Blu-ray Review: The Serpent & The Rainbow (1988)

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The Serpent & The Rainbow BR CoverDistributor: Fabulous Films

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Wes Craven

Starring: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Paul Winfield, Michael Gough, Dey Young

Possibly the most underrated movie of Wes Craven’s career, The Serpent & The Rainbow originally sneaked out in 1988 and was sandwiched between the woeful Deadly Friend and the unintentionally hilarious slasher franchise wannabe Shocker in the director’s output. After the massive success of A Nightmare on Elm Street Craven found himself in something of a commercial slump, and although The Serpent & The Rainbow made more than twice its budget back Continue reading

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DVD Review: Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

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Hellraiser: Revelations DVD CoverDistributor: ARC Entertainment/Dimension Home Entertainment

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Victor Garcia

Starring: Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Tracey Fairaway, Sanny van Heteren, Jay Gillespie, Stephan Smith Collins, Fred Tatasciore

The moment it was announced that the proposed remake of Clive Barker’s original 1987 Hellraiser was to be scrapped in favour of another straight-to-DVD sequel there were cries of anguish from fans desperate for another slice of those Cenobites and their demonic wrongdoings. When it was also announced that original Pinhead actor Doug Bradley would not be reprising his role in said sequel, therefore continuing the character in the same universe but Continue reading

Digital Review: The Void (2016)

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The Void PosterDistributor: Signature Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski

Starring: Aaron Poole, Ellen Wong, Art Hindle, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, James Millington, Grace Munro, Stephanie Belding, Mik Byskov, Daniel Fathers

This morning I read an article written by movie director Harrison Smith (Camp Dread/The Fields/Death House) bemoaning the “dumbing down of horror” for moviegoing audiences. I agree with Smith’s assessment, particularly in that horror movies need to make you think; sure, popcorn movies are good but we also need movies that work on another level. If one subscribes to the premise that cinema is art, isn’t that art meant to invoke an emotional response that is unique to the viewer? If we believe this then horror movies should also do the same. By accident, fluke, serendipity or whatever Continue reading

DVD Review: The Borderlands (2013)

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The Borderlands DVD CoverDistributor: Metrodome Distribution

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Elliot Goldner

Starring: Gordon Kennedy, Robin Hill, Aidan McArdle, Sarah Annis, Lee Arnold, Luke Neal

Oh good, more found footage nonsense set in the British countryside. We need more of them, don’t we? Well, no we don’t but what we do need are ones that actually have more in the way of content rather than the seemingly obligatory two-or-three-people-running-around-in-the-dark-with-a-night-vision-camera-screaming-at-nothing-for-90-minutes, so does The Borderlands offer anything different from what we’ve seen already? Sort of.

Technical engineer Gray (Robin Hill – Kill List) has accepted a job from the Vatican to help investigate a 12th century church in rural Devon. Joining him are world-weary Deacon (Gordon Kennedy – Hacks) and Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991)

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Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge BR CoverDistributor: 88 Films

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: David DeCoteau

Starring: Guy Rolfe, Richard Lynch, Ian Abercrombie, Walter Gotell, Sarah Douglas, Aron Eisenberg

The tagline for Puppet Master III reads ‘When Good Puppets Go Bad’ which, if you were cynical, could be an indication of the quality level of the series, especially after the lacklustre second film. In time-honoured franchise tradition, Puppet Master III is a prequel to the first two films that concentrates on puppet maker Toulon and the events that lead up to his suicide which we saw at the beginning of the first film (although the date they established in that film is still different to what it is here).

In Berlin during World War II a scientist named Dr. Hess (Ian Abercrombie – Firewalker) witnesses a puppet show performed by Toulon (Guy Rolfe – Dolls), where the puppets seem to be moving without the aid of strings. Hess has been ordered by Gestapo leader Major Kraus (Richard Lynch – Halloween/Deathsport) to come up with a formula that will reanimate dead soldiers to use as living shields and Hess thinks he has found the answer. However, Continue reading