By James Whittington, Wednesday 26th July 2023
August is an action-packed month on LEGEND, with gritty crime thrillers, electrifying epics, classic horror double-bills from the fifties and an alien-fighting Nic Cage, who stars in the UK TV premiere of JIU JITSU, a martial arts meets-sci-fi thriller. There is also a UK TV premiere for brutal Brit gangland heist thriller FREIGHT, which stars Billy Murray and Craig Fairbrass.
There also Channel premieres for cat-and-mouse mystery thriller MOJAVE, starring Mark Wahlberg, Canadian heist thriller PRECIOUS CARGO, starring Bruce Willis, epic sword-clashing adventure, LAST KNIGHTS, starring Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen and WAR PIGS, starring Micky Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Luke Goss.
This month's popular THE VINTAGE VAULT strand celebrates some great horror classics from the fifties, highlighted by the Channel premiere of THE CREATURE WALKS AMONGST US (1956), THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) and DRACULA (1958).
Plus, we take a nostalgic trip back to the seventies with the Channel premiere of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. This hugely popular, Emmy-nominated series was one of the highest rated programmes of its day. Series 1 and 2 will run through the month.
Here's all you need to know:
We kick the month off on the 4th with a UK TV premiere, FREIGHT. Gabe (Billy Murray) is thrown into a turf war when his daughter (Laura Aikman) is brutally kidnapped by a group of Eastern European human traffickers. A battle of survival ensues as Jed (Craig Fairbrass) helps Gabe try to save his daughter and the city from chilling mafia boss Cristi (Danny Midwinter). In WAR PIGS on the 5th a disgraced World War II army captain Jack Wosick (Luke Goss) is given the opportunity for redemption when asked to lead a rag-tag unit of misfits known as the War Pigs on a secret mission to go behind enemy lines. With the help of Captain Hans Picault (Dolph Lundgren) and Colonel A.J. Redding (Mickey Rourke), Jack sets out to salvage his reputation.
THE VINTAGE VAULT on the 6th starts underground with THE MOLE PEOPLE. John Bentley (John Agar) leads a Middle Eastern expedition in search of a lost tribe of Sumerians. He and his cohorts follow a tunnel deep below the surface of the earth, coming across a tyrannical tribe of albino Sumerians, who use the semi-human Mole People as slaves. Aware of the danger the scientists pose, the subterranean High Priest wants them eliminated. Then a classic creature feature follows, TARANTULA. This classic science fiction film featuring screen legend Clint Eastwood tells the story of a scientist who, while researching the effects of a new synthetic nutrient, releases a giant spider. Directed by Jack Arnold and starring John Agar, Mara Corday and Leo G. Carroll.A Channel Premiere on the 8th of a true TV classic, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. This Emmy-nominated series was one of the highest rated programs of the 1970s. Lee Majors stars as Steve Austin, a U.S. astronaut who is critically injured upon re-entry, and whose damaged limbs are replaced with bionic, atomic-powered appendages. Now equipped with impressive physical capabilities, Austin uses his powers to fight international villains, mad scientists, and alien monsters. This series ranks as a cultural touchstone and one of the greatest superhero serials of all-time. Guest stars include Farrah Fawcett, Lindsay Wagner, and Louis Gossett, Jr. Back to movies and on the 12th a thriller that will get under your skin, MOJAVE. A violent artist, Thomas, (Garrett Hedlund) has an ominous encounter in the desert with a homicidal, chameleon-like drifter (Oscar Isaac). This absorbing American crime thriller film is written and directed by William Monahan and also features Mark Wahlberg.
Back in THE VINTAGE VAULT on the 13th and we start with an acclaimed sequel, THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US. The final instalment of the "Gill Man" trilogy finds the prehistoric creature far from his Amazon home, kept under close scientific scrutiny in a special facility in Florida. After a laboratory fire severely damages the creature's gills, the head of the research team (Jeff Morrow) initiates an operation that will allow their subject to breathe through a set of latent lungs. But soon Morrow's rehabilitation plans are destroyed, leading to a violent confrontation. THE MONOLITH MONSTERS follows where a meteor crashes in the desert, leaving behind huge black chunks. While being analysed in a science lab, the crystalline stones are accidentally drenched with water and begin to grow to gargantuan dimensions. A sudden rainstorm further exacerbates the situation, causing the monoliths to grow to hitherto unimagined heights. Can the world be saved by the saline solution which the scientists are hurriedly developing in the lab?
Another UK TV Premiere on the 17th, JIU JITSU. The future hangs in the balance as a being from another world returns to Earth to face off against the best warriors the human race has to offer. From special ops soldiers to the best in MMA, this epic battle for the survival of Earth will place humanity on the brink of extinction. An all-star action-packed cast lead the fight, including Nic Cage and Frank Grillo. PRECIOUS CARGO on the 18th concerns an international thief Jack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his highly trained team get a run for their money when Karen (Claire Forlani), Jack's gorgeous femme fatale ex, shows up and drags him into a dangerous billion-dollar heist. Little does Jack know they're stealing from Eddie, (Bruce Willis) Karen's ex-boss.
We reopen THE VINTAGE VAULT on the 19th with a real chiller, Hammer's THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. An adaptation of a drama by Nigel Kneale, creator of the Quatermass series, this horror fantasy stars Peter Cushing as scientist John Rollason, who, ignoring his wife's objections, joins an expedition lead by brash American Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker). They are searching for the legendary yeti in the high Himalayas - a quest with deadly consequences. We hit the streets with the next feature, THE DEADLY MANTIS. When a giant insect attacks several people in a remote Arctic region, Col. Joe Parkham (Craig Stevens) swings into action. Parkham and his associates, Dr. Ned Jackson (William Hopper) and Ned's assistant Margie Blake (Alix Talton), track the predatory mantis as it heads southward to Washington DC.
LAST KNIGHTS on the 26th is set in an age of honour and justice by the sword, Raiden (Clive Owen) is a fallen warrior who must rise up against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge Bartok (Morgan Freeman), his dishonoured master. Our final visit to THE VINTAGE VAULT has a pair of HAMMER classic starting with THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Scientist Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) will stop at nothing in his quest to reanimate a deceased body and assembles a hideous creature (Christopher Lee) out of dead body parts. He succeeds in bringing it to life, but the monster is not as obedient or docile as Frankenstein expected... We end with one of the finest, DRACULA. This horror classic stands as the most famous and celebrated film version of the popular vampire story. Bela Lugosi delivers a star-making performance as the titular villain - his erudite, refined Dracula is at once alluring and terrifying. While director Tod Browning an effectively and haunting atmosphere. Also stars Edward Van Sloan as Dracula's arch enemy, vampire-hunter Van Helsing.
Related show tags: DRACULA, FREIGHT, JIU JITSU, LAST KNIGHTS, MOJAVE, PRECIOUS CARGO, THE CREATURE WALKS AMONGST US, THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, WAR PIGS MORE FEATURES LEGEND unwraps a seasonal tsunami of action and suspense this December
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Tuesday 12th December
Monday 11th December
Friday 8th December