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Roger Corman's Cult Classic's Lethal Ladies 2 Collection 

The Arena (1974)      Fly Me (1973)       Cover Girl Models (1975)

 

Kidnapped by Roman soldiers, four beautiful women must battle for their lives in The Arena . . . while attempting to beat the Romans at their own game. Starring Pam Grier and Margaret Markov (The Hot Box and Black Mama, White Mama). Directed by Steve Carver (Big Bad Mama and Capone).

They’re fast. They’re beautiful. They’re deadly . . . they have to be. A fashion photography assignment teams three American models and inadvertently plunges them into the mystery and danger of international espionage in Cover Girl Models. When an invaluable roll of microfilm is sewed into one of the girls’ fashion gowns, they are drawn into the violence and intrigue of a spy-vs.-counterspy conspiracy. Starring Tara Strohmeier (The Great Texas Dynamite Chase), Pat Anderson (TNT Jackson), Lindsay Bloom (H.O.T.S.) and Vic Diaz.

In Fly Me, a group of martial arts assassins board a passenger plane. Once in the air, the group terrorizes the passengers and insists that the plane be rerouted to another destination. But they picked the wrong plane to hijack, as these stewardesses don’t just serve meals and beverages: their hands and feet are lethal weapons! Starring Pat Anderson (Cover Girl Models), Lenore Kasdorf (Missing In Action) and Vic Diaz.

 

 

Posters

 

DVD Review

Shout! Factory - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:21:33, 1:12:12, 1:13:12
Video

2.35:1 / 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.1, 6.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Disc 1

Bitrate Disc 2

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

Aspect Ratio: - 2.35, 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary
with director Steve Carver on Arena

• Into the Arena... The Making of The Arena (18:08)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:55)

Disc 2

TV Spot for Fly Me (:26)

DVD Release Date: January 24th, 2012

Transparent Keep Case

 

Comments

In the spirit of the Women In Cages Collection triple feature package released in 2011 Shout! Factory are continuing with more Roger Corman Cult Classics (see The Ron Howard Action Pack, other 'Double Features': The Evil / Twice Dead, The Terror Within / Dead Space, Up From the Depths /Demon of Paradise etc.) and are following-up their woman-sploitation Lethal Ladies Collection with a #2 containing the higher bank-roll production The Arena from 1974 on the first dual-layered disc and a second with Fly Me (1973) and Cover Girl Models (1975). There are plenty of the stand-by Corman gals.

The Arena (on disc one alone) and starts with the message that two small scenes are missing from the print they transferred for this new DVD release. In an effort to give you the complete film, they have replaced the two missing scenes, but they are from a 'full frame' master and not in anamorphic widescreen. This occurs only twice, and briefly, during the presentation. The image quality for that feature is very acceptable. There is some frame-specific damage (see sample) but the 2.35:1 visuals are progressively rendered and look pretty good.

Fly Me and Cover Girl Models share disc 2 - also dual-layered and progressive in the slightly bastardized 1.78 aspect ratio. Fly Me has those prominent vertical scratches that were purposely put in Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse films Planet Terror and Death Proof. I am not complaining. Cover Girl Models is very clean and consistent - no issues to speak of. I don't know why - but I wasn't expecting the crime/kidnapping/espionage-esque factor in the last two films. It added some pleasurable entertainment.   

The bottom line - these 'new transfers' are completely watchable. Fans of Corman and this guilty-pleasure genre won't be complaining about the image. For 30-25-year old 'kitsch' films these look better than I anticipated.

Audio is flat and unremarkable - no prominent sync issues or dropouts. Dialogue is occasionally scattered via the production but easily discernable. There are no subtitles on the region 1 - NTSC discs.

Decent extras with an audio commentary from director Steve Carver on The Arena. It's light and about what you might expect - anecdotes etc. It's quieter mixed than the film-only volume - sample quotes 'That's a real weapon in Pam's hands...' . Plus there is a 20-minute Making of... entitled Into the Arena with Corman and a host of others giving input. Its quite informative. There is a 3-minute theatrical trailer and on disc 2 is a 1/2 minute TV Spot for Fly Me.

I am a definite fan of this stuff and, strangely, it doesn't grow tiresome - it is only more addictive. The Arena approaches decent production values - but still has the schlock signature - that we have come to appreciate. None of the three are afraid to add a pinch of T+A and the plot weaknesses hold more charm than inspire derision. That's too easy. I think I was as entertained by this Triple Feature as much as the First boxset. Enjoy!

 - Gary Tooze


DVD Menus
 

 


The Arena

 

directed by Steve Carver

 

Release date: March 13th, 1974

 





One of 2 'Full Frame' scenes

 


Damage

 


DVD 2 Menus
 


Fly Me

 

directed by Cirio H. Santiago

 

Release date: March, 1973

 






Cover Girl Models

 

directed by Cirio H. Santiago

 

Release date: July, 1975

 








DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Shout! Factory

Region 1 - NTSC





 

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Gary Tooze

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