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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) Blu Ray (Arrow)

This feature-length spin-off for Cassandra Peterson's vampy, campy horror hostess persona is lightweight, disposable fun, filled with innuendoes and sight gags. While the actress was nominated for a Razzie award, she carries the slender film on her shoulders well enough.

Cassandra Peterson as Elvira

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Escape from New York (1981) Blu Ray (Studiocanal)

John Carpenter's cult classic sci-fi adventure receives a beautiful 4K restoration and plenty of extra features. The great cast includes Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Donald Pleasance and Adrienne Barbeau.

Kurt Russell in Escape from New York

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Rats: Night of Terror (1984) Blu Ray (88 Films)

Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso's sci-fi horror cheapie fails spectacularly in its endeavours to make rats terrifying. On the other hand, it's often accidentally hilarious and never boring. The cast, adopting anglicised pseudonyms, includes Ottaviano Dell'Acqua, Geretta Geretta and Massimo Vanni.

Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

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Jackie Chan's Project A & Project A Part II Blu Ray (Eureka!)

The Hong Kong superstar is at his absolute finest in this pair of period action adventures. The first film is more consistent and features welcome appearances by his fellow dragons Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, whereas the second is more ambitious and spectacular.

Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan in Project A

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Night of the Creeps (1986) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Fred Dekker's directorial debut is an affectionate, gory, predictable but likeable homage to sci-fi, zombie movies, frat boy comedies and umpteen other genres besides. Tom Atkins is the undoubted highlight here as the film noir style detective investigating the mysterious goings-on.

Jason Lively in Night of the Creeps

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Monkey Shines (1988) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This underrated entry in George Romero's filmography is an intelligent, psychologically chilling look at the frustrations of disability and the brutalities of animal instinct. A fine performance by Jason Beghe and some complex work with real capuchin monkeys hold the attention throughout.

George Romero's underrated Monkey Shines

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Troll: The Complete Collection Blu Ray (Eureka!)

Troll is a routinely bad Charles Band production. The tenuously-connected Troll 2, however, is one of the most entertainingly terrible films ever made. Best Worst Movie is a satisfying documentary exploring the cult phenomenon surrounding the latter.

Troll 2 (1990)

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City of the Living Dead (1980) Limited Edition Blu Ray (Arrow)

The first film in Lucio Fulci's loose Gates of Hell trilogy mixes a disjointed, inconsistent narrative, nightmarish atmospherics and obsessively gory pay-offs. While it's not for everyone, fans will adore Arrow's amazingly comprehensive Blu Ray package.

Catriona MacColl and Carlo De Mejo in City of the Living Dead

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Salvador (1986) dir: Oliver Stone Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This harrowing account of the real-life experiences of photojournalist Richard Boyle (played by James Woods) will truly jolt the viewer out of their complacency about American foreign policy. It's a must-see film - albeit one which you might not wish to face going through a second time.

John Savage and James Woods in Salvador (1986)

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Heathers (1988) starring Winona Ryder Blu Ray & DVD (Arrow)

Director Michael Lehmann's first and best film is a sharp satire about the neo-fascist reality of high school life and the media-fuelled cult of teen martyrdom. It's stylish, witty and has great performances, notably from its two leads Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.

Christian Slater and Winona Ryder in Heathers

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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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