Verson Jetorix watched:

THERE'S GOING TO BE A PARTY (61, encore viewing)
classic Eddie Constantine spy stuff with a cool jazz score by Martial Solal. 
See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review.

ASSASSINATION (67, encore viewing)
late entry in the spy cycle is a fine ambience pic with Henry Silva and Ida Galli. it's moody and has a good soundtrack and it's the first film from the director of THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE. See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review.

FOG ISLAND (45, encore viewing)
underrated body count movie with two of the greats, George Zucco and Lionel Atwiil.

ZATOICHI THE OUTLAW (67, first viewing)
solid entry in the long-running series. they're getting bloodier now.

THE TROJAN HORSE (62, encore viewing)
Steve Reeves time killer.

THE RAVEN (63, encore viewing)
ultimately watchable comfort food.

THE KILLER LIKES CANDY (68, encore viewing)
fun Italian spy stuff with Kerwin Mathews. See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review.

CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (57, encore viewing)
the last good Frank movie.

1000 EYES OF DR. MABUSE (60, encore viewing)
time to revisit this favorite series. every time i see another report of a super crime, like the recent $70 mil heist in Brazil, i'm reminded that Mabuse still lives.

HERCULES VS THE MOLOCH (63, encore viewing)
Gordon Scott, Rosalba Neri, Jany Clair, Michele Lemoine. Queen Neri's son is way ugly so he wears a dog mask, lives in the catacombs and for sport, kills pretty girls who have been sacrificed to him. Scott to the rescue. From the director of MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN and SECRET AGENT SUPER DRAGON.

SHOOTOUT IN A ONE-DOG TOWN (72, first viewing)
Good, fun TV western directed by Burt Kennedy, a western specialist, who made (among others) SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF, DIRTY DINGUS MAGEE, and THE KILLER INSIDE ME. It was written by Larry (IT'S ALIVE!) Cohen and stars the late, great Richard Crenna as a bank manager defending a safe from robbers. Also stars Jack Elam, Stefanie Powers, Arthur O'Connell, Michael Ansara, Dub Taylor, Gene Evans, and Richard Egan!

THE BLACK BOX AFFAIR (66, encore viewing)
Craig Hill kicks ass in this excellent Eurospy thriller. See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review.

PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (53, first viewing)
Sam Fuller's a unique character in cinema who makes movies to please himself. I'm not always interested in his subject matter but this time his verve and style compliment the gritty goings on of a crime film.  Richard Widmark and Jean Peters are in this cool, rough and tumble film noir that works despite the red scare angle. Definitely worth a watch.

FX 18 SUPERSPY (65, encore viewing)
Riccardo Freda has fashioned a dark and brutal Eurospy flick like no other. The best he had to offer between LO SPETTRO (The Ghost, 65) and A DOPPIA FACCIA (Double Face, 69).  See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review.

TOP HAT (35, encore viewing)
The magic that is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is lost to most folks today, i thnk. So to the unbeliever, the jaded cinemaniac who's seen everything, i give you Top Hat, one of the great American entertainments. It's hilarious, has a terrific supporting cast, great music, and fever dream set design. And then there's A&R. Their dances together are truly a wonder to behold. Highly recommended.

WARLOCK MOON (75, first viewing)
This no-budget indie with Joe (Hill Street Blues) Spano and Laurie (Eight is Enough) Walters has its moments but they're few and far between. Laurie's interesting. Too bad she didn't take her top off.

THE CRAWLING EYE (58, encore viewing)
An old reliable for a gray saturday morning.

ONLY THE COOL (69, encore viewing)
Late-night Euro-ambience with Stephanie Audran and Klaus Kinski. See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review.

KNIVES OF THE AVENGER (65, encore viewing)
Mario Bava's version of Shane is a great-looking spaghetti western dressed up in Viking's clothing.

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE (66, encore viewing)
Fun Eurospy stuff with a decent budget. Mike Conners and Dorothy Provine. From the director of Journey to the Center of the Earth. See The Eurospy Guide for a complete review..

ZATOICHI: THE FESTIVAL OF FIRE (70, first viewing)
another good Z flick. One of the more visually interesting entries.

LSD: HELL FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (67, encore viewing)
One of the strangest and most inept flicks to be found in The Eurospy Guide.

THE AU PAIR GIRLS (72, first viewing)
Entertaining sex comedy from Britain with tons o'nudity. If you're a fan of Gabrielle (UFO) Drake, drop what you're doing and rent this!



Joe Violente watched:

I don't know why I watched this movie all the way to the end. Oh yeah, it was the Chloë Sevigny blowjob scene. You gotta feel sorry for her.

Alain Delon and his tailor are the star of this dull gangster picture. From the director of the much better OUTSIDE MAN.

Routine but not a bad, cop-versus-sociopath picture. Alain Delon (cop) and Jean-Louis Trintignant (sociopath) make it worth watching. Best moments: Trintignant slaps this tart around and throws her out of his room; Delon orders a martini at a bar and gets a tall glass filled with red liqueur on the rocks. If I got a martini like that I'd have to fucking kill someone.

Fascinating nightmare. I was all likkered up - that helped. The dvd from netflix that apparently came from looks awesome.

Pretty good social drama with Alain Delon and Jean Gabin.

Hal Hartley's last movie that's Hal Hartley (so far). Annoyingly photographed but it's got a lot of good moments. Martin Donovan as Jesus and Thomas Jay Ryan as Satan are both perfect. Too short at an hour.

Great supervillian movie. Gets cooler and cooler with every viewing.

Hypnotic. I loved it.

Very little of Dario Argento made it into this one. Asia's brief flash of her tits are the only things worth remembering.

There's nothing more reassuring than a bottle of whiskey and a good John Wayne western. The Duke is in great bitter form here. There's an underwater knife fight. Trigger happy fast drawing dudes Montgomery Clift and John Ireland are too cool for the old west. Ireland has the best line: "You know, there are only two things more beautiful than a gun - a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere". An annoying whore shows up during the final act but catches an arrow in the shoulder and makes up for her constant chattering. Speaking of which, I'm thinking of starting a "Western Chicks Shot With Arrows" page. Does anyone else think that's erotic? Anyone?

Dario Argento has always pushed the envelope of plausibility but this ridiculous story wins hands down: A guy kidnaps women and plays video poker for their lives. And without any style or a single trademark set-piece this plays like a really bad T.V. movie.


September 2005

Verson Jetorix watched:

FRAZETTA: PAINTING WITH FIRE (03, first viewing)
Very good documentary about a true fucking genius. Tons of extras on two discs. Worth it.

I never get tired of this timeless classic. My fave Boris movie (and fave Bela movie by default) and it's probably in my top five of all time. Thanks for the DVD Universal but I would have bought it if released by itself anyway and I wouldn't have minded some extras!

Delirious monster-rama in the tradition of old Universal. I was afraid it might be unwatchably bad but it turned out to be entertainingly bad. Karin Dor looks hot in this, Paul Naschy gets the blonde, Michael Rennie phones it in, and Craig Hill doesn't have as much fun as he should have.

I'm not a big fan of Tomas Milian and this Umberto Lenzi misfire didn't do anything to change that. Especially since he kills off Anita Strindberg and Laura Belli without removing their clothing.

THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT (75, first viewing)
Another one of those pseudo-documentaries from the 70s that i like so much. Not as fun or delirious as the UFO stuff but still strange enough to be entertaining.

SAHARA (05, first viewing)
Pretty fun adventure in the Indiana Jones tradition. Worth it for Steve Zahn.

KONTROLL (04, first viewing)
Excellent droll thriller set in the Budapest metro. Recommended despite a redemptive ending.

THE WITCH (66, encore viewing)
Another visit to Damiano Damiani's baroque gothic tale of the supernatural. Rosanna Schiaffino never looked better. With Gian Maria Volante, Richard Johnson, and small part for Ivan Rassimov.

OPERATION COUNTERSPY (65, encore viewing)
One of George (Giorgio) Ardisson's better spy flicks. Helen Chanel rocks. See The Eurospy Guide.

THE QUESTOR TAPES (74, first viewing)
Classic TV sci-fi by Gene Rodenberry about androids, aliens, and human kind's Big Questions. Not bad.

CORRIDOR OF MIRRORS (48, encore viewing)
Terence Young's dreamy, gothic romance is a hard flick to classify. It's definitely a study in obsessive psychosexual behavior. It's beautifully photographed and, although flawed, is one of the most compelling films in my library. A forgotten gem, in my book.

BEETLEJUICE (88, encore viewing)
Funny and entertaining, this was made when Tim Burton still had a giddy exuberance for filmmaking.

RED ALERT (77, first viewing)
Lame-ass TV disaster movie but oh that Adrienne Barbeau cleavage! M. Emmet Walsh has a small role.

CRASH (05, first viewing)
Very well-acted interlocking stories in one of those improbable, MAGNOLIA-like worlds.

