Powered By

Free XML Skins for Blogger

Powered by Blogger

Monday, September 28, 2009

DVD Capsule Review: Return of the Gladiator (1971)

Return of the Gladiator
(Il Ritorno del gladiatore più forte del mondo)

DVD released: May 19th, 2009
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

The Movie:

Rome, 310 A.D. The Roman Empire is beginning to collapse, and Proconsul Tullius Valerius (Albert Farley) fears that provincial governor Gaius (John Barracuda) has been secretly working with those Germanic barbarians seeking to end Roman rule. Valerius then orders to former gladiator Marcus (Brad Harris) to go undercover and investigate this situation. In Gaius' territory also lives Lycia (Maria Pia Conte), the beloved of Marcus. Gaius soon learns of Marcus' plans, and has him captured and unfairly accused of murder. Led to believe that Marcus is guilty, Lycia turns against him, and Gaius condemns the gladiator to be pulled apart by teams of horses.

Bitto Albertini (Yellow Emanuelle) directs this average Peplum epic that although no great shakes, will definitely let you while away an afternoon snoozing in front of the TV without needing to pay too much attention to the plot! Throw in some unintentional comedy and dodgy acting and you have yourself some classic Italian Peplum action!

The Disc:

The 2.35:1 image is fine and in good condition, with very little in the way of any print damage. The mono Italian and English audio are both fine, but I recommend Italian with English subs for a more enjoyable presentation with the English dub none too clever! Once again no extras for a fairly rare title is perhaps not surprising!

BUY from

DVD Capsule Review: Revenge of the Crusader (1964)

DVD released: April 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

The Movie:

Seriously wounded in a skirmish with a group of bandits, Count Sigfrido of Treviri (Alberto Lupo) is taken to the nearby castle of the Duke of Brabant, where he is tended by Duke’s daughter Genoveffa (María José Alfonso). The two gradually fall in love and marry shortly after. Once back in Treviri, Sigfrido leaves for the Crusades and asks to his counsellor Golo (Stephen Forsyth) to look after his wife while he’s away. Attracted to Genoveffa, Golo tries to force his attentions on the Countess who rebuffs him. Golo then has her imprisoned and accused of adultery, until she is condemned to death...

This medieval epic borrows from the Peplum or Sword & Sandal movies that were being made in Italy at the time with some nice action scenes and loads of scenery being chewed by the cast. However it's a perfect Sunday afternoon movie if you fancy some swashbuckling action!

It is also interesting to note that the score was done by Carlo Rustichelli who worked on many a Mario Bava movie!

The Disc:

The 1.85:1 image is fine if unremarkable but overall in pretty good shape with no major problems to speak of! The Italian mono audio track is also very clear and concise and comes with removable English subtitles! No cracks, pops or hiss. There are no extras, but given the relative obscurity of this title, perhaps not surprising!

BUY from

DVD News: Bronx Warrior Trilogy

In November, UK outfit Shameless Films will release the Bronx Warriors trilogy in a fantastic tin boxset, harking back to the days of the fantastic Anchor Bay Tins, definitely a set to look out for! More specs when they are available!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UK Blu-Ray News: Dawn of the Dead

Great news for UK horror fans - a quite fantastic package from Arrow Films! Read on...

"Ok people some breaking news here - lots of good news, one little hiccup but an interesting solution has come of it.

The Argento cut of Dawn is not going to be in HD - it's simply not up to scratch - not by a long way.

So the package is going to work as follows - we'll have the lead Blu-ray disc which will contain the theatrical cut in HD and then two DVDs - one with the directors cut and one with the Argento cut - anyone with a Blu-ray player will be able to play the DVDs which will upscale and anyone who doesn't yet have a Blu-ray player can now own the Argento cut on DVD without having to import it plus enjoy some previously unavailable extras."

The overall line-up and the extras that have been assembled should make this a rather tasty package. Here's how it looks:

Disc One (Blu Ray):

* Theatrical Cut in High Definition
* DTS HD and Stereo Audio.
* Commentary 1 with George A Romero, Tom Savini and Chris Romero.
* Commentary 2 with Richard P. Rubinstein
* Document of the Dead - the classic documentary
* Document of the Dead: The Lost Interview and Deleted Scenes
* Fan of the Dead (mad French dude goes to visit the locations!)

Disc Two (DVD):

* Director’s Cut of Dawn of the Dead
* The Dead Will Walk Documentary (the stunning 2004 documentary)

Disc Three (DVD):

* Argento Cut of Dawn of the Dead
* Scream Greats (brilliant Tom Savini documentary)
* Publicity Vault containing:

* US and German Trailers
* TV and Radio Spots
* Reviews
* Giallo Trailers (Macabre, Sleepless and House by the Cemetery)

Buy it exclusively from October 19th at HMV UK

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trailer: Harry Brown

Wow! How good does this new flick starring Michael Caine look? Caine stars as Harry Brown as an ex marine who is fed up with today's youth causing problems where he lives and when an old friend is murdered, it's time for Harry to come to the fore!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Zombies are coming to Edinburgh too!


