Next of Kin (1982) Blu-ray Review

Given high-praise by Quentin Tarantino in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood, Tony Williams’ Ozploitation cult classic finally gets a UK Blu-ray release courtesy of Second Sight.

Following the death of her mother, Linda Stevens (Jacki Kerin) finds herself returning to her old hometown, and the new owner of a retirement community, Montclare estate. Unsure what to do with the property, Linda spends some time in the scenic location with her Aunt Rita and does her best to settle into a routine. Sorting through her late mother’s belongings, Linda discovers a wealth of old documents and a diary that at first offers possible comfort for her grief but sends her spiralling into a haunting mystery.

The stacks of old papers and the worrying entries in the diary only serve to destabilise Linda’s state of mind, Aside from the company of an old boyfriend (Wolf Creek’s John Jarratt), Linda struggles to feel at home in her once familiar surroundings, and the isolated setting does little to help. As Linda attempts to piece together what is happening to the residents, her sanity is pushed to breaking point.

Unfairly dubbed a run of the mill slasher by some critics, Next of Kin if anything but routine. Tony Williams’ off-kilter tone and style are used to tremendously unnerving effect, using hysteria infused slow-burn tension mixed with splashes of nightmarish imaginary to bombard the senses. The excellent synth score from Klaus Schulze adds an extra layer to the atmosphere; John Carpenter fans will certainly approve. The slow-pace gives way to an explosive finally, that while predictable in its revelations, it doesn’t disappoint.

1982 was a vintage year for Hollywood movies, Blade Runner, E.T, Poltergeist, Tron, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, and of course, Grease 2. While Next of Kin didn’t leave the same impact on pop culture, it’s a gem of a film that deserves its place alongside the horror classics that defined the 80s. Much like fellow under-seen Ozploitation cult classic The Long Weekend, it is ripe for revisiting, and the Blu-ray is jam-packed with unmissable special features.

Next of Kin is released on Blu-ray March 25.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Trailer

Earlier this week the first official posters for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood teased the imminent trailer, and now it’s here!

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as TV actor Rick Dalton, once the lead of a hit western series Bounty Law who has struggled to make the shift into making movies. Dalton seeks to change his fortune in the industry that is rapidly changing aided by his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Tarantino’s ninth film will touch upon the Charles Manson family murders, with Margot Robbie starring as Sharon Tate with Damon Herriman as Charles Manon.

Featuring Tarantino regulars Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern with an impressive ensemble cast that includes Al Pacino, Lena Dunham, Damien Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, James Marsden, and the late Luke Perry. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is released in the UK on August 14.

Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

Stranger Things Season 3 Trailer

It has been almost 18 months since the launch of Stranger Things season 2, and there is still a few months left to wait before we journey back to Hawkins. However, Netflix dropped the first full trailer for the highly-anticipated third season, and the times are a changing. The once tight-knit group of friends are not as inseparable as they once were, Mike and Eleven are a couple now, as are Max and Lucas leaving poor Dustin all on his own. Even Hopper and Joyce are getting closer.

Growth spurts and falling out with friends aren’t the only thing for our heroes to contend with, this is Hawkins after all. Something else has broken free from the Upside Down, and the estranged friends will need to work together to save the day, again.

Netflix experienced a genuine phenomenon with Stranger Things when it arrived with little fanfare back in the summer of 2016. Mixing Spielbergian nostalgia with Stephen King horror, The Duffer Brothers’ wildly inventive series captured the imagination of fans all over the world. The second season (or the sequel as the creators prefer to label it) wasn’t quite as impactful as its predecessor, but Stranger Things 2 was still thoroughly enjoyable.

Starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Dacre Montgomery, and Cara Buono with Maya Hawke, Cary Elwes, and Jake Busey. Stranger Things 3 debuts on Netflix on July 4, 2019.

Win Royal Rumble 2019 Blu-ray

To celebrate the Blu-ray and DVD release of Royal Rumble 2019 (available to buy from Monday 18th March) – we are giving away a Blu-ray to one lucky winner!

It’s the Royal Rumble – the first major event of 2019 for WWE, the most anticipated match of the year, and the first stop on the road to WrestleMania! And for the second year running WWE holds TWO 30-superstar over-the-top-rope Royal Rumble matches, with both the men’s and women’s divisions competing for title shots at WrestleMania! Meanwhile Brock Lesnar defends the Universal Championship against Finn Bálor, WWE Champion Daniel Bryan takes on AJ Styles, and there’s great women’s action from Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks. Plus much more!

