Arrow Video’s April Blu-rays: Giallo, Spaghetti Western and Japanese Sci-Fi

April Showers bring May Flowers, but it also gives you a good excuse to stay on the sofa to watch a few movies instead of battling pollen season. Arrow Video has half a dozen titles on Blu-ray that will keep a movie lover in bliss. There’s a wide range of genre offerings from Japanese science fiction, a French arthouse, a Giallo made in Ireland, a Spaghetti Western, an America horror flick and a Russian festival favorite. It’s world of cinema that you can enjoy while hiding from the pollen outside.

Terra Formars is from Japanese director Takashi Miike who is known for such stomach turning and squeamish films such as Audition, Vistitor Q and Ichi the Killer. Now he’s back and in outer space. Earth has been preparing Mars for humans by growing plants and letting bugs inhabit the planet. Before people can be sent to colonize, an elite group of exterminators arrive to clean up except they discover the insects have mutated way beyond what scientists predicted. The special effects are fine for the journey to the red planet and the battle between man and mega-cockroaches.

Melo has nothing to do with NBA basketball star Carmelo Anthony. This is a French film directed by Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad and Hiroshima Mon Amour) in 1986. Two classical violinists have different levels of success after the conservatory. But was this dealing of fates influenced by a messed up affair Khrustalyov, My Car! is about a doctor who finds himself swept up in an alleged conspiracy to kill people close to Stalin in the Soviet Union. It’s deals with the insanity of trying to prove yourself innocent in a totalitarian state.

If you are ready for a big heaping plate of Spaghetti Western, Keoma is a prime treat. This went over big when it played during Cinema Overdrive. Franco Nero returns to the genre with a film that is one of his classic roles as the half-Indian Union soldier who returns home to find the town run by a tyrant. He wants to change things, but the iron fist of Donald O’Brien (Grand Prix) won’t bring freedom to his kingdom in the desert. For those planning a Giallo and Gelato night as things heat up outside, Arrow is finally bringing Iguana with a Tongue of Fire to America. This Italian film came out in 1971 to take advantage of the marketplace that opened up with the success of Bird with the Crystal Plummage. But was never legally distributed across the Atlantic so you can finally see the body count in high resolution. The movie takes place in Ireland with a mysterious killer attacking people with a straight razor and acid. A corpse is found in the trunk of a limo belonging to the Swiss Ambassador and he’s not wanting to work with the local police. He’s claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid being caught up in the nastiness. But bodies turn up connected to the ambassador. For a Swiss guy, he’s not very neutral. We recommend Talenti’s Peppermint Bark Gelato for this Irish-flavored bloodletting to enjoy during your Giallo and Gelato night.

Here’s the press release from Arrow Video with all the bonus feature details:

New from Arrow Video US and Arrow Academy US

TERRA FORMARS (4/2)

MELO (4/9)

THE IGUANA WITH THE TONGUE OF FIRE (4/9)

KEOMA (4/16)

SCARED STIFF (4/23)

KHRUSTALYOV, MY CAR! [Limited Edition] (4/30)

via MVD Entertainment Group

Spring into April with Arrow Films!

Once you’ve completed your spring cleaning, Arrow Films invites you to kick up your feet and relax with six new titles coming to Blu-ray this April. The month begins with the April 2nd release of Takashi Miike’s Terra Formars. This sci-fi adventure sees a team of space explorers take battle against a horde of oversized anthropomorphic cockroaches. The release in includes a full-full-length documentary on the making of the film, outtakes and more. Fans of Miike will certainly be thrilled to get their hands on this modern classic.

April 9th sees two releases hit shelves starting with The Iguana with the Tongue Fire. Set in Dublin, an oddity for a giallo, this film from legendary director Riccardo Freda follows a series of brutal killings that carry political complications. The film is presented with a new 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative. The second April 9th release is Mélo from director Alain Resnais. This story of a doomed love triangle is based on the classic play from Henri Bernstein and come with a stunning new 2K restoration.

Keoma, one of the greatest spaghetti westerns comes to Blu-ray on April 16th. Pairing two icons in star Franco Nero and director Enzo G. Castellari, this is the story of a half-breed gunfighter that returns home to find his fellow townsfolk terrorized by a terrible gang. This truly epic film gets an epic release presented with a new 2K restoration and loaded with brand new special features. If you’re a spaghetti western aficionado this one is a must for your collection.

Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens star in Richard Friedman’s Scared Stiff, coming to Blu-ray on April 23rd. A singer moves into a colonial mansion with her son and boyfriend only to uncover deep, dark secrets hidden within the boarded up attic. Fans of ’80s horror and practical effects are sure to have a soft spot for this one.

The month comes to a close with the April 30th release of Khrustalyov, My Car! This darkly funny satire is the story of a military doctor arrested in Stalin’s Russia, accused of being a participant in the so-called “doctor’s plot.” This limited edition release includes a 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Gianna D’Emilio, an archival essay by Joël Chaperon and original reviews.

