Movies

Hell High, The Righteous, Sacred Spirit & Giallo from Arrow in July

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We’re getting deeper into summer and the temperature keeps hovering around 100. You need to stay inside near the air conditioning vent. Arrow Video has four titles that will add a chill to your life. Hell High (Raging Fury) is an ’80s Teen Film about out-of-control students. They’re out to attack teachers and anyone else that gets in their way. The Righteous is strange spiritual tale of a priest who encounters someone who might be representing either God or the Devil. The Sacred Spirit is a Spanish film about UFOs and cosmic secrets.

If you need a cool treat, you’ll have three nights of Giallo and Gelato thanks to the arrival of Giallo Essentials: Black Edition. The boxset contains three vintage Italian mysteries that hadn’t been previously released by Arrow. Smile Before Death has a woman suspect her mother was killed by her stepfather and his mistress. The Weapon, the House, the Motive has a cop get involved with a murdered suspect’s lover.  The Killer Reserved Nine Seats has strange things happening at a theater. You might want to get a few pints of Gelato since it’ll be hot nights with these Italian flicks on your TV.

Here’s the press release from Arrow Video:

New from Arrow Video US
Hell High[Blu-ray](7/19)
The Righteous[Blu-ray](7/19)
The Sacred Spirit (Limited Edition)[Blu-ray](7/19)
Giallo Essentials: Black Edition [Limited Edition][Blu-ray](7/26)

Via MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video Brings the Heat & the Horror this Summer!Arrow’s July releases feature an overlooked slasher, a supernatural thriller, sci-fi, and a box set of Italian murder mysteries, starting with the July 19 release of director Douglas Grossman‘s Hell High – a unique psychological thriller/slasher from 1989.

When high school football hero Jon-Jon (Breaking Bad‘s Christopher Cousins) quits the team, he winds up falling in with a group of outcasts led by the sadistic Dickens (played to unhinged perfection by the late Christopher Stryker).

Hell High – released in some international territories as Raging Fury – was heavily overlooked upon its original release but has since developed a cult following noted for its intelligent script, dark narrative, and unique spin on the typical slasher film formula. Brett Gallman of Oh, the Horror! described the film as “a weird, gangly, messy perversion of ’80s slashers.” Popular genre critic Outlaw Vern attributed much of the film’s charm to “weird little touches” that can’t quite be explained but should absolutely be experienced. 

Also being released on July 19, is The Righteous, a psychological thriller with an intelligent script, taut direction, and strong performances. Writer, director, and actor Mark O’Brien (Ready or Not) pulls no punches as he confronts grief, guilt, faith, and atonement in his remarkable directorial debut. A former priest, Frederic Mason (Henry Czerny), anguished by the tragic death of his young daughter, finds himself wrestling with his religious convictions when a mysterious young man (O’Brien) appears wounded on his doorstep in need of assistance. After he and his wife Ethel (Mimi Kuzyk) welcome him into their home, Frederic sees an opportunity for redemption in this mysterious and troubled lost soul, who might just be an emissary from God, or maybe the Devil…

The Righteous premiered at the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival, taking home the award of Best Screenplay and earning rave reviews. Matthew Simpson of Awesome Friday! hailed The Righteous as “an exciting debut feature, a slow-burn character study with excellent performances to keep it moving and brilliant aesthetics.” Set amongst the bleak and forbidding landscapes of Newfoundland and crisply captured in striking black and white by cinematographer Scott McClellanThe Righteous is a somber supernatural chiller that builds to a memorable crescendo and signals the emergence of a major new filmmaking talent.

The uncanny, the unsettling, and the unexpected combine to devastating effect in The Sacred Spirit, the extraordinary debut feature shot on 16mm from Spanish writer-director Chema Garcia Ibarra, coming on July 19.

