The Man From Nowhere: DVD

Korean movie “The Man From Nowhere” blends “Taken”, “Man on Fire” and “Leon” to present one very stylish revenge thriller, brimming with hard-hitting martial arts action and gun-play. Ex-special forces operative Tae-shik (Bin Won) leads a quiet life as a pawnbroker. One day his drug addict neighbour drags him unwittingly into her sordid business and as a consequence her gangster associates try to kill him.

Tae-shik handles himself exceptionally well, but unfortunately the gangsters kidnap his neighbour and her lonely daughter who he has taken pity on and befriended. He makes it his mission to rescue them but with organ harvesting and child labour in drug factories on the cards, time is very much against him. Meanwhile, the local police force is hot on his tail, baffled by his identity and role in this crazy gangland turf war.

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Dream Home comes to DVD

“Dream Home” is a horror/thriller movie about extremes - extreme obsession, extreme misfortune and extreme violence. Miss Cheng (Josie Ho – “Contagion”, “So Close”) and her poor family face the constant threat of eviction by underhand landlords keen to redevelop whole swathes of Hong Kong. Property prices are astronomical but Cheng dreams about living in the gleaming waterfront tower-block viewable from her window.

As the years roll by and things turn from bad to worse, her property fixation becomes an all-consuming obsession. Despite taking on three jobs to bring in extra cash, every time the trendy apartment is within her grasp, something happens to obstruct her. Driven mad out of desperation, depression and frustration, our anti-heroine resorts to deadly measures in order to secure her dream home; absolutely nothing will stand in her way.

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Sharktopus comes to DVD

I jumped at the chance to review this film, fighting off all competitors to the delights of this fishy tale of a hybrid shark/octopus killing machine. What’s not to like, the cover image on the DVD is homage to “Jaws”, the opening scene is homage to “Jaws”, there is even a producer cameo by Roger Corman which could be homage to Peter Benchley popping up in “Jaws”.  To say this film is a tongue in cheek spoof is to say that sharks are meat eaters. It soon became apparent that this film was not to be taken seriously.

Let’s get the negative bit over with.  Eric Roberts (“The Expendables”; “Doctor Who – The Movie”) would be that negative. Was he sleepwalking? His performance as the scientist responsible for the abomination that is Sharktopus, is wooden at best. He seems to be trying to chew the scenery but cannot quite pull it off. Sharktopus chews more convincingly.

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Wake Wood: Cinemas & DVD

Hammer Films, once a household name synonymous with great horror movies, are back! “Wake Wood” is their second release of 2011 (after “The Resident”), and it bears many of the hallmarks of classic Hammer features of the 1960s and 1970s. The film is a cross between “The Wicker Man” and “Pet Sematary”, steeped in Pagan rituals, sinister villagers and grief-stricken parents who dabble in dark arts, with dire consequences.

Patrick (Aidan Gillen – The Wire, Queer as Folk) and Louise (Eva Birthistle – Waking the Dead) lose their vivacious daughter Alice following a horrific dog attack. After relocating to the tranquil Irish village of Wake Wood, they stumble on a shocking, secret ritual being carried out by the villagers. It turns out to be a ceremony of rebirth and in spite of misgivings, the couple agrees to take part in the resurrection of their daughter.

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Island of Death on DVD

The last film I reviewed (“The Beyond”) was a resurrected ‘video nasty’ that some critics felt had come of age and deserved a fresh look. “Island of Death” is the exact opposite. It is an ugly movie with few redeeming qualities and the director knows it. Nikos Mastorakis admits on the DVD extras that he deliberately made the $35,000 movie as outrageous and shocking as possible, primarily to make a quick buck. He succeeded.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The plot, such that it is, concerns siblings Christopher (Robert Behling) and Celia (Jane Lyle) who take a holiday on the small Greek island of Mykonos. What follows is scene after bewildering scene of soft porn (often incest), hate-fuelled and senseless murder, rape and even bestiality. Christopher and Celia are on a mission to cleanse the island of depravity, and yet they are the chief instigators!

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