2008

Verson Jetorix watched:

 

Verson Jetorix watched:

 

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (59, encore)
This baby will always hold up.

 

 

X THE UNKNOWN (56, encore)
Perfect fix for that serious-spooky-black-and-white-British-sci-fi jones.
 

 

UFO SYNDROME (80)
I need a space probe and I need it now!  Yet another pseudo-documentary from the golden age of such things.  I've collected about 30 of these films so far, and each has its own identity.  Among other interesting characteristics, this one is narrated by the ever welcome Anthony Eisley, deep miner of no-budget gold.
 

 

TRISTRAM SHANDY (06)
Subtitled: A Cock and Bull Story.  A movie about making a movie.  I liked it and thought it was funny.
 

 

100 RIFLES (68)
Routine Mexican revolution western shot in Spain with a good cast in Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds, and the drop dead gorgeous Raquel Welch.

 

 

THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE (06)
Enjoyable biopic of the world's most famous fetish model.  Could have explored that 50s New York underworld even further.  Gretchen Mol delivers.

 

 

KOYAANISQATSI (83, encore)
The greatest music video of all time.

 

 
 

WE JAM ECONO (05)
The story of The Minutemen.  Good documentary on the influential band.
 

 

CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS (37)
Superior CC outing not only features footage of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, but also has CC riding the Hindenburg zeppelin which actually blew up in New Jersey before the film came out!  Early role for Allan "Rocky" Lane who went on to big time cowboy stardom.
 

 

NIGHT OF THE DAMNED (71)
A famous investigative journalist is drawn into the mysteries of a demonic witch cult.  Features Pierre (Mill of the Stone Women) Brice, topless sacrificial babes, and lots of Euro-gothic atmosphere.  Unfortunately, my lousy copy can only hint at what must be a damn good looking movie.
 

 

DEATH ON THE FOURPOSTER (64)
Curious, odd, compelling French-Italian production.  A group of twenty-somethings head up to Michel Lemoine's castle for the weekend.  A medium (John Drew Barrymore) shows up, predicts murder, and splits the scene.  Everyone drinks J&B, plays suggestive games, etc until one of them turns up dead.  Kinda twisty, pretty nifty, with a wall-to-wall jazz soundtrack.
 

 

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON (07)
Excellent documentary on a writer extraordinaire.
 

 
 

GORILLA OF SOHO (68)
Not the funnest of the late-cycle German Edgar Wallace flicks (it's a remake of Dead Eyes of London), but it does have a bunch of nudity and a decent-sized role for Herbert Fux.

 

 

BARON BLOOD (72, encore)
Looks great, less filling.  Despite several well-staged sequences, this revenge-from-the-grave potboiler seems as tired as the director must have been at this point.

 

 

APACHE (54)
One of the sympathetic "Indian Westerns" that came out in the 50s.  Based on a true story, Burt Lancaster plays Massai, last of the Apache warriors who goes revengin'.  Pretty good, with a somewhat interesting supporting cast (Charles Bronson, etc), but the original downbeat ending would have been better than the happy ending mandated by the studio.

 

 

CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB (64, encore)
Probably the best of the Hammer series after their original in '59.  Good, clean widescreen fun.
 

 

HORROR OF BLACKWOOD CASTLE (67)
The late-cycle additions to my Edgar Wallace library have been surprisingly enjoyable, and the high quality releases form Sinister Cinema certainly help.  Second string leads Heinz Drache and Horst Tappert are joined by first string hotties Karin Baal and Uta Levka.

 

 

WITHOUT WARNING (52)
Mix of police procedural and serial killer stalkings is somewhat successful if a bit weak in the casting dept.  The preoccupation with the newly completed sections of LA freeways is an interesting visual plus.

 

 

MANFISH (56)
Lon Chaney and Victor Jory in an undersea adventure story set in Jamaica and loosely based on a couple of Poe stories.  OK.

