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DVDs, Books, Broadcast TV and Merchandise all come under the gaze of our expert reviewers.

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Blu-Ray (256)

The latest winner in the format wars, we look at both television and movies that are hitting the shelves in this pristine new technology.

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Books (11)

Essential reading materials reviewed so that you can assemble the library most suited to your interests.

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Broadcast (2)

The latest transmissions on terrestrial and digital television channels across the panet, and what we think of them.

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Cult Movies on DVD (295)

All the best in Cult Movies released onto DVD

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Events (25)

Places to go and people to see, and here we find out whether it was worth it or not!

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Handbags Before Dawn (8)

Contentious opinions on all matters television - from schedulers to the programmes themselves, the continuity errors to the highs and lows of what actually makes it to the screen.

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Interviews (10)

Interviews with stars and programme makers from various CULT TV universes.

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Merchandise (8)

Collectables of all shapes and sizes reviewed and rated

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Star Profiles (153)

Background information and career history of cult celebrities from in front of and behind the camera.

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TV DVDs (284)

The latest titles from TV series and TV specials range to hit the shelves and online stores

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Monday, 17 June 2019

“Under Fire” is an Oscar-nominated political thriller revolving around journalists caught up in the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution. Russel Price (Nick Nolte) is a fearless photographer who gets meshed in a love triangle with reporter Claire Stryder (Joanna Cassidy) and his friend, her husband Alex Grazier (Gene Hackman). Stepping right into in a war zone, in a battle between the government and Sandinista rebels, Price loses his objectivity, becoming personally involved in the struggles. This release by Eureka marks its UK debut on Blu-ray.

With cinematography by John Alcott (“2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Barry Lyndon”) it’s backed by one of Jerry Goldsmith’s greatest scores - which was nominated for an Academy Award – it features well-known jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. It was later sampled by Quentin Tarantino in “Django Unchained”). The film is considered one of director Roger Spottiswoode’s greatest achievements, being a complex political thriller with hints of “Casablanca”.

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Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Californian police carefully construct a roadblock out of numerous cop cars; into the centre trundle a couple of heavy plant loaders, buckets placed in a V shape with barely a sliver of light gleaming from the gap between them. In the distance, a throaty 1970 Dodge Challenger speeds into view pursued by additional police cars. So begins “Vanishing Point” before the narrative jumps a couple of days earlier to enlighten us.

Kowalski (Barry Newman – Petrocelli, “Daylight”) is an illicit car delivery specialist with a background in professional racing who thrives on tight deadlines. His journey stretches three states from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco, with a 15 hour deadline. To begin with he only attracts a couple of weedy police motorbikes, but as the blacktop flies by, the authorities and media sharpen their focus, the former on stopping him, the latter broadcasting the incident.

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Monday, 10 June 2019

From an idea by its star Peter Barkworth, who is the centre of the action as Geoffrey Carr, The Price is a hostage drama set on both sides of the Irish Sea. The kidnap is the framework around which everything else revolves – business machinations, emotional conflicts and police procedurals - the story is rich in characterisation while exploring beliefs and motives. The mini-series is now back in the spotlight, not only for its subject matter but also for showcasing a pair of actors ‘before they were famous’, thanks to this release on DVD through Simply Media.

Set like an elaborate game of chess between the kidnappers and Carr (the husband and stepfather of the abductees), The Price is a drama which tackles the likes of political ideologies, matrimonial discord and the price paid in pursuit of happiness (hence the title). It does not run shy in its analysis of Ireland’s politics of the time, both Republican and Northern. Indeed, one wonders if the EU border arguments may be the unwitting blue touch-paper which could kick off violent hostilities once more.

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Monday, 20 May 2019

This is the classic BBC adaptation of the novel by E Nesbit, first broadcast in 1976. The story centres on four children who discover hidden treasures and adventures by chance, thanks to a trinket they acquire. This was the middle part of a trilogy of novels that started with “Five Children and It” and ended with “The Story of the Amulet”.

The eight part TV drama, out now on DVD from Simply Media, begins when a family buys an old carpet from a junk shop in Edwardian London. When unrolled, this worn old relic reveals a large shiny egg. One of the boys accidentally knocks the egg into an open fire, from which an irascible talking phoenix emerges. He has the power to grant wishes and send them off on adventures, all made possible with the flying carpet now laid out in their playroom.

