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John Payne

John Payne

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:40

Tales from the Darkside: Sn 3

Tales from the Darkside - Season 3 on DVDGeorge A Romero’s Tales from the Darkside returns to DVD for a third, 22-episode season. The four-disc set is packed with cautionary tales of avarice, cold-blooded murder and horrifying creatures waiting in the shadows to prey on the vulnerable and the foolhardy. Guest stars this time around include Babylon 5 actors Michael O’Hare and Jeff Conaway, Roy Dotrice from Beauty and the Beast, and William Hickey, master of creepy characters as seen in “A Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Prizzi’s Honor”.

As well as producing the anthology show, Romero wrote two of this season’s best episodes. ‘The Circus’ features a skeptical journalist who visits one of the last travelling sideshow theatres. Determined to expose the freakish acts as a sham, he forces the MC’s hand with chilling consequences.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:35

Ruggles of Red Gap Blu-ray

Ruggles of Red Gap in a Blu-ray and DVD set“Ruggles of Red Gap” is an amusing black and white comedy from the 1930s starring Charles Laughton of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” fame. Laughton plays a very prim and proper man servant who discovers one morning that he has been casually given away in a game of poker. Even worse, his new boss is a shameless and very wealthy American, quite a different proposition to the classy British Lord (Roland Young – “Topper”) he previously served.

His new master is Egbert Floud (the confusingly-named Charles Ruggles – “Bringing Up Baby”), a man who lives under the thumb of his bossy wife Effie (Mary Boland – “Six of a Kind”) in Red Gap, Washington, USA. Red Gap is a Western town full of cowboys and laid back folk who like to party. Needless to say, it takes Ruggles quite some time to adapt to his new masters and their way of life, but adjust he does and along the way makes some major self-discoveries.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:27

Island of Lost Souls Blu-ray

Island of Lost Souls comes to Blu-rayBased on H G Wells’ prescient novel “The Island of Doctor Moreau”, this disturbing movie tells a topical tale of genetic engineering and a mad scientist ruling an island populated by monsters of his own creation. Charles Laughton (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Spartacus”) stars as Dr Moreau, a sadistic genius with a serious god complex and a desire to evolve animals beyond all recognition.

Richard Arlen co-stars as Edward Parker, a man whose ill fortunes flip from being rescued from a shipwreck to being stranded on the freakish island with no feasible means of escape. Other stars include Bela Lugosi (“Dracula”, “White Zombie”) as one of Moreau’s more sentient (and furry) experiments, Kathleen Burke as a seductive lady with a hint of panther, and Arthur Hohl (“The Secret Claw”) as the Doctor’s right-hand man.

Monday, 21 May 2012 16:48

“The Grey" DVD & Blu-ray

The Grey - on Blu-ray & DVDFollowing an horrific plane crash, within the freezing Alaskan wilds, seven oil workers fight for their survival against the harsh elements and a relentless and very territorial pack of wolves. Grizzled and resourceful huntsman Ottway (Liam Neeson) tries to take charge, but desperation, exhaustion and clashing personalities mean that the group is far from unified. Supplies running low, they strike out for civilisation with the hungry wolves in close pursuit.

“The Grey” is by turns haunting, terrifying and moving, and its appeal goes way beyond the standard hunter/prey genre. The characterisation is realistic and most of the characters are more than mere ciphers. As the story develops we gradually learn more about the lives and loves of these tough men who are taken to the limit and beyond by impossibly harsh conditions. Some of them start out as coarse and rowdy drunkards on their way home, but their layers are quickly stripped away to reveal much more sensitive and vulnerable personalities underneath, people that you want to survive.

Monday, 21 May 2012 16:43

Yatterman Blu-ray & DVD

Yatterman movie on Blu-ray & DVD“Yatterman” is a madcap, live-action remake of a late 1970s Japanese anime series. From their secret base under a toy shop, teenagers Gan and Ai spring into action whenever evil comes calling, aided by a huge mechanical dog-vessel called Yatterwoof and a small, ditsy robot called Toybotty. Together they form a super-powered, crime-busting outfit called Yatterman. In this feature-length adventure they are on a mission to locate four pieces of a mystical rock shaped like a skull.

