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Bullseye! Arrow Films’ exploitation, Italian horror, spaghetti westerns, drive-in sleaze & more, now on Night Flight Plus!
Night Flight are excited to announce our brand new collection of Arrow Video titles, featuring grindhouse cult classics in numerous “Midnight Movie” cult genres — including exploitation, horror, spaghetti westerns, NSFW drive-in sleaze and more — which you can now see streaming over on Night Flight Plus.
Arrow Video is a unique boutique video imprint that began releasing restored retro titles in the UK in 2009, starting with Lucio Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery and Lamberto Bava’s Macabre, and since then they’ve expanded to a full library of beautiful DVD/Blu-ray collections, many of which we plan to have featured on our Night Flight Plus channel on an ongoing basis in the future.
These seven titles are the first Arrow Videos titles we’re able to offer up to our subscribers for streaming:
Cemetery Without Crosses — aka The Rope and the Colt; Une corde… un Colt… and Cimitero senza croci — is a spaghetti western released in 1969 as a French/Italian/Spanish co-production.
It was co-written and directed by Robert Hossein, who also stars here as “Manuel.” Hossein is probably best known to English-speaking audiences as the actor playing “Rémy Grutter” in Jules Dassin’s 1955 French crime thriller, Rififi.
Cemetery feels like a French-language homage to Italian director Sergio Leone’s Dollars films (the film is even dedicated to him), and fans of spaghetti westerns will likely enjoy Hossein’s dark, sometimes melancholic spin on the genre’s familiar revenge storyline.
Cemetery Without Crosses co-stars French actress Michèle Mercier (you may know her from Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath) as “Maria Caine,” who has just one wish: to avenge her husband’s death after he was lynched by bandits.
She turns to an old friend, the lonely gunfighter Manuel, who always slips on a single black leather glove just before another gunfight starts to go down.
The film’s taglines tell part of the rest of the story:
He always had to be first to shoot. Not out of a thirst for money or revenge… something else drove him to dare, to fight. By now, time was running out. There was no time to think, to live… there was only time to hate and die. A rope was ready to be tightened. A coffin was ready to be shut. A six-shooter was ready to judge. An entire desert was ready to become a great… CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES.
Cemetery Without Crosses also features an evocative background score by Hossein’s father, composer André Hossein, and the movie’s theme song, “The Rope and the Colt,” was sung by Sixtie cult icon Scott Walker in his distinctive baritone.
The film also features Guido Lollobrigida, Daniele Vargas, Serge Marquand, Pierre Hatet, Philippe Baronnet, Pierre Collet, Ivano Staccioli, Béatrice Altariba, Michel Lemoine, and Anne-Marie Balin.
Dark Water — 仄暗い水の底から Honogurai Mizu no soko kara lit, which translates to From the bottom of Dark Water — is a supernatural Japanese paranormal horror flick from director Hideo Nakata, whose earlier films — Ring (1998), and Ring 2 (1999) — were both hugely successful box office hits and later were remade in the U.S. for English-speaking audiences.
Dark Water was also remade, in 2005, by director Walter Salles in a movie starring Jennifer Connelly, but we’ve got the original English-dubbed Japanese film for you to check out in our new Arrow Video collection.
Like many of Nakata’s other films — which have been adapted from, or at least influenced by, writings by Koji Suzuki (Dark Water was based on one of his short stories) — this one is one of those “dead wet girl” movies that have become so popular, especially in Japan.
The plot involves a young woman named “Yoshimi Matsubara” (Hitomi Kuroki/English voice: Shelley Calene-Black), who moves into a rundown and possibly haunted apartment with her six-year old daughter, Ikuko (Rio Kanno/English voice: Gabi Chennisi).
Yoshimi is in the middle is of a custody battle, and under a lot of stress, so when she starts to have visions and begins hearing sounds she can’t explain, her own sanity is called into question.
The film’s atmospheric, haunting cinematography is captured by Junichiro Hayashi, who was the D.P. on both Ring and Pulse, two psychological, supernatural thrillers which brought Nakata to the attention of American cinéastes.
We recently featured Night Flight contributor Josh Hadley’s write-up about New York film director Abel Ferrara — once labeled “the most controversial director in American cinema” for his controversial cult classics, like (Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenantand Welcome to New York) — and his 1979 horror film, The Driller Killer, about an struggling artist Reno (played by Ferrara himself), who is pushed over the edge before he begins randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.
We encourage you to read the post, but in short, Hadley wrote that The Driller Killer was a “true punk film,” a film of “intense power and anger,” and Josh also said it was “almost zen in its calculated bizarreness, violent artistry reeking of an ID run amok.”
One of the memorable things about The Driller Killer was its original 80s-era VHS box cover (see above), which ended up being banned in the UK and is today largely blamed for igniting the “Video Nasties” scare across the pond during that decade, resulting in the Video Recordings Act 1984.
Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon as a grumpy construction worker named Donald who comes up with a unique way to deal with two problems in his life: his nagging wife and the awful meals she’s serving up to him on a nightly basis.
He’s pretty fed up about both, and we bet you can probably tell from the film’s title what his solution is, but for those of you who don’t, we’ll go ahead and spill the beans: he bludgeons her with a pepper grinder and then dismembers and cooks up his wife’s remains in his microwave oven, finding out in the process that she’s actually quite delicious.
The problem now, is, he’s developed a taste for human flesh that he must satisfy with more killings.
Filmmaker Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre — written by Thomas Singer and Craig Muckler and released into U.S. theaters in 1983 — is a bit short for a feature at just over seventy-five minutes long, but it’s packed with lots of black comedy visual gags that will have you rolling on the carpet by its end.
