Without Honor and Humanity Trilogy
(1974 - 1976/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)/Buffy
The Vampire Slayer: The Complete Series
(1997 - 2003/20th
Anniversary Fox DVD Box Set Reissue)/The
w/DVD)/The Creep Behind
The Camera (2016 w/The
(1964)/Synapse Blu-ray Set)/The
In A Texas Town (1958/MVD
B+ & B-/C+/B+ & B-/B+/B/B+ & B-/B+ & B- Sound: B+
& B-/C+/B+ & B-/B/B+/B+ & B-/B+ & B- Extras: B
C+) Main Programs: B/C+/C+/B & C+/C+/C+/B
our new set of thriller releases, involving horror, the supernatural,
dankness, martial arts and other action in all kinds of forms,
including a TV series that is at least some kind of minor classic and
several feature films. Most come from Arrow this time out. Arrow
Films continues to be a strong voice in cinema and a brand that
continues to deliver high quality presentations and fantastic extras.
These new releases are no exception and are all worth checking out
no matter where your tastes are...
Without Honor and Humanity Trilogy
hadn't heard too much about this Kinji Fukasaku (Battle
directed series initially other than it's a favorite of Quentin
Tarantino's and he even went as far as using one of the songs in the
film. If you like dark sunglasses wearing mean Yakuzas armed to the
teeth, then Arrow has got your back. They did a great job with this
new remastered set of these three Battle
Without Honor and Humanity
films, which were released only a year apart, and include:
Battles Without Honour and Humanity
(1974) - Centering around Miyoshi Makio, a member of the Yamamori
crime family, is involved in a bungled hit and fails to kill his
target. Soon behind bars and facing power struggles from a man named
Aoki, who threatens to steal power from his mob boss, plans start to
brew leading up to Makio's release from prison.
Battles Without Honour and Humanity: The Boss' Head
(1975) - a gambler takes a fall for a Hit Man and serves some major
jail time. But when he's released and realizes that he won't get
getting the hard earned cash he deserves, there's gonna be hell to
Battles Without Honour and Humanity: Last Days of the Boss
(1976) - When his boss is killed, a lieutenant of an Amagasaki crime
family heads to Osaka to take on the country's biggest and most
powerful yakuza gang.
original five movies in the Battles
franchise from Fukasaku were a huge hit in Japan and they have never
been available in a deluxe set like this. These yakuza films are
brutal and a little comedic with everything that we have come to
expect from a film in that genre, and reminded me a lot of Seijun
Suzuki films such as Branded
of the Beast.
films are presented on both high definition 1080p 2.35 X 1 Blu-ray
discs as well as standard definition DVDs as well. The Blu-ray
presentations are newly remastered and included the original,
uncompressed PCM 2.0 Mono audio tracks sound great on Blu. There's a
noticeable bump in quality with more compression evident on the
anamorphically enhanced DVDs with their lossless Dolby Digital sound,
however both presentations are up to the standards of their
respectable formats. Arrow also went through the pain staking
process of re-subtitling all three films in English for us Americans
that don't speak Japanese.
the Films: New Battles Without Honour and Humanity,
a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane.
Stories, New Battles and Closing Stories,
two new interviews with screenwriter Koji Takada, about his work on
the second and third films in the trilogy.
theatrical trailers for all three films.
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard
collector's book featuring new writing on the films, the yakuza genre
and Fukasaku's career, by Stephen Sarrazin, Tom Mes, Hayley Scanlon,
Chris D. and Marc Walkow.
The Vampire Slayer: The Complete Series
(1997 - 2003)
Whedon felt he had something good going with the new idea of a
self-centered gal who suddenly finds herself with the responsibility
and even powers to the 'the chosen one' of her generation to lead a
battle against killer vampires amongst her teen/young adult crowd.
This would obviously be a comedy in part, but a genre work where it
was even more action with a still-rare female lead hero. After a
1992 feature film that yielded mixed results, he and Fox (just
getting their TV network started) decided they would try to make a TV
series out of it all.
had worked for TV before whether the series was a direct revisit of a
feature film that was a moderate hit (Martin Scorsese's Alice
Doesn't Live Here Anymore
with Linda Lavin), a loosely-based adaptation that still delivered
was based on the hit Cooley
or even a loose take-off of a trend (The
Dukes of Hazard
managed to find a way to be a weekly version of all the usually
B-movie bandit/chase films of the 1970s) so maybe Buffy
The Vampire Slayer
could find a new life on TV.
result was a huge early hit for the Fox Network and now, another DVD
Box Set, has arrived, this time for the 20th Anniversary of the show.
