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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

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John Payne

John Payne

Sunday, 20 September 2015 23:00

Man Who Could Cheat Death Blu-ray

The Man Who Could Cheat Death - out now on dual-format Blu-ray and DVDHammer Pictures strike fear into audiences with this creepy, cautionary tale directed by horror stalwart Terence Fisher ("The Curse of Frankenstein", "Dracula"). Starring Anton Diffring, Christopher Lee and Hazel Court, the film centres on Georges Bonnet (Diffring - "Where Eagles Dare", Doctor Who), a pioneering doctor and artist with a penchant for beautiful women and very dark secret concerning his obsession with immortality.

Every decade the 104-year-old Bonnet must undergo surgery to replace his parathyroid gland, or else face a terrible fate whereby all of the illnesses and aging he has unnaturally evaded strike him down. The doctor's 10-year cycle is almost up and he must locate a new gland and an experienced surgeon who is willing to carry out the surgery. As he searches for solutions, a tonic temporarily keeps death from his door but time is running out.

Sunday, 30 August 2015 23:00

Monsters: Dark Continent BR/DVD

Monsters - Dark Continent - available now on DVD, Blu-ray and as a limited edition steelbook2010's "Monsters" was one of the surprise hits of that year. Shot on a miniscule budget of around $500,000, the film seriously boosted the profile of director Gareth Edwards ("Godzilla"). This inevitable sequel relocates the action from Mexico to the Middle East, and instead of a pensive road movie we get a tense war film set 10 years later. And Cult TV had three copies of the limited edition Blu-ray steelbook to give away in our prize competition!

A squad by the name of Tiger Shark is tasked with patrolling an undisclosed region in the Middle East, focusing on locating improvised explosive devices and overcoming terrorist insurgents. Things are going relatively swimmingly until they receive a mission to investigate the disappearance of another unit. Stopped in their tracks and defending against heavy fire on one side, and unpredictable aliens on the other, survival becomes paramount.

Sunday, 30 August 2015 23:00

Medium Cool on DVD and Blu-ray

Medium Cool - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDOscar-winning documentary director and cinematographer Haskell Wexler ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?") presents a frightening look at the USA in a state of turmoil during the Vietnam War. We witness events unfold through the eyes of fictional TV cameraman John Cassellis (Robert Forster - "Jackie Brown", "Mulholland Drive") during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

John and his soundman Gus (Peter Bonerz - Home Improvement) are given strict instructions on where to go and what to cover, but John develops a keen independent streak and goes off the reservation. At the same time he encounters Eileen (Verna Bloom - "High Plains Drifter"), a war-widow with a young son who keeps homing pigeons. They strike up a friendship against an increasingly edgy backdrop of civil unrest.

Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:00

Wolcott - The Complete Series

Wolcott - The Complete Series comes to Blu-ray and DVDWolcott is a police mini-series starring George Harris ("Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"). Harris plays Winston Wolcott, a black policeman newly promoted to the CID and despised by both his new colleagues and the criminal gangs he is determined to bust. Surrounded by racism, police corruption and immersed in a vicious drug war, Wolcott has few allies to support him. The complete series is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.

The story opens with the brutal and senseless murder of an old lady for the sake of £200 in cash. The scene of the crime is an unwelcoming, dingy apartment block where the mostly ethnic locals have no interest in grassing up the perpetrator. The ITC-produced series emphasises the gritty, turbulent nature of life in the poorer, sometimes seedier areas of London in the early 1980s.

Sunday, 23 August 2015 23:00

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Town That Dreaded Sundown - out now on Dual Format DVD and Blu-rayBased on a true story, "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" focuses on a serial killer who terrorised folk living on the Texas/Arkansas border in 1946, is out now in a dual-format Blu-ray and DVD pack. Shot partly as a docu-drama, the film tracks the murderer's attacks and the efforts of Texas Ranger Captain JD Morales (Ben Johnson - "The Last Picture Show", "The Wild Bunch") to hunt him down. The director is Charles B Pierce ("The Legend of Boggy Creek").

Preying mostly on young adults who park up in a secluded spot for a kiss and a cuddle, the so-called Phantom dons a crudely-made sack hood to mask his identity, and the only noise he makes is his heavy breathing. His attacks are as brutal as they are bizarre; the continued inability of peacekeepers to apprehend the killer stokes the community's fear as they are forced to batten down the hatches come sundown.

