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Cult Movies on DVD

All the best in Cult Movies released onto DVD

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

You could call this ‘Harry H Corbett Afloat!’ It is a slice of nostalgia from Optimum, an amusing if ultimately unsatisfying film from the combined pens of Galton and Simpson. Promoted as encapsulating “the beautiful settings, feel and romance of Old England”, this film does go some way to convey the latter days of the barge-haulage way of life; the 'bargees' of the title.

And perhaps that's the only real disappointment of the film, that the setting is only ever a slightly out-of-focus backdrop, onto which the two writers have projected a fairly mundane story; a story which could have been so very much richer had they more fully embraced their setting. Harry H Corbett, awarding-winning actor though he may have been, feels unlikely as the lothario Hemel Pike, whose stop-over destinations along the canals are arranged as trysts with a succession of pretty women.

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

A group of bizarre Satanic worshippers kidnap a fiery young waitress and plan to offer her up as Satan’s mate. During the black magic ceremony, a live chicken is sacrificed but unfortunately for all concerned, the ceremony is interrupted by the waitress’s friends and Satan is forced to possess the now undead chicken. The evil chicken then goes on a bloody rampage where neither friend nor foe is safe.

If you like crazy horror films, this premise might sound like a bit of a daft laugh. Well, I am sure that was the film makers’ intention. Writer and director Sam Drog would presumably like you to picture “The Evil Dead”, crossed with the hyper rabbit from “Monty Python And The Holy Grail”. Whilst “Zombeak” has elements of both, unfortunately it has virtually none of their atmosphere, humour or horror.

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Saturday, 13 February 2010

DVD label Cine Asia has unleashed two explosive Hong Kong classics, and they kindly offered us three sets of these DVDs as competition prizes! The first release is “Kill Zone”, an award-winning police action-thriller that packs quite a punch. This is a very modern martial arts movie, and stars two giants of the genre - Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. Yen, best known to British audiences for his roles in “Shanghai Knights” and “Iron Monkey”, is Ma Kwun, a fearsome cop who finds himself dragged into a deadly war between gangsters and his shady colleagues.

Hung (Martial Law, “Dragons Forever”) is gang leader Wong Po, a slippery customer who escapes justice and then marshals all of his resources to take down the detective (Simon Yam) who tried to get him locked up. The resulting bloody war between the two sides culminates in an unmissable, bone-crunching showdown between Yen and Hung.

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Saturday, 13 February 2010

A comet that last passed the Earth by 65 million years ago has got everyone excited. An unprecedented light show is promised, and people are partying out in the streets at night to feast their eyes as it blazes a trail across the sky. Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart – “Weekend at Bernie’s”, “The Last Starfighter”) is too busy making out with her boyfriend at the cinema where she works to notice, though.

The next morning, when she ventures out into the daylight to see where her boyfriend has got to, she is bemused. There are no people in the city streets, only piles of clothing and small heaps of a red dusty substance. The sky has also turned red, and the only sound is the wind billowing dust about.

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Sunday, 31 January 2010

 “The Howling 2” begins soon after the closing events of the original movie; Ben White (Reb Brown – CHiPs, Fantasy Island) is attending the funeral of his sister Karen, the reporter killed on live TV as she transformed into a werewolf (a fact he is not yet aware of). At the ceremony he bumps into Jenny Templeton (Annie McEnroe – “Beetle Juice”), also a reporter and friend of Karen’s, and also Stefan Crosscoe (Christopher Lee – “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and everything Hammer!), an enigmatic paranormal investigator.

Stefan offers up ominous warnings about Karen being a lycanthrope, and vows to end her life more permanently when he claims she will reawaken later that day. Ben is naturally sceptical but Jenny is more open minded; both become utterly convinced, however, when they witness Karen rising from the dead, and encounter a pack of werewolves bent on rescuing her.

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Sunday, 24 January 2010

“Long Weekend” stars Jim Caviezel (The Prisoner mini-series, “Outlander”, “The Passion of the Christ”) in a thrilling remake of the original 1978 Aussie picture that was a cult classic. This new version, directed by Jamie Blanks (“Urban Legend”, “Valentine”) endeavours to match it whilst updating the concept to fit in with current concern over the environment. Peter and Carla (Claudia Karvan) are an emotionally distant couple embarking on a long weekend in a remote, picturesque spot on Australia’s North Coast along with some friends.

The friends who were supposed to be joining them never arrive and Peter, Carla and their dog “Cricket” (aka Star the Border Collie) get lost and isolated in the wilderness. Rather than respecting the flora and fauna, the embittered pair instead opt to trash it, taking pot shots at the wildlife.  As their relationship continues to disintegrate, strange and terrifying things start to happen to them, as though some unseen dark spirit is willing nature to turn against them.

