‘An American Werewolf in London’ on 4K Among Titles Due in March From Arrow and MVD

The horror classic An American Werewolf in London, the kung fu classic Come Drink With Me and the Japanese film noir To Sleep So as to Dream are being released on disc from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group in March.

Director John Landis (The Blues Brothers, Trading Places) combines macabre horror with dark humor in An American Werewolf in London (1981), newly restored and due on 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision March 15. In the film, American tourists David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are savaged by an unidentified vicious animal whilst hiking on the Yorkshire Moors. David awakes in a London hospital to find his friend dead and his life in disarray. Retiring to the home of a beautiful nurse (Jenny Agutter, Walkabout) to recuperate, he soon experiences disturbing changes to his mind and body, undergoing a full-moon transformation that will unleash terror on the streets of the capital. The film features Rick Baker’s ground-breaking, Oscar-winning special makeup effects.

Extras include audio commentary by Beware the Moon filmmaker Paul Davis; audio commentary by actors Naughton and Dunne; “Mark of the Beast: The Legacy of the Universal Werewolf,” a feature-length documentary by filmmaker Daniel Griffith, featuring interviews with Landis, Naughton, Joe Dante and more; “An American Filmmaker in London,” an interview with Landis in which he reflects on British cinema and his time working in Britain; “I Think He’s a Jew: The Werewolf’s Secret,” a video essay by filmmaker Jon Spira (Elstree 1976) about how Landis’ film explores Jewish identity; “The Werewolf’s Call,” in which Corin Hardy, director of The Hallow and The Nun, chats with writer Simon Ward about their formative experiences with the film; “Wares of the Wolf,” a featurette in which SFX artist Dan Martin and Tim Lawes of Prop Store look at some of the original costumes and special effects artifacts from the film; “Beware the Moon,” Paul Davis’ feature-length exploration of Landis’ film which boasts extensive cast and crew interviews; “An American Werewolf in Bob’s Basement” and “Causing a Disturbance: Piccadilly Revisited,” two 2008 featurettes filmed by Paul Davis; “Making An American Werewolf in London,” a short archival featurette on the film’s production; “An Interview with John Landis,” a lengthy archival interview with the director about the film; make-up Artist Rick Baker on An American Werewolf in London; “I Walked with a Werewolf,” an archival interview with Rick Baker about Universal horror and its legacy of Wolfman films; “Casting of the Hand,” archival footage from Rick Baker’s workshop showing the casting of Naughton’s hand; outtakes; a storyboards featurette; the original trailer and teaser plus TV and radio spots; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original poster art and artwork by Graham Humphreys; a double-sided fold-out poster; six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; and a limited edition 60-page, perfect-bound book featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann and Simon Ward, archival articles and original reviews.

Years before the Shaw Brothers’ kung fu films made them the biggest film studio in Hong Kong, local audiences flocked to their wuxia pian films — mythic tales of swordfighting (and often gravity-defying) heroes fighting for honor. In his final film for the studio, Come Drink With Me (1966), due on Blu-ray March 22, director King Hu (A Touch of Zen) broke fresh new ground in martial arts storytelling, and catapulted lead actress Cheng Pei-pei to stardom. In the film, when the Governor’s son is taken hostage by bandits, a mysterious swordsman named Golden Swallow (Cheng) is hot on their trail to ensure the son’s release. What the bandits don’t realize, however, is that Golden Swallow is actually a woman, and that the hostage is her brother. Determined to set him free, no matter how many goons she has to fight her way through in doing so, she is aided in her quest by a drunken beggar (Yueh Hua), who may have a closer connection to the bandits’ leader than he initially lets on. Decades before Ang Lee brought the wuxia genre to international attention with the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (in which Cheng played the villainous Jade Fox), King Hu set the original template in what is still considered one of Shaw Brothers’ greatest and most influential action masterpieces.

The Japanese To Sleep So as to Dream (1986) follows two private detectives who hunt for an actress trapped within the reel of a silent ninja film. The dreamlike debut of Kaizo Hayashi (Circus Boys, Zipang), an homage to the movie worlds of the 1910s and 1950s, is due on Blu-ray March 22. In the film, when private eye Uotsuka (Shiro Sano, Violent Cop, Shin Godzilla) and his sidekick Kobayashi are approached by an aged former actress, Madame Cherryblossom, to go in search of her kidnapped daughter Bellflower, their investigation leads them to the studios of the mysterious M. Pathe company. Here Uotsuka has a strange vision in which he comes face to face with the beautiful star of a 1915 chanbara film that appears to have no ending. From then on, things begin to get a little strange. To Sleep So as to Dream makes its home video debut outside of Japan in a brand new restoration supervised by the director himself. Drifting between illusion and allusion, it is chockfull of references to Japan’s rich cinematic heritage and features cameos from a host of veteran talent and baroque sets created by Takeo Kimura, the Nikkatsu art designer remembered for his flamboyant work with Seijun Suzuki in the 1960s.