 

 

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (56)
Fun low-budget programmer with an interesting cast.  The lovable Lon Chaney is the criminal returned from the dead to go revengin'.  Seems like it's right out of the 40s.  Includes footage of Lon at the Bradbury Building, and some nice photography in the LA sewers.

 

 

SCREAM OF FEAR (61, encore)
Creepy gothic mystery from Hammer holds up nicely.

 

 

PARANOIA (69, encore)
Umberto Lenzi's enjoyably sleazy descent into debauchery still holds up for anyone interested in that Euro-ambience.  And J&B.  ETC's cut has lots more nudity than versions watched previously.
 

 

CQ (02)
Made me want to watch a Bava or (the unmentioned) Margheriti.  Giancarlo Giannini was great: "There are two kinds of movies; those with endings and those without endings."  Liked it over all.
 

 

ONE MILLION AC/DC (69)
Prehistoric softcore sex romp from the mind of Ed Wood.  Pointless.
 

 

MIGHTY GORGA (69)
Sometimes it feels good to watch a depressingly cheap, fever dream of a movie, especially if it has Anthony Eisley, Scott Brady (who out acts everyone involved), and Kent Taylor.  They all look hungover, and i feel better about my life.

 

 

ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (61)
Gordon Mitchell kicks monster ass while foxy queen Chelo Alonso watches longingly.  Curiously, this cheap peplum features BLOOD AND BLACK LACE co-stars Dante Di Paolo and Massimo Righi.


 

 

THE FOOT FIST WAY (06)
Oddly affecting little indie comedy about a clueless martial arts teacher who finally practices what he preaches.  Hilarious.

 

 

MASSACRE TIME (66)
Enjoyable enough spaghetti with a winning team of Nero and Hilton.

 

 

PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID (73) Special Edition
I read about this re-edit somewhere a while back and it lives up to its reputation as a superior version of the film.  The scissors don't completely save the day but I was struck by Peckinpah's sure hand as a director and as a subtle visual stylist.  The two leads aren't faves of mine - although this could be James Coburn's finest hour - but the supporting cast is pure fucking gold.

 

 

PRETTY POISON (68)
Black comedy about a murderous majorette that flummoxed the marketing dept and turns out better than expected.  Tuesday Weld looks like a million bucks.


 

 

WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH (69)
Some nudity and good dinosaur work, courtesy of Jim Danforth, make this worth seeing once for fans of either.
 

 

Joe Violente watched:

 

WE JAM ECONO (05)
Good economical documentary on the The Minutemen, a band i'd always known about but really knew nothing about.
 

 

X-FILES - I WANT TO BELIEVE (08)
This movie can still be saved... by adding a laugh track.
 

 

A BULLET FOR SANDOVAL (69)
The downbeat story, often quite grim, and good cast make this a fun one even though there had to be at least one reel missing from the version I watched.
 

 

PIECES (82)
Extremely fun for all the wrong reasons.
 

 

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO (07)
A nice looking movie (especially the snowy finale) with lots of Takashi Miike signature outrageousness but it's all uninvolving and even the action scenes are tired and repetitive. Just like his THREE EXTREMES segment, shooting it in English was a big mistake.
 

 

GERRY (02)
I can't even begin to explain why this movie is so riveting...

 

 

PARANOID PARK (07)
Strangely affecting story of a disconnected youth who makes a small mistake with huge consequences. The minimalist approach and experimental photography, which van Sant has perfected, works well while some of the acting is too amateurish, even for non-actors.
 

 

THE FALL (06)
Visually impressive (think BARAKA as a children's story) and imaginative but most of it feels borrowed and it gets all fucking weepy near the end. I wished it had lived up to the stunning black and white opening credit sequence.
 

 

GRAVE ROBBERS (90)
Grave robbers accidentally unleash one of Satan's disciples resulting in a huge Mexican body count. Tolerable time-waster in desperate need of T&A.
 

 

SAVAGE STREETS (84)
One of my favorite pieces of 80's trash finally gets a decent dvd release.
 

 

ROBO VAMPIRE (88)
Ridiculous story and wonderfully delirious dubbing just aren't enough, even likkered up.
 

