Angeldust - My Video Collection

My Video Collection

After cataloguing my music collection I thought it was about time I did my films as well.  I have controversially listed all sequels alongside their original counterpart so that series can be viewed as one.  Many thanks to  Amazon for the plagiarised review data & artwork, where available this has saved me an enormous amount of time.

Please select a letter to browse by title:

1-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Re-Animator
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Herbert West (Jeffery Combs) has found the secret to eternal life--or so he thinks. West needs fresh cadavers to continue his experiments in the re-animation of dead tissue, so he enlists the help of young medical student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) to steal bodies from the local morgue. Despite all the warning signs of failure, the eccentric West's research continues. The results are crazed zombies that roam the streets, severed heads that talk, murder, madness, and chaos, all in the name of science, of course. Director Stuart Gordon's film debut, an adaptation of the short story by H.P. Lovecraft, is a masterpiece of ghoulish fun. Graphic special effects, good scripting, and perfectly over-the-top performances make RE-ANIMATOR a classic horror film in the tradition of THE EVIL DEAD and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.  - Amazon Synopsis
Bride Of Re-Animator

Brian Yuzna's Bride of Re-Animator (1990) was one of the last hurrahs for special-effects-based horror films before CGI extended the ease with which the impossible could be put on screen. Like its predecessor, Re-Animator, Bride is very loosely based on HP Lovecraft's stories of Herbert West, a scientist with a taste for investigation that knows no boundaries, especially not those of good taste. He and his agonisingly liberal sidekick Cain have discovered an improvement on their original serum--now they can not only bring the dead back to life but also assemble them from parts first. Jeffrey Combs gives a wonderfully dour performance as West, not even cracking a smile when a creature he has concocted from fingers and an eye-ball is running around the room unseen by a pestering detective. This is the sort of film that constantly escalates its macabre elements--the surviving villain of the first film has been left as simply an animated head, but that does not stop him pursuing his revenge on West, nor finding ways of using West's new techniques along the way. It all makes for cheerfully gruesome fun. - Roz Kaveney

The Reaping

In this thriller from director Stephen Hopkins (LOST IN SPACE, UNDER SUSPICION), Oscar winner Hilary Swank is Katherine Winter, a college professor who refutes mysteries and so-called miracles with scientific evidence. When science teacher Doug Blackwell (David Morrisey) invites Katherine and her former teaching assistant/current colleague, Ben (Idris Elba), to his hometown of Haven, Louisiana, to investigate a river whose water has turned blood-red following the mysterious death of a local boy, the cynical professor is forced to find her own faith. The river of blood is just the first in a series of strange occurrences in Haven. It seems that each of the 10 plagues from Exodus is being manifested, in order. The citizens of this Bible Belt town are convinced that 12-year-old Loren McConnell (AnnaSophia Robb) is responsible for her brother’s death and for the strange events. Soon, Katherine finds herself questioning everything as memories from her past suddenly infiltrate the present in her search for the truth. The Deep South setting is both beautiful and creepy--particularly Doug’s classic antebellum mansion, and the swamps where the McConnell family lives. Swank is reliably solid as Katherine, a woman of faith who lost everything important to her and turned to science for answers. Young AnnaSophia Robb, a young actress to watch, has a captivating screen presence. Brits David Morrissey and Idris Elba (THE WIRE) round out the main characters, with Morrissey a convincing Southern gentleman and Elba a man who overcame his tough life on the streets to become a professor. Stephen Rea also appears as Father Costigan, a link to Katherine’s sad past. - Amazon Synopsis