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (61, first viewing)
Kinda boring serious werewolf movie blends Hammer's laughable version of 18th century Spain with a few good scenes of horror.

OUR AGENT TIGER (65, encore viewing)
Violent French Eurospy action features Margaret Lee chained to the wall in a leopard print mini-dress. See The Eurospy Guide.

THE MUMMY (32, encore viewing)
It gets better every time. Perfect for a rainy saturday morning.

OPERATION DOUBLE 007 (67, encore viewing)
AKA Operation Kid Brother, this would-be Bondian adventure features Sean Connery's brother Neil as... Sean Connery's brother pressed into service against Adolfo Celi! Also features lovely Daniela Bianchi. Pretty fun. See The Eurospy Guide.

MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (33, encore viewing)
The great Lionel Atwill, cool sets, cool banter, Fay Wray, junkies, narcissistic deaf mutes, bootleg liquor, arson, wax-covered corpses--all in two-strip Technicolor. What's not to like?

PARANOIAC (61, encore viewing)
Not bad Hammer psycho-thriller. Looks nice wide but Ollie Reed does nothing for me.

GIRL SLAVES OF MORGANA LE FAY (71, first viewing)
Aside from a few lesbian tease scenes, this Jean Rollin ripoff is decidedly boring and pretentious, just like the oeuvre it apes! So I guess it's a success.

RITUAL OF EVIL (70, first viewing)
Cool TV horror with more dream sequences than i've ever seen.

SATAN'S TRIANGLE (75, first viewing)
Confused TV horror with Satan dressed as a priest and Kim Novak as a hooker!

SIN CITY (05, first viewing)
Blew me away. Quite an achievement. Bruce was good. Mickey Rourke was awesome.

WINCHESTER 73 (50, encore viewing)
The first and one of the best of the Anthony Mann/Jimmy Stewart westerns. A classic.

CROSSPLOT (69, first viewing)
Tepid Roger Moore vehicle shot with the dearth of imagination, leaden wit, and cut-rate artificiality of a lowly television production.

VENUS IN FURS (70, encore viewing)
Jess Franco is famous for making many movies, few of which are any good. This ghost riff is one of the many not the few.

THE INVISIBLE RAY (36, encore viewing)
Good old mad scientist Boris Karloff. It's a mixed bag but I always liked this one, glad to have it on DVD.

THE FORCE BEYOND (78, first viewing)
Another pseudo-documentary on unexplained phenomena, from Atlantis to Bigfoot to UFOs. This one had too many on camera interviews with "experts" but does have some interesting historical footage.

THE BIG COMBO (55, encore viewing)
One of the great noirs by an overlooked craftsman of the cinema, Joseph H. Lewis. Watch it.

SAVAGES (74, first viewing)
Andy Griffith plays a real asshole; a lawyer. And a killer. Big-game hunter Griffith forces his guide (Timothy Bottoms, who saw Andy shoot a prospector and won't go along with hiding it) to walk across the desert, with nothing but a pair of shorts, to his death. What a jerk.

Another excellent entry! This one features Jimmy Wang Yu as the O-AS so this has some 70s-style Chinese martial arts too. Check it out.

LURED (47, first viewing)
Tame but fun serial killer flick with (and i kid you not) Lucille Ball, George Sanders, Boris Karloff, George Zucco, Alan Napier, and Cedric Hardwicke. Directed by Douglas Sirk! One of only two films to feature Karloff and Zucco.

CURSE OF THE VAMPIRE (72, first viewing)
Laughable Spanish entry has nice locations and some healthy nudity to scratch the Eurotrash itch but it feels like it was written by a 10-year old.

MALABIMBA (79, first viewing)
Demonic possession sex movie. If that sounds good to you then I recommend it.

THE HUMAN VAPOR (60, encore viewing)
A revisit to this Japanese sci-fi/crime/romance hybrid. It starts out well but once you find out why the Human Vapor is robbing and killing the movie just kind of vaporizes.

CARNAL CONTACT (74, first viewing)
Surprise! What I thought was going to be just another Eurotrash meller turned out to be a clever, interesting, even absorbing take on sexual politics and shady business deals. Calvin Lockhart, George Hilton and Anita Strindberg star in this recommended little gem.

MYSTERIES OF THE GODS (76, first viewing)
William "The Shat" Shatner takes us on a whirlwind tour of unexplained mysteries that is way heavy on speculation and ill-advised fashion choices on the part of our host. A hoot.

SCREAM PRETTY PEGGY (73, first viewing)
Lousy Psycho ripoff starring Ted 'That Girl' Bessell as the crazy sculptor. He's his own sister! This movie needed Cameron Mitchell.

SCREAMING WOMAN (72, first viewing)
The old they-think-the-old-lady-is-crazy routine with Olivia De Havilland but it was shot in a then-new housing development so there's some cool houses.

Pretty fun pseudo-documentary with Peter Graves convinced Bigfoot exists and presenting the "proof." This one shows the Patterson film, the most convincing piece of evidence yet. And that was from 1967!

SHADOW OF FEAR (74, first viewing)
Dan Curtis produced this ultra-low budget film noir shot on video that is poorly written and miscast.


Joe Violente watched:

This is a macabre one. Bela Lugosi is a mad scientist who wants to find the perfect mate for his man ape. My kinda movie, but besides Lugosi, who's only in the thing about 15 minutes, it's pretty tiresome. The rest is bad acting, annoying characters, comic relief and bad monkey effects. Okay. At least Lugosi is fun and Karl Freund manages to get a few good shots and make the cheap sets almost look good. The new Universal DVD looks pretty good although unrestored.

Lived up to its delirious promise. How can you not have fun with a movie where aliens try to take of the world by re-animating some monsters and they all just end up fighting among themselves? All Atrocians were of correct likkerupedness to enjoy it.

One of the great achievements of the golden age of horror. Edgar Ulmer's German background really shows in the twisted storyline, melancholy mood and stylish art deco sets. Required viewing.

The story was vicious but what made it onscreen was really watered down and predictable. Milian delivers the best line as he is about to forcibly violate his unwilling girlfriend: "I'll make you see Napoleon, you bitch!"

I was worried when this one started out with some slapstick fight scenes but then multiple stories start to surface that come together nicely (and violently) at the end. Mikio Narita is great as the chess playing samurai.

It's all pretty routine but more enjoyable thanks to a good cast including a disfigured Boris Karloff. Yeah, Lugosi doesn't overact too much here but George Zucco would have been my choice for the mad scientst. Or Lionel Atwill. Or Boris Karloff. Or...

British sex comedy with more full frontal nudity than one would expect. That's something.

A good adaptation that really feels like you're watching a graphic novel. The first segment with mickey rourke is great.

I love this stuff. Enjoyable mad scientist movie with Boris Karloff recording light beams from space and discovering Radium-X and turning in another good performance. Bela Lugosi is surprisingly restrained. And Frances Drake is pretty hot.

This is number 15 and it's another good one. And Z doesn't even have a sword most of the movie! Good story and a great climax. Some day this series is gonna end....

I wasn't too impressed when I first saw this many many years ago but it's actually good. It's amateurish at times but it also has many arresting visuals and that great haunting Saltair resort location in Utah. The Image dvd looks quite good.

Z saves the day again. There's an annoying kid in this one but there's also a really good showdown at the end in the falling snow.

A good low-key French crime movie that appears to have paved the way for RIFIFI and BOB LE FLAMBEUR. Jean Gabin is at his best here as the respected crook that wants to retire now that he has a major heist under his belt. But dope dealing Lino Ventura has other ideas. From the director of a slick little prison movie called LE TROU. I hope there's more of these French crime movies out there waiting for me to discover. The Criterion dvd looks tres bien.

Seijun Suzuki at his non-genre best. Powerful story of a, uh, er, prostitute giving up her sad life to service Japanese troops in China only to fall in love again. Yumiko Nogawa, who was also a whore in GATE OF FLESH, is amazing - I couldn't take my eyes off her. And some of the black and white photography is stunning.

The cast keeps this dull tale of a ruthless pirate that turns small town smuggler barely afloat. Believe it or not the pirate turns out to be a swell chap. Jesus. It would really have benefited from Yvonne Romain's two assets being freed from her overly tight costume. Peter Cushing is good just as always but Michael Ripper steals the show.

Jesus Christ. 18th in a series and it's good. This one is very much like a western with Z getting seriously wounded and having to kick ass on the town's corrupt boss anyway. Even some of the music is like a spaghetti western. Z hides out in a shack after being shot and stabbed and when the owner finds him he says to the guy, "Sorry to trouble you, but would you have some hooch?"  Then he digs the bullet out of his shoulder with his sword! Yumiko Nogawa isn't in it enough - she plays a sword moll and keeps her clothes on (godfuckingdammit) and Takashi Shimura adds some extra star power. There's more blood than usual and a dismemberment.

A pretty good entry but with too much humor. Make no mistake, Z still kicks ass and coulda had some great ass but he wanders off before he can knock off a chunk - If he could only see what he's missing...

