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Anton van Beek  |  Oct 19, 2011  |  0 comments

The slow drip-feed of animated TV sensation The Simpsons on DVD continues with this latest four-disc boxset, collecting together all 22 episodes from the show's 2002-2003 14th season. By this point in the show's life many were already claiming that The Simpsons was past its best, having peaked around seasons six and seven and having been on a downward spiral ever since. But despite some fairly vocal criticism, this particular season was actually one of the show's most critically lauded.

Anton van Beek  |  May 14, 2011  |  0 comments

Family Guy's tenth season provides another 15 episodes of animated chaos featuring the misadventures of the Peter Griffin and his family. Highlights this time around include abortion-themed Partial Terms of Endearment (which was initially banned from broadcast in the US and ended up making its worldwide TV debut on BBC Three last June), the 150th episode special Brian & Stewie (a smart two-hander featuring the popular dog and baby pairing trapped in a bank vault) and the surprisingly dramatic 55min murder-mystery special And Then There Were Fewer (which actually kills off some of the supporting cast). Like always, the show's mix of gross-out gags, gross stupidity, desire to offend and pop culture spoofs make it an acquired taste - but if you've stuck with the show this far then you won't be disappointed.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 15, 2010  |  0 comments

Comedy is a difficult thing to review. What makes one person roll around laughing on the floor will simply make another roll their eyes. Which makes reviewing something like this fifth volume of episodes from American Dad! pretty difficult. After all, the show has been on the air for five years now, and it wallows in almost exactly the same sense of pop culture-spoofing humour that show creator Seth MacFarlane has been peddling in Family Guy for over a decade now - so chances are, you already know whether this is your kind of thing or not.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 31, 2009  |  0 comments

Thanks to the likes of Haute Tension (aka Switchblade Romance), Frontiere(s) and Martyrs, the past few years have seen a major resurgence in French horror cinema. Proving particularly adept at pushing the boundaries of taste, this new wave of French horror eschews the safe scares of its Americanised brethren in favour of more challenging fodder. And the latest of these films to make it to UK shores is the writer-director Alexandre Bustillo and co-director Julien Maury's visceral 2007 shocker A l'interieur (Inside).

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 23, 2009  |  0 comments

Trick 'r Treat is a film that's been talked about (at least amongst online horror communities) for the best part of two years now. Originally slated for a Stateside cinema release back in October 2007, Warner Bros. withdrew the film from its schedules and left it languishing in the vaults with no explanation. Numerous theories started circulating, not least one rather ludicrous suggestion that the film was being buried as some sort of punishment to writer-director Michael Dougherty for the relatively poor box office performance of Superman Returns, which Dougherty has co-written.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

I blame Russell Mulcahy for my curious love of killer pigs in horror. Ever since I first saw his 1984 giant boar flick Razorback I've never been one to shy away from a spot of porcine violence. Sadly, it seems that very few filmmakers share my passion for bacon-flavoured terror, and as such I've had to make do with re-watching Mullcahy's aforementioned slice of Oz-ploitation (which, I still find to be his most satisfying film... yes, even more so than Highlander), that bit in the otherwise forgetable Evilspeak where Clint Howard unleashes a horde of Satanic pigs on a naked chick having a shower and re-reading Clive Barker's wonderfully weird short story Pig Blood Blues.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

I’ve always had a lot of time for slasher films. I know they aren’t particularly big or clever, but when they’re done right you end up with something truly magical like John Carpenter’s Halloween. And even when they aren’t done that well, you can still end up with something entertaining like the Friday the 13th series (there’s just something about the Voorhees clan that tickles my fancy) or even a My Bloody Valentine (either the original or the goofy 3D remake). So my interest was quickly piqued by the press release for Dark Castle Entertainment’s The Hills Run Red, a brand new slasher with a script by ‘splatter-punk’ author David J. Schow that was being touted as ‘a smart twist on extreme horror, with more blood, torture and suspense than ever before’.

Anton van Beek  |  May 14, 2009  |  0 comments

Shot guerrilla-style on the streets of New York city, this clumsily-titled shocker is one of the most impressive micro-budget horrors this reviewer has encountered in some time. The story follows a group of neighbours from a dilapidated apartment block who find their mundane lives turned upside down by an outbreak of violence that sweeps across the city.

Anton van Beek  |  May 11, 2009  |  0 comments

Cunningly released to coincide with the arrival of X-Men Origins: Wolverine at cinemas around the world, this latest animated X-Men series puts Wolverine front and centre by sidelining many of the franchise mainstays.

Anton van Beek  |  May 05, 2009  |  0 comments

Based on one of the lesser known works by writer and dramatist Edward Plunkett (better known as fantasy pioneer Lord Dunsany), this delightful shaggy dog story deals with an eccentric cleric who believes he had a past life as a canine. Set in the early years of the 20th century, the movie stars Jeremy Northam as Henslowe Fisk, a young man forced every Thursday to pay a visit to his cranky father Horatio (Peter O’Toole). The latter has closed himself off from the world since the death of his other son during the Boer War and the passing of his wife soon after.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 21, 2009  |  0 comments

There are two things in films that are guaranteed to peak my interest. One is the Wild West and the other is the undead. So you can probably imagine how excited I was when I popped the review copy of Undead or Alive into my DVD player, a horror-comedy that throws together cowboys and zombies. What could possibly go wrong?

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 08, 2009  |  0 comments

The past couple of years have seen the DVD release of some great feature-length documentaries pandering to fans of exploitation films. Going to Pieces took a look at the rise and fall of the slasher genre, while the Friday the 13th and Halloween franchises have both been treated to celebratory retrospective documentaries in the form of His Name Was Jason and Halloween: 25 Years of Terror.

Anton van Beek  |  Nov 05, 2008  |  0 comments

Tobe Hooper's seminal 1974 shocker ranks up there with Army of Darkness and Dawn of the Dead when it comes to the number of times it has been released on DVD. Previous Special Edition discs on both sides of the Atlantic appeared to have done a damn fine job with the movie, so why should anybody care about this new (and rather ridiculously titled) three-disc set?

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 05, 2008  |  0 comments

Reviewing Wes Craven's 1972 debut feature The Last House on the Left isn't an easy thing. For those, like myself, who became horror devotees during the early 1980s the film has a significance and impact that is often lost on younger audiences. In this way it is much like those other '70s genre classics The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Exorcist, which are often greeted by hoots of derision rather than screams of terror these days.

Anton van Beek  |  Sep 26, 2008  |  0 comments

I’m no stranger to the world of bad movies. After all, I’m the guy who reviewed Ratman and Loch Ness Terror for this website, and managed to find plenty to enjoy in both of them. However, even I was not prepared for the sheer awfulness that was about to be unleashed by the made-for-TV Anaconda 3: Offspring.