What’s coming soon to Arrow UK in December 2021?
James R | On 01, Dec 2021
Arrow is a streaming service curated by members of the Arrow Video team, bringing together new horror, cult classics, cutting edge cinema, international favourites and more – from Lars von Trier to Park Chan-wook, plus TV shows such as The Bridge and Gomorrah.
Here’s what’s coming soon to Arrow Video in December 2021:
The Last Matinee – 1st December
A cold, wet day. A declining cinema. All you want is to get out of the rain and watch a good film. But who else is in there, hiding in the dark? When Ana takes over projection duties from her ailing father, she doesn’t expect anything worse than a broken reel or a burned-out bulb. But there’s a sadistic killer in the auditorium, and soon blood is running in the aisles as he starts picking off the audience members one by one. Can Ana and the few remaining survivors escape the murderous madman, or will they be victims of his matinee massacre?
All the Colours of the Giallo – 1st December
Giallo’ is Italian for ‘yellow’, the color of the lurid pulp novels that inspired one of the most intense, extreme and influential genres in movie history. In this unprecedented collection, experience the chronological evolution of giallo with more than 100 rare and classic trailers from such masters as Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Martino, Antonio Margheriti and Umberto Lenzi.
King Boxer – 1st December
Already firmly established as the most successful film studio in Hong Kong, Shaw Brothers’ worldwide commercial breakthrough would not come from one of their lavish epics, but instead from KING BOXER, a lean, mean and bloody B-movie by a Korean director. Retitled 5 Fingers of Death by Warner for US distribution, Chung Chang-wha’s thrilling tale of redemption and revenge ignited the international kung fu craze and made Shaw Brothers’ name synonymous with eye-popping action spectaculars.
After his master is attacked by brutish thugs, Zhao Zhihao (Lo Lieh) signs up to a fighting school to help improve his chances at winning the top prize in a national boxing tournament, as well as the love of the master’s daughter. Zhao soon finds himself facing off against a band of powerful tyrants using their martial arts skills to terrorise the locals, but is selected to learn the one technique that may hold the key to defeating them: the Iron Palm.
The Boxer from Shantung – 1st December
By 1972, Chang Cheh was already Shaw Brothers’ most prolific and well-known director with a plethora of box office hits (including the One-Armed Swordsman franchise) to his name and renowned for discovering the hottest young talents to star in his films. In THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG (co-directed with Pao Hsueh-li), Chang’s brutal and bloody retelling of a real-life Chinese rags-to-riches story introduced a new action icon in Chen Kuan-tai (playing the title role), and would prove a key influence on a young man working on-set as an assistant director named John Woo.
In 1920s Shanghai, no-one pays the dirt-poor Ma Yongzhen (Chen Kuan-tai) any attention – until he proves himself easily capable of knocking down all-comers in a street fight, where his talents are encouraged by local gang boss Tan Si (David Chiang). Soon, Ma is carving out his own territory in the city and punching his way up the criminal ladder, step by step… but will his deadly fists be enough to get him out of the trap that awaits him?
Five Shaolin Masters – 1st December
After directing a non-stop string of box office hits for Shaw Brothers, the studio gave Chang Cheh his own mini-studio (Chang’s Film Co) and the freedom to produce his own martial arts masterpieces, escaping the usual Hong Kong studio backlot to shoot in exotic Taiwanese locations. Though the company was short-lived, among its output was Chang’s instant-classic ‘Shaolin Temple Cycle’, five self-contained tales of the temple’s disciples escaping and avenging the wrath of the Manchus and the Qing dynasty, the most thrilling of which may be 1974’s FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS.
As the hallowed Shaolin Temple burns to the ground on the orders of the Emperor, the last five surviving students – Hu Dedi (David Chiang), Cai Dezhong (Ti Lung), Ma Chaoxing (Alexander Fu Sheng), Li Shikai (Chi Kuan-chun) and Fang Dahong (Meng Fei) – attempt to locate and ally themselves with the growing anti-Qing resistance. Soon it becomes clear that the biggest battle is yet to come, and the five disciples must hone their skills and learn newer and deadlier techniques as enemies and traitors close in on all sides.