Jose Manuel lives a quiet life. He works in his modest tapas bar, takes care of his elderly mother, and attends weekly meetings of the Ovni-Levante, a group of devoted UFO enthusiasts who gather after hours at the office of a local estate agent to exchange information about extraterrestrial messages and alien abductions. When their leader dies unexpectedly, only Jose is left to know the cosmic secret that could alter the future of humanity. And only Jose knows what he must do. The Sacred Spirit is a provocative, humane, and unsparing vision that marks the arrival of a unique new voice in genre cinema.
Jay Weissberg of Variety dubbed The Sacred Spirit as “immaculately framed feature generating uneasy amusement in the viewer.” Martin Kudlac echoed similar sentiments in a review for Screen Anarchy, calling the film “surreal” and “a disturbing story tackled in a deadpan style.” This Arrow release includes an exclusive second disc containing a selection of award-winning short films by director Chema Garcia Ibarra, a collector’s booklet, a poster, and more!

On July 26, Arrow releases a box set featuring three newly remastered Blu-rays of top-notch but rarely seen Italian murder mysteries from the Golden Age of Gialli, featuring additional interviews and bonus content.
This volume of Giallo Essentials: Black Edition celebrates the range and breadth of the genre with three lesser-seen films from its early 1970s heyday. In Silvio Amadio‘s Smile Before Death, “things build to a deliciously twisted finale” (The Spinning Image), when teenager Nancy returns home to discover the apparent suicide of her mother, and quickly comes to suspect that her stepfather and his mistress are to blame.
Next, horny priests and self-flagellating nuns abound in Francesco Mazzei‘s The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive, as police commissioner Franco Boito investigates the brutal murder of a young clergyman, only to enter into an affair with the dead man’s lover. This seldom seen mystery was the sole directional effort from Mazzei and will surely resonate with fans of Lucio Fulci’s earlier works.
Finally, in Giuseppe Bennati‘s The Killer Reserved Nine Seats, an assortment of wealthy degenerates – including Italian cult mainstays Andrea Scotti and Howard Ross – answer the summons of an eccentric nobleman and assemble in the theatre attached to his ancestral home, only to find themselves trapped in the decaying building while a savage killer picks them off Agatha Christie-style! Mondo-Digital calls The Killer Reserved Nine Seats a “slick, nastily effective” giallo that trades in the world of high-fashion that was a genre staple and replaces it with “an atmospheric throwback to the gothic horrors of the 1960s.”
With gory murders, wanton debauchery, and left-field plot twists aplenty, all three of these oft-overlooked gialli are restored in 2K from their original camera negatives – including brand-new, Arrow-exclusive restorations of Smile Before Death and The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive – alongside a range of in-depth bonus features.

Hell High

Teenage kicks take a decidedly dark turn in director Douglas Grossman’s Hell High – a twisted tale of delinquency pushed to its horrifying extreme, where Class of 1984 meets I Spit on Your Grave! When high school football hero Jon-Jon (Breaking Bad‘s Christopher Cousins) quits the team, he winds up falling in with a group of outcasts led by the sadistic Dickens (played to unhinged perfection by the late Christopher Stryker). With a willing new recruit in tow, the gang’s youthful hijinks soon spiral into a night of abject horror when they decide to play a cruel prank on the home of their teacher Miss Storm – who, unbeknownst to the youngsters, harbors a dark and tormented past. Hell High – which was released in some international territories as Raging Fury – is a singular entry in the late ’80s horror canon, melding elements of the revenge movie with the trappings of the slasher genre to delirious effect. School’s out… forever!

Media

 Watch trailer »

Bonus Materials

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative approved by cinematographer Steven Fierberg
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and cinematographer Steven Fierberg
  • Archival audio commentary with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
  • Archival introduction and audio commentary with film critic Joe Bob Briggs
  • School’s Out! – a newly-filmed interview with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman
  • A Beautiful Nightmare – a newly-filmed interview with cinematographer Steven Fierberg
  • Jon-Jon’s Journey – a newly-filmed interview with actor Christopher Cousins
  • The More the Better – a newly-filmed interview with actress Maureen Mooney
  • Music is Not Sound – a newly-filmed interview with composers Rich Macar and Christopher Hyams-Hart
  • Back to Schools: The Locations of Hell High – a tour of the original Hell High filming sites with author/filmmaker Michael Gingold
  • Archival video interviews with director/producer/co-writer Douglas Grossman and co-writer Leo Evans
  • Deleted Scene
  • Alternate Opening Titles
  • Trailers and TV Spots
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Ralf Krause
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring liner notes by Michael Gingold, including an exclusive interview with stunt coordinator/actor Webster Whinery

A burdened man feels the wrath of a vengeful God after he and his wife are visited by a mysterious stranger.

