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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Cujo (1983) dir: Lewis Teague Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This solid adaptation of Stephen King's killer St. Bernard story of the same name really picks up during its tension-filled second half. It stars Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh-Kelly, Christopher Stone and Ed Lauter.

Stephen King adaptation Cujo (1983)

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Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz Blu Ray (Arrow)

Amongst this three-film boxed set, Vampyres is the best: an underrated, low-budget horror gem with its own distinctive take on the vampire mythos. The other two films are less satisfying and feel more like bonus features for the bloodsucking main event.

Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz Blu Ray boxed set art

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Class of 1999 (1990) Blu Ray (Vestron Video/Lionsgate)

Mark L. Lester's magpie-like blend of elements from other hit sci-fi films amounts to a competently enjoyable piece of straight-to-video era trash. It stars Malcolm McDowell (spot the A Clockwork Orange reference), Stacy Keach and Pam Grier.

A robot in Class of 1999

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Parents (1989) Blu Ray (Vestron Video/Lionsgate)

Bob Balaban's black horror comedy about cannibalism within the Suburban American Dream is a subversive, surreal gem. Randy Quaid gives the finest, creepiest performance of his career. Also starring Mary Beth Hurt, Sandy Dennis and Bryan Madorsky.

Bryan Madorsky in Parents (1989)

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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

It’s the film which was meant to reunite director Robert Aldrich with What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. When the latter dropped out, Olivia de Havilland replaced her. While not as original as its predecessor, it takes the gothic delirium that bit further.

Bette Davis with gun in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

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Climax (2018) dir: Gaspar Noé Blu Ray & DVD (Arrow)

Noé’s latest film is a challenging and dread-inducing depiction of human deterioration under the influence of LSD-spiked sangria. It is a breathlessly audacious piece of work but not for everyone. Starring Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub and Kiddy Smile.

Climax (2018) starring Sofia Boutella

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Under the Tree (2017) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson's dark Icelandic tale of relationship breakup and neighbourly disputes is blackly funny but ultimately rather nasty. It's a real emotional gut punch, with great performances by Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson and Edda Björgvinsdóttir.

Under the Tree (2017)

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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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Orgies of Edo (1969) dir: Teruo Ishii Blu Ray (Arrow)

Actor Teruo Yoshida links together links together three stories which explore the depravity and perversion lurking beneath the surface of Japan's Genroku era. It's an unpleasant and misogynistic catalogue of sexual and violent acts, recommended only to a very select audience.

Masumi Tachibana in Orgies of Edo

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Two Evil Eyes (1990) dir: George Romero and Dario Argento Blu Ray (88 Films)

This two-part Edgar Allan Poe anthology is more of a case of One Good Eye as Argento's lively The Black Cat far outclasses Romero's draggy The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. While the audio-visual presentation here is so-so, the extras are decent enough.

Harvey Keitel in The Black Cat

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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CINEMA

ARTICLES

Vampyres directed by José Larraz

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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