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June 24, 2011

80's Slashers "The Funhouse" and "Slaughter High" Debut on Blu-ray and DVD from Arrow Video this July!

The word ‘classic’ is certainly one that is overused, especially in respect to cinema, but in the case of Tobe Hooper’s memorable teen-slasher, The Funhouse, the term is definitely justified. Now, this highly regarded shocker is coming to Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, packed with extras and featuring a stunning, brand new transfer of the film in glorious High Definition.

Buy The Funhouse Blu-ray at Amazon UK

Reportedly the project that was responsible for Hooper having to turn down directing duties on ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial’, The Funhouse is that rarest of cinematic treats - a genuinely fun and creepy horror film. From its inspired opening sequence that pays homage to both ‘Psycho’ and ‘Halloween’ in the same breath, to an excellent cast that includes Elizabeth Berridge (Amadeus), Shawn Carson (Something Wicked This Way Comes), Miles Chapin (The People Vs. Larry Flynt; Howard The Duck) and Wayne Doba (Scarface; Almost Famous; Monkeybone), along with cult favourites William Finley (Phantom Of The Paradise; The Fury; The Black Dahlia) and two-time Oscar nominee Sylvia Miles (Farewell My Lovely; Midnight Cowboy), and special make design by six-time Oscar winner Rick Baker (An American Werewolf In London), The Funhouse is an unmissable delight for horror fans.

A reworking of the ‘old dark house’ story, the film’s premise is simple but effective. After an evening having fun at a travelling carnival, two teenage couples on a double date decide to spend the night hidden inside the funhouse amongst the fake goblins, skeletons and monsters. But the hi-jinks soon turn into a living nightmare when they witness the murder of the carnival’s fortune-teller, Madame Zena (Miles) at the hands of the showground barker’s freakish son, Gunther (Doba), and find themselves being stalked by a grotesque creature more terrifying than anything the funhouse itself has to offer.

Convincing performances, stylish camerawork, superb set designs and slick direction all add to the overall creepy atmosphere in a film that delivers its fair share of shocks and thrills. ‘Poltergeist’ notwithstanding, The Funhouse is arguably Tobe Hooper’s most accomplished feature to date and remains as entertaining today as it was when it was first released.

The Funhouse (cert. 15) will be released on Blu-ray (£27.99) by Arrow Video on 18th July 2011.

Special FeaturesAudio commentary by SFX wizard Craig Reardon and Jeffrey Reddick (creator of “The Final Destination” series); audio commentary by producer Derek Power and genre scholar Howard S. Berger; audio commentary by Justin Kerswell (author of “Teenage Wasteland” and host of the slasher cinema website “Hysteria Lives”) and author Calum Waddell; “Carnage At The Carnival” – Tobe Hooper Remembers “The Funhouse”; “Miles Of Mayhem: Acting in Tobe’s Funhouse” with star Miles Chapin; “A Trilogy Of Terror: The Make-up Madness of Craig Reardon” – the SFX wizard recollects his collaborations with Tobe Hooper on “Eaten Alive”, “Poltergeist” and “The Funhouse”; Master Class Of Horror” – Mick Garris, the director of “Sleepwalkers” and “The Shining” reflects on the crimson-covered career of his longtime colleague Tobe Hooper; Live Q&A with Tobe Hooper from San Francisco; never before seen behind the scenes photographs from the collection of Craig Reardon; trailer; collectors’ booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by critic and author Kim Newman; four-panel reversible sleeve options with original and newly commissioned artwork; double-sided fold-out artwork poster.

A gory guilty pleasure from the golden age of the slasher movie genre, Slaughter High comes to DVD completely uncut for the first time in the UK and featuring a host of Special Features that includes audio commentaries by co-writer/co-director Mark Ezra and the film’s star, legendary Scream Queen, Caroline Munro.

Buy Slaughter High on DVD at Amazon UK

Co-directed by George Dugdale (Living Doll), Mark Ezra (House Swap; Savage Hearts) and Peter Litten (To Die For; Living Doll) and starring Munro (Maniac) alongside Emmerdale’s very own late Terry Woods, Billy Hartman (Highlander), the film utilises the classic “psycho takes revenge on his tormentors” theme to bring to the screen an amusing slew of inventive murders that includes graphic deaths by coathook, exploding intestines, cesspit, acid bath, javelin, lawnmower and a sex scene that can only be described as electrifying!

Years after a routine April Fool’s Day ritual humiliation of the school nerd ends in disaster for the victim, a group of former students of all-American Doddsville County High School return to their old seat of learning for a class reunion. Despite finding the building run-down and boarded up, they decide to go ahead with their planned night of celebrations anyway and break in to the property. But drunken merriment soon turns to terror when one of their number meets a gruesome and very painful end after drinking a spiked can of beer. Further unexpected horrors point to the presence of Marty, the teenage geek they mercilessly bullied all those years ago. Now, trapped in the dark, dank corridors of their old alma mater, the former students of Doddsville are forced to become this year’s April Fools as they face the horrific revenge of Slaughter High’s most original and gifted psycho killer.

Slaughter High (cert. 18) will be released on DVD (£15.99) by Arrow Video on 11th July 2011.

Special Features

Introduction by co-writer/co-director Mark Ezra; “Jesters And Jolts” - interview with Mark Ezra; “Lamb To The Slaughter: The Scream Queen Career Of Caroline Munro”; audio commentary by Mark Ezra moderated by “Teenage Wasteland” author J. A. Kerswell; audio commentary by Caroline Munro, “DVD World” editor Allan Bryce and author and critic Calum Waddell; trailer; collectors’ booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by author Troy Howarth, an interview with legendary composer Harry Manfredini by Calum Waddell and an interview with star Josephine Scandi by Justin Kerswell; reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys; double-sided fold-out artwork poster.

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