Shaolin Temple – 1st December
Returning to Hong Kong filmmaking after a spell in Taiwan, director Chang Cheh closed out his ‘Shaolin Temple Cycle’ with arguably the most star-filled and action-packed instalment yet in SHAOLIN TEMPLE. Ostensibly (though not strictly) a prequel to Five Shaolin Masters, it reunites many of the stars of that film with up-and-coming talents in a range of unforgettable set pieces and a fiery climax that has to be seen to be believed!
The monks of the Shaolin Temple realise that an attack from the ruthless Qing authorities is imminent and decide to admit new pupils to bolster their ranks, including the plucky Fang Shiyu (Alexander Fu Sheng), who wishes to avenge his father’s death. Two older disciples, Hu Dedi (David Chiang) and Cai Dezhong (Ti Lung), share what they’ve learnt with the newer pupils, but a final, deadly face-off is being set up from within by traitors inside the temple.
Mighty Peking Man – 1st December
When Hollywood announced a big-budget remake of King Kong, Shaw Brothers followed suit with perhaps the most unhinged giant monster movie ever made: MIGHTY PEKING MAN. Fresh off directing the smash hit Black Magic horror series for Shaw, director Ho Meng-hua’s crazy kaiju knock-off also features unforgettable special effects from the Japanese talents behind the effects for the Gamera, Daimajin and Yokai Monsters films.
An explorer named Chen Zhengfeng (Danny Lee, star of Shaw’s superhero opus Super Inframan) joins an expedition to India to capture the legendary Mighty Peking Man, a huge Himayalan creature whose very presence causes destruction. The expedition quickly turns sour and Chen is left alone in the heart of the jungle, only to come face-to-face with the beast and Ah-wei, the beautiful human woman that loves him.
Challenge of the Masters – 1st December
After masterminding the spellbinding martial arts choreography on dozens of Shaw Brothers’ biggest hits, Lau Kar-leung became an extraordinary director in his own right. His second film, the thrilling and deeply personal CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS, draws upon the legend of the real-life Cantonese folk hero Wong Fei-hung, played here by Lau’s soon-to-be-legendary adoptive brother Gordon Liu in his first starring role.
The teenage Wong (Liu) is frustrated when he is forbidden from attending his father’s own martial arts school, but finds an opportunity to prove himself during the games in an annual firecracker competition. After a competing kung fu school recruits a deadly and mysterious drifter (played by director Lau) help push the odds in their favor, with tragic and fatal results, Wong is selected by reclusive master Lu A-cai (Chen Kuan-tai) to be his next pupil in order to carry out justice.
Executioners from Shaolin – 1st December
Having choreographed the action for many of Chang Cheh’s ‘Shaolin Temple’ films, director Lau Kar-leung used his inimitable talents and deeply-felt understanding of kung fu history to create his own idiosyncratic take on the same historical legends in EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN, jam-packed with extraordinary fight scenes and unforgettable characters, not least the evil Bai Mei, the White-Browed Hermit!
After Bai Mei (Lo Lieh) and the Qing army burn the Shaolin Temple to the ground, killing its high priest and nearly all of its disciples, survivor Hong Xiguan (Chen Kuan-tai) vows revenge through the ‘Tiger Fist’ technique, even if it takes him decades to master it. After many years, the time for vengeance arrives – but the key to defeating Bai Mei may in fact lie with the ‘Crane’ technique practised by Hong’s headstrong wife, Fang Yongchun (Lily Li) and their immature teenage son, Hong Wending (Wong Yue).
Dirty Ho – 1st December
After the international success of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, star Gordon Liu and his director brother Lau Kar-leung drew upon the Chinese legend of the imperial prince travelling in secret amongst the common people for what many argue to be their masterpiece, the supremely entertaining DIRTY HO. Ignore the misleading title; Lau’s take on the odd couple buddy comedy shows off some of the most inventive kung fu choreography in the Shaw Brothers canon and is not to be missed!
Impudent young jewel thief Ho Jen (Wong Yue) is shown up one night by the mysterious art collector Wang (Liu), who unexpectedly takes a shine to Ho and sets about teaching him a lesson. After Ho is ‘accidentally’ poisoned during a scuffle, Wang withholds the antidote until the robber reluctantly promises to become his disciple and bodyguard. Ho soon realises, however, that there is more to his new master than he is letting on, and that powerful enemies are waiting around every corner.
