In our new column, we share the latest Blu-ray releases from our favorite indie distributors — from cult classics to long-lost gems.
The holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean your favorite labels have stopped gifting fans with upcoming releases to empty your wallet and blow your mind. Morbidly Beautiful takes a look at some interesting releases coming in February 2022!
The Flag of Iron
Another cult classic from the Shaw Brothers Studio, The Flag of Iron is a quintessential Hong Kong tale of rivals, betrayal, and family feuds. When the master of the Iron Flag clan is killed by a mysterious assassin known only as Spearman, it sets off an explosive chain of events that pits two brothers against each other in an action-packed adventure of fist flying fury. Directed by Cheh Chang (The One-Armed Swordsman, Five Venoms), this kinetic and highly influential Kung Fu picture, mixes traditional storytelling with more modern presentation techniques — layering acrobatics and the use of exotic weaponry and quick as lightening fight sequences to produce a sure-fire entertaining hit, which no serious collector of martial arts movies can be without.
Legendary Weapons of China
When the former member of a failing magical kung fu order threatens to destroy the remaining group’s reputation through his loud mouth insults and defamatory behavior, an elite band of killers is dispatched to silence him forever. Though perhaps the golden age of martial cinema had been and gone, this late entry wuxia-style film from The Shaw Brothers house of dreams was still able to pack a powerful punch. Written, directed, and starring Chia-Liang Liu (The Spiritual Boxer, Spiritual Boxer II), this gloriously fast-paced drama which entertainingly mixes swordplay with hand to hand combat in a fabulously furious rollicking adventure weaves its own special kind of magic.
Arrow Video U.S. has two new titles releasing in February. The first is a box set celebrating French New Wave icon, Lies and Deceit: Five Films by Claude Chabrol, and the second is an overlooked early 80s slasher, Deadly Games.
Lies and Deceit: Five Films by Claude Chabrol
Enjoy five freshly remastered films from the man known as the French Hitchcock. Featuring Cop Au Vin (Poulet au vinaigre), Inspector Lavardin, Madame Bovary, Betty and Torment (L’enfer), this inaugural collection of Claude Chabrol on Blu-ray brings together a wealth of passionate contributors and archival extras to shed fresh light on the films and the filmmaker
A masked maniac with a penchant for a horror-themed board game is playing his own twisted game with the women of a small American town. Each time the dice is rolled, another victim meets a grisly end. Returning home to mourn the death of her murdered sister, Keegan befriends local cop Roger and oddball cinema projectionist Billy – but soon finds herself in the killer’s sights.
Nature will soon run amok in gory fashion with the new Scream Factory release Alligator: Collector’s Edition 4K UHD! Out 2/22, it features two cuts of the film and is loaded with extras, including a new interview with Bryan Cranston who was its Production Assistant. Preorder now.
From director Lewis Teague (Cujo) and screenwriter John Sayles (The Howling) comes an unstoppable thriller with bite. A family returning from Florida decides their pet baby alligator is too much to handle and flushes him down the toilet. Meanwhile, Slade Laboratories is conducting secret experiments with animals and disposing of them in the sewer. The alligator, fending for itself, begins to feed on the dead animals, and grows. Now, twelve years later, after several mysterious murders, David Madison (Robert Forster, Jackie Brown) is on the case to find out who … or what … is killing people.
Vinegar Syndrome has announced its February batch of Blu-ray releases. They are The Fear (1995), Hitcher in the Dark (1989), and Forgotten Gialli: Volume 3 Blu-ray (1972-1977). Vinegar Syndrome has also announced a new distribution deal with the indie label Utopia. (See additional information below).
