Reel time: Cult Fiction offers a new outlet for fans of the strange

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A LOOK at what's happening in cinema in Edinburgh

Zombies, killer clowns, femme fatales and twisted spaghetti westerns: that line-up might not be on the average movie fan's must-see list, but for one new Edinburgh shop it's their stock-in-trade.

Cult Fiction on Newington Road caters for a growing number of people who want something a little different from their films, something they can't easily see at the cinema.

Selling DVDs from around the globe, the shop covers titles which won't appeal to huge audiences but which have a reputation as being fun, scary, smart or just a little bit different.

After spending ten years in the NHS, manager Stewart Dawson, 31, from Morningside, finally packed it in this year to devote time to searching out the rarest DVDs on the planet.

"I started working in a video shop when I was 12, for 75p an hour, renting out movies such as Clown House and From Beyond," he says. "When DVD came along I wanted to buy these rarer titles, but found the only way you could get them was on the internet from America.

"When I realised nobody was selling them in the UK, I decided to do it myself."

Opening just three months ago, the shop has already earned a reputation as the place to go to pick up films that can't easily – or cheaply – be bought anywhere else.

"One problem with obscure films is that there are lots of pirate copies on eBay and download sites. By working with the film distributors and making them available legally in Scotland – and I believe I'm the only person doing this in Britain - I really hope it starts to put the pirates out of business."

Films such as Dogs in Space, starring the late Michael Hutchence and Clown House aren't household names, but they're top of the shop's 'most asked- for' list.

"I haven't advertised the shop anywhere and I'm already selling around 600 DVDs a week," says Stewart. "If it's available anywhere in the world, I can get it."

But what makes a cult film 'cult'? According to Stewart there are a few criteria. "They tend to be well thought out, have memorable dialogue and aren't made to appeal to a mass audience. There aren't many bland cult films."

Next week: I join film fans The Edinburgh B-Movie Team for flying saucers, Bela Lugosi and birthday cake.

&#149 Visit for Stewart Dawson's top five cult DVD list

Coming next week:

Action thriller GAMER, colourful animation CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS IN 3D and comic road trip AWAY WE GO