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Sunday, 24 January 2010

According to one of the interviews on this first-ever UK DVD release of “House”, the inspiration behind the film came from debutant director Nobuhiko Obayashi’s daughter, Chigumi (also the co-screenwriter). He was tasked with producing a Japanese answer to US horror sensation “Jaws”, but instead ran with his daughter’s suggestion of a haunted house movie. Taking a selection of Chigumi’s childhood experiences (both real and imagined) and warping them slightly to make them scarier, they formulated their spooky tale.

It is the school holidays; Angel (Mimko Ikegami) invites six of her classmates to join her at her aunt’s mansion in the country. Angel has not seen her aunt since she was six, roughly ten years ago, but is desperate to get away from her newly-introduced future stepmother. The girls travel by train, accompanied by a strange white can that recently befriended Angel. Their tutor, Mr Togo, is expected to join them a couple of days later. When they arrive at the decaying mansion, they are greeted by a grey haired, wheelchair-bound old lady whom Angel barely recognises as her aunt (Yoko Minamida). As they settle in, the girls’ playful and happy demeanour is gradually eroded as one by one they start to mysteriously disappear.

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Sunday, 17 January 2010

Almost forty years after his bleeding edge independent “Blood Feast”, Herschell Gordon Lewis returned with a sequel. The cult director cut his teeth on low budget splatterfests in the 1960s and 1970s and then left the scene to the big boys. Could he prove in the Noughties that he still had what it takes to make an entertaining horror movie?

Well, the premise for “Blood Feast 2” is simple enough. Fuad Ramses (JP Delahoussaye) is the great grandson of an infamous cannibal chef who sliced and diced young women two generations ago. Ramses reopens his deceased relative’s delicatessen, and although he initially has no hankering for blood, things start to take a very gory turn once he becomes spellbound by an ancient Babylonian statue of the goddess Ishtar. As the caterer strives to make a name for himself and his new business, the flesh and organs of local beauties start turning up in his gourmet concoctions.

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Saturday, 16 January 2010

“The Taking of Pelham 123” was originally a book written by Morton Freedgood under the pseudonym of John Godey. First made into a film in 1974, starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw, this is the 2009 remake from director Tony Scott, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta. The premise is essentially the same, a New York Subway Train – Pelham 123 – is hijacked and brought to a halt between stations with the passengers, driver and conductor taken hostage. The ransom demand originally was £1 million.  Inflation gets to everything, and now it has gone up to £100 million in the new version.

The authorities have one hour to get the money to the hijackers or the hostages will die. The original film had a certain amount of charm to it, despite the tension and the drama, something which is lacking in the remake. Instead the violence and bad language has been ramped up – probably a reflection of the times but somehow there was more menace when you didn’t see the violence and you didn’t hear the chief hostage taker use the “F” word continually.

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Saturday, 09 January 2010

Two fantastic cult horror films are out on DVD now, and we had a couple of sets to give away to two lucky winners of our competition! In the outrageously gory “Street Trash”, a huddle of American tramps get far more of a kick out of their cut-price liquor than they anticipate, when one especially unpleasant brand called “Viper” starts melting them from the inside out!

And if dicing with alcoholic Russian Roulette was not dangerous enough for them, they also have to contend with the barbaric Bronson, self-proclaimed king of the homeless, but certainly not their friend! “Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat” is the horrific second release, from the Father of Gore himself, Herschell Gordon Lewis. Set two generations after the original 1960s movie, it centres on the cannibalistic antics of Fuad Ramses – a possessed caterer with an unquenchable thirst for human flesh!

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Tuesday, 05 January 2010

Like many low budget, gross-out horror movies of the 1980s, Jim Muro’s “Street Trash” features a bizarre premise. The plot feels like at least two films spliced together in a slightly messy fashion. Firstly there is the unwitting discovery of a case of decades-old booze called “Viper” which has the decidedly unpleasant side effect of rapidly melting its imbibers from the inside out.

Secondly, the film follows the 'fortunes' of a group of homeless urchins who are squatting in a car salvage yard. The facility is owned by Frank Schnizer (Pat Ryan), a fat and sweaty man who mistreats and his male employees and abuses the women. However, from the tramps’ point of view it is the terrifying Bronson (Vic Noto) who rules the roost; Bronson is a Vietnam vet with serious anger issues that are exacerbated by his post traumatic stress disorder.

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

“The Bronx Warriors Trilogy” DVD box set is out now in the UK via Shameless Screen Entertainment, as an exclusive to HMV. This stunningly-presented box set includes all three riotous movies from the series. Fans of apocalyptic cult classics such as “Escape from New York”, “The Warriors”, “District 13” and the “Mad Max” trilogy will be right at home with this collection, directed by one of Quentin Tarantino’s heroes, Enzo G Castellari – who is co-incidentally also director of the original “The Inglorious Bastards”!

