Hammer Films has always had some form of sexual content in their movies, generally in the form of various generic barmaids with cleaving-accentuating outfits being menaced by some form of monster (usually Dracula, but occasionally a werewolf or Frankenstein’s monster. However, due to Hammer’s frequent clashes with the BBFC, never with actual nudity. Similarly, while critical discussion of vampire fiction has discussed a degree of homoeroticism, up until the 70s, much of what you got was male actors staring intensely into someone’s eyes before feeding on them – with probably the distinct exception of Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural. The Vampire Lovers crosses both of those lines.Read more
Amicus Films greatest strength as a studio has been, in their films I’ve previously reviewed (like Tales from the Crypt and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors) has been their anthology films. Their films were always fairly low budget, but the short form anthology film format allowed them to get good actors in for short narrative works. Scream and Scream Again shifts things by doing a more ambitious narrative, but one which stumbles out of the gate and is fumbled in its execution.Read more
It’s been a while since I reviewed a Shaw Brothers film – so it’s time to take a look at one of King Hu’s films with the studio – Come Drink With Me.Read more
Massacre Gun is the other kind of conventional Yakuza film – if Blind Woman’s Curse is all about the honor of the Yakuza Code triumphing over other dishonorable gangsters, Massacre Gun is about keeping to the code even, and especially if it means your death.Read more
When I was reviewing Yakuza films earlier on my show, after reviewing the Yakuza Papers series, and Outrage, I’d realized that I’d basically covered a bunch of deconstructions, without getting into what they were deconstructing.Read more
Since we’re spending so much time cooped up indoors, I give my thoughts on a Base Under Siege horror movie.Read more
We have a new Star Wars movie, which means it’s time for me to give my thoughts on the film and what it incorporates from the old Legends continuity.Read more
The latest installment of the Legendary MonsterVerse has come out – how does Godzilla’s latest film fare?Read more
This week, the grace period is over, as John Wick Chapter 3 has hit theaters.
Please refrain from spoilers in the comments until July 2019.Read more
We get the first of the slated live-action films featured cute fuzzy video game mascots who can snark. Let’s see how this one fares.Read more
I haven’t necessarily seen a lot of pre-Hays Code films. A few of the classic Universal horror films pre-dated the code, like Dracula. However, the 1932 film Island of Lost Souls, is one that I’d been meaning to watch but I’d never gotten around to, until now.Read more
I learned about The Sentinel first through the book Paperbacks from Hell, where it was described as a book made in the wake of the success of The
This week I have a vlog review of the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain Marvel. Being that the film is still in theaters as of when this is going up, please refrain from posting spoilers until August 2019.Read more
When I heard about the upcoming release of Gundam NT (or Gundam Narrative) the thought I had coming in was that the film was going to be the kickoff point for the next chapter of the saga of the Universal Century. That, after the conclusion of Gundam Unicorn set up something of a new status quo, this would start a series of films that would basically lay the groundwork for eventually reaching F91, Crossbone Gundam, and Victory Gundam.Read more
When it comes to horror and documentaries, in the sense of horror films that are deliberately planned to be documentaries, you have two main stripes represented by two big names. On one hand, you have Legend of Boggy Creek, a historical reenactment heavy documentary about a Texarkana cryptid that effectively recounts a variety of local myths and legends in an uncritical manner. On the other hand, there’s Haxan, the film I’m covering today, which is not only a very early work in the documentary genre, it’s also a work that is also very critical of historical accounts of witchcraft.
Roger Corman is widely recognized as a producer who launched the careers of numerous writers, actors, and future directors. He’s also widely recognized as a producer who churned out numerous exploitation films of a wide variety of stripes almost like clockwork, on the cheap, and without much concern about the craft.
This leads to the problems with Humanoids from the Deep. Part of this film is a very well done horror creature feature, with incredibly suspensefully shot sequences, and is a film that is willing to straight up kill off a kid and several dogs very early in the film. It’s also a film where Roger Corman decided to fire the film’s original director, Barbara Peeters, because he wanted the film’s rape scenes to be more explicit – so he handed those sequences off to the second unit director, and the film is lesser because of this. Read more
It’s been a while since I watched what I’d call a “Weird Japan” movie – a Japanese film with a degree of creativity and un-reality that is uncommon in Western cinema – and indeed is generally rejected outright in Western independent cinema (see Dogme ’95 and Ethan Hawke’s comments about superhero films). Instead, these films openly embrace science fiction, fantasy, and horror concepts in a way that Western independent cinema (outside of horror) fails to do.
The Visitor is a very different animal where Italian horror films are concerned. It’s not a giallo or an offshoot of giallo like The Black Cat or Argento’s Three Mothers series. It’s not a zombie film at the least. I’d describe it as fitting closer to Italian Satanic horror films – films inspired by or seeking to mimic Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, The Omen, and other similar films. These films rely less on plot cohesion and more on mood and tone. It doesn’t quite matter if the motivations of the characters are clearly spelled out or the narrative beats are coherent so long as the emotional beats are. Read more
I’m a fan of film noir, and I’m definitely coming to enjoy modern neo-noir. When I saw the trailers for Bad Times at the El Royale come up on my YouTube subscriptions, my interest was piqued.
Almost 20 years after Dario Argento released the middle installment of his “Three Mothers Trilogy” he made the final installment of the series – Mother of Tears. As with most series that take this long between installments, there is a sense that what you’ll get with the final installment can never live up to what expectations you’ve set for it. However, even then, Mother of Tears is particularly disappointing. Read more
The macabre house hunting expedition continues with an Amicus Anthology film featuring Donald Sutherland, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. Read more
One of the issues with modern horror films, particularly those with a human antagonist, is the filmmakers feel the need to give a grounding to their villain’s methods that they feel believable, and they have the same need to make the protagonists just unlikeable enough that when bad things happen to them, things don’t feel overly cruel. The problem is that when this goes wrong it comes across to a degree like victim-blaming – and leads to a toxic message like the one put forward in your standard ’80s slasher film. Don’t Breathe manages to avoid that – barely. This review will contain a few spoilers. Read more