The sun may still be shinning but November will be with us before you know it. Arrow Video will be making sure genre fans will have the perfect genre line up to keep you warm and cosy in front of your TV. A month of cannibals, Phantoms, machine guns, a definitive edition of a 70s American horror classic, an 80s cult horror absolutely loaded with extras, an influential Italian chiller, and a UHD edition of a Japanese nerve-shredder.
First in November, we get horror master Wes Craven’s seminal 1977 effort The Hills Have Eyes. Following on from his notorious 1972 directorial debut The Last House on the Left, Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes stands alongside the likes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead as one of the defining classics of American horror, and is presented here in a Limited Edition with a brand new 4K restoration of the film, viewable with both original and alternate endings, as well as a host of extras and a making-of documentary.
Next is the release of Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, a one-of-a-kind genre-bender that riffs on the yakuza film, coming-of-age drama and ‘idol movie’, inventively adapted from Jiro Akagawa‘s popular novel by director Shinji Somai (Typhoon Club, Wait and See), a massively influential figure in Japanese cinema whose work has been little seen outside his homeland. Presented in both its Original Theatrical and longer Complete versions, and the first time one of Somai’s films has been released on home video in the West, this landmark work from his early career was responsible for launching teen talent Hiroko Yakushimaru (Legend of the Eight Samurai; Detective Story) as the iconic face of a generation, with the catchy theme song she performs indelibly etched into the zeitgeist of early-1980s Japan.
Next up, the kids of Third Year Class-B Shiroiwa Junior High School are back, in a 4K restoration of the classic cult shocker Battle Royale, adapted from the controversial novel by Koushun Takami. Playing like a turbo-charged hybrid of Lord of the Flies and The Most Dangerous Game, the final completed work by veteran yakuza-film director Kinji Fukasaku (Battles without Honor and Humanity, Graveyard of Honor) helped launch a new wave of appreciation for Asian cinema in the 21st century.
November also sees the very special release of Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge. With numerous interpretations of Gaston Leroux’s classic novel The Phantom of the Opera having been turned out over the years, it was only a matter of time before the slasher genre decided to take a stab at the tale – step forward 1989’s superb chiller! Directed by Richard Friedman (Scared Stiff, Doom Asylum), and featuring star turns from Pauly Shore and Morgan Fairchild, Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge swoops onto Blu-ray™ in an extras-packed edition which proves that Arrow Video’s love for ’80s slasher fare never dies!
Finally in November, the influential Italian horror: before Black Sabbath, before I Vampiri, director Giorgio Ferroni (The Lion of Thebes, Blood for a Silver Dollar) introduced audiences to period horror Italian-style with his chilling 1960 shocker Mill of the Stone Women – a classic tale of terror redolent with the atmosphere of vintage Hammer Horror. The first Italian horror film to be shot in color, Mill of the Stone Women prefigured a raft of other spaghetti nightmares, including the work of maestros Mario Bava and Dario Argento. Arrow Video is proud to present this brand-new restoration of one of the foundational titles of Italian horror.
The Hills Have Eyes [Limited Edition UHD] 8th November
Taking an ill-advised detour en route to California, the Carter family soon run into trouble when their campervan breaks down in the middle of the desert. Stranded, the family find themselves at the mercy of a group of monstrous cannibals lurking in the surrounding hills. With their lives under threat, the Carters have no choice but to fight back by any means necessary.
Sailor Suit and Machine Gun 15th November
Hoshi Izumi is a young innocent forced to grow up quickly when her father dies and she finds herself next in line as the boss of a moribund yakuza clan. Wrenched from the security of her classroom and thrust into the heart of the criminal underworld, she must come to terms with the fact that her actions hold the key to the life or death of the men under her command as they come under fire from rival gangs.
Battle Royale [Standard Edition UHD] 22nd November
Presenting an alternate dystopian vision of turn-of-the-millennium Japan, Battle Royale follows the 42 junior high school students selected to take part in the government’s annual Battle Royale programme, established as an extreme method of addressing concerns about juvenile delinquency. Dispatched to a remote island, they are each given individual weapons (ranging from Uzis and machetes to pan lids and binoculars), food and water, and the order to go out and kill each other. Every player is fitted with an explosive collar around their neck, imposing a strict three-day time limit on the deadly games in which there can only be one survivor. Overseeing the carnage is ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Hana-bi, Zatoichi) as the teacher pushed to the edge by his unruly charges.
Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge 22nd November
High school sweethearts Eric Matthews and Melody Austin are so in love, but their youthful romance is cut tragically short when Eric apparently dies in a fire that engulfs his family home. One year later and Melody is trying to move on with her life, taking up a job at the newly built Midwood Mall along with her friends. But the mall, which stands on the very site of Eric’s former home, has an uninvited guest – a shadowy, scarred figure which haunts its airducts and subterranean passageways, hellbent on exacting vengeance on the mall’s crooked developers
Mill of the Stone Women 29th November
Young art student Hans von Arnam (Pierre Brice, Night of the Damned) arrives by barge at an old mill to write a monograph about its celebrated sculptures of women in the throes of death and torture, maintained and curated by the mill’s owner, the hermetic Professor Wahl (Herbert Böhme, Secret of the Red Orchid). But when Hans encounters the professor’s beautiful and mysterious daughter Elfi (Scilla Gabel, Modesty Blaise), his own fate becomes inexorably bound up with hers, and with the shocking secret that lies at the heart of the so-called Mill of the Stone Women.