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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...

Monday, 04 June 2018

The Old Dark House - out now in a dual format Blu-ray and DVD packageBased on the novel ‘Benighted’ by J B Priestley, “The Old Dark House” is an early 1930s horror in the haunted house vein, directed by James Whale (“Frankenstein”, “Showboat”) and starring Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas and Charles Laughton. Three people are caught in a torrential storm and seek shelter in a foreboding old house. The residence belongs to the highly unusual Femm family and their lumbering, mute butler Morgan (Karloff).

As the relatively hospitable Femms are serving up a simple supper, another stranded couple arrive and things seem as calm and settled as the tempestuous weather permits. But what of hosts’ dire warning to not let the leering Morgan get drunk, or the strange cries emanating from behind closed and locked doors upstairs? Curiosity is sure to get the better of the visitors, with potentially deadly consequences.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Breakheart Pass - out now as a dual format Blu-ray and DVD combo“Breakheart Pass” crosses several genres including Western, action thriller and murder mystery. This will probably not come as a shock when the author is revealed: Alistair MacLean, known for “Where Eagles Dare”, “The Guns of Navarone” and “Ice Station Zebra”. The movie is set in the Winter of 1873 and stars Charles Bronson as a felon who is apprehended and stowed on a troop-carrying train passing through the Rocky Mountains.

Also known as “Nevada Express”, VIP passengers and army officers start disappearing or turning up dead, leading to an on-going investigation which John Deakin (Bronson – “Once Upon a Time in the West”, “Death Wish”) becomes entangled in, thanks to some medical knowhow and a keen eye for the details others seem to overlook. What is the motive and who is responsible? The race is on to solve the mystery before the train reaches the perilous Breakheart Pass.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018

The Mad Death - out now on DVD from Simply MediaNever has the hymn “All things bright and beautiful” been given such a morbid undercurrent as in the 1983 three part mini-series The Mad Death. It is used as the title music, and the way it is sung, by a young voice which is quite frail, it immediately brings visions of classic horror.  The series took two years from its 1981 production to be screened by the BBC, and for those with any fondness for dogs and cats, or foxes, it is not comfortable viewing.

Brought to us on DVD by Simply Media, BBC Scotland produced the serial, based on the book by Nigel Slater. Its trio of 50 minute episodes chronicles the quick contagion of rabies in the UK. A French aristocratic woman smuggles a Siamese cat into Scotland, hidden in a large inside pocket in her smart coat (probably a stretch on plausibility, but we’ll go with it). It had previously been in a set-to outside prior to the trip, which meant it was infected, and effectively a ticking time bomb.

Tuesday, 01 May 2018

Marty - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDErnest Borgnine (Airwolf, “The Poseidon Adventure”, “Escape from New York”) stars as the titular Marty, a middle-aged butcher who lives with his mother and thinks his chances of ever getting married and settling down have passed. Despite being a nice bloke, Marty’s life is stuck in a rut until he comes to the aid of a jilted woman in a ballroom and they hit it off. Marty’s family and friends are shocked and discouraging and he has a major, personal decision to make.

“Marty” won a raft of prestigious awards on its release including Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Writing, along with the Palme d’Or in Cannes. The film started life as a TV play with the same writer and director, Paddy Chayefsky (“Network”) and Delbert Mann (“Separate Tables”). Emphasising realism and toning down the comedy in favour of everyday, character-driven drama, the movie feels fresh to this day.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Cure - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVD“Cure” is a thriller-horror film by Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (“Pulse”). Detective Takabe (Kôji Yakusho – “13 Assassins”) and his criminal psychologist colleague Sakuma (Tsuyoshi Ujiki – “Dora-heita”) are investigating a series of bizarre, apparently motiveless murders by different perpetrators. As the case develops, the police discover the involvement of a third party, an amnesiac man found on a deserted beach.

This is a peculiar and fascinating movie that reminded me of “Se7en” in several ways. It is shot in a grainy, dark manner and features lots of distressed locations that suggest decay and neglect, thematically mirroring the personalities of some of the characters.The relationship between the stranger and Detective Takabe – a man in equal parts obsessively driven and emotionally fatigued – grows increasingly complex and psychologically charged, especially as the cop is also wrestling with problems at home.

