The Wolfman, Carry On Up the Jungle, The Double: films on TV today

Things get hairy for Benicio Del Toro, Frankie Howerd leads the comedy crew on a safari send-up, and Richard Gere tracks down an old Soviet assassin: the Radio Times team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




The Wolfman ★★★
11.10pm-1.15am Film Four 

As a childhood fan of Universal’s black-and-white monster movies, I had mixed feelings about this modern remake of the 1941 classic, in which Lon Chaney Jr’s haunted Larry Talbot is doomed to kill “when the wolfbane blooms”. Director Joe Johnston (Jumanji) and writers Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en) and David Self (Road to Perdition) have a similar love for the original, and their version is certainly steeped in the past. A miscast Benicio Del Toro plays Talbot, a Shakespearean actor cursed to live a double life after being bitten, while local villagers are bumped off in a grisly, CGI-assisted fashion. Despite the gothic atmosphere, old-school latex make-up effects from Rick Baker and box-ticking locations — creepy mansion (Chatsworth House, actually), family crypt, gypsy encampment — the film darts off in all sorts of directions, not least when Antony Sher’s mad doctor is on screen. Emily Blunt is fetching enough as the damsel in distress, but on points, I’d say the original is scarier.

Carry On Up the Jungle ★★★
11.40pm-1.10am ITV 

The Tarzan legend gets a Carry On makeover when an expedition in search of a long-lost boy falls into the clutches of a female tribe from Aphrodisia. Just staying on the right side of smutty, Frankie Howerd and Sid James deliver their bawdy bon mots with their usual vim and vigour.

The Double ★★
PREMIERE  11.45pm-1.15am BBC1 

The Cold War comes back to haunt veteran CIA agent Richard Gere when a politician is bumped off by an elusive Soviet assassin. Will FBI rookie Topher Grace help or hinder the investigation?

Piranha ★★★
10.20pm-12 midnight 5★ 

You can see why a tongue-in-cheek remake of the 70s killer fish tale was made in 3D – eye-popping gore, in-your-face body parts and Kelly Brook swimming about in the all-together. Some effects may be lost on TV but it’s still a ripping yarn worth catching.

DOA: Dead or Alive ★★★
11.15pm-1.00am ITV4 

A trio of kick-ass heroines attend the world’s greatest fight tournament in a camp but fun punch-’em up. Devon Aoki (Sin City), Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl) and Holly Valance (of Neighbours fame) have all the moves as the distaff do-gooders.


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