Filth, The Blob, Zombieland, Aftershock, Open Range: films on TV today

Coppers, cowboys, zombies and aliens: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


PREMIERE Filth ★★★★
10.40pm-12.35am Film4 


Irvine Welsh is a prolific author whose seamy, invective-strewn novels have largely remained unfilmed and are even regarded as “unfilmable” – with the honourable exception of symbolic “Cool Britannia” smash Trainspotting. Filth, in which misanthropic, bipolar Edinburgh detective Bruce Robertson descends into a hell of drink, drugs and debasement, could have been a case in point. But writer/director Jon S Baird has successfully streamlined a near-Shakespearean comic tragedy out of the novel’s stream-of-semi-consciousness narrative. Through the counterintuitive casting of “good guy” James McAvoy in the central role and some new fantasy elements, the depravity, duplicity and, yes, downright filth may just about get a broad-minded audience onside. A top-flight supporting cast (including Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan and Imogen Poots) further raises the palatability of what remains a deeply unpleasant journey. It won’t be for everyone, as Baird pulls no punches with the rough sex, drug abuse, political incorrectness and human cruelty, but McAvoy gives a vanity-free performance that may well be the crowning glory of his career. 

The Blob ★★★
1.00-2.35pm Horror Channel 

A sticky, amorphous alien invasion here and a fresh-faced Steve McQueen, in his first big role, simply oozes movie star charisma.

Zombieland ★★★
9.00-10.40pm Film4 

The world is under siege again, this time from the undead. But Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg aren’t taking it too seriously.     

Aftershock ★★★
10.50pm-12.40am Movie Mix 

Eli Roth is all over the place in this horror film set in the aftermath of an earthquake. He’s in front of the camera and also behind it, as co-writer/producer.    

Open Range ★★★★
11.00pm-1.45am ITV4 

Kevin Costner directs this handsome, thoroughbred western about the decline of the cattle driving business. He saddles up, too, as a veteran cowpoke.    


Buy your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2016