The story is pretty lame and the make-up is lame and so are some of the effects but they did go all out on a couple lab scenes, although one is kind of a cheat since it rewrites the history established by the previous two films. At least there's the great Peter Cushing. And the dvd looked good.

"First is first and second is nobody." Outstanding evenly paced film noir from the director of the very cool GUN CRAZY. The cast is good, especially Richard Conte as the arrogant mobster. And there's the swell cinematography and lighting by John Alton. Image  needs to re-author this dvd - it's too important for a mediocre transfer.

Somewhat removed from TETSUO, meaning it actually has a narrative, but obviously a product of the same disturbed mind of Shinya Tsukamoto. Quite fascinating.

This is the new extended director's cut that restores what the studio cut out, but I wish it was the cut that removes Charlton Heston from the picture. Any cut that shortens this movie is the cut I want to see. There's not much here that resembles the Peckinpah to come  two years later with THE WILD BUNCH. But there is an incredible amount of cruel horse stunts. The unbelievable supporting cast is something to get a little excited over although most don't have much to do: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, L.Q. Jones, Slim Pickens, Senta Berger, and Mario Adorf (with big role).

Pretty good entry but a bit goofy and disjointed. There's some strange stuff in this one, like the woman impersonator from RAN hitting on Z, a totally nude sword battle and a married couple that keep kicking each other real slapstick like. It all boils down to love and hate and Z takes the wrong road again. Shintaro Katsu is good as always, showing more depth here than usual. Tatsuya Nakadai makes a welcome appearance as a psycho ronin avenging his wife's virtue.

Let me tell you I learned to hate Nazi movies during my many years at the Seattle International Film Festival which always had plenty to show especially in the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties. I'll make it short. This is a really good drama that chronicles the horrors of the final days before the fall of Berlin, both in the bunker and out, as told by Hitler's secretary (who is kinda hot). Luckily, there are many stories going on so it's not just about the big guy, although Bruno Ganz is a great as Hitler.

Oh yeah, here's a picture of Hitler's secretary so you know I'm not lying. No wonder he hired her.

Not a bad entry but Z basically makes a guest appearance in one of those Chinese martial arts movies where a little yellow guy is running on top of people's heads and jumping on top of trees and mountains.

Fucking wow. Shintaro Katsu takes the Z reigns for the first time and it's colorful, arty, brutal and uncompromising. It can't get any better than this.


Brad Jeter watched:

Very cool! Johnny was pretty low key, but a very, very cool premise for a mystery.

Great fun. Another great Morricone score.

The look is superb. The premise is intriguing and the story is nicely woven -- an excellent mood piece. The Mickey Rourke sequence is definitely the best. This ultra-violent sequence makes effective use of the strategically placed "splashes" of bright color, and Rourke's merciless pursuit of his mission make it extremely engaging. I'm not sure if I breathed during the entire stretch. One ding against Sin City is the dialogue -- which is more than a bit cliché at times. Now I can forgive much of it since it IS a graphic novel after all, but not all of it. Would the dialogue keep me from watching Sin City? Hell no! I wouldn't let much interfere with another shot at seeing a scantily clad, sweat laden Jessica Alba writhe around in smoky bar for dough. Mmm, mmm...

(Webmaster note: We are in NO way just looking for an excuse to put Jessica Alba pictures on this terribly hip movie site.)









Phantom Lady (44) (encore viewing) - Fun offering from prominent noir director Robert Siodmak (Criss Cross, The Killers) who ably spins a standard noir theme into a fairly enjoyable 90 minutes. Alan Curtis's extremely weak stint as the wrongly convicted Steve Henderson is more than made up for by a fine performance from Franchot Tone as Steve's best friend Jack Marlowe. Jack -- an artist who has more than a few mental quirks -- frames poor Steve for the murder of his own wife and then proceeds to 'off' a pack of low-life witnesses who -- despite being paid to do so -- just can't seem to keep their mouth shut. One of those loose talking scum-bags is a sleazy, house band drummer with a weakness for pretty girls in fishnets, portrayed by noir staple Elisha Cook Jr. who definitely makes the most of his screen time. One particular scene where Cook maniacally pounds his drums in a smoke filled room while film heroine Carol 'Kansas' Richman (Raines) shimmies in the shadows in a black dress will definitely stick with you long after the credits role.


October 2005

Verson Jetorix watched:

SEVEN DEATHS IN A CAT'S EYE (73, encore viewing)
The score is one up and two down for Dagored's DVD release of Margheriti's period giallo. The good news is it's a widescreen print but the image quality isn't much better than the tape I replaced and this is a censored version. So I wait until a better DVD comes along.

Sub-standard giallo from Filippo Walter Ratti that features some nudity and a little gore but is nothing to really shake your stick at.

THE H-MAN (59, encore viewing)
I still love this crime/sci-fi hybrid from Ishiro Honda. It's a fun story, there's some good music and the visuals are kickers. Where's the DVD?

DRUMS OF JEOPARDY (31, encore viewing)
A very enjoyable "forgotten horror" with mad doctor Warner (Charlie Chan) Oland out to kill an entire family of Russian aristocrats. Lots of good lines and creepy atmosphere. Recommended for fans of the old creakers.

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (43, encore viewing)
Great to have this moody, beautifully photographed classic finally on DVD. I notice more every time I see it. Little rough on some of the reel ends but looks great for the most part. Frances Dee was hot.

ZATOICHI IN DESPERATION (72, first viewing)
The best Z so far. And that's saying a lot! After 23 Z films, Shintaro Katsu steps up to directing and takes the series to another level. Visually it's very chancy: Katsu uses the frame to focus the viewer's attentioan beautifully, obscuring all but the most important information. This is the most claustrophobic widescreen film in memory. Gorgeous and graphic, Z IN D is a treat on many levels and should be considered required viewing for Atrocians.

Lee Marvin is the glue that holds this very slight modern gangster story together. The film has its moments but it wasn't one of the the new breed of razor-sharp crime thrillers that it wanted to be.

I was pleasantly surprised - seeing this for the first time on DVD - at the craft and artistry on display in Alfred Vohrer's late-cycle Edgar Wallace entry. But when I went back over his filmography I realized he made many of my favorite German krimis including Dead Eyes of London, Inn on the River, and Creature With the Blue Hand, among many others. Thanks Dark Sky for the terrific-looking DVD of this little gem and I hope you put out more Wallace!

Definitely better than many WIP movies, the general fascination with the genre continues to elude me. I will say this movie delivered what was expected and pleased a tough, drunken crowd in the high-pressure third slot.

THE BRAIN (62, encore viewing)
This German/British hybrid of Curt Siodmak's oft-filmed sci-fi story - directed by Freddie Francis - is a dark and moody version indeed. Peter van Eyck is the scientist taken over by the brain of an industrialist kept alive after a plane crash.

GUNSLINGER (56, encore viewing)
Fun low-budget Corman oater with Bev Garland as the butch wife of a killed sheriff who takes over his job to find her hubby's killers. John Ireland is the gunslinger brought in to stop her. Great scene with these two in a shootout as they profess their love for each other. Primo title sequence too.

DEATH IN HAITI (72, encore viewing)
Enjoyed this giallo with an unusual setting but it has a bit too much local color for my taste. Anita Strindberg looks like a beautiful, impossibly fragile twig. She should eat something!

EXPULSION OF THE DEVIL (72, first viewing)
Pretty good, serious poltergeist story from Juan Luis Bunuel but not one I need to keep around. Restrained, somewhat frightening and let down with a non-ending.

THE FINAL CURTAIN (72, first viewing)
Dreamy, unconvincing giallo with Anne Heywood's amnesia victim stalked by her husband's killer (Telly Savalas). Pretty good score but the film lacks focus and suspense.

DEATH SHIP (80, first viewing)
Scary Nazi ghost ship rams a cruise liner and sinks it. Survivors make the mistake of going aboard. This has some atmosphere and a couple of good scenes (the blood shower is a highlight) but for the most part the film is adrift in mediocrity.

THE KILLER WORE GLOVES (74, first viewing)
Poorly-written Italian/Spanish giallo with pretty Gillian Hills (who looks like a cross between Brigitte Bardot and Marisa Mell) menaced by... a black-gloved killer. Some nudity, some bloody violence, a good score by Marcello Giombini, and particularly ugly interior design.

NAKED VIOLENCE (70, first viewing)
Italian yak-fest social commentary passed off as a crime thriller. Aside from the bookend rape murders (and the blame put on absinthe), this is one dull case.

HOUSE OF WAX (53, encore viewing)
Finally got around to picking this classic up on DVD. Vincent Price is always fun and this old fashioned spook show still holds up.

STRANGE LOVE OF A VAMPIRE (77, first viewing)
Leon Klimovsky's gothic romance has plenty of atmosphere and some good nudity to hold this slow-moving tale together.

