Showing posts with label cult movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cult movie. Show all posts

10 March 2015

BFI Unleash A Stunning New UK trailer For Upcoming Blade Runner:The Final Cut

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You may say to yourself "Again?!!!" but to true film fans will relish a  rare chance to see Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi Masterpiece Blade Runner on the big screen again, watch new trailer.

After numerous special editions for the home release and fans of the cult film argue which one is the best, we have to say the best is to relive the enjoyment of the big screen. BFI are bringing the film back to UK cinemas for a limited release and if your of a certain age group (like myself) either too young or weren't born so we see this as a rare chance.

So what version version will we watch? BFI are distributing Blade Runner:The Final Cut the version approved by director Ridley Scott, here's what he said about this version...

The Final Cut is my definitive version of BLADE RUNNER, and I’m thrilled that audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy it in the way I intended – on the big screen. This new trailer captures the essence of the film and I hope will inspire a new generation to see BLADE RUNNER when it is re-released across the UK on 3 April.

Graced with extraordinary sets, ground-breaking special effects, stunning costumes and photography, Blade Runner: The Final Cut brilliantly evokes a dystopian vision of the future. Breathtaking city vistas, rain-drenched neon-lit streets and gloomy interiors combine with Vangelis’ sweeping, sensual score to conjure an oppressive futuristic Los Angeles, a dark and dehumanising landscape where the sun no longer shines.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut will make an limited UK cinema release from 3rd April, check BFI website for a list of cinema who will show the film.

20 February 2014

Blu-Ray Review - Phantom Of The Paradise (1974)

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Fantasy, Horror, Comedy
Arrow Video
Rating: 15
Brian DePalma
Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Buy: Phantom of the Paradise Steelbook [Blu-ray]

Phantom of the Paradise came out after Brian De Palma’s Sisters which was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock and Georges Franju. It also predated the glam rock meets horror film musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show in which comparisons can easily be made. It’s also one of De Palma’s finest films to date; only some of the later films like Carrie, Blow Out (his masterpiece) or his most widely known film Scarface transcend it.

It’s partly inspired by Phantom of the Opera, but what’s probably a more noticeable inspiration is the old tale of Faust. Cinema has been retelling the story of Faust since the early days of film- from Murnau’s film of Faust to Terry Gilliam’s Dr. Parnassus. It’s also a biting satire on the music business with the Devil incarnated as Paul Williams, the record label boss of Swan, who also wrote all the film’s songs.

William Finley - who has been working with De Palma since his student film days - plays the Phantom. The Phantom starts out life as a Randy Newman, an Elton John type character or indeed any early 70s singer/songwriter type named Winslow Leach. Swan likes Randy’s music, and in turn decides to steal it because he needs a catalyst to open his new venue The Paradise. Winslow objects and is thrown into jail but escapes and attempts to destroy the record label's pressing of the cover of his song. Following Winslow's disfiguration from his accident, he becomes the phantom and begins to seek revenge.

It would be unfair not to mention Gerrit Graham’s stellar performance as Beef; the ridiculously camp rock n roll diva who is set to headline The Paradise. One of the film’s greatest gimmicks are the band’s that Swan manages, changing names and styles throughout - from the Juicy Fruits (50s nostalgia band) to The Undead (Alice Cooper esq. rock) – they are all the same band. Jessica Harper, who actually starred in the quasi sequel to Rocky Horror Shock Treatment, plays the young singer the Phantom is trying to pursue.

Jack Fisk, who is one of the most well respected production designers in the business, designed the film. He is married to Sissy Spacek (who is credited as a set dresser on the film) and has worked with Terrence Malick, PT Anderson, David Lynch et el. It’s beautifully designed with bright colourful sets, and it’s also one of the best shot films of De Palma’s career with great use of fish eye lenses, long takes and split screen - all techniques of which De Palma made his name, while it even includes one if not the best on-screen parody of the shower scene in Psycho.

Phantom of the Paradise was very ahead of its time, coming out before Glam Rock became big in the US due to massive success of Kiss, who have been accused of ripping off the Undead’s makeup. Over the years it’s gained a rabid cult following with notable fans including Quentin Tarantino and Guillermo Del Toro. It’s also one of the most scathing attacks on the music business in film history. The reception and the film’s lack of commercial success may be due to the its tone, which is extremely zany in a Sam Raimi-esque way, but the next scene can be a slice of gothic horror.

The disc includes a great documentary on the film, which was previously only available on the French special editions (where the film was a big hit). The biggest new extra is a fantastic 70-minute interview with Guillermo Del Toro interviewing Paul Williams. Typically of Arrow, the transfer and sound is top notch.


Ian Schultz

16 January 2014

The Phantom Of Paradise To 'Rock' Your Blu-ray Collection This February

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Arrow Video is thrilled to announce the release of Brian De Palma’s seminal horror fantasy Phantom of the Paradise coming to Blu-ray for the first time in the UK on 24th February. One of 2014’s most hotly anticipated titles from the Arrow Video label, this feature-packed disc will be released as both a Limited Edition SteelBook and deluxe Blu-ray featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress. This exciting Blu-ray release will also include an exclusive collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth and an exploration of the film’s troubled marketing history by Ari Kahan, curator of, illustrated with original stills and promotional material.