The Royal Rumble is always one of the most exciting nights of the year in WWE and sets the stage for WrestleMania. And the 2019 edition of the Royal Rumble turned up the excitement even further with one of the best top-to-bottom cards in the event’s history!

Most exciting of all are the hour-long Royal Rumble matches, with the winners of both going on to face a champion of their choosing at WrestleMania! As ever the matches are packed with surprises, daring escapes, and edge-of-your-seat eliminations.

And you won’t believe what happens in the dramatic final minutes of both action-packed Royal Rumbles!

Ronda Rousey faces her toughest challenge yet against “The Boss” Sasha Banks, while Asuka and Becky Lynch dazzle the crowd with their intense matchup. Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles put on a technical clinic in the next chapter of their heated rivalry and there’s a modern-day David vs Goliath story when Finn Bálor tries to topple “The Beast” Brock Lesnar!

At almost five hours long – plus all the matches from the kick-off show included on the extras – the Royal Rumble gets 2019 off to a huge start in WWE! Don’t miss out!

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question.

Which movie did Ronda Rousey co-star in last year alongside Mark Wahlberg?

A) Instant Family

B) All The Money In The World

C) Mile 22

Please include ROYAL RUMBLE in the subject field. For your chance to win limited edition T-Shirts, box-sets, DVD bundles and Blu-ray, check out our ever growing competitions page.

The closing date for entries is April 2nd and the lucky winner will be notified by email shortly after. Good luck. If you think you know the answer to the question above, then just send your entry to us via the handy little form below.


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Ozploitation Classic Next of Kin Sets Blu-ray Release

Lauded by Quentin Tarantino in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood, Australian creep-fest Next of Kin is set for its first ever UK Blu-ray release courtesy of Second Sight. Previously only available via import, the decidedly unique Next of Kin finally gets to be seen in glorious HD.

Directed by Tony Williams this 1982 Ozploitation classic stars Wolf Creek’s John Jarratt alongside Jackie Kerin and Robert Ratti. and gets the high-def treatment complete with extensive special features including director and cast commentaries, Not Quite Hollywood extended interview and commentary from its director Mark Hartley, interviews from the documentary and two short films from Tony Williams.

Linda Stevens has just inherited Montclare, a retirement home left to her by her late mother. When she finds a diary belonging to her mother, she discovers tales of strange goings in within the old mansion – taps turning themselves on and off, candles lighting and mysterious voices in the night. When history begins to repeat itself Linda’s nightmares are just the beginning. Montclare hides a dark se

cret and Linda is in mortal danger, can she unlock the mystery before it’s too late?

Tony Williams’ film is ripe for rediscovery 36 years after its release and remains a potent mix of slow-burn tension and hysteria laced horror. Here’s a full rundown of all the unmissable extra features.

• Audio commentary with Director Tony Williams and Producer Tim White
• Audio commentary with cast members John Jarratt, Jackie Kerin, Robert Ratti and Not Quite Hollywood
Director, Mark Hartley
• Return to Montclare: Next of Kin Shooting locations revisited
• Extended interviews from Not Quite Hollywood
• Tony Williams shorts from 1971: Getting Together + The Day We Landed on the Most Perfect Planet in the Universe
• Deleted Scenes, Original Theatrical Trailer, VHS Trailer, German Trailer, German Opening Credits
• Before the Night is Out – Complete ballroom dancing footage from 1978
• Image Gallery
• Reversible sleeve art

We’ll be bringing you a full review of the film later this week, and the chance to win yourself a copy on Blu-ray. Next of Kin will be released on Blu-ray on March 25, and will also be available on download and on-demand.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2 Trailer

Technically it’s the second part of the first season as Netflix originally ordered a 20 episode season one of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Technicalities aside, the first trailer for the next ten episodes of Sabrina has materialised online.

Here’s the official synopsis for the forthcoming new episodes;

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina re-imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft.

Part 2 finds Sabrina exploring her darker side, curious to learn more about her heritage, while struggling to maintain her friendships in the mortal world. Romantically, Sabrina is caught in an unholy love triangle with between sexy warlock Nicholas Scratch and salt-of-the-Earth mortal Harvey Kinkle. Meanwhile, The Dark Lord, Madame Satan, and Father Blackwood continue to conjure chaos in the Spellman household and the town of Greendale. And they aren’t the only ones trying to raise hell. Everything is in question…relationships, identity, true intentions…when the devil’s work is at hand.

