Shogun Assassin on Blu-ray

Once considered a despicable ‘video nasty’ but now a bit of a cult classic, “Shogun Assassin” is a bloody martial arts action movie that leaves dozens of corpses in its fearless wake. Eureka Entertainment presents a brand new 1080p, high-def restoration of the complete film, bundling Blu-ray and DVD discs in highly desirable, limited edition steelbook packaging.

Essentially a re-scored, English-dubbed blend of the first two films in the “Lone Wolf and Cub” series, the movie stars Tomisaburo Wakayama as Itto Ogami, a noble (and slightly podgy) samurai warrior framed for disloyalty by his mentally fragile Shogun master. A bounty is put on Ogami’s head so he flees with his three-year-old son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa). Incredibly, the body count starts building up before they have even got through the front door!

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Metropolis: Restored Blu-ray

They say that most art is not appreciated in its time.  Certainly this was the case with the 1927 movie “Metropolis” – with the budget in the millions, its takings were in the tens of thousands.  The two and a half hour epic was drastically trimmed in an effort to claw back some of the cash in foreign markets. This too failed, and the dystopian vision of the future became a warning of what happens when you try to show the general public what’s coming down the tracks right at them ... they choose to ignore you.

Not much has changed, then, in the 83 years since “Metropolis” first saw the light of day. What is patently obvious when people awaken to the reality around them, rather than the propaganda drip-feed they get from the mainstream media, has never been more crystal clear than in the storyline to this classic. And for the first time in decades, audiences can now at last see the entire story unfold before their eyes.  And it was all down to a film vault in Argentina!

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The Big Knights go Blu-ray

From the creators of Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom comes The Big Knights, a show that I have to admit that before this release I had actually never seen before.  Here we have a series whose lineage can only be described as an ‘adult’ Cloppa Castle, in much the same way that The Magic Roundabout was a bridge between children’s programmes and the BBC Six O’Clock News for years on end.

This is a rib-tickling animation series, now available for the first time in a combined Blu-ray & DVD pack. It has a cartoon style somewhere between Bod and Roobarb in its execution, but that’s not a bad thing. So, saddle up to join Sir Boris (the finest swordsman in the World) and Sir Morris (not the finest swordsman in the World, but the most enthusiastic) and their trusty, armour-clad pets Horace the dog and Doris the hamster!

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Doctor Who Season 5 Blu-ray

After his emotional regeneration, Matt Smith took on the mantle of the Eleventh Doctor, awakening to discover his TARDIS is about to crash. Crawling from the wreckage, he meets young Amy Pond – the breakthrough performance for Karen Gillan, one of the sassiest assistants for many a year. Still wearing the remains of David Tennant’s outfit, the new Doctor, disorientated or not, in his dishevelled state promises to take the very young Amy to the stars.

As usual, things in this universe aren’t as easy as that; before our new dynamic duo can begin their journeys, they become embroiled in an alien plot that could destroy the Earth. Many of the David Tennant Fan Club was no doubt absent without leave from watching any of the new stories, but then again they had originally joined the fun not for the concept, but because of their raging hormones. A shame, as although the series had an entirely different rhythm, it was still highly watchable.

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Space 1999 Sn 1 on Blu-ray

Back in 1975, the year 1999 seemed a long time in the future. While American television science fiction had tended to paint a rosy picture of what was just around the corner for us, the British take on the genre was always more circumspect, taking the attitude that mankind wasn’t quite up to being able to safeguard itself from the dangers of the burgeoning technology it had created.

Indeed, the issue of nuclear waste from power stations was just coming into focus – it was a more innocent time before the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disasters.  However, step forward Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. The solution to storage of dangerous compounds with a half-life of thousands of years was to pack it off to the Moon.  And that’s when the problems begin in Space: 1999, now released on Blu-ray.

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