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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

The Changeling (1980) dir: Peter Medak Blu Ray (Second Sight)

This underrated Canadian-made supernatural chiller makes great use of subtle scares, a labyrinthine mansion set and George C. Scott's commanding turn as a bereaved father. The wealth of extras here makes this an essential disc.

The Changeling (1980) directed by Peter Medak

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Tideland (2005) dir: Terry Gilliam Blu Ray (Arrow)

This is arguably the hardest Terry Gilliam film to rate objectively. It combines his patented dreamlike, wide-angle cinematic beauty with some incredibly queasy subject matter. Some people love it but it's hard to know who exactly you could recommend it to.

Janet McTeer in Tideland

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Cannibal Ferox (1981) Blu Ray (Shameless Films)

Umberto Lenzi's Amazon-set cannibal exploitation flick has some nauseatingly convincing gore effects and an imaginative score but little else to recommend it. Shameless's extras (including frank interviews with Lenzi and actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice) partially redeem the overall package.

Zora Kerova in Cannibal Ferox (1981)

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Flesh + Blood (1985) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Director Paul Verhoeven took his first tentative step into American cinema with this gruelling, multilayered historical adventure - featuring a love triangle between Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Burlinson. Both flesh and blood do indeed feature heavily here.

Rutger Hauer in Flesh + Blood

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Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) Blu Ray and DVD (Eureka!)

While based on an inaccurate source novel by Thomas E. Gaddis, this account of the lifelong prisoner and ornithologist Robert Stroud is an inspired piece of filmmaking from director John Frankenheimer, featuring one of Burt Lancaster's best performances and lots of scene-stealing birds.

Birdman of Alcatraz

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Street Mobster (1972) starring Bunta Sugawara Blu Ray (Arrow)

Kinji Fukasaku's distinctively deglamourised Jitsuroku eiga Yakuza flick makes heavy use of shaky cinéma vérité camerawork and Dutch angles. It has a certain raw energy about it but fails to generate much sympathy for its central protagonist.

A Yakuza tattoo in display in Street Mobster (1972)

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Hammer Volume 3: Blood and Terror Blu Ray Collection (Indicator)

This third collection of films from the iconic British studio suffers from dated racial treatments. The Stranglers of Bombay and The Terror of the Tongs are rather dull exotic potboilers. However, The Camp on Blood Island offers some tension, whereas Yesterday’s Enemy is a genuine anti-war classic.

Terror of the Tongs (1961)

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King of Hearts (1966) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Philippe de Broca's surreal anti-war satire features breakout performances by Alan Bates and Geneviève Bujold, alongside large helpings of archetypally Gallic cinematic magic and a bunch of lunatics who ultimately turn out to be the sane ones in this story.

King of Hearts (1966)

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The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) Blu Ray (Arrow)

Vincent Ward's journey of faith between 14th-century Cumbria and 20th-century Auckland plays like a fish-out-of-water fantasy directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. While the detached feel may leave some feeling cold, it's a rewarding experience for those who join the dots.

The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

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Alice Sweet Alice (1976) dir: Alfred Sole Blu Ray (88 Films)

Paula E. Sheppard plays a troubled young girl who is accused of murder in this Catholic-flavoured proto-slasher, which also features Brooke Shields in her first film role. It's overly melodramatic but has some effectively messy kill scenes.

Brooke Shields in Alice Sweet Alice

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent DVD / Blu Ray companies in the UK.

CINEMA

ARTICLES

Obey, written and directed by Jamie Jones

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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