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John Payne

John Payne

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 23:00

Pompidou out now on DVD

Pompidou - out now on DVDMatt Lucas of Little Britain and Come Fly with Me fame is the star, co-creator, co-writer and co-director on this six-part comedy series about a pompous aristocrat who has lost virtually everything and now lives in a decrepit caravan on the grounds of his old mansion. Pompidou Pompidou (Lucas) shares his humble abode with his man-servant Hove (Alex Mcqueen – “Four Lions”, “Cinderella”) and his Afghan hound Marian.

Like the whacky offspring of Mr Bean, Pingu and Worzel Gummidge (as Lucas describes it), there is no dialogue to speak of in this predominantly visual comedy, but rather the characters speak in gibberish mixed in with the odd intelligible word of English. Each episode sees Pompidou and co trying to solve one crisis after the next, be it their lack of money, food, heat or female companionship. Needless to say, things do not go according to plan.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 23:00

Wilfred Seasons 1-4 DVD review

Wilfred Seasons 1-4 - Out now on DVDDark, anthropomorphic comedy Wilfred finally arrives as a complete DVD box set, and you could have won a copy with Cult TV - worth £99.99 - with three runners-up bagging prizes worth £24.99 each. This is the American remake of an Australian original series, staring Elijah Wood ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) as Ryan Newman, an ex-lawyer suffering from chronic depression. Ryan is befriended by the neighbour's dog Wilfred, who bizarrely he perceives as a man in a dog-like onesie.

Wilfred (Jason Gann, reprising his role from the Oz version) is a normal dog to everyone else including his cute owner Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann - "Don't Blink"), but to Ryan he is a boisterous and very mischievous bloke who behaves like a spoilt and sexually-charged adolescent. The two characters form a strong bond but there is a constant psychological tussle between them for supremacy.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 23:00

Dark Matter Season One on DVD

Dark Matter - Season One out on DVD nowDark Matter is an intriguing, futuristic new series from the Syfy channel. A small crew awaken from stasis in a damaged ship drifting through space. They do not know who they are, or how they got there. The six individuals face a steep learning curve as they struggle to survive in a hostile galaxy, unsure if they can even trust one-another. Drawing from the likes of Firefly, Blake's 7, Stargate Universe and Andromeda, the series is hoping to keep the flickering flame of space sci-fi alight.

The six passengers decide to name themselves by the order they awaken. One (Marc Bendavid - Bitten) is a handsome all-rounder, Two (Melissa O'Neil) is a sassy, kick-ass natural leader, Three (Anthony Lemke - The Listener) is a self-interested, slightly shifty arms expert, Four (Alex Mallari Jr - True Justice) is an introverted martial artist, Five (Jodelle Ferland - "The Cabin in the Woods") is a teenage electronics genius and Six (Roger R Cross - 24, Continuum) is a gentle giant.

Sunday, 20 September 2015 23:00

Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray

The Man Who Could Cheat Death - out now on dual-format Blu-ray and DVDHammer Pictures strike fear into audiences with this creepy, cautionary tale directed by horror stalwart Terence Fisher ("The Curse of Frankenstein", "Dracula"). Starring Anton Diffring, Christopher Lee and Hazel Court, the film centres on Georges Bonnet (Diffring - "Where Eagles Dare", Doctor Who), a pioneering doctor and artist with a penchant for beautiful women and very dark secret concerning his obsession with immortality.

Every decade the 104-year-old Bonnet must undergo surgery to replace his parathyroid gland, or else face a terrible fate whereby all of the illnesses and aging he has unnaturally evaded strike him down. The doctor's 10-year cycle is almost up and he must locate a new gland and an experienced surgeon who is willing to carry out the surgery. As he searches for solutions, a tonic temporarily keeps death from his door but time is running out.

Sunday, 30 August 2015 23:00

Monsters: Dark Continent BR/DVD

Monsters - Dark Continent - available now on DVD, Blu-ray and as a limited edition steelbook2010's "Monsters" was one of the surprise hits of that year. Shot on a miniscule budget of around $500,000, the film seriously boosted the profile of director Gareth Edwards ("Godzilla"). This inevitable sequel relocates the action from Mexico to the Middle East, and instead of a pensive road movie we get a tense war film set 10 years later. And Cult TV had three copies of the limited edition Blu-ray steelbook to give away in our prize competition!

