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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

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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The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971) Blu Ray (Arrow)

This typically entertaining Sergio Martino giallo makes up for its convoluted and contrived plot with some energetic setpieces and blood-splattered murders.

Ida Galli in The Case of the Scorpion's Tail

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The China Syndrome (1979) Blu Ray (Indicator)

James Bridges' account of a nuclear plant incident has some truly chilling real-life precedents. This 1970s mixture of ambitious reporter movie, paranoia thriller and disaster movie is highlighted by excellent performances courtesy of Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas.

Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome

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Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Paul Schrader's multi-stranded examination of one of Japan's most memorable and controversial cultural figures is a beautiful and hugely ambitious piece of cinema. This 4K restoration is stunning and features a wealth of extras which add up to an almost perfect package.

Ken Ogata in Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

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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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Breakheart Pass (1975) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This train-set civil war era Western, featuring Charles Bronson at his 1970s career peak, starts slowly but soon livens up with plentiful twists and some spectacular action.

Charles Bronson in Breakheart Pass (1975)

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Sleeping Dogs (1977) starring Sam Neill Blu Ray (Arrow Academy)

This seminal dystopian sci-fi action thriller from New Zealand is low-budget and technically rough around the edges. However, it succeeds admirably in mixing entertainment with a chilling cautionary tale. It also stars Nevan Rowe, Ian Mune and Warren Oates.

Nevan Rowe in Sleeping Dogs

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​Hammer Volume Two: Criminal Intent (1958-1961) Blu Ray (Indicator)

This compilation of the cult British studio's crime dramas proves that they ably turned their hands to genres other than the horror films which made them famous. The Snorkel, Never Take Sweets From a Stranger, Cash on Demand and The Full Treatment are the four offerings in this set.

The Snorkel (1958) with Peter van Eyck

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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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Blue Collar (1978) dir: Paul Schrader Blu Ray (Indicator)

Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto play three workers at a Checker Cab plant in Detroit who are fed up with taking it from The Man and decide to rob their union. It's a potent mix of polemic, humour and thriller whose message endures all too well to this day.

Richard Pryor in Blue Collar (1978)

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

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CINEMA

ARTICLES

Obey, written and directed by Jamie Jones

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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