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The Independent Culture
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It took five years and 61 seconds of cuts for John McNaughton's grim tale to make it to British cinemas. Eighteen months and a further 48 seconds of cuts later and it is available on video. The censors' objections have been well documented - the absence of a moral viewpoint, the lack of any form of comeuppance - and it's easy to understand their concerns. One scene in particular - in which we see a family gruesomely murdered, then realise that what we're witnessing is a recording the killers have made to enjoy at home - takes on a peculiarly worrying dimension, implying that our choice of home entertainment is not so very different. It's not surprising this scene is shorter than in the cinema version, but the cuts rob the film of its central passage, leaving Henry as little more than a catalogue of butchery. Laurence Earle

Alien 3. Wherein Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crash-lands on a lump of rock populated by hammy English actors. Poor thing, she really does get all the luck. Years of slaughter behind her and just when things can't get any worse she meets Brian Glover and Charles Dance. The last part of the Alien trilogy is the worst, but it's still a cut above your average sequel. Once again men drop like flies, chivvied andchewed by something that looks like a fly itself. Supporting performances are poor, and the plot splutters instead of purring; but when the chase is on all is forgiven. Anthony Phillips

Both new releases are now available for rental.

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