All three movies feature futuristic dystopias where violent gangs and outlaws rule the land. In “The Bronx Warriors”, motorcycle gangs roam the wasteland, vying for control of the Bronx after it is abandoned by the state. The daughter of a rich arms dealer finds herself in the middle of this hellish arena, and is then subject to a crazy rescue attempt by a ruthless mercenary hired by her father.

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Monday, 23 November 2009

“For All Mankind” has been released in the fortieth anniversary year of the original moon landings. During the Apollo lunar missions from 1968 to 1972, those onboard were given 16mm cameras and asked to film anything and everything they could - in space, in orbit, and on the surface of the moon itself. In 1989, filmmaker Al Reinert went into the NASA vaults to create this compendium of their journeys and experiences.

At times intimate then awe-inspiring, “For All Mankind” is a first-hand document of one of the historical cusps of the 20th century. The Masters of Cinema Series presents Criterion's high-definition restoration of the film for its UK home viewing première in a comprehensive, director-approved special edition on DVD and Blu-ray.

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Saturday, 21 November 2009

Some children fear men with beards – I know I did when I was younger. That fear does not extend to Santa Claus though, perhaps because traditionally he is old, his beard is white, he is rotund and always bears gifts. “Silent Night, Deadly Night” aims to banish this “exception that proves the rule”, and portray Santa as the scariest beardy of them all!

Charles E Sellier Jr’s film opens on Christmas Eve, 1971. The Chapman family are driving through the snow on their way to see Grandpa, an inhabitant of the charmingly named “Utah Mental Facility”. On arrival, Grandpa is seemingly unaware of his guests, but when they leave young Billy alone with him for a moment, Grandpa starts spouting some threatening mumbo jumbo about Santa punishing any kids who have been naughty. Moments later, the family are ambushed on their way home, and Billy witnesses his parents’ horrific assault and slaughter at the hands of none other than Santa himself!

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Saturday, 07 November 2009

This new release is a two DVD set from the noted award-winning Korean director, famous for the “Vengeance Trilogy” and “Thirst” (itself coming to DVD early in 2010). In this double-header, first up we have “JSA: JOINT SECURITY AREA” from 2000, which is a murder mystery thriller about death in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea.

The second movie is described as a “comic romantic drama about a delusional young mental patient who believes herself to be a cyborg” – “I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK” is from 2006. This outing won the Alfred Bauer Prize for a work of particular innovation at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. But is it worth the plaudits that it has been given?

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Thursday, 05 November 2009

Jack Black and Michael Cera star in the new movie from the Director of “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day” – the Director in question is Harold Ramis, the film in question is “Year One”, out now on Blu-ray™ High-Def and DVD.

Billed as allowing us to play witness to the evolution of comedy, “Year One” stars Jack Black (“Nacho Libre”, “Tropic Thunder”) and Michael Cera (Arrested Development, “Superbad”) as an unlikely duo of primitive men who, after being exiled from their tribe, set out on a road-trip-style journey through the ancient world. Along the way, they encounter a host of famous historical figures played by a tribe of comedy icons, including Hank Azaria (Homer in The Simpsons), David Cross (another star of Arrested Development), Oliver Platt (the irascible Russell Tupper in Huff – which also starred Azaria), Paul Rudd (Mike Hannigan in Friends), and would you believe, the legendary Brit tough Brit Vinnie Jones!

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Monday, 19 October 2009

Six more movies have been released by Brain Damage Films in the UK on 12 October, once again bringing across the Atlantic extracts from their American catalogue of releases – which to date number some 146 titles! This particular batch of releases are all Certificate ‘18’, and priced at £2.99 each. They include no special features other than some trailers. So, prepare for all the information you could ever wish for on “Awaken The Dead”, “Fist of the Vampire”, “Hell House – The Book of Samiel”, “Curse of the Wolf”, and “Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned”.

So where did Brain Damage come from? Well, they are a full service distribution house and a film production company. They note on their website that they are “dedicated solely to scaring the hell out of you!” Indeed, they even ask that if you’ve made a horror film yourself to send it over to them, as they can distribute it worldwide and domestically. Brain Damage also produces original horror content for worldwide release. It should be noted that the releases in the UK are far cheaper to buy in the UK, as most titles ship for $9.99 each Stateside.

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Thursday, 08 October 2009

This 1952 adaptation of Wynyard Brownes play has a cast of well known British actors giving a mixture of subtle and emotional performances. There are moments of comedy and moments of tragedy that all lead to a very satisfactory, if obvious ending. This is a gentle, simple tale that will keep you enthralled to the end.