Terra Formars
The ever-prolific Takashi Miike, the director behind the likes of Audition, the Dead or Alive trilogy and Blade of the Immortal, returns with this intergalactic epic in which a team of space explorers find themselves pitched against a horde of oversized anthropomorphic cockroaches. In the mid-21st century, humankind has been forced to look to colonising other planets as a means of combating overcrowding on Earth – their first stop, Mars. With a population of cockroaches having been introduced on Mars some 500 years prior to help prepare the way for human colonization, a manned mission sets out to the red planet with the aim of clearing away the bugs. Upon arrival, however, they discover that the roaches have evolved to huge, vicious creatures capable of wielding weapons. Based on the popular Manga series of the same name, Terra Formars is an action-packed space adventure brought to life by one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary filmmakers.

Bonus Materials
High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA options
Newly-translated English subtitles
The Making of Terra Formars – feature-length documentary on the film’s production featuring a host of cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage
Extended cast interviews
Footage from the 2016 Japanese premiere
Outtakes
Image Gallery
Theatrical and teaser trailers
Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Tom Mes

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/02/19
Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy
Language: Japanese
Run Time: 108 mins


Melo
Master director Alain Resnais (Last Year At Marienbad) blurs the line between cinematic technique and theatrical artifice in his acclaimed Mélo, adapted from Henri Bernstein’s classic play about a doomed love triangle in 1920s Paris. Pierre (Pierre Arditi, Love Unto Death) and Marcel (André Dussollier, A Good Marriage) are both celebrated concert violinists and lifelong friends, in spite of their differing temperaments. Pierre is modest, sensitive and content with his lot; Marcel is hungry, driven, and pursues a solo career that takes him to the four corners of the world. After years apart, the two friends reunite when Pierre invites Marcel to his home for dinner. It is then that Marcel first meets Pierre’s wife Romaine (Sabine Azéma, Cosmos), sparking a passionate affair that can only end in tragedy before the curtain falls. As thrillingly intimate on film as it was on the stage, Mélo’s César award-winning cast and inventive direction are highlighted in a stunning new restoration, revealing a hidden gem in Resnais’ celebrated body of work waiting to be rediscovered.

Bonus Materials
Brand new 2K restoration of the film
High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
Original 2.0 Stereo soundtrack
Optional English subtitles
Newly-filmed introduction by critic Jonathan Romney
Archive interview with director Alain Resnais
Archive interview with producer Marin Karmitz
Archive interviews with actors Pierre Arditi and André Dussolier
Archive interview with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot
Archive interview with set designer Jacques Saulnier
Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Bilge Ebiri

BLU-RAY
SKU: AA046
UPC: 760137233787
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/09/19
Genre: Drama
Language: French
Run Time: 110 mins


Scared Stiff
TV star Mary Page Keller (Pretty Little Liars) appears alongside Andrew Stevens (10 to Midnight, The Fury) as a couple terrorized by an age-old curse in this much-underrated late-80s offering from director Richard Friedman. Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries with it a dark and blood-stained past – and one that is about to terrorize them in the present. The second feature helmed by Richard Friedman, who went on to direct such genre favourites as Doom Asylum and Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge, Scared Stiff (AKA The Masterson Curse) builds to an astonishing practical FX-laden climax sure to please fans of 80s horror. Scared Stiff is from the director of Doom Asylum.

Bonus Materials
Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
Original uncompressed Stereo audio
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with director Richard Friedman, producer Dan Bacaner and film historian Robert Ehlinger
Mansion of the Doomed: The Making of Scared Stiff – brand new documentary featuring interviews with Richard Friedman, Dan Bacaner, Robert Ehlinger, actors Andrew Stevens and Joshua Segal, special effects crew Tyler Smith, Jerry Macaluso and Barry Anderson
Brand new interview with composer Billy Barber
Image Gallery
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by James Oliver

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/23/19
Genre: Horror
Language: English
Run Time: 84 mins


Keoma
A strikingly original spaghetti western with a unique elegiac tone, Keoma truly is a one-of-a-kind classic of its genre… The legendary Franco Nero (Django, The Fifth Cord) stars in the titular role as a half-breed gunfighter who returns from the killing fields of the civil war to find his hometown riddled with the plague, its inhabitants terrorized (with the help of Keoma’s own estranged half-brothers) by tyrannical gang leader Caldwell (Donald O’Brien, Zombie Holocaust). Keoma’s father (Willian Berger, Sartana in the Valley of Death) welcomes his prodigal son’s return, but when Keoma saves a vulnerable pregnant woman (Olga Karlatos, Zombie Flesh Eaters) from Caldwell’s thugs, the stage is set for a violent confrontation. With the help of his father and his friend, the freed slave George (Woody Strode, Spartacus), Keoma prepares to take a savage revenge on Caldwell and his gang. Directed with immense flair and virtuosity by veteran Enzo G. Castellari (who channels Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone in equal measure), Keoma is an epic film of Shakespearean and biblical allusions, which boasts compelling performances and thrilling violent action. Truly epic in scope, Keoma is considered by many to be one of the greatest spaghetti westerns. The film is presented here in a stunning new restoration with a wealth of informative and entertaining new extras.

