Arrow Video’s November Includes Lake Michigan Monster, Burst City, Silent Running & William Grefe

As you get prepared for this year’s Thanksgiving, Arrow Video will be providing several Blu-rays to watch while the turkey defrost. Forget the stuffing and the cranberry, you’ll be too busy getting absorbed into three fantastic titles and a boxset retrospective of a guy you’d want to have at your table instead of “that third cousin that needs to be twice removed.”

While you’re probably used to Arrow re-issuing classic cult titles, Lake Michigan Monster is a fresh catch. The comedy is about a sea captain who hires a crack crew so he can find the monster in Lake Michigan that killed his father. This is what would have happened if Chris Elliot had hired Guy Maddin to direct Cabin Boy. The black and white film is layered with more special effects than 300 and yet has a post production staff the size of the unit assigned to to lotion up the Spartans. The film is able to keep its comedic tone for the entire 79 minutes without gasping for oxygen. If you’re looking for a bizarre nautical comedy, throw out a net for Lake Michigan Monster.

Speaking of bizarre, Pulse City is a movie that came out in 1982 yet I hadn’t seen it until Arrow issued it on Blu-ray. This is a high octane into a Japanese punk universe that is as unrelenting as the soundtrack. The highlight is a battle of the band that’s no holds barred. The rapid nature of director Sogo Ishii’s vision is like get caught in the whirlwind of a mosh pit at a Ministry show. The documentary style makes you feel the violence in every frame. The film never got a proper release in America during the ’80s or ’90s. Over the course of the last four decades nobody pulled out a VHS and said, “You need to see this!” Not even at film school was this film bragged about. I’m not sure if Pulse City would have changed my life, but I know I would have been forcing people to watch it at odd hours. Even though the soundtrack is in Japanese, it’s ok since most of the actors are screaming as they get hit.

Silent Running is a little bit more sedate. Bruce Dern is on a spaceship that’s a greenhouse. When they get their final order while approaching Earth, Dern decides he’s not in favor of the mission’s termination. He mutinies along with his robot buddies. This is one of Dern’s finest performances where he’s not so slimey. Finally the month wraps up with He Came From The Swamp: The William Grefé Collection. This retrospective contains all seven films that Grefé made in Florida for the drive-ins across America. He made films about sharks, zombies and a Naked Zoo. Remember to keep your headlights off while going through the boxset.

Here’s the press release from Arrow with more details and the bonus features:

Sci Fi Classics & Indie Legends, Arrow has Plenty to be Thankful for this November

2020 has felt like it’s been two decades too long already, but it’s finally winding down with just two months remaining. Arrow plans to continue to make the best of it by releasing more top-rate Blu-rays of the finest quality. November’s lineup includes four new titles, and every last one is a must-own.

Lake Michigan Monster comes to Blu-ray on November 3. This low-budget debut from director Ryland Brickson Cole Tews is a love letter to the sci-fi creature features of the ’50s. This story about an eccentric ship captain determined to tame the beast that slew his father was shot on 16mm black-and-white film and is the stuff of Saturday matinees. Film Threat compared it to a Halloween episode of Spongebob Squarepants on drugs and said it “would make Ed Wood proud.” This Arrow release is loaded with special features including two commentaries, multiple interviews, and more.

On November 10, Sogo Ishii’s punk-rock sci-fi musical, Burst City, breaks onto the scene. Created primarily as a vehicle to showcase Japan’s most prominent punk acts at the top, Burst City perfectly captures the punk rock scene of the ’70s and ’80s Japan. This beloved classic heads home with a brand-new audio commentary track, new interviews, and more.

Shockingly still relevant is 1972’s Silent Running. Director Douglas Trumbull’s post-apocalyptic tale about plant life on Earth becoming extinct releases on November 17. Starring Bruce Dern, Silent Running was hailed by the Washington Post as a “new classic of the genre,” and received 4 out of 4 stars from famed critic Roger Ebert. Silent Running comes with a new 2K transfer from the original camera negative and approved by Trumbull.

The month’s final release is He Came from the Swamp: The William Grefe Collection. Renegade filmmaker William “Wild Bill” Grefe has bravely explored the dark depths of the Florida everglades in a way few filmmakers have. This 4-disc set includes seven different films from the independent director, all of which have been restored using the best remaining film elements. With the holidays right around the corner, this box set makes the perfect gift for both Grefe fans and just those that support US independent filmmaking.