My only exposure to the world of Sabrina (like many people of a certain age) was through the cheesy 90s sitcom that starred Melissa Joan Hart. Naturally, it was somewhat jarring to see the initial trailer for the series as there wasn’t even a hint of a talking cat. However, the beautifully realised darker work of Sabrina Spellman cast its spell over me, add to that a brilliant cast that includes Miranda Otto, Michelle Gomez, Richard Coyle, and a scene-stealing Lucy Davis, and the new take on Sabrina won legions of fans all over the world.

Late last year Netflix renewed the series for an additional 16 episodes which will likely be divided into two eight-episode parts. We may even get another festive special this year!

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina returns to Netflix on April 5th.

Alien 40th Anniversary Shorts Teaser

Ridley Scott’s Alien turns 40 this year, and to mark the occasion 20th Century Fox will be putting out a 4K restoration on Blu-ray/DVD & 4K Ultra HD this April. However, a sleek new print of one of the best sci-fi horror films of all time isn’t the only celebrating Fox will be doing.

Six visionary filmmakers were selected to bring their Alien-inspired stories to life. From terrifying escapes, to Facehuggers and Xenomorphs, these captivating shorts brings forth an exciting new narrative for fans while paying homage to the original film.

Alien fan-films have been around for ages with some shocking good ones out there. Naturally, they’re not all great, but nothing as bad as AvP, and that was a real movie. I have loved the world of Alien ever since my way too young self watched it late night on TV in the early 90s. James Cameron’s Aliens sure did up the ante, but Scott’s original remains my favourite of what is now a deeply messy franchise. I have a love/hate relationship with Scott’s two prequel films, both Prometheus and Covenant are jam-packed with things to love. I admire Scott for trying to do something different, but neither film realises its potential.

The soon to be completed 20th Century Fox merger with Disney means the rights to all future Alien movies now sit with The House of Mouse. I’ll admit that an R-rated violent sci-fi/horror seems like an unlikely priority for Disney, but the Fox side of things will look to develop projects for all ages including adults who like violent sci-fi/horror movies. It’s not like that Ripley is going to show up in the MCU.

I’m still hooked on Alien Isolation (there are some neat digital shorts on the Alien Anthology page), and the Alien universe is still rich for further exploration. We might never see Neil Blomkamp’s Alien sequel, but we do have six shorts to sink our teeth into while we wait for that glorious 4K release.

Alien 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration Lands On Blu-ray April 22

Ridley Scott’s Alien celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year with an all-new 4K Ultra HD™ master, available to own on April 22. That’s not all, a limited edition 4K UHD™ SteelBook® of ALIEN 40th Anniversary Edition will also be available exclusively at Zavvi. The original sci-fi horror that birthed the wildly successful ALIEN franchise has never looked better with the 4K Ultra HD restoration that is an essential addition to any fans’ collection.

The crew of the deep space tug Nostromo awaken from stasis during a voyage home to Earth when their ship’s computer detects what is believed to be an alien distress signal coming from the desolate nearby moon, LV-426. While investigating, one of the crew, Kane (John Hurt), is attacked by an alien creature that latches to his face and he is rushed back to the Nostromo to receive medical treatment. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the ship’s warrant officer, advises against Kane’s return due to quarantine regulations – but her orders are ignored by Ash (Ian Holm), bringing the Nostromo under threat from a mysterious, extraterrestrial apex predator with violent and lethal survival instincts.

The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery, with the 4K scans done at EFilm. Here’s a rundown of all the special features across all the different formats.

DVD Special Features:
– Includes the 1979 Theatrical Version and the 2003 Director’s Cut!
– Audio commentary by Director Ridley Scott, cast and crew (theatrical version only)

4K Ultra HD™ and Blu-ray™ Special Features:
– Includes the 1979 Theatrical Version and 2003 Director’s Cut!
– Audio Commentary by Director Ridley Scott, Cast and Crew
– Audio Commentary by Ridley Scott++
– Introduction by Ridley Scott+ (Blu-ray™ only)
– Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith++
– Composer’s Original Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith++
– Deleted and Extended Scenes
(+Director’s Cut only ++Theatrical Version only)

The Alien 40th Anniversary edition is released on Blu-ray & DVD April 1st with the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD SteelBook arrives 22 April.