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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

FILM RETROSPECTIVES

A nostalgic (but not blindly nostalgic) look back at some cult and classic movies. Are they worth checking out once you take off the rose-tinted glasses? Find out in this retrospective section.

Erik the Conqueror (1961) directed by Mario Bava

Cameron Mitchell and George Ardisson play estranged Viking twin brothers in this visually imaginative and action-filled peplum. While it's a blatant clone of the successful 1958 historical epic The Vikings it succeeds in giving it a run for its money despite being made on a much lower budget.

Ellen Kessler and Cameron Mitchell in Erik the Conqueror (1961)

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Cherry 2000 (1987) dir: Steve De Jarnatt, starring Melanie Griffith

This blend of sci-fi, action, romance and comedy fails to make the most of its eerily prescient subject matter. However, there is some amusement to be had in its production design, action sequences and cast.

Melanie Griffith in Cherry 2000

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Harper (1966) starring Paul Newman and Lauren Bacall

This William Goldman-penned, Jack Smight-directed adaptation of Ross Macdonald's novel updates the dark and cynical language of film noir with a dash of 1960s cool and California sun. It's a fine opportunity to hang out with various dubious characters played by an all-star cast.

Paul Newman and Janet Leigh in Harper

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The Warriors (1979) dir: Walter Hill, starring Michael Beck

This controversial classic, based on a 1965 novel by Sol Yurick, is a wonderfully tight and economical action movie. It also stars Deborah Van Valkenburgh, James Remar, plus David Patrick Kelly as Luther - the whiny, seething, coiled, psychotic little alley cat of a villain.

David Patrick Kelly in The Warriors

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Point Blank (1967) starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson

John Boorman's adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s novel combines a dreamlike depiction of a man in shell-shock with a memorably pulpy, violent action-thriller. It's one of Marvin's best and also features a fine rogue's gallery of supporting actors including Carroll O'Connor and John Vernon.

Lee Marvin in Point Blank (1967)

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Hercules (1983) written and directed by Luigi Cozzi

Lou Ferrigno and Sybil Danning won Razzies for their work in this incoherent and guiltily amusing peplum revival. If you ever wanted to see a bear being hurled through space courtesy of laughable special effects, then you might derive some enjoyment from this.

Sybil Danning and Ingrid Anderson in Hercules (1983)

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Tears of the Black Tiger (2000) directed by Wisit Sasanatieng

This Massaman Western was heavily instrumental in introducing Thai cinema to the world stage. It's a funny, hugely entertaining pastiche with a genuinely touching tale of star-crossed lovers at its centre.

Tears of the Black Tiger (2000)

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The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971) directed by Duccio Tessari

This Italian giallo murder mystery deviates from the usual tropes to provide a classy and surprisingly cinematic legal procedural.

Carole André in The Bloodstained Butterfly

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RoboCop (1987) dir: Paul Verhoeven, starring Peter Weller

The controversial Dutch director's comic-book sci-fi action flick both revels in and slyly subverts its own genre, twisting itself into a razor-sharp corporate satire in the process. The action is exhilarating, the comedic skits are stingingly funny and the cast is superb.

Peter Weller in Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop

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They Live (1988) written and directed by John Carpenter

Wrestler Roddy Piper plays John Nada, a homeless man who makes a shocking discovery about the world around him after he dons a pair of sunglasses. This anti-capitalist satire wasn't a huge hit at the time but has recently been popularised by a slew of social media memes.

Roddy Piper as John Nada in They Live

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