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Anton van Beek  |  Jun 04, 2013  |  0 comments

This documentary finds Keanu Reeves chatting to a variety of famous filmmakers about the pros and cons of the move from using celluloid to shooting digitally. If that sounds rather dull and geeky, it's not. Instead, it's an absorbing and balanced look at a milestone in the development of cinema and a must-see for anybody with even a passing interest in the art of making movies. While the film hasn't been given an HD release in the UK, this two-disc DVD outing fares rather well with an agreeable anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer and DD 5.1 mix. Extras take the form of 14 extended interviews.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 23, 2013  |  0 comments

With a title like that, Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity carries with it a weight of expectation that - to be fair - it never really had a chance of truly living up to. This sci-fi version take on Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game stars Elizabeth Kaitan and Cindy Beal as Daria and Tisa, a pair of bikini-clad prisoners who break out of their cell, steal a spaceship and ending up crashing on a nearby planet. There our nubile heroines meet the seemingly friendly Zed (Don Scribner), who invites them to come and stay with him in his fortress home. But it soon becomes clear that Zed has a secret hobby – hunting his guests in the surrounding jungle and mounting their heads as trophies on his walls.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments

Scream queens are the bread and butter of the horror genre, dating back at least as far as Fay Wray’s iconic performance in the 1933 smash King Kong. All an actress needs to do to qualify for the title is become associated with the genre through a notable appearance in a major horror movie or through a series of appearances in a variety of movies. Thanks to films like Halloween, The Fog and Friday the 13th, the late ‘70s/early ‘80s saw the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau and Betsy Palmer all being crowned scream queens.

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 18, 2012  |  0 comments

Harvey Spector is a charismatic high-flying lawyer. Mike Ross, his new junior associate, is a college drop-out who has never even studied law, but has helped a lot of people cheat their way through the exams. How’s that for a high concept? Well, while Suits is sometimes a little too smug for its own good, for the most part it’s a well-written show with excellent performances. It certainly left this reviewer interested to see how the concept develops across a second season.

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 31, 2012  |  0 comments

Obviously created to cash-in on the Twilight-inspired trend for supernatural romance, this MTV-produced show should be awful. And for its first few episodes it teeters on the brink of failure. But then something unexpected happens – as the central mystery hits high-gear it starts to really embrace its horror roots and becomes downright enjoyable.

Richard Holliss  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments

Thanks to interest in the Apollo missions and the success of long running series like Doctor Who, ‘science’, both fact and fantasy, had become a popular subject with TV audiences during the late sixties and early seventies. Actor turned writer Richard Carpenter saw the possibilities with the genre, firstly with his highly successful ‘time travel’ series Catweazle and later with The Boy from Space, a serial he penned for the BBC Schools department.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 16, 2012  |  0 comments

Spin-off shows are difficult things to get right. For every Angel that comes along there seems to be about 10 Joeys - and nobody wants any more of them. All of which means that things didn't look too promising when Seth MacFarlane announced that Cleveland Brown would be leaving Family Guy and getting his own animated series.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

I’ve always had a lot of time for slasher films. I know they aren’t particularly big or clever, but when they’re done right you end up with something truly magical like John Carpenter’s Halloween. And even when they aren’t done that well, you can still end up with something entertaining like the Friday the 13th series (there’s just something about the Voorhees clan that tickles my fancy) or even a My Bloody Valentine (either the original or the goofy 3D remake). So my interest was quickly piqued by the press release for Dark Castle Entertainment’s The Hills Run Red, a brand new slasher with a script by ‘splatter-punk’ author David J. Schow that was being touted as ‘a smart twist on extreme horror, with more blood, torture and suspense than ever before’.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 30, 2012  |  0 comments

The Incredible Hulk is a film made for those who felt cheated by Ang Lee’s cerebral (not to mention underrated) take on Marvel’s not-so-jolly green giant.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 05, 2008  |  0 comments

Reviewing Wes Craven's 1972 debut feature The Last House on the Left isn't an easy thing. For those, like myself, who became horror devotees during the early 1980s the film has a significance and impact that is often lost on younger audiences. In this way it is much like those other '70s genre classics The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Exorcist, which are often greeted by hoots of derision rather than screams of terror these days.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 19, 2011  |  0 comments

The slow drip-feed of animated TV sensation The Simpsons on DVD continues with this latest four-disc boxset, collecting together all 22 episodes from the show's 2002-2003 14th season. By this point in the show's life many were already claiming that The Simpsons was past its best, having peaked around seasons six and seven and having been on a downward spiral ever since. But despite some fairly vocal criticism, this particular season was actually one of the show's most critically lauded.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 17, 2012  |  0 comments

'So he caresses her bosom and perhaps she does the same with him'

While this boxset's title (and those of the films it contains) conjures up cheerful images of light, saucy frolics, the contents prove to be a much more serious proposition. Of the six films included, three are actually sex education movies, while the three fiction films on offer centre on 'damaged' women caught up in games of sex, control and power.

Anton van Beek  |  Nov 05, 2008  |  0 comments

Tobe Hooper's seminal 1974 shocker ranks up there with Army of Darkness and Dawn of the Dead when it comes to the number of times it has been released on DVD. Previous Special Edition discs on both sides of the Atlantic appeared to have done a damn fine job with the movie, so why should anybody care about this new (and rather ridiculously titled) three-disc set?

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 23, 2009  |  0 comments

Trick 'r Treat is a film that's been talked about (at least amongst online horror communities) for the best part of two years now. Originally slated for a Stateside cinema release back in October 2007, Warner Bros. withdrew the film from its schedules and left it languishing in the vaults with no explanation. Numerous theories started circulating, not least one rather ludicrous suggestion that the film was being buried as some sort of punishment to writer-director Michael Dougherty for the relatively poor box office performance of Superman Returns, which Dougherty has co-written.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 21, 2009  |  0 comments

There are two things in films that are guaranteed to peak my interest. One is the Wild West and the other is the undead. So you can probably imagine how excited I was when I popped the review copy of Undead or Alive into my DVD player, a horror-comedy that throws together cowboys and zombies. What could possibly go wrong?