It is Christmas and the Rev Martin Gergory (Ralph Richardson of "Doctor Zhivago" and "Time Bandits" fame) is preparing for what he finds the worst time of the year. He dislikes the retail world muscling in on what, for him should be a very important date on the calendar. He is however looking forward to seeing his three children; Jenny (Celia Johnson - "Brief Encounter") the daughter who stayed at home to look after her father when his wife died; Margaret (Margaret Leighton) a successful journalist and Mick (Denholm Elliot - "A Room With a View", the Indiana Jones movies), a brash young man on leave from National Service.

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Friday, 02 October 2009

Spain has of late been making a name for itself through the release of taut, effective low budget thriller and horror films. “King of the Hill” follows in the footsteps of “[Rec]” and “Fermat’s Room”, this time presenting us with its take on the outdoors hunter/hunted genre reminiscent of “Deliverance” and “Southern Comfort”.

Gonzalo López-Gallego’s movie stars Leonardo Sbaraglia as Quim (pronounced “Keem”), a man in a bit of an emotional nadir following a recent break-up with his girlfriend. Pulling into a petrol station whilst on a road to nowhere, events in Quim’s life suddenly take a strange turn when he finds himself engaged in a brief but very heated sexual act with a sultry woman, someone he had witnessed stealing from the garage only moments earlier. The lady then makes off with his wallet, but bizarrely only after having paid for his petrol!

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Sunday, 27 September 2009

“Big Man Japan” is ostensibly a Japanese version of “Hancock”, Will Smith’s every-day superhero tale. Here the central character is Masaru Daisato (Hitoshi Matsumoto, also the director and co-writer), aka the eponymous BMJ. Daisato is a very world-weary man who spends most of his time shuffling through a drab existence on his own (apart from the occasional company of a stray cat) – the kind of person you would least expect to assume the guise of a super hero.

Two thirds of the movie is made in a mock fly-on-the-wall documentary style, voyeuristically watching his sad life with an off-screen interviewer asking Daisato questions about his dual roles. Every so often, he receives a phone call from the government asking him to come in and undergo the transformation into BMJ, whereupon the movie switches to a bizarre CGI rendering of events.

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Sunday, 27 September 2009

Every once in a while, along comes a horror film that genuinely tries to outstrip its B-Movie pedigree. “Rogue” is one such movie. Michael Vartan (Alias) stars as Pete McKell, an American journalist who gets much more than he bargains for when he visits a small town in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Researching the thriving local tourist industry, Pete joins a river cruise run by lively guide Kate Ryan (Radha Mitchell – “Pitch Black”, “Silent Hill”); after getting pestered by a couple of local tearaways including Neil Kelly (Sam Worthington – “Terminator Salvation”, “Avatar”), the tourists get drawn dramatically off course in response to a distress flare.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Every year, in the run-up to Halloween, teenagers have been vanishing from the quiet town of Sauquoit, New York. Those children that remain fear the disappearances are connected to “Mr Halloween” (aka Bill Loomis playing his namesake), an eccentric recluse who ironically maintains a horrifying haunted house to entertain the kids.

This year’s teenagers are no different and cannot resist a scary challenge; the local “Missing Persons” notice board becomes more cluttered as a result. When the dust has settled one year later, and the authorities still have not done anything to crack the case, a group of friends vow to expose Mr Halloween as the suspected kidnapper (or worse) and put an end to his reign of terror once and for all.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

“Dr Chopper” features a crazy plastic surgeon turned masked serial killer (Ed Brigadier) who, having spent his career keeping his clients looking ever-young, becomes obsessed with his own bid for eternal life.

To fend off death itself, the doctor is driven to pursue the ghoulish harvesting of body parts and organs. Enter stage left our heroes, five young college students staying in a remote cabin on the edge of Lake Tatonka. As is always the way, their relaxing holiday break is cut short by the disturbing appearance of the doctor on his Chopper motorbike, accompanied by three equally freakish nurse companions.

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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Out now from new indie DVD label Brain Damage Films are six fresh horror films. The range is priced at the very pocket-friendly price of £2.99 each, a shockingly good deal we’re sure you’ll agree!

The first six releases are as follows: “Death of a Ghost Hunter”, “Silent Bloodnight”, “Serum”, “Prey for the Beast”, “Secrets of the Clown” and finally “Torture Me No More”. Genre fans can expect all the gore, mutants, mad scientists, beasts, serial killers, scares and frights they know and love – and much more besides!

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Monday, 31 August 2009

There was never a football manager before, or since, like Brian Clough. Someone who put forth an arrogant exterior to the world around him, but like everyone else had to cope with his own personal demons without ever letting go of a steely determination to take on all-comers and win. This is a film about football, rather than a football film, so an interest in the sport is far from essential.

Adapted for the screen by Peter Morgan (“The Queen”, “The Last King of Scotland”, “Frost/Nixon”) from the novel by David Peace, “The Damned United” has at its core what went wrong for the dynamic, outspoken young Clough when he took over as manager at Leeds United, the reigning football league champions, in 1974. 

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