Arrow Films in the UK have announced some great Italian cult titles being released on DVD in January 2013. Pick of the bunch are two classic Mario Bava horrors in what look to be definitive editions.
Barbara Steele’s ‘Mask of Satan’/’Black Sunday’ is being issued including three versions of the film High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD of two versions of the film – the European cut ‘The Mask of Satan’ (with the Roberto Nicolosi score) and the re-edited, re-dubbed US AIP version with alternative dialogue and the Les Baxter score. There will be three audio options (Italian language, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score) and a newly translated English subtitled translation for the Italian audio. In addition, there’s an audio commentary by Bava expert and biographer Tim Lucas, an introduction by film critic Alan Jones, an interview with Barbara Steele, a deleted scene, trailers, TV spots, collector’s booklet with new writings by Matt Bailey and Alan Jones, and ‘I Vampiri’ (1956), co-directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava. It really does sound an impressive package.
‘Lisa and the Devil’ includes both High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition versions of ‘Lisa and the Devil’ and its alternative Alfredo Leone cut, ‘The House of Exorcism’. Again there are many extras, including, optional Italian audio with newly translated English subs, audio commentary by Tim Lucas, audio commentary on ‘The House of Exorcism’ by producer Alfredo Leone and star Elke Sommer, introductions to both films by Alan Jones, plus Lamberto Bava, screenwriter Roberto Natale, Roy Bava and Bava biographer Alberto Pezzotta discuss the making of both films, and there’s a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic and author Stephen Thrower (who wrote the definitive book on Lucio Fulci, ‘Beyond Terror’, which is essential reading).
Also released by Arrow in January is a first UK release for Ferdinando Baldi’s spaghetti western ‘Django, Prepare a Coffin’, also known as ‘Django, preparati la bara!’, ‘Django, Get a Coffin Ready’ and ‘Viva Django!’ It stars Terence Hill in an early role and also features Horst Frank and ‘George Eastman’/Luigi Montefiori as the villains and a supporting cast bolstered by cult movie favourites Luciano Rossi and Jose Torres. It was conceived as an official sequel to Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 original ‘Django’, and the films share scriptwriter Franco Rossetti, cinematographer Enzo Barboni, the coffin and the machine-gun. I’ve researched and written the collector’s booklet for this, looking at the background to the film in detail. ‘Django, Prepare a Coffin’ is being released on DVD to coincide with the ‘Djanuary Django fever’ that will no doubt accompany the arrival of Quentin Tarantino’s new western ‘Django Unchained’.
You can pre-order them from Amazon UK, or from Arrow Films directly: http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/