Presented from a new 2K transfer, Second Run presents Štefan Uher’s stunning 1966 Slovak feature THE MIRACULOUS VIRGIN (Panna zázračnica). Released on August 20, THE MIRACULOUS VIRGIN is one of Slovak’s cinema’s most admired and controversial works. Adapted by The Sun in a Net director Štefan Uher from the renowned 1944 novella by Dominik Tatarka, the film is an exquisite, surreal odyssey through the Slovak art scene of the 1960s. The Blu-ray and DVD editions also features Uher’s breathtaking 1959 short film Marked by Darkness, plus all-new documentary The Story of ‘The Miraculous Virgin’, an exploration of the film, the talents behind it and its legacy, produced by the Slovak Film Institute.
Coming in Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray & DVD) on 23 July 2018, Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo’s immensely powerful It Happened Here depicts an alternative history in which England has been invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany. Coming to Blu-ray for the first time, the film is presented in a new 2K remaster (from the original camera negative) by the BFI National Archive, supervised by Kevin Brownlow, to mark his 80th birthday. A raft of exceptional extras include previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage, new interviews, news items, trailers and more.
You’ll need to fight to survive… tense new thriller TRAFFIK starring PAULA PATTON (About Last Night, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), OMAR EPPS (House, Shooter) and WILLIAM FICHTNER (Empire, Drive Angry) will be available to download and own from July 2018. A romantic getaway descends into terror for Brea and her boyfriend John when they run into a brutal biker gang. They manage to escape to a secluded mountain estate for the weekend, but their short-lived joy ends when the gang turn up at their front door demanding they return a stolen item they’ve accidentally acquired. Alone and defenceless Brea and John are forced into a deadly fight for their lives against a ring of violent criminals who will go to any lengths to protect their secrets. Directed by DEON TAYLOR (Supremacy, Meet The Blacks) TRAFFIK is a thrilling ride through a couple’s worst nightmare.
Arrow Cult Film Books; various authors
There is nothing that the true cinéaste enjoys more (other than the actual experience of watching a film itself) than reading about a film or director they have been excited by — particularly in books or articles that are informed by both scholarship and enthusiasm. Those qualities are copiously in evidence in the series of compact and colourful volumes issued by Arrow films to cover a wide range of cult items (the publishing imprint has avoided mainstream arthouse cinema and concentrated on the fascinating byways of genre films.). A good example is Kat Ellinger’s All the Colours of Sergio Martino. The writing is unpolished, but Ellinger’s love for – and knowledge of — this material leaps off the page, and makes for a fascinating (if all too brief) read. Sergio Martino is best known as a director of grisly gialli thrillers, but there are no genres that hold terrors for him, with Westerns, crime thrillers such as Suspicious Death of a Minor (Morte Sospetta di una Minorenne, 1975) and even ribald comedies on his curriculum vitae. In one area, Martino is very much like his compatriots Mario Bava and Dario Argento: while never being as consistently inspired in his work as them, he is capable of truly vivid and engaged filmmaking, alongside some by-the-numbers work.
Similarly engaging is Gregg Rickman’s Philip K Dick on Film, which combines a thoroughgoing knowledge of the subject with a clear-sighted analysis of the various attempts – both successful and misfiring – to transfer this most influential of science fiction writers to film. As one of the more substantial volumes in the series, Rickman’s entry is particularly cherishable. There are also generally well written and intelligent studies devoted to The Hitcher, The Blair Witch Project and The Man Who Fell to Earth – not to mention a substantial study of the films of Meiko Kaji. The fact that the books are very attractive little volumes (illustrated with colour stills) is less important than the fascination they will hold for the true film buff. They may, of course, cost you money, sending you out to search out some of the films discussed. If that’s the case, I can recommend a label for cult films: Arrow Video…
Arrow Cult Film Books; various authors – published by Arrow
100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes
Various orchestras and conductors/Silva Screen Records
This very collectable six-disc set is a very useful way of obtaining many key SF film themes by some of the top composers in the genre. John Williams is, of course, handsomely represented here, and if you have not been tempted by the multiple soundtrack CDs from the original Star Wars films, some of the choicest orchestral tracks are here. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg; the late Jerry Goldsmith is also in the mix here, as well as more recent composers such as Hans Zimmer and Michael Giacchino (and it has to be admitted that there are some unexceptional tracks on the discs, but they are in the minority). Performances are always enthusiastic and polished, and this is well up to the customary standard we expect from this company.
SIX GOTHIC TALES Roger Corman, director /Arrow Blu-Ray Limited edition box set There is simply no modern-day equivalent of the remarkable American actor Vincent Price, who may have regretted his typecasting in horror roles, but rose to the summit of the genre in a fashion that nobody before or since has matched. His best work was the series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations he made for the talented director Roger Corman, and this handsome box set – with its excellent Blu-ray restorations — is the perfect way to collect these macabre gems. In The Fall of the House of Usher, a young man learns of a family curse that threatens his happiness with his bride-to-be. In The Pit and the Pendulum, a brother investigates the untimely death of sister, played by Barbara Steele. Tales of Terror adapts three Poe classics, Morella, The Black Cat and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, each starring a horror icon. The Raven is a comic take on the famous poem concerning three rival magicians. In The Haunted Palace, a newcomer in a New England town is suspected of being a warlock. And in The Tomb of Ligeia, filmed in Norfolk and at Stonehenge, a widower’s upcoming marriage plans are thwarted by his dead first wife. The six films boast a remarkable cast list: not just Price and Steele (Black Sunday), but also Boris Karloff (Frankenstein), Peter Lorre (M, The Beast with Five Fingers), Lon Chaney Jr (The Wolf Man, Spider Baby), Basil Rathbone (The Black Cat) and a very young Jack Nicholson. Adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson (The Twilight Zone, I Am Legend) and Robert Towne (Chinatown), these Six Gothic Tales now rank as classic examples of sixties horror cinema.