Heroes of the East – 1st December
Decades after World War II, the Japanese were almost always portrayed as villains in Hong Kong cinema, but one of the first films to buck the trend was Lau Kar-leung’s HEROES OF THE EAST, which pits Japanese and Chinese martial arts against one another and ultimately celebrates both. Lau’s trademark mix of high-kicking kung fu choreography and knee-slapping physical comedy is on full display in one of the director’s most acclaimed films.
In 1930s Shanghai, Ho Tao (Gordon Liu) is betrothed to Japanese girl Yumiko (Yuka Mizuno), a marriage arranged by their fathers to cement their business relationship. The honeymoon phase doesn’t last long as the two newlyweds come to blows over their respective martial arts styles in a literal culture clash. After Yumiko returns to Japan, a misunderstanding causes a collection of the finest representatives of the Japanese fighting arts (karate, judo, kendo, etc) to arrive in Shanghai to confront Ho, led by a former admirer of Yumiko’s (Yasuaki Kurata, Return of Sister Street Fighter). Can Ho win each of the dangerous challenges as well as his wife back?
Chinatown Kid – 1st December
One of director Chang Cheh’s most inarguable talents was discovering new on-screen talent and catapulting them to stardom, and few stars shone brighter than the cheeky, handsome Alexander Fu Sheng. A very contemporary deviation from the usual period setting of their films, CHINATOWN KID is one of Chang and Fu Sheng’s greatest collaborations, and after years of only being officially available in a heavily censored form, has finally been restored to its hard-hitting uncut glory.
Tam Tung (Fu Sheng) arrives in Hong Kong to help out his elderly grandfather, but his accomplished martial arts skills soon attract the unwelcome attention of the Triads and he is forced to flee to San Francisco. Once there, Tam soon finds himself in the middle of a brutal turf war between two rival gangs, the Green Tigers and the White Dragons. The seductive lure of fast money and power prove irresistible as the violence rages on – can Tam’s fighting abilities save him from getting in too deep and losing his soul?
The Five Venoms – 1st December
After over a decade of discovering some of the hottest talents in Hong Kong action cinema, director Chang Cheh outdid himself with the formation of the all-powerful posse of kung fu experts known to fans as the Venom Mob. Though the members of the group had appeared in other Chang films like Chinatown Kid, nowhere did they make a bigger impression than their official debut, first released in America as The 5 Deadly Venoms.
Young disciple Yang De (Chiang Sheng) is given the task of tracking down five former students of his master. Each student is trained in the deadliest kung fu techniques and adopts the disguise of a venomous animal – the Centipede, the Snake, the Scorpion, the Lizard and the Toad – to hide their identity, not only from the outside world, but from one another. As Yang searches for the five Venoms, a deadly battle of wits takes place between his prime suspects (Sun Chien, Philip Kwok, Lo Meng, Wei Pai and Lu Feng) to root out one another and claim a hidden treasure.
Crippled Avengers – 1st December
After achieving instant icon status as the stars of The Five Venoms, the Venom Mob collaborated with director Chang Cheh once again in their most unhinged and spectacular effort yet, CRIPPLED AVENGERS, which also saw the return to Shaw Brothers of kung fu legend Chen Kuan-tai.
The powerful Du Tiandao (Chen) is driven insane by the murder of his wife and dismemberment of his son, and vents his vengeful fury at anyone that dares to cross him. Four such unfortunates – one whose eyes are gouged out (Philip Kwok), one who is made deaf mute (Lo Meng), one whose legs are chopped off (Sun Chien) and one that is brain damaged (Chiang Sheng) – realise they are stronger together and team up to get their revenge against the ruthless Du and his metallically-enhanced son.
Mill of the Stone Women – 1st December
Before Black Sabbath, before I Vampiri, director Giorgio Ferroni (The Lion of Thebes, Blood for a Silver Dollar) introduced audiences to period horror Italian-style with his chilling 1960 shocker MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN – a classic tale of terror redolent with the atmosphere of vintage Hammer Horror.
The Merchant of Four Seasons – 6th December
Hans Epp is a self-destructive man who lives a dissatisfied life. He tries to find meaning as a fruit vendor, but a heart attack impedes his ability to work, which turns his dissatisfaction into despair.
