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Stalker

by Glenn Erickson

Andrei Tarkovsky’s bizarre philosophical science fiction epic may be his most successful picture overall — every image and word makes its precise desired effect. Three daring men defy the law to penetrate ‘the Zone’ and learn the truth behind the notion that a place exists called The Room, where all wishes are granted. Plenty of…

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Article

The Lost World (1925)

by Glenn Erickson

*Sigh* — Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my escaped brontosaurus. This wonder movie of the silent era, which pits five intrepid explorers against Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fantastic South American plateau where marvelous animals from the dawn of time still live. Blackhawk Films and Lobster’s latest digital restoration includes footage never…

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Article

The Spider

by Glenn Erickson

  Bert I. Gordon rides again with an excellent encoding of one of his more popular sci-fi monster-ramas.  Pert ‘n’ perky June Kenney is so brave that she keeps going back to ‘that old cave outside of town’ despite not knowing how many giant spiders are on the loose. Teenagers in their thirties and their…

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Article

The Flesh Eaters

by Glenn Erickson

We still remember the scary AM radio ads from back in the 6th grade: THEY EAT HUMAN FLESH! Mainstream ‘nabe theaters that wouldn’t show Herschell Gordon Lewis movies played this proto-gore horror show, an ingeniously crafted thriller that captures the horror comic vibe with clever, gruesome special effects. The flesh eaters are glittering bits of…

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Article

Artists and Models

by TFH Team

1955’s Artists and Models, directed by Frank Tashlin, neatly satirizes the cold-war paranoia of the fifties (and the McCarthy hearings in particular) by focusing on a similar witch hunt, the war against comic books. Tashlin’s film, starring Dean Martin as a failed “fine” artist reduced to drawing for comic books and Jerry Lewis as the fella who reads…

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Tashlinesque – The Hollywood Comedies of Frank Tashlin

by Charlie Largent

In all of Frank Tashlin’s work, there is nothing quite so boldly staged as the delirious sequence in 1961′s THE LADIES MAN, in which Jerry Lewis, the film’s director and Tashlin’s nominal pupil, deconstructs a panic attack in twenty five seconds. Framed inside an enormous set that resembles the interior of a gargantuan and painstakingly detailed dollhouse, Lewis’…

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Trailer

Larry Cohen on

The Uninvited

1944

Directed by Lewis Allen, this elegant ghost story from 1944 is a consistently creepy yet surprisingly moving study of a dysfunctional family whose problems extend into the afterlife. Ray Milland is the skeptical but good-humored leading man and sad-eyed Gail Russell plays the troubled young woman whose mother may (or may not be) haunting her. Stella…

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Article

How Much Shock Can You Stand?

by Charlie Largent

Ghosts are famous for their flexibility, spiraling through keyholes and up from the floorboards in search of their next mark. But movies about ghosts can be flexible too. Three classics of the genre, The Uninvited, House on Haunted Hill and The Innocents, demonstrate that there’s more than one way haunt a house. These films never…

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Article

Crazy Rich Asians

by Glenn Erickson

A surprise hit? This ultra-glamorous rom-com about life among the Singapore 1% would be a fantasy, if everything we see weren’t real. Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh head an all-Asian cast in a celebration of ostentatious excess — yep, some folks aren’t hurting at all. As an expression of Asian ascendency and female power, the…

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Article

Hammer Volume Four Faces of Fear

by Glenn Erickson

Powerhouse Indicator continues its series of exotic attractions from the house of Hammer with four more titles, three of which are front-rank winners. Once again, the company’s extras make all the difference. We’re given alternate versions, censor comparisons, and for one reel, an entire roll of outtakes and stage waits featuring Peter Cushing.   Hammer…

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Article

The Uninvited

by Charlie Largent

The Uninvited Blu ray Criterion 1944 / 1.33:1 / 99 min. Starring Ray Milland, Gail Russell, Ruth Hussey Cinematography by Charles Lang Directed by Lewis Allen The story of a lonely young woman and the ghosts in her life, Dorothy Macardle’s Uneasy Freehold was published in 1941 and brought to the screen in 1944 as…

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Article

The City of the Dead

by Glenn Erickson

This horror almost-classic has Christopher Lee and great atmosphere. Keep a sharp lookout for All Them Witches: they’re not easy to spot… especially if you’re as unobservant as Venetia Stevenson’s sexy grad student. Were she studying sharks, this girl would wrap herself in fresh meat and jump into the middle of a mess of ’em….

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Article

La fièvre monte à El Pao

by Glenn Erickson

Luis Buñuel’s most direct film about revolutionary politics brandishes few if any surreal touches in its clash between French star Gérard Philipe and the Mexican legend María Félix. Borrowing the climax of the opera Tosca, it’s an intelligent study of how not to effect change in a corrupt political regime. La fièvre monte à El…

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Article

The City of the Dead

by Glenn Erickson

The frights of Horror Hotel are back in an improved presentation in this 2018 Limited Edition. Set in New England but filmed in Old England, this creepy shocker is a favorite not just for the presence of Christopher Lee, but also the wonderfully mortiferous Patricia Jessel and the cadaverous Valentine Dyall. The City of the…

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Article

Hilda Crane

by Glenn Erickson

Call him strange, but CineSavant is fascinated by ‘women’s films’ that advance a consensus role template for American women. Then they ask questions like, “Is Hilda Crane a . . . TRAMP?”  Ladies attending these films may have sought to stir up fantasies with a racy romantic adventure — but not too racy. What a…

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Article

Eat Me – Animal House at 40

by Dennis Cozzalio

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female party guests. We did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the…

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Article

The Mind Benders

by Glenn Erickson

This strange picture goes forth in search of a genre, mainly because its theme — the destruction of the human personality — had previously seen light only in movies about brainwashing and alien possession. The Michael Relph and Basil Dearden team may not be as slick as The Archers, but they do peg this sober…

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Article

Moonstruck

by Glenn Erickson

  Criterion refreshes a bona fide classic with a new remaster and makes their release especially attractive with some well-chosen extras that give us first-person input from writer John Patrick Shanley and star Cher. The show isn’t technically a holiday movie but it plays really well at family gatherings. Heck, even Cher says ‘she can…

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Article

Columbia Noir #3

by Glenn Erickson

Witness six noir heroes, doing what noir heroes do: one crooked gambler, one psycho, another psycho with access to a gun, a dope railroaded into a prison sentence, and an even bigger dope who doesn’t realize he’s poisoning himself. That’s only five, but the sixth is a cop, and not a particularly compromised one, the…

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Article

A Blazing Saddles Thanksgiving

by Dennis Cozzalio

Thanksgiving. The real inauguration of the holiday season in the United States, and in homes, countries, points and vast places all around the globe, seems to begin here. If all goes according to plan, each year we enter into it primed to consider and acknowledge the aspects of our lives that make it worth living,…

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