Arrow is expanding to USA

Jan 25, 2012
874
Piraeus, Greece
The story so far…
Arrow Video started in the UK in 2009 with two cult titles: Lucio Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery and Lamberto Bava’s Macabre. The label ethos was ‘The Art of Cult Films is Back!’ and we still have that on the packaging today. We were bored with formulaic Photoshop covers, all digital and smooth, without personality or humour, and we thought it’d be cool if we brought back those video store days when VHS covers were lurid and exciting. So we had an artist paint new covers for each film but now for DVD – new releases that had everything, great covers, extras, audio tracks and more. But we also didn’t want to ignore the original art so we decided to do fully reversible covers allowing you could choose between the new art or the original. Aside from a few special edition boxsets every release has had a reversible sleeve to this day.
Each edition was bursting (often literally) with extras: booklets, postcards, on-disc interviews, commentaries, alternate audio tracks, documentaries and more! Soon we started releasing films on Blu-ray, including George Romero’s Dawn and Day of the Dead, but we didn’t want to stop there or fizzle out – why not do a whole load of cult films, we thought? So we added action, sci-fi, Blaxploitation, spaghetti westerns, euro crime, thrillers, erotica, sex comedies, the plain weird and more. Our collection now spans more than 100 releases and includes films by Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Tinto Brass, Donald Cammell, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Roger Corman, Wes Craven, David Cronenberg, Joe Dante, Brian De Palma, Lucio Fulci, Toshiya Fujita, Kinji Fukasaku, Terry Gilliam, Frank Henenlotter, Jack Hill, Tobe Hooper, Teruo Ishii, Philip Kaufman, Jeff Lieberman, Seijun Suzuki, the Wachowskis, Brian Yuzna and more!
The values that started our label in 2009 still stand today, though we’ve had a few design tweaks here and there to get things just right and these days we tend to restore a lot of films ourselves meaning we can rescue a lot of titles that are stuck in material limbo!
What now?
Since we’ve seen so much great feedback and success in the UK we thought the timing was right to expand into the US and Canada (where rights permit). As we’ve restored so many films we thought it’d be great to make any new restorations available on both sides of the Atlantic.
Our first release will be Tonino Valerii’s Spaghetti Western Day of Anger [I Giorni dell’ira, aka Gunlaw] it stars Lee Van Cleef post-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and SW legend Giuliano Gemma (A Pistol for Ringo), and is described by the Spaghetti Western Database as featuring “the real deal Van Cleef, complete with gunsight eyes [and] Giuliana Gemma in fine form and one of the best theme tunes you'll ever hear. All in all, this one is a winner.” It also features in the Top 20 lists of the site admins, Quentin Tarantino and SW author Howard Hughes. With a brilliant score by the legendary Riz Ortolani (whose music has been sampled in recent hits Drive, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained) as well as being lensed by DoP Enzo Serafin who worked with Michelangelo Antonioni and Roberto Rossellini among others. The only reason we can surmise that it’s not better known has been to its limited availability on video so far, but that’s all set to change with our new restoration!
Our second release has been described as “positively the most horrifying film ever made”, it’s Mark of the Devil, starring horror icon Udo Kier (Blade, Flesh for Frankenstein, Suspiria) who plays a witchfinder’s apprentice who’s faith in his master (Herbert Lom) becomes tested when they settle in an Austrian village. This deluxe director-approved edition comes from a new restoration featuring both English and German audio tracks and is bursting with extras including a new commentary with director Michael Armstrong, a documentary on the ‘new wave’ of British horror directors who emerged in the 60s and 70s, critic Michael Gingold on controversial US distributor Hallmark, interviews with cast and crew, the locations then and now, outtakes, a gallery, reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys, a collector’s booklet featuring artwork by Adrian Smith and Anthony Nield as well as an interview with Reggie Nalder by David Del Valle, all illustrated with original stills and artwork!
Third up is the thrillingly bizarro yakuza-samurai-ghost story-horror hybrid from Teruo Ishii, Blind Woman’s Curse (also known as Black Cat’s Revenge). Starring Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion) as Akemi, 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 the Tachibana gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies. The release is newly remastered in HD and features an audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, a trailer and trailers for the Stray Cat Rock films, a series which would help launch Kaji to fame around the same time as Blind Woman’s Curse. Along with a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by author and MidnightEye.com co-founder Tom Mes and reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Gilles Vranckx.
Future releases include films never on DVD and/or Blu-ray from European and Japanese cult directors, more will be revealed soon!
Why the need for Indiegogo?
Investing in a new and large territory like North America means a lot of upfront cash for the investments we need to make at launch. Apart from the cost of acquiring the rights to the films (more of which will be announced soon!), we will need to set up office, establish our business to retail and digital partners as well as invest in marketing and the development of a new website. The greatest immediate investment will be in the restoration and production for the first batch of titles we have acquired and work is ongoing right now!
