DVD Review: Dead End Drive-In (1986)

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Dead End Drive-In DVD CoverDistributor: ArrowDrome

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Starring: Ned Manning, Natalie McCurry, Peter Whitford, Wilbur Wilde, Dave Gibson, Nikki McWaters

If you’ve seen the documentary Not Quite Hollywood that came out a couple of years ago then you would have noticed some extensive coverage of Dead End Drive-In. Coming in at the tail-end of the original wave of what is now known as ‘Ozploitation’ – basically low budget Australian genre films released between the late 1960s until the mid ’80s – Dead End Drive-In was a commercial and critical flop back in 1986 but over the course of time the film has attracted something of a cult following – no doubt helped along by the likes of Quentin Tarantino singing its praises – which makes it a perfect addition to Arrow Video’s ArrowDrome label.

Set somewhere in the near future, where society has collapsed and crime has taken over, Dead End Drive-In follows Crabs (Ned Manning) and his girlfriend Carmen (Natalie Continue reading

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DVD Review: The Vineyard (1989)

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The Vineyard DVD CoverDistributor: ArrowDrome

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: James Hong, Bill Rice

Starring: James Hong, Karen Witter, Michael Wong, Cheryl Madsen, Sean P. Donahue

The Vineyard isn’t a title that immediately springs to mind when one thinks about ’80’s horror but veteran actor James Hong’s third directorial feature is really something of a last hurrah for horror as the end of the decade approached and the fashion was veering away from zombies, vampires and slashers and moving towards a darker, more serious direction. However, as Freddy and Jason kept coming back to diminishing returns there were still one or two films that slipped through the net and found an audience on VHS, and The Vineyard was one of them.

Mad scientist and winemaker Dr. Po (Hong) has invited several youngsters to his island Continue reading

DVD Review: Lust in the Dust (1985)

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Lust in the Dust DVD CoverDistributor: Arrowdrome

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Paul Bartel

Starring: Tab Hunter, Divine, Lainie Kazan, Cesar Romero, Geoffrey Lewis, Henry Silva, Courtney Gains, Gina Gallego

Directed by Paul Bartel (Death Race 2000), Lust in the Dust may at first seem like the best John Waters film that John Waters never made as it stars Waters’ regular lead Divine (Pink Flamingos) as Rosie, who has come to the desert town of Chili Verde in search of some legendary gold. Rosie isn’t the only new face in town though, as lone cowboy Abel Wood (Tab Hunter) also makes his way to the town and the scene is set for Abel, Rosie, local harlot Marguarite Ventura (Lainie Kazan) and a host of other bizarre characters to go in search of the mythical treasure. Continue reading

DVD Review: Pin (1988)

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Pin DVD CoverDistributor: ArrowDrome

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Sandor Stern

Starring: David Hewlett, Cynthia Preston, Terry O’Quinn, John Ferguson

Not a film that immediately springs to mind when discussing all things 1980s but 1988′s Pin is something of a forgotten gem that really should be more widely regarded. Tapping into the same kind of psychological terror that made films like Psycho so memorable, Pin is a film about the mental breakdown of a young man who has grown up with a damaged sense of what love and relationships mean and uses a medical display dummy named Pin to project his alter-ego.

The Linden’s are a wealthy family spearheaded by the firm-but-fair Dr. Linden (Terry Continue reading