[REC] [REC] - Spanish

Rec starts with a good, solid, straightforward idea. Its plan? To focus us on TV reporters, who are following a group of firemen as they go about their shift. Said shift, however, doesn’t quite go to plan, as what starts as a seemingly standard rescue mission soon takes a disturbing, chilling turn, and this sets the scene for a very effective horror film. One of the reasons why Rec works so well is the manner in which it’s shot. It’s not the first film to adopt the handheld shooting style, and indeed there have been many clichéd attempts to follow the success of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. Yet the style suits Rec well, with the photography less a gimmick, and more a legitimate storytelling device. It’s fair to say that Rec is a dish best served cold, so it’d be unfair to expand on the plot. However, be in no doubt that the mix of psychological creepiness and outright horror is very good, making the most of the claustrophobic surroundings, and wisely sidestepping many of the pitfalls of the genre. It has one or two problems, but it’s hard to quibble too much when the main feature works as well as this low-key, yet ultra-effective film does. - Jon Foster

[REC]2 [REC]2 - Spanish

Spanish horror sequel. Picking up the action 15 minutes after the point where the original 2007 film left off, the plot follows a medical officer and a SWAT team armed with video cameras as they enter the quarantined apartment building in an attempt to neutralise the situation. They are at first relieved to find that the mysterious and deadly virus appears to be carried in the blood and not in the air - but in order to 'cure' the infected blood they must first locate those who have become possessed. - Amazon
Red Dragon Red Dragon - 2002 Remake of 'Manhunter' based on the novel 'Red Dragon'

A lot could've gone wrong in Red Dragon, but the movie exceeds expectations. Replacing the acclaimed Manhunter as an "official" entry in the Hannibal Lecter trilogy, this topnotch thriller--the second adaptation of Thomas Harris's first Lecter novel--returns to the fertile soil of The Silence of the Lambs, serving as both prequel and heir to the legacy of Lecter as portrayed, with mischievous menace, by the great Anthony Hopkins. Familiar faces and locations reappear (along with Lambs screenwriter Ted Tally) as Lecter coaches FBI profiler Will Graham (Edward Norton) in tracking the horrific "Tooth Fairy" killer (Ralph Fiennes), whose transformative killing spree is inspired by a William Blake painting. By dutifully serving Harris's potent material, Tally and director Brett Ratner craft a suspenseful film worthy of its predecessors, bringing Hopkins full circle as one of the cinema's all-time greatest villains. With overtones of Psycho and a superb supporting cast, Red Dragon succeeds against considerable odds. - Jeff Shannon

Red Hot Chilli Peppers: Funky Monks

This is a documentary about the recording of 1991's 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik', which unknown at the time would spawn their best known songs. The video shows all aspects of the recording, from Flea and John's shaving habits, to the basis of the songs. Oh and there is also some shots of the songs being recorded, of which some are rare or B-sides. Having said all this, the only downside is that the whole thing is shot in Black and white, and tends to slow down into the last section. Other than that, it is a must for anyone who owns BSSM, and calls themself a fan!
- Anon
Resident Evil

Given that Resident Evil is a Paul Anderson movie based on a computer game which was itself highly derivative (especially of George A Romero and James Cameron films), it's probably unfair to complain that it hasn't got an original idea or moment in its entire running time. In the early 1980s, Italian schlock films such as Zombie Flesh Eaters and Zombie Creeping Flesh tried to cram in as many moments restaged from American originals as possible, strung together by silly characters wandering between monster attacks. This is a much-improved, edited, photographed and directed version of the same gambit. As amnesiac Milla Jovovich remembers amazing kung fu skills and anti-globalist Eric Mabius mutters about evil corporations, a gang of clichéd soldiers with nary a distinguishing feature between them (except for Michelle Rodriguez as a secondary tough chick) are trapped in an underground scientific compound at the mercy of a tyrannical computer--which manifests as a smug little-girl-o-gram--fending off flesh-eating zombies (though gore fans will be disappointed by the film's need to stay within the limits of the 15 certificate) and CGI mutants, not to mention the ever-popular zombie dogs. It's tolerably action-packed, but zips past its borrowings (Aliens, Cube, Deep Blue Sea) without adding anything that future schlock pictures will want to imitate.