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Monday, 13 May 2019

An adaptation of an early Stephen King novel, “Cujo” is about a lovable St. Bernard dog that catches rabies and turns very nasty. Donna (Dee Wallace – “ET - The Extra-Terrestrial”, “The Howling”) is having an extramarital affair whilst her relationship with Vic (Daniel Hugh Kelly – “Star Trek: Insurrection”, Hardcastle and McCormick) is stagnating. Young son Tad (Danny Pintauro – Who’s the Boss?) is the glue that is keeping them together.

When Vic goes away on a long business trip, Donna takes Tad to an out of town mechanic to get her car fixed. She arrives at the remote location only to discover that there is nobody around, and mum and son become trapped in their vehicle, terrorised by a slobbering, snarling Cujo. The thriller was directed by Lewis Teague (“The Jewel of the Nile”, “Alligator”).

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Sunday, 14 April 2019

Last year’s Cult TV Awards were definitely the time of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Not only did the Trek spin-off, which ran from 19—pick up the top gong of “Hall of Fame – Series” but also Director Roxann Dawson (who was previously an actor, playing B'Elanna Torres in Star Trek: Voyager) won the “Hall of Fame – Director” Award.

Inducted into the “Hall of Fame – Producer” this year was Ira Steven Behr, who was with DS9 for its duration, becoming an Executive Producer for 108 of its episodes. He had previously been a producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the TV series of Fame. In addition, the “Hall of Fame – Villain” pantheon for the year went to the Cardassian Gul Dukat (as played by Mark Alaimo in 35 episodes of DS9).

Some of our voters were also winners as, thanks to Fabulous Films we had some superb prizes to give away in our prize draw, all just for making your choices. QUANTUM LEAP – The Complete Blu-ray Collection went to Mark Prior of Chatteris; BUCK ROGERS – The Complete Blu-ray Collection went to Sally Luke of Chelmsford; COLUMBO – Complete Season One on Blu-ray went to Chris Smith of Urmston; and THE INCREDIBLE HULK – Movie Collection on DVD went to Cliff Hedges of Bromley.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

‘Them’. The ‘Faceless Ones’. ‘Enemies of Mankind’. The ‘Aliens’. No, this isn’t David Icke on one of his lecture tours.  This is one of our most iconic comedians placed into a high-tech humour format. Les Dawson is a legend, much remembered for his deadpan style, curmudgeonly persona and snide jokes about his mother-in-law. The BBC series THE DAWSON WATCH saw Les tackle a different subject in each episode, with his unique approach framed in an intriguing comedy vehicle.

It ran for 19 episodes between 1979 and 1980. When you tie this into his work as a novelist, we can see that here was a man who knew far more about what was going on in the world, and in his book “A Time Before Genesis” he even predicts the future in a way that might just be coming true, right here, right now. Apply this thought to watching this series and added layers of interest are exposed.

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Tuesday, 09 April 2019

Screening two years after “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, Mel Brooks takes that movie’s tongue-in-cheek approach as a base line and spoofs it to within an inch of its life. Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”, “Saw”) plays Robin, with Amy Yasbeck (“Mask”, “Pretty Woman”) as Maid Marian, Roger Rees (“The Prestige”, Warehouse 13) as the Sheriff of Rottingham (yes, you read that right) and Richard Lewis (Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Leaving Las Vegas”) as Prince John.

Brooks (“Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein”) takes a fast and loose approach, much in the style of “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” series, propelling the film forwards with an avalanche of gags and slapstick humour rather than complex plot. Thankfully Elwes is utterly winning as Robin, dashing, charming and effortlessly athletic - not a million miles from his role as Westley in the aforementioned “The Princess Bride”, just not as intellectually sharp.

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Monday, 08 April 2019

A smartly-dressed boy called Daryl is discovered lost and alone in the middle of nowhere. Handed in to the authorities and apparently suffering from amnesia, the boy (Barret Oliver – “The Never Ending Story”, “Cocoon”) is fostered by Andy and Joyce Richardson, who soon realise that Daryl has particular gifts. How does he learn the piano and smash a baseball on his first attempt, never mind showing up his teachers at school.

Andy (Michael McKean – “This Is Spinal Tap”, Better Call Saul) and Joyce (Mary Beth Hurt – “Lady in the Water”, “The Age of Innocence”) become very attached to sweet-natured Daryl and fear that his biological parents may come knocking. When this eventually happens, their world gets turned upside down and Daryl’s very existence is put in jeopardy. Who is he and where did he come from?

