On June 8, Arrow will kick off their June lineup with the release of The Stylist, a sleek slasher about a lonely hairstylist obsessed with the lives of her clients and driven to a world of murder. The film was a hit on the festival circuit, earning awards and nominations for director Jill Gevargizian and star Najarra Townsend. The limited-edition 2-disc Blu-ray includes the film and soundtrack, plus a selection of bonus features including the original short film that inspired the movie.
June 22 will see Arrow release two titles. First up is Yasuzô Masumura’s revenge tale, Irezumi. Otsuya is forced into a life of prostitution and marked with a spider tattoo to signify she is the property of a man. But Otsuya fights back and seeks vengeance on the men that have mistreated her. Restored in 4K and making its debut release outside of Japan, Irezumi is a landmark film featuring some of the country’s most legendary talent in front and behind the camera.
Also releasing June 22 is Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977. This limited-edition box set is not only a must-own for fans poliziotteschi but the perfect starter kit for those looking to get familiar with the Italian action genre. These five hyper-violent films come from some of Italy’s best genre directors and feature a who’s who of Euro-cult stars. All five films are restored from the original camera negatives and special features include brand-new interviews with cast, crew, and film historians. The set includes Savage Three, Like Rabid Dogs, Colt 38 Special Squad, Highway Racer, and No, The Case is Happily Resolved.
And finally, Sam Peckinpah’s Major Dundee gets a Limited Edition 2-disc Blu-ray release on June 29. Set during the American Civil War, the film was panned during its 1965 release, but has seen reappraisal in recent years and is now considered to be one the most violent and realistic westerns ever made. Starring a slew of icons including Charlton Heston and Richard Harris, and featuring the beautiful cinematography of Sam Leavitt, Major Dundee is more than worthy of a second life. This 2-disc includes both the original theatrical release and the 136-minute extended cut.
The Stylist (2020)
Obsession gets a makeover in The Stylist, a deliciously twisted slice of female-led psychological horror, nominated for the New Visions Award for Best Motion Picture at the 2020 Sitges International Film Festival and based on co-writer/director Jill Gevargizian’s award-winning short film of the same name.
Watch The Stylist Trailer:
We all dream of being someone else… but for Claire (Najarra Townsend, Contracted), that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Hairstylist by day, serial killer and collector of scalps by night, Claire’s lonely existence is thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia (Brea Grant, After Midnight, Lucky), asks her to style her hair for her wedding day. Increasingly fixated on Olivia’s seemingly flawless life, Claire vows to lock up her scalp collection and change her ways for good – only to discover that repressing your deadly desires is easier said than done… Featuring striking visuals and pitch-perfect performances from its talented cast, The Stylist offers viewers “a delicately deranged glimpse into social anxiety and loneliness” (Slashfilm) – a bold and mesmerizing debut feature from a filmmaker to watch.
Years Of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977 (Limited Edition)
The 1970s were a time of intense uncertainty and instability in Italy. Political corruption and widespread acts of left and right-wing terrorism, alongside a breakdown in social cohesion and a loss of trust in public institutions such as the government and police, created a febrile atmosphere of cynicism, paranoia and unexploded rage.
Years Of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977 (Limited Edition) Trailer:
Throughout this period, these sentiments found expression in a series of brutal, often morally ambiguous crime thrillers which tapped into the atmosphere of violence and instability that defined the so-called Years of Lead. This box set gathers five films from the heyday of the “poliziotteschi” – the umbrella term used to describe this diverse body of films. In Vittorio Salerno’s Savage Three (1975) and Mario Imperoli’s Like Rabid Dogs (1976), random acts of violence committed by vicious young sociopaths threaten the fragile fabric of respectable society. In Massimo Dallamano’s Colt 38 Special Squad (1976) and Stelvio Massi’s Highway Racer (1977), renegade cops battling against red tape and political corruption turn to new and morally dubious methods to dispense justice.
Finally, class dynamics are explored in Salerno’s No, the Case is Happily Resolved (1973) as an innocent man finds himself under suspicion for a savage crime committed by a highly respected member of society. Featuring an impressive line-up of Euro-cult stars, including Joe Dallesandro (The Climber), Ivan Rassimov (Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key), Maurizio Merli (Violent City) and Enrico Maria Salerno (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), this collection of stylish, hard-hitting Euro-crime thrillers showcases the range and breadth of the genre and is a must-have for newcomers and grizzled veterans alike.
Drawn from the pen of one of Japan’s foremost writers of the 20th century, Junichiro Tanizaki (A Fool’s Love, The Makioka Sisters), Irezumi is a stylish tale of lust, betrayal and revenge directed by Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Blind Beast).
Watch Irezum Trailer:
Masumura’s muse Ayako Wakao (The Blue Sky Maiden, Red Angel) stars as Otsuya, the daughter of a rich merchant, who is tempted by her lover, Shinsuke, a lowly employee of her father’s, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya’s beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi, a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya’s back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence.
Available for the first time outside of Japan in a new 4K restoration, Irezumi sports some of Japanese cinema’s most respected talent of its day both in front of and behind the camera. The bewitching cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu) captures the sensual atmosphere of the period setting, while the script by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba, Kuroneko) lends a modern twist to this feverish meditation on obsession and the act of creation.
Major Dundee (2-Disc Limited Edition) (1965)
After making his first bonafide classic in Ride the High Country, director Sam Peckinpah took a step towards the epic with Major Dundee. The film would, in many ways, define the rest of his career both on screen and off, as the drama behind the camera matched the action in front of it.
Watch Major Dundee (2-Disc Limited Edition) Trailer:
Charlton Heston stars as Major Amos Dundee, a vainglorious Union Cavalry officer, who mounts an expedition to hunt down Apache war chief Sierra Charriba. Building his own army of criminals, ex-slaves and Confederate POWs – among them one Captain Ben Tyreen (Richard Harris), whose intense former friendship with Dundee is tainted with a sense of betrayal on both sides – Dundee heads into Mexico, his eye fixed firmly on a last shot at greatness.
Legendarily acerbic, Major Dundee would be the first time that Peckinpah had a movie taken away from him. While a director’s cut may be lost to us, this Limited Edition shows us the thrilling, morally complex epic that Peckinpah was aiming for. Beautifully shot and with a stellar supporting cast including James Coburn, Warren Oates, and L.Q. Jones, it remains a stunning achievement and an essential experience for anyone interested in the life and cinema of “Bloody Sam.”