Blu-ray Review: The ‘Burbs (1989)

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The 'Burbs BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 12

Director: Joe Dante

Starring: Tom Hanks, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman, Bruce Dern, Wendy Schaal, Rick Ducommun, Henry Gibson, Courtney Gains, Corey Feldman, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo

Playing on the themes of suburban paranoia that seemed to permeate a lot of dark comedy films that emerged in the late ’80s/early ’90s, The ‘Burbs sees ‘normal’ suburbanite Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump/Big) and his fellow neighbours Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun – Groundhog Day), Ricky Butler (Corey Feldman – The Lost Boys) and the military-obsessed Lieutenant Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern – Django Unchained) wondering about the mysterious new arrivals in their street, the Klopeks. Never seen Continue reading

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Blu-ray Review: Runaway Train (1985)

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Runaway Train BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Andrei Konchalovsky

Starring: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Danny Trejo, Edward Bunker, T.K. Carter, John P. Ryan, Kyle T. Heffner, Kenneth McMillan

Despite being made in the mid-1980s Runaway Train has the feel of a ’70s action film, the kind where the lead characters were real men on real adventures and the testosterone levels went through the roof, the sort of tough movies that Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson made their reputations with.

Runaway Train stars Jon Voight (Deliverance/Heat) and Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight/The Expendables) as Oscar ‘Manny’ Manheim and Buck McGeehy respectively, prisoners at Stonehaven Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Dressed To Kill (1980)

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Dressed To Kill BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Brian De Palma

Starring: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm

Brian De Palma is a director who often gets criticised for using several of Alfred Hitchcock’s tricks in his films, and to his credit he acknowledges Hitchcock’s influence and freely admits using Hitchcock’s “film language” – as he puts it – to make his movies. Probably more than any of his other films, Dressed To Kill is so reminiscent of the legendary director’s ‘language’ – particularly Psycho – that it only needs Anthony Perkins to show up and Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Sisters (1972)

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Sisters BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Brian De Palma

Starring: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Lisle Wilson

In Sisters (or Blood Sisters, to give it its original title) director Brian De Palma’s Hitchcock-inspired book of tricks is working at full pelt as he weaves a story about wannabe actress/model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder – The Amityville Horror/Black Christmas), who goes back to her apartment after a date with her game show co-star Phillip (Lisle Wilson – The Incredible Melting Man). The following morning Phillip overhears Danielle arguing with her twin sister Dominique and, after Danielle persuades him to stay, he goes off to buy a birthday cake for the twins. However, upon his return he is viciously stabbed by a demented Dominique in a brutal attack that is witnessed through the window by Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: The Last American Virgin (1982)

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The Last American Virgin BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Boaz Davidson

Starring: Lawrence Monoson, Diane Franklin, Steve Antin, Brian Peck, Kimmy Robertson, Joe Rubbo

Every genre of film has what many would call an ‘underrated gem’- a great piece of work that never really gets the credit it deserves – and director Boaz Davidson’s 1982 film The Last American Virgin (a remake of his own 1978 film Lemon Popsicle) is definitely one that fits that description. A quick discussion with anybody about 80s teen sex comedies will always throw up the same few titles – Porky’s, Screwballs, Blame it on Rio, Class, etc. – but for some reason The Last American Virgin often gets overlooked by all but Continue reading