Summer time next to autumn is my favourite time of year, the sun is shining (most days at least) while vast quantities of cider are consumed at every outdoor festival known throughout England. One festival which is at the forefront of my filmic radar is FrightFest, which to be honest seems to be getting better as a horror film festival, but is still quite frankly a bit rubbish (show some forgotten horror classics damnit!) ;for if it was not for the screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre I probably would not bother; but there is light at the end of the tunnel for there are several events (and as sad as it sounds dates I have pencilled in my calendar) which seem to be making up for this and all because of a small British DVD company.
The company in question is Arrow Video who are quite frankly paving the way for all future horror releases, it really has not been a better time to be a horror fan. Now the reason I am generally rambling on about this company is that,to be perfectly honest, continue to blow my mind with each and every DVD the release. Never before have I been anticipating each and every release as much as I have done with these remastered horror gems, it is like I become an excitable child each and every time I have bought and unwrapped the cellophane from the case, savouring each and every moment before I place the now sacred object into my DVD player.
I have tried to reason with my actions or at the very least tried to come up with a similar relation to these emotions, so far the best I have been able to related it to (for those that do not appreciate horror….the fools!) is when a woman drools over a pair of shoes in a shop window, you relish every moment leading up to purchasing then wearing them. That excitement is what the equivalent must be, it has to be or I might possibly have gone utterly bonkers; and the more I start to read back this paragraph the more I think I am.
Thank the GoreFather for this brilliant company because for every respectable horror fan (yes we are believe it or not) those dirty video nasties are now being released UNCUT and amazingly restored, it seems Arrow Video are the new kings of fine horror. For years we have had to be content with subpar releases or savagely cut pieces of incomprehensible rubbish, until now. All of those video nasties which made waves with those angry Regan-Era mothers in America and our own Thatcherites in England, have finally been given high quality releases on DVD (with some special editions on Bluray) with some of these films finally seeing the light of day in good ol’blighty. Ironic that it was during the last recession these where banned and now (finally coming full circle in this recession) they are fully uncut and available for viewing, there is almost a bittersweet feeling don’t you think?
Anyway on to the DVDs themselves for once I will actually be talking about the presentation that Arrow has put into these high quality releases, and they certainly do not disappoint these are DVDs made by horror fans for the fans. So far the back catalogue has become incredibly extensive (considering the first was released under a year ago) and includes a bevy of blisteringly violent cult classics and old video nasties.
Each of these releases are lovingly crafted by expert horror fans, what more could other equally depraved and like mined horror fans want. When they released their first few DVDs they became a company to watch, now they really are starting to blossom with each new release. What started as just a few extras and a reversible sleeve which contained the original video art work, has now transpired into four different covers for each title, collectable postcards (because they are better then a stills gallery), slipcases, double sided posters and two discs jam packed with gooey horror brilliance.
I hasten to use this word but it really is a serious horror buffs “Wet-dream” , not only that but the company actually listen to their client base through their Cult Labs Forum (personally the best forum I have used) which covers all of the releases with glimpses at the artwork , specs on the extras etc. It has quickly hooked me and quite honestly I can not get enough of this yummy horror goodness; so good are they in fact that I have branched out into their sister companies releases (Shameless DVD) which release the down right despicable video nasties and again I am hooked.
For any Horror fan these releases and this company continue to get better and better, and I am genuinely so excited that I can not sit still for the next release….seriously who actually needs narcotics or shoe obsessions, when long neglected horror gems are getting their second chance on DVD. I am so proud.