Slasher Film ‘Edge of the Axe,’ 1940s Noir ‘Black Angel’ Due on Blu-ray From Arrow and MVD Jan. 28

The Spanish-American slasher film Edge of the Axe and the 1940s film noir Black Angel are being released on Blu-ray from Arrow and MVD Entertainment Group Jan. 28.

From Arrow Video comes Edge of the Axe, which follows a masked killer picking off people in a small California village with — that’s right — an axe. The new 2K restoration of the cult classic (from the original camera negative) includes English and Spanish versions of the film; two new audio commentaries; a newly-filmed interview with actor Barton Faulks; “The Pain in Spain,” a newly-filmed interview with special effects and make-up artist Colin Arthur; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes.

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Due from Arrow Academy is the 1946 film noir Black Angel, which marked the final time behind the camera for prolific director Roy William Neill. In the film, after a man is convicted of murder, his wife and the victim’s ex-husband fight to prove his innocence. Hated by author Cornell Woolrich whose novel served as the source material, Black Angel nevertheless is a sleek and stylish film for genre fans. It stars Dan Duryea, June Vincent and Peter Lorre. Special features on the new restoration of the film include a video appreciation by film historian Neil Sinyard; new audio commentary by the writer and film scholar Alan K. Rode; the original trailer; a photo gallery of original stills and promotional materials; a reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Philip Kemp.

‘Alice, Sweet Alice,’ Pacino Flick ‘Cruising’ and ‘Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy’ Coming on Blu-ray From Arrow and MVD in August

Alice, Sweet Alice, the Al Pacino flick Cruising and “Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy” are coming on Blu-ray from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group in August.

Due Aug. 6 is the 1976 slasher film Alice, Sweet Alice. A young girl is brutally murdered by an unknown lunatic in a bright yellow rain coat and a freakishly creepy translucent mask. As the killer continues to strike again and again, the young girl’s parents are forced to consider this gruesome reality — perhaps the killer is their eldest daughter, Alice. Ranked No. 89 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments, Alice, Sweet Alice features hardcore kill scenes and marks the screen debut of Brooke Shields. Special features include a new audio commentary with Richard Harland Smith; an archival audio commentary with co-writer/director Alfred Sole and editor Edward Salier; “First Communion: Alfred Sole Remembers Alice, Sweet Alice,” in which Sole looks back on his film; “In the Name of the Father,” a new interview with actor Niles McMaster; “Sweet Memories: Dante Tomaselli on Alice, Sweet Alice,” in which filmmaker Dante Tomaselli, cousin of Sole, discusses his longtime connection to the film; “Lost Childhood: The Locations of Alice, Sweet Alice,” a tour of the original shooting locations hosted by author Michael Gingold; an alternate television cut; a deleted scene; alternate opening titles; a trailer and TV spot; the original screenplay; and an image gallery.

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Coming Aug. 20 is William Friedkin’s controversial erotic crime thriller Cruising. Pacino stars as a New York City cop assigned an undercover gig that sends him deep into the world of the gay S&M and leather bars in the Meatpacking District in an effort to track down a killer targeting gay men. Special features include an archival audio commentary by Friedkin; “The History of Cruising,” an archival featurette looking at the film’s origins and production; “Exorcizing Cruising,” an archival featurette looking at the controversy surrounding the film and its legacy; and the original theatrical trailer.

Also due Aug. 20 is a collection of Akio Jissoji’s films — This Transient LifeMandara and Poem — that make up “The Buddhist Trilogy.” These three New Wave films made for the Art Theatre Guild take a controversial and shocking exploration through faith. As an added bonus, Jissoji’s 1974 feature It Was a Faint Dream, a film that touches on similar themes as the trilogy, is included. Special features include introductions to all three films in the trilogy by David Desser, author of Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave; scene-select commentaries on all three films in the trilogy by Desser; theatrical trailers for Mandara, Poem and It Was a Faint Dream; and an illustrated, 60-page collector’s book featuring new writings on the films by Anton Bitel and Tom Mes.