Tag Archives: cinema

Drive, He Said: “Bullitt” (1968)

     “Bullitt”, the first of what would become producer Philip D’Antoni’s “chase trilogy”, (the others being William Friedkin’s 1971 “The French Connection” and D’Antoni’s own 1973 “The Seven-Ups”) is notable for an exciting, impressively realized chase sequence up and … Continue reading

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Red Blood, Black Heart: “Blood Feast” (1963)

    Never to be considered in the same breath with any discussion of Art, the appalling 1963 full color bloodbath “Blood Feast” is undeniably a movie (it feels inappropriate except if wearing a hazmat suite to use the appellation film) … Continue reading

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Mixed Messages: “Halls of Anger” (1970)

    Paul Bogart’s “Halls of Anger” finds a barely perceptible niche in the often inflammatory tradition of Hollywood films that claim to expose the volatile underbelly of modern urban education, with all appropriate delinquencies bubbling forth in a gladiatorial arena … Continue reading

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Shooting Blanks: “Death Wish” (1974)

    “Death Wish” is a genuine curiosity; a  terrible movie which prompted a great deal of useful, spirited and intelligent sociopolitical discussion. The theme of the film is justice, or rather the lack of it, and the rise of vigilantism … Continue reading

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Sex, Drugs and TV: “The Groove Tube” (1974)

   Ken Shapiro’s “The Groove Tube” is a raggedy collection of skits satirizing television ads and programs, a not especially challenging target that is met with a lack of conceptual focus and a wildly variant acuity of wit. In fact, … Continue reading

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Shoot. Load. Repeat.: “The Enforcer” (1976)

   It begins as a Squeaky Fromme wannabe is picked up by two gas company employees who are swiftly dispatched in rather gruesome fashion by blonde haired, blue-eyed psychopath Bobby Maxwell (DeVeren Bookwalter in full drooling grimace mode). These are … Continue reading

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Shapeless: “The Blob” (1958)

    Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.’s “The Blob” is a film with an impressive cult legacy, but one that yields few actual rewards upon viewing. This small-town teen versus space monster picture does distinguish itself from many of the grade-B (or … Continue reading

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The Stuff of Dreams: “Trollhunter” (2010)

    The sub-genre of the “found film” mockumentary hit the financial jackpot with the tiresome “The Blair Witch Project”, a film which benefited from a wealth of carefully manipulated anticipation by way of Internet hype, but emerged without an … Continue reading

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Headcase: “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” (1962)

    With “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”, no discussion would be complete without a concession to the fertile soil that is exploitation cinema, to which this film is a classical example, especially as filtered through the then popular (but still … Continue reading

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With Extreme Prejudice: “El Condor” (1970)

  John Guillerman’s “El Condor” is a noisy, violent, preposterous western of the variety that became extremely popular with studios in the Sixties (Richard Brooks’ “The Professionals” being the most accomplished example) often blending elements with the fading noir genre … Continue reading

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Windbag: “The Hindenburg” (1975)

    The movies love a mystery, especially one based on historical fact as it affords Hollywood the opportunity to do something which it prides itself on doing better than any omnipotent deity: improving on real life. This unnatural (and … Continue reading

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Divas and Dinosaurs: “One Million Years B.C.” (1966)

     “One Million Years B.C.”, a 1966 Hammer produced remake of the 1940 Victor Mature/Carole Landis prehistoric vehicle “One Million B.C.”, is a film that defies serious criticism. After all, since it’s general knowledge that dinosaurs and cave people did not … Continue reading

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The Big and the Small of It: “Dr. Cyclops” (1940)

   With 1940’s “Dr. Cyclops”, director Ernest B. Schoedsack returns to familiar territory, with a story about a group encountering a menacing leviathan, only instead of the simian origins of “King Kong”, and to a lesser extent “Son of Kong”, the … Continue reading

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Baby Steps: “The Mind of Mr. Soames” (1970)

John Soames is a thirty year old man who has lived in a coma since birth,  until a team of doctors, including an eminent surgeon, believe they have the answer to his perpetual stasis and proceed to awaken him mindful … Continue reading

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Beauty of the Requited Heart: “Elvira Madigan” (1967)

      Bo Widerberg’s “Elvira Madigan” is often recalled as the “most beautiful” film ever made. If one is limiting the observation to it’s visual elements alone, there is much merit to such ethereal claims, as the cinematography of Jörgen Persson … Continue reading

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The Shadow of Her Smile: “La doppia ora” (2009)

   A guest at a hotel leaps from the balcony to her death. A woman attends a speed dating ritual. A pair of budding lovers is accosted during an art heist. A woman begins seeing the phantom images of a … Continue reading

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Russian Roue: “Love and Death” (1975)

   Woody Allen’s first overt dive into the realm of the serious (though not approached seriously) is an interesting amalgam of 19th Century Russian literature, the cinema of Eisenstein and Bergman  all seen through the eyes of his sarcastic horndog … Continue reading

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A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the End of the World: “The Omega Man” (1971)

The odd thing about an apocalypse are all of the errands you have to deal with afterwards. One might assume that the obliteration of the world’s population might lead to some leisurely quiet time for the lone survivor, but this … Continue reading

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The Hole in the Head Gang: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969)

The year 1969 was a particularly interesting one for the American Western, as the three most commercially notable examples of the genre demonstrate a grand variance in the dramatic shift into the revisionism movement which would all but consume this … Continue reading

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: “The Dunwich Horror” (1970)

   Retaining only the outline of H.P. Lovecraft’s original 1928 short story and the names of a few of the main characters, Daniel Haller’s film is a useful case study in examining the challenges with the adaptive process of “classic” … Continue reading

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Bottom of the Class: “Mes chères études” (2010)

       Emmanuelle Bercot’s “Mes chères études” (the title translates into “My Expensive Studies” as opposed to the English title “Student Services” which is reminiscent of far too many sniggery teen sex comedies) is a filmization of the pseudonymously penned book … Continue reading

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In Space, No One Can Hear You Cringe: “The Green Slime” (1968)

   Has there ever been as humorless a cheesy SF film as “The Green Slime”? One of the first things evident is the dedicated seriousness with which the cast approaches the completely dreadful script by Tom Rowe, William Finger and … Continue reading

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Grand Delusion: “EQUUS” (1977)

   It’s an unfortunate circumstance when talented film makers fortified with the best of intentions get carried away with their efforts, becoming quite pleased with themselves that unlike the majority of commercial craftsmen they are tackling important ideas, and due … Continue reading

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TUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE: “MOGAMBO” (1953)

     What is a women’s picture? In recent years this has been a more difficult concept to distinguish, being that the increased crudity of all American (in particular) cinema  has led to a blurring of cinematic behavioral gender lines. … Continue reading

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