Lake Michigan Monster
This Cult Classic that combines H.P. Lovecraft with early Sam Raimi and Mystery Science Theater 3000 in one movie!

All aboard! The combined spirits of H.P. Lovecraft, early Sam Raimi and Mystery Science Theater 3000 inhabit this action-packed tale of nautical derring-do and monster mayhem – winner of the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival. On the shores of Lake Michigan, the eccentric Captain Seafield (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, who also writes and directs) enlists a colourful crew of misfits in a bid to slay the hellish sea monster that prowls the murky depths. But as Seafield’s obsession with exacting revenge on the creature that killed his father threatens to consume him, can weapons expert Sean Shaughnessy (Erick West), sonar whiz Nedge Pepsi (Beulah Peters) and former N.A.V.Y. – Nautical Athletes and Adventure Yunit – officer Dick Flynn (Daniel Long) hold the show together? Shot in gloriously retro black and white on a shoestring budget, with most of the cast also performing multiple roles behind the camera, Lake Michigan Monster is an inventive, irreverent and riotously entertaining ode to the classic monster movies of yesteryear: an absurdist urban legend guaranteed to appeal to the big kid in all of us.

Bonus Materials
High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Two cast and crew audio commentaries featuring writer/director/actor Ryland Tews and actors Daniel Long, Beulah Peters, Erick West and editor Mike Cheslik – one sober, one drunk!
Critics’ audio commentary with Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Emma Westwood
Effects Breakdown comparison of the film’s underwater sequence, including storyboards and pre-composited footage
Dear Old Captain Seafield – the Captain Seafield theme song, performed by the Seafield Monster Sextet
Interview in a Cabin – interview with Ryland Tews and Daniel Long at the Fantasia International Film Festival
Interview in a Bar – interviews with the cast and crew at the Beloit International Film Festival
Interview by a Fire – interview with Mike Cheslik on Mark Borchardt’s Cinema Fireside radio show
The first season and pilot episode of L.I.P.S., Ryland Tews and Mike Cheslik’s hybrid animation/live action sci-fi comedy web series
Theatrical trailer
Behind the scenes photos
Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork by Jade Watring and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw

Blu-ray
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 11/03/20
Genre: Adventure
Language: English
Run Time: 78 mins


Burst City
The Asian Cult Cinema Dystopian Punk Rock Musical / Sci-Fi Action Classic!

Burst City is an explosive Molotov cocktail of dystopian sci-fi, Mad Max-style biker wars against yakuza gangsters and the police, and riotous performances from members of the real-life Japanese punk bands The Stalin, The Roosters, The Rockers and INU. In a derelict industrial wasteland somewhere on the outskirts of Tokyo, two rival punk bands and their unruly mobs of fans gather for a Battle of the Bands-style protest against the construction of a nuclear powerplant, bringing them head to head with the yakuza industrialists behind the development of their turf. This extraordinary celebration of Japan’s punk music scene of the early 1980s thrust Sōgo Ishii (now known by the name of Gakuryū Ishii), the underground filmmaking wunderkind behind such works as Half Human: Einstürzende Neubauten (1986), Angel Dust (1994) and Electric Dragon 80,000V (2001), to the next level and is regularly cited as an early landmark in Japanese cyberpunk cinema.

Bonus Materials
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
Original lossless mono Japanese soundtrack
Optional English subtitles
Brand new audio commentary by Japanese film expert Tom Mes
The Punk Spirit of ’82: Sōgo Ishii on Burst City, an exclusive new 56-minute interview with the director
Bursting Out, an exclusive 27-minute interview with the academic and independent filmmaker Yoshiharu Tezuka on jishu eiga and the making of Burst City
Original Trailer
Image Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mark Player

Blu-ray
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 11/10/20
Genre: Sci Fi / Action
Language: Japanese
Run Time: 115 mins


Silent Running
The Day The Last Flower Dies on Earth This Incredible Mission Began!

