The time of festive cheer is almost upon us again and Road Rash Reviews is here to help with some suggestions for final touches to that all important gift list.
For those of you who like to leave things to the very last moment, we have plenty of great ideas, which are easy to order on our site, just go to our store and click!
As luck would have it, there are lots of goodies out there this year to fill your stockings, perfect to put your feet up and watch over the holiday season.
2019 has seen some very exciting releases and here are just a few that we think would make ideal stocking fillers.
First up this year, we have had some excellent new releases, including the fantastic A Star Is Born remake, tense thriller Chimerica, and the brilliant Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw spinoff. For horror fans we saw comedy horror Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, Stephen King series Castle Rock and Devil’s Rejects sequel 3 From Hell. For comedy fans, you can’t go wrong with the Plebs Series 1-5 box set.
5 stars for this stunning remake of a classic American story. A Star Is Born is the astonishing directorial debut by Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle), who also co-writes alongside Will Fetters (Remember Me) and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) as well as starring in the lead role. “Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it...more
4 stars of compelling and tense political drama. Chimerica is a four part Channel 4 miniseries, based on the Olivier award winning play of the same name written by Lucy Kirkwood (The Children, The Smoke). It is directed by Michael Keillor (Line of Duty, Doctors). It is set during the time of the U.S. presidential elections of 2016. “We’re done, son. You’ve...more
4 Star Bigger, Badder, Louder New director David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) was given a mega budget film ($200,000,000 (estimated)) and he blew the lot (almost literally). With Chris Morgan (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, 47 Ronin, Fast & Furious 9) at the writing helm you know Hobbs and Shaw comes with a full pedigree certificate for the Fast...more
4 stars of deliciously gory Nazi puppet violence. Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a reboot of the long running and popular Puppet Master franchise. It is brought to UK cinemas courtesy of “Fangoria Presents” and is based on characters created by Charles Band (Doll Graveyard, Puppet Master) and Kenneth J. Hall (Terror Night). It is written by S. Craig Zahler...more
4 star dark and brooding horror anthology series. Castle Rock is based on the characters, locations and stories of horror legend Stephen King (Pet Sematary, Cujo). He is an executive producer, as is J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost). It is an original story, created for television by Sam Shaw (Manhattan) and Dustin Thomason (Lie To Me). “Take any house in this town, hell,...more
4 star rip roaring gore soaked thrill ride. 3 From Hell is written and directed by Rob Zombie (Halloween, The Lords of Satan). It is the follow up to The House of a Thousand Corpses (2003) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005). “I’m just a clown dancing to the sins of mankind.” Despite the implications at the end of The Devil’s Rejects, Baby Firefly...more
4 stars of hilarious Roman antics. Plebs is an ITV2 series, written by Tom Basden (After Life, Quacks) and Sam Leifer (How Not To Live Your Life), who also directs. Plebs is a long running T.V. series which began in 2013 and this release is series 5, although it stands alone quite happily, there’s no real need to have watched the others...more
2019 has also been a great year for remastered classics, including German mountain film The Holy Mountain, 1920s horror Der Golem, charming 1990s rom com Sliding Doors, iconic war film Cockleshell Heroes and the eternal The Bells of Saint Mary’s.
4 stars of majestic scenery and crazy ski action. The Holy Mountain (Der Heilige Berg) is a silent film made in 1926. In 2001 it was photochemically restored from two seperate sets of nitrate prints, from which this 2K restoration was produced. It is written and directed by Arnold Fanck (The Mountaineers, Storm over Mont Blanc), considered to be the creator...more
4 star restoration of a highly influential German Expressionist horror film. Der Golem is written by Henrik Galeen (Nosferatu) and Paul Wegener (The Student of Prague, The Pied Piper of Hamelin). Wegener also stars in the title role and co-directs with Carl Boese (Rendezvous). The film, subtitled “Wie Er In Die Welt Kam” or “How He Came Into the World” was originally...more
4 stars of thought provoking classic 90’s romantic comedy. Sliding Doors was originally released in 1998. This is a celebratory 21st Birthday release, digitally remastered and featuring specially commissioned extras. It is written and directed by Peter Howitt (Scorched Earth, Johnny English). “You went to Anna’s. Boy! You’re a one man crack S.A.S. unit.” The film tells us the story of Helen (Gwyneth...more
5 Star War Time Derring-Do. Actor/director José Ferrer (The Great Man) brings us one of Great Britain’s most audacious and daring raids on occupied France during the second World War. Now Eureka has added this marvellous slice of cinematic history to its Classics range, with full 1080p restoration (see below). Portsmouth 1942, when Germany has occupied France and their ships are slipping through...more
4 star 4K restoration of an all time classic film. The Bells of St. Mary’s is written and directed by Leo McCarey (Going My Way, Duck Soup), with a screenplay by Dudley Nichols (Stage Coach, Bringing Up Baby). It was originally released in 1945 as a follow on to the Academy Award winning film, Going My Way. It is presented here...more
For your little ones this year there have also been some excellent releases including 80s classic The Flight of the Navigator, heartwarming 70s series The Amazing Mr Blunden and the very entertaining and educational Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans.