Sarah Michelle Geller would now play the title character and though
I have never been a fan and am not even that impressed with her
acting abilities, she was able to subsume the character on her own
terms and it propelled the show into a franchise that included many
tie-ins, hit TV spin off Angel
and some influence on future such movie and film projects.
never be a big fan of the show and it is formula that is at least
consistent and built the audience it built, but I don't think the
show (as expected) ages well (fans won't care) and what is meant for
a teen audience found a larger demographic just the same. I just
never bought Geller (or Swanson before her, frankly) in the role, but
she is supposed to be a little different, a bit off, it is not a
serious enough show for me to take it seriously, yet owes a debt to
the greatest Horror show in TV history that knew how to combine the
genre with comedy:
Kolchak: The Night Stalker,
the direct inspiration for The
a better hit show and one even bigger for Fox.
for fans, the show is a big deal and this reissued DVD box set of the
whole original show will do. A nice new artwork for the cover, it is
intended as a gift set as well and all of the show is here. It might
even get the series new fans.
series was shot on 16mm film for its debut season, then moved to 35mm
for the remainder of its run, all presented in a 1.33 X 1 frame from
the original DVD masters we've already seen. This is fine for the
format, but some shows can look rougher than expected, while other
look fine. The latter seasons were apparently shot soft matte (1.33
X 1 with 1.78 X 1 in mind) so you can zoom in to later season images
to see if that works for you. The sound is Dolby Pro Logic surround
from lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (common for TV at the time) and
also shows its age a bit, but neither presentation should be taken
directly from 'master material' quality. These are fine for the
format, but this inevitably has to come out on Blu-ray.
on all seven sets include exclusive interviews, featurettes, photo
galleries, sometimes even scripts, then there are Season Overviews
starting with the Third
a faux A&E Biography
on a latter set, some select episode commentary tracks and all repeat
the extras (along with those older transfers) from the already-issued
however is the Official
Buffy Dark Horse Comic Book
featuring Exclusive Cover and Coloring Sheet Inside Packaging as a
Gift With Purchase for Limited Time Only!!!
should be just enough to make this worth it to fans or those who have
not seen the show on DVD or bought it before, but again, we'll see
how a Blu-ray version will compare to what Fox did for another 1.33 X
1 horror hit of the time when it hit Blu-ray: The
thing not included here (no room left unless they wanted to get crazy
and issue a larger, more expensive box!) is a Season
done as a 'motion comic' that you can read more about at this link...
you're a fan of counterculture icon Joe Dallesandro (who starred in
many Andy Warhol films, plus the Warhol-produced Flesh
among others), then you may enjoy this bizarre Italian Gangster film.
Similar to Scarface
(as mentioned on the slipcase for the film) in that it follows the
rise and fall of a Gangster, this '70s film as been praised as the
one of the best Italian crime dramas out there. The
(1979) is written and directed by Pasquale Squitieri (Gang
War in Naples,
and also stars Stefania Casini, and Benito Artesi.
out as a simple smuggler, Aldo (Dallesandro), soon figures out the
harsh reality of the Italian crime syndicate. After he attempts to
rip off a local gang boss, he soon finds himself in a unique position
to exact revenge as he builds his own little crime empire.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and
an original Italian soundtrack in uncompressed PCM 2.0 Mono (with
optional newly-translated English subtitles), this 4K restoration of
the film looks stunning on Blu-ray disc that is so clear it almost
makes you feel like you’ve stepped back into the 1970s. Also
included is a standard definition DVD with similar yet compressed
technical specs but still looks good for the format.
Joe's Adventures in Europe,
a brand-new interview with Joe Dallesandro on his numerous European
film appearances during the 1970s and early 1980s.
sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon.
PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Roberto
Curti, author of Italian Crime Filmography, 1968 - 1980.
Creep Behind The Camera
it's been thought that Ed Wood may have made the worst film of all
9 From Outer Space),
these documentarian filmmakers set out to prove that The
(1964) is the worst. Director A.J. Nelson, also known as Vic Savage,
is not only an infamously crappy filmmaker but a true psychopath
behind the scenes as well. Part documentary and part narrative, The
Creep Behind the Camera
(2014) is a fun little movie that tells a larger than life story
about how an insane B-Movie came to life. Much like Ed Wood, Savage
(played in the film by Jodi Lynn Thomas) used every hair brained
scheme that he could think of to convince producers to fund his
monster movie opus whilst being a womanizer and con man in the
process. Using animation, reenactments, and clips from the original
movie, the film is polished and fun in the most absurd way possible.
included is a crystal clear 2K restoration of the original B-Movie,
Creeping Terror (1964),
which isn't a good film by any means but pretty entertaining in a bad
Z grade movie kind of way. Centering around a newly married Sheriff
who must protect a small town from an intergalactic green space
monster with an appetite for human flesh, the film was infamously
parodied by Mystery
and the film is sure to be a hit for you and your friends to rip
apart as well.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and
a nice sounding English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, The
Creep Behind the Camera
looks great on disc with nicely saturated colors and rich details
that don't disappoint. The original black and white film is in its
original full frame aspect ratio and really stands out on disc as
well. This Blu-ray exclusive restoration of the B-Movie is no doubt
the best it's ever looked.
Commentary with Director Pete Schuermann, Producer Nancy Theken and
Stars Josh Phillips & Jodi Lynn Thomas.
