Legend reveals slate of horror, sci-fi and action premieres for May

By James Whittington, 25th April 2023

Sociopathic drivers, haunted soldiers and a vengeful Nicholas Cage, spearhead an action-packed May line-up on LEGEND, highlighted by the UK TV premieres of Western psychological thriller WAR ON THE RANGE and compelling suspense actioner VENGEANCE, starring Nicholas Cage.

Plus, there are Channel premieres for HIDDEN AGENDA, starring a gun-toting, high-kicking Dolph Lundgren, suicide mission drama LAST PASSENGER, starring Dougray Scott, high-octane crime thriller PAYDIRT, starring Val Kilmer and Luke Goss and John Frankenheimer's gripping, highly-acclaimed YEAR OF THE GUN, starring Sharon Stone.

THE VINTAGE VAULT continues to haunt Sunday nights with its popular classic genre double-bills, which, this month, include cult favourites WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT and LUST FOR A VAMPIRE.

The weekends are further enhanced by the continuation of the ever-popular original series of sci-fi anthology classics, THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

We kick off on the 4th with a UK TV premiere, saddle up for WAR ON THE RANGE. In post-Civil War Texas, two neighbouring families are grieving tragic losses while they struggle to survive. The cattle-ranching McCluskeys have lost both a son and their entire herd to the war. The Rileys, mourning the loss of wife and mother Mary to illness, eke out a living trapping animals and selling their pelts. When Wade returns from fighting for the Confederacy, he discovers that the McCluskey family have been stealing animals from his family's traps. He decides to take matters into his own hands, sparking yet another tragic and senseless war. This rural drama stars James Badge Dale and William Forsythe. High-octane action on the 6th with Dolph Lundgren HIDDEN AGENDA. Former government agent Jason Price (Lundgren) is now a hit man for top government agencies. His high-tech operation never makes a wrong move. But when a mysterious competitor known as The Cleaner infiltrates his system and begins a killing spree, Jason finds himself caught in a frightening spiral where no one can be trusted.

The Vintage Vault on the 7th starts off with a Hammer classic, THE WITCHES. Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher (Joan Fontaine) moves to a small English village, only to discover that a mysterious magic resides there as well. Directed by Cyril Frankel and co-starring Alec McCowen this production, was adapted from the 1960 novel The Devil's Own. This is followed by one of the most celebrated British horror movies ever, WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Set during the English Civil-War, Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price), tours the Eastern counties instigating witch-hunts and extracting 'confessions' under torture. When a young woman, Sara (Hilary Dwyer), is raped by Hopkins and her priest father murdered, Sara's lover, Richard Marshall (Ian Ogilvy), vows revenge. The last and best film of director Michael Reeves' tragically brief career, Witchfinder General has received broad critical admiration.

Last Passenger - WEB1

Moving onto the 13th as Dougray Scott stars in LAST PASSENGER. Lewis Shaler (Scott) is an overworked doctor and devoted single dad heading home with his young son Max on the last train from London. He strikes up a promising relationship with Sarah (Kara Tointon), but events take a dark turn when Lewis discovers the guard has mysteriously vanished and the brakes have been sabotaged. THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTER kicks off The Vintage Vault on the 14th. Mark Eden, in search of his brother, stumbles upon a coven led by the civilized-looking Christopher Lee who is enacting the revenge of his witch ancestor (Barbara Steele burned in the 17th century. Also starring Boris Karloff as a local witchcraft expert. this adaptation from Lovecraft's Dream in the Witch House was shot in the allegedly haunted house of W S Gilbert and is the only time Lee, Karloff and Steele appear in the same film. It is also the last British film that Karloff made. This is followed by another classic, THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR. A 19th-century entomologist's daughter undergoes a metamorphosis into a giant death's head moth which needs human blood to survive. Her father creates a giant moth to keep her company, but only succeeds in unleashing more blood-sucking terror. Meanwhile, a police inspector (played by Peter Cushing) tries to find the key to the series of gruesome murders.

Vengeance - WEB1

A hard-hitting drama has its UK TV premiere on the 19th, VENGEANCE. An adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novella Rape: A Love Story. Nicholas Cage plays John Dromoor, a police officer investigating a case involving the gang rape of single mother Teena Maguire, which occurred in front of her 12-year-old daughter Bethie. After the attackers get off scot-free, John attempts to get justice by any means necessary. PAYDIRT is showing on the following evening where criminal gang leader Damien Brooks (Luke Goss) is recently out on parole. He reconnects with his old crew to find the cash they stole and buried as a result of a DEA bust. However, they are being monitored by Sheriff Tucker (Val Kilmer), a retired officer who knows that Damien and the gang are still up to no good.

A Hammer double on the 21st starting with THE DEVIL RIDES OUT. The powers of good are pitted against the forces of evil as the Duc de Richelieu (Christopher Lee) wrestles with the deadly Satanist, Mocata (Charles Gray) for the soul of his friend, who has become deeply involved in a satanic society run by Mocata. Furthermore, De Richleau's daughter is kidnapped by the cult and put up for sacrifice to the Angel of Death. Sex-swapping scares follows, DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE. Young Doctor Jekyll pursues his search for a drug to prolong life. He tries his potion on himself and to his horror finds it changes him into a young and beautiful woman. So Sister Hyde is born, who stalks the dark alleys of Whitechapel for young, innocent, female victims, ensuring continuation of the bloodstained research. With each transformation Sister Hyde becomes the more dominant personality, determined to eventually suppress the ineffectual Dr Jekyll forever.

Year of the Gun - WEB1

YEAR OF THE GUN on the 27th concerns American novelist David Raybourne (Andrew McCarthy) who accidentally becomes entangled in the Red Brigade's terrorist plan to kidnap Italian Premier Aldo Moro during a research trip to Rome. As the terrorists attempt to kill David, he and his photojournalist friend (Sharon Stone) must struggle to stay alive. Our final Vintage Vault visit on the 28th is another Hammer double starting with SCARS OF DRACULA. Count Dracula, (Christopher Lee), once again spreads his evil from his mountaintop castle. When libertine Paul Carlson disappears one night, his more sober brother Simon and his girlfriend trace him to the area, discovering a terrified populace. Thrown out of the inn, they make their way, like Paul before them, towards the sinister castle and its undead host. This sequel to "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1968), also stars Dennis Waterman, Jenny Hanley, Patrick Troughton, and Michael Gwynn. Another blood-sucker follows, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE. The enigmatic Carmilla (Yutte Stensgaard) enrols as a student in an exclusive girls' finishing school and proceeds to wreak havoc among pupils and teachers alike. Among those who fall victim to her striking and sensual beauty is the school's new English teacher Giles Barton (Ralph Bates), who at first refuses to credit the ugly rumours about her true vampiristic nature. But, following the death of a colleague, and as the toll among the girls mounts, Barto he is reluctantly forced to face the truth...

Related show tags: DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE, HIDDEN AGENDA, LAST PASSENGER, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE, PAYDIRT, SCARS OF DRACULA, THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR, THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTER, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE WITCHES, VENGEANCE, WAR ON THE RANGE, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, YEAR OF THE GUN
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