The Righteous

A brooding occult horror with echoes of Bergman and Pasolini, The Righteous insinuates its way beneath the skin by way of an intelligent script, taut direction, and strong performances. Writer and actor Mark O’Brien (Ready or Not) pulls no punches as he confronts grief, guilt, faith and atonement in his remarkable directorial debut. A former priest, Frederic Mason (Henry Czerny), anguished by the tragic death of his young daughter, finds himself wrestling with his religious convictions when a mysterious young man (Mark O’Brien) appears wounded on his doorstop in need of assistance. After he and his wife Ethel (Mimi Kuzyk) welcome him across the threshold and into their household, Frederic sees an opportunity for redemption in this mysterious and troubled lost soul, who might just be an emissary from God, or maybe the Devil… Set amongst the bleak and forbidding landscapes of Newfoundland, crisply captured in tenebrous monochrome by cinematographer Scott McClellan, and featuring robust performances from all its cast members, The Righteous is a sombre supernatural chiller that builds to a memorable crescendo, and signals the emergence of a major new filmmaking talent.

Media

 Watch trailer »

Bonus Materials

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by writer, director and actor Mark O’Brien and editor Spencer Jones
  • Cast and crew interviews with writer/director/actor Mark O’Brien, producer Mark O’Neill, actors Henry Czerny, Mimi Kuzyk, and Kate Corbett, editor Spencer Jones, cinematographer Scott McClellan, and production designer Jason Clarke
  • Roundtable discussion with Mark O’Brien and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett and Chad Villella of Radio Silence
  • Stage Presentation and Q&A with Mark O’Brien and Henry Czerny from the World Premier at Fantasia International Film Festival 2021
  • Grimmfest 2021 live-streamed Q&A with Mark O’Brien
  • Original soundtrack
  • Image gallery, accompanied by the film’s original score by Andrew Staniland
  • Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Grant Boland and Oink Creative
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Sean Hogan

The Sacred Spirit [Limited Edition]

BEWARE OF FALSE GODS… The uncanny, the unsettling, and the unexpected combine to devastating effect in The Sacred Spirit, the extraordinary debut feature from Spanish writer-director Chema Garcia Ibarra. A missing girl. A community in shock. Jose Manuel lives a quiet life. He works in his modest tapas bar, takes care of his elderly mother and attends weekly meetings of the Ovni-Levante, a group of devoted UFO enthusiasts who gather after hours at the office of a local estate agent to exchange information about extraterrestrial messages and alien abductions. When their leader dies unexpectedly, only Jose is left to know the cosmic secret that could alter the future of humanity. And only Jose knows what he must do. As if Ken Loach and Aki Kaurismaki remade the The X-Files, The Sacred Spirit is a provocative, humane, and unsparing vision that marks the arrival of a unique new voice in genre cinema.