Resident Evil Apocalypse Resident Evil: Apocalypse

2002's popular video-game-derived hit Resident Evil didn't inspire confidence in a sequel, but Resident Evil: Apocalypse defies odds and surpasses expectations. It's a bigger, better, action-packed zombie thriller, and this time Milla Jovovich (as the first film's no-nonsense heroine) is joined by more characters from the popular Capcom video games, including Jill Valentine (played by British hottie Sienna Guillory) and Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr, from 1999's The Mummy). They're armed and ready for a high-caliber encounter with devil dogs, mutant "Lickers," lurching zombies, and the leather-clad monster known only as Nemesis, unleashed by the nefarious Umbrella Corporation responsible for creating the cannibalistic undead horde. Having gained valuable experience as a respected second-unit director on high-profile films like Gladiator and The Bourne Identity, director Alexander Witt elevates this junky material to the level of slick, schlocky entertainment. - Jeff Shannon
Resident Evil Extinction

Movies based on computer games generally aren't well respected, but just because they aren't high art doesn't mean they can't be highly enjoyable. The only catch is that you need to be a fan of computer games to appreciate them. Resident Evil: Extinction is the third movie in the massively popular Resident Evil franchise, and it's probably the best one yet. Between Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Extinction, the zombie-creating T-virus has spread far beyond the doomed Raccoon City; now the human race is almost extinct (hence the title). When a convoy of survivors meets up with the genetically-altered Alice, the shadowy Umbrella Corporation does everything in its power to take them down and reclaim her; but Alice isn't giving up without a fight... Resident Evil: Extinction is part zombie movie, and part post-apocalyptic survival yarn. The big set pieces use CGI that doesn't look anything like reality, but does look very much like a computer game, which is possibly intentional--since this is a sequel to an adaptation, Resident Evil: Extinction does tend to assume a built-in audience which is already familiar with the various quirks of the franchise. If you're a fan of the games, you'll enjoy the various references to game characters and events; if not, you might feel a bit left out. It's not the best entry point to the franchise if you're a complete newcomer, but if you've seen the other films, it's a hell of a lot of fun. - Sarah Dobbs
Resident Evil: Afterlife - BluRay

In a world ravaged by a virus turning its victims into the Undead, Alice (Jovovich), continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead--and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.- Amazon Synopsis
Resident Evil Degeneration Resident Evil: Degeneration - Animation

A zombie attack brings chaos to Harvardville Airport. Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield who fought the sinister Umbrella Corporation during the Raccoon City tragedy seven years ago, are back. In high-octane Resident Evil style, they're ready to battle a rogue warrior who is seeking revenge after his family was killed in Raccoon City. The deadly G-Virus is unleashed and a new mutated monster goes on the rampage. Will Claire and Leon be able to terminate the virus before history repeats itself? - Amazon Synopsis
Return Of The Living Dead 3

Return of the Living Dead III is the third go-round for a premise intended as both a sequel to and a satire of the George A Romero Living Dead films. This could just as easily have been an entry in director Brian Yuzna's Re-Animator series, and indeed the plot nugget seems derived from the last shot of Re-Animator itself, as a devoted youth (J. Trevor Edmond) revives his freshly dead girlfriend (Mindy Clarke) with trioxin, a military zombie-making gas, and learns to regret his actions. Though it has some left-field ideas--the heroine turns herself into a DIY Hellraiser Cenobite poster-girl with extreme body piercing to distract herself from the desire to eat her boyfriend's brain--and effective action, it is still confined by its low budget and thus stuck with ordinary acting, a minimal plot and too many dumb developments. The central thread is the necrophile/SM romance, which ends up in a liebestod clinch in the army base's furnace, but there's a sub-plot about a quartet of zombified gang members which serves mainly to get some violence going every few minutes. Clarke is a striking presence, studded with bits of metal like a punk porcupine, but her performance flat lines even before her death in a motorcycle crash and revival as a zombie, while the rest of the cast--with the honourable exceptions of Kent McCord as a senior officer and Basil Wallace as a mystical down-and-out--are typified by Sarah Douglas' strident militarist mad scientist, who wants to put zombies in armoured exoskeletons and deploy them as combat troops. Nevertheless, this is gruesome fun for the fans, with some imaginative zombie mutilation effects. - Kim Newman

