Colombiana comes to DVD

Flashback to 1992, and the country of Columbia. Nine-year old Cataleva witnesses her parents being murdered. Using some excellently honed gymnastic skills and an already-developing bad attitude, she escapes the massacre. Taking refuge in the USA with Emilio, her gangster uncle, we fast-forward 15 years later, where Cataleva now works for him as a ‘hit woman’. She draws an orchid drawn on the chest of her victims as a calling card – hoping this message will be picked up by the killers of her parents.

Zoe Saldana, who as we all should know is Uhura in JJ Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek, is getting plenty of lead rolls these days.  “The Losers” was a good ensemble piece, playing Neytini in “Avatar”, but there’s no doubt that “Colombiana” is designed to be her starring vehicle. And we had three copies of the DVD to give away in a competition, in celebration of it being one of the first titles to be reviewed on Cult TV’s first broadcast television series – Behind The Sofa.

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Sand Sharks invade DVD

If you thought it was safe to go back in the water you were mistaken, in fact it might be an idea to miss out that beach holiday all together. As the title of this film suggests there are “Sand Sharks” about and they are after anyone who strays onto their territory. A rip-roaring rip off, this film is great fun, but don’t make the mistake of taking it seriously, although played (fairly) straight this is a parody of just about every fishy tale since the daddy of them all splashed onto the cinema screens back in 1975. You will lose count of the amount of “Jaws” in jokes that are crammed into this film.

When the decapitated head of a dune biker is found near the beach on the sleepy island resort of White Sands, the wounds suggest the deceased was the victim of a shark attack. Contradicting this theory, however, is the fact that the remains were found well above the tide line and at the end of a blood trail coming from an inland direction. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Deputy Sheriff Brenda Young (Vanessa Lee Evigan, “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”) calls in shark expert Dr. Sandy Powers (Brooke Hogan) to assist her in the investigation.

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Deadly Blessing on DVD

A God-fearing and insular Hittite community clashes with their neighbours in this 1981 horror film from Wes Craven (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Scream” and “The Hills Have Eyes”). When Martha (Maren Jensen – original Battlestar Galactica) loses her ex-commune husband in a tragic accident, the Hittites exert pressure on her to sell her farm and move out. She refuses and shortly afterwards the death toll starts to rise. Meanwhile, accusations of a sinister demonic presence sour local relations to breaking point.

The film co-stars Ernest Borgnine (“The Black Hole”, “Escape From New York”, Airwolf) as Isaiah, the Hittites’ very strict Elder, Sharon Stone (“Total Recall”, “Casino”) in her first speaking role and Susan Buckner (“Grease”) as Martha’s friends who foolishly come to stay, and dependable horror staple Michael Berryman (“The Hills Have Eyes”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) as – you guessed it – the resident freak.

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Adventures of Mark Twain

This adventurous, feature-length stop-motion animation showcases famous American author Mark Twain and some of his best-loved characters including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher. Together they sneak onboard Twain’s wondrous, steampunk airship bound for a rendezvous with Halley’s Comet, along the way recounting some amazing tales extracted from his books.

Will Vinton, the producer and director of the movie, has a rich heritage in clay and later CGI animation, including the classic California Raisins advert that became a TV series, as well as The PJs, M&Ms commercials and Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalker”. “Mark Twain” sits at the heart of his body of work, and should appeal to both children and adults for reasons I will outline below.

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Silent Running on Blu-ray

Nature-loving Lowell (Bruce Dern – “Monster”, “The ‘Burbs”) and his three insensitive colleagues onboard space freighter Valley Forge eagerly await an announcement from their bosses. The ship is one of several fitted with giant domes that preserve the last few forests and numerous endangered species. Back on Earth, the average temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and everything except man is dying out. Lowell hopes that the order will be to repopulate the planet with life; his colleagues could not care less.

The news comes over the radio that they must jettison the pods and blow them up, returning the freighters to commercial service forthwith. Lowell is dumbstruck but the others – Keenan (Cliff Potts), Barker (Ron Rifkin – Alias, “L.A. Confidential”) and Wolf (Jesse Vint) set about planting the explosives and destroying the ultra rare and fragile life onboard. When it comes to the final pod, Lowell refuses to give way and sets in motion a tragic sequence of events.

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