 

IRONMAN (08)
Terribly simple and overly long but fun enough thanks to Robert Downey Jr.
 

 

THE INSATIABLE (06)
Sean Patrick Flanery captures a beautiful vampire and locks her up the basement in this quite watchable working class vampire movie.  Needed more Michael Biehn and some nudity though.
 

 

THE FOOT FIST WAY (06)
Enjoyable comedy with the funniest break-up line ever.

 

 

MOTHER OF TEARS (06)
Mater Lachrymarum has breast implants, which is indicative of the care that went into this terribly sad attempt to cash in on SUSPIRIA and INFERNO.

Left: Philippe Leroy in a cameo.

 

END OF AUGUST AT THE HOTEL OZONE (67)
The few minutes spent at an abandoned town is the best part of this mildly interesting post-apocalyptic fragment. And don't expect to see any disclaimer about not harming any animals. I won't judge them because maybe the cast and crew ate the dog.
 

 

 

Aug:

Verson Jetorix watched:

JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN (07)
Completely cool doc about Joe Stummer (and therefore The Clash) using his own words and those of his friends including John Cusack and Johnny Depp and others.  There's quite a bit of film of Joe as he grew up thru his entire stint with The Clash and beyond.  A moving portrait of someone who cared.  Highly recommended for fans and those who think that music can matter.
 

 

IN BRUGES (08)
Near-great hit man movie that pretty much redeems Mr. Eyebrows.
 

 
 

Joe Violente watched:

 

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE (76)
I liked this as a kid, but now it's just a routine thriller that really misses out. The highlights are when pedophile Martin Sheen puts his cigarette out on a hamster (see photo and detail) and seeing Jodi Foster's naked body double.
 

 

INVADERS FROM MARS (86)
Okay remake with plenty of references and in-jokes to keep it going. The little kid can't act though.
 

 

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (65)
Mars needs women and better skullcaps & make-up artists. Strange and mildly entertaining (if you are in the right state of mind) sci-fi cheapy comprised mostly of stock footage and library music.
 

 

MARS NEEDS WOMEN (67)
Martians knock off a gas station, steal a big Buick and acquire some suits so they can pickup some consensual earth trim in this oddly entertaining sci-fi movie. Often called one of the worst movies ever made but it's hardly that.
 

 

RUN RONNIE RUN (02)
A redneck gets his own reality show because he gets arrested so much. Fast paced and mostly successful, this comedy is a good showcase for David Cross' talents.
 

 

THE LOST BOYS (87)
The blu-ray makes it look good but this is just another Joel Schumacher hackjob that surprisingly isn't even watchable as 80's camp as i had hoped.
 

 

BROKEN TRAIL (06)
Some cowboys rescue four Chinese women and girls who were on their way to be sold as whores. Duvall is great and the extensive outdoor locations are very nice looking (especially in HD) but the story can't really sustain its three hour length past the halfway mark.
 

 

KARAOKE TERROR (03)
Luckily there isn't that much karaoke but there isn't that much terror either. It's a Takashi Miike wannabe but none of the characters are interesting and it's far too restrained except for the very outrageous ending.
 

 

THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER (65)
Well cast but ultimately mediocre western about the ungrateful Elder boys returning home for Ma's funeral but ending up doing some revenjin.
 

 

Confessions of a Young American Housewife (74)
"Your tits drive me out of my bird!" With this suburban swap-set picture, Joe Sarno admirably tries for so much but ultimately pushes his actors beyond their abilities. Still, it was worth watching.
 

 

DAY OF THE DEAD (08)
I guess it was when a zombie crawled across the ceiling that i realized this was a remake in title only, ignoring the original, and even the recent remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD, instead being a blatant 28 DAYS LATER rip-off.
 

 

IN BRUGES (08)
Hilarious and well cast hit man movie.
 

