British distributors Arrow Video have revealed that they are preparing a Blu-ray release of William Lustig's cult film Maniac Cop (1988), starring Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead), Tom Atkins (The Fog), and Laurene Landon (Hundra). The exact street date and technical specs for this release are unknown at the moment. However, Arrow Video have confirmed that it will be Region-Free.
I was so excited when I saw the title. "Maniac Cop's coming? Yes!" Given the director of the film, I just assumed it was coming from Blue Underground. But than I saw "Arrow" was releasing it...
Oh, well. they did release one good BD without smoothing it over with DNR (Vamp) so maybe they'll get lucky twice. But given their lackluster releases, including their most recent "Bird With The Crystal Plumage" being one of the worst releases ever, I'll definitely keep my anticipation to a low.
They're like most small distribution companies. Some are winners (I've read many good things about their disc of Dawn of The Dead), some losers (The Bird With The Crystal Plumage is an unmitigated disaster), with a whole lot in between. That said, they're not off to a good start judging by their new cover art (as awesome as it may look, the zombified Maniac Cop doesn't show up till the sequels).
@pro-bassoonist: Actually, Toschi's assumption is dead-on. This is coming from Arrow VIDEO, which like he said, has done nothing good outside of Vamp and CotLD. Rififi (in addition to Bicycle Thieves, Les Diabolique, and Spirits of the Dead) are from Arrow ACADEMY, formerly Arrow FILM. They're completely different entities run by two separate divisions. If it's released by Academy, it's likely safe to blind-buy. If it's under the video line, buyer beware.
Allow me to rephrase. I'm disappointed that "Arrow Video" is releasing this (which IS a different line than Arrow Academy, despite bing owned by the same company) So my point still stands. Arrow video have released 2, maybe 3, un-manipulated good looking BDs. I hope Maniac Cop turns out great. If it does, I'll happily reward Arrow Video with my money. But thats like hoping for a good catalog release from Universal (few and far between)
I don't think it's a question of Arrow Academy vs Arrow Video, it's a question of where they get their HD masters from. It's a small company, they don't create their own masters (although they do unfortunately seem to tamper with the ones they get!). I don't know where they got the Rififi master, but it certainly wasn't the same place they got The Beyond!
So yes, the Blu-rays of Italian horror/giallo movies have been mostly pretty poor, but it is largely down to the source material. That said, Blue Underground have generally made much better use of the same masters.
Going back to Maniac Cop, the US DVD was from Synapse, do they still have the rights?
Inspecter Toschi - I think your being very unfair to Arrow, they have released some superb 1080p prints, City of the living dead looked amazing, Dawn of the dead and Inferno also looked superb, you can't expect these titles to look like Transformers or Tron Legacy, you have to be reaslistic with your expectations, they all look like decent upgrades in my eye. they also have the best features around.