Witches, Vampires and Lost Italian Horror Come Home this October
The spooky season has officially arrived and Arrow Films will satisfy horror hounds everywhere with movies that usher in the scariest time of the year.
First up is Two Witches on October 18, the debut feature film from Paris-born director Pierre Tsigaridis. This throwback to classic European horror is split into two terrifying tales of witchery. The first focuses on a young mother-to-be who is convinced she has received the “evil eye” from an old hag she comes across while out at dinner. In a misguided attempt to counteract the evil eye, she consults a Ouija board with the help of some friends, resulting in the release of dark forces. Meanwhile, a grad student and her new roommate grapple with rising tensions after a violent incident involving a man one of them brought home.
Two Witches premiered at the 2021 Grimfest to positive reviews. Voices from the Balcony calls Two Witches “a fun and scary ride that includes several disturbing and disturbingly gory moments.”
The Arrow Blu-ray release includes a cauldron’s worth of bonus content, including multiple commentary tracks, interviews, test footage, and more!
Also being released on October 18 is Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales Of Terror. This highly-anticipated box set brings four horror films from Italy’s Golden Decade to Blu-ray for the first time. This limited-edition set comes jam-packed with special features, including an 80-page book featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rob Talbot, Jerome Reuter, Rod Barnett, and Kimberly Lindbergs.
In 1965’s Lady Morgan’s Vengeance, a murdered woman returns as a ghost hellbent on getting revenge on the treacherous husband who killed her. Directed by Massimo Pupillo, Lady Morgan’s Vengeance is a seldom-seen piece of Italian horror eager to find a new audience.
Alberto De Martino’s The Blancheville Monster borrows elements from a variety of Edgar Allen Poe short stories to craft an early ’60s horror film that is more akin to the American-produced films of Roger Corman than the European horror films of the day. Most notably, the film takes its plot from “The Fall of the House of Usher,” as a crazed count fears his young daughter will fall victim to the family curse. With a script written by Spaghetti Western legend Bruno Corbucci, The Blancheville Monster is a hidden gem that makes for great late-night viewing.
A young Franco Nero stars in Mino Guerrini’s The Third Eye as a wealthy count that lives with his overbearing and extremely jealous mother. The count heads down a spiral of madness after his fiancée dies in an accident that may be not be an accident at all. The Third Eye is particularly notable for initially being rejected by Italian censors. The film’s rejection notice claimed it was “contrary to the public moral,” citing “scenes of almost full female nudity and excessively graphic intercourses” and “episodes of necrophilia, close-ups of horrific scenes with blood and brutal violence.”
Wrapping the set up is Damiano Damiani’s The Witch. Based on a novel by Carlos Fuentes, The Witch is the story of an historian who encounters what he believes to be supernatural forces at work while attempting to translate ancient erotic literature. Rosanna Schiaffino received a Best Actress nomination from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for her performance as Aura in the film.
Rounding out Arrow’s October lineup is The Count Yorga Collection, hitting stores on October 25. This stunning 2-disc box set features both Count Yorga, Vampire and its sequel, The Return of Count Yorga.
In the 1970 original, Robert Quarry stars as the titular Count Yorga, hoping to quench his thirst for blood on the streets of Los Angeles. After assisting a young couple with a séance, he bites one of them and they begin to suspect that he may very well be a vampire. Originally intended to be a soft-core skin flick, Quarry convinced the producers to make a straight horror film. This convincing paid off, with Count Yorga become one of the most popular horror films of the decade and Quarry’s performance earning critical acclaim, with The New York Times calling him “the best chief vampire” in years.
A year later, Quarry reprised his role in The Return of Count Yorga. This time, Count Yorga is determined to find a new wife while continuing to feed his bevy of female vampires. Much like the first film, The Return of Count Yorga received nearly universal praise. Gene Siskel called the film “extremely frightening,” stating that in comparison to the first film it was “better photographed, better acted and containing more mayhem a minute.”
Arrow’s Count Yorga set is stacked with bonus material, including new audio commentary tracks, new interviews, archived radio spots and trailers, and much, much more!