 

SHOTGUN STORIES (07)
An asshole alcoholic father leaves his mean wife and three young sons only to find Jesus and start a new family, raising four new sons in a loving environment, but when he dies, the seven sons end up clashing with each other in this terrific, low-key drama.
 

 

 

June/July:

Verson Jetorix watched:

10,000 BC (07)
Okay prehistoric adventure is, predictably, more concerned with CGI wonders (pretty good) than with character development or an interesting story.
 

 

CONTROL (07)
Excellent biopic about Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division (which became New Order).  Sam Riley gives a killer performance as the tortured, doomed artist.  Highly recommended.
 

 

THE GRAND (07)
Semi-successful mockumentary with a cast good enough to make this worth while.
 

 

BE KIND REWIND (08)
I will be kind and call this an okay comedy with a good heart.  It has its moments.

 

 

I'M NOT THERE (07)
Recently I watched the Bob Dylan documentary NO DIRECTION HOME, and I'm glad I did, because I wouldn't have had any idea what was going on in this movie without some knowledge of Bob and his controversial career.  Thankfully, I had the background knowledge in place to enjoy this clever, funny, and altogether unusual, remarkable film for fans.
 

 

BLACK TORMENT (64, encore)
Cool little gothic chiller from Richard Hartford-Davis (BLACK GUNN).  A doppelganger threatens the landed gentry in this costume drama with lots of supernatural overtones, atmosphere, and a grand sword fight finale.
 

 

CLOVERFIELD (07)
Awesome monster movie, the best I've seen in a long time.  The immediacy and lack of explanation make this very convincing.  Highly recommended.

 

 

BLUE (68)
The Overlook Encyclopedia of Westerns calls this "a beautifully photographed piece of silliness," and I can't disagree.

 

 

 

Joe Violente watched:

INVISIBLE GHOST (41)
Absurd poverty row supernatural murder mystery written and executed without imagination or style.
 

 

TOBOR THE GREAT (54)
Deeming it too dangerous for man to go into space, two scientists create a telepathically controlled robot! This is your standard robot meets boy, robot loses boy, robot gets boy back story, all seemingly written by a 12 year old boy.
 

 

RAIDERS OF THE LOST GOLD (82)
Ineptly humorous jungle romp for some lost Japanese gold. A stewed Stuart Whitman managed to do some of his own dubbing but so did two other voice artists! And no, he doesn't manage to balance that J&B bottle on his eye.
 

 

CONTROL (07)
Focused, thoughtful and restrained. If you don't see this,  you're a daft cunt.
 

 

HELL'S GROUND (07)
A group of free thinking students break away from their oppressive parents to attend a forbidden rock concert only to end up in a living hell. With this movie, Islamabad has unleashed a new type of terrorism: the Pakistani gore film.
 

 

EL DORADO (66)
Lots of fast paced fun.
 

Pictured left: James Caan doing his best Chinaman, and the lookout actually falls for it.
 

 

ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES (59)
Ken Clark is the clueless game warden in is this occasionally competent horror cheapy. It would have helped if the blurry print was even blurrier when the vinyl leeches are on screen.
 

 

BEFORE I HANG  (40)
Pretty routine mad doctor movie but it's worth watching thanks to Karloff and Edward Van Sloan.

 

 

FUN (94)
Very good indy about a couple of damaged teenage girls who meet one afternoon, strike up an intense bond and kill an old lady.
 

Pictured left: Alicia Witt gets her hair caught in some razor wire - the unscripted moment of the month.

 

OUT OF THE BLUE (07)
Absolutely riveting dramatization of New Zealand's worst case of mass murder.
 

 

I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE (58)
I never bothered to watch this, fearing a silly teenager movie, but it's actually quite serious and pretty good.
 

 

DIARY OF THE DEAD (07)
Worse than i expected. Romero should just give it up. I'm glad i didn't turn it off though - there's a good three minutes of hilarious Lady Terminator like absurdity near the end.
 

 

I AM LEGEND (07)
Besides the upgraded mutants, this overblown remake simply replaces one cheesy movie for another.  Looked very nice in HD though, even the parts i fast-forward through...
 