Rigor Mortis
Rigor Mortis - Cantonese

With kinetic action sequences and a jaw-dropping cinematic style, Rigor Mortis effortlessly blends terrifying violence into a twisted and dazzling plot.  An electrifyingly feature debut from director Juno Mak that reinvigorates Asian horror.  When a washed up movie star goes to an abandoned apartment block to end his life, he finds himself plunged into a dark storm of supernatural chaos.  Ghosts, vampires and zombies erupt out of the housing block plunging the residents into an apocalyptic fight for their lives. - Amazon
Ringu - Japanese

A major box office hit in the Far East, Hideo Nakada's Ring is a subtly creepy Japanese ghost story with an urban legend theme, based on a series of popular teen-appeal novels by Susuki Koji. Far less showy than even the restrained chills of The Blair Witch Project or The Sixth Sense, Ring has nevertheless become a mainstream blockbuster and has already been followed by Ring 2 and the prequel Ring 0. A Hollywood remake is in the works. Investigating the inexplicable, near-simultaneous deaths of her young niece and three teenage friends, reporter Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) learns of a story about a supernaturally cursed video-tape circulating among school kids. As soon as anyone has watched the tape, allegedly recorded by mistake from a dead TV channel, the telephone rings and the viewer has exactly a week to live. Those doomed are invisibly marked, but their images are distorted if photographed. Inevitably, Asakawa gets hold of the tape and watches it. The enigmatic collage of images include a coy woman combing her hair in a mirror, an old newspaper headline about a volcanic eruption, a hooded figure ranting, people crawling and a rural well. When the phone rings (a memorably exaggerated effect), Asakawa is convinced that the curse is active and calls in her scientist ex-husband Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada) to help. He watches a copy of the video a day after Asakawa is exposed and willingly submits himself to the curse. Even more urgency is added to their quest when their young son is unwittingly duped, apparently by the mystery woman from the tape, into watching the video too, joining the queue for a supernatural death. - Kim Newman

Ringu 2 - Japanese

The Ring 2 sequel further complicates the urban myth of the original tale, adding a chilling back-story concerning the origins of Sadako, the long-haired, bug-eyed living dead girl who chills her victims like a video nasty. Shell-shocked by the sudden death of her boyfriend, Koichi, Mai Takano takes it upon herself to investigate the sinister videotape that purportedly kills those who watch it after exactly one week. But the police also want to question Takano concerning her proximity to another death, that of Koichi's former father-in-law, and the disappearance of his ex-wife, Reiko, the journalist who began investigating the video tape curse. Plagued by premonitions and visions, hounded by the police, Takano stumbles upon Yoichi, Reiko's son, who after viewing the videotape has acquired strange supernatural powers. Although now mute, Takano seems able to communicate with him and wins the frightened boy's confidence in order to involve him in scientific experiments carried out by Dr Ikuma, the aims of which are to break the curse of Sadako once and for all. Director Nakata stays true to the tone of his original, tightening the plot like a piano wire around the audience, and priming them for the inevitable next episode in the series. - Chris Campion

Ringu O - Japanese

Ring 0 is the prequel to the successful Japanese ghost/horror movie Ring which has already spun off a conventional follow-up (Ring 2) and inspired a host of Far Eastern imitations, with a US remake in development. Opening with some tiny scene-setting to remind you of the urban legend of the cursed videotape, the film skips back to "30 years ago" and dramatises the hitherto-only-hinted-at tale of how the witchlike Sadako ended up in a well from which her melancholy, malign spirit spread her curse. Strange young woman Sadako (Yukie Nakama) leaves her island home to become an apprentice in a theatre company, where her ambiguous psychic powers, several deaths and an outbreak of madness complicate the production. Nakama is fine as the spooky, Carrie-like heroine, as much a victim of her psychic abilities as those who drop dead around her, and there are several creepy sequences: a first night plagued by apparitions, a mob struck down one by one as they chase Sadako through a wood, and the inevitable, foreshadowed waking-up-in-a-well climax. The original filmmakers have departed and the new team don't quite have the material to work with, which means Ring 0 plays better to initiate newcomers but can't hope to duplicate the stand-alone chills ofRing. Series fans will enjoy the filled-in back-story, but others should be warned that the film takes a bewildering amount of plot information for granted.
- Kim Newman

