Arrow: December Blu-ray releases guarantee happy holidays

Kevin Bacon (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)
Kevin Bacon (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images) /

Arrow Video’s December announcements include giant desert worms and crazy samurai-gangster-zombie action. What’s not to like?

For horror fans who like their media physical and gift-wrapped under a tree, the holidays are indeed “the most wonderful time of the year.” Many boutique labels hold Black Friday sales to build anticipation for the impending season of well-intentioned collector consumerism. And while some could (and will) argue that Arrow Video’s December titles are “too few” or “too mainstream,” I think they’re just too…perfect.

Arrow is dedicated to giving proper treatment to genre cinema, with pristine A/V remastering, Criterion-level bonus features, and consistently eye-catching variant art and packaging (their Herschell Gordon Lewis box set is a marvel). So who cares if the movie is a mainstream favorite (like, say, Pitch Black) or some obscure work from Joe D’Amato?

On that note, their December titles offer a bit from both columns.

First up: the hugely entertaining Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward versus giant desert worms creature-feature romp, Tremors. Not only will the film be released in 4K and Blu-ray editions (available separately), this limited-edition run is brimming over with supplements, including:

  • New audio commentary by director Ron Underwood and writers/producers Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson
  • New audio commentary by Jonathan Melville, author of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors
  • Making Perfection, a brand new documentary by Universal Pictures interviewing key cast and crew from the franchise (including Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross, Ariana Richards, Ron Underwood, Brent Maddock & S.S. Wilson, among many others) and revisiting the original locations

Sweetening the package are additional items of collector interest: two posters, replica lobby cards and a 60-page book.

The next release is one I’ve known about, but never seen: Ryuhei Kitamura‘s Versus. Based on the trailer alone, it looks like a wild mix of samurai action, gangster intrigue, and zombie gore. (Heck, there’s even a brief nod to Bruce Campbell getting hurtled through the woods in Evil Dead 2.)

The Arrow edition includes two cuts of the film (the original 2000 version and 2004’s Ultimate Versus, with “over 10 minutes of new and revised footage”). The special features are voluminous, but here are a few to get your pulse racing:

  • Audio commentary by Kitamura and producer Keishiro Shin
  • Audio commentary by Kitamura and the cast and crew
  • New visual essay on the career of Kitamura by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
  • Behind Versus, a two-part behind-the-scenes documentary exploring the film’s production

Versus will be released on December 8, with Tremors to follow on December 15. Both are available for pre-order through DiabolikDVD.

Next. DVD. dark

What Arrow editions will you be bringing home? Let us know in the comments.