Blu-ray Review: Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

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Berberian Sound Studio BR CoverDistributor: Artificial Eye

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Peter Strickland

Starring: Toby Jones, Antonio Mancino, Guido Adorni, Chiara D’Anna, Fatman Mohamed

Every so often a film comes along that gives you the same chills and thrills as many of the classics yet does it in a way that defies the conventions of genre. The Canadian film Pontypool did it a few years back by taking the zombie genre and totally giving it a fresh spin by using language to transfer the zombie infection, and British thriller Berberian Sound Studio has seemingly done something similar by documenting one man’s descent into delusional hell by way of just doing his job in unusual circumstances.

English sound engineer Gilderoy (Toby Jones) arrives in Italy at the request of Italian Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Evil Dead II (1987)

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Evil Dead II BR CoverDistributor: StudioCanal

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Sam Raimi

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Kassie Wesley

Do you really need to read this review? This is Evil Dead II, for Satan’s sake! Only this is Evil Dead II in HD – seen it before? Ok then, this is Evil Dead II in HD with a bloody fist full of UK exclusive extras that you haven’t seen before – tempted now? Of course you are, it’s Evil Dead II.

Just for the benefit of the solitary person out there who may not have seen it, the film begins with a re-shot summary of the first film featuring Ash (Bruce Campbell) and Linda Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Tenebrae (1982)

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Tenebrae BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Dario Argento

Starring: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo, John Saxon, Mirella D’Angelo, Eva Robins

In Tenebrae, an American writer named Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is on a book tour in Rome to promote his latest novel, but Neal is being stalked by an obsessed fan who murders women in similar ways to the murders in his book. As the body count rises the police are seemingly at a loss as to working out who is committing the gruesome crimes, and Peter Neal finds out that reality and fiction aren’t always two separate things.

Definitely up there with director Dario Argento’s best work, Tenebrae is surprisingly straightforward when put up against most of his other output and showcases Continue reading

DVD Review: Lovelace (2013)

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Lovelace DVD CoverDistributor: Lionsgate UK

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, James Franco, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Juno Temple, Hank Azaria

The thing with your average movie biopic is that most of the time you either have to glam it up a bit to make the overall story a bit more interesting and cinematic or, on some occasions and depending who the subject is, you have to do the opposite and tone it down a bit for mass audience consumption. With Lovelace – the story of porn star Linda Boreman, better known by her stage name Linda Lovelace – it would appear that the filmmakers went with the latter.

Lovelace is a film of two halves, the first being a straightforward run through Linda Boreman’s life from meeting Chuck Traynor to becoming Linda Lovelace and Continue reading

DVD Review: I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013)

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I Spit On Your Grave 2 DVD CoverDistributor: Anchor Bay

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Steven R. Monroe

Starring: Jemma Dallender, Joe Absolom, Yavor Baharov, George Zlatarev, Michael Dixon, Kacey Barnfield

2010’s remake of Meir Zarchi’s controversial 1978 classic could justifiably claim to be one of the most brutal revenge movies ever filmed, setting up a tragic figure and a nightmare scenario and boiling over into some genuinely startling scenes of retribution. This sequel, again directed by Steven R. Monroe, tries the same trick again and whilst it isn’t a total disaster it is somewhat lacking, although quite what it is lacking isn’t entirely clear.

Again we get a very unsettling rape scene followed by more abuse as the attackers try to cover their tracks and we get to see the victim taking her revenge in some very Continue reading