Category Archives: Reviews

A Not So Fine Madness: “A Reflection of Fear” (1972)

       “A Reflection of Fear”  (1972)   Cinematographers who assume the director’s mantle often produce movies which heavily favor the visual rather than the contextually comprehensible, with the fledgling filmmaker often failing to make allowances for the fact … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Invasion U.S.A.” (1952)

“Invasion U.S.A.”  (1952)  If one can imagine a production of  “The Time of Your Life” reconstituted with “Fail-Safe”, you might get a pretty good idea of the awkward Cold War civics lesson that is “Invasion U.S.A.”, a collection of mismatched … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Drive-In Movies, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, Romance, war movies | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Ballot Stuffing: “Linda Lovelace for President” (1975)

           “Linda Lovelace for President”  (1975)     Chances are that if a movie announces upfront that it intends to offend every member of the audience, the results will be fairly pedestrian, as a truly provocative … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, grindhouse, Linda Lovelace, movie reviews, Movies, politics, racism, Reviews, sex, women, writing | 4 Comments

Ups and Downs: “The Man Who Skied Down Everest” (1975)

     “The Man Who Skied Down Everest”  (1975)     When George Mallory famously responded to the question as to why he wanted to climb Mount Everest with the seemingly flippant remark- “Because it’s there” -his brief answer would … Continue reading

Posted in art house cinema, biography, Documentaries, History, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Soft-Boiled: “The Price of Fear” (1956)

           “The Price of Fear”  (1956)        There’s enough nervous fidgeting going on in Abner Biberman’s “The Price of Fear” to replicate seismic tremors, yet such an abundance of consternation seems unmerited in this … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, crime, Drive-In Movies, film noir, Movies, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Party Crashers: “The Penthouse” (1967)

           “The Penthouse”  (1967)     Two strangely loquacious thugs named Tom (Tony Beckley) and Dick (Norman Rodway) stage an early morning invasion of a penthouse apartment, occupied by Bruce (Terence Morgan), a real estate broker … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Frogs” (1972)

“Frogs” (1972) Nature photographer Pickett Smith (Sam Elliot, sans dashing lip brush) finds his canoe capsized due to inconsiderate nautical etiquette and finds himself a guest of wheelchair bound curmudgeon Jason Crockett (Ray Milland, under a dashing Panama hat), island patriarch of … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, Alfred Hitchcock, Drive-In Movies, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

From the Ashes: “Frankenstein” (1910)

                “Frankenstein”  (1910)     Though appreciably compromised in its filmic translation from the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (an introductory title acknowledges the film to be a “liberal adaptation”), not only due … Continue reading

Posted in books, fRANKENSTEIN, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science, silent movies, theater, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Shooting Blanks: “Inseminoid” (1981)

              “Inseminoid”  (1981)     With imitation being the shortest route to the creation of bad movies, it was only a matter of counting down the minutes before “Alien”, a prestige recycling of the … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, education, grindhouse, horror, Movies, Reviews, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Soulless: “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS” (1975)

         “Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS”  (1975)     If history doesn’t present us with enough examples of inhuman atrocity, leave it to the movie industry to feel compelled to invent a peculiar hybrid combining the … Continue reading

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Mother Knows Best: “Career Bed” (1969)

                       “Career Bed”  (1969)    “Don’t give up your virginity for some silly boy, it’s too important an asset.”      With motherly advice like this is it any wonder … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Terror in the Wax Museum” (1973)

“Terror in the Wax Museum”  (1973) When the body of Chamber of Horrors wax museum proprietor Claude Dupree (John Carradine) is discovered stabbed with the scalpel of his waxworks Jack the Ripper, can an obligatory stacking of bodies be far … Continue reading

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City of Fallen Angels: “To Live and Die in L.A.” (1985)

        “To Live and Die in L.A.”          (1985)     Former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich’s novel “To Live and Die in L.A.” might have seemed a natural for cinematic adaptation, given that the book is written in such a lean, … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, Los Angeles, Movies, Reviews, William Friedkin, writing | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Labor Pains: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2018 Edition, Vol. 925/Remedial Reprint

