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Anchor Bay's June titles

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment UK have now revealed their full June release line-up. The following details come direct from the press releases, all are UK Region 2 DVD releases expected on June 23rd...

Mark of the Devil - £16.99

Loosely inspired by the 1968 classic "Witchfinder General", and part of the late 60s to early 70s wave of witch-hunt films, MARK OF THE DEVIL is notable for being one of the first entries in the "sex and sadism" genre of films. Notorious at the time of its original cinema release for its excessive scenes of nudity and graphic depictions of various torture methods, the film's clever marketing campaign claimed it was "rated V for Violence" with additional warnings that it was "likely to upset viewers' stomachs" and with sick bags being routinely handed out at screenings.

MARK OF THE DEVIL stars Herbert Lom (The Dead Zone: the Pink Panther films) as the infamous Count Cumberland, a corrupt and sadistic witchfinder who is terrorising the populace of rural England by misusing the name of the Church in order to claim local land, money and women for his own. Cumberland's apprentice, Count Christian von Meruh (Udo Kier), is a strong believer in the Church, but loses his faith when he witnesses his mentor brutally murdering another equally corrupt witchfinder, Albino (Reggie Nalder). The tables are turned when the townsfolk revolt, employing the witchfinders' various torture devices as a means for revenge.

Beautiful cinematography and picturesque locations are contrasted sharply with images of red hot irons, thumb screws and a variety of pointed instruments employed in an orgy of branding, dismemberment, piercing, stretching and eye gouging. Aided by strong performances from a superb European cast, including Lom, Kier (Blade; Suspiria), Nalder (best remembered as the Max Schreck-inspired vampire in Salem's Lot), Herbert Fux (Woyzeck; Eugenie), Johannes Buzalski (The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser) and Gaby Fuchs (Werewolf Shadow), MARK OF THE DEVIL presents a precise and horrific portrait of one of the darkest periods in English history.

  • Widescreen Presentation Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
  • Audio Commentary with Director Michael Armstrong, moderated by Jonathan Sothcott
  • Extensive Stills and Poster Gallery
  • Marked By The Devil: An Interview with Michael Armstrong

Vampyres (aka Daughters of Dracula) - £19.99

A landmark film of both the horror and erotic cinema genres, Spanish director José Ramón Larraz's VAMPYRES is at last being presented on DVD and VHS by Anchor Bay UK uncut and uncensored for the first time, with all its notorious scenes of sex and violence fully restored.

Fran (Marianne Morris) and Miriam (Anulka Dziubinska) are two beautiful, bisexual female vampires who, by night, roam the English countryside posing as hitchhikers in order to lure unsuspecting men back to their remote country estate, where they have sex with their victims before feasting on their blood and killing them. Disposing of the bodies in a series of faked car crashes, they leave the local police baffled by what appears to be a mysterious spate of accidents. Discovering she has feelings for one of their victims, Fran decides to keep him alive as her personal sex slave, slowly draining his life force. When an innocent young couple stumble across the vampires' lair, their suspicions are aroused and they are drawn into a chilling vortex of savage lust and forbidden desires.

Director Larraz rewrites the traditional vampire myth (hinting that the protagonists are actually the blood-craving spirits of two murdered lesbian lovers), giving the genre an erotic spin that delivers where so many other attempts at erotic-horror have failed. Shot in England on Hammer Studios sets and featuring, in Marianne Morris (Percy's Progress) and former Playboy centrefold Anulka Dziubinska (The Likely Lads; Lisztomania), two of the most beautiful bloodsuckers in horror film history, VAMPYRES is a rare visual feast. The film also stars Murray Brown (Dracula; Hardcore), Brian Deacon (A Zed & Two Noughts), Sally Faulkner (Confessions Of A Driving Instructor) and Bessie Love (The Hunger; Reds; Ragtime) and, in its DVD version, features one of the most amusing and entertaining audio commentaries ever committed to disc.

  • Widescreen presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs
  • Audio commentary with director José Ramón Larraz and producer Brian Smedley-Aston
  • US and international trailers
  • Talent biographies
  • Stills gallery
  • Collector's booklet

Steel Dawn - £16.99

"Shane" meets "Mad Max" in STEEL DAWN, the little seen but highly regarded sci-fi Western starring Patrick Swayze (Donnie Darko; Ghost), which is now receiving a well-deserved UK release on VHS and DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay UK.

Martial arts warrior Nomad (Patrick Swayze) is drifting through a post-apocalyptic desert in search of those responsible for the murderer of his friend and mentor, Cord (John Fujioka), when he comes across a small farming community. The farmers are under threat from Damnil (Anthony Zerbe), an evil warlord and landowner with his sights set on the local water supplies. Hired to work on the farm of a feisty widow named Kasha (Lisa Niemi), Nomad finds himself caught in the middle of the brewing conflict when he discovers his friend's murderers are part of Damnil's gang.

In stark contrast to, and somewhat overshadowed at the time of its release by Patrick Swayze's other 1987 film, the enormously successful"Dirty Dancing", STEEL DAWN is a violent, futuristic version of a Spaghetti Western, with Swayze in full-on action hero mode as the nomadic drifter bent on revenge.

Directed by Lance Hool (One Man's Hero; Missing In Action 2: The Beginning), STEEL DAWN sees Swayze starring alongside his real-life wife Lisa Niemi (She's Having A Baby; Slamdance), with a supporting cast that includes Anthony Zerbe (True Crime; Star Trek: Insurrection), Brion James (The Fifth Element), Christopher Neame (Hellbound) and John Fujioka (Pearl Harbor; Mortal Kombat; American Yakuza). The film also features the US film debut of "The Mummy" star Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy Returns; Hard Target).