 

THE FRIGHTENED WOMAN (69)
Stylish and sexy -  a real gem.
 

 

THE ORPHANAGE (07)
Creepy and moving.

 

 

CLOVERFIELD (07)
It's nice to see a huge monster movie again. The one camera setup works great here. I'm ready to watch it again.

 

 

May:

MR. MOTO'S GAMBLE (38)
Not the weakest of the series due to a better cast.  But the comedy relief of Maxie Rosenbloom nearly ruins this murder mystery with a boxing milieu.  Lon Chaney has a bit as a thug.
 

 

STORM RIDER (THE BIG SHOWDOWN) (72)
Baroque murder mystery spaghetti western that suffers from schizophrenia: half of it is impressive and interesting.  The other half, not so much.  Lee Van Cleef and Horst Frank.

 

 

THE WEEKEND MURDERS (70)
Italian "Agatha Christie" whodunit complete with annoying score, camp performances, zoom lens shenanigans, and attempted humor.  Giacomo Rossi Stuart and Ida Galli cannot save this lesser film by Michele Lupo.
 

 

MR. MOTO TAKES A VACATION (39)
Embarrassing and annoying, the final film in the Moto series is relieved only by Lorre and an underused Lionel Atwill.

 

 

THE RETURN OF MR. MOTO (65)
What follows a cool title sequence is a cheapjack espionage thriller about oil leases with Henry Silva in the title role.  Talky and stagebound, this nevertheless has the appeal of 60s Brit TV.  Believe it or not, this nice letterbox print is an extra on the Lorre Moto disc, Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation.

 

 

  

THE BLACK CASTLE (52)
Much underrated Gothic adventure with horror overtones (Karloff and Chaney).  This is actually a finely cast, staged, and photographed swashbuckler that only disappoints if one expects any more.
 

 

  

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (58, encore)
One of the best 50s sci-fi monster movies, period.  Makes up for atmosphere and tension what it lacks in logic.
 

 

CATMAN OF PARIS (46)
Gothic thriller from Republic Pictures that not only features a real honest-to-god monster but has a kick-ass fistfight (with leaping) and a carriage chase just like the serials the studio was producing at the time.



 

 

DELIRIOUS (06)
Tom DiCillo's comment on fame and friendship, love and betrayal isn't as profound as it wants to be but it has a good cast and several winning moments.


 

 

THE ORPHANAGE (07)
Creepy horror from Spain about a creepy house with creepy dead kids and stuff.  Looks great, lots of atmosphere, and a pretty good little mystery.  Muy creepioso!

 

 

BLAST OF SILENCE (61)
Cool little indy about a hit man on the job in New York at Christmas time. High aspirations, raw b&w photography, a wall-to-wall jazz soundtrack, and a downbeat ending make this a minor classic.

 

 

THE SAVAGES (07)
Dark comedy about death and dying, and handling same.  Excellent lead performances and a deft touch keep this from sinking under its own weight.

 

 

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (07)
One fucked up heist.  Enjoyable trip to hell.
 

 

SWEENY TODD (07)
I wanted to like this more than I did.  The look is superb and most of the cast is great but there's way too much singing for my taste!  Once was enough.



 

 

WALK HARD (07)
Dewey Cox rox.  Very funny phony biopic.  The 70s section is so accurate it's disturbing.  I love it when he marries (the real) Cheryl Tiegs so she becomes Cheryl Cox-Tiegs.

 

 

UNDYING MONSTER (42, encore)
John Brahm's comfortably stage-bound take on THE WOLF MAN (crossed with The Hound of the Baskervilles) is fun from top to bottom.

 

 

HANGOVER SQUARE (45, encore)
Shanghaied into a bastardization of their own THE LODGER, Brahm and Laird Cregar pull off a worthy (yet uneven) film with a better than ever performance from the doomed leading man.

 

 

DEATH AT A FUNERAL (07)
After Frank Oz's very black, Brit comedy finds its footing, it had me rolling in the aisles.  Hearty laughs with a spot on cast.  Recommended for those with a twisted sense of humor.

