On the Radar: upcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases to look out for – 23/02/2017

There have been quite a few big announcements lately of upcoming home entertainment slates and there are some rather juicy morsels on their way from Arrow Video, Arrow Academy and Eureka in April and May!

First up from Arrow Video is the news that Pulse has been pushed back to a July release date – always a shame to have a longer wait, but always better to wait for the product to be put together at its best. Coming up in May is a whole host of horror goodies, namely exciting limited edition Blu-ray sets of Brain Damage and Phenomena (both May 8th). The Brain Damage set will come with a slew of brand new special features, while the Phenomena set includes all three different cuts of the film, including the 83-minute Creepers cut – quite how anyone thought they could fit all the insanity of Phenomena into 83-minutes is beyond me! Elsewhere in May Arrow Video are also releasing Swedish schlock-horror Evil Ed, Kinji Fukasaku’s Cops vs. Thugs, and the Italian crime caper The Climber, starring Joe Dallesandro and Suspiria’s Stefania Casini.

Arrow Academy also announced their May slate, and there are a couple of releases of interest to genre fans, namely Georges Franju’s Spotlight on a Murderer (May 29th), which sees the director taking on an Agatha Christie-style murder-mystery for his little-known third feature (after Eyes Without a Face and Judex); and The Untamed (May 22nd), the latest film from Mexican provocateur Amat Escalante, which won him Best Director at Fantastic Fest 2016 as well as the Venice Silver Lion, and promises a gross, Lovecraftian dose of social commentary.

Eureka meanwhile announced some April titles for their Masters of Cinema line, including two which particularly caught my attention, Hard Times and Drunken Master (both April 24th). Hard Times is the 1975 directorial debut of one Walter Hill, starring none other than Charles Bronson and James Coburn, weaving a tale of a drifter drawn into a world where he has to make the most of his talents – his fists! Drunken Master surely needs no introduction, except to say that this is the first time the film’s being released on Blu-ray in the UK, and the transfer comes from a recent 4K digital restoration, as well as there being exhaustive audio options, improved English subtitles and a bunch of special features.

Round-up of the next few weeks’ releases…

Feb 27 – Amuck! (88 Films) – Italian sleaze-thriller starring Barbara Bouchet
Feb 27 – Train to Busan (StudioCanal) – hugely entertaining K-zombie box office smash
Mar 6 – Anthem of the Heart (Anime Ltd.) – impressively touching anime about high school misfits staging a musical…not as cheesy as that sounds!
Mar 13 – Aenigma (88 Films) – late-career Fulci that might be of main interest to completists
Mar 13 – Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (88 Films) – yet another Italian expedition to South America with more T&A than actual cannibals
Mar 13 – The Mighty Peking Man (88 Films) – King Kong in Hong Kong by the Shaw Brothers
Mar 13 – Syndicate Sadists (88 Films) – Umberto Lenzi poliziotteschi starring Tomas Milian and Joseph Cotten
Mar 13 – Two Rode Together (Eureka/Masters of Cinema) – John Ford’s first collaboration with James Stewart
Mar 13 – Pet (Signature) – two-handed thriller that did the festival rounds in 2016 (can’t say I liked it much, but check it out for yourselves!)
Mar 13 – The Love Witch (Icon) – Anna Biller’s superb tale of lurid love magic…make sure to get it on shiny Blu-ray if you can!