Despite a recent foray in to the US market, after a successful fundraising campaign, Arrow Films have really been known as one of the best suppliers of shiny discs for home entertainment enthusiasts here in the UK for the past few years.
There HAVE been mistakes along the way (a few seconds missing from Zombie Flesh Eaters caused by the branching options, I believe, and the sepia prologue of The Beyond being black and white are two of the most notable examples, although fans are still eagerly awaiting news on the seconds that were snipped from their recent, otherwise excellent, release of Shivers).
But the rest of their output more than makes up for these mistakes. And, to be fair, the company is very good at communicating with customers and arranging replacement discs when bad things happen. They also set their RRP with a nice balance of pre-order value and the ability to supply other sellers with copies (unlike, for example, 88 Films and their American Ninja debacle, which I have yet to forgive them for - long story short, the release date was mucked around, the pricing was set incorrectly, with them denying that they were responsible for, ummmm, the pricing of their own product, and their were people very unhappy when the price was slashed not long after release).
Having always been there for the horror fans, with particular attention paid to the likes of Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, and George A. Romero, to name a few, Arrow have now managed to surpass even those earlier releases with some recent output that will take your breath away. Or, to be fair, Arrow may have always offered such a range of quality and variety without me noticing, due to me having my head all too often buried in the horror section anyway.
You might struggle to find it at a decent price now but The Scarlet Box Hellraiser Bluray set is just about the best thing I've ever seen. Mind you, that's another horror release. As was their recent boxset of two very different movies based on The Black Cat. And their gothic Vincent Price set. And much more.
The REAL draw lately comes from their increasingly interesting journeys into releases that aren't such an easy sell. Next year will see a release of a Rainer Werner Fassbinder collection, perfect both for newcomers like me and fans who want the films displayed as beautifully as possible. There's also the Nikkatsu Diamnond Guys set (Vol 1), some more blaxploitation (Sheba, Baby is coming), the apparent beauty of the Battles Without Honour and Humanity set, and a little something entitled Kiju Yoshida: Love + Anarchism.
Are Arrow Films the only people looking after cinephiles in such a good way? No. Some fans may like to also check out the aforementioned 88 Films (I have also enjoyed Blastfighter and Night Train Murders from them) and there are some real gems being released by Eureka! And let's not forget the BFI range.
Any why am I writing all this? Well, I've been overwhelmed by awesome releases lately. That's one reason. I wanted to celebrate their greatness. The second reason, I haven't written anything here for a while. Third, and perhaps most important, is the fact that more and more people should be encouraged to use these guys and order direct from them. Arrow Films, in particular, offer both rewards points and also send orders out earlier, whenever possible, to those who have ordered from their site.
Oh, and as Christmas is coming up, you may also want to know where to get the best sweaters and tshirts. It's right here - darkbunnytees.