The entire cast — the film also features Loren Schein, Al Troupe, Marla Simon, Claire Ginsberg, Lou Ann Webber, Anna Marlowe — provide a lot of the laughs, but it’s Vernon’s characteristically deadpan performance here that makes this one a tasty treat!
Director Jack Hill’s cinematic debut Pit Stop was originally titled The Winner — which is how the film is still identified on the title card at the beginning — even though it was released as Winning when it hit theater screens. It was then re-titled Pit Stop even though there is no pit stop in the film.
This 1969 low-budget b-movie has been described as “a non-stop crash-o-rama, pitting man against steel on the figure-8 race track,” and it features a recognizable cast of Hollywood acting legends
The movie’s lead is played by actor Richard “Dick” Davalos — you may recognize from East of Eden, Cool Hand Luke and lots of other major motion pictures — as a street racer named “Rick Bowman.”
Bowman falls in with a big-time local racing promoter, “Grant Willard” (Brian Donlevy) who offers him the chance to race on the aforementioned figure-8 track against a loudmouth racer named “Hawk Sidney,” played by the great Sid Haig, who tells us “you gotta be a little dingy to wanna race the figure-8.”
Hawk Sidney: “Now listen here, boy. You know why I’m the winner? Cos I’m the dingy-est there is. So when they see me coming through that intersection, they just naturally back off, cos they know I ain’t gonna stop for nobody. So when you see me coming… you best get out the way. Cos I’m the dingy-est there is! Right?”
Hill — who directed Spider Baby, Coffy, Foxy Brown and lots of other Night Flight faves — made The Winners (Pit Stop) on a shoestring budget, with cooperation from a real Figure 8 Racing Club, meaning all the action we see onscreen is real, i.e. no stunt drivers.
Grant Willard: “I’m trying to find myself a winner. Racing is a tough business. It’s strictly the survival of the fittest. It’s just like war: You got a winner and a loser and nothing in between. I busted a lot of heads, training my company in the Marines. But when they got into action, they led the whole Division in decorations received — what was left of them.”
The movie also features great supporting role performances from Ellen Burstyn, billed as Ellen McRae (you’ll recognize her from The Exorcist and lots of other movies) as “Ellen McLeod,” a frustrated racer’s wife, and Beverly Washburn (Spider Baby) as “Jolene,” but the real star here is all the hot track racing action.
We’ve also got an Italian giallo horror classic for you in our first batch of Arrow Videos.
What Have You Done to Solange? (Cosa avete fatto a Solange?) is a 1972 Italian-West German production, directed by Massimo Dallamano — the cinematographer on a couple of certified classic spaghetti westerns, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More — and the film also features a lush score by the great Ennio Morricone.
Solange — which appeared early in the cycle of 70s giallo films — is a horror tale about a sexually sadistic killer who finds his victims among the girls attending St. Mary’s, so you can expect there’s going to be a lot of Catholic guilt, but the film also features a few salacious subplots involving taboo topics like underage sex and abortion.
You can also expect to see teenage school girls taking showers, running around in Catholic school uniforms, and other scenes described by one movie blogger as “unapologetically sleazy.”
This sordid little tale follows a school teacher “Enrico Rosseni,” known as “Henry” (played by Fabio Testi) who is estranged from his wife.
He’s trying to have a sexual dalliance with 18-year old “Elizabeth” (Cristina Galbó), one of his lovely young students, when they discover another female student being brutally murdered mere yards away.
After other female students begin being targeted by a killer and start showing up dead, Rosseni is pegged as the likely suspect, but the truth turns out to be much more sinister.
Solange is played by actress Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave), who makes her screen debut here.
What Have You Done To Solange? was marketed it Italy as one of the last in a series of films based on The Clue of the New Pin by British novelist, playwright and screenwriter Edgar Wallace, whose mysteries have been adapted for the screen numerous times.
However, the film was sold to a German audience as part of the krimi film genre, which were a type of crime movies (abbreviated from the original German word “Kriminalfilm” or “Kriminalroman”), even though the screenplay for Solange apparently has little to do with the source novel.
The cinematography for the film is gorgeous, lensed by Aristide Massaccesi, who went onto a prolific career as producer and director using the name “Joe D’Amato” for the softcore erotic Black Emmanuelle series of films.
Lastly, we have another Italian giallo psycho-sexual thriller from 1972, the wonderfully-titled Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave).
The screenplay — credited to Adriano Bolzoni, Ernesto Gastaldi and Sauro Scavolini — is apparently loosely-based on Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic short story “The Black Cat.”
The film — which has actually been released under several alternate titles, including Gently Before She Dies, Eye of the Black Cat and Excite Me! — features the memorable screen starlet Edwige Fenech in her first “bad girl” role as “Floriana.”
Floriana — the niece of “Oliviero Rouvigny” (Luigi Pistilli), a failed writer and alcoholic — decides to pay a visit to her aunt and uncle, who live in a crumbling mansion.
Oliviero feels trapped in a loveless marriage and is an abusive asshole to his wife “Irina” (Anita Strindberg) humiliating her in front of their guests, at some of the drunken orgies and parties he throws for the local hippie youth.
Irina is also afraid of Oliviero’s cat, named “Satan,” which used to belong to his late mother, and when Floriana appears on the scene, it’s no surprise that Irina finds comfort in her arms … and in her bed.
Then, Oliviero’s mistress, a young student, is found murdered, and he becomes the primary suspect.
When their maid is found dead soon thereafter, Oliviero finds himself trying to figure out just what the hell is going on.
This was director Sergio Martino’s fourth giallo film, and one of the best 70s exploitation thrillers we’ve seen, and although the narrative sometimes moves at a slow, deliberate pace it climaxes in a satisfying end, with lots of clever twists and turns to the plot along the way.
Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key is rife with gory murder scenes and sexy NSFW nude scenes from Ms. Fenech.