August 5 starts the month with a trio of films from Italy, all bathed in bullets and blood, available to subscribers in the US, UK, Canada and Ireland.
Horny priests and self-flagellating nuns abound in Francesco Mazzei’s The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive, as police commissioner Franco Boito (Renzo Montagnani, Massacre in Rome) investigates the brutal murder of a young clergyman, only to enter into an affair with the dead man’s lover (Bedy Moratti, Calling All Police Cars).
In Giuseppe Bennati’s The Killer Reserved Nine Seats, an assortment of wealthy degenerates – including Italian cult mainstays Andrea Scotti (Django, Prepare a Coffin) and Howard Ross (The Pyjama Girl Case) – answer the summons of an eccentric nobleman (Chris Avram, A Bay of Blood) and assemble in the theatre attached to his ancestral home, only to find themselves trapped in the decaying building while a savage killer picks them off Agatha Christie-style!
In Silvio Amadio’s Smile Before Death, familicide with a sprinkling of Oedipal love is the order of the day when teenager Nancy (Jenny Tamburi, The Suspicious Death of a Minor) returns home to discover the apparent suicide of her mother, and quickly comes to suspect that her stepfather (Silvano Tranquilli, The Bloodstained Butterfly) and his mistress (Rosalba Neri, The French Sex Murders) are to blame.
Beginning August 5, FIIIGHT! (UK/US/CA/IRE) is a curated Season of films showcasing the best scraps on ARROW, inspired by the bloody beatdowns the brand is known for.
Sometimes you find out about some guys who did a number on your husband when he was just a little boy, or your brother disappears while investigating a drugs smuggling ring. You may be getting menaced by a tampon monster from another dimension, or even by a bunch of zombies and gangsters who’ve interrupted your prison break.
Maybe mutant frogs want to stop you from impregnating a harem of beauties in a post-apocalyptic hellscape, some bad dudes interrupt you and your new wife’s bubble bath, your wife is being held captive by a gang of martial arts masters, or your master’s dying wish was for you to unmask a gang of poisonous kung fu experts?
Well, what are you gonna do about it? Well, you didn’t start it, but you’re damn well going to finish it. Sometimes you just gotta FIIIGHT!
Titles include: Versus, The Sword and the Claw, Sister Street Fighter, BFF Girls.
August 12 kicks off with Joe Begos (The Mind’s Eye, VFW) third feature Bliss (UK/US/CA/IRE): In need of creative inspiration, a professionally stagnant and hard-partying Los Angeles artist (Dora Madison, “Chicago Fire”, “Friday Night Lights”) recklessly indulges in a series of drug binges. As the narcotics fly out of control, so does her newfound and inexplicable, yet unquenchable, craving for blood.
August 12’s Season is The Subspecies Collection (UK/US/CA/IRE), ARROW’s latest film series from Charles Band. This vampiric quintet is soaked in blood, packed full of practical effects and features the four films of Subspecies series, as well as the spin-off Vampire Journals.
Shot on location in Romania, the Subspecies films tell the tale of a young woman drawn into a vicious vampire struggle for power in the wake of the death of the vampire King, played by Phantasm’s Angus Scrimm. With stop motion animation and rod puppets used to portray the terrifying titular creatures, can Michelle defeat the evil Radu, who can use his blood to create monstrous minions known as Subspecies?
Titles include: Subspecies, Bloodstone: Subspecies II, Bloodlust: Subspecies III, Vampire Journals.
On August 19, ARROW turns subscribers over to the mercy of the animal kingdom, with a selection of films that pits man against beast. The rats reign supreme in Ben (US/CA) and Willard (US/CA). In Night of the Bloody Apes (US/CA), a mad scientist who transplants a gorilla’s heart into his dying son, saving his life but transforming him into a monstrous, ape-like creature who embarks on a rape and murder spree before being brought to justice by a luchadora.
In The Beast in Heat (US/CA), the SS pursue their inhuman treatment of captured partisans in efforts to force them to betray their comrades, while Fraulein Krast, a sadistic biologist, concentrates her efforts on the womenfolk with refined tortures and humiliation, leaving them to the mercy of a sex-crazed half-man, half-beast she has created with experimental injections. And as advancing Allied forces approach the village, Krast herself becomes a victim of her own fiendish rituals.
In Meridian (UK/US/CA/IRE), Catherine returns to her family castle in Italy after her father’s death and gets caught in a love triangle between a man and a creature of the night. With the help of her nanny and a ghost of a young girl, Catherine discovers a curse that threatens their lives.
The carnage continues with August 19th’s Season: Tooth and Claw (UK/US/CA/IRE).
Snapping teeth, deadly stingers, razor-sharp claws, leathery wings, furry death grips and even slimy trails all over you – the animals of the ARROW menagerie are gross and deadly, and Tooth and Claw is a curated Season full of all of the critters that you’d least like to meet vying for your attention and probably the meat off of your bones too.
Rampant apes, gnawing rats, flapping blood-sucking bats, slithering constricting snakes, brutal bears, hungry sharks, caustic jellyfish, killer crocs — and even a chihuahua with a seniority complex — it’s dangerous out there, so best to just stay inside with us and watch everyone else get ripped apart… when animals attack!
Titles include: Sting of Death, Mighty Peking Man, Meridian, Reptile House.
August 26 tops off the month with four films exclusively for North American subscribers: the psychological cat-and-mouse duology Running Out of Time, featuring hostage negotiator Ho Sheung-sang (Lau Ching-wan, Black Mask, Mad Detective) in a race against time against master criminals. They are joined by the necrophiliac nightmare The Corpse of Anna Fritz and the gristly slasher Dead Kids.
For the final August Season, ARROW turned over the curation to restoration heroes Vinegar Syndrome, giving them the keys to Arrow’s vaults to put together a collection of their favorite films on the service.
So, here is Vinegar Syndrome co-founder Joe Rubin with a half-dozen of his top picks: all now showing on ARROW. Take it away, Joe!
“From the bounty of riches offered here, I’ve selected a few favorites, Each of these films is not only a standout in its genre, but a masterful piece of exploitation/horror filmmaking.”
Titles include: The Witch Who Came from the Sea, The Child, Toys are Not for Children, The Baby.