_______________________________________________________________ Labor Pains:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2018 Edition, Vol. 925/Remedial Reprint     The American cinema celebrates many things-  vacuous comic book heroics, scatological crudity, infantilism, serial sadism, non-NRA gun violence  -but the labors of the American working … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, comedy, History, Movies, Musicals, New York City, politics, Reviews, silent movies, theater, women, writing | 7 Comments

Up the Greek Without a Paddle: “Boy on a Dolphin” (1957)

     Up the Greek Without a Paddle:  “Boy on a Dolphin”  (1957)      Adventure films, which were especially plentiful in the colorful world of 1950’s cinema, generally included the most basic ingredients deemed necessary to draw the audiences … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Ladd, books, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, Sophia Loren, women, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Father’s Daze: “Casanova Brown” (1944)

      “Casanova Brown”  (1944)     “Casanova Brown” is an example of the importance of the use of what might be best described as the pixilated lilt in filming humorous materials. A romantic comedy in which a chronic … Continue reading

Posted in 1940's movies, books, comedy, movie remakes, Movies, parenting, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , | 3 Comments

“Fear and Desire” (1953)

        “Fear and Desire”  (1953)     Stanley Kubrick’s feature debut (after three short subjects) as photographer, editor, producer and director, “Fear and Desire”, is an extremely low budget war drama with art house pretensions. It is … Continue reading

Posted in art house cinema, Boston, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Stanley Kurbick, war movies, women, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Tryst and Shout: “The Canyons” (2013)

      Tryst and Shout:  “The Canyons”   (2013)      Paul Schrader may not sympathize with his characters, but he certainly enjoys their discomfort. Were he to attempt a screwball comedy, it would no doubt result in an invocation … Continue reading

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Without a Clue: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Aug. 2018 Edition, Vol. 52

Without a Clue:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz,  Aug. 2018 Edition, Vol. 52     With the summer winding down, it seemed appropriate to publish a photo quiz that was (in our estimation, since we know the answers), a breeze, … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, History, movie reviews, Movies, photography, Reviews, silent films, theater, women, writing | 2 Comments

Slab Happy: “El cadáver de Anna Fritz” (2015)

       Slab Happy: “El cadáver de Anna Fritz”  (2015)      One need only glance at the sorry offerings on the local multiplex marquee to see that the commercial cinema is in a state of crisis. It is … Continue reading

Posted in crime, horror, Movies, Reviews, sex, Spanish films, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Shadows and Fog: “The City of the Dead” (1960)

       Shadows and Fog:  “The City of the Dead”  (1960) A caveat: the following article may reveal destinations of plotting that may despoil a virginal viewing of the film. Reader discretion is advised.           … Continue reading

Posted in British films, horror, movie reviews, Movies, religion, Reviews, women, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Battle Fatigued: “Wicked Woman” (1953)

       Battle Fatigued:  “Wicked Woman”  (1953)      Belonging to that smaller, less critically regarded, yet potent 1950’s offshoot of film noir proper, the “bad girl” film, Russell Rouse’s “Wicked Woman” offers up a portrait of a young … Continue reading

Posted in crime, film noir, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Mop Tops: “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- The Touring Years” (2016)

    “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- The  Touring Years”  (2016)      Just when you think that the documentary coverage of The Beatles had reached the saturation point, along comes Ron Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- … Continue reading

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Revisit: Scenes From the Scrapbook: “That’s Entertainment” (1974)

        “That’s Entertainment”      (1974) (Originally posted on May 18, 2014)         “That’s Entertainment” is a compilation of some of the best (many not) musical numbers extracted from the great musicals (many not) … Continue reading

Posted in Documentaries, Frank Sinatra, Movies, music, Musicals, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Revisit: Through a Dark Glassily: “Puzzle of a Downfall Child” (1970)

        “Puzzle of a Downfall Child”       (1970) (Originally posted on June 14, 2014)     Lou Andreas Sand, a high fashion model who over the course of her career descends into alcoholism, drug abuse and madness, is the subject of Jerry … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Good, The Bad and The Baddest: “The French Connection” (1971)

