that Asia Argento is the man’s greatest creation), but none of these are correct. No, Argento’s most entertaining movie is Phenomena, aka Creepers, aka the one where Jennifer Connelly fends off a maniacal killer thanks in large part to her ability to communicate telepathically with insects.

read more...

When people say “they just don’t make movies like that anymore” Island Of Death is the “that” they’re referring to. Murder is the least of the offenses in a movie featuring goat molestation, excessive tongue waggling, gun barrel fellatio, a golden shower perpetrated against a slutty old woman, hippie rapists, decapitation by bulldozer, and some of the rudest dialogue to come out of Greece since the audience reaction to Nia Vardalos’ My Life In Ruins. For all the violence, sex, and cruelty on display though this is one funny ass movie. In a blackly comic, far from subtle mix of the intentional, unintentional, and ridiculous…

read more...

They say if you’ve seen one Italian horror film set in an old Louisiana mansion you’ve seen them all, but is that because there’s only one? No one knows, and if they do they’re not talking, but whatever the case it would probably be difficult to top Lucio Fulci’s late career entry into the sub-genre, The Beyond. Louisiana, the late 1920s, a man works silently before a canvas as an angry mob approaches outside. They burst through the door, drag him down to the hotel’s basement, and crucify him to the wall. He’s accused of being a warlock and quickly punished for his presumably wicked ways. Decades later a young woman named Liza (Catriona MacColl) inherits the old hotel and begins renovations, but not even multiple viewings of Tom Hanks’ The Money Pit could have prepared her for the hell this remodel is about to put her through.

read more...

Dario Argento is a legend in the horror genre, but he’s also an incredibly hit or miss director. (Unless you’re someone who needs cohesive plots in movies, then all of his films are probably misses.) The label is probably befitting of many film-makers, but Argento stands apart in a singular way. The quality of most directors’ work ranges film to film with their best and worst mingling side by side throughout the years. Argento on the other hand created a string of brilliant films up through the mid eighties… and has been releasing garbage ever since. UK label extraordinaire Arrow Video has been collecting, gussying up, and releasing editions of Argento’s work for a short while now. Their catalog includes DVD releases of his later (and therefore lesser) works, but they’ve also started producing sharp and beautifully packaged Blu-rays of his older classics. Inferno hit shelves last year (my review here), and Arrow has now followed it up with Argento’s 1975 serial killer thriller, Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso).

read more...

Japan has seen a virtual tsunami of quality films leave their shores over the years to touch down in foreign lands and convert innocent and unaware film lovers into lifelong fans. Most of these movies accomplish this after being picked up for domestic distribution in theaters or on DVD, but sometimes it’s not that straight forward. Battle Royale is a critically acclaimed, stylistically violent, and visually exciting satire that is more than a decade old… and it has yet to see an official release in the US. Until n– well no, it’s still not available domestically. But thanks to the wonderful Brits over at Arrow Video fans of the film can finally see Kinji Fukasaku’s final film in all its remastered glory. The film may not pack the some visceral punch it did ten years ago, but there’s no denying its entertaining mix of the satirical and the exploitative. Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions look better than it ever has before, and it’s packed with special features across three discs. Three beautifully region free discs…

read more...

Whether they are hitting shelves This Week in DVD or This Week in Blu-ray, chances are slim that a great home video release gets by either Rob Hunter or Neil Miller. Together, they provide some of the blogosphere’s most consistent (ok, mostly Rob, but you get the idea) coverage of the best take-homes from week to week. Whether you’re using them to help you fill your shopping cart or your Netflix queue, surveys have shown that you are using them. And with 2010 coming to a close, we thought it only fitting to give these two shut-ins a shot at listing their favorite home video releases of the year. From the fun to the feature-filled, there were plenty of great releases from which to choose. So prepare yourself, as you always do, to sacrifice the weight of your pocketbook in exchange for in-home cinematic bliss.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3