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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Xtro (1982) Blu Ray: Limited Edition Box Set (Second Sight)

Harry Bromley Davenport's cult sci-fi horror amounts to a disjointed collection of weird and gruesome scenes. For all that, it is good fun. If you've ever wanted to see a woman gruesomely give birth to a fully-grown man and an Action Man figure come to life to murder a neighbour, then this is for you.

The alien creature from Xtro (1982)

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The Addiction (1995) dir: Abel Ferrara Blu Ray (Arrow)

Lili Taylor plays a philosophy student who gains a thirst for human blood in this arthouse vampire flick with definite love-it-or-hate-it potential.

Christopher Walken and Lili Taylor in The Addiction

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Iron Monkey (1993) dir: Yuen Woo-Ping Blu Ray (Eureka!)

Yu Rong-Kwong plays the titular Robin Hood-style hero in this classic wuxia which revolves around the childhood of Chinese martial artist Wong Fei-Hong. The plentiful action is exhilaratingly wild yet gracefully choreographed, while the occasional moments of character are crafted with a genuine poignancy.

Iron Monkey (1993)

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The Quiet Earth (1985) dir: Geoff Murphy Blu Ray (Arrow)

Bruno Lawrence plays a scientist who survives a catastrophe which causes most of the Earth's population to disappear in this underrated New Zealand sci-fi classic.

Bruno Lawrence in The Quiet Earth

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The Defiant Ones (1958) dir: Stanley Kramer Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis play a pair of escaped prisoners chained together in this grittily realistic but entertaining look at racism. The two leads perform most of their own stunts, creating a sense of immersion in the film's natural dangers.

Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958)

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No Way Out (1950) starring Sidney Poitier Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film noir message movie helped to pave the way for African-American leading men in Hollywood cinema. Aside from Poitier's subtly engaging performance, we get Richard Widmark's supremely loathsome racist villain and Linda Darnell as a hard-bitten wild card.

Sidney Poitier and Richard Widmark in No Way Out (1950)

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Jake Speed (1986) starring Wayne Crawford Blu Ray (Arrow)

This semi-parodic homage to archetypal paperback heroes and Indiana Jones-style adventures has some neat touches but suffers from weak execution and a lack of likeable characters. John Hurt has fun as the villain but, for the most part, Jake Plod would have been a more apt title.

Karen Kopins and Wayne Crawford in Jake Speed

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Inherit the Wind (1960) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Stanley Kramer’s depiction of religious fundamentalism and group dynamics in a Bible Belt town remains all-too-relevant today. Its success centres on the powerhouse performances of Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, along with a cynically witty turn by Gene Kelly.

Fredric March in Inherit the Wind (1960)

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Smash Palace (1981) dir: Roger Donaldson Blu Ray (Arrow Academy)

This New Zealand-made drama, chronicling the emotional car crash of a marital breakup, holds its oddball genre mix together thanks to Bruno Lawrence's superb performance and Roger Donaldson's exhilarating direction.

Bruno Lawrence in Smash Palace

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The Grifters (1990) dir: Stephen Frears Blu Ray & DVD (101 Films)

This neo-noir, adapted from Jim Thompson's novel, is a stylishly tragic portrayal of the human beings behind its sundry scams and hardboiled dialogue. It's an overlooked gem, featuring outstanding performances by John Cusack, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening.

The Grifters (1990) directed by Stephen Frears

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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CINEMA

ARTICLES

Lili Taylor in The Addiction

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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