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Some of you probably already know UK distributor Arrow Video will be releasing Blu-ray (mostly Blu-ray Combo Packs, actually) in North America this year. Info has been available on their introductory titles for a while now, but since they announced their April titles earlier today, I figured I might as well include the March releases as well.

Arrow Video March Releases

Day of Anger

(Release date March 31st)
When Sergio Leone turned Lee Van Cleef into a major star with For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the actor sensibly stayed in Italy to make several more spaghetti westerns, including this one from Leone's former assistant Tonino Valerii that genre aficionados rank amongst the best ever made. Giuliano Gemma plays street cleaner Scott Mary, relentlessly bullied by the people of the small town of Clifton. When legendarily ruthless master gunfighter Frank Talby (Van Cleef) rides into town, Scott seizes the opportunity to lift himself out of the gutter, and possibly even surpass Talby's own skills. But what is Talby doing in Clifton in the first place? This lively, intelligent western, notable for the chemistry between its charismatic leads, some memorable action set-pieces (including a rifle duel on horseback that has to be seen to be believed), and a jazzy Riz Ortolani score, is presented here in an exclusive high-definition restoration from the original Techniscope negative.

This Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray/DVD) will include:
  • Brand new restoration of the original 35mm Techniscope camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of both the Italian and
  • International versions of the film
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles for Italian audio and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English audio
  • Brand new interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
  • An interview program featuring archival interviews with director Tonino Valerii and a newly recorded interview with his biographer, Roberto Curti
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by spaghetti western expert Howard Hughes, illustrated with original archive stills


Arrow Video March Releases

Mark of the Devil

(Release date March 24th)
Once proclaimed as "positively the most horrifying film ever made",

Mark of the Devil

arrives in a director-approved edition featuring a new restoration of the feature. A bloody and brutal critique of religious corruption, Mark of the Devil sees horror icon Udo Kier ( Flesh for Frankenstein, Suspiria) play a witchfinder's apprentice whose faith in his master (Herbert Lom) becomes severely tested when they settle in an Austrian village. Presided over by the sadistic Albino (a memorably nasty turn from Reggie Nalder), the film presents its morality not so much in shades of grey as shades of black. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, who would later pen Eskimo Nell, The Black Panther, and House of the Long Shadows, this classic shocker has lost none of its power over the years.

This Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray/DVD) will include:
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the feature, transferred from original film elements
  • Optional English and German audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the German audio
  • Audio commentary by Michael Armstrong, moderated by Calum Waddell
  • Mark of the Times exclusive feature-length documentary from High Rising Productions on the emergence of the new wave of British horror directors that surfaced during the sixties and seventies.
  • Hallmark of the Devil author and critic Michael Gingold looks back at Hallmark Releasing, the controversial and confrontational distributor that introduced Mark of the Devil to American cinemas.
  • Interviews with composer Michael Holm and actors Udo Kier, Herbert Fux, Gaby Fuchs, Ingeborg Sch Edv and Herbert Lom
  • Mark of the Devil: Now and Then - A look at the film's locations and how they appear today
  • Outtakes
  • Gallery
  • Reversible Sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham HumphreysIllustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Smith and Anthony Nield, plus an interview with Reggie Nalder by David Del Valle, all illustrated with original stills and artwork.


Arrow Video March Releases

Blind Woman's Curse

(Release date March 24th)

Blind Woman's Curse

is a thrilling Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji ( Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock), in her first major role. Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi's gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies. A bizarre blend of the female Yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in Horrors of Malformed Men), Blind Woman's Curse is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to Biker movies!

The Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray/DVD):
  • New high definition digital transfer of the film prepared by Nikkatsu Studios
  • Presented in High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD
  • Uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
  • Original Trailer
  • Trailers for four of the films in the Meiko Kaji-starring Stray Cat Rock series, made at the same studio as Blind Woman's Curse
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
  • Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes, illustrated with original archive stills.


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