“The French Connection”  (1971) (Originally posted on April 9, 2012)     Being a narc is assuming the role of a soldier in a never-ending war with the urban streets as the battleground; the debris littered alleys and dark, smoky dive … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime, gene hackman, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roy Scheider, writing | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Revisit: 35 Lb. Monkey Business: “The Man With the Golden Arm” (1955)

“The Man With the Golden Arm”  (1955) (Originally posted on July 30, 2013)     One of the characteristics of the movies of the “Golden Age” studio era of filmmaking was the anesthetizing comfort they were intended to provide the audience, … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, Frank Sinatra, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Revisit: Beatles in a Bell Jar: “Let It Be” (1970)

“Let It Be” (1970) (Originally posted on Nov. 5, 2013)     Sitting through Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s “Let It Be” is not dissimilar to sitting behind someone in a theater and staring at the back of their head, mentally trying to … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Unkindest Cuts; or, How to use unchecked political correctness to victimize the very people you intend to protect: “Freaks” (1932)

          “FreAKs”                   (1932) (Originally posted on Feb. 25, 2014)      Long time the standard by which all “Golden Age” Hollywood horror films are compared for a sense of shock and … Continue reading

Posted in horror, movie reviews, Movies, Pre-Code Movies, Reviews, short stories, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Revisit: A Report On the Desert and Its Guests: “Tarantula” (1955)

          “Tarantula”  (1955) (Originally posted on Dec. 24, 2011)   The film opens intriguingly with a mutated figure painfully wandering the desert until fatally collapsing; buzzards ominously circling overhead. Already before the opening credits, director Jack … Continue reading

Posted in clint eastwood, Drive-In Movies, Jack Arnold films, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Revisit: The Days of Living Dangerously: “The Most Dangerous Game” (1932)

   “The Most Dangerous Game”  (1932) (Originally posted on Dec, 24, 2011)     When adapting a literary work, filmmakers are presented with a daunting list of problems not always easy to surmount. Being mindful of the original materials, the … Continue reading

Posted in books, fay wray, movie reviews, Movies, Pre-Code Movies, Reviews, short stories, women, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Revisit: Poe in the Cinema: “Histoires Extraordinares” (1968)

“Histoires Extraordinaires”  (1968) (Originally posted on July 12, 2010)    The cinema is rife with literary adaptations and the works of Edgar Allan Poe have fared surprisingly well as a good number of films have captured, if not the essence … Continue reading

Posted in books, Brigitte Bardot, Edgar Allan Poe, Federico Fellini, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roger Vadim | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Revisit: Where Dreams Go Bad: “Westworld” (1973)

              “Westworld”  (1973) (Originally posted on Nov. 11, 2011)     Novelist Michael Crichton’s directorial debut “Westworld” encompasses his usual cautionary scientific doomsday scenario while satirically taking aim at America’s love affair with diversion; whether through theme park escapism … Continue reading

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Revisit: A Most Peculiar Love Story: “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” (1971)

  “The Abominable Dr. Phibes”  (1971)                       Robert Fuest   (September 27, 1927 – March 21, 2012) (Originally posted April 15, 2012)      With its roots in the serial murder giallo … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer films, Hitchcock, horror films, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, vincent price, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Low Tide: “La Venere dei pirati” (1960)

                      “La Venere dei pirati”  (1960)     There is a great deal of bluster but very little genuine swashbuckling in Mario Costa’s “La Venere dei pirati” (aka, “Queen of … Continue reading

Posted in Italian cinema, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Out of Touch: “Orlacs Hände” / “The Hands of Orlac” (1924)

   “Orlacs Hände” / “The Hands of Orlac”   (1924)  A Necessary Caveat: The following article contains analysis which reveals details of the subject film’s climactic events. Such details, if one wishes to approach the film with virgin eyes, should be approached with … Continue reading

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Amore in a Gothic Vein: “La strage dei vampiri” (1962)

             “La strage dei vampiri”   (1962)    Italy’s Golden Age of Horror may seem to have begun as an imitative movement  following the successful rejuvenation of the Gothic horror film by Hammer Films in 1957, … Continue reading