The Little Chaos – 6th December
Theo, Marite, and Franz cannot make any money selling magazines door to door, so they try a little robbery.
The City Tramp – 6th December
A tramp finds a gun lying in the street.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant – 6th December
Originally written and produced as a stage play, in transferring THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT to the big screen Rainer Werner Fassbinder created another masterpiece to rank alongside a string of cinematic classics.
Petra von Kant, with two marriages behind her and an absent daughter, is a successful fashion designer. She lives with her secretary, the repressed and subservient Marlene, who will form the second point in a tragic ménage à trois when Petra meets and falls hopelessly in love with a confident young model named Karin.
Harking back to the women’s pictures of Hollywood’s yesteryear, THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT is a magnificent showcase for Fassbinder’s female stars. Margit Carstensen (as Petra), Irm Hermann (as Marlene) and Hanna Schygulla (as Karin) deliver outstanding performances, three of the finest the cinema has ever seen
Love Is Colder than Death – 6th December
Dedicated to Claude Chabrol, Éric Rohmer, Jean-Marie Straub and the main characters from Spaghetti Western A Bullet for the General, LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH is a playful crime picture, heavily indebted to the Nouvelle Vague.
Life, Love and Celluloid – 6th December
Juliane Lorenz, the director of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, explores the life and work of the prodigious and rebellious filmmaker in a documentary that interviews film scholars as well as the people who knew him best – those who worked with him on his films – in a fascinating and insightful piece that also features excerpts from American productions of Fassbinder’s plays as well as footage of Hanna Schygulla performing a Fassbinder inspired one-woman show.
Katzelmacher – 6th December
KATZELMACHER is more in line with Fassbinder’s stage efforts, a character study and mini-melodrama in which the dynamic between a group of friends is radically altered by the arrival of an immigrant worker.
Effi Briest – 6th December
Rainer Werner Fassbinder had been wanting to adapt Theodor Fontane’s classic German novel EFFI BRIEST ever since he first picked up a film camera. Originally intended to be his feature debut, the project took years to get off the ground and finally surfaced in 1974, in the process becoming his most expensive production to date as well as one of his most ambitious.
Dubbed ‘the German Madame Bovary’, EFFI BRIEST tells of a seventeen-year-old girl (played by Hanna Schygulla) who is married off by her parents to a wealthy Baron (Wolfgang Schenk) more than twice her age. Lonely and dissatisfied, she seeks solace in the companionship of her husband’s friend, Major Crampas (Ulli Lommel).
Beautifully recreating late nineteenth century Germany and gorgeously shot in black and white, EFFI BRIEST also serves to showcase Schygulla, here giving her first star performance for Fassbinder.
Chinese Roulette – 6th December
Set in an isolated house during a weekend break, is like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None without the murders – a tense psychodrama in which infidelities are revealed and families breakdown. At its centre is nouvelle vague icon Anna Karina, a rare outsider alongside the familiar Fassbinder faces.
8-Bit Ghost Hop – 20th December
A mysterious signal from the moon summons strange ghosts.
Attackazoids! – 20th December
A woman struggles for survival in a ghostly world besieged by giant killer robots.
Attackazoids, Deploy!! – 20th December
War is declared on the off world settlement. Everyone from suburban homemakers to super scientists are uniting to deploy an army of the giant killer robot Attackazoids.
Casket Climber Insect God – 20th December
After death, Teeth Man spends time around his casket with a monstrous insect and other horrid creatures before transforming into one himself.
Electrical Skeketal – 20th December
A refreshing return to the “B” movies of the 50s and 60s, this music video film tells the horrific and hilarious events one night in a deserted graveyard.
Martian Precursor – 20th December
A helpless man is tormented by visions from Mars.
The Transmission – 20th December
While a storm rages outside and Henry drinks his bottle of absinthe, he receives a television transmission – from his dead wife.
Welcome to Dignity Pastures – 20th December
Dignity Pastures Funeral Home takes great pride in assisting families to grieve their lost and will give you a respectable and dignified service…no matter what happens.
Memorial – 20th December
An experimental fantasia that features nautical, cardiac and photographic imagery as our way of paying tribute to our late father.
Don’t Lose Your Head – 20th December
When the stress of life is too much for Ruby, she falls prey to a strangely familiar Witch who steals her head.
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