DVD Review: Hammer of the Gods (2013)

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Hammer of the Gods DVD CoverDistributor: eOne Films

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Farren Blackburn

Starring: Charlie Bewley, Alexandra Dowling, Clive Standen, Glynis Barber, Ivan Kaye

Hammer of the Gods is the debut feature film from director Farren Blackburn and sees a pretty strong cast of veteran actors and rising stars going head-to-head in a tale of Viking invasion and brotherly betrayal.

Set in 871 A.D. the film is based around Viking Prince Steinar (Charlie Bewley – The Twilight Saga), who is ordered by his ailing father King Bagsecg (James Cosmo – Trainspotting) to go and find his long-lost brother Hakan Continue reading

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DVD Review: V/H/S (2012)

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V/H/S DVD CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard

Starring: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Frank Stack, Jas Sams, Simon Barrett, Joe Swanberg

V/H/S is an anthology film made up of five found footage shorts plus a wraparound story. Having had a life on the film festival circuit in 2012 – including a showing at Film4 FrightFest in London in the summer of that year – the film managed to create something of a buzz amongst horror fans at the time, and given the involvement of a couple of key names and the nature of some of the content it is easy to see why.

Much has been made of the tone of V/H/S and its gratuitous use of nudity, and that is fair comment as there is plenty of flesh to see here (and not all of it Continue reading

DVD Review: Sweet Vengeance (2013)

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Sweet Vengeance DVD CoverDistributor: Entertainment One

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Logan Miller

Starring: Ed Harris, January Jones, Jason Isaacs, Eduardo Noriega, Logan Miller, Noah Miller

Sweet Vengeance (a.k.a. Sweetwater) is a Western set in the 1800s and concerns struggling newlyweds Miguel (Edwardo Noriega – The Last Stand) and Sarah (January Jones – X-Men: First Class) who have come under the eye of the self-proclaimed Prophet Josiah (Jason Isaacs – The Patriot), a religious zealot who believes that the land belongs to God and he is God’s instrument on Earth so therefore all the land and everything in it is his. At the same time, the eccentric Sheriff Jackson (Ed Harris – Creepshow/Knightriders) arrives in town investigating the disappearance of two unfortunate fellows who had an earlier confrontation with Josiah and, as events unfold and Josiah’s brutality increases, Sarah is forced Continue reading

DVD Review: Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

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Outpost  III: Rise of the Spetsnaz DVD CoverDistributor: Entertainment One

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Rae Brunton

Starring: Bryan Larkin, Michael McKell, Iván Kamarás, Vivien Taylor

The first Outpost film was an atmospheric Nazi zombie tale that set the right tone but felt rather dull when put up against the far superior (and faster paced) Dead Snow, whereas Outpost II: Black Sun made that first film seem like Dawn of the Dead, such was the sheer boredom and slightly obnoxious tone that it set. So to say that Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz was hotly anticipated would be slightly overdoing it.

So it’s pleasing to report that, on a surface level at least, the Continue reading

DVD Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

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Insidious: Chapter 2 DVD CoverDistributor: eOne Films

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: James Wan

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Angus Sampson, Steve Coulter

2010’s Insidious proved to be something of a surprise hit, bringing in over $50 million in the US alone, which isn’t bad considering the budget for the film was $1.5 million. However, the film did receive criticism for setting up a chilling atmosphere in the first two acts before losing its way for the ludicrous final act; criticism that was justified as the filmmakers seemed to opt for crowd-pleasing box-ticking rather than going with what they had set up and sticking with it, but a sequel was inevitable so did anybody learn any lessons from the previous instalment or is it more of the same?

In this film, the Lambert family – Josh (Patrick Wilson), his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) and their three Continue reading