 

 

MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD (57, encore)
Fun fifties monster movie with a beefy Tim Holt puttin' down the MTCTW.
 

 

CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE  ISLAND (39)
Fun entry (that many consider the best of the Sydney Toler Chan films) featuring lots of magic, sťances, mind readings, and spooky stuff like that.  A young Caesar Romero cuts a thin, suave figure.
 

 

THE SKULL (65, encore)
It's great to see THE SKULL again.  Having only seen the square version, the widescreen is a revelation.  Freddie Francis' compositions tell so much of the story that it's almost like watching a different film.  Peter Cushing is amazing.  Creepy, classy, old-fashioned, nearly perfect.
 

 

MAFIOSO (62)
Really good story about a Milanese business man (Alberto Sordi) who takes his family back to where he grew up in Sicily for a vacation, and while there, gets tapped by the local Don to do a killing.  The early scenes have a comic tone but it turns dark as the mysterious deed is revealed.  Sordi's foxy wife is played by Norma Bengell from PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES.  Recommended.
 

 

PHANTOM OF CRESTWOOD (32)
Enjoyable old house mystery with some unusual directorial flourishes.  A hot Karen (MASK OF FU MANCHU) Morley plays a cold twist who attempts to blackmail several of her rich, married paramours.  And she dies for it.  Ricardo Cortez is the gangster who tries to nail the murderer before the cops finger him for the deed.
 
 

 

KNIVES OF THE AVENGER (65)
This Viking Western holds up well as a nuanced exploitation actioner aping SHANE.  Too bad we don't get Cam the Man's real voice, but his performance, his last for Bava, is one of his best.
 

 
 

INVASION (65)
Despite being impoverished and artistically clumsy, this understated, b&w Brit sci-fi has atmosphere to spare, and enough odd touches to keep things interesting.
 

 

 

THE INVISIBLE TERROR (63)
An invisibility serum falls into criminal hands.  Interesting for its aping of the Edgar Wallace/Dr. Mabuse krimi stylings, in the form of stark b&w photography and scary jazz.  Three piece suit Herbert Fux.
 

 

WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY (07)
Black comedy has a sweet edge that makes it a clear winner.  Guy who commits suicide ends up in a place like here but "a little worse."  When he hears his girlfriend offed herself too, he joins up with a Russian rocker (who killed himself during a gig) on a road trip to find her.  Check it out.
 

 

PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (65, encore)
Still totally cool, of course.  This influential  and artistically impressive film never fails to amaze.
 

 

SNOW DEVILS (65)
One of the four sci-fi flicks Margheriti cranked out in the same year.  This is the earthbound one (part of the time) but it is no less "spacey" than the others.  Giacomo Rossi-Stuart discovers that the Yeti are an alien race bent on freezing our planet.  Damn them!  Cool tunes by Lavagnino too.

 

 

RUSHMORE (98)
A great American comedy, a great American film.
 


 

 

I AM LEGEND (07)
Clearly the best film version of Matheson's famous story despite the necessary artificiality.


 

 

CRY OF THE WEREWOLF (44)
Mild horror from Columbia Pics with Nina Foch as a gypsy princess who inherited the werewolf gene from her mom.  Some nice atmosphere.  Worth another look someday.

 

 

REVOLVER (05)
Guy (SNATCH) Ritchie's gangsters get a Lynchian tinge in this cerebral cinematic labyrinth.  I liked it for its desperate sense of style as it implodes on itself.  Statham holds his own.

 

 

CHARLIE CHAN IN RENO (39)
Convoluted mystery has Charlie in the divorce capital of the USA clearing up a murder in a hotel.  Features a few creepy scenes in a "ghost town" and the somewhat oily Ricardo Cortez and Kane "Spy Smasher" Richmond.

 

 

MR. MOTO IN DANGER ISLAND (39)
Peter Lorre vacations in Puerto Rico (not really) and dismantles a diamond smuggling ring.  So-so series entry.