Featuring a bumper crop of bonus features such as Paradise Regained, a 50 minute documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian De Palma, producer Ed Pressman and members of the cast, The Swan Song Fiasco, a new video piece exploring the changes made to the film in post-production plus alternate takes and bloopers from the cutting room floor, original trailers, a gallery of rare stills and most excitingly a newly filmed 70 minute interview where renowned director Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams.

Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise came hot on the heels of his early horror film Sisters. De Palma planned both films at the same time but the complex production design and sets forced Phantom into second place due to budgetary constraints. For those who found Sisters to be too much of a Hitchcock rip-off Phantom of the Paradise is a very different film and finds De Palma working with his most wicked sense of humour in this gothic masterpiece.

Phantom’s devoted fans not only claim this to be De Palma’s best film but also far superior to the Rocky Horror Picture Show for cult musical madness. Phantom of the Paradise also claims many celebrity fans including Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro and Quentin Tarantino.


Brian De Palma’s inspired rock ’n’ roll fusion of Faust, The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray boasts an Oscar-nominated score by Paul Williams, who also stars as an evil record producer who not only steals the work of composer/performer Winslow Leach (William Finley) but gets him locked up in Sing Sing - and that’s not the worst that happens to him along the way.
Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the na├»ve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes.

Prodigiously inventive both musically and visually, this is one of De Palma’s most entertaining romps, not least because it was so clearly a labour of love.

The super-deluxe package, which is available both as a standard Blu-ray and as a limited edition Blu-ray SteelBook, is full of special features and bonus material. The special features for this edition include:

· High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the feature, available in the UK for the first time!

· Original uncompressed Stereo PCM / 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio options

· Isolated Music and Effects soundtrack

· Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

· Paradise Regained – A 50 minute documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian De Palma, producer Ed Pressman, the late star William Finley, star and composer Paul Williams, co-stars Jessica Harper and Gerrit Graham and more!

· Guillermo Del Toro interviews Paul Williams (72 mins, 2014)

· The Swan Song Fiasco: A new video piece exploring the changes made to the film in post-production

· Archive interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton

· William Finley on the Phantom doll!

· Paradise Lost and Found: Alternate takes and bloopers from the cutting room floor

· Original Trailers

· Radio Spots

· Gallery of rare stills including behind-the-scenes images by photographer Randy Black

· Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth and an exploration of the film’s troubled marketing history by Ari Kahan, curator of, illustrated with original stills and promotional material

· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress [Amaray release only]

· Limited Edition SteelBook™ packaging featuring original artwork [ SteelBook only]

· Booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Kenneth Muir, author of The Films of John Carpenter, as well as a re-print of an interview with production designer John Lloyd and make-up effects artist Steve Johnson on the design and effects of the film, illustrated with archive stills and posters

Phantom Of Paradise will arrive on Blu-ray  on 24th February from Arrow Video, we will be reviewing the film nearer the time, so stay tuned.

You can pre-order/buy Phantom Of Paradise on Blu-ray or Steelbook Blu-ray

15 November 2013

Blu-Ray Review - Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)

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Sci-fi, horror, cult
Release Date:
18th November 2013 (UK)
Philip Kaufman
Donald Sutherland, Leonord Nimoy, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Mccarthy,
[Blu-ray] or [Blu-ray SteelBook]

Philip Kaufman unwitting started the trend of remaking classic horror films with his 1978 reimagining of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It started this trend because it was actually really good and similar remakes followed like The Thing and The Fly. Body Snatchers started life as a novel by Jack Finney and have been adapted 4 times to the silver screen. It was first made in 1956 by Don Siegel and remains the best, the aforementioned 1978 one, the underrated Abel Ferrara take in the early 90s and more the recently the version with Nicole Kidman but let’s try to forget that one.

The film’s protagonist in this take is Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) a San Franciscan heath inspector who hears from a friend Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) that her boyfriend is acting strange around her. Matthew gets his friend in touch with Dr. Kibner (Leonard Nimoy) a psychiatrist. At the same time two of his friends discovered a body that resembles one of them Jack (Jeff Goldblum) that appears to be browing. They call Matt to have a look at it and if he can help

Matt comes down to examine it and heads back to see Elizabeth and finds a pod person version of her growing. Matt gets the real Elizabeth to safety and contacts the police but soon realizes they are pod people. The invasion has started and Matt and his friends can’t fall asleep or they will become pod people as well.

Kaufman’s take is very much of its time it’s set in a post-Watergate world. It has that great 70s paranoia feel and you know from the extremely creepy opening scene something is amidst. This is refined with the inclusion of Robert Duvall’s unsettling cameo as a priest in a playground. It also includes fantastic cinematography from Michael Chapman who also shot Taxi Driver.

It’s one of the finest film remakes of its kind with only The Thing or The Fly surpassing it in quality. Kaufman is a very versatile director who has director stuff like The Wanderers and The Right Stuff and casts the film impeccably. Sutherland feel adds some gravitas to his role, which is rare in the genre. The film also features a cameo by the original film’s lead actor Kevin McCarthy which begs the question is it a remake or sequel.

The blu-ray Arrow has complied is packed to the gills with material; the real highlight is the roundtable discussion with Kim Newman, Ben Wheatley and Norman J. Warren who discuss the film at quite length. The disc also includes a really pretentious interview with Kaufman’s biographer Annette Insdorf along with an interview about Jack Finney from Jack Seabrook and some featurettes from the American MGM blu-ray and a director’s commentary.


Ian Schultz