A WOMAN POSSESSED (75, first viewing)
Amateur French hippie Satanists enage in whippings, orgies, etc in amusing themselves with a gullible couple. Not as good as it sounds, believe me.

THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES (40, encore viewing)
Finally, the first video release of this Boris mad doctor vehicle from Columbia. Engaging throughout and nicely photographed this old creaker won't disappoint fans of The Man or the genre.

PASSPORT TO HELL (65, encore viewing)
George Ardisson kicks ass in this fine example of Eurospy. Visually interesting, good cast, jammin' Umiliani tunes, this one's a winner from start to finish. See The Eurospy Guide.

BEASTMASTER (82, encore viewing)
Remember this one? It was on cable TV all the time thru the 80's so I saw it (or pieces of it) lots of times. It's still fun but the real winner is Tanya Roberts - totally hot and topless!

VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY (72, encore viewing)
Leon Klimovsky strikes again with this drive-in classic. No great set pieces and only minor nudity but this has a certain ambience that will guarantee a viewing every couple of years or so.

MR. HULOT'S HOLIDAY (53, encore viewing)
This classic from Jacque Tati is still very clever and very funny because of it. This revisit for me was to initiate someone else into the Tati cult. A resounding success!

FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD (69, encore viewing)
This is one of those movies that frustrates me. After several viewings, I still can't find something to hang my hat on. I mean, on the plus side it's by Amando de Ossorio, it has Anita Ekberg before she got too heavy for my taste, and it has other faves raves Diana Lorys (who looks great, as usual) and Rosanna Yanni. But it's pretty dumb, has no atmosphere (in fact it looks really lousy despite using good locations), and it has no nudity by any of these fine ladies. Even Carlo Savina's score is unremarkable. I just don't know.

NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (70, encore viewing)
After watching FANGS... i had to see MORE of Diana Lorys so I threw this on. If you're a fan of hers, this Jess Franco mess has plenty of her to offer. She's either totally or partially nude for practically the entire running time! Yes!

DANGER ROUTE (68, encore viewing)
Excellent serious, cynical spy stuff from the Brits with Richard Johnson. Barbara Bouchet's in there too. See The Eurospy Guide for details.

IN SEARCH OF BIGFOOT (76, first viewing)
We travel with a troop of "experts" into the forests of the northwest in search of... bigfoot. We don't find him. There are some definite hoots in this speculative documentary but watching people camp ain't one of them. See the "Regression Testing" column at for full-length reviews of 70s docudramas.

THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (32, encore viewing)
Revisiting Borisland. It's surprising this thoroughly enjoyable, sexually subversive "yellow peril" thriller isn't on DVD yet. We can only hope.

THE BLOODY JUDGE (70, first viewing)
I watched this because it has three fave Euro-starlets in it: Margaret Lee, Maria Rohm, and Diana Lorys. They made it worth it, barely. Neither exploitive enough for the sadism crowd nor reverent enough for the mainstream, this Jess Franco flick disappoints. It's quite nice looking with good locations but it plods along belaboring the obvious for almost two hours. Enough already.

THE BODY SNATCHER (45, encore viewing)
Boris holds the screen like no one else in this classic picture. He should have been at least nominated for his riveting performance. He kills the competition!

THE BRIDES OF DRACULA (60, encore viewing)
Gorgeous DVD of this, the best Hammer Dracula flick. That's right, the best.

THE BIG RACKET (76, first viewing)
Castellari's hyper-exagerated crime flick holds plenty of the expected thrills but the slow-mo Testi-cam in-the-car roll is the fucking show-stopper.

UNKNOWN POWERS (78, first viewing)
Corny and creepy compendium of never-broadcast TV shows on the supernatural focuses heavily on debunked stuff like past-life regression and psychic surgery. But the end of the film features a long section inside the Jim Jones church that is probably the most unnerving sequence in any pseudo-doc of the 70s, considering that probably many of the folks on screen were soon to be quite dead in Guyana.

BATMAN BEGINS (05, first viewing)
Better than almost all the other Batman flicks put together which isn't saying a whole lot. I still think the best movie about Batman is yet to be made.

LAST DAYS (05, first viewing)
Gus Van Sant's dream of Cobain's final hours is one of his very best films. It slithers and slides and folds back on itself like a lost thought. It is stunning at times, lyrical and funny at others and seemed to flow from the director like a completely unself-conscious act of empathy. It is gorgeous to look at, wonderful to listen to and the casting inspired. Bravo.

NIGHTMARE (63, encore viewing)
Ages since I'd seen this psychological thriller from Hammer. It's one of the better ones too. Nice widescreen b&w photography, a bleak Brit winter setting, and crazy chicks running around in a shadow-filled old house.

HOUSE OF A THOUSAND DOLLS (67, encore viewing)
For some reason this flick is pretty much universally panned. I still enjoyed it even this second time. Sure it's not very sophisticated in story or execution, nor is it sleazy enough to obtain cult status but I find it sort of charming and it has a good enough cast to keep things interesting. And there's female mud wrestling.

WILD, WILD PLANET (64, encore viewing)
Thanks to a friend I was finally able to see this old fave widescreen. And wow it looks great! This is still totally fun Saturday morning-type stuff. I love the cheezy-clean miniatures and the retro-future design. Not enough Franco Nero but oh, that Lisa Gastoni!

BRAZIL (85, encore viewing)
I watch this every few years to remind me of what a great artist Gilliam is, or was. Hard to believe it's been 20 years.

If you fast forward thru the stupid hippie song and the stupid dirt bike racing (both sequences probably total less than 10 minutes of screen time) what you have left is a primo Poe/giallo hybrid dripping with an atmosphere of morbid decadence well worth your time.

THE FLESH EATERS (62, first viewing)
This hard-to-find classic finally hits DVD and lives up to its rep. This is a fun, early gore flick with sharp dialog and comic book sensibilities sure to please horror aficionados. A spare production, shot mostly on an empty beach, this has nice (and clever) b&w photography, cheap-but-cool special effects, and Martin Kosleck as a mad scientist.


Joe Violente watched:

Good film noir that helped launch the detective film and the style that would become legend. The cast is great but Peter Lorre steals every scene he's in.

Another original vision from Shinya (Tetsuo, Tokyo Fist) Tsukamoto shot in stunning black and white. Goda becomes obsessed with the very difficult task of acquiring a pistol after his girlfriend shoots herself. He ends up joining other lost souls in modern Japan that are so far removed from the violence of their past they create their own.

NAKED (93)
Powerful and gripping tale of several people haunting their way through the ills of modern society. David Thewlis is perfect as the misanthrope Johnny and Mike Leigh's script is simply brilliant. One of the best movies of the 90's and Criterion has delivered a stunning print and transfer.

Fun little horror movie about a bunch of weirdoes living in a hotel and the snooping girl that falls in love with one of the the resident perverts who likes to fill clear sex dolls up with water and inject them with his blood via a syringe. Yeah, I know, who doesn't.

Some early full frontal nudity (Sissy Spacek & Janit Baldwin) and Lee Marvin are the only things worth watching here. And even Marvin pushes my dedication by only bringing his ego to a shotgun fight. Also contains one of the worst chase scenes ever, when Marvin and Spacek are chased down by a slow moving columbine. The goody goody ending is too much.

Fun and very nice looking movie with a cool villain and locations but tiresome comic relief throughout.

Totally inept and often painful to watch except for Tak Fujimoto's leering camera that details a surprisingly amount of female nudity including almost all of the cast.

This one is okay. It's always great to see Toshiro Mifune, especially when he's effortlessly cutting his way through a street fight, but it feels a lot like ole Z was just stuck in someone else's movie.

The last Zatoichi until 1989 is pretty good I guess, most of it being rehash. There's a big battle at the end with severed limbs and spraying blood.

A fine cast and sets and cinematography. An impossible combination of intelligence and zombies & voodoo.

Leopard or not I woulda fucked her for sure.

Horribly glib zombie movie from Australia. Dare I even say derivative? Characters either so stupid, obnoxious or in the know you root for the aliens to wipe out our entire fucking race. And it's all played for laughs until the "dark" ending. Fuck the sibling hacks that made this movie, and fuck their whole continent while you're at it. Real savage like...

"A first spanking. It's an important occasion."  Val Lewton's imaginative, self-assured and defiant follow-up to CAT PEOPLE is just as good as it's predecessor although quite different. The main character is a little kid, who gives a really good and sometimes uncanny performance, basically carrying the whole movie! Oh, the horrors of childhood we never quite overcome...

A couple chilling moments at the end are no payoff for 65 minutes of unimaginative directing and a plodding script. My mind kept wandering toward whiskey which was readily available. Boris wasn't even enough to keep my attention.

"Is it hot enough for you? It's not the heat that gets me, it's the stupidity." An uneven but good southern drama about two boys whose lives are turned upside down after a savage act of domestic violence. The story really come into its own about halfway in when it turns into a road movie as the kids take to the road. The story being driven by impending violence is too easy and is the story's only flaw. But the Malick influences and a fine cast raise this well above most American dramas.