Monday, 02 April 2018

Buck Rogers in the 25th Centiry - out now on Blu-rayAstronaut Buck Rogers is involved in a devastating accident during a mission that results in him being frozen for 500 years. Lucky to still be alive he returns to Earth in the year 2491 to find the world ravaged by a nuclear apocalypse. A fish out of water, Buck nevertheless joins the effort to protect what is left of the planet from all manner of alien forces bent on its ultimate destruction.

Developed by TV supremoes Glen A Larson and Leslie Stevens, the series is loosely based on the 1920s’ fictional character by Philip Francis Nowlan and the 1930s’ serial starring Buster Crabbe. The dashing Buck is played by Gil Gerard (“Airport ‘77”), glamorous Colonel Wilma Deering by Erin Gray (“Dreams Awake”) and cheeky, pint-sized robot sidekick Twiki by Felix Silla (“Spaceballs”), with the voice of the legendary Mel Blanc (on most episodes).

Monday, 12 March 2018

ReBorn out now on Blu-rayToshiro aka Ghost (Tak Sakaguchi – “Versus”) is a legendary, ex-special forces soldier trying to live a quiet life running a mini-mart and caring for a young girl (Yura Kondo). Ghost becomes the target of his old squad CO who hires a team of assassins, backed up by a sizeable platoon of grunts. Despite the odds, it quickly becomes plain that Ghost has lost none of his death-dealing skills; he is not going down without a fight.

The plot may be slight but the action is fierce, bloody and exciting to behold as Ghost carves a path through his enemies, sometimes taking on half a dozen men at a time. The fights are generally very close-quarters affairs, often with small blades, primarily because the hero can dodge bullets, even high-velocity sniper rounds! Ghost has a very efficient, no showboating approach that means he dispatches nearly everyone with minimal fuss.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Quantum  Leap - The Complete Collection - out now on Blu-rayHaving made its debut Stateside in March 1989, in the UK it would be nearly a year before Quantum Leap would come to our screens. Here, the show began on BBC Two on 13th February 1990, airing Tuesday nights at 9.00pm. Unlike so many American series before it, its popularity meant we got to see all the stories from its five year run. However, the final episode was scheduled to be aired on 14th June 1994, but got bumped after the death of dramatist Dennis Potter earlier that month, delaying the airing until 21st June 1994.

Now we have the opportunity to get our hands on a UK Blu-ray release of the series, thanks to Fabulous Films. AND YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN A SET, RRP £149.99, IN OUR PRIZE COMPETITION. The winner was Stuart Edwards of Wallingford.  Meanwhile, relive all the 97 adventures once more, as physicist Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula – Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise) steps into the quantum accelerator, jaunting across the course of his own lifetime, putting right the little things which alter the big picture. He’s assisted by Al (Dean Stockwell – Jon Cavil in the Battlestar Galactica reboot), his only link back to the base of the time travel experiment and entering the scenarios as a hologram, with Al playing the percentages of trying to help work out where they’ve ended up and what they are there to do. Just to confuse things, Sam takes on the looks (in mirrors at least) of all sorts of different protagonists.

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Handmaid's Tale - out on Blu-ray and DVDNot to be confused with the recent hit TV adaptation starring Elizabeth Moss, this is a 1990 film version of Margaret Atwood’s powerful novel of the same name. In the near future, the Earth has become a polluted, war-stricken nightmare world where infertility is rife. Set in the USA, now called the Republic of Gilead, fertile women are rounded up and forced to bear children for the rich and powerful whilst others frequent forced labour camps.

The excellent cast includes Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth McGovern and Victoria Tennant. Those familiar with the Cult-TV-Award-winning television series shown on Channel 4 in 2017 will know exactly what to expect, as this cinematic version looks and feels very similar indeed, albeit not quite as graphic; Richardson (“The Parent Trap”) gives us a warmer, more feminine take on central character Kate.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The winners of the Cult TV Awards 2017 have been announced.  As has been the case for these ‘gongs’ since they were first presented in 1994, our nominations stage followed by the voting stage ensures that the particular niche which makes up appreciators of Cult Television are allowed to ensure their choices stand out from what is seen at other awards ceremonies for the medium of television.

Sure, you would expect the likes of Doctor Who and Game of Thrones to be well-represented in the choices made, but probably not the likes of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Westworld or Dark Matter. And with the ever-expanding Cult TV Hall of Fame, it means that every year we can invite new icons to join those we celebrate the most, including the likes of Adam West, Agent Dale Cooper, and Space: 1999

And now, here’s the full list of nominees and winners, including the infamous ‘Hall of Shame’…

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