Seeing Red: Swords, Sorcery and Sexism in Red Sonja.

The eighties were awash with fantasy films.

Some were excellent (Conan The Barbarian, The Princess Bride), some were flawed but entertaining, (Krull, Willow), while others were just boring or just downright awful (Hawk The Slayer, Conan The Destroyer). It was a glorious time for swords and sorcery fans, and though the quality may have been wildly variable, as a budding Tolkien fan obsessed with anything with even a passing resemblance to the fantastical that featured weird creatures […]

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The Power of Nostalgia: Back to the Future Part II

Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion.

In recent times it has become a billion-dollar industry, but back in 1985 its use was rather less calculated, and when director Robert Zemeckis released Back to the Future that same year, his time-travelling ode to 1950’s culture was still something of a novelty.

Back to the Future Part 2 is a resourceful sequel, promising a futuristic landscape but delivering something altogether different. When Christopher Lloyd’s Dr Emmett Brown uttered his immortal, sequel-setting words during the conclusion of the first picture, we had already booked our ticket […]

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Masters of the Universe: Star Wars and the Fall of Grayskull

During their B-movie pomp, Cannon Films were a modest distribution company who far exceeded expectations.

Originally formed by Dennis Friedland and Chris Dewey as a soft porn production company, the struggling duo were forced to sell to Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, an Israeli duo who would tap into the B-movie boom of the early 1980’s. Golan-Globus would achieve immediate success exploring the popular slasher and action genres, creating stars such as Michael Dudikoff (Avenging Force), and eventually attracting some of the industry’s top names thanks to a prolific output of low-budget movies that would turn a tidy profit […]

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Kung-Fu Cannibals aka Raw Force (1982)

Kung-Fu Cannibals is as barmy as its title suggests.

In a nutshell, it is a movie about a group of maniacal monks who kidnap and barbecue big-breasted women, believing that female flesh gives them the power to raise the dead. If this movie sounds somewhat misogynistic, that’s because it is. If we’re not in a whorehouse we’re in a strip joint, and with characters credited with such unabashed names as Drunken Sexpot and Girl in Toilet, feminists need not apply […]

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Super Metroid – SNES

Today, Super Metroid is not only considered one of the best games for the Super Nintendo, but one of the best games ever made.

When I bought my copy back in 1994, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was no longer a subscriber to Nintendo Power, so I didn’t have the luxury of Pak-Watch (I know that probably didn’t still exist in 1994) to tell me it was coming. All I can recall is I was browsing the SNES section of my local Best Buy when I noticed there was a new Metroid game available […]

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Operation Endor: Return of the Jedi and the Decline of Star Wars

After the swashbuckling adventure of A New Hope and the dark turn taken with The Empire Strikes Back, there was feverish anticipation to see where the ‘Star Wars’ universe would go next.

Relinquishing directorial duties once again, this time to relative rookie Richard Marquand, ‘Return of the Jedi’ remains a bit of an oddity. It’s cute, fun, silly, adventurous, but marks the beginning of the decline of ‘Star Wars’ under George Lucas […]

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Adventure – Atari VCS 2600

Grandson: Grandpa, what were fantasy-adventure games like back when you were young? Way back in 1979?

Grandpa: Well, sonny, there was this one particular game on the Atari VCS called Adventure that was kind of like your own grandpappy but in video game form. Today we may show our age and may not look too impressive anymore but when we were young we were quite the catch. We also managed to sire a bunch of young ‘uns for better or worse (no offense to you sonny […]

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Sony PlayStation)

It’s impossible to hurl too many superlatives at Castlevania: Symphony of the Night because it deserves each and every one of them. Is it the best PlayStation game ever made? Is it the best game of the 1990s? Is it the best game ever? These are legitimate questions that gamers and fans of the title have been asking themselves and others since its release in 1997.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Castlevania series since the original on the NES and have been playing any version I can get my hands on ever since […]

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