Extras include new audio commentary by Japanese film experts Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp; audio commentary with director Kaizo Hayashi and lead actor Shiro Sano recorded in 2000; “How Many Eggs?, Actor Shiro Sano Talks,” a new interview with the film’s lead actor; “Talking Silents: Benshi Midori Sawato Talks,” a new interview on early Japanese film culture and the art of the benshi silent film commentator; “Midori Sawato Performs ‘The Eternal Mystery,’” an exclusive benshi performance to the film within the film; the “The Restoration of To Sleep So as to Dream” featurette; “Fragments from Japan’s Lost Silent Heyday,” a selection of scenes from silent jidai-geki films from the Kyoto Toy Museum archives; the original theatrical trailer and English-language restored re-release trailers; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by David Downton; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Aaron Gerow.

Classic Kung Fu Films ‘Monkey Kung Fu’ and ‘Shaolin Mantis’ Due on Blu-ray March 22 From 88 Films USA and MVD

The classic kung fu films Monkey Kung Fu (1979) and Shaolin Mantis (1978) will be released on Blu-ray March 22 from the 88 Films USA label in partnership with MVD Entertainment Group.

A cult classic from the Shaw Brothers Studio, Monkey Kung Fu (aka Stroke of Death) is directed by Mar Lo (Shaolin Thief) and stars Siu-Tung Ching (The Shaolin Boxer). In the film, when a prisoner is given half of a wooden keepsake by a one eyed-master about to be executed, he breaks out of prison to go in search of the other half to discover its purpose. However, on his quest he is pursued by a gang leader who will also stop at nothing find out its secrets.

Included in the package are a limited edition slipcase with new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien; a double-sided A3 foldout poster; extensive booklet notes; audio commentary by Kenneth Brorsson and Phil Gillon of the Podcast On Fire Network; “Stunting Around,” an interview with choreographer Tony Leung Siu-hung; and the original trailer. 

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Also from the Shaw Brothers studio, Shaolin Mantis is from the golden age of Hong Kong martial arts cinema. In the film, when scholar Wei Fung (David Chiang) is hired by the emperor to infiltrate a clan of rebellious Ming loyalists, his mission goes adrift when he falls in love the clan leader’s granddaughter and his plans are discovered. The film is directed by Lau Kar Leung (The Spiritual Boxer, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin).

Included in the package are a limited edition slipcase with new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien; a double-sided A3 foldout poster; four collectible art cards; audio commentary with Asian cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema; audio commentary with Asian cinema expert Frank Djeng; “Complicated Families,” David West on Shaolin Mantis; an interview with actor John Cheung; the Deadly Mantis trailer; and an original Hong Kong trailer.

Jason Monteiro Named GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia

Jason Monteiro is the new GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia. Monteiro’s hiring comes a week after Amit Malhotra exited the managing director position just seven months after taking on the job.

Monteiro will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer business, brand, marketing, subscriber management, digital partnerships and data analytics. Based in Singapore, Monteiro will oversee the existing HBO Go streaming service, which will soon convert to HBO Max.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Jason Monteiro

Monteiro most recently served as GM of the AVOD tier of Arabic content streaming service Shahid. Prior to Shahid, he was GM of iflix in Indonesia and Malaysia, in addition to handling the platform’s marketing duties.

“Jason arrives at Max with a proven track record of building and growing subscription services across Asia and other important global markets,” Johannes Larcher, head of Max International, said in a statement.

Monteiro reports to Larcher until a new managing director for Max’s India, Southeast Asia and Korea territories is found.

“[Monteiro] is a passionate leader known for building and inspiring high-performing teams, and I’m eager to see his leadership in action as he steps into his new role,” Larcher said.

Hong Kong Action Thriller ‘Raging Fire’ Hitting Hi-Yah! Streaming Service Oct. 22, Disc and Digital Nov. 23 From Well Go

The Hong Kong action thriller Raging Fire will be released on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on Oct. 22, before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 23 with a new English dub from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Boasting a cast headlined by international martial arts action superstars Donnie Yen (Mulan, “Ip Man” franchise) and Nicholas Tse (Shaolin, New Police Story), Raging Fire was the last film from acclaimed action auteur Benny Chan (Shaolin, New Police Story).