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Monday, 01 April 2019

“The White Reindeer” is a Finnish folk-horror about a frustrated woman who is bewitched by a shaman into a vampiric, shape-shifting reindeer. Pirita (Mirjami Kuosmanen) is the woman in question, left alone in snowy, bleak Lapland when her husband Aslak (Kalervo Nissilä) goes on a long herding trip. At night Pirita becomes the white reindeer, luring man after man into a valley before transforming back into her human form to drink their blood.

Fans of Hammer Horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s will be very familiar with the type of tale on offer here, but the movie feels quite fresh thanks to the shift to Finnish culture and a more documentary-style approach. This is almost a silent film thanks to there being very little dialogue, and atmospheric orchestral backing to keep things moving.

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Thursday, 14 March 2019

It is Spring 1941 and the battle for control of the North Atlantic is raging. Hulking, ‘unsinkable’ German battleship Bismarck is tasked with taking out Allied convoys, spurring the Royal Navy into a frantic fleet redeployment. The Admiralty’s new Chief of Operations, Captain Jonathan Shepard (Kenneth More – “A Night to Remember”, “Genevieve”) is the man responsible for making some hard decisions for the greater good.

Based in the London war room, 200 feet underground, Shepard puts personal tragedy and concern for his son’s life aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal to one side. Aided by Wren Officer Anne Davis (Dana Wynter – “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Airport”), Shepard is forced to leave convoys desperately exposed in order to support the hunt for the Bismarck, but terrible weather conditions mean the giant vessel is alluding detection.

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Voting has just begun in the voting phase of this the 2018 Cult TV Awards, in what is now our 25th year of presenting our appreciation of the best in fictional television, to the talent behind the shows that we make time for more than others.

As an incentive to cast your votes, we have four prizes on offer - a copy of the entire series 22 Blu-ray Box Set of QUANTUM LEAP, with an RRP of £149.99, the two seasons of BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY on Blu-ray (8 discs, RRP £59.99), the first season of COLUMBO on Bu-ray (3 discs, RRP £29.99), and the TV movies of THE INCREDIBLE HULK on DVD (3 discs, RRP £29.99), all thanks to Fabulous Films/Fremantle Media Enterprises, all for getting your ‘thinking caps’ on and make your nominations. But hurry – voting closes on 31 March 2019.

Continue reading now for the link to the VOTING FORM.

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Sunday, 03 March 2019

“Occupation” is an Australian sci-fi film about a town’s efforts to resist a devastating alien invasion. The townsfolk are up in arms about a new road bypass potentially wiping them off the map, but that is the least of their worries when an alien fleet arrives during an Aussie football game, flanked by a gigantic mothership. Outgunned by a technologically superior foe, the survivors have no option but to retreat and then devise a plan to fight back.

The cast includes Dan Ewing (Home and Away), Temuera Morrison (“Aquaman”, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”), Stephany  Jacobsen (“Alex Cross”, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Charles Mesure (Once Upon a Time, The Magicians). Writer/director Luke Sparke (“Red Billabong”) will return with a sequel called “Occupation Rainfall”, commencing shooting later this year.

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Friday, 01 March 2019

“Boar” is a gory creature feature from 'Down Under'. As the name suggests, a giant (and I mean GIANT) boar is terrorising a rural farming community, knocking down fences and massacring sheep. Before long the tusky beastie starts slaughtering the locals and nobody seems able to stem the bloody tide, possibly not even Bernie the local man-mountain (Nathan Jones – “Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Into this deadly scenario comes Bernie’s sister-in-law Debbie (Simone Buchanan – Neighbours) and her family, including hubby Bob (Bill Moseley – “The Devil’s Rejects”), son Bart (Griffin Walsh), daughter Ella (Christie-Lee Britten – Mako Mermaids) and her cocky boyfriend Robert (Hugh Sheridan – Packed to the Rafters). The family’s plans for an idyllic holiday in the country turn into a porcine nightmare.

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Monday, 25 February 2019

Fritz Lang’s seedy film-noir stars Glenn Ford (“Superman”) as Jeff Warren, an army vet returning home from the Korean War to his job as a train engineer. Highly susceptible to feminine wiles, Jeff falls for the young wife of Deputy Yard Master Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford – “All the King’s Men”). That would be trouble enough but Carl is highly suspicious of his young wife, and unbeknownst to Jeff he has already committed murder in a fit of jealous rage.