Against them is team Doronbo, an equally strange bunch made up of Catwoman-esque Lady Doronjo, her two sidekicks Boyacky (a rat-like man) and Tonzra (a piggy-man), and their own super-mechanoid fighting machine-cum-vehicle. The dastardly Doronbo gang are searching for the skull rock for their illusive, god-like boss Skullobey. Across the globe, random buildings and objects are disappearing and the magical rock is to blame. In the wrong hands it could spell the end of the world.

Monday, 21 May 2012 16:35

Tour of Duty Season 2

Tour of Duty - Season 2 comes to UK DVDThe second season of Tour of Duty charts the continuing trials and tribulations of Bravo Company in the Vietnam War. It is 1968 and the guys have been relocated to a base near Saigon. Three new regular characters are introduced to keep things fresh: eager journalist Alex Devlin (Kim Delaney – Army Wives, NYPD Blue), psychiatrist Dr Jennifer Seymour (Betsy Brantley – “The Princess Bride”, “Dark Angel”) and hotshot chopper pilot Lieutenant John McKay (Dan Gauthier – “Teen Witch”, Supernatural).

The tone of the series has evolved since year one. The new setting means that the soldiers often venture into Saigon, providing some new scenery alongside the usual the base and jungle locations. The inclusion of the two female characters provides the men with an opportunity to open up and discuss their troubles, and introduces the possibility of romance which helps provide some contrast to the testosterone-drenched conflict. The egotistical Lt McKay also stirs things up with his relatively glamorous role and digs.

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 09:02

Clone (Matt Smith) on DVD

“Clone” (aka “Womb”) is a brooding, psychological drama-romance starring current Doctor Who Matt Smith and Eva Green of “Casino Royale” fame. As the title suggests, the movie deals with some of the thorny social issues surrounding human cloning. Rebecca and Thomas meet as nine-year-olds and immediately strike up a close relationship, only to be separated when her mum gets a job in Tokyo. Flash forwards twelve years and Rebecca returns, keen to pick up where they left off.

Disaster strikes soon after when Thomas is killed in a tragic accident. In this slightly different reality, human cloning is legal and, unable to cope with the loss of her lover, Rebecca goes against his mother’s wishes and is impregnated with Thomas’ cells. As her son grows into the young man she used to know, the line between motherly love and more romantic affection becomes blurred, and it is only a matter of time before Thomas learns the truth about his lineage.

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 08:56

Yazuka Weapon on Blu-ray

“Yakuza Weapon” is one of those extravagant Japanese movies that feature larger than life characters, masses of over-the-top violence and a healthy dose of slapstick humour. It is based on a manga strip by Ken Ishikawa, and comes from the team that brought us the cult zombie flick “Versus”. Tak Sakaguchi stars as Shozo, the son of a murdered Yakuza boss who returns home to wreak vengeance against his father’s killers.

Shozo and his two sidekicks’ mission is to overthrow Kurawaki (Shingo Tsurumi), the self-proclaimed new underworld boss bent on taking over the whole of Japan. To succeed they must face off against countless foot soldiers and deadly henchmen before entering Kurawaki’s monolithic lair. Thrown into the mix is Shozo’s feisty ex-girlfriend Nayoko (Mei Kurokawa), who also happens to be the object of Kurawaki’s unreciprocated desires.

Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00

War of the Worlds DVDs

War of the Worlds - TV Series Season 1 on DVDIn 1953 the Earth was invaded by aliens from Mars and, on the brink of extinction, the human race was saved by the Martians’ vulnerability to common bacteria. Unfortunately for us, not all of the alien life-forms were eradicated, and now they are secretly plotting our demise once more. So goes the premise of this American TV follow-up to H G Wells’ classic novel.

Made between 1988 and 1990, the series stars Jared Martin (Dallas), Lynda Mason Green (Odyssey 5), Philip Akin (Flashpoint) and Richard Chaves (“Predator”). Martin is Dr Harrison Blackwood, a charming astrophysicist who, with the help of his computer expert Norton Drake (Akin), discovers the existence of radio communications between Earth and outer space. By tracing the local point of origin, the duo uncovers the presence of Martians on our planet.

Thanks to Revelation Films, you had a chance to win one of three copies of the Box Set that we had up the grabs.

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