Indiegogo is not only a good way for us to gauge your interest – after all North America is a fiercely competitive market – but also for us to have the funds available to pick up more titles for release without there being a big gap in our schedule and have you get bored and forget about us. Without Indiegogo we would need to wait til our first releases go on sale before we can then see what appetite is like for a new label and the kinds of titles we release with the approach we take. Indiegogo enables us to weigh all that up in advance meaning we can continue at our usual pace – which in the UK is about three to four releases a month. Your pledge to our campaign will not only ensure we’re in North America to stay but it’ll also get you some cool stuff at a significant cost saving and if you’re bold a really, really, really significant cost saving!
What next?
When the Indiegogo is finished we will be putting our first titles up for pre-order, if successful we will be adding more titles to our roster and letting you know of any updates on our various social channels www.facebook.com/arrowvideo, https://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo, http://arrowvideo.tumblr.com/, http://www.arrowvideodeck.blogspot.co.uk/ And don’t forget to share the Indiegogo link with your friends!
Stretch goals
Whilst it would be a dream to have the Indiegogo met should the pledges go above and beyond our goal we would look to do a variety of things which could include restoring the films we have acquired in 4K rather than 2K, picking up more titles, adding more special features and even more - just let us know what you want on our social channels and we’ll try and make it happen! Look out for our updates to this page (which will be automatically emailed to pledgers) where we’ll let you know of new title acquisitions, restoration news, stretch goals, artwork and packaging reveals and more!
FAQ
You’ve listed more releases than you have announced, how do we know these releases will ever materialise?
We have announced releases that are very nearly ready or completely finished. We don’t want to announce every single title as we want to get things a bit more ready so we can really wow you! As there’s so much to digest here already we’ll be sending regular updates through Indiegogo to pledgers as well as on our social media, so stay tuned!
Will your UK releases like Foxy Brown/Lady Snowblood/Shivers/etc. be released in North America now?
We’d like to bring as many films as possible from our existing UK catalog to North Americabut many are owned by other companies or the studios themselves so we cannot guarantee anything unfortunately.
Will your releases also be released in the UK still?
We will make every attempt to ensure all our new releases appear at the same time in North America as they do in the UK. We still have many titles acquired for the UK only so this will become more standardised as time passes.
What region code will your releases be?
Whilst many of our older releases are Region Free and most are currently Region B, any future release intended for both North America and the UK will be exactly the same and coded Region A and B or region free where possible. Please always read the specifications on our website www.arrowvideo.com (coming soon) or www.arrowfilms.co.uk
Will you release SteelBooks in the US like you do in the UK?
Yes our intention would be to have SteelBooks in the US and UK where one is manufactured for a particular release. Please keep an eye on our website for details!
Will you release films on DVD?
In the UK Blu-ray rights have often only been available for certain titles like The ‘Burbs and Big Trouble in Little China, but every effort is made to secure DVD and Blu-ray rights.
Will you release films on Blu-ray?
Where possible we will always release films on Blu-ray.
What languages and subtitles will be available?
For films licensed in an English language territory it is usually only possible to include English subtitles and the original spoken language audio track and/or an English audio dub. We always make every effort to include English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English language films.
Will the films be available for digital download?
Where rights are available to us our films will indeed be available for digital download. Please see our website for details.
I am thinking about purchasing one of the Gold List items but I want to know how many releases a year there will be and will it be just US releases or UK too?
As this campaign is for North America it won’t include UK releases. As to how many releases a year it’s very early to tell right now but as explained above we currently release 3-4 Arrow Video titles a month on average (sometimes more, where boxsets are concerned of course, but with slight dips at Christmas and New Year) and we aim to get up to that level as soon as possible providing the Indiegogo is a success. Gold list customers get releases ahead of everybody else and these will include SteelBooks, boxsets, special and limited editions* alongside our regular releases so you’ll always be guaranteed a special edition where one is released, and remember if the Indiegogo is not a success you won’t be charged, so go and ahead a be bold, we know you want to!
*This will not include personalised editions. For an example of a personalised edition see withnailfilm.com
If I was to back the All Time Gold List how long would this last? Forever?
That’s the idea!
I’m not a US resident, can I still back this?
But of course! Just please be aware that the Blu-rays will be coded Region A/1

If you want to contribute, here is the link:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/arrow-video-usa/contributions/new
 
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