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The Mad Magician 3-D

by Glenn Erickson

Twilight Time, bless ’em, hands us another treat to go with their 3-D discs of Man in the Dark, Miss Sadie Thompson and Harlock Space Pirate 3-D — and this time it’s a fun bit of 1950s horror — with a hot pair of short subject extras. The Mad Magician  3-D Blu-ray Twilight Time 1954 /…

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Article

Sayonara

by Glenn Erickson

Back when interracial marriage was a shady topic (are those dark days coming back?) the U.S. military had some adjustment issues. Full integration of the ranks didn’t remove the anti- Japanese bigotry. James Michener’s novel has been transformed into a big-scale romance, with Marlon Brando coming to terms with a split in loyalty between the…

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Article

Red Planet Mars

by Glenn Erickson

It’s a review. No, it’s a rant. Stop, you’re both right.  CineSavant’s overt mission is to demonstrate that old movies, especially old Science Fiction movies, are more relevant than ever. There is at present no authorized home video release of this amazing 1952 politico-religious pretzel of a movie. The surprise is that it accurately presages…

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The Horror of Party Beach

by Glenn Erickson

Favorite camp hilarity — a drive-in kick when new, Del Tenney’s gloppy monsters ‘n’ bikinis epic has persevered as a nutty exemple of ‘sixties escapist fun. Mutated aquatic zombies with goo-goo-googly eyes ravage teen girls for their blood — in between sets by the swingin’ Del-Aires. And don’t forget the soulful housemaid, Eulabelle! The Horror…

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The Titfield Thunderbolt

by Glenn Erickson

Toot Toot!  The Little Engine that Could becomes a tale of the little town that could, when their tiny rail service is discontinued. A crackerjack cast of Ealing regulars — Stanley Holloway, Naunton Wayne, John Gregson — band together to take over the little spur line and keep it running. We get to see a…

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Dark and Stormy Night

by Glenn Erickson

It’s a Larry Blamire film, and it’s composed of entirely NEW and UNIQUE elements: a lonely mansion, strange servants, the reading of the will, weird heirs, death threats, snoopy reporters, a midnight seance, mysterious locked rooms, the clutching hands of a phantom menace, and the ultimate terror, Kogar the mighty ape. All new, right?  This…

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Article

Explorers

by Glenn Erickson

One of Joe Dante’s finest pictures speaks heart-to-heart to gee-whiz space fans — transporting us from our backyard to the far reaches of the galaxy. With a boost from aliens unknown, Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson are the intrepid space cadets that construct a fantastic vehicle from mysterious dream-signals, no Interociter required. Their…

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Article

The Blind Beast (Moju)

by Glenn Erickson

Yasuzo Masumura takes horror into kinky territory in an Edogawa Ranpo shocker about obsession, namely, mixing sex and death. Michio is the tactile-fixated blind sculptor who imprisons model Aki to serve as an ultimate objectified ‘body’ — but she eventually joins him, taking the lead on a delirious suicidal journey of discovery. Probably once considered…

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Article

Homebodies

by Glenn Erickson

This remarkable black comedy is often listed as a horror film yet it has more nervous laughs than shivers. It’s a solid idea: cruelly marginalized old folks get madder than hell and just won’t take it any more. Or maybe they simply go nuts. The cast of ‘over seventies’ playing over eighty is just marvelous,…

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Article

Stage Fright (1950)

by Glenn Erickson

Alfred Hitchcock puts Jane Wyman in harm’s way, as she tries to rescue her unworthy boyfriend Richard Todd from a murder charge. Is Jane proving her love, or are both of them being manipulated by a scheming actress, Marlene Dietrich?  This is the movie in which Hitch inflicts a ‘frump complex’ on Ms. Wyman —…

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Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 3

by Glenn Erickson

There may still be people unaware of the anarchic joy of Tex Avery, so we’re making it our business to enlighten them. This third Volume of Tex’s MGM cartoons has both variety and some top favorites, plus his first, the intense Blitz Wolf and his last, the surreal Cellbound. Plus the insane King Size Canary,…

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Article

Blue Denim

by Glenn Erickson

Hollywood tackles the big issues! This adapted play about an unwanted teen pregnancy is actually quite good, thanks to fine performances by Carol Lynley and Brandon De Wilde, who convince as cherubic high schoolers ‘too young to know the score.’ And hey, the teen trauma is set to an intense music score by Bernard Herrmann….

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Article

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

by Glenn Erickson

Stand back, watch the fur fly and don’t forget to duck — this is surely the most psychologically toxic play ever adapted for film. The legends Liz and Dick are terrific, and Mike Nichols conquers the screen in his first job of direction. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1966 / B&W…

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Article

Face to Face (Faccia a faccia; Von Angesicht zu Angesicht)

by Glenn Erickson

Writer-director Sergio Sollima gives us one of the best ‘political’ Italo westerns from the pre- May ’68 era… with two top stars in great form, Gian Maria Volontè and Tomas Milian. This two-disc German import has both the long and short versions of the movie in HD, with full language options for each. Face to…

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No Highway in the Sky

by Glenn Erickson

  No Highway in the Sky Blu-ray KL Studio Classics 1951 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 99 min. / Street Date February 7, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring : James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns, Jack Hawkins, Janette Scott, Niall MacGinnis, Kenneth More, Ronald Squire, Elizabeth Allan, Jill Clifford,…

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Article

Blue Denim

by Glenn Erickson

Let’s go back to 1959, when just implying that two teenagers might have first-hand knowledge of sex is socially unacceptable dynamite. This adapted play about an unwanted teen pregnancy is actually quite good, thanks to fine performances by Carol Lynley and Brandon De Wilde, who convince as cherubic high schoolers ‘too young to know the…

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Article

The Bloodthirsty Trilogy

by Charlie Largent

The Bloodthirsty Trilogy Blu ray Arrow Films 1970 – 1974 /2:35 / Street Date May 22, 2018 Starring Yukiko Kobayashi, Chôei Takahashi, Toshio Kurosawa Cinematography by Kazutami Hