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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This Month In . . . 1993 (June)

June 1993 was all about one movie: the long-anticipated adaptation of Michael Crichton’s prehistoric Techno-thriller Jurassic Park.

In hindsight, it is hard to imagine anyone other than Spielberg at the helm of such a big-money extravaganza, but everyone from Tim Burton to Richard Donner were clambering for the hotseat until Universal finally won out and snatched the rights. Naturally, they presented their prize asset to the man who gave birth to the summer blockbuster […]

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Into the Jungle: The Story of John McTiernan’s Predator

Back in his action heyday, director John McTiernan was something of an artiste.

For many, he is probably most remembered for genre high point Die Hard, but a year earlier he gave us another action vehicle with a crowd-pleasing twist. A genre crossover which lured us into the safety of Hollywood’s most dependable biceps, Predator would plunge us into a jungle of stifling uncertainty, adopting the form of a stalk-and-slash horror and keeping us very much in the dark […]

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This Month In . . . 1988 (March)

Storming the box office charts for March was Mike Nichols’ comedy-drama Biloxi Blues. Adapted from a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon, the movie would star Ferris Bueller’s Matthew Broderick as a young army recruit attending boot camp during the Second World War.

Broderick would create the role of Eugene on Broadway, a character with three goals in life: to become a writer, lose his virginity and fall in love. It would also explore bigotry and racial segregation […]

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Rise of the Machine: The Genesis of James Cameron’s The Terminator

Conan the Barbarian may have catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger onto the Hollywood mainstream, but it was James Cameron’s sci-fi classic The Terminator that would make him a household name.

Ironically, Arnie initially read for the part of Kyle Reese, and it took some persuasion from James Cameron to convince him that the role of the T-800 was better suited. Arnie was still riding high after box office success as the heroic Conan, so it was something of a risk for Cameron to challenge his […]

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This Month in . . .1987 (November)

The Cannon Group releases its fourth instalment of the Charles Bronson-led Death Wish series. Titled Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, the movie would lose original trilogy director Michael Winner along with a chunk of its usual budget, resulting in a much more limited release. Winner would refuse to return for the sequel after clashing with Bronson during the filming of Death Wish 3. Cannon had also begun belt-tightening thanks to […]

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Arnie’s Top 10 Movie Puns – Part Two

When it comes to iconic figures, there are none more recognisable than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Born to stringent communist parents in a small town with a population of just over 2,000, Arnie would burst to fame in bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. 

With his docile accent, Arnold hardly seemed like a superstar in the making, but next to his musclebound co-stars the cocksure kid from Thal shone brightest […]

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