Making of The Creep Behind the Camera.
to Build a Carpet Monster.
Down Art's Death Scene.
Mick to Another" with Byrd Holland & Allan Silliphant.
Black Carpet Q&A with Frank Conniff.
Creep Behind The Camera Original Theatrical Trailer.
Creeping Terror Screamfest Promotional Trailer.
in tone and feel to an early Christopher Nolan film and the debut
feature of writer-director Gareth Tunley, The
(2016), is a British film noir-style thriller that centers around a
detective who goes under cover as a psychotherapist's patient in
order to investigate a double homicide. Released in the U.S. only
recently, this is the first big release of the film on disc, which is
an impressive disc to say the least.
stars Tom Meeten, Alice Lowie, Rufus Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Dan
Renton Skinner, and Paul Kaye. The film is executive produced by Ben
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and
an original DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film
looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray disc with a presentation that
was also approved by the Director himself. The cinematography and
sound design have a haunting and surreal feel to them that's captured
well on disc.
Director Approved Special Features include...
by writer-director Gareth Tunley, actor-producer Tom Meeten and
producer Jack Healy Guttmann.
a brand-new documentary on the conception and making of The Ghoul
produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release. Featuring
interviews with Tunley, Meeten, Guttmann, actors Alice Lowe, Geoff
McGivern, Niamh Cusack Rufus Jones and Dan Skinner, composer Waen
Shepherd, and executive producers Dhiraj Mahey and Ben Wheatley.
a 2013 short film with optional commentary by writer-director Tunley
and writer-actor Meeten.
full color insert booklet and reversible cover.
(1988) is a sexy '80s noir thriller with a great cast in Tommy Lee
Jones (who steals the show here), Sean Bean (years before he made
of the Rings),
Sting (yes, that
Sting), and a young and sultry Melanie Griffith. While a little
dated in terms of look and technology and an at times confusing
political subplot, the film is beautifully photographed by the one
and only Roger Deakins and has a rich jazzy soundtrack that captures
the murky darkness of the overall tone. The directorial debut of
Mike Figgis (Internal
this film earned huge raves from critics and remains an interesting
little piece of cinema to this day.
(Bean), is taken under the wing of jazz club owner Finney (Sting),
who is under pressure from a slimy American mobster Cosmo (Jones).
Cosmo was Finney to sell his club in exchange for a cut of a local
land development deal, however things go south when Brendan falls in
love with Cosmo's ex-lover Kate (Griffith), who is mixed up in all
kinds of bad business and soon jealousy gets the best of Cosmo.
Perhaps an inspiration in part to True
features a great climax that makes up for the at times predictable
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and
an original uncompressed PCM 2.0 Stereo track, the film looks and
sounds great in high definition with a little grain here and there
(specifically a scene where Bean shoots some men in the rain when
Griffith is being taken prisoner) but overall rich colors and fine
character detail. Also included is a standard definition DVD of the
film which features the same specs yet in a more compressed format
(like Dolby Digital audio) that isn't as impressive as the Blu.
video appreciation by critic Neil Young (not that
Neil Young), and a 'then and now' tour of the film's Newcastle
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacey.
PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring new writing by critic Mark Cunliffe.
in a Texas Town
but not least, we have the classic Western
Terror in a Texas Town
(1958), directed by the much-liked B-movie filmmaker Joseph H. Lewis
gets the deluxe Blu-ray treatment thanks to the good folks at Arrow.
In the era when Rawhide
and Spaghetti Westerns were popular, in fact this film could have
easily starred Clint Eastwood and fit in well with his filmography,
this violent look at the past will make sure you never look at
harpoons the same way again!
film stars Sterling Hayden (Kubrick's The
Sebastian Cabot (The
Nedrick Young (who also wrote the classic film The
and Carol Kelly to name a few.
small Texas town is threatened when McNeil (Cabot), a greedy hotel
owner, decides to take control and drive the local farmers off their
land, threatening the community but bettering his evil agenda.
McNeil hires a gunman, Johnny Crale (Young), who kills a former
whaler. However when that dead whaler's son, George Hansen (Hayden),
arrives in town to inherit his father's farm, he is soon hellbent on
revenge. Armed with only his father's deadly harpoon that he wishes
to kill his father's murderer with, a deadly showdown results in a
battle of bullets versus blades!
in 1080p high definition with a gorgeous Black and White high
definition transfer with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM Audio, the film looks and sounds fantastic
on Blu-ray disc with little left to be desired in terms of transfer.
This is a great film restoration with skin textures and blacks on
point. However, fair warning, you will definitely have the
trumpet-centric film score stuck in your head hours after viewing.
most Arrow titles, it should be noted that this set only features the
Blu-ray disc and not the standard definition DVD edition.
by Peter Stanfield, author of Hollywood,
Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail
Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy.
commentaries by Stanfield.
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir
PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing
by Glenn Kenny.
James Lockhart & Nicholas Sheffo (Buffy)