An okay British crime movie that copies all the others but it moves fast and has some appealing actors.

I somehow missed this and watched it out of order, not that it matters. Ole Z does a good deed by killing a corrupt town boss but it only allows a worse boss to take over and much misery follows until Z takes care of things. This is more bleak than the rest and definitely the bloodiest with spraying blood, severed limbs dropping every where and even a head.

The always great Toshiro Mifune is a yojimbo hired to go to a mountain pass and wait for something to happen. Unfortunately, it takes an hour for "it" to finally happen! By then it's too late even for a long haired and wild eyed Shintaro Katsu to save this one. It's too bad because it does have a lot going for it: a good cast and a western-like feel and takes place entirely in the snow and the score is really strange, kinda like a cross between Morricone and Philip Glass.

BEDLAM (46 )
The insane are people too. Karloff is nice and slimy in this simplistic and naive story populated with characters you couldn't give a fuck about. Well, at least Karloff is in it. And a Quaker. It's always good to see a Quaker worked into a story. Even if they are live Quakers. And all goody goody. Karloff's in it.

I say, a terribly fun Hitchcock thriller with plenty of action and wit.

The morally twisted story takes a while to thaw out but really takes off when Karloff finally hits the lab. It's great seeing him sane and passionate about saving mankind, then suddenly going mad and experimenting on human beings. One of his best mad scientist movies.

David Gordon Green shows lots of promise with his first movie that's filled with sad characters inhabiting poor America. Although the story isn't really fleshed out, there's hauntingly desolate locations and some good Malick-like narration. Some day it's all going to come together. 

Pretty good drama that's been copied many many times. Too bad I saw all the copies first. Paul Muni is good and helps keep the downbeat story together even when it tries to cover too much ground - It feels like it may have been a much longer movie at some point. Effective as a scathing indictment of the justice system, it's only the final chilling scene that will stay with you for a long time.

The unintentional homosexual subtext and Richard Dix's weird, if not plain bad, performance make this a fun campy movie. A young Lawrence Tierney is a deckhand but gets killed by the anchor chain early on.

Woody Allen does a great job of blending two stories together about one woman, one from a tragic viewpoint and the other comedic. Sure, it's the same old neurotic self-centered Woody Allen characters trying to find happiness but hey, he's good at it.

This is what you get when take several good movies (BULLITT, TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, LE SAMOURAI, etc) and put them together but you don't have a good script or the actors to pull it off. But what you do get is some great wheelmen showing off and that was just enough.

I deserve a medal for watching the whole terrible movie.

I gotta watch Mario Bava's gothic horror every once in a while to remind myself just how beautifully he shot it.

Brad Jeter watched:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:  Brilliant!  Great look throughout.  Surreal sets, locations and effective, mood lighting were superb.  Very good performances by most -- especially Jim Carrey (a pleasant surprise) and Kate Winslet -- and strong support from Mark Ruffalo.  Loved every minute of it.

Scream of the Wolf:  Average 70s TV movie, tip-toeing on the outskirts of horror.  The psychological stuff between Peter Graves and Clint Walker was interesting, but it was like everyone else was simply collecting a paycheck -- nobody really stood out.  It's clear now why Joanne Pflug spent most of her time in front of a camera on Match Game and $10,000 Pyramid.  Even though the ending was a bust, the soundtrack was ultra-70s cool and there were a couple of good laughs -- some unintentional.  Like when Walker is taken to task because of his pro-hunting stance by an 'intellectual' hippy in a restaurant -- a riot! And finally, we can say "That not be no wolfen..." and it's actually true.

His Kind of Woman (encore viewing)
Fun, noir 'light' starring Robert Mitchum as a gambler whose paid a ton of dough to go to a tropical resort off the coast of Mexico and wait for a man with 'further instructions.' When things start getting fishy, Mitchum desperately tries to figure out 'what's next' before it's too late. While searching for answers he hooks up with a some very interesting characters that are either trying to help or hinder his quest. The guest list at this resort also includes an film actor played in over-the-top fashion by Vincent Price, his sexy mistress (Jane Russell) , a shyster trying to finagle sex with a beautiful young newlywed in order to settle her groom's gin-rummy debt (Jim Backus) and a couple of nasty gangsters (Charles McGraw and Raymond Burr) who want something of Mitchum's that he'd really like to hold onto.

The Fog (encore viewing)
Best sea-farin' leper ghost revengin' flick ever made. Still holds up surprisingly well after 25 years.

Cat People (encore viewing)
Classic! Simone Simon is extremely alluring as the troubled young woman of Serbian descent whose afraid to consummate her marriage for fear of tearing her hubby to bits in the throes of passion.

The Big Steal (encore viewing)
Robert Mitchum teams up with Jane Greer for a second time in this fast paced drama about a chase across Mexico to recover $200,000 in stolen U.S. Army payroll. While Lt. Halladay (Mitchum) and Joan (Greer) pursue Fiske (Patrick Knowles) -- the man who actually stole the money and Joan's ex-fiancé -- Capt. Blake (William Bendix) pursues them all for similar, but much more diabolical reasons. All-in-all, a fairly tight and enjoyable 71 minutes.

Caged Heat (first viewing)
Jonathon Demme's (Silence of the Lambs) exploitive debut spurred some of the best humorous comments in a good long while. A major plus was the ample -- and sometimes violent -- shower scenes. Definitely a crowd-pleaser, with chicks-crawling-in-vents and naked Rainbeauxs instead of chicks-standing-on-chicks.

College Girl Murders (first viewing)
Great visuals, groovy soundtrack, the best red hooded killer ever and poison spray delivered from a bible! Delivered on all levels.

Prime Cut (encore viewing)
Fast-paced, uneven flick with a few great moments. Reluctant, drugged up whores in pig pens was great, but the lame foot chase that culminates in Sissy Spacek and Lee Marvin being chased -- very slowly -- by a combine and a corn-field shot gun battle with the entire cast of Hee-Haw wasn't as compelling as it could have been. One shocking moment though was a scene that revealed just how HUGE Lee Marvin's head was! I was stunned.

Pray for the Wildcats - (74 - First Viewing)
70's mega-stars Andy Griffith, Robert Reed, Marjoe Gortner, Angie Dickinson and William Shatner compete for screen time in this melodrama that exploits the hell out of the 'dirt bike' craze that swept the nation in the early 70's. Reed, Gortner & Shatner are 3 spineless ad execs with loads of personal, family and job related baggage, doing everything they can to please a major client (Griffith) in order to keep him from taking his account elsewhere. Their chronic, corporate ass kicking culminates in reluctantly joining the adventure hungry Griffith on an ill-fated, 5-day dirt bike trek across Baja California. The true nature of this epic bunch of 'Born to be Mild' losers begins to emerge as they tear through the desert, stopping only long enough to get gas and liquor up. At one stop, Griffith - hopped up on way too much tequila - takes a shine to young hippy chick dancing in a cantina. When he gets a little too 'familiar' the cute little hippy chick's old man steps in -- setting off a chain of events that are so shameful I can't even bear to think about them. A couple of decent Shat moments and some HILARIOUS hippy humiliation made this 'Cheesy Rider' a fun one to watch one of those rainy evenings when your liquor cabinet is full and your mind is empty.

Halloween (78) - The Anchor Bay transfer is exquisite for this 25th Anniversary edition release of John Carpenter's classic that helped launch the modern American horror resurgence that continues today. A tremendous influence on those that followed (Friday the 13th, Prom Night, Terror Train, Scream), the original still maintains much of its original impact -- despite the 70's wardrobe and period lingo ("Totally!") Oh -- and despite what Annie says -- Laurie was right; Annie's Dad definitely COULD smell it.

The Spiral Staircase (46) - Pretty, young Helen (Dorothy McGuire) -- mute since early childhood -- is pursued by a deranged killer bent on ending her years of painful existence brought about by her debilitating affliction. A dark and stormy night, a spooky house filled with odd characters with hidden agendas and a crazed killer on the loose -- who could ask for more?

The 7th Victim (43) - Mary (Kim Hunter) scours the streets and back-alleys of Manhattan trying to locate her sister who's suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. With the help of her sister's boyfriend (Hugh Beaumont) and therapist (Tom Conway) she soon discovers that her older sibling has been cavorting with Satan worshippers, who she begins to suspect had more than just a little to do with her sister's disappearance. As the true nature of each person's relationship with her sister emerges, Mary's grasp of the situation becomes more and more convoluted and foggy -- reaching a point where she isn't sure who she can trust. The 7th Victim is an excellent mystery with a heady plot and a bleak, but very cool, ending that really makes you think.