The film focuses on this twisted love triangle, with femme fatale Vicki (Gloria Grahame – “It’s a Wonder Life”) both manipulating the two men but also trapped by Carl in a hellish relationship through blackmail. Director Lang (“Metropolis”, “M”) sucks us into his dark romantic web as we wonder whether Jeff can extricate himself before he too succumbs to Carl’s furious, drunken temper.

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Monday, 21 January 2019

Eureka Entertainment kick off their 2019 releases with a film noir Oscar winner by director Otto Preminger (“Stalag 17”). A murder mystery where the titular character has already been offed as the film opens, “Laura” is primarily told in a series of flashbacks as we learn about Laura (Gene Tierney – “Leave Her to Heaven”), a captivating marketing designer, and the huddle of men and women in her social circle.

Det Lt Mark McPherson picks up the case after Laura has been shot in the head. Amongst the small number of likely suspects is Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb – “The Razor’s Edge”), a sharp-tongued columnist who took Laura under his wing, unscrupulous playboy Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price – “House on Haunted Hill”) and Anne Treadwell (Judith Anderson – “Rebecca”), Laura’s aunt who has more than a passing interesting in Shelby.

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Friday, 04 January 2019

“The Festival” is a comedy movie from the creators of The Inbetweeners about a couple of mates who attend a massive music festival after their graduation. Mopey Nick (Joe Thomas – “The Inbetweeners Movie”, White Gold) has just suffered a painful breakup and is dragged along by his enthusiastic best buddy Shane (Hammed Animashaun – Black Mirror, Flowers), whose dream is to get backstage with superstar DJ Hammerhead.

On the way the duo meets Amy (Claudia O’Doherty – “Trainwreck”, “The Inbetweeners 2”), an Aussie with verbal diarrhoea who is desperate to meet new friends. After an eventful journey they arrive at the festival site, only to awkwardly bump into Nick’s ex, Caitlin (Hannah Tointon – Hollyoaks, “The Children”). Expect mud, mayhem, music and MDMA as festival life results in some wild and outlandish encounters.

Sunday, 09 December 2018

Voting has just begun in the nominations phase of this year’s Cult TV Awards, in what is now our 25th year of presenting our appreciation of the best in fictional television, to the talent behind the shows that we make time for more than others. As an incentive to cast your votes, we have four prizes on offer - a copy of the entire season 24 Blu-ray Box Set of Northern Exposure, with an RRP of £149.99, the first season of Murder, She Wrote on Blu-ray (6 discs, RRP £39.99), the first season of The Rockford Files on Blu-ray (6 discs, RRP £39.99), and the entire run of Royal Pains on DVD (25 discs, RRP £99.99), all thanks to Fabulous Films/Fremantle Media Enterprises, all for getting your ‘thinking caps’ on and make your nominations. But hurry – nominations close on 23 December 2018.

Later in this article, you can also discover what prizes are on offer for the voting stage, which follows the nominations stage of the process. Continue reading now for the link to the Nominations Form.

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Monday, 29 October 2018

Jackie Chan's Project A Parts I and II out now on Blu-rayIn a brilliant one-two punch combo, Eureka Entertainment have produced a second Jackie Chan Blu-ray movie box set to complement their recent “Police Story” release. This limited edition collection features “Project A” and “Project A Part II” in which Chan plays Sergeant Dragon Ma, a diligent and courageous coastguard-turned-police man who becomes the bane of Hong Kong criminal gangs, corrupt cops and pirates.

“Project A” sees Ma taking on dastardly pirates who have made a mockery of all those who have previously attempted to locate and apprehend them. Ma realises the only way to succeed is to go under cover and destroy them from the inside. In “Project A Part II” Ma is tasked with cleaning up the roughest district in Hong Kong, no mean feat when some of his colleagues are in league with the local kingpin, never mind more pirates out for blood!

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Monday, 22 October 2018

The Rockford Files - Season 1 out now on Blu-rayJames Garner (“The Great Escape”, “Space Cowboys”) stars as Jim Rockford, a laid-back private investigator with a penchant for damsels in distress and getting into life-threatening predicaments. Having served five years for armed robbery, a crime he may or may not have committed, Rockford has developed thick skin and an ability to read people and situations, meaning he is exceptionally good at his job. He also has a string of useful contacts including police Sgt Becker (Joe Santos – “The Last Boyscout”, The Sopranos) to help him solve cases.