Special features to be confirmed.


The American Friend - £19.99

Winner of the German Critics' Prize in 1977 and nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes that same year, THE AMERICAN FRIEND is Wim Wenders' (Buena Vista Social Club; Wings Of Desire; Paris, Texas) cult film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's classic novel Ripley's Game (recently remade with John Malkovich in the lead role).

Dennis Hopper (Speed; True Romance; Blue Velvet; Apocalypse Now; Easy Rider) stars as American sociopath Tom Ripley, who is making a living as the middle-man selling the works of painter Derwatt, who has feigned his own death in order to increase the value of his works. At an auction in Berlin, Ripley meets picture framer Jonathan Zimmerman (Bruno Ganz), a man who believes he is dying from a rare blood disease. When Ripley is approached by a criminal acquaintance who wants him to find a "non-professional" hitman to carry out a contract killing for him, Ripley decides Zimmerman would be the perfect choice for the role of assassin. Already facing death, Zimmerman has nothing to lose and Ripley convinces him that taking on the job would allow him to leave behind a large sum of inheritance money for his wife and children. Things begin to go wrong when Ripley and Zimmerman become friends, forging a bond steeped in deceit, corruption and, eventually, murder.

THE AMERICAN FRIEND is Wim Wenders' modern-day homage to the classic noir films of the late 40s and early 50s and contains all the appropriate elements – gangsters, deception, murder and suspense – adding in a contemporary plotting of a Beatles reunion for good measure!

Dennis Hopper brings his real-life passion as a painter and art collector to the role of Tom Ripley, giving what many regard to be the best and most restrained performance of his career. Starring alongside Hopper are Wenders regulars Bruno Ganz (Wings Of Desire; Nosferatu) and Lisa Kreuzer (Kings Of The Road; Alice In The Cities), as Jonathan and Marianne Zimmerman. In order to pay tribute to the noir genre, Wenders also cast legendary directors Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without A Cause; Johnny Guitar; They Live By Night) and Samuel Fuller (The Naked Kiss; Shock Corridor) in the film, and even makes a Hitchcockian cameo himself as a figure wrapped in plaster bandages.

The following features are subject to change:

Widescreen Presentation Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
  • Original German language with Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary with Writer/Director Wim Wenders and star Dennis Hopper
  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Writer/Director Wim Wenders
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Talent Bios
    Here is a look at the coverart for the above titles...





    Also due from Anchor Bay on June 23rd are two 'Special Interest' titles that offer beginners and intermediate guides to Yoga and Pilates workout.

    Yoga for Dummies - £12.99, 53mins approx

    Discover how to: Master the 12 essential Yoga postures, De-stress and relax through Yoga practice, Experience the health benefits of proper Yoga breathing techniques, Build strength and muscle tone by using yoga postures. This untimidating programme explains yoga in an easy-to-understand language. Not only can you change your body by using this DVD - but you may even change your mind about yoga.

    Anyone can do yoga, regardless of age or fitness level, and you can too! This programme will demystify the mystical so that you can experience the fabulous benefits of yoga. Today, many people use yoga to help alleviate back pain, reduce stress, and increase flexibility.

    BASIC YOGA WORKOUT FOR DUMMIES offers step-by-step instruction for the 12 essential yoga postures and makes it easy to practice at your own level. The program incorporates standing, sitting, and laying down poses to increase muscle tone, enhance flexibility, and provide relaxation. This DVD also includes a bonus intermediate yoga workout for when you're ready to move past the basics.

    About the instructor: Sara Ivanhoe is the creator and President of yoganation.com and the star of the top-rated video 'Crunch: The Joy of Yoga'. Sara has been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaches yoga at studios and privately to professional athletes and celebrities.

    Features:
    Basic Yoga Workout
    Intermediate Yoga Workout: The Sun Salute
    Instructor Cueing Audio Option (for working out to your own music)

    Pilates Workout for Dummies - £14.99, 35mins approx

    Discover how to: Increase your flexibility as you tone your muscles, flatten you abs and improve your posture, improve your exercise technique by using the breath, use correct form and alignment to help change your body forever. This unintimidating programme explains Pilates mat techniques in easy-to-understand language. Not only can you tone and reshape your entire body by using this DVD - but you may even change your mind about exercise.

    What is the ultimate workout machine? Your body! With the authentic Pilates Method (developed decades ago by Joseph H. Pilates), you can reshape and tone your entire body to look longer and leaner by using these simple-yet effective techniques. Anyone can do Pilates, regardless of age or fitness level - and that means you!

    PILATES WORKOUT FOR DUMMIES offers step-by-step instruction for 18 popular Pilates mat exercises and makes working out at your own level easy to do. This programme incorporates floor techniques that are taught as part of every Pilates mat class to help you strengthen and lengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and tone and tighten your midsection.

    About the instructor: Michelle Dozois is a 14-year fitness professional and Method Pilates certified instructor. She's the co-owner of Breakthru, a personal training and Pilates studio in Pasadena, California. Michelle has appeared in more than 15 exercise videos, including 'Buns of Steel Platinum Collection' and '10 Minute Solution'.

    Features:
    Basic Pilates Workout
    Intermediate Pilates Workout
    Instructor Cueing Audio Option (for working out to your own music)



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