 

 

WE OWN THE NIGHT (07)
Excellent crime drama from the good brother/bad brother school.  Great cast and performances, and a primo car chase.
 

 

THE BLACK CAMEL (31)
Charlie Chan investigates the death of an actress in Hawaii.  Also features Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye!  Atmospheric but pretty darn creaky.
 

 

KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON (07)
Excellent meditation on Cobain shot as a collage of audio interviews with him, images of the northwest places he haunted, and the music that left impressions on his life.  A must for fans, and for those who were around Seattle in the golden days of grunge
 

 

THE DARJEELING LIMITED (07)
Really liked this latest Wes Anderson journey.  Could be his best so far.  Funny, poignant, great cast, an all-round winner.
 

 

BEOWULF (07)
Impressive computer animation applied to an ancient tale.  Entertaining enough, if not a legendary film.

 

 

VOODOO ISLAND (57)
A Bel-Air Production.  My expectations were in the cellar for this minor Karloff vehicle, which is maybe why it didn't seem so terrible.  Elisha Cook's in it.
 

 

BEHIND THE MASK (32)
Jack Holt may save the day from the seriously evil mad doctor (Edward Van Sloan), but it's Constance Cummings you'll remember.
 

 

MAN WHO WOULDN'T DIE (42)
Michael Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) breezes through a surprisingly creepy mystery number from the lower half of the bill.
 

 

MARK OF THE TORTOISE (64)
Cool German imitation Edgar Wallace flick with Klaus Kinski skulking around in the shadows.
 

 

WEB OF VIOLENCE (66)
Brett Halsey navigates a labyrinthine Rome on the trail of his missing ex-girlfriend.  It's Margaret Lee you'll remember tho.
 

 

SWEET SOUND OF DEATH (65)
Creepy Spanish modern gothic has enough going for it to recommend.  Guy is haunted from beyond the grave by his recently dead girlfriend.  Lots of gray, rainy Euro-weather and impressive locations.
 

 

BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (64, encore)
Brutal, beautiful, Bava.
 

 

WHIP AND THE BODY (63, encore)
Bava is Italian for God.
 

 

MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (32)
Yes, Robert Florey's Poe pastiche has its visual moments, but it seems old-fashioned compared to the modern horrors made at the time, and the cast is a letdown.  Pass.
 

 

THE RAVEN (35)
Better than I'd thought it would be, this pairing of icons Karloff and Lugosi holds enough bizarre amusements to remain in rotation.
 

 

BLACK FRIDAY (40)
Crime story features Karloff as a mad doctor but, although this was touted as a team effort with Lugosi, they share no scenes.  Not bad filler.
 

 

ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (71)
William Windom, Bradford Dillman, Ricardo Montalban, and talking monkeys from the future!  What do you want?
 

 

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (72)
Roddy McDowell is his own son!  See him ignite revolution in monkey town!  See Ricardo Montalban leap through a window to his death!  It just keeps getting weirder.  Best of the sequels.
 

 

BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (73)  two pics
More ape and human wrangling as Roddy McDowall fights to hold his monkey town together.  Paul Williams as a diminutive primate and Claude Akins as a redneck gorilla!  Series finale peters out with a tired shoot-em up.
 

 

WITCHMAKER (69)
I liked this no-budget, swamp-based Satan worshiper tale.  It has plenty of atmosphere, Anthony Eisley is the hero, and Alvy Moore is the Van Helsing type.  If it had full-blown nudity we might have some sort of minor classic but as it is, it'll do nicely in a pinch
 

 

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (07)
The lives of friends in the 60s told via Beatles songs.  It's a trippy idea and one that actually works pretty well most of the time, with a few standout sequences.  Julie (TITUS) Taymor takes the chances.
 

 

GROUNDHOG DAY (93, encore)
A timeless classic, so to speak, from Harold Ramis.  Bill Murray is his effortlessly funny self, over and over and over...
 