In the film, Bong (Yen) is a highly respected hardline cop with a long history of success on dangerous cases. However, his past unexpectedly comes back to haunt him when a sting operation is attacked by a mysterious group of criminals led by Ngo (Tse), his former protégé, a talented former officer who had once respected and admired Bong. However, a terrible mistake years prior landed him in prison, quickly turning the once rising star into a furious man with a grudge, and the will to destroy everyone who had wronged him — including his former mentor.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film co-stars Patrick Tam (Master Z, Ip Man 3), Kenny Wong (New Police Story), Deep Ng (Stool Pigeon), Jeana Ho (The Grandmaster, Special Female Force), Angus Yeung, Bruce Tong, Henry Mak (Operation Red Sea), Yu Kang (Ip Man 3), German Cheung (The White Storm 2: Drug Lords), and Tony Wu Tsz Tung (Men on the Dragon); with special appearances by Lui Leung Wai (Flash Point), Simon Yam (Little Q, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), Ben Yuen, Ben Lam (Flash Point, Police Story), Ken Low (Rush Hour) and Carlos Chan.

Hong Kong Martial Arts Actioner ‘The Fatal Raid’ Hitting Digital and Disc Aug. 24 From Well Go

The Hong Kong martial arts actioner The Fatal Raid will hit digital, Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 24 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Action icon Jade Leung (Black Cat, Enemy Shadow) stars alongside Patrick Tam (All’s Well End’s Well, Ip Man 3, Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy), Min-Chen Lin (Vampire Cleanup Department), Jeana Ho (iGirl), Michael Tong (Man of Tai Chi, God of War) and Kristy Yeung (Good Bye, My Princess, Detective Dee’s Hell Road).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In the film, two elite police teams head up a secret operation following a dangerous smuggling ring across the Macau border, but when their presence is discovered, the mission ends in a deadly firefight. Then 20 years later, an escort mission brings the survivors back to the scene of the tragedy — and fosters an unwelcome reunion.

Hong Kong Horror Film ‘The Untold Story’ Due on Disc Oct. 13 From MVD

Unearthed Films and MVD Entertainment Group will release the restored Hong Kong horror film The Untold Story for the first time in the U.S. on DVD and Blu-ray Oct. 13.

The notorious Category 3 film is the grisly tale of a killer. In 1978 in Hong Kong, a murder takes place. Eight years later on a Macao beach, kids discover the severed hands of a fresh victim. A squadron of cops investigate and suspicion falls on Wong Chi Hang, the new owner of The Eight Immortals Restaurant famous for its delicious pork buns. The hands belong to the missing mother of the restaurant’s former owner who has disappeared along with the rest of his family. Staff at the restaurant continue to go missing but the police can’t find any hard evidence that Wong is responsible. When he can’t produce a bill of sale proving his purchase of the restaurant, Wong is arrested and the police try to torture him into a confession.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film is written by and starring Danny Lee (City on Fire, Dr. Lamb), stars Anthony Wong (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Ip Man: The Final Fight, Ebola Syndrome, Hard Boiled) and is directed by Herman Yau (Ebola Syndrome, Taxi Hunter). Wong was awarded the Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actor Award for his performance.

Special features include:

  • commentary with Anthony Wong;
  • commentary with Herman Yau;
  • Q&A with Herman Yau;
  • commentary with Art Ettinger (Ultra Violent) and Bruce Holecheck (Cinema Arcana);
  • “Category III: The Untold Story of Hong Kong Exploitation Cinema”; and
  • “Cantonese Carnage: An Interview with Rick Baker.”

 

Blu-ray special features also include a slipcover on the first pressing only; liner notes by Art Ettinger on the first pressing only; and the isolated film score.

‘Invincible Dragon’ Due on Disc and Digital Oct. 6 From Well Go

The Chinese action-adventure Invincible Dragon will debut on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 6 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Featuring action superstar Max Zhang (Ip Man 3Master Z: Ip Man Legacy), the film is directed by Fruit Chan (The Midnight After) with a supporting cast that includes champion UFC fighter Anderson Silva (Never SurrenderTapped Out), Kevin Cheng (Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy) and Stephy Tang (The Empty Hands).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In the film, when a brilliant but trigger-happy detective (Zhang) is outsmarted by a serial killer, he pays a high price for his momentary lapse in judgment. Robbed of both his fiancée and his job, he soon spirals out of control and goes back to what he knows best: fighting. Unbeknownst to him, a serendipitous reunion with an old rival (Silva) may be the key to unlocking the truth about his fiancée’s disappearance — and to apprehending the killer.