5 Star Family Sci-Fi Fun. It doesn’t get more 1980’s than this brilliant Sci-Fi romp from writer Mark H. Baker (Lifeform) and given to the director of family favourites such as Grease, The Blue Lagoon, White Fang, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (Randal Kleiser). When CGI was young this blew us away and now thirty odd years later it still stands...more
4 stars of charming supernatural fantasy. The Amazing Mr Blunden was originally released in 1972 and is based on the novel The Ghosts by Antonia Barber (The Mousehole Cat). It is written (screenplay) and directed by Lionel Jeffries (The Railway Children, The Water Babies) who brings his trademark magical touch to the story. In time for Christmas it is enjoying a Limited Edition...more
4 star hilarious history lesson for the whole family. Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans is the feature film debut from Award winning director Dominic Brigstocke (I’m Alan Partridge, The Armstrong and Miller Show). It is based on the best selling Horrible Histories stories written by Terry Deary (Truly Terrible Tales) and illustrated by Martin Brown. “Anyway, I’ve got nothing to worry about....more
For the horror fan in your life there have been plenty of gems this year, see our Halloween Guide for more details. There have been lots of eighties films brought back from the dead, including Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and Cujo, the magnificent Evil Dead 2 and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. A proper stroll down memory lane.
4 star remastering of a beloved eighties cult classic film. Pet Sematary is based on the horror novel of the same name written by Stephen King (The Dark Tower, Under the Dome) who also wrote the screenplay. It was originally released in 1989 and has enjoyed a 4K Ultra HD restoration for its 30th anniversary release. It is directed by Mary...more
4 star limited edition release of an eighties classic horror. Cujo was originally released in 1983. It is written by Don Carlos Dunaway (Impulse) and Lauren Currier (Somebody’s Daughter), based on the best selling novel of the same name by Stephen King (Pet Sematary, The Dark Tower). It is available in the UK on Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of...more
5 star restoration of this Eighties cult classic. Evil Dead 2 was first released in 1987 and is written by Scott Spiegel (The Rookie) and Sam Raimi (Spiderman, Oz the Great and Powerful), who also directs. It has enjoyed a full restoration making it more gloriously gory than ever and is available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time courtesy of...more
4 stars of brilliantly reconstructed and remastered horror classic. Nightbreed is written and directed by renowned horror author Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Candyman), based on his novella, Cabal. It was originally released in 1990 and is presented here on High Definition Blu-ray with a host of special features courtesy of Arrow Video. This release includes both the theatrical cut and the radically...more
It’s been a relatively quiet year for anime fans although there have been a few gems. For the agricultural enthusiast, we had the glorious Silver Spoon Seasons 1 & 2 and 2019 also saw the release of some big films, Maquia When The Promised Flower Blooms, Pigtails and Other Shorts and Mirai.