The Ring - US Remake of Ringu

An unexpected marriage of big-budget production values and low-budget instincts, The Ring offers chills to be savoured. Usually when Hollywood indulges its cash-hungry game of remaking foreign films the result sacrifices much of what made the original so special. Clearly, the supremely eerie supernatural vibe that permeated the legendary 1998 Japanese horror film must have done something to those Hollywood suits, because Gore Verbinski's remake is actually rather good. Certainly, it's not superior to the original, but it's undoubtedly a cut above most modern horror efforts, expertly wringing every drop of suspense. The impressive Naomi Watts (Mullholland Drive) plays a journalist investigating an urban myth of a videotape that kills the viewer a week after watching it. Succumbing to curiosity, she watches it herself--big mistake--and has a week to solve the mystery or fall victim to its sinister power. While transferring the action from Japan to modern-day Seattle may weaken the impact of the plot's mythological elements, and the film may be guilty of pointless padding (belying the original's lean format), Verbinski's effort is no less squirm-inducing, bolstered with a tremendous shocker of an ending. Exquisitely utilising the strong visual sense displayed in The Mexican, Verbinski creates a thick atmosphere of dread and suspense that never lets up, thankfully favouring old-fashioned scares, rather than retreating to blunt CG spectacle. In Watts, the film has a horror heroine who far exceeds the average wide-eyed scream queen, perfectly conveying the endless stream of bone-chilling moments. - Danny Graydon

The Ring 2 - US Remake of Ringu 2

Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) have relocated to the quaint mountain town of Asheville, where Rachel has found a new job at the local Asheville Gazette, working alongside reporter Max Rourke (Simon Baker). The discovery of a local teenage homicide whilst scanning the electronic Asheville Police archives prompts Rachel to uncover the truth behind it. Before long, Rachel has linked the homicide to the mysterious video tape. Just when Rachel is within reach of uncovering the secret, she discovers that Aidan has been hospitalized - unconcious, perilously cold, and bruised. Rachel suspects this is the act of Samara Morgan, but Dr Emma Temple suspects otherwise. Having being blamed for child abuse and looking guilty as sin, Rachel returns to Seattle, to dig deeper into the past of the ghostly Samara. Will the secrets she uncovers solve problems, or will they end more lives? - Package Synopsis
The Ring Virus - Korean remake of Ringu

I find a lot of Korean films are quite western in their approach - in comparison to Japan that is - and this was no exception. With polished camera work and more subtle performances RING VIRUS looks great; plus the two lead characters hold their own with solid, engaging performances. Where the US version failed by convoluting the story with unnecessary special effects and explanations RING VIRUS, as with RINGU, takes a more uncluttered approach, adding new elements (Some taken from the novel, and omitting others. It's true this version lacks the chill factor and tension of Nakata's, but that does not mean it has none.  I think, had this been the first take on Suzuki Koji's novel it would have developed a much stronger reputation; but despite it's differences it has few new surprises and leads to the same ultimate conclusion, handled in a less than tense or terrifying manner. If you love the "Ring" genre and can mentally separate RING VIRUS from it's siblings, what you have here is essentially a very good creepy movie. It's not RINGU but few films are. - S.Rave, Amazon
The Road

After the Oscar-winning success of the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, another of the author's works arrives on screen. Viggo Mortensen stars in THE ROAD, a thriller that is set in a bare, post-apocalyptic America, where a father and son struggle to survive. Director John Hillcoat previously teamed with star Guy Pearce on the critically acclaimed Western THE PROPOSITION. - Amazon Synopsis
  Robbie Williams: Live At Knebworth - Promotional Copy

