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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 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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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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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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Rawhead Rex (1986) Clive Barker adaptation Blu Ray (Arrow)

This George Pavlou-directed adaptation of a short story from Barker's Books of Blood anthology is an inept folk-horror but can be enjoyable when taken as a cheesy monster-on-the-loose flick. The rubbery creature is laughable and the performances are very uneven.

Kelly Piper and some cheap optical effects in Rawhead Rex

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Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) Blu Ray & DVD (101 Films)

A series of star-studded comedic skits from five directors (including Joe Dante and John Landis) which mocks the experience of flicking through channels on late-night TV. While some are funnier than others, they are all over so quickly that the inconsistency doesn't matter so much.

Amazon Women on the Moon (1987)

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Breathless (1983) starring Richard Gere Blu Ray (Second Sight)

Jim McBride’s American remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s French arthouse classic is like daubing a cathedral with lively street art. It’s sacrilegious, to be sure, but in a way that is fascinatingly off-kilter and a hell of a lot of fun.

Valérie Kaprisky in Breathless

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Flowers in the Attic (1987) starring Louise Fletcher Blu Ray (Arrow)

Jeffrey Bloom's toned-down adaptation of V.C. Andrews' popular novel about incest and child abuse manages some gothic atmosphere but suffers from poor dialogue and implausibilities.

Louise Fletcher in Flowers in the Attic

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Something Wild (1986) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Jonathan Demme's sensual, freewheeling genre blend is a hugely enjoyable paean to the eternal appeal of the bad girl or boy. It features memorable, Golden Globe-nominated performances by Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith and Ray Liotta as well as some truly unexpected use of music.

Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels Something Wild

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Hounds of Love (2016) directed by Ben Young Blu Ray (Arrow)

This Australian horror thriller loosely inspired by a real-life criminal case may upset dog lovers but is an agonisingly tense look at the pure evil that might lurk behind banal suburban reality.

Emma Booth and Stephen Curry in Hounds of Love

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Lili Taylor in The Addiction

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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