The Curse of the Cat People (44) - Robert Wise helms this film 'sequel' that is less horror and more psychological drama. Curse of the Cat People picks up several years after the original and peers deep into the mind of the impressionable young daughter of Ollie and Alice Reed to remind us just how lonely and horrific growing up can be -- especially when you're parents are manifesting their unresolved issues from their own past directly through you in the present. There are some exceptional mood establishing sequences throughout, as the young heroine (Amy) seeks solace from her overbearing father through the friendship of a half-demented old woman and the spirit of her father's first wife -- the mysterious Irena (Simone Simon) from Cat People. I was captivated from the start and was very impressed by one of the most compelling performances by a child actor that I've ever witnessed. Ultimately, through shared experiences and a serious 'common sense' kick-to -the-head administered deftly by Amy's school teacher, Ollie, Alice and Amy receive the healing necessary to put their past behind them and move forward together as a family. After viewing this very satisfying film it is clear that although it is certainly not a sequel, it does serve as a great companion piece to the Jacque Tourneur directed, Val Lewton produced classic.

The Big Racket (76) - This swell Euro delivered on so many levels.  The amount of action was almost absurd and successfully paved over a few potholes in the plot, which could have been easily lost in translation -- literally.  The Testi Fiat roll was a highlight and the climactic gun battle was epic.

Brides of Dracula (60) - Great locations, colorful sets, an intriguing storyline and a very gullible (and extremely sexy!) Yvonne Monlaur made this Hammer classic a treat for both the eyes and the psyche.  Even the fact that Hammer mainstay Michael Ripper pulls a MAJOR Kinsky is forgivable.

The Body Snatcher (45) - Karloff was f-ing brilliant!  Nuff said...

The Haunted Palace (66) - Corman directed, Poe inspired H.P. Lovecraft tale of Charles Dexter Ward, a man who travels to the cursed village of his ancestors to reclaim the family palace only to fall victim to the evil that lurks beneath its foundation.  One of Vincent Price's finest performances as he portray two sides of the same character -- both host and possessor.  The range of emotion he displays throughout, without uttering a word, is incredible.

Macao (52) - As soon as he sees him walk down the gangplank, bad guy Vincent Halloran (Brad Dexter) mistakenly fingers Nick Cochran (Robert Mitchum) as the next in a long line of lawmen seeking to forcibly extradite him back to the US to face murder charges.  Turns out he's wrong.  Nick is nothing more than a down and out drifter who's afraid to go back home himself because of some trouble he got mixed up with in New York.  All he really cares about is reclaiming his passport and money from a sultry lounge singer Julie Benson (Jane Russell) who lifted it from him on the boat over from Hong Kong.  This case of mistaken identity permits the real fed (William Bendix)  -- masquerading as salesman Lawrence E. Trumble -- to get the goods on Halloran with relative ease.  Halloran's undoing starts when his girlfriend Margie (Gloria Grahame) rats him out.  Fueled by jealousy when Halloran hires Julie to sing at his casino -- for obvious reasons -- Margie springs Cochran from the clutches of Halloran's minions and provides a major assist in his ultimate capture.  Yes -- the plot has some major holes, but intrigue and action make up for at least some of that, and a couple of nice surprises and a strong cast make up for even more.


November 2005

Verson Jetorix watched:

LAST DAYS (05, first viewing)
Gus Van Sant's dream of Cobain's final hours is one of his very best films. It slithers and slides and folds back on itself like a lost thought. It is stunning at times, lyrical and funny at others and seemed to flow from the director like a completely unself-conscious act of empathy. It is gorgeous to look at, wonderful to listen to and the casting inspired. Bravo.

ZATOICHI AT LARGE (73, first viewing)
Okay entry, nothing too special. Visually interesting but the story's a bit tired. A couple of good sequences, some Z torture, and a little burning Z.

TERROR BENEATH THE SEA (66, first viewing)
I was disappointed in this little number that had been on my list forever. It has it's low-budget charm (there's some cool sets and stuff) but it was really childish and the efforts of the craftsmen on the production were sabotaged by inferior photography.

TETSUO II: BODY HAMMER (92, first viewing)
Not as compelling or as intense as TETSUO: IRON MAN, this had one showstopping moment when our hero blows up his own kid.

ICHI THE KILLER (01, first viewing)
Seriously sadistic crime entry has over-the-top violence and a fascinating main bad guy who's too evil even for the mob. Only the Japanese could come up with a nightmare world like this.

BEYOND AND BACK (78, first viewing)
Documentary about the near-death experience. This is 100% re-enactments of the basically the same thing over and over. And all of the people claim to have seen Jesus who looks like the hippied-out Brian Wilson.

STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER (75, encore viewing)
Ever so sleazy, the Blue Underground disc looks great. This excuse for nudity and murder lacks a good score and any subtlety whatsoever. Right up there with SLAUGHTER HOTEL for redeeming social value.

COME DIE WITH ME (74, first viewing)
Another inadequate film noir produced by Dan Curtis with George Maharis as a man who kills his brother and is blackmailed by the housekeeper who's in love with him. If this plot was filmed in the 1940s in stark b&w with a good cast it would be something to crow about. But not this version. Claustrophobic and miscast, this minor attempt is justly forgotten.

IDENTITY (03, first viewing)
I don't know how this ended up on my list.  When it first came out I'd pretty much decided that I wasn't that interested but for some reason it showed up again.  I enjoyed most of it although it wasn't that involving because you know something's up from the very beginning.  Cusack had a good character and Liotta's always interesting or has the potential to be interesting but nowadays he never plays a good guy so that was a dead giveaway, so to speak.  The chick that played the Vegas hooker was bad, bad and the dialog they gave her didn't help.  They gave it all away too early I thought and didn't need the prerequisite twist ending.  Not a total waste of time though, just in case you haven't seen it.

SIGNS (02, first viewing)
Enjoyed most of this. It's not all that common to find subtlety in modern Hollywood movies, so that was good.

SUSPIRIA (77, encore viewing)
Still amazing after all these years. And saw something new this time too! This is such a strong vision that I don't feel like watching it as often as say DEEP RED or TENEBRAE, but when I do get around to it (it had been almost four years since my last viewing) Argento's most fully realized film still blows me away.

THE TERROR (63, encore viewing)
If, god forbid, I had to narrow my favorite films down to 10, THE TERROR would definitely be on there. So am I saying it wouldn't make the top 5? No, I'm not saying that. It could be my favorite American film of all time. I realize the love of a particular object d'art is completely subjective so justifying that love is pointless, but just know that THE TERROR holds a special place in my appreciation of cinema. I never tire of it.

SATAN IN HIGH HEELS (62, first viewing)
Decent NYC cheapie noir about a bitch singer who uses everyone and winds up with nothing. Serves her right. J&B in b&w 22 minutes in.

THE VILLAGE (04, first viewing)
What can I say, I like Night's movies so far. I like his subtlety and his predilection for the supernatural. He's a bit corny sometimes but seems to improve on every picture. I'd watch any of his four again.

I enjoyed this funny adventure. I didn't read the books and I've heard that helps to appreciate the film.

THE CHURCH (89, encore viewing)
I still dig Soavi's baroque, subversive horror. One of the best from the Italians in the 80's.

SEVEN DEATHS IN A CAT'S EYE (73, encore viewing)
Finally! The Blue Underground disc of this gothic classic looks gorgeous and the print appears complete. I never realized the film was such a treat for the eyes! Great locations, costumes, lighting, etc. Margheriti's use of the frame is impressive. One can appreciate the film on a whole new level now. Thanks BU!

SHE WAITS (72, first viewing)
Gothic ghost chiller with Patty Duke and David McCallum. Murdered first wife takes possession of new second wife (Duke) for revengin' purposes. Only the ghost was too drunk when it was murdered so it can't remember who to take revenge on! This is totally enjoyable. A daft, tiny movie with a good score and gloomy atmosphere. Completely by the numbers until the wacked out ending.

ZATOICHI'S CONSPIRACY (73, first viewing)
It's almost an hour before the first swordplay but this is a good story with interesting visuals and good characters. The guy who played The Human Vapor kills himself. Only one Z left. I'm sorry to see the series end.

THE AMAZING MR. X (48, encore viewing)
Photographed by John "The Big Combo" Alton. My VHS copy looks really shitty. Maybe I can hold out and upgrade when (hopefully) a "restored" version is available.

CHINATOWN AFTER DARK (31, encore viewing)
I love these old yellow peril creakers. Sure the main Orientals are played by whitey but that was then. This one's about a dagger everyone's after that holds an emerald in a secret compartment in the handle.

I thought this was great. Very funny and inventive and the Deppmeister did a great job as always. Really fab.

NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (72, encore viewing)
The DVD looks great. This print is gorier than the TV print I was used to seeing. If you want a prime slice of 70's eco-horror hokum, this is the shit. Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun and a herd of oversized carnivorous hares.

THE LORELEY'S GRASP (72, encore viewing)
What a great title. This tit-rippin' monster mash from Amando de Ossorio is often overlooked but it's a bunch of delirious fun with Tony Kendall (dig those striped pants!), Helga Line, and a quickly depleting student body at a remote girl's school. Complete with red flash just before the monster attacks so you can close your eyes.

