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Arrow Video's The Mutilator Blu-ray delayed until February

11.24.2015by: Cody Hamman

Back in June, I was very surprised by the news that Arrow Video would be releasing a DVD/Blu-ray combo special edition of writer/director Buddy Cooper's cult favorite indie slasher THE MUTILATOR in September. My surprise stemmed mostly from the fact that Cooper had said that the film would never be upgraded to a digital format because the materials required didn't exist. The best we would ever get was the murky VHS copies we've had for thirty years. 

You may have noticed that while September has come and gone, Arrow Video never did release THE MUTILATOR. The company has now given an explanation for the delay in a blog post that admits the company had less-than-ideal materials at their disposal, but also includes news that will make fans perfectly content with enduring the longer wait:

When we first announced our release, we were proceeding on the assumption that we were going to have to cobble together the uncut version from a selection of Buddy's R-rated release prints (no uncut release prints could be located) and the off-cuts of the unrated footage. And yes, when I say "off-cuts", I mean the footage that was physically trimmed from the release prints at the behest of the MPAA. Whilst this material would have provided a serviceable master, it was far from the standard we would have hoped. Nevertheless, we decided to press on in the knowledge that fans - and I count myself among those - just wanted to see the film finally get its long-overdue release on  Blu-ray. 

But then, after the frustration came the reward - word came to us that an uncut 35mm print indeed existed and was held at the Library of Congress. Better yet, it was virtually unplayed, being as it was the copy that the filmmakers had deposited for copyright purposes. Naturally, we resolved to get our hands on the print and, after some wrangling, the Library of Congress dutifully obliged. We're now overjoyed to say that we are eagerly beavering away on prepping our new master, confident in the knowledge that we are working with the best possible material we have been able to source."

The copy of THE MUTILATOR that I have watched looks absolutely awful, so this is great news to me. A Blu-ray created from a virtually unplayed, uncut print? This is going to look incredible. The cobbled together version was already going to be a huge improvement over what we've had to date, but now it's sounding like this release is going to be perfect.

If you're not familiar with THE MUTILATOR, this is the story:

When Ed receives a message from his father asking him to go and lock up the family’s beach condo for the winter, it seems like the perfect excuse for an alcohol-fuelled few days away with his friends. After all, his dad has forgiven him for accidentally blowing mom away with a shotgun several years ago… hasn’t he? But no sooner are the teens on the island than they find themselves stalked by a figure with an axe (and a hook, and an onboard motor) to grind...

Arrow Video had announced the following special features for the DVD/Blu:

Brand new 2K restoration from original vault materials of the R-rated and Unrated versions of the film

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations

Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray) 

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Brand new interviews with cast and crew

The Mutilator locations visit

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork to be revealed

Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film alongside archive articles from Fangoria magazine

PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!

THE MUTILATOR is now set for release on February 15, 2016.

Extra Tidbit: Are you a fan of THE MUTILATOR?
Source: The Video Deck

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