Hitcher in the Dark
Description: Young and handsome Mark Glazer roams around the southeastern United States in his decked-out camper, picking up single female hitchhikers. Once he has the unsuspecting travelers trapped inside his RV, Mark savagely assaults and then murders them by slashing their throats, taking photos of the grisly aftermath to add into his macabre collection. But everything changes when he happens to meet Daniela, a spitting image for his deceased mother, who soon becomes the victim of his most savage torments…
Directed by one of the true godfathers of Italian horror and exploitation cinema, Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox), HITCHER IN THE DARK is an ultra-violent mix of suspense thriller and action which stars Josie Bissett (Melrose Place), Jason Saucier (Sister Sister), and Joe Balogh (Moonstalker) as Mark. One of several films produced in the United States by Joe D’Amato (Emanuelle in America) that attempted to tie itself in with a popular American film, this was marketed in Italy as ‘Hitcher 2,’ and makes its worldwide Blu-ray debut from Vinegar Syndrome in a brand new 4K restoration of its original 35mm negative!
Discretion: Richard is a college student who has decided to focus his attention on the study of fear and has invited a group of friends up to his family’s secluded mountain cabin for the weekend, during which they’ve agreed to participate in his project and share what terrifies them. While the experiment seems harmless at first, when it comes time for Richard to reveal what he’s afraid of, the answer comes in the form of a strange, lifelike, wooden carving of a man which has been in the cabin for generations and is named Morty. As the friends attempt to enjoy their wilderness seclusion, Morty comes to life and begins stalking and killing the youngsters in ways that go far beyond their most horrific nightmares.
One of the quintessential mid 90s indie horror films, Vincent Robert’s THE FEAR features Heather Medway (TV’s Viper), Ann Turkel (Humanoids From the Deep), Vince Edwards (The Killing), plus a rare acting role from legendary horror filmmaker, Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street). Taking full advantage of its scenic locales, THE FEAR ramps up its body count, leading to a tense and bloody climax and is headed to Blu-ray, fully uncut and uncensored in a new, 4K restoration of its 35mm camera negative.
Forgotten Gialli: Volume 3
Description: In this third installment in our celebration of Gialli which we feel have been overlooked during the home video age, we’re proud to offer this trio of diverse and bloody offerings, all of which are making their worldwide Blu-ray debuts! All three films are presented in brand new and exclusive restorations of their original, uncensored, 35mm camera negatives. Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present the third entry in their ‘Forgotten Gialli’ series.
Also coming in February via the Utopia label but distributed by Vinegar Syndrome: Minor Premise (2020)*.
Synopsis: Attempting to surpass his father’s legacy and pressured by an old colleague (Dana Ashbrook of “Twin Peaks”), neuroscientist Ethan Kochar (Sathya Sridharan) turns his experiment on himself and unwittingly fractures his consciousness into ten competing sections. Ethan is now trapped in his home with his ex-girlfriend Alli (Paton Ashbrook) and the two must navigate trauma, ambition, and missteps of the past. Diving headfirst into the uncharted equations of the brain, they realize there is more at stake than just their relationship or Ethan’s reputation. With time quickly running out, he is forced to face off against the darker sides of himself.
Eric Schultz’s striking feature directorial debut, co-written with Thomas Torrey and neuroscientist Justin Moretto, is a brilliantly constructed science-fiction thriller, which also serves as a poignant reflection on our mind’s fragility and what constructs our sense of Self. Vibrant and trippy, with a focus on scientific authenticity, it dives through the inner workings of our anti-hero in a way that is insightful, suspenseful, and exhilarating. Sathya Sridharan’s performance as Ethan is a force to be reckoned with, bringing a unique twist to the sci-fi leading man, while Paton Ashbrook as Alli provides the film’s beating heart.
*Utopia is a film acquisition, sales, and technology company with a ‘filmmaker first’ approach. Utopia focuses on creating new revenue and monetization opportunities, improving the direct-to-consumer experience, and helping filmmakers maintain a global presence. Vinegar Syndrome’s sister company, OCN Distribution, is thrilled to be representing Utopia’s brand new line of home video releases!
Finally, Troma has restored the shocking cult classic, Surf Nazis Must Die for a remastered Blu-ray release in February!