Posted in books, Film, Hammer films, horror films, Italian cinema, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, vampires, women, writing | 4 Comments

Dead End: “The Last Run” (1971)

          “The Last Run”  (1971)     Richard Fleischer’s “The Last Run” is composed, by Alan Sharp, in that spare style of writing that is meant to invest a greater chimerical meaning to every utterance, and … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, crime, film noir, George C. Scott, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

The Descent of Dissent: “Punishment Park” (1971)

               “Punishment Park”  (1971)     Acts of provocation are certainly the prerogative of the artist- it is one of the essential nutrients fueling that elusive but ever evolving abstractive absolute known as Art  … Continue reading

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Visitors: “It Came From Outer Space” (1953)

           “It Came From Outer Space”  (1953)     A meteor that could easily be mistaken for a Christmas ornament crashes into the Arizona desert  and mysterious galactic visitors descend upon an altogether peaceful Southwestern hamlet … Continue reading

Posted in 1950's movies, 3-D MOVIES, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science fiction, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Inconvenient Truth: “Elle s’appelle Sabine” (2007)

         “Elle s’appelle Sabine”  (2007)          Ideally the documentary form should present an objective point of view. How then to judge a film which by the very nature of the film maker’s intimate relationship … Continue reading

Posted in biography, Documentaries, French cinema, medicine, movie reviews, Movies, psychiatry, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Panic Rooms: “Tread Softly Stranger” (1958)

          “Tread Softly Stranger”  (1958)     When gambler Johnny  Mansell (George Baker) overextends his bookie debts, he flees London, returning to his working class hometown of  Rawborough to visit with his steel mill accountant brother … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Only Way to Fly: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2018 Edition, Vol. 747

The Only Way to Fly: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2018 Edition, Vol. 747      How often does this happen to you? You are waiting in endless airport security lines. The attending TSA agents are more suspiciously handsy … Continue reading

Posted in books, clint eastwood, comedy, humor, James Stewart, John Wayne, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, silent movies, war movies, writing | Tagged | 5 Comments

Violated: “Hannie Caulder” (1972)

         “Hannie Caulder”  (1972)     Sometimes a movie is crafted with an admirable skill that, while falling short of artistry, manages to work quiet wonders in the small details which through an amalgam of calculated design, … Continue reading

Posted in movie reviews, Movies, Raquel Welch, Reviews, westerns, women, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Quicksand: “Jungle Street” (1960)

               “Jungle Street”  (1960)     Charles Saunders’ “Jungle Street” is one of those minor crime dramas which the British film industry made in plentiful numbers without the greater impact of  comparable American film … Continue reading

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Desert Critters: “The Brotherhood of Satan” (1971)

        “The Brotherhood of Satan”  (1971)     Children may seem to to be the root of all evil in “The Brotherhood of Satan”, but it’s only a feint, thinly disguising the actual complicity of the town’s elders. … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Poe in the Cinema, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Working Girl: “The Flesh is Weak” (1957)

           “The Flesh is Weak”  (1957)      As if the film’s suggestively salacious title weren’t clue enough, if there were any doubt as to the direction to be taken by Don Chaffey’s “The Flesh is … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, London, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, sex, women, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Camera Obscura: “I Am a Camera” (1955)

       “I Am a Camera”  (1955)    The first thing one notices in “I Am a Camera” is that the tone is completely wrong. In Christopher Isherwood’s Farewell to Berlin, the second of two novels comprising The Berlin Stories, the … Continue reading

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Too Much Monkey Business: “King Kong Escapes” (1968)

     “King Kong Escapes”  (1968)     If one were to remove all of the unconvincing effects shots from “King Kong Escapes” (and some of them are fairly wince inducing, even by Japanese standards), it would remain an embarrassing resume … Continue reading

Posted in children, Drive-In Movies, fantasy, kaiju, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Children at Play: “The War Game” (1962)

           “The War Game”  (1962)     The seeds of human extinction always seems more poetic (if not palatable) when seen through the prism of allegory. But is any message pleading for a cessation to the … Continue reading

Posted in children, Cold War, Mai Zetterling, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, short films, women, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments