Yesterday we discovered this cult film will be coming to a festival, today we find out there was more to it! Please be advised this article may not be safe for work.
Third Window Films have announced on their social media they will be distributing Cleopatra to the United Kingdom for both theatrical (at festivals) and home video! So far from the information that we know, the distributor will be bringing the film to London East Asia Film Festival 2017 for its UK premiere and plans to release it on Blu-ray in Spring 2018 using a newly restored 2K master from DCP.
The 1970 film is the second in the Animerama trilogy that also includes A Thousand And One Nights and Belladonna of Sadness. We have already witnessed Belladonna of Sadness come to the UK thanks to a 4K restoration by Cinelicious Pics and a Blu-ray release from Anime Limited, so it’s a surprise to see another one from Osamu Tezuka’s raunchy adult trilogy make it to the UK as well.
Cleopatra is directed by Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto, both of whom have worked together to bring the likes of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion to anime form. Unlike Belladonna of Sadness, Cleopatra is more focused on comedy than serious so this will be one interesting experience. All films in the Animerama trilogy did not peform well at the Japanese box office, in fact it was said that the director took the funding from their next Animerama film to cover the current Animerama film, which is why Belladonna of Sadness went for that psychedelic artstyle.
The film did see a release in North America under the name Cleopatra: Queen of Sex in 1972 and was considered to be the first animated film to be rated X for the US Film Board, however folks argued that Fritz the Cat was first instead. Cleopatra did not do well in the US Box Office due to folks arguing that it failed as a pornographic film and various other reasons. It was also given an English dub apparently, however it had been said that the materials were supposedly lost.
A weird and wild tale in which three intergalactic travellers from the distant future are whisked back to the court of the ancient Egyptian queen by time machine to intervene in an alien plan to destroy mankind by altering the course of human history.
Be advised that this film will no doubt receive an 18 from the BBFC due to its nature. We will expect more news to follow further down the line with regards to the Blu-ray release. It’s funny that if this film was released two decades ago it would have been banned from the UK but now it could potentially be released uncut without any issue.