Tale to get your teeth into
VAN DIEMEN’S LAND (High Fliers, cert 15, £12.99)
THIS is the grisly story of Australia’s most notorious convict, Alexander Pearce (Oscar Redding) and his escape into the savage terrain of the title, known today as Tasmania. Van Diemen’s Land was a feared and dreaded penal settlement in the most unexplored region of the British Empire where the punishment centre at Macquarie Harbour was named Hell’s Gates by its prisoners and famously boasted a sign warning “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” But in 1822 a group of eight convicts made a daring escape, only to face the perils of the wilderness with no supplies. Starving, the strongest began to consider cannibalism! It’s a chilling, magnificently filmed drama of survival.