The few other constants in Jim’s turbulent life include his father Rocky (Noah Beery Jr – “Walking Tall”, “Red River”), his dishevelled trailer home in a parking lot in Malibu and his gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit automobile. He is invariably skint and even though he cracks most of his cases, events generally conspire against him such that he is rarely paid his full rate of $200 a day plus expenses. Charm, wit and quick thinking keep him one step ahead of the criminals, but they are never far behind.

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Hereditary -out now on Blu-ray, DVD and VODThe title of ‘best horror film in decades’ is enthusiastically banded around every year; once in a while there is some merit to the acclaim, often not. In the case of “Hereditary”, the promotional noise was deafening so I was keen to see if the hype and comparisons to “The Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby” were valid. The film opens with the announcement of the death of the Graham family’s matriarch, an event that marks the family’s slow descent into Hell.

Annie (Toni Collette – “The Sixth Sense”, Wanderlust) realises there was much she did not know about her mother’s life. The deeper she digs the worse things get, and Annie can barely hold her emotionally fragmented family together. Daughter Charlie (newcomer Milly Shapiro) develops increasingly weird ticks and draws some troubling pictures, whilst father Steve (Gabriel Byrne – “The Usual Suspects”, “Miller’s Crossing”) and son Peter (Alex Wolff – “Coming through the Rye”) look to each other for support.

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Monday, 24 September 2018

Eureka Entertainment’s Blu-ray box set contains “Troll”, “Troll 2” and “Best Worst Movie”, a documentary about the making of the second film. The set is a serious contender for the oddest release ever, not least because “Troll” and “Troll 2” are completely unrelated films. Banding them together almost seems unfair, but I am not sure which film is more hard done by – the 80s VHS schlock horror or the allegedly ‘so bad it is good’ sequel.

Troll - The Complete Blu-ray Collection

In “Troll”, the Potter family move into an apartment block beset by a magical troll whose devious plan is to turn every tenant into a bizarre, sprouting jungle infested by demonic creatures. “Troll 2” tells the tale of the Waits’ family’s move to a place in the country, only to discover that the entire town is occupied by goblins who trick people into eating contaminated green food that turns the consumer into gunky goblin food.

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Monday, 17 September 2018

Revenge - available now on Video on DemandRichard and Jen travel by helicopter to a remote but lavish villa in the desert, only to have their passionate break interrupted by a couple of men heavily armed with hunting gear. Richard (Kevin Janssens – Vermist) reveals he knows the men and was planning to go hunting after Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz – “Rings”) had returned home. After a drunken night round the pool, one of the visitors assaults Jen and events spiral ever more horribly out of control.

“Revenge” is one of those films that is quite hard to review without revealing spoilers, but then the title and the publicity shots have that tied up nicely. Essentially, the men try to kill Jen and seriously regret not finishing the job! Jen becomes some kind of super woman, part Lara Croft, part The Bride from the “Kill Bill” movies. What ensues is a very violent, bloody and entertaining game of cat and mouse where the roles switch several times. The phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ is certainly applicable.

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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Jackie Chan's Police Story 1 and 2 on Blu-rayTom Cruise is currently wowing cinema audiences with his feats of bravado in “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”, and whilst the scale of his stunts might leave viewers in awe, his broken ankle pales into insignificance compared to Jackie Chan’s copious injuries sustained throughout his career. For example, in “Police Story” and “Police Story 2”, newly released on Blu-ray, these include spinal damage and a dislocated pelvis.

This new hard-cased box set features stunning 4K restorations of two of Chan’s best-loved movies, allowing us to experience some of his best action scenes and moments of whacky humour in super-sharp HD. Not content with writing, stunt coordinating, acting in and directing the films, Chan also sings the theme tune (watch out Dennis Waterman). A selection of different cuts of both films headlines some quality bonus content.

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Friday, 17 August 2018

Flesh + Blood - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDThe setting is Western Europe in 1501. A small band of roguish mercenaries led by a fearless warrior called Martin (Rutger Hauer – “Blade Runner”, “Sin City”) seek revenge against some back-stabbing noblemen. Seizing control of the local lord’s castle and capturing his son’s young bride-to-be, Martin and his mob think they are on top of the world until a devastating counter-attack is launched.

Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (“Robocop”, “Starship Troopers”) displays much of his trademark violence, nudity and often grim sense of humour in this action romp from 1985. Originally censored in the UK, Eureka’s combined DVD and Blu-ray release presents the full, uncut version of the film, along with a heap of extra features and content.

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