A squad by the name of Tiger Shark is tasked with patrolling an undisclosed region in the Middle East, focusing on locating improvised explosive devices and overcoming terrorist insurgents. Things are going relatively swimmingly until they receive a mission to investigate the disappearance of another unit. Stopped in their tracks and defending against heavy fire on one side, and unpredictable aliens on the other, survival becomes paramount.

Sunday, 30 August 2015 23:00

Medium Cool on DVD and Blu-ray

Medium Cool - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDOscar-winning documentary director and cinematographer Haskell Wexler ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") presents a frightening look at the USA in a state of turmoil during the Vietnam War. We witness events unfold through the eyes of fictional TV cameraman John Cassellis (Robert Forster - "Jackie Brown", "Mulholland Drive") during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

John and his soundman Gus (Peter Bonerz - Home Improvement) are given strict instructions on where to go and what to cover, but John develops a keen independent streak and goes off the reservation. At the same time he encounters Eileen (Verna Bloom - "High Plains Drifter"), a war-widow with a young son who keeps homing pigeons. They strike up a friendship against an increasingly edgy backdrop of civil unrest.

Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:00

Wolcott - The Complete Series

Wolcott - The Complete Series comes to Blu-ray and DVDWolcott is a police mini-series starring George Harris ("Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"). Harris plays Winston Wolcott, a black policeman newly promoted to the CID and despised by both his new colleagues and the criminal gangs he is determined to bust. Surrounded by racism, police corruption and immersed in a vicious drug war, Wolcott has few allies to support him. The complete series is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.

The story opens with the brutal and senseless murder of an old lady for the sake of £200 in cash. The scene of the crime is an unwelcoming, dingy apartment block where the mostly ethnic locals have no interest in grassing up the perpetrator. The ITC-produced series emphasises the gritty, turbulent nature of life in the poorer, sometimes seedier areas of London in the early 1980s.

Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:00

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Town That Dreaded Sundown - out now on Dual Format DVD and Blu-rayBased on a true story, "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" focuses on a serial killer who terrorised folk living on the Texas/Arkansas border in 1946, is out now in a dual-format Blu-ray and DVD pack. Shot partly as a docu-drama, the film tracks the murderer's attacks and the efforts of Texas Ranger Captain JD Morales (Ben Johnson - "The Last Picture Show", "The Wild Bunch") to hunt him down. The director is Charles B Pierce ("The Legend of Boggy Creek").

Preying mostly on young adults who park up in a secluded spot for a kiss and a cuddle, the so-called Phantom dons a crudely-made sack hood to mask his identity, and the only noise he makes is his heavy breathing. His attacks are as brutal as they are bizarre; the continued inability of peacekeepers to apprehend the killer stokes the community's fear as they are forced to batten down the hatches come sundown.

Monday, 17 August 2015 23:00

Pickup on South Street Blu-ray

Pickup On South Street - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDRichard Widmark ("The Alamo", "Coma") plays a steely, reclusive pickpocket in this classic film noir from director Samuel Fuller ("White Dog", "Fixed Bayonets!"). Skip McCoy (Widmark) steals a glamorous woman's purse on a subway train, little knowing the ton of heat it will bring down on him. The purse contains stolen military microfilm divulging a top secret chemical formula, and the FBI want it back.

The woman called Candy (Jean Peters - "Viva Zapata!", "Niagara") is also unaware of the material's nature and its importance to both the government and the Communists she was supposed to deliver it to. Desperate to appease her associate and retrieve the film, Candy faces a race against time before Skip finds a buyer, the police close in, or worse still the 'Reds' forcefully take matters into their own hands.

Monday, 17 August 2015 23:00

Soldier and Me on DVD

Soldier and Me - out now on DVDThis is a BAFTA award-winning kids' adventure serial from the 1970s. Two teenage boys witness some suspect Czech men plotting the murder of an elderly fellow countryman. They decide to spy on the men but events spiral out of control and the lads are forced to flee for their lives across the country, doggedly pursued by the criminals. Can they evade capture long enough to expose the plot?

The nine-part series stars Gerry Sundquist (from the BBC's 1981 version of Great Expectations) as the gruff but well-meaning Jim Woolcott, and Richard Willis (Doctor Who, The Feathered Serpent) as Istvan 'Soldier' Szolda, a squeaky, accident-prone Czech boy who Woolcott takes under his wing after rescuing him from school bullies. The story is based on writer David Line's own novel “Run for Your Life”, and directed by Carol Wilks (Grange Hill, The Bill).

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