Blu-ray Review: Deranged (1974)

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Deranged BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby

Starring: Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson, Robert Warner, Marcia Diamond, Brian Smeagle

1974 saw the release of two films that took inspiration from the real life case of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, one being a certain popular film involving a tree-felling power tool and a massacre and the other being Deranged, a film that has remained a genuine cult horror despite not being officially released fully uncut anywhere… until Arrow Films stepped in.

Having grown up devoted to his religious fanatic mother and their rural farm, Ezra Cobb (Roberts Blossom – Christine/Home Alone) turns to grave robbing and Continue reading

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DVD Review: The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

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The Last Exorcism Part II DVD CoverDistributor: StudioCanal

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly

Starring: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Muse Watson, Louis Herthum

2010’s The Last Exorcism was a fairly divisive film, with some people praising its documentary-style presentation, likeable performances and horrific imagery, whilst others criticised it for falling short of expectation and having a confusing ending that didn’t clarify any of the film’s preceding events. However you feel about it, the fact that the filmmakers went out of their way to create a different spin on the somewhat saturated possession format is to be commended and although the ending wasn’t quite the conclusive full-stop on the story that the film warranted, it at least made you think Continue reading

DVD Review: The Vineyard (1989)

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The Vineyard DVD CoverDistributor: ArrowDrome

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: James Hong, Bill Rice

Starring: James Hong, Karen Witter, Michael Wong, Cheryl Madsen, Sean P. Donahue

The Vineyard isn’t a title that immediately springs to mind when one thinks about ’80’s horror but veteran actor James Hong’s third directorial feature is really something of a last hurrah for horror as the end of the decade approached and the fashion was veering away from zombies, vampires and slashers and moving towards a darker, more serious direction. However, as Freddy and Jason kept coming back to diminishing returns there were still one or two films that slipped through the net and found an audience on VHS, and The Vineyard was one of them.

Mad scientist and winemaker Dr. Po (Hong) has invited several youngsters to his island Continue reading

DVD Review: Embodiment of Evil (2008)

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Embodiment of Evil DVD CoverDistributor: Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: José Mojica Marins

Starring: José Mojica Marins, Jece Valadão, Adriano Stuart, Rui Resende

For those who have been a follower of Josefel Zanatas, otherwise known as Coffin Joe, for the past 45 years, the arrival of this movie – the third in a trilogy that began in 1964 with At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul and continued with 1967’s This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse – will be nothing short of the second coming. To those who aren’t up to speed on their Brazilian horror movies and have never heard of him, it may take a bit of selling.

In short, Coffin Joe (played by writer/director José Mojica Marins) is an undertaker whose wife was unable to bear him a son to carry on his bloodline. After killing her he Continue reading

DVD Review: Arcade (1994)

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Arcade DVD CoverDistributor: 88 Films

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Albert Pyun

Starring: Megan Ward, Peter Billingsley, John de Lancie, Seth Green, A.J. Langer

On the one hand it’s easy to see why the younger generation scoff at us ‘oldies’ when films from the early 1990s use then-cutting edge terms like ‘virtual reality’ or ‘screensaver’ like anybody outside of the movie wouldn’t know what they were. On the other, it is also quite telling that some of the themes brought up in Arcade – teenage isolation, games addiction, antisocial behaviour – are more relevant now than they were back in 1994 (when we all has Sega Mega Drives and ‘playing with the Wii’ meant something totally different).

The premise of Arcade is that an arcade called Dante’s Inferno have Continue reading