Mark Costello

By day, Mark is a qualified accountant, who has spent the last twenty years trying to somehow make sense of the finances of the NHS. But by night, his Stereotypical Movie Nerd persona bursts forth and he assumes his self-appointed role as AVF’s ‘Tatmeister General’ at the expense of spending any time at all with his long-suffering family. Having been clogging up the various threads at AVF since 2014 in the misguided notion that watching more films than anyone else makes him ‘cool’, his hope of spreading his love of the most random European genre schlock continues to fall on deaf ears, but that doesn’t stop him from buying and watching far more films than is remotely rational for a middle-aged man. A purveyor of cinematic tat for most of his ever-lengthening life.
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    Bad Biology 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Bad Biology 4K Blu-ray Review
    Frank ‘Basket Case’ Henenlotter’s first film in 17 years takes his penchant for the scuzzy extreme but sadly removes any of the emotional pathos that became his trademark. Doesn’t stop Severin from pulling out all the stops though with a new 4K rebuild and solid set of extras in their new UHD blu-ray release…  
    Early access
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    Nightmares in a Damaged Brain 4K Blu-Ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Nightmares in a Damaged Brain 4K Blu-Ray Review
    Romano Scavolini’s grindhouse slasher with delusions of grandeur drags itself out of video nasty infamy and bizarrely onto 4K from genre boutique extraordinaire Severin for their first UHD blu-ray release in the UK. And it looks exactly as it should…grotty.  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    7

    Top 10 Blu-Rays (UK) for February 2024

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-Rays (UK) for February 2024
    February continues to see blu-ray labels treating us, dear viewers, to a delicious smorgasbord of new and fantastic titles from all across the globe. Let’s see what delights await our wallets this month, shall we? UPDATED WITH NINE COMPETITIONS!  
  • Movies & TV Shows

    18

    Alligator & Alligator II: The Mutation 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Alligator & Alligator II: The Mutation 4K Blu-ray Review
    Beloved creature feature with bite, John Sayles and Lewis Teague’s urban legend writ large and very bloody is a fun old time. Especially in this new 4K release from 101 Films that only makes one mistake…bundling its sequel in with it…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    8

    Conan the Destroyer 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Conan the Destroyer 4K Blu-ray Review
    The bland and watered down sequel to its more grown-up predecessor, Conan the Destroyer delivers more effects driven set pieces, more humour and less of absolutely everything else. Including quality. It doesn’t stop Arrow from delivering another superb 4K presentation and solid roster of supplemental features for its new UHD release…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    49

    Conan the Barbarian 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Conan the Barbarian 4K Blu-ray Review
    The brilliantly brutal sword and sorcery romp that kick started Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ruling of 1980s Hollywood is given a lavish and superb 4K presentation and release from the US arm of Arrow Video…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    28

    Halo: Season 2 (Paramount +) Premiere TV Show Review

    by Mark Costello
    Halo: Season 2 (Paramount +) Premiere TV Show Review
    Halo 2 the game was known for its truncated and confusing narrative, the controversial introduction of an alien playable character and more of the same of its legendary gameplay. What does Halo 2 the series have to offer? Well, after less than hour we already know it’s got a truncated episode count and features more of the same as season one…for better and for worse…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    25

    Argylle Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Argylle Movie Review
    Matthew Vaughn returns with a typically decadent style explosion that doesn’t know what it wants to be other than absolutely everything for absolutely everybody…  
    6
  • Movies & TV Shows

    9

    Five Nights at Freddy's 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Five Nights at Freddy's 4K Blu-ray Review
    Video game sensation gets big screen adaptation…we all know how this goes, right? But the latest from the Blumhouse production line is both exactly and nothing like what you expect it to be…so is checking it out on Universal’s new 4K release as much a terrible idea as you first may have thought?  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    22

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for January 2024

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for January 2024
    2024 gets off to a bang, with some truly outstanding 1080p releases that take us from Manchuria’s mystical and mythical past to a sweaty, sensuous modern New Orleans and stopping off at seemingly everywhere else in between. Welcome to January’s Blu-ray release schedule folks… UPDATED WITH COMPETITIONS ADDED!  
  • Movies & TV Shows

    124

    Masters of the Air (Apple TV+) Premiere Review

    by Mark Costello
    Masters of the Air (Apple TV+) Premiere Review
    Messrs Spielberg and Hanks return to the epic WWII mini-series twenty-three years after Band of Brothers ushered in a new era of event TV, only this time they take to the skies, following the 100th Bomb Group as they take the fight to Germany…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    17

    Cool Hand Luke 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Cool Hand Luke 4K Blu-ray Review
    Another WB classic, this time a counter-culture prison film that utilises Paul Newman’s iconic star power to skewer authoritarian conceits that were on the verge of collapse across the whole of society during the turbulent 1960s. And it’s another wonderful 4K restoration, so authentic you can practically still smell those eggs…  
    8
  • Movies & TV Shows