 

GREAT WORLD OF SOUND (06)
Good little downer indy about a good-hearted guy who takes a job scouting talent for a non-existent record production company.  He soon realizes they are just ripping people off, and that his life is even shittier than it was before.  Yes!
 

 

EOLOMEA (72)
This east German sci-fi finally won me over with its modest optimism, but it's still no match for IN THE DUST OF THE STARS, which is much more lively in delivering its message.
 

 

MAGIC (78)
I didn't really like this crazy ventriloquist movie but Ann-Margret looks fabulous.
 

 

SEVEN DOORS TO DEATH (44)
Poverty row murder mystery that takes place in a courtyard of seven shops.  The killer cut off the thumb prints of one of the victims, using them to allay suspicion.  Okay, I guess.
 

 

ALICE, SWEET ALICE (76)
Shows some visual flair, particularly in the final act, but that doesn't quite redeem this ugly and annoying, rabidly anti-Catholic psycho-shocker from the director of TANYA'S ISLAND.
 

 

THE EVIL EYE (74)
Second-rate Spanish Satanism.  Does feature Anthony Steffen, "One Bone" Conti, Luciano Pigozzi, tunes by Cipriani, and fashions that look like part of the Tony K collection.
 

 

HE WAS A QUIET MAN (07)
Christian Slater buries himself in the role of a dweeb on the edge.  The movie around him is okay.
 

 

EASTERN PROMISES (07)
Viggo Mortensen is terrific as a Russian mobster in one of Cronenberg's "normal" movies.  Good, mean gangster stuff.
 

 

SUNSHINE (07)
Really liked Danny Boyle's big time sci-fi extravaganza.  It's not perfect, of course (it isn't as emotionally resonant as one would wish), but over time i think it will be much more appreciated.
 

 

BLACK SABBATH (63, encore)
Another gorgeous Bava flick but the stories in this anthology are less involving than some of the maestro's other films.

 

 

THE PSYCHIC (77)
I enjoyed Fulci's giallo and would recommend it to fans of the genre.  Jennifer O'Neal looks great and the story is intriguing.  That said, it is by no means a classic.  The rest of the cast is nothing special and the music sounds like a watered down version of the score for a better movie.  And while the photography is good, there are no real iconic or surreal images to enjoy.
 

 

THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (62, encore)
Still holds up as a visually interesting, landmark film even if it doesn't make complete sense.  Most of its giallo followers made even less sense.  For my two cents, i wish she had seen a murder from the past.
 

 

MEDUSA AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES (62, encore)
Another Richard Harrison sword and sandal adventure with a lake monster and a Medusa monster.  Too much excitement for one motion picture!

 

 

GLADIATORS 7 (62)
Richard Harrison leads the seven samurai...er, gunslingers..., I mean gladiators as they topple the corrupt king of Sparta.  Nice looking step above the normal peplum.
 

 

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN (43)
Substandard war time Universal horror with John Carradine as the mad medico.  Seems like half the running time is taken up with documentary footage of Clyde Beatty subduing lions and tigers at the circus, but it's always nice to see Evelyn Ankers.
 

 
 

BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (69, encore)
First sequel in the franchise series already shows signs of the hysterical, fever dream the films would morph into by the final entry of 1973.  James Franciscus finds mutants worshiping an atom bomb in destroyed New York.  Too bad they don't give Victor Buono more to do.
 

 

THE LEECH WOMAN (59)
Interesting story but it's not handled very well.  Grant Williams part is drastically underwritten, which completely sabotages his role.  Not a total loss but rather a "what might have been" also ran.
 

 

THE LAND UNKNOWN (57, encore)
Second tier LOST WORLD spin off doesn't really deserve the widescreen treatment but it's nice to see it the way it was originally presented.  I guess. 
 

 

THE WITCH'S CURSE (61, encore)
Another out-of-his-time muscle man movie with Kirk Morris as the nearly wordless Maciste running around shirtless in 17th century Scotland.  His journey to Hades is much less impressive than the one Bava conjured up for Hercules a year earlier.