TARZANA, THE WILD GIRL (67, encore viewing)
Silly and stagebound, this tits'n'jungle adventure is a total hoot. Ken Clark and topless babes Franca Polesello (she's in the hunting party) and Femi Benussi (she's the hunted) run around a jungle set for 90 minutes.

THE SEDUCERS (70, encore vewing)
Another delirious Euro-entry, this notorious sexploiter abounds in bad taste and bitchin' babes. Edwige Fenech, Ewa Thulin, and the primo-donna of them all, Rosalba Neri run around in various states of undress in this contemplation on sex and death. Unbelievable.


Joe Violente watched:

See Verson's review above.

Fun mad scientist movie containing the most reaction shots i've seen in one movie and some photography that looked as though it were framed by a little kid. The debate will go on for years about the size of Peggy Neal's ass.

Nice weirdness from Shinya Tsukamoto that can't quite sustain for feature length. The poor picture quality and sound ruins any chance the movie had. Contains a couple themes he will explore later in more depth and one of the best kid death scenes ever.

Takashi Miike delivered what we demanded - his trademark outrageous ultra-violence, a cool anti-hero and lotsa black humor. I'm ready for more.

Buster Keaton's last silent movie is basically two movies: the first half is dull MGM interference and the second half is all wonderful Buster Keaton set-pieces. The TCM disc looks good but there's a lot of annoying sound effects added.

Funnier than hell Buster Keaton. And the heroine Marceline Day is pretty hot. The TCM disc looks pretty good and the new score isn't bad.

Watched it just to say I watched it and it's way worse than even I imagined. Ain't no TOOLBOX.

Weird early monster movie that's the missing link in the gore flick. If that's not Bruce Campbell's dad playing the pilot I'll shock myself with 10,000 volts and menace women in their underwear.

Fucking fabulous French film noir crime so fucking lean and cool I can't fucking stand it.

Man o man robby zombie's tobe hooper homage is better than his first tobe hooper homage all sadistic and ultra violent like and cruel but if he could just come up with some characters that were kinda real and villains not completely smug and obnoxious he'd really have something but this is obviously his style and it's shit so that's that. there's some minor characters worth mentioning: geoffry lewis (humialated and beat to death), p.j. soles (looking old and shot to death) , priscilla barnes (humiliated and stabbed to death) danny trejo (the mexicant), steve railsback (the racist cop that needed a bigger role), that fucked-up looking guy from THE HILLS HAVE EYES, and the black dude from romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD. And let's not forget sid haig as the clown (it sounds better than it is) . all in all i recall laughing at two funny lines, getting hot at all the dead chick footage and drinking a lot of bourbon and trying to name all the 70's sedans on display. How come those inbred backwood murderering necrophile fucks were so articulate and had such brilliant white teeth?

Mike Leigh draws some very realistic characters with his great cast but the last 45 minutes is watching Imelda Staunton weep after she gets busted for giving abortions.. Give the old bag the chair and shut her up already!

Mario Bava's innocent and irresistibly fun Hitchcockian thriller that would become the blueprint for the Giallo.

20 years since DAY OF THE DEAD and it really shows. They have been walking the earth all these years and the elite are still living large and exploiting the masses. there's nothing here except the trademark gore that would link it to the previous three movies. There's even some 911 references and a triumphant positive ending. it's so now - and time for romero to stick to mediocre stephen king adaptations.

Return of the Living Dead rip-off that has some cool dead decomposing demon kids. too bad it's so technically inept you can't have any fun with it. but i have to say i never expected to see an eight foot tall zombie poodle nor phyllis diller as an eight foot tall old hag zombie. too bad norman fell didn't turn into a zombie too.

It was really really cool to see Frank R. Paul's Amazing Stories cover art brought to cgi life as alien tripods snatched up earthlings with its tentacles for horrific purposes but other than that, it's the same old over done spielberg spectacle with bigger than life characters (a couple of the younger ones i woulda fed to the fucking martians right off) and irony that hits you in the face without the courtesy of a pope-size stack of cum towels. Earth rocks!

Another tv quality message movie from rolf de heer just like EPSILON. A much aged David Gulpilil is good as the tracker hunting down a black for the racist white lawman, but the story is trite and all the proper lessons are learned.

Nice title but i'm not sure how it fits into this poe story told giallo-style. Pretty standard twisty giallo but the cast is really good, especially Luigi Pistilli who does a fine job as a brooding alcoholic sadist, and the tone is nice and dark though out. A third of the way in Edwige Fenech shows up and adds more welcome sleaze to the story as she fucks pretty much everyone in the movie, and lets not forget the sinister ivan rassimov in a silver wig! Too bad daniela giordano dies before she can get naked. Quite enjoyable. No Shame's print and transfer are unfuckingbelievably clean and sharp.

This is one of those movies one person on the planet liked. Not me.

Brad Jeter watched:

HORROR CASTLE (63) (First Viewing) - Sexy Rosanna Podesta -- but cheesy
Georges Riviera. Twisted storyline -- but a bit monotonous at times.
Cool villain - but an overly loud, misplaced score.  Cool torture
chamber -- bad castle model close-ups.  Eerie landscape -- misfired
attempts at Bava-esque lighting to provide atmosphere.  Anthony Dawson -
aka Antonio Margheriti (Wild, Wild Planet) provides just enough
quirkiness and 'atrocity' quality dubbing to consider this one fun.
Would have been a whole lot better liquored up with a bunch of howling
atrocity buds though.

TERROR BENEATH THE SEA (66, first viewing)
Sonny Chiba chases mysterious sea creatures 3000 feet beneath the
surface.  Cheesy special effects, cool sets and bad dubbing made this
one fun for me.  Three shots of Knob Creek helped make it even better!

TETSUO II: BODY HAMMER (92, first viewing)
TETSUO II wasn't NEARLY as impressive as the original.  In fact, I'd say
that this one was a real dud -- in atrocity terms anyway.   Sure, there
was one scene that sticks with you (see Verson Jetorix's review above)
but one scene doesn't make a movie - even when you're likkered up.

ICHI THE KILLER (01, first viewing)
Bloody, over-the-top, unrelenting yakuza flick filled with
ultra-violence and very little redeeming social value.  In other words,
perfect atrocity material.   "Ichi" is certainly an opus that provides
more proof that Japanese filmmakers are some of the most disturbed
artists in the world!  But that's OK, as long as we continue to be the
beneficiaries of the sick and twisted results of their sexually
repressed madness.

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (53, first viewing)
Smarter than your average, run of the mill 50's mars invasion flick.
The plot is compelling and believable, and most of the performances
exceed the expected norm.  After all, if you were from another world and
you accidentally crash-landed here, wouldn't YOU do everything in YOUR
power to get the hell out of here as quickly as possible???  I thought


December 2005

Verson Jetorix watched:

CANDY SNATCHERS (73, first viewing)
Tries harder than most independent low-budget American crime films but a couple of good ideas and a downbeat ending don't outweigh the bad acting and a manipulative, plodding script.

VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS (73, first viewing)
A dark horse in the Italo-crime stakes, this baby came through with flying (in slow motion) colors. Right up there with the best Merli or Franco action thrillers.

MYSTICS IN BALI (81, first viewing)
This might be considered a good (or bad enough to be good) film in Indonesia but I found it tiresome.

I love this delirious ghost story. It has a good cast, including Farley Granger, Lucia Bose, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, lots of atmosphere, and a typically impenetrable story although some of the incoherance is no doubt due to the editing and dubbing of the English print. This would be nice to see uncut and widescreen.

MANIAC (63, encore viewing)
This is still one of the best early Hammer Hitchcockian thrillers. Kerwin Mathews is just right as the ladies man played for a sucker and the milieu and twists are interesting.

JUGGERNAUT (36, encore viewing)
Good ol' mad doctor Boris. The twists of fate are not kind to Boris but he kills for money so what do you expect?

UNLEASHED (05, first viewing)
This is really two movies; a good one and a bad one. The good one is a kickass martial arts/crime hybrid in the LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS fashion. Seriously rockin'. The bad one is a warm and fuzzy family story made bearable only by Jet Li's naive charms. Bob Hoskins is great as the second-rate gangster who uses Jet to annihilate the competition.

FEARLESS (77, encore viewing)
Not a very good Merli movie but it has some really good moments and some good tunes amidst the derivative plot. Why Merli wears overalls for the first half is a mystery we'll never unravel.

Good old-fashioned 50's shocker that would have been a classic had William Castle directed it instead of Ed Cahn. As it is, FSJD has a cheesy, clean style and an aging Henry Daniell going for it and a dull script working against it. I still like it because it has a generic quality that satisfies the urge for low-budget spooks.

THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT (72, encore viewing)
Speaking of satisfaction, this prime slice of Euro-gothic, drive-in horror never fails to please me with its craggy locations, devil plot, and the classic image of the blood-covered nude body of Rosalba Neri.

