Not only does May see two whole Bank Holidays to enjoy, it also sees the release of a fantastic slate of cult cinema from Arrow Video, with a healthy mix of giallo, cult crime and gore to keep fans happy.
First up sees the Limited Edition Blu-ray release of Dario Argento’s 1985 classic, Phenomena. Starring Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth) and Donald Pleasence (Halloween), Phenomena sees a schoolgirl with an uncanny psychic link to insects stalked by a mysterious killer. Set to another pulse-pounding score by Goblin, Phenomena is released here in a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative that has been produced exclusively for this release. A must for fans who want to see the film like never before.
May also brings not one, but two crime classics from Italy and Japan. First comes The Climber, starring cult actor Joe Dallesandro (Flesh for Frankenstein, Blood for Dracula). The Climber is a prime example of Italian crime cinema and follows the rise and fall of Dallesandro’s smalltime drug dealer, Aldo. Filled with brawls, fistfights, shootouts and explosions, this is an excellent action-thriller. The other big crime release of May is Cops vs Thugs, Kinji Fukasaku’s masterpiece and one of the greatest films to come out of 1970s Japan. Echoing other great crime films, Cops vs Thugs is set in a world where there is no honour among thieves - or cops for that matter - and personal honour and duty among friends means everything.
For gorehounds, May also sees the arrival of two grisly Limited Edition classics. Brain Damage is Frank Henenlotter’s bad taste head trip that follows parasitic Elmer (voiced by late night TV horror host, John Zacherley) and his ability to induce euphoric hallucinations in the people he comes across. However, his trips come with a nasty side effect and leave the victims scouring the streets for Elmer’s favourite food - brains! - resulting in some of the best bad taste gags in cinematic history. Later in the month, Evil Ed gets a Dual Format Special EDition release. This ode to the splatter flicks of the 1980s unfolds gore scene after gore scene as a mild-mannered film tech loses his grip on reality after being forced to watch hours of grisly film footage. The result is a smorgasbord of flying limbs, exploding heads, busty babes and creepy creatures! A must for splatter fans everywhere.
Phenomena - on Limited Edition Blu-ray on 8 May 2017
One of the later classics from Dario Argento’s golden age, Phenomena is a unique giallo that blends genre tropes with more than a hint of the supernatural. As well as a host of special features, this Limited Edition release includes a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, produced exclusively for this edition.
Brain Damage - on Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD on 8 May 2017
Frank Henenlotter’s ultimate head trip finally arrives on Blu-ray with this spectacular Dual Format release. Boasting some of the best bad taste gags ever committed to celluloid, Brain Damage is seen here in all it’s glory, complete with a host of limited edition extras.
The Climber - on Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD on 15 May 2017
An excellent example of Italian crime cinema, The Climber stars cult favourite, Joe Dallesandro, and delivers high-octane action in a brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative.
Cops vs Thugs - on Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD on 22 May 2017
Arguably Kinji Fukasaku’s greatest cinematic achievement, Cops vs Thugs is a hard boiled classic that easily ranks as one of the best films of 1970s Japan. Released by Arrow Video in gorgeous high definition, this is one of the most thrilling and moving cops and criminals films of all time.
Evil Ed - on Limited Edition Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD on 29 May 2017
If Evil Ed is a blood-soaked love letter to 1980s splatter cinema, then this Arrow Video release is a Shakespearean sonnet. Complete with two versions of the film and a host of special features, this Special EDition is a must for anyone who’s spent time in the “Splatter and Gore department”.