    10

    Mean Girls (2024) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Mean Girls (2024) Movie Review
    The film adaptation of the musical adaptation of the non-fiction book adaptation…who knew that being Mean was so lucrative? Thank god Tina Fey did, as her third go-round with the bitchy queen bees of North Shore High remains as viperous and hilarious as it was twenty years ago…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    21

    High Tension 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    High Tension 4K Blu-ray Review
    Alexandra Aja burst onto the world horror stage with this wildly entertaining and hugely divisive home invasioner that became one of the cornerstones of the New French Extremity subgenre that shone so brightly at the start of the new Millenium. And it looks strangely better than it probably ever should have done with a wonderful new 4K restoration from Second Sight who seem to be carrying on in 2024 exactly as they left off in 2023…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    9

    Night Swim Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Night Swim Movie Review
    The first film from modern horror’s newest dream team of Jason Blum and James Wan is sadly somewhat of a damp squib…  
    5
  • Movies & TV Shows

    93

    Society of the Snow (Netflix) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Society of the Snow (Netflix) Movie Review
    The harrowing and terrifying yet spiritually uplifting telling of a true tale that belies as well as embodies what it means to be human is a cinematic masterclass from director J.A. Bayona.  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    12

    Rebel Without A Cause 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Rebel Without A Cause 4K Blu-ray Review
    The film from Hollywood icon James Dean that fully cemented his mythical legacy is a surprisingly nuanced look at the ever-present generational gap that continues to permeate so much of our culture nearly 70 years later. And on WB's 4K restoration, Dean’s star shines brighter and bolder than it has before…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    48

    Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Movie Review
    The DCEU officially bows out, but sadly not with the same easy and affable charm with which Arthur Curry first entered its hallowed grounds…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    133

    Titanic 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Titanic 4K Blu-ray Review
    James Cameron’s Oscar hoarder and box office behemoth finally comes to 4K with a striking if not altogether ‘faithful’ new restoration…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    8

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for December 2023

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for December 2023
    As the end of the year approaches, we save the biggest blu-ray round up til last, with an even larger spread of glorious titles that run the gamut from important cultural international titles to documentaries that somehow make a cancerous testicle not just hilarious but oddly touching. Yes, it can only be another monthly blu-ray round up, where the biggest, best, worst and simply oddest titles are peeked and poked at for your purchasing consideration… UPDATED WITH ADDED COMPETITIONS!  
  • Movies & TV Shows

    16

    Saw X 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Saw X 4K Blu-ray Review
    Tobin Bell and Jigsaw return after a couple of recent misfires, taking us almost back to the very beginning. And while offering up one of the best entries in the twenty-year-old franchise, the disc from Lionsgate also offers up a most welcome surprise all of its own…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    4

    Django 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Django 4K Blu-ray Review
    Sergio Corbucci and Franco Nero created one of the Spaghetti Western’s most indelible characters with this 1966 seminal and ultra-violent entry into the genre. And Cult Films bring it to 4K in the UK with this special limited numbered edition that includes a feature length appreciation of the Italian cowboy film by one Quentin Tarantino…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    21

    Barbarella 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Barbarella 4K Blu-ray Review
    Jane Fonda’s ultra-kitsch space heroine returns to save the universe with nothing but love and an array of ever decreasing clothing in Arrow’s stunning new 4K limited edition set, released over the pond in the US but readily importable for fans… and well worth doing so it is too…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    8

    Child's Play Collection 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Child's Play Collection 4K Blu-ray Review
    Arrow Video bring the full Chucky movie collection to our favourite home video format with an almost full set of Shout Factory 4K ports gathered in a single franchise set. Great transfers, new Atmos soundtracks and a boatload of extras? Who wouldn’t wanna play…?  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    15

    American Graffiti 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    American Graffiti 4K Blu-ray Review
    George Lucas’ gloriously nostalgic ode to his own childhood is given a 4K release to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. And while the film is every bit the wonderful paean to friends, youth and possibility it always was, it now sadly looks anything but a low-budget film from 1973…for better or for worse…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    34

    Duel 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Duel 4K Blu-ray Review
    Steven Spielberg showed what he was capable of right out of the gate with this taut, tense and incredibly dusty tale of a terrorizing tractor-trailer relentlessly pursuing Dennis Weaver through the California desert. And Universal unleash Duel on 4K with a great new transfer and one massive selling point that may not be quite what the studio intended…let's dive in shall we?  
    6
  • Movies & TV Shows

    298

    The Marvels Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Marvels Movie Review
    Brie Larson returns and this time, it’s girl’s night! Yes, Nia DaCosta teams Captain, Ms and, er, Professor? Marvel on a solidly whimsical romp that for the most part remembers what it was like when girls just wanted to have fun…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    15