In 1968, visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull (The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) contributed to the ground-breaking special photographic effects of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Four years later, he stamped his own indelible mark on the science fiction genre with his mesmerising directorial debut – Silent Running. In the not-so-distant future, Earth is barren of all flora and fauna, with what remains of the planet’s former ecosystems preserved aboard a fleet of greenhouses orbiting in space. When the crews are ordered to destroy the remaining specimens, one botanist, Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern, The ‘Burbs), rebels and flees towards Saturn in a desperate bid to preserve his own little piece of Earth that was, accompanied only by the ship’s three service robots. Featuring a captivating central performance by Dern, visual effects that rival anything in 2001 and a powerful ecological message, Silent Running is a haunting and prescient sci-fi classic that resonates even more strongly today than it did at the time of its original release.

Bonus Materials
Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director Douglas Trumbull and produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation
Original lossless mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw
Original audio commentary by Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern
Isolated music and effects track
No Turning Back, a new interview with film music historian Jeff Bond on the film’s score
First Run, a new visual essay by writer and filmmaker Jon Spira exploring the evolution of Silent Running’s screenplay
The Making of Silent Running, an archival 1972 on-set documentary
Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull and Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now, two archival interviews with the film’s director
A Conversation with Bruce Dern, an archival interview with the film’s lead actor
Theatrical trailer
Extensive behind-the-scenes gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Arik Roper
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw and Peter Tonguette
Blu-ray
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 11/17/20
Genre: Sci Fi
Language: English
Run Time: 90 mins


He Came From The Swamp: The William Grefé Collection
Journey into wild world of director William Grefé with a collection from the darkest depths of the Florida everglades!

Killer sharks and human jellyfish and living mummies, oh my! Arrow Video is proud to present the first ever collection of works by William “Wild Bill” Grefé, the maverick filmmaker who braved the deep, dark depths of the Florida everglades to deliver some of the most outrageous exploitation fare ever to go-go dance its way across drive-in screens. Bringing together seven of Grefé’s most outlandish features, all new to Blu-ray, He Came from the Swamp: The William Grefé Collection packs in a macabre menagerie of demented jellyfish men (Sting of Death), zombified witch doctors (Death Curse of Tartu), homicidal hippies (The Hooked Generation) and seductive matrons (The Naked Zoo) – not to mention the ubiquitous go-go dancing college kids – to create one of the most wildly entertaining box-sets of all time!

Bonus Materials
Seven William Grefé films, all newly restored from the best surviving film elements: Sting of Death (1966), Death Curse of Tartu (1966), The Hooked Generation (1968), The Psychedelic Priest (1971), The Naked Zoo (1971), Mako: Jaws of Death (1976) and Whiskey Mountain.
Brand new, extended version of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures’ definitive documentary They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations on 4 Blu-ray discs
Original uncompressed mono audio for all films
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring an extensive, never-before-published interview with William Grefé and a new foreword by the filmmaker
Reversible poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
Reversible sleeves featuring newly commissioned artwork for each of the films by The Twins of Evil
STING OF DEATH (1966) + DEATH CURSE OF TARTU (1966)
Brand new introductions to the films by director William Grefé
Archival audio commentaries for both films with William Grefé and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
Sting of Death: Beyond the Movie – Monsters a-Go Go! – a look into the history of rock ‘n’ roll monster movies with author/historian C. Courtney Joyner
The Curious Case of Dr. Traboh: Spook Show Extraordinaire – a ghoulish look into the early spook show days with monster maker Doug Hobart
Original Trailers
Still and Promotion Gallery
THE HOOKED GENERATION (1968) + THE PSYCHEDELIC PRIEST (1971)
Archival audio commentaries for both films with director William Grefé and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
Hooked Generation behind-the-scenes footage
Hooked Generation Original Trailer
Still and Promotion Gallery
THE NAKED ZOO (1971) + MAKO: JAWS OF DEATH (1976)
William Grefé’s original Director’s Cut of Naked Zoo
Alternate Barry Mahon re-release cut of Naked Zoo
Original Mako: Jaws of Death Trailer and Promo
Still and Promotion Gallery
WHISKEY MOUNTAIN (1977) + THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP: EXTENDED CUT (2020)
Whiskey Mountain Original Trailer
Still and Promotion Gallery
They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé – the definitive documentary presented for the first in High-Definition and in a brand new, extended cut
Extras subject to change

Blu-ray
SRP: 99.95
Street Date: 11/24/20
Genre: Horror
Language: English
Run Time: 736 mins

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