Bonus Materials
New 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary by spaghetti western experts C. Courtney Joyner and Henry C. Parke
The Ballad of Keoma, a new interview with the legendary star Franco Nero
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, a new interview with director Enzo G. Castellari
Writing Keoma, a new interview with actor and writer Luigi Montefiori AKA George Eastman
Parallel Actions, a new interview with editor Gianfranco Amicucci
The Flying Thug, a new interview with actor Massimo Vanni
Play as an Actor, a new interview with actor Volfango Soldati
Keoma and the Twilight of the Spaghetti Western, a newly filmed video appreciation by the academic Austin Fisher
An Introduction to Keoma by Alex Cox, an archival featurette with the acclaimed director
Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
Gallery of original promotional images from the Mike Siegel Archive
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/16/19
Genre: Western
Language: English
Run Time: 101 mins


The Iguana With The Tongue Of Fire
One of several ‘animal-in-the-title’ cash-ins released in the wake of Dario Argento’s box-office smash The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is a gloriously excessive giallo that boasts a rogues gallery of perverse characters; violent, fetishized murders, and one of the genre’s most nonsensical, red-herring laden plots (which sees almost every incidental character hinted at potentially being the killer). Set in Dublin (a rather surprising giallo setting), Iguana opens audaciously with an acid-throwing, razor-wielding maniac brutally slaying a woman in her own home. The victim’s mangled corpse is discovered in a limousine owned by Swiss Ambassador Sobiesky (Anton Diffring, Where Eagles Dare) and a police investigation is launched, but when the murdering continues and the ambassador claims diplomatic immunity, tough ex-cop John Norton (Luigi Pistilli, A Bay of Blood) is brought in to find the killer… Benefitting from a sumptuous score by Stelvio Cipriani (Nightmare City, Death Walks on High Heels) and exuberant supporting performances from Valentina Cortese (The Possessed, Thieves’ Highway) and Dagmar Lassander (The Frightened Woman, The Black Cat), The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is a luridly over-the-top latter-day entry in the filmography of acclaimed director Riccardo Freda (Caltiki – The Immortal Monster, Murder Obsession). An archetypal giallo from the genre’s heyday, Freda’s film is presented here in a stunning new restoration with a host of newly produced extras.

Bonus Materials
New 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary by giallo connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint
Of Chameleons and Iguanas, a newly filmed video appreciation by the cultural critic and academic Richard Dyer
Considering Cipriani, a new appreciation of the composer Stelvio Cipriani and his score to The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire by DJ and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon
The Cutting Game, a new interview with Iguana’s assistant editor Bruno Micheli
The Red Queen of Hearts, a career-spanning interview with the actress Dagmar Lassander
Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/09/19
Genre: Horror
Language: Italian
Run Time: 96 mins


Khrustalyov, My Car! [Limited Edition]
Named after the apocryphal exclamation of Soviet security chief Lavrentiy Beria as he rushed to Stalin’s deathbed, this blackly funny, deliriously immersive satire distills the anticipation and anxiety in the Moscow air, as the Soviet despot lay dying. Late winter 1953. The lives of nearly half the planet are in Stalin’s hands. A military surgeon, General Yuri Georgievich Klensky (Yuri Tsurilo), finds himself a target of the “Doctors’ Plot”: the anti-Semitic conspiracy accusing Jewish doctors in Moscow of planning to assassinate the Soviet elite. Pursued, abused, and marked for the gulags, Yuri is chased and dragged through a Stalinist Soviet nightmare. His desperate, jolting journey encapsulates the madness of the era. Directed by Aleksei German (Hard to Be a God), Khrustalyov, My Car! proved wildly provocative when it was screened at the 1998 Cannes film festival, despite being championed as the best film of the festival by the president of the Cannes jury that year, Martin Scorsese. A one-of-a-kind collision of nightmare and realism, German’s film is presented here in a new restoration with a wealth of illuminating extras.

Bonus Materials
New 2K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed 2.0 stereo Russian audio soundtrack
Newly translated English subtitles
Audio commentary by producer Daniel Bird
Between Realism and Nightmare, a new video essay on Khrustalyov, My Car! and the films of Aleksei German by historian and film critic Eugénie Zvonkine
Diagnosis Murder: Jonathan Brent on The Doctors’ Plot, the academic talks about Stalin’s anti-Semitic campaign which provides the backdrop for Khrustalyov, My Car!
Aleksei German, the veteran film historian and critic Ron Holloway interviews the Russian director
German… At Last, an interview with Aleksei German by producer Guy Séligmann
Re-release trailer
Double-sided fold-out poster
Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Gianna D’Emilio, an archival essay by Joël Chaperon and original reviews

BLU-RAY
SRP: 49.95
Street Date: 04/30/19
Genre: Drama
Language: Russian
Run Time: 150 mins

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