Horror, Samurai, Western Films, ‘The Day of the Jackal’ Coming on Blu-ray in September From Arrow and MVD

Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group have seven titles slated for September.

From Arrow Academy come two films. On tap Sept. 4 on Blu-ray Disc is Tomu Uchida’s Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (1955), a road adventure about a samurai and his two servants who go on an epic journey. Praised by Japanese film critics and much admired by contemporaries Akira Kurosawa and Yasujirô Ozu, Uchida nonetheless remains little-known in the West. Extras include a new audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, recorded exclusively for this release; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker James Oliver.

Also due Sept. 18 from Arrow Academy is the Peter Fonda directed Western The Hired Hand, which experienced a bit of a renaissance in 2001 thanks to a release from the Sundance Channel. The film stars Fonda alongside Warren Oates. Extras include audio commentary by actor-director Fonda; The Return of the Hired Hand, a 2003 documentary containing interviews with Fonda, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, composer Bruce Langhorne, actor Verna Bloom and others; deleted scenes; The Odd Man, Charles Gormley and Bill Forsyth’s 1978 documentary portrait of Scottish screenwriters, including Alan Sharp; an interview with Martin Scorsese; an audio recording of Oates and Fonda at the National Film Theatre in 1971; a stills gallery; trailers; TV spots; radio spots; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips.

The Arrow Video label features several horror titles starting with a new 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s horror masterpiece Deep Red, coming Sept. 4 on Blu-ray. Bonus features include audio commentary by filmmaker and Argento expert Thomas Rostock; an Introduction to the film by Claudio Simonetti of Goblin; a new visual essay by Michael Mackenzie featuring an in-depth appreciation of Deep Red; “Rosso Recollections: Dario Argento’s Deep Genius,” the Deep Red director on the creation of a giallo masterpiece; “The Lady in Red: Daria Nicolodi Remembers Profondo Rosso”; “Music to Murder For!,” Claudio Simonetti on Deep Red; “Profondo Rosso: From Celluloid to Shop,” a tour of the Profondo Rosso shop in Rome with longtime Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi; the Italian theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx.

Another horror entry, The Baby, comes out Sept. 25 on Blu-ray. It’s a strange look at an eccentric family and the social worker assigned to deal with them. Bonus features include “Down Will Come Baby,”  a new retrospective with film professor Rebekah McKendry; “Tales from the Crib,’ an audio interview with director Ted Post; “Baby Talk,” an audio Interview with star David Mooney; the theatrical trailer; and a new commentary by Travis Crawford.

Horrors of Malformed Men, due Sept. 18 on Blu-ray, is a Japanese horror film from 1969 about a medical student that is perfectly sane but somehow ends up in an asylum. Bonus features include two audio commentaries by Japanese cinema experts Tom Mes and Mark Schilling; “Malformed Movies,” a new video interview with Toei exploitation movie screenwriter Masahiro Kakefuda; “Malformed Memories,” in which filmmakers Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo the Iron Man) and Minoru Kawasaki (The Calamari Wrestler) discuss the career of director Teruo Ishii; “Ishii in Italia,” in which Ishii and Schilling visit the Far East Film Festival; a poster gallery; a theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford; and for the first pressing only,  a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Jasper Sharp, Tom Mes and Grady Hendrix.

The Pyjama Girl Case, due Sept. 18 on Blu-ray, comes from director Flavio Mogherini and is the only giallo to take place in Australia. It follows the true story of an unsolved Australian murder about a young girl that turned up dead on the beach in distinctive pajamas. Bonus features include new audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films; a new video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie on the internationalism of the giallo; a new video interview with actor Howard Ross; a new video interview with editor Alberto Tagliavia; an archival interview with composer Riz Ortolani; an image gallery; the Italian theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas.

Finally, coming Sept. 25 on Blu-ray is Fred Zinnemann’s classic The Day of the Jackal. Based on a novel by Frederick Forsyth, this political thriller was nominated for six BAFTA awards, winning for best editing, and earned an Oscar nod. Bonus features include a new interview with Neil Sinyard, author of Fred Zinnemann: Films of Character and Conscience; two rare archival clips from the film set, including an interview with Zinnemann; a theatrical trailer; the original screenplay by Kenneth Ross (BD-ROM content); a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mark Cunliffe and Sheldon Hall.

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