BATTLE ROYALE & DONNIE DARKO 4K UHD & Much More From Arrow Video This April!
Arrow Video has revealed their April releases for 2021 and it's safe to say that this is going to be a huge month for cult film fans. Perhaps the biggest release of the month is the UK-only 4K UHD premiere of Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale in an incredible looking limited edition set that looks to seriously outpace all previous editions (hint: 4K UHD is region free, so if you don't care about Battle Royale II, which only appears on standard Blu-ray in the set, and you live outside of the UK consider placing your order!).
Also making the 4K jump is Donnie Darko, another long out of print film from Arrow that had been selling for big bucks on the secondary market, this one will be available in the US, UK, and Canada. Also appearing in all three territories is Nico Mastorakis debut feature, Death Has Blue Eyes, Jack Hill's Switchblade Sisters, and a new Steelbook release for Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.
Available in the UK and Canada, sadly not the US, will be Justin McConnell's excellent filmmaking documentary, Clapboard Jungle. We reviewed the film in 2020 and it is an astoundingly personal warts-and-all look into what it takes to get an independent film made, and I've been told that the bonus materials are pretty incredible as well. Check the links below for our review of this amazing film.
Anyway, complete release details are below, check them out for yourself. It's going to be an expensive Spring.
BATTLE ROYALE (4K UHD & Blu-ray UK)
The kids of Third Year Class-B Shiroiwa Junior High School are back, in a brand new UHD restoration of the classic cult shocker adapted from the controversial novel by Koushun Takami.
Presenting an alternate dystopian vision of turn-of-the-millennium Japan, Battle Royale follows the 42 junior high school students selected to take part in the government’s annual Battle Royale programme, established as an extreme method of addressing concerns about juvenile delinquency. Dispatched to a remote island, they are each given individual weapons (ranging from Uzis and machetes to pan lids and binoculars), food and water, and the order to go out and kill one other. Every player is fitted with an explosive collar around their neck, imposing a strict three-day time limit on the deadly games in which there can only be one survivor. Overseeing the carnage is ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Hana-bi, Zatoichi) as the teacher pushed to the edge by his unruly charges.
Playing like a turbo-charged hybrid of Lord of the Flies and The Most Dangerous Game, the final completed work by veteran yakuza film director Kinji Fukasaku (Battles without Honor and Humanity, Graveyard of Honor) helped launch a new wave of appreciation for Asian cinema in the 21st century. Also included in the set is the incendiary sequel Battle Royale II, the directing debut of Kenta Fukasaku (after his father passed away during production), in which a new class of delinquents are recruited by the government to hunt down the survivor of the deadly games of the first film.
4K ULTRA HD LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 4K restoration of the Original Theatrical Version and Special Edition Director's Cut of Battle Royale from the original camera negative by Arrow Films, approved by Kenta Fukasaku
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation of both versions of Battle Royale in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the Battle Royale II: Requiem theatrical cut and the Battle Royale II: Revenge extended cut
- Original 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles
- Original soundtrack CD for Battle Royale [Limited Edition Exclusive]
- Kinji Fukasaku: Man of Rage, an exclusive 120-page monograph on the director by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes [Limited Edition Exclusive]
- Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new essays by Matt Alt and Anne Billson and archival articles
- Exclusive Battle Royale collectors' Trump Card set [Limited Edition Exclusive]
- Reversible poster with new artwork [Limited Edition Exclusive]
DISC ONE - BATTLE ROYALE: ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION (4K UHD BLU-RAY)
- Brand new audio commentary by critics Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp
- Battle Royale at 20: Back to School, an exclusive new 42-minute documentary about the legacy of Battle Royale
- Bloody Education: Kenta Fukasaku on Battle Royale, a brand new exclusive interview with the film's producer and screenwriter
- The Making of Battle Royale: The Experience of 42 High School Students, documentary featuring footage from the shooting of the film and cast and crew discussions
- The Slaughter of 42 High School Students, a look behind the scenes of the shoot
- Behind the scenes footage with comments from the cast and crew
- Filming on Set, a look at the shooting of key scenes from the film
- Conducting Battle Royale with the Warsaw National Philharmonic, archive footage of Masamichi Amano conducting the soundtrack rehearsal
DISC TWO - BATTLE ROYALE: SPECIAL EDITION DIRECTOR'S CUT (4K UHD BLU-RAY)
- Shooting the Special Edition, on-location featurette with footage of the cast and crew reuniting for the shoot of the Special Edition
- Royale Rehearsals, featurette on Kinji Fukasaku directing the film's young cast
- Masamichi Amano Conducts Battle Royale, archive featurette
- Takeshi Kitano Interview, filmed on location with the Japanese star
- The Correct Way to Fight in Battle Royale, instructional video explaining the rules of the game
- The Correct Way to Make 'Battle Royale': Birthday Version, a new version of the original instructional video made to celebrate Kinji Fukasaku's birthday
- Premiere Press Conference, preceding the film's first public screening
- Tokyo International Film Festival Presentation, with footage from the gala screening at the Tokyo International Film Festival
- Opening Day at the Marunouchi Toei Movie Theatre, archive footage of the Japanese opening
- Special Effects Comparison showing how the film's violent killings were created
- Original Trailers and TV spots
- Kinji Fukasaku trailer reel, a collection of original trailers for Fukasaku's classic yakuza films from the 70s
- Image Gallery
DISC THREE - BATTLE ROYALE II: REQUIEM (BLU-RAY)
- Bloody Graduation: Kenta Fukasaku on Battle Royale II, an exclusive brand new interview with the director and screenwriter of Battle Royale II
- Behind the Scenes of Battle Royale II, on-location featurette during the film's shoot
- Rehearsals footage of the auditions and pre-production rehearsals
- War and Struggle, featurette of the cast discussing their thoughts on war
- Alternate Piano Scene
- The Recording of the Music Score, archive footage of Masamichi Amano and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
- Opening Gala with The Orchestra, featuring a public introduction by the director and main cast
- Battle Royale II Premiere, a featurette on the film's first screening at the Marunouchi Toei Movie Theatre
- Trailers and TV spots
- Image gallery
DISC FOUR - BATTLE ROYALE II: REVENGE (BLU-RAY)
- A Tribute to Kinji Fukasaku, featuring scenes of Kinji Fukasaku on the location of Battle Royale II
- Kinji Fukasaku's 73rd Birthday: A Speech by Kenta Fukasaku, paying public tribute to his father
DISC FIVE - BATTLE ROYALE (SOUNDTRACK CD)
CD featuring the complete score to Battle Royale by Masamichi Amano and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra