While we’e been covering many of the Scream Factory releases for our US readers, Arrow Video has been releasing horror classics in the UK for a while now and they recently announced their next set of Blu-ray releases. Take a look at release details, cover art, and bonus features for The Fall of the House of Usher, Lifeforce, Deranged, and Squirm. We’ve also included details for Motel Hell, which we covered earlier this week.
Motel Hell: “It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters!” cackle the brother-and-sister team behind the finest smoked meats in the county. They also run the friendly Motel Hello (the ‘o’ in the neon sign sometimes goes on the blink), and no matter how many times you’ve seen Psycho or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, you can be sure that everything will be perfectly above board here as Vincent’s brother Bruce is the local sheriff.
Western veteran Rory Calhoun gives a lipsmackingly demented performance as Farmer Vincent, whose twinkling bonhomie conceals a deeply depraved secret.
Directed by Kevin Connor (maker of much-loved British genre classics The Land That Time Forgot and Warlords of Atlantis) and with legendary DJ Wolfman Jack as a fire-and-brimstone TV preacher, this is a gleefully twisted horror-comedy that climaxes with a showstopping chainsaw duel.”
Release Date: May 13th
The Fall of the House of Usher: “When exploitation maestro Roger Corman decided to raise his game by hiring Vincent Price to star in an adaptation of a classic tale by Edgar Allan Poe, he set in train a series of Poe adaptations that would redefine American horror cinema.
When Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) visits his fiancée Madeleine Usher (Myrna Fahey) in her crumbling family mansion, her brother Roderick (Price) tries to talk him out of the wedding, explaining that the Usher family is cursed and that extending its bloodline will only prolong the agony. Madeleine wants to elope with Philip, but neither of them can predict what ruthless lengths Roderick will go to in order to keep them apart.
Richard Matheson’s intelligent, literate script is enhanced by Floyd Crosby’s stylish widescreen cinematography, but it’s Vincent Price’s anguished conviction in one of his signature roles that makes the film so chillingly memorable over half a century on.”
Release Date: August 26th
Deranged: “Real-life Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein inspired many distinguished films, including Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but none is quite as disturbing as Deranged.
Roberts Blossom gives an alarmingly convincing performance as rural eccentric Ezra Cobb, whose mother’s death unhinges him to the point where he not only lovingly preserves her corpse in the living room but also goes out to find ‘friends’ to keep her company – not all of whom are dead when he finds them! Perversely, Ezra’s more worried about what mother would say about his various activities than he is about the prospect of being found out. Indeed, like Gein, he’s cheerfully open about his activities when visiting friends, but no-one believes him.
Like Carnival of Souls and The Honeymoon Killers, this is one of American horror cinema’s great one-offs, an eerie, genuinely unsettling but also darkly comic experience.”
Release Date: August 12th
Lifeforce: “When a space shuttle crew finds a mysterious spacecraft containing three human-looking creatures in a state of suspended animation, they bring them back to Earth for further investigation.
It’s only then that scientists discover that they are in fact a race of space vampires that feed off people’s life-force rather than their blood. So when they escape and run amok in London, the consequences are apocalyptic – and the shuttle crew’s only survivor (Steve Railsback) seems to be the only man who can stop them.
Based on Colin Wilson’s novel ‘The Space Vampires’, co-written by Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Return of the Living Dead) and directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist), this lively sci-fi horror romp has a stellar cast including Peter Firth, Frank Finlay and Patrick Stewart – although it’s Mathilda May’s appearance as a naked female alien that attracts most attention to this day.”
Release Date: September 30th
Squirm: “One of the most original and entertaining of the revenge-of-nature films that characterised mid-1970s American horror, Squirm begins with a pylon being downed by a thunderstorm, sending millions of volts into the wet, conductive mud, which naturally gives hundreds of thousands of its wriggly inhabitants an insatiable hunger for human flesh.
And since the accident has also inconveniently cut off the electricity to Fly Creek, Georgia, its population could hardly be more vulnerable when the sun goes down. Houses can be barricaded against most intruders, but what happens when they’re small enough to get into the water supply?
Writer-director Jeff Lieberman (who also made the cult classics Blue Sunshine and Just Before Dawn) achieves a near-perfect blend of knowing wit and good old-fashioned scares, with make-up genius Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London) on hand for some of the memorably disgusting special effects.”
Release Date: September 16th