Blu-ray Review: Theatre of Blood (1973)

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Theatre of Blood BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Douglas Hickox

Starring: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Diana Dors, Ian Hendry, Michael Hordern, Arthur Lowe, Robert Morley, Dennis Price, Eric Sykes, Madeline Smith, Coral Browne

1960’s The Fall of the House of Usher marked the beginning of the most successful period of Vincent Price’s career, when he made several notable films with legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, and it was arguably 1973′s Theatre of Blood that signified the end of that era for the veteran actor. Not that Price didn’t make any more films after that – indeed, he kept working up until 1990 – but, much like with his good friends Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: King of New York (1990)

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King of New York BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Abel Ferrara

Starring: Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Janet Julian, Laurence Fishburne, Victor Argo, Wesley Snipes, Steve Buscemi, Joey Chin

When you look at the history of cinema there are often films that are released around the same time that never quite get a look in or reach the same status as the so-called ‘classics’. These films are often just as good – if not better – than their more successful brethren but don’t get the same exposure and usually get branded ‘cult’, which is a word that gets used far too often and often loses much of its meaning. However, Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Bound (1996)

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Bound BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Lilli Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, John P. Ryan, Christopher Meloni, Margaret Smith

To call Bound an erotic thriller is to do it a disservice as it is so much more than that. In the same way that the Coens Brothers’ Blood Simple – a film that shares several strands of DNA with this one – managed to make a simple(!) crime story a whole lot more by mixing it up stylistically and keeping you invested with interesting characters, Bound throws together elements of noir, gangster movies, tense eroticism and dashes of comedy and ties it all together with career-best performances from the three leads.

Corky (Gina Gershon – Killer Joe) is a lesbian ex-con just released from prison and hired as the Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Lady Snowblood (1973)/Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance (1974)

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Lady Snowblood BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Toshiya Fujita

Starring: Meiko Kaji, Toshio Kurosawa, Masaaki Daimon, Jûzô Itami, Kazuko Yoshiyuki

Best to get it out of the way early – 1973’s Lady Snowblood is the film that Quentin Tarantino used as the main inspiration for his Kill Bill series from over a decade ago. And when Tarantino uses something as an inspiration that usually means he ‘borrows’ from his sources quite liberally, which is a good thing in this case because if he hadn’t made Kill Bill the way he did then there’s a good chance that Lady Snowblood might not receive the praise and recognition that it gets today. That said, this Blu-ray package from Arrow Films is sure to bring in a lot of new fans, as not only does it contain the first Blu-ray release of Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)

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Thunderbolt and Lightfoot BR CoverDistributor: Second Sight Films

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Michael Cimino

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, George Kennedy, Catherine Bach, Gary Busey

In a decade chock-full of road movies, 1974′s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is one of the real standouts, mainly thanks to the chemistry between the two leads – always a bonus in a buddy movie – and a strong supporting cast, but also to some solid direction from Michael Cimino (Heaven’s Gate).

Retired thief Thunderbolt (Clint Eastwood – Dirty Harry/Gran Torino) is filling his time doing a bit of preaching when he is attacked and chased by a gunman. As he escapes he runs into young car thief Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges – Iron Man/True Grit) and the pair Continue reading