Media

 Watch trailer »

Bonus Materials

  • 2 DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
  • High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
  • Exclusive second disc containing a selection of award-winning short films by director Chema Garcia Ibarra
  • Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Shelagh Rowan-Legg, author of The Spanish Fantastic: Contemporary Filmmaking in Horror, Fantasy, and Sci-fi
  • Fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Oink Creative
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Oink Creative
  • DISC 1 – FEATURE & EXTRAS
  • High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Beyond the Eye of Horus, a visual essay about the use of surveillance and Egyptology in The Sacred Spirit by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Pyramid Scheme, a visual essay examining conspiracy, class and capitalism in The Sacred Spirit by Josh Nelson
  • Domestic Science Fiction, an interview with writer-director Chema Garcia Ibarra
  • Behind the Scenes, four short featurettes shot during production
  • Elche Vision, a series of six location reports about the making of the film, hosted by actress Lorena Iglesias in character as Esther Armengol, presenter of The Sacred Spirit’s fictional local TV show
  • Promotional videos in which the characters of The Sacred Spirit talk about themselves
  • Uncut TV Clips, background television broadcasts shot especially for the film and presented here in full
  • Image gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • DISC 2 – DOMESTIC SCI-FI: THE SHORT FILMS OF CHEMA GARCIA IBARRA (LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)
  • The Attack of the Robots from Nebula-5 (2008) 7 mins, Sundance Film Festival Award Winner
  • Protoparticles (2013) 8 mins, Sundance Film Festival Award Winner
  • Mystery (2013) 12 mins, Berlin INternational Film Festival Award Winner
  • Uranes (2014) 59 mins
  • The Disco Shines (2016) 12 mins, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema Award Winner
  • The Golden Legend (2019) 11 mins, Ann Arbor Film Festival Award Winner

Giallo Essentials: Black Edition [Limited Edition]

List Price: $99.95  

While the release of Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage gave rise to a glut of imitators, there was more to the giallo than just shameless copycats setting out to ape a rigid formula. This volume of Giallo Essentials celebrates the range and breadth of the genre with three lesser-seen films from its early 1970s heyday. In Silvio Amadio’s Smile Before Death, familicide with a sprinkling of Oedipal love is the order of the day when teenager Nancy returns home to discover the apparent suicide of her mother, and quickly comes to suspect that her stepfather and his mistress are to blame. Next, Horny priests and self-flagellating nuns abound in Francesco Mazzei’s The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive, as police commissioner Franco Boito investigates the brutal murder of a young clergyman, only to enter into an affair with the dead man’s lover. Finally, in Giuseppe Bennati’s The Killer Reserved Nine Seats, an assortment of wealthy degenerates – including Italian cult mainstays Andrea Scotti and Howard Ross – answer the summons of an eccentric nobleman and assemble in the theatre attached to his ancestral home, only to find themselves trapped in the decaying building while a savage killer picks them off Agatha Christie-style! With gory murders, wanton debauchery and left-field plot twists a-plenty, all three of these oft-overlooked gialli are restored in 2K from their original camera negatives – including brand-new, Arrow-exclusive restorations of Smile Before Death and The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive – alongside a range of in-depth bonus features.

Media

 Watch trailer »

Bonus Materials

  • LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
  • New 2K restorations from the original camera negatives of Smile Before Death and The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive
  • 2K restoration from the original camera negative of The Killer Reserved Nine Seats
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of each film
  • Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks on Smile Before Death and The Killer Reserved Nine Seats
  • Original lossless mono Italian soundtrack on The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive
  • English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
  • Rigid box packaging with original artwork in a windowed Giallo Essentials Collection slipcover
  • Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais, Peter Strain and Haunt Love
  • DISC 1: SMILE BEFORE DEATH
  • New commentary by authors and critics Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
  • Original Italian and English front and end titles
  • Smile of the Hyena, new video interview with Stefano Amadio, film journalist and son of director Silvio Amadio
  • Never-before-seen extended nude scenes, not used in the final film
  • Image gallery
  • DISC 2: THE WEAPON, THE HOUR, THE MOTIVE
  • New commentary by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • A Man in Giallo, new video interview with actor Salvatore Puntillo
  • Front and end titles for the lost English-language dub
  • Image gallery
  • DISC 3: THE KILLER RESERVED NINE SEATS
  • New commentary by author and critic Kat Ellinger
  • Hanging with Howard, video interview with actor Howard Ross
  • Writing with Biagio, video interview with screenwriter Biagio Proietti
  • Italian theatrical trailer (in Italian and English)
  • Image gallery

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