‘Ip Man: The Awakening’ Due on Hi-Yah! Streaming Service May 20, Disc and Digital June 21

The Chinese martial arts drama Ip Man: The Awakening will be released on the streaming service Hi-Yah! May 20 and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc and digital June 21 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

In the film, while visiting Hong Kong, a young Master Ip intervenes in a kidnapping attempt, unintentionally igniting a turf war with a ruthless human trafficking ring. In retaliation, the gang kidnaps one of Ip Man’s close friends, leaving him with no choice but to challenge the group’s notoriously brutal boxing champion head-on.

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Co-directed by Li Xi Jie and Zhang Zhu Lin, Ip Man: The Awakening stars the rising wing chun martial arts master Miu Tse (aka Miao Xie, My Father Is a Hero), assuming the legendary title role alongside cast members including Chen Guan Ying, Zhao Yu Xuan, and Hao Yan Fei. The bonus features include a new English dub.

 

‘Wild Things’ on 4K Ultra HD Among Titles Available From Arrow and MVD in May

The thriller Wild Things on 4K Ultra HD, the horror title Girls Night Out, and the martial arts actioner One-Armed Boxer are available on Blu-ray from Arrow Films and MVD Entertainment Group in May.

In the early 1980s, the slasher film reigned supreme. On May 17, Arrow will shine a light on one of these lesser-known efforts, Girls Nite Out. Originally released as The ScaremakerGirls Nite Out is an oddball slasher directed by a former documentarian and produced by a pair of Ohio attorneys. In the film, a group of college coeds participates in an all-night scavenger hunt when the fun is interrupted by a killer in a bear costume. Arrow is releasing the film in a new 2K restoration with special features including new interviews with stars Julia Montgomery, Laura Summer, Lois Robbins, Paul Christie, Lauren-Marie Taylor and John Didrichsen.

On May 24, Arrow will celebrate the life of the late Jimmy Wang Yu with the release of One-Armed Boxer. Yu directs and stars as Tien Lung, a martial arts student that loses an arm in the same attack that leaves his classmates and master dead. Fueled by revenge, Lung studies the art of one-arm boxing with plans to track down the Hook gang responsible for his unfortunate predicament. One-Armed Boxer is widely regarded as one of the most influential martial arts films of the 1970s and the film that put Jimmy Wang Yu on the map. Director Quentin Tarantino has referred to it as “one of the best martial arts films ever made,” and it paved the way for an iconic sequel in Master of the Flying Guillotine. The new release from Arrow features a 2K restoration, audio commentary with Frank Djeng from the NY Asian Film Festival, and a career retrospective interview with Wang Yu.

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Due May 24 is John McNaughton’s Wild Things on both standard Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. In the film, Matt Dillon stars as a high school guidance counselor accused of rape by two students (Denise Richards and Neve Campbell). During the highly controversial trial, a police detective (Kevin Bacon) begins to suspect the trio may be in cahoots. Arrow presents the film with 4K restorations of both the original theatrical version and the unrated edition from the original camera negatives by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Special features include two audio commentary tracks, new interviews with McNaughton and Richards, a making-of documentary, and a double-sided fold-out poster.

‘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.

Korean Sci-Fi Action Thriller ‘Spiritwalker’ Due on Hi-Yah! Streaming Service March 18, Digital and Disc April 12 From Well Go

The South Korean sci-fi action thriller Spiritwalker will debut exclusively on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on March 18 before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD April 12 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Director Yoon Jae-keun (Heartbeat)​ and award-winning martial arts choreographers Park Young-sik and Chung Seong-Ho (SAG Awards, Best Stunt Ensemble, “Squid Game”) bring to life the story of a man who loses his memory and subsequently wakes up in a new body every 12 hours. He must piece together his identity, all while evading attacks from pursuing agents and dangerous criminals.

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Winner of the Daniel A. Craft award for Excellence in Action Cinema at the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival, Spiritwalker stars former K-pop singer Yoon Kye-Sang (Chocolate, The Outlaws), Park Yong-Woo (Nailed), Lim Ji-Yeon (Obsessed, High Society) and Park Ji-Hwan (The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure).

Bonus features include an all-new English dub and behind-the-scenes content.

The film has been optioned by producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (“Transformers,” “G.I. Joe” series) for a possible Hollywood remake.

 

 

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. 

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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.

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.

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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.

Chinese Martial Arts Actioner ‘God of War II’ Due on Digital and Disc Sept. 21 From Well Go

A follow-up the 2017 Chinese martial arts actioner God of WarGod of War II lands on digital, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 21 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Charles Lin (The Outsiders) and Yuxi Liu (Legend of the Phoenix) star in the story of Lü Bu. Years after escaping, Lü Bu has no memory of his hellish early life as a test subject for a ruthless imperial sorceress. Now, he is feared across the land as the conquering general under warlord Dong Zhuo, for whom he has blazed a trail of victories on the battlefield. But when a woman arrives at the palace claiming to be his long-lost love, the facade begins to fade, and he begins to realize that his closest allies may yet be his most dangerous foes.

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The first feature film of director Cong Cai, God of War II features a guest appearance from David Wu (Farewell My Concubine) and co-stars Yinghao Sheng in his feature film debut.

Chinese Mixed Martial Arts Film ‘Crazy Fist’ Due on Hi-Yah! Streaming Service Aug. 6, Disc and Digital Sept. 14 From Well Go

The Chinese boxing-meets-mixed martial arts drama Crazy Fist will debut exclusively on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on Aug. 6, before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 14 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

First time feature film director Guo Qing (who also appears in the film) directs Dragon Blade-alums Steve Yoo and Wang Wei, plus Collin Chou (Matrix II, III), Xiaoming Huang (Ip Man 2), Wei Zhao (Mulan: Rise of a Warrior) and retired professional bodybuilder Kai Greene (“Stranger Things”).

In the film, after an opponent dies mid-match, a prominent MMA champion swore never to fight again, instead retiring to run his family’s international business. However, when his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances during another tournament, he has no choice but to step back in the ring to help uncover the truth.

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In addition to its original language track in Mandarin, Crazy Fist also includes an English dub.

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).

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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.

Japanese Action Film ‘Hydra’ Coming to Hi-Yah! Streaming Service July 2, Disc and Digital July 20 From Well Go

The Japanese actioner Hydra will debut exclusively on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on July 2, before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD July 20 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Directed by Kensuke Sonomura (action director from the Resident Evil games, Vendetta and Degeneration) and starring Masanori Mimoto (Enter the Fat Dragon, Death Note), the film follows retired assassin Takashi (Mimoto), who leads a quiet life as a chef at a sushi bar, where he secretly watches over the daughter of a former associate. His peace is short-lived. Soon, he is recruited for a final job that he can’t refuse.

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The film co-stars newcomer Miu and Tasuku Nagase (Iwane: Sword of Serenity).