Monday, 17 August 2015 23:00

Pickup on South Street Blu-ray

Pickup On South Street - out now on dual format Blu-ray and DVDRichard Widmark ("The Alamo", "Coma") plays a steely, reclusive pickpocket in this classic film noir from director Samuel Fuller ("White Dog", "Fixed Bayonets!"). Skip McCoy (Widmark) steals a glamorous woman's purse on a subway train, little knowing the ton of heat it will bring down on him. The purse contains stolen military microfilm divulging a top secret chemical formula, and the FBI want it back.

The woman called Candy (Jean Peters - "Viva Zapata!", "Niagara") is also unaware of the material's nature and its importance to both the government and the Communists she was supposed to deliver it to. Desperate to appease her associate and retrieve the film, Candy faces a race against time before Skip finds a buyer, the police close in, or worse still the 'Reds' forcefully take matters into their own hands.

Monday, 17 August 2015 23:00

Soldier and Me on DVD

Soldier and Me - out now on DVDThis is a BAFTA award-winning kids' adventure serial from the 1970s. Two teenage boys witness some suspect Czech men plotting the murder of an elderly fellow countryman. They decide to spy on the men but events spiral out of control and the lads are forced to flee for their lives across the country, doggedly pursued by the criminals. Can they evade capture long enough to expose the plot?

The nine-part series stars Gerry Sundquist (from the BBC's 1981 version of Great Expectations) as the gruff but well-meaning Jim Woolcott, and Richard Willis (Doctor Who, The Feathered Serpent) as Istvan 'Soldier' Szolda, a squeaky, accident-prone Czech boy who Woolcott takes under his wing after rescuing him from school bullies. The story is based on writer David Line's own novel “Run for Your Life”, and directed by Carol Wilks (Grange Hill, The Bill).

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 23:00

Blame It On Rio on Blu-ray

Blame it on Rio - out now on Blu-ray"Blame It On Rio" is a rom-com starring Michael Caine ("The Dark Knight", "The Ipcress File"). Two fathers who are best friends go on a holiday in Rio de Janeiro. Matthew (Caine) is in a stagnant marriage; Victor (Joseph Bologna - "Big Daddy", "The Woman in Red") is in the middle of bitter divorce proceedings. Their teenage daughters Nicole and Jennifer tag along to with the intention of dating local boys and have a good time.

Jennifer (Michelle Johnson - "Death Becomes Her", "Far and Away") has had a crush on Matthew since she was a small girl; now a curvy young woman, she seduces the much older man. Nicole (Demi Moore - "Ghost", "A Few Good Men") grudgingly keeps the affair a secret, but how long can they prevent a very protective father like Victor from learning the truth? In Rio, life is lived to the full but every indiscretion comes with a price.

Wednesday, 05 August 2015 23:00

The Cat and the Canary on DVD

The Cat and the Canary - out now on DVDBob Hope ("Road to Morocco", "The Paleface") stars in this classic haunted house comedy. A decade ago, millionaire Cyrus Norman passed away and now his attorney (George Zucco - "The Pirate") has gathered six relatives to his rickety old mansion to learn which of them has hit the jackpot. Awaiting them is house keeper Miss Lu, an austere and rather sinister lady played by Gale Sondergaard ("Road to Rio"), and a hostile black cat.

The identity of the heir or heiress is quickly revealed, but then things take a turn for the worse when the party discovers that a ghoulish, demented serial killer known as 'The Cat' has escaped from an asylum and is lurking in the neighbourhood. With no way to escape the house situated in the alligator-infested bayou until morning, the fractious, frightened relatives have no choice but to sit tight and hope they survive the night.

Sunday, 02 August 2015 23:00

Mr and Mrs Murder on DVD

Mr and Mrs Murder - out now on DVDAustralian crime-comedy series Mr & Mrs Murder follows the exploits of a married couple who specialise in cleaning up gruesome crime scenes. Charlie and Nicola Buchanan do not just tidy-up, they also happen to be excellent at solving murders, with a keen eye for detail and a knack for teasing information out of people. The sassy couple are played by Shaun Micallef (Danger 5, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation) and Kat Stewart (Supernova, Offspring).

Currently airing on Channel 5 USA, each episode sets the scene with a hastily-dispatched victim and then the duo's ToxiClean van rolls up. Charlie and Nicola sport head-to-toe protective coveralls and come armed with an assortment of industrial cleaning products. Rather ineffective Detective Peter Vinetti (Jonny Pasvolky - "Mortdecai") and Nicola's niece Jess Chalmers (Lucy Honigman - The Ex-PM) complete the regular cast.

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