Already famous in Blu-ray collector circles for its twice-annual Criterion Collection sale, Barnes & Noble is holding a similar event right now for titles from cult label Arrow Video. If you’re into schlocky horror, Spaghetti Westerns, foreign exploitation cinema and the like, now is a great time to stock up.
Arrow Video first started in the UK and recently expanded into the American market. Amongst fans, the company is known as the Criterion of genre movies. Its Blu-ray editions are sourced from the best available video masters (which is not always an easy task when dealing with such obscurities) and are often packed with insightful bonus features. Unfortunately, Arrow Blu-rays are also priced at Criterion levels. Regardless of how much care is put into its presentation, pricing any movie that stars Billy Warlock (such as the campy 1989 splatter flick ‘Society’) at $39.95 is a really tough sell.
For the sale, Barnes & Noble is offering select Arrow Video Blu-rays and DVDs at 50% off MSRP. I was not able to find any details on when the sale ends. This may be a matter of the retailer trying to clear out stock. If you’re interested in any of these, you may have better luck ordering online than finding them in stores. I doubt that many of these were ever actually carried in brick-and-mortar locations.
The poll below contains all of the Blu-ray titles listed on the sale page. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list of all Arrow Blu-rays. For instance, I notice that the first ‘Battles without Honor and Humanity’ movie is missing even though all four sequels are present. [I take that back. B&N does carry the first ‘Battles’ movie, but it’s listed under the alternate title ‘The Yakuza Papers’ for some reason even though the sequels aren’t.]
Some of these may already be sold out, and I don’t know whether Barnes & Noble plans to restock.
The types of movies that Arrow sells are not always my cup of tea. However, I’m very eager to pick up the arty thriller ‘Suture’ at the sale price, with perhaps Mario Bava’s famed giallo ‘Blood and Black Lace’ to go with it. I have a passing interest in ‘Return of the Killer Tomatoes’ and the original ‘The Hills Have Eyes’, but will probably not buy them now.