5 items from 2014
“The British Film” collection was launched by Network Distributing in April 2013 as part of a five-year plan to release over 450 vintage British films through a deal with Studiocanal. Many of the films have never been available to own and will benefit from new transfers. We’ve already reviewed a couple of their previous releases, the Hammer horror pairing of Countess Dracula and Twins of Evil – and now we take a look at two more interesting British horrors of the 1970s…
Synopsis: During a cricket match at an insane asylum between the inmates and the local villagers, Crossley and Graves keep themselves entertained by telling stories. Crossley tells of how he came to possess supernatural powers enabling him to kill with a single shout and although his companion dismisses the tale as an insane fantasy, »
- Phil Wheat
John McNaughton, enfante-terrible of the BBFC thanks to his stunning 1986 debut feature Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, returns to genre film making after two decades away from horror (his Masters of Horror episode in 2006 is his only “horror” credit in 25 years), with a psychological thriller starring Britain’s very own Samantha Morton and everyone’s favourite Superman villain, Michael Shannon, who play married medical professionals Katharine and Richard Young who keep their sick son Andy isolated from the outside world in their remote countryside house.
However that isolation is broken when Maryann, following the death of her parents, moves in with her grandparents just down the road. Having left all she knows behind and feeling alone, she eventually befriends Andy – despite the vehement protest of his overprotective mother, »
- Phil Wheat
There's something about these short, sharp shockers that gets under the skin. The BBC has already repeated A Quiet Night In, the remarkable, almost dialogue-free instalment of the series, which is starting to accrue awards. This DVD release should help spread the word: it's very lendable.
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton the show's creators, writers and stars eschew the current TV trend for long, involved story arcs, choosing instead to resurrect the once-popular anthology format. In the 70s and 80s, there were plenty of TV short-story strands, from Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected to Nigel Kneale's Beasts, not to mention Hammer House of Horror. Here, over six episodes, we get unrelated 30-minute tales of morality and mortality, all with different characters, »
- Phelim O'Neill
It has been dismissed over the years as cheesy, cheap and laughable but, as has been the case on many occasions, Hammer Films have had the last laugh. They boast a back-catalogue that is to horror movies what The Rolling Stones’ discography is to rock music. Fifty-nine years after the release of their first horror movie proper (The Quatermass Xperiment), Hammer’s films have survived scrutiny and re-evaluation and have now attained National Treasure status. Moreover, in terms of sheer importance, the Hammer films were some of the most influential of the past half-century. The ripple-effect of their imitators cashing in on their success would beget the careers of some of the biggest names in Hollywood today.
And yet since 1984 Hammer has been a dormant entity, existing only in the memory: a pile of ashes, a cape and a signet ring waiting to be reanimated by the crimson, jugular discharge of some poor, »
- Cai Ross
Cycling: Tirreno-Adriatico Road Race | Breaking Magic | Famous, Rich & Hungry | Law & Order: UK | Astronauts: Living In Space | Who Needs Ibiza? The Great British Holiday | How To Get Ahead: At Medieval Court | Inside No 9U
Cycling: Tirreno-Adriatico Road Race
1.30pm, British Eurosport
Ahead of the Grand Tours (which kick off with the Giro d'Italia in May) the Tirreno-Adriatico is a testing warm up. Last year, the winner, Vincenzo Nibali, also took the Giro crown and eventual Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished second. This year's opening stage is a team time-trial on Italy's Mediterranean coast: over the course of seven days the riders make their way to the east coast and the Adriatic. Hence the contest's nickname: the Race Of The Two Seas. Lanre Bakare
- Lanre Bakare, Hannah Verdier, John Robinson, David Stubbs, Ben Arnold, Hannah J Davies, Ali Catterall, Mark Jones
5 items from 2014
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