4 stars of amusing and thought provoking coming of age anime. Silver Spoon is based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist), It is produced by A-1 Pictures (Your Lie In April, Erased) and directed by Tomohiko Itō (Guilty Crown, Sword Art Online). It is presented here featuring the original Japanese track with...more
4 stars of amusing and thought provoking coming of age anime. Silver Spoon Season 2 is based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist). It is produced by A-1 Pictures (Your Lie In April, Erased) and directed by Tomohiko Itō (Guilty Crown, Sword Art Online). It is presented here featuring the original Japanese track with English subtitles, in Collector’s...more
5 star beautifully animated, heartwarming tale of love and loss. Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms is written and directed by Mari Okada (The Anthem of the Heart). It is presented here in collector’s packaging, featuring both the original Japanese track with English subtitles and the English dub. “A lone child meets another lone child. And so they set off into...more
4 stars for this collection of short animations from Production I.G. Pigtails and Other Shorts is brought to the UK courtesy of Anime Ltd. and is available to buy now on standard Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray as well as an exclusive collector’s edition box set with a whole host of special features, available to buy here. It is presented in...more
4 stars of beautifully animated life education. Mirai is written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast), although it is quite different to his usual style. It is the third film produced by Studio Chizu. It is presented here with both the English dub and the original Japanese track with English subtitles courtesy of Anime Ltd. “You...more
If you’re feeling extra festive there are some great Christmas films out there, Zom Com musical horror Anna and the Apocalypse, surreal drama The White Reindeer, classic family film The Holly and the Ivy and for the youngest members of the household, the enchanting Moomins and the Winter Wonderland.
4 star deliciously disrespectful musical horror comedy. Anna and the Apocalypse is based on a BAFTA winning 2010 short film by Ryan McHenry, creator of the internet Vine smash hit, Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see it made into a feature film, but his friends, including co-writer Alan McDonald made sure his dream became a...more
4 star restoration of an underrated classic Finnish folk tale. The White Reindeer is written by Mirjami Kuosmanen (Kihlaus, Kun on Tunteet) and Erik Blomberg (Wedding Night). It was originally released in 1952 and is presented here following a 4K restoration, in the original Finnish with optional English subtitles. It is part of the Masters of Cinema Series #203. “You must sacrifice...more
4 stars of heartwarming family Christmas in the countryside. The Holly and the Ivy was originally released in 1952 and is based on the play of the same name written by Wynyard Browne (Hobson’s Choice). It is directed by George More O’Ferrall (The Heart of the Matter) with a screenplay by Anatole de Grunwald (Bond Street). Just in time for Christmas, the...more
4 stars of enchanting Christmas family fun. Moomins and the Winter Wonderland is a feature length children’s film based on the beloved characters created by Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson in the 1940’s. This enchanting film has been lovingly put together using existing stop-motion Moomin productions from the 1980’s with a new screenplay, edited and restored to 4K format, whilst retaining...more
Last but not least, 2019 has seen the release of some top quality independent films which would make ideal gifts, the very spooky Spirits In The Dark and The Haunting of Borley Rectory, the highly amusing Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back) and the gloriously gory Cannibals and Carpet Fitters.
4 star Highly atmospheric found-footage style horror / mystery. Spirits In The Dark is the latest production from Hungarian filmmaker / director / star József Gallai (Bodom, Moth, A Guidebook To Killing Your Ex). Hitting the festival circuit in 2019, VOD and DVD releases are confirmed for sometime in 2019 and the film will also be released on VOD and DVD worldwide by Wild Eye...more
5 Star Independent Supernatural Horror at its Best. The newest film from prolific indie film maker Steven M. Smith (Haunted, Essex Boys: Law of Survival, I Am Hooligan, Borstal, The Howling, The Doll Master). The Haunting of Borley Rectory is a supernatural horror based on the most haunted house in England. It is set during the end of the Second World War...more
4 stars of very dark British black comedy. Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back) is written and directed by Tom Edmunds and is his impressive feature length directorial debut. The subject matter is very dark and this will most certainly not be to everyone’s taste. “You should be careful, you could kill yourself. Can I watch?” William (Aneurin Barnard – Dunkirk, The White...more
5 Stars A Real Carpet Gripper! Cannibals and Carpet fitters is written by Richard Lee O’Donnell (End of the Road) and directed by James Bushe (Predator Dark Ages, VK) and is based on the award winning short film of the same name. It is currently doing the rounds on the festival circuit and has won a number of awards, including Best Feature...more
Well, there you have it, this year’s recommendations for your festive viewing pleasure. On behalf of RoadRash Reviews we would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!