Yup, on the 25th, Cinema One at Edinburgh's LEGENDARY Cameo Picturehouse (which has the comfiest seats known to anyone) will present DAWN OF THE DEAD, with Mr. Ken Foree live and in-person, and DAY OF THE DEAD, with star Joe Pilato in attendance.

You don't need me to tell you what an INCREDIBLE double bill this is! DON'T MISS IT!

We're also gonna have some cool giveaways at this one.

I will let you all know when tickets are on sale.

So what does that leave?

Oh yeah... Ireland.

I'll have news on that one soon!

Remember: As with the Italian Terror Weekend, by supporting these screenings you help to cement future events like this, with iconic guests and a great atmosphere.

For more info head to the Cult Labs forums !

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Night of the Zombie Hunters!

Romero Fans Rejoice!

Following the phenomenal success of the sold out Weekend of Italian Terror Event at the Glasgow Film Theatre Arrow Video has teamed up with the great Cult Fiction store in Edinburgh ( to celebrate the Blu-Ray launch of DAWN OF THE DEAD.

Yes, just before Halloween, Glasgow horror buffs will be treated to NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS: a delicious double bill of DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD on the big screen on MONDAY, OCTOBER 26TH.

Once again, this will take place at the fabled Glasgow Film Theatre ( and, once again, we will be bringing you some quality guests!

Attending the screening of DAWN OF THE DEAD will be horror icon Ken Foree - conducting an exclusive Q and A with the audience afterwards.

And for DAY OF THE DEAD we will be bringing you Captain Rhodes himself: Mr. Joe Pilato - one of fear-film's most memorable villains, live and in-person!

The show is expected to kick off at 5.30pm. Tickets will be on sale soon - I will confirm when just as soon as I know myself!

We have TWO more dates still to announce: One in Ireland and another Scottish one!

Stay tuned for more details! (Including news of a particularly gnarly aftershow party!)

Please visit:
Please visit:

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Comics: Italian Style!

Here are some random fumetti (Italian comics) I picked from a used bookshop near where I stay when I'm in Italy and it's fair to say they don't make them like this anymore!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Book Review: Taboo Breakers

Title: Taboo Breakers
Author: Calum Waddell
Publisher: Telos
Buy it now from

The 1980’s in the UK was a time of political unrest coupled with recession and strikes, so pretty much like 2009, however some politicians had decided that we could not think for ourselves and watch some movies that had been unleashed onto the fledgling home video market. Along with the 1984 Video Recordings Act (which has been in the news recently), some films such as Cannibal Holocaust and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre became taboo, and as a result , like anything that is banned, they became much more interesting and sought after. Calum Waddell’s “Taboo Breakers” delves deep into the background of these and many other movies in an attempt to discover why these cinematic treats stood out at the time and why they are still relevant today.

The author has chosen 18 films to scrutinise and they range from genres such as blaxploitation (Coffy) to classic XXX (Behind the Green Door) and Video Nasties (Cannibal Holocaust) to modern day shockers (Hostel).

The films covered are:

Blood Feast, Night of the Living Dead, Behind the Green Door, Fritz the Cat, The Tenderness of Wolves, Coffy, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Ilsa – She-Wolf of the SS, Candy Tangerine Man, Halloween, Cannibal Holocaust, Maniac, Nightmares in a Damaged Brain, The Plague Dogs, The Evil Dead, House of 1000 Corpses, Oldboy and Hostel.

Each film is tackled with the outline and basic plot of the movie, the controversies they caused and a very in depth analysis of the film followed by a “what happened next” detailing what the cast and crew did after the movie’s release, did they disappear or breakout to even greater success? Each chapter is then rounded off with one to one interviews with many of the main protagonists of each feature that help to give a deeper understanding of the film and what really happened behind the scenes!

If you are a fan of controversial and challenging genre movies this extremely well researched and well written book cannot fail to enlighten and entertain. We learn that despite opinion at the time these movies did leave a mark and stimulate the creativity in up and coming directors, such as Eli Roth for example, whose love of Italian genre cinema sparked him into creating Hostel. Indeed, Hostel if released during the 1980’s would surely have become a famed Video Nasty!

While horror fans will undoubtedly enjoy the chapters on Halloween or Maniac, the author’s style will seduce you into reading about another type of genre you had not considered and by the end you will be heading to Amazon to order it on DVD!

However, take note, this is not a genre movie love fest with the author spouting plaudits with the films he has chosen, he is fearless in his criticism for some films and does not hold back, but at the same time he is astute enough to pinpoint and appreciate why they came to the fore in the first instance.

A clever and analytical foray into another side of cinema but most of all a hugely enjoyable read! An essential edition to your cinema library!