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The Ghoul, Erik the Conqueror, The Big Knife on Blu-Ray

Arriving this week on Blu-ray are three new releases from Arrow Video.

The Ghoul (Special Edition)

From executive producer Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Free Fire) comes a mind-bending British psychological thriller to sit alongside such classics of the genre as Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell’s Performance, David Lynch’s Lost Highway and Christopher Nolan’s Following.

Chris is a homicide detective called to London to investigate a strange double murder. Both victims appear to have continued moving towards their assailant despite multiple gunshots to the face and chest. On a hunch, and with the help of an old colleague – and former girlfriend – Chris decides to go undercover as a patient to investigate the suspect’s psychotherapist, the mysterious Alexander Morland, who has a taste for the occult…

The debut feature of writer-director Gareth Tunley, starring Tom Meeten (Sightseers), Alice Lowe (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) and Dan Renton Skinner (Notes on Blindness), The Ghoul is the latest standout addition to a thriving new wave of British cinema.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed 5.1 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the hard-of-hearing
  • Filmmakers commentary
  • Interviews with the cast and crew
  • The Baron, a 2013 short film by Gareth Tunley, starring Tom Meeten and Steve Oram (Aaaaaaaah!, Sightseers)
  • Trailer
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring writing on the film by Adam Scovell, author of Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange

 

Erik the Conqueror (Special Edition)

In 1961, director Mario Bava (Rabid Dogs, Kill Baby Kill) turned his hand to the historical adventure genre, capitalizing on the recent success of 1958’s Kirk Douglas vehicle The Vikings. The result was a colorful, swashbuckling epic of treachery, heroism and forbidden love: Erik the Conqueror.

In 786 AD, the invading Viking forces are repelled from the shores of England, leaving behind a young boy – Erik, son of the slain Viking king. Years later, Erik (George Ardisson, Juliet of the Spirits), raised by the English queen as her own, becomes Duke of Helford, while across the sea, his brother Eron (Cameron Mitchell, Blood and Black Lace) assumes leadership of the Viking horde and sets his sights on conquering England once again, setting the two estranged brothers on a collision course that will determine the fates of their respective kingdoms…

Featuring a bombastic score by frequent collaborator Roberto Nicolosi (Black Sunday) and memorably co-starring the stunning Kessler twins (Sodom and Gomorrah), Erik the Conqueror showcases Bava’s immense talent for creating awe-inspiring spectacle with limited resources.

Now restored in high definition for the first time, Arrow Video is proud to present this cult classic in all its original splendor.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original Italian and English mono audio (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark
  • Gli imitatori, a comparison between Erik the Conqueror and its unacknowledged source, The Vikings
  • Original ending
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Kat Ellinger

 

The Big Knife (Special Edition)

Mere months after delivering one of the definitive examples of film noir with Kiss Me Deadly, Robert Aldrich brought a noir flavor to Hollywood with his classic adaptation of Clifford Odets’ stage play, The Big Knife.

Charles Castle, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, looks like he has it all. But his marriage is falling apart and his wife is threatening to leave him if he renews his contract. Studio boss Stanley Shriner Hoff isn’t taking the news too well, and he’ll do anything he can to get his man to sign on the dotted line – even if means exposing dark secrets…

Winner of the Silver Lion at the 1955 Venice Film Festival, The Big Knife also boasts a remarkable cast list including Jack Palance (Shane) as Castle and Rod Steiger (On the Waterfront) as Hoff, plus Shelley Winters (The Night of the Hunter), Ida Lupino (On Dangerous Ground), Jean Hagen (Singin’ in the Rain) and Everett Sloane (Citizen Kane).

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • Brand-new 2K restoration from original film elements produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p)
  • Original English mono audio uncompressed LPCM
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Commentary by film critics Glenn Kenny and Nick Pinkerton, recorded exclusively for this release
  • Bass on Titles Saul Bass, responsible for The Big Knife s credit sequence, discusses some of his classic work in this self-directed documentary from 1972
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nathalie Morris

By: Marc Ferman