Criterion Releasing Bruce Lee ‘Greatest Hits’ Boxed Set    

The Criterion Collection July 14 will release a seven-disc Blu-ray boxed set containing five of kung-fu action star Bruce Lee’s greatest films.

Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits brings together five films that define the Lee legend: furiously exciting fist-fliers propelled by his innovative choreography, unique martial-arts philosophy and whirlwind fighting style. Though Lee completed only a handful of films while at the peak of his stardom before his untimely death in 1973 at age 32, he left behind a monumental legacy as both a consummate entertainer and a supremely disciplined artist who made Hong Kong action cinema a sensation the world over.

Follow us on Instagram

Game of Death

The set will include 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks. The set will also include two versions of Enter the Dragon digitally restored in 2K: the 99-minute 1973 theatrical version with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack, and the 102-minute special edition version.

The Blu-rays will include audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon.

The set will include six audio commentaries. The Big Boss comes with a voiceover by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; producer Paul Heller provides one for the extended cut of Enter the Dragon; and Hong Kong-film expert Mike Leeder offers his thoughts on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death and The Way of the Dragon.

Game of Death will include “Game of Death Redux,” a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage produced by Alan Canvan, and a high-definition presentation of the 1981 sequel Game of Death II.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Other extras include:

  • New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly;
  • A new interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee;
  • A new program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge;
  • A new interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers;
  • Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon;
  • Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998);
  • Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T. Benn, Riki Hashimoto, Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Yuen Wah and Simon Yam, and directors Clarence Fok, Sammo Hung and Wong Jing;
  • Promotional materials;
  • New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing;
  • An essay by critic Jeff Chang.

Cinedigm Embraces Chinese Business Ties with First Original Series About American Feminist Adventurer Emily Hahn

Cinedigm is partnering with Mark Yellen Productions and Rosenbloom Entertainment to produce a multi-season, episodic series about feminist and adventurer Emily Hahn, the literary author who introduced Shanghai and greater China to U.S. audiences through her articles published in The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s.

The indie home entertainment distributor, which is majority owned by Hong Kong-based Bison Capital, is using its Chinese connections to begin shooting in 2019 on location in Shanghai and Hong Kong, taking advantage of Shanghai’s Bund waterfront, which has one the richest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world.

The series will be released in the U.S. and China through both physical and digital media.

“Emily Hahn was a charismatic, unconventional free spirit who wrote about her experiences with courage and compassion,” Chris McGurk, CEO, Cinedigm, said in a statement. “Now is the perfect time to re-introduce audiences to the vibrant, complex, and intriguing world of 1930s Shanghai from a uniquely female perspective.”

A feminist trailblazer before the word existed, Hahn wrote hundreds of articles and short stories for The New Yorkerfrom 1925 to 1995, as well as fifty-two books in many genres, most notably China to Me and The Soong Sisters.

Hahn, who died in 1997 at the age of 92, led a most unconventional life – especially for a woman in the 1930s and 40s.

She was the first woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in mining engineering – choosing the field after a professor reportedly told her, “The female mind is incapable of grasping mechanics or higher mathematics or any of the fundamentals of mining taught” in engineering.

Prior to graduating, Hahn drove across the country in a Model T Ford dressed as a man, chronicling the trip in letters to her brother-in-law – who, recognizing her literary talent, then forwarded them to The New Yorker.

That was the beginning of a life that would include stints in the Belgian Congo, living with a pygmy tribe for two years and crossing central Africa solo on foot.

Hahn’s time in Shanghai from 1935 through 1941, included the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in 1941. Captured by the Japanese during World War II, Hahn taught Japanese officials English in exchange for food. She was repatriated in 1943.

Like chapters out of Casablanca, Hahn was romantically involved with numerous high-profile men, including Victor Sassoon, Chinese poet and publisher Shao Xunmei, and Charles Boxer, head of British intelligence in Hong Kong, with whom she had two children after the war.

Ever the nonconformist, Hahn would later write that Shao got her addicted to opium. “Though I had always wanted to be an opium addict, I can’t claim that as the reason I went to China,” she wrote.

“Emily was able to champion female empowerment and embrace cultural diversity at a time when those concepts were completely alien to most, making it very relevant in today’s climate of change,” said Chip Rosenbloom, president of Rosenbloom Entertainment.