    Violent Night 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Violent Night 4K Blu-ray Review
    Tis nearly the season to be jolly…jolly bloody if Tommy Wirkola’s raucous action comedy has anything to do with it. And on a spiffy new 4K disc release, is now the perfect time to start to get into the Christmas spirit?  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    38

    Casablanca 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Casablanca 4K Blu-ray Review
    The term ‘classic’ is bandied around far too easily these days…but Michael Curtiz’s now 80-year-old legendary love story is the very definition of the word. And it’s certainly not looking its age having been given a wonderful new lease of life thanks to a brand new 4K restoration. Its inclusion in the Warner Bros. 100th Anniversary Studio Collection means its time to revisit Rick, Ilsa and all those usual suspects…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    12

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for November 2023

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for November 2023
    There’s a distinct Asian flavour to the Blu-ray releases this month, with numerous titles featuring Jet Li, as well as an exhaustive horror franchise collection from Brazil as if we hadn’t had enough of the previous month’s Halloween festivities…as ever, there’s plenty for everyone in this month’s 1080p Blu-ray round up…  
  • Movies & TV Shows

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    The Exorcist 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Exorcist 4K Blu-ray Review
    William Friedkin’s seminal horror classic finally arrives in 4K in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary. And while it remains the cinematic powerhouse it always was, sadly the new 4K restoration has some significant issues that may compel some to not pick this release up…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    12

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for October 2023

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for October 2023
    From raucous spy spoofs to silent erotica, from an exploration of the human impacts of apartheid to the lunatic ramblings of a criminally insane wide boy, and from a furry deep dive into the horrors of feminine puberty to, well, an awful lot of Freaks, it can only mean one thing… it’s another blu-ray release month! UPDATED WITH 9 COMPETITIONS!  
  • Movies & TV Shows

    37

    Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment 4K Blu-ray Review
    Clive Barker’s beautifully brutal franchise may not have had the number of films of its peers – a measly 11 – but the impact of Pinhead and his angelic/demonic hedonists has been significantly greater. And now Arrow let us revisit the first four of those in stunning new 4K restorations with a whole raft of new extras to boot. Oh Arrow… you have such sights to show us…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

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    Delicatessen 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Delicatessen 4K Blu-ray Review
    Studiocanal re-release Jeunet and Caro’s stunning debut, a fantastical and surrealist comedy about cannibals at war with a vegetarian militia set in a post-apocalyptic world…it really could only come from the French, couldn’t it? And in 4K to boot…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    6

    Scream 3 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Scream 3 4K Blu-ray Review
    Paramount complete their 4K release of the classic slasher franchise’s original trilogy. And it’s a hat-trick of fantastic restorations that finally puts right what the previous blu-rays got so horribly wrong. And it’s the perfect way to give this much maligned third entry a re-appraisal…is it still the worst entry of the entire franchise? Not so much now…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    31

    The Exorcist: Believer Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Exorcist: Believer Movie Review
    After rebooting one classic horror franchise with a trilogy of divisive films, David Gordon Green takes on an even bigger challenge… making us believe in the Devil and his power by bringing The Exorcist back to the big screen. Many cinematic heavyweights have taken on a similar task… so can Green succeed where the likes of Paul Schrader and John Boorman have failed?  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    19

    The Others 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Others 4K Blu-ray Review
    Alejandro Amenabar’s beautiful and poignant ode to classic 60s chiller The Innocents gets a new director-approved 4K restoration that even without HDR manages to provide a wonderfully evocative transfer that is as much of the period as the film itself…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    31

    Expend4bles Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Expend4bles Movie Review
    Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and their ever-decreasing circle of superannuated chums return for, hopefully, one last adventure that sadly seems to forget what made this premier Geri-Action franchise such a guilty pleasure in the first place…must be their age…  
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  • Movies & TV Shows

    12

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for September 2023

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for September 2023
    From labyrinthine folk horror debuts to stiff upper lip WWII moral dilemmas, from insanely balletic girls n’ guns explodathons to murky black and white explorations of the fractures of the human psyche, and from a deep dive into the cinematic works of one of the 20th centuries greatest writers to, well, bizarre Italian goat butts, it can only mean one thing…it’s another Blu-ray release month! - UPDATED WITH 10 BLU-RAYS TO WIN!  
  • Movies & TV Shows

    11

    Gregory's Girl 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Gregory's Girl 4K Blu-ray Review
    Bill Forsyth’s awkwardly charming and beautifully captured tale of teenage love remains a one-off: it genuinely feels like the childhood we remembered rather than the one the rest of cinema told us we had. And this new 4K restoration from the BFI spruces it up really rather spiffingly…  
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