Saturday 1 October 2011

DVD Reviews

Blood Runs Cold
Director: Sonny Laguna
Starring: Ralf Beck, Hanna Oldenburg, Ellin Hugoson
Chelsea Films
Available from 03/10/2011 on DVD
Review by Blake Harmer

When Winona, a successful artist is looking to get away from her stressful life, a house is rented for her in her home town by her manager to help her get away for a couple of weeks. However, after bumping into her ex-boyfriend and a couple of friends, Winona takes them back to the house only to find that something is in the house and it isn’t friendly…
Well, this is what I was able to gather from this thin and clichéd slasher flick. Blood Runs Cold never really tries to engage with the viewer, nor does it really attempt to explain itself. There is not a single moment where the film tries to explain why there is a crazed axe wielding maniac roaming about, and also why he appears to be a frozen undead cannibal as well - he is just there and it seems that the cast are there at the wrong time and place to be there with him. As for the cast, you will have no feelings whether they live or die, although you will probably be wishing it on them due to their stupidity, spouting terrible dialogue and being incredibly one-dimensional.
However, to the film’s credit, the film has obviously been made on a low budget, and the cinematography is surprisingly good for low budget horror film. Also, the special effects are pretty good, and the killer/monster or whatever it is meant to be looks and sounds the part to make a good horror character. But despite this, the weak story-telling, the poor characters and shoddy dialogue are too off-putting to be worth recommending this to any horror fans.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
: Plenty of gore and a couple of fairly decent death scenes, but nothing that hasn’t been done better in other horror movies.
Sex/Nudity: A couple of sex scenes and boobs, but nothing to write home about.
Swearing: A few swear words, unless you count yourself cursing the poor surfer-dude style dialogue.
Summary: Despite some good effects and camera work considering the low budget, the clichéd story and one dimensional idiotic characters will both anger and bore you until you take up the more interesting hobby of DVD Frisbee… out of the nearest window. 3/10

Director: Shinsuke Sato
Starring: Kazunari Ninomiya, Ken'ichi Matsuyama
Manga Entertainment

Available from 03/10/2011 on DVD and Blu-Ray
Review by Rob Wade
After an accident on the train platform, recently deceased childhood friends Kei and Kato find themselves transported to an empty apartment populated by other confused strangers and a mysterious black ball known only as Gantz, which issues them a set of strange suits and alien weapons, instructing them that their lives are forfeit and now they must exterminate "dangerous aliens" in a series of games.

I’ll admit that reading the description left me with little in the way of clues as to how this movie was likely to turn out. However, I can honestly say that this movie was a shock in the absolute best way possible, pretty much like watching The Matrix or Dark City for the first time. What’s impressive about Gantz is how familiar it feels without giving you the sensation that you’ve seen it all before. The film hits the right notes when it comes to intrigue, with the initial explanation scene done really well while at the same time giving you tons of plot points to keep you coming back.

The casting’s excellent, with everyone playing their parts well, but the greatest success of this film is the visuals. The special effects are superb from start to finish, with some of the greatest CGI I’ve seen in ages. Naturally, being Japanese, there’s plenty of gore and over-the-top violence, but it all fits and makes sense. What’s also nice (and something that a lot of big-budget Hollywood movies could learn from) is how effortlessly the director allows the action to appear clearly and easily. There’s no hard-to-follow stuff, just clear and visible set pieces.

Yes, there are some hammy acting parts, but there are some really well done scenes as well. There are a few bits which aren’t explained, but at the same time what’s more important is how much of this film is done well, and when it works it works outstandingly. Plus, the ending makes it clear that there’s more to come, and I for one can’t wait!

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
: Guns that make people explode, swords, blood everywhere.
Sex/Nudity: Two sideboob shots and a naked female bum, but nothing that drastic.
Swearing: None.
Summary: One of the most exciting and intriguing films since Dark City. See this movie. 9/10


Horror legend George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Diary of the Dead) presents Deadtime Stories Volume 1.

3 Frightening Tales That Will Chill To The Core:

Valley of the Shadow
A woman searches for her missing husband in the jungles of South America... and soon, the hunters become the hunted.

A lonely potter finds a valuable jade box buried on the beach. Things become deadly when the box is opened...

House Call
In an earlier century, a woman living on an isolated farm calls an elderly doctor out on a stormy night to make a house call on her strangely ailing son. What he finds when he gets there isn't listed in any medical books...

Thanks to our friends at Lions Gate Home Entertainment, we've got three copies of Deadtime Stories: Volume One on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Tuesday 11th October, making sure to put "Deadtime Stories" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a copy of this awesome movie!

Don't forget to put "Deadtime Stories" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Deadtime Stories: Volume One is available from 3rd October, courtesy of Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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