Kick off the new year with Arrow’s latest round of releases beginning on January 18 with Mario Bava’s Shock. The legendary Daria Nicolodi stars as Dora, a woman that goes through extensive electroshock treatment and then moves into her old home with her young son and her new husband. While in the home, she’s tormented by the memories of her dead first husband. Is she experiencing supernatural events associated with a haunted house or has she merely lost her grip on reality? Released in the United States as Beyond the Door II, Shock was the last theatrical film Bava would release before his untimely passing in 1980. The Terror Trap praised Shock for containing “all the stylish sequences” Bava is known for and “a handful of disturbingly graphic sequences.” Arrow presents Shock with a brand-new 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative. This new restoration features Italian and English soundtracks and newly translated English subtitles. Special features include new audio commentary, new interviews with co-writers Lamberto Bava and Dardano Sacchetti, a video essay, and much more!
Also releasing on January 18 is Red Angel from director Yasuzo Masumura. Red Angel takes a look at the horrors of war through the eyes of Sakura Nishi (Ayako Wakao), a young field nurse on the front lines in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. While tending the wounds of soldiers injured in battle, Nishi must also be strong enough to deal with their unstable mental state and unwanted sexual advances. Jeffrey M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid praised Red Angel as “one of the most brutal portraits of war ever filmed,” while Don Willmott of Filmcritic.com called it “one of the most powerful anti-war films you’ll ever see.” Arrow’s Blu-ray release of Red Angel contains a high-definition film presentation with the original uncompressed Japanese audio. Special features include a brand-new audio commentary with Japanese cinema scholar David Desser, a new film introduction by Tony Rayns and a new visual essay from Jonathan Rosenbaum.First pressings will also include an illustrated booklet with new writing from Irene Gonzalez-Lopez.
Arrow’s final release of the month comes on January 25 in the form of Sleep. After being plagued by horrific nightmares of a place she has never been, Marlene (Sandra Hüller) suffers a mental breakdown in a remote village and is placed in a psychiatric ward. Marlene’s daughter Mona (Gro Swantje Kohlhof) follows after her, uncovers dark family secrets, and reveals a curse that threatens her life. This debut film from director Michael Venus earned German Film Critics Association Award nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Feature Film Debut, and Best Editing. Currently, Sleep holds a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Lindsay Traves of CGMagazine awarded Sleep 8 out of 10, writing that the film is “a stunning tale of inherited trauma manifesting as nightmares and the work one has to do to conquer what cannot be physically escaped.” Arrow presents Sleep on Limited Edition Blu-ray for the first time with special features that include an audio commentary track with authors Kim Newman and Sean Hogan, a visual essay from film scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, a conversation between director Venus and star Kohlhof, and a whole lot more!