DVD Review: Killing Season (2013)

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Killing Season DVD CoverDistributor: Lionsgate

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Starring: Robert De Niro, John Travolta, Milo Ventimiglia, Elizabeth Olin

Killing Season brings Hollywood giants Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver/Raging Bull) and John Travolta (Grease/Pulp Fiction) together on-screen for the first time in a story about two veterans of the Bosnian War who both carry the baggage of what they did in the conflict. Retired US Colonel Benjamin Ford (De Niro) lives a quiet life in a log cabin up in the hills, having swapped hunting rifles for a camera to photograph the wildlife. Ford still suffers from a leg injury caused by trapped shrapnel from the war and, along Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Donnie Darko (2001) – Limited Edition

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Donnie Darko BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Richard Kelly

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, Arthur Taxier, Drew Barrymore

Every decade has its defining movies and during the post-millennial fallout, when nobody was sure what would happen to the internet and the computers controlling our way of life, there were a plethora of movies that tapped into the collective subconscious and tried to relay our fears back at us in an often surreal and non-linear fashion. David Fincher’s Fight Club helped usher in the new century by changing the rules on straightforward storytelling and in 2001 Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko gained a similar reputation, Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: The Burning (1981)

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The Burning BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Tony Maylam

Starring: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua, Fisher Stevens, Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, Lou David, Shelley Bruce, Bonnie Deroski

Out of all of the Friday the 13th clones that arrived in the wake of Sean S, Cunningham’s seminal slasher, 1981’s The Burning rates as one of the best, mainly thanks to strong production values and the fact that it sticks very closely to the established slasher movie formula and keeps things simple, the only deviation being that the film spends quite a long time setting up its characters before any of the killing starts, In a lot of slasher movies this would be – and has been on many occasions – a problem as there is a theory that says you shouldn’t go for more than 15 minutes without a kill, but The Burning manages to overcome this by Continue reading

DVD Review: Vamp (1986)

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Vamp BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Richard Wenk

Starring: Chris Makepeace, Robert Rusler, Grace Jones, Dedee Pfeiffer, Sandy Baron, Billy Drago, Gedde Watanabe, Jim Boyle

When two fraternity pledges venture off into the big city to hire the services of a stripper to hopefully assist their application and entertain their new college friends, things take a turn for the worst when they enter the world of the After Dark Club and the nest of vampires that dwell within. Ever had one of those nights…?

Now30 years old, Vamp remains one of the most stylish and undervalued vampire movies of the era and possibly of all time. Sandwiched in between the teenage angst of Tom Holland’s Fright Night and Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys, and also a Continue reading

DVD Review: Bloody Homecoming (2012)

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Bloody Homecoming DVD CoverDistributor: Image Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Brian C. Weed

Starring: Jim Tavaré, Rae Latt, Lexi Giovagnoli, Branden Lee Roth, Alex Dobrenko, Randi Lamey, Jesse Ferraro

Labelling a film a homage to ’80s slashers means that it has some pretty big shoes to fill, especially as we’ve had nearly 40 years to live with and, in some cases, reappraise the dozens of titles that came out in the wake of John Carpenter’s Halloween. And Halloween is a good place to start because as soon as Bloody Homecoming begins there is an ominous piano-led score that is desperately trying to set a familiar tone.

And then we get to the setup, where a group of high school kids are on their way to their annual homecoming dance. One of the kids, Billy (Jesse Ferraro), has arranged a secret party in one of the school buildings but the party turns to tragedy when Billy gets locked in a store cupboard and accidentally starts a fire, getting burned to death while his friends are outside. Three years on and those involved are planning their latest homecoming dance, but one by one they get picked off by somebody in a fireman’s outfit and Continue reading