Robbie Williams Live at Knebworth is a lasting souvenir of the biggest ever live music event that the UK had ever seen, when in Summer 2003 some 375,000 people made their way to Knebworth to let Mr Williams entertain them. Recorded over the three nights, it doesn't contain the full two-hour set list and even dares to leave out some of the live favourites such as "Rock DJ" and "No Regrets", so doesn't quite count as a comprehensive "Best of". However, it does include the majority of his finest moments--from the full-on regular opening number "Let Me Entertain You", to the tingling hairs on the back of your neck-quality of "Angels" via such crowd pleasers as "Kids" and "Feel". As with all live albums, it's never going to sound as clean as the studio versions, and there are bum notes and unexpected ad-libs, but to their credit the compilers have kept the inter song banter to a minimum so the listener is spared most of the cheesy humility served up in abundance on the nights. For those that attended, this will be an essential purchase as a lasting souvenir of a memorable day. For anyone else, they'd probably be better off waiting for the proper best of that will no doubt come out eventually. - Melanie Wilkin

Robocop - Criterion Edition - Uncut & Un-Certified!!

When it arrived on the big screen in 1987, Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop was like a high-voltage jolt of electricity, blending satire, thrills, and abundant violence with such energized gusto that audiences couldn't help feeling stunned and amazed. The movie was a huge hit, and has since earned enduring cult status as one of the seminal science fiction films of the 1980s. Followed by two sequels, a TV series, and countless novels and comic books, this original RoboCop is still the best by far, largely due to the audacity and unbridled bloodlust of director Verhoeven. However, the reasons many enjoyed the film are also the reasons some will surely wish to avoid it. Critic Pauline Kael called the movie a dubious example of "gallows pulp," and there's no denying that its view of mankind is bleak, depraved, and graphically violent. In the Detroit of the near future, a policeman (Peter Weller) is brutally gunned down by drug-dealing thugs and left for dead, but he survives (half of him, at least) and is integrated with state-of-the-art technology to become a half-robotic cop of the future, designed to revolutionize law enforcement. As RoboCop holds tight to his last remaining shred of humanity, he relentlessly pursues the criminals who "killed" him. All the while, Verhoeven (from a script by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner) injects this high-intensity tale with wickedly pointed humour and satire aimed at the men and media who cover a city out of control. -  Jeff Shannon, amazon.com

Robocop 2014
Robocop - Hologram Sleeve - 2014 Remake

This isn't the Robocop I remember but on its own terms I found plenty to enjoy. It's almost impossible to watch this and divorce it from the original (brilliant) film from back in 1987. That was a very different film - this one is a 12 certificate which perhaps tells you all you need to know. It doesn't have the wit or stylish verve and certainly not the violence of its predecessor.  This time around its Joel Kinnaman who plays Alex Murphy, a cop who is left at deaths door after being targeted by the criminal element. He is rebuilt as our new Robocop and sent out onto the mean streets of Detroit to enforce the law. Complications arise as the line is blurred between man and machine as Alex is caught between his duties, his family and ruthless executives attempting to use him to their own ends. Kinnaman is solid enough in the role but the acting honours lie elsewhere - Gary Oldman is excellent as a conflicted doctor, Michael Keaton is equally great as a hateable son of a gun and Abbie Cornish brings the heart as Mrs Murphy.  As I said at the top, I found much to enjoy here - the streets of Detroit are suitably gritty, the action is good and it all looks great (admittedly I'm a sucker for big budget sci-fi). There are a few sly nods to the original flick - ED209 is present and correct and the original armour gets a look in.  Overall, although the modern way of remaking perfectly good films can feel kind of pointless, if you can take this one on its own merits it's a pretty good film. If you're only gonna watch one Robocop film though - head back to 1987.  -  Richard Morton via Amazon

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Angeldust - My Video Collection