WAR OF THE WORLDS (05, first viewing)
While I thought the human drama was weak (especially that typically awful tacked-on ending) it was an amazing and scary spectacle. I was impressed. It was nice to see Gene Barry at the end too.

KING KONG (33, encore viewing)
Great to finally have this classic on DVD. It looks good and Fay's hot but the monkey still dies.

THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME IN MY LIFE (94, encore viewing)
First in a trio of hip private detective tales starring Maiku Hama. Cool style and attitude are the key ingredients holding this up and I'm looking forward to revisiting the next one.

SUDDEN FEAR (52, first viewing)
Joan Crawford is an heiress seduced by Jack Palance but Palance is in cahoots with Gloria Grahamme to get Joan's money. When Joan learns of this she plots revenge dependent on many coincidences. This "women's noir" gave Joan one last chance to shine before her career and her sanity took a dive. A pretty fun watch with nice photography, the ending is one of those morality plays that lets the heroine off the hook.

THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG (39, encore viewing)
Boris goes revengin' as a mad doctor unjustly hanged but brought back to life with his own invention by Bryan Folger. Boris has a good time killing until a frail - in the form of his own daughter - throws a wrench into his plans.

AMUCK (71, encore viewing)
A fine and dreamy tale of decadence gone awry. A great cast (Farley Granger, Rosalba Neri, Barbara Bouchet) and a druggy Hitchockian plot make this a clear and perennial winner.

FOUR BROTHERS (05, first viewing)
Although not a particulary good movie (it's a Detroit western), a fine cast makes this an enjoyable revenge flick. Wahlberg's good in this type of hardass role and there's a cool car chase in the snow.

THE BROTHERS GRIMM (05, first viewing)
Answer: Uhm, it had good set design? Question: What the hell's good about this movie?

A QUIET PLACE TO KILL (70, encore viewing)
A prime slice of Euro-Hitchockian fun with a pill-popping, J&B-chugging Carroll Baker and a jailbait-fucking, murderous Jean Sorel. They make a great pair.

PUZZLE (74, encore viewing)
Gorgeous Senta Berger with chainsaw. Need I say more? Anita Strindberg pulls a kinski and Luc Merenda phones it in but this is still quite the enjoyable little drug-related mystery.

CROSS CURRENT (71, encore viewing)
Good Euro ambience flick with Philippe Leroy, Elga Andersen, Franco Ressel, Ivan Rassimov, and Rosanna Yanni, all of whom drink J&B and some of whom survive the nonsensical, twisty murder plot.

CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT (72, encore viewing)
Solid giallo stuff with another groovy cast: Anthony Steffen, Sylva Koscina, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, and Umberto Raho. Blind Tony tries to figure out how the cat from YOUR VICE... got into his movie! Tits and gore but lacks a good score.

ZATOICHI (89, first viewing)
The series goes out with a bang. Katsu directs, it looks great, and there's lots of bloodshed. That bath scene is hot stuff! I'd vote this one the second best in the long string of excellent Z movies. Long live Zatoichi!


Joe Violente watched:

Pretty good thriller about a couple of guys who take a shortcut into supernatural new zealand rural evil.

No one can accuse enzo of pulling punches -  banned in the u.k most likely for the gang rape of a young girl, or maybe it was the woman that was raped, pissed on and burned alive. i guess the limey censors thought it was in poor taste. in the end it's an outrageously fun and ultra violent and tasteless revenge movie, castellari-style.

I've never been much of a luc merenda fan but he's really likeable here as the over-the-top justice-at-any-fucking-price inspector, although the role is much more suited for maurizio merli (he wouldn't be in a cop movie for another two years). Lots of action and violence and car chases and starring a who's who of 70's italian action movies. Top notch.

Lives up to its outrageous rep but everyone forgot to mention how dull and annoying it is.

Often inept and laughable but still it delivers some sick thrills and a freaky retarded looking kid and a bleak ending.

Very annoying vat 69 movie with overwrought characters, overbearing music, laughable attempts at tension and kids that should have died horribly during the opening credits. the only thing not over done is lucretia love's brief nude scene.

No Shame deserves a medal for yet another great looking (for the most part) italian exploitation movie. although this one is short on exploitation and the pacing is terrible, remarkably, it's still pretty enjoyable. luc merenda is a by-the-book cop this time who looks like he's wandering around in a dream - at least this is better than most of the dreams i wander around in. i recommend the italian 5.1 because it's a really really bad dub job and they really boosted the cool pounding soundrack. Grab a bottle of J&B and it's worth the time.

Coming of age tale that is often interesting but for the most part feels as if it were made by some high school kids (bad make-up and plastics fangs etc). in the end it's a worthy, perverse failure. i'd have preferred a hardcore version.

Okay crime movie that was supposed be a western. Luc Merenda is the amoral arrogant mobster and some southern stoic charles bronson kinda guy is the good guy that shows up and pits two mobs against each other. Sound familiar? Atrocity count: No cops, lots of gun death, a couple rapes, an odd strip tease where wires pull the whore's clothes off, J&B obscura , revenge, no car chases, a quick bear cub, one great and familiar groovy eurotune on a radio, some tits, wide leg jeans and wide short ties, a knowing blind girl, a guy thrown into a huge stack of plastic bottles at a warehouse, and the hero's hands get smashed but he practices throwing knives until he's good enough for his final revenge.

Fay Wray is really hot and there's lots of cool models and sets and some pretty good monkey action. It didn't disappoint.

Fun and stylish blend of comedy, action and japanese cool. Jo Shishido takes the time to rough up our hero in a cool cameo. Kino's dvd is washed out and soft. This movie deserves better.

This one doesn't really get started until the second act when it finally focuses on the criminal element and there's a great surreal sequence near the end but it's bogged down by too much unnecessary melodrama for me. Jo Shishido shows up again in a goofy hat. Overall disappointing follow-up. Kino's dvd is washed out and soft.

Another revenge movie from Chan-wook Park. Although less stylish than OLDBOY, it's still a good story where all the characters are reasonable and likable so there's no one to root for when the revenjin starts and gets out of control right up to the tragic and uncompromising end. I can't wait for LADY VENGEANCE.

Tarantino and the Coen brothers by way of Takashi Miike. Despite a confused style that tries too hard to be hip and a story with a lot left unexplained this isn't bad and is actually fun at times, thanks to a very reserved Tadanobu Asano and a weird annoying Devo-like hit man that ends up being likable by the bloody end. The kino dvd is soft and the sound a flat prologic.

David Gordon Green's main strength is creating realistic characters and dialog, and this truthful love story in a small mill town is no exception. It's a nice looking movie and the leads have great chemistry which makes it all the more painful when their romance goes to hell. An indy well worth the time.

STAR WARS III (who cares)
It's sad that it came down to Anakin selling out a whole galaxy just to save the first piece of ass he ever got. A medal goes to Ewan McGregor who actually manages to add some honest unjedilike emotion (and acting ability) to this movie without being laughable (especially in the scene where he butchers Darth Vader). The main problem with this movie is that lucas didn't give samuel l jackson an automatic so he'd fit in better. Or let him say motherfucker or nigger. What's up yoda, my little green nigger? I lowered my expectations to the lowest they would go so i managed to make it all the way through, although i did eyeball the fast forward button during the painful scenes between christensen and portman.

This one has a fine cast but it's Robert Mitchum that carries the story right up to the end. Having seen it before you'd think I'd be more prepared for the poorly edited and silly final act that feels like a different director took over, but it still makes me cringe.

This is totally Robert Montgomery's show and his odd tough guy asshole performance keeps it pretty funny and entertaining. I've been wanting to see this for years and now I think I need to watch it again.

Terrible movie that gets kinda funny when the lead grows a turkey head and goes on a murder rampage after smoking some tainted shit. I know, it sounds irresistible but it gets old fast.

After a first half hour that drags on and on it gets good once the hapless couple finally reaches Creepy Kid Island. There's some good tense scenes as they slowly realize something isn't right and when they do, the kids are more relentless than fucking zombies. It has a lofty premise hinting that it's time for the children to stop being victims, but in the end our protagonists still have to machine gun them down to get off the island. Because of the of the sound and some poorly synced dialog the short english language copy would be preferable to the this uncut version. Okay, you're waiting for it so here it is: WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? ain't no HOUSE THAT SCREAMED.


Brad Jeter watched:

The Ice Harvest (05) - John Cusack has made a career of playing
despicable characters that you can't help but love and The Ice Harvest
provides great atmosphere for his latest anti-hero.  Unfortunately,
despite the gloriously gloomy sets and good performances by Oliver Platt
and Cusack, the film is ultimately dragged down by WAY too little
Billy-Bob and a disjointed and predictable storyline that tries too hard
to be like it's more successful cousins in the genre -- like Fargo,
Blood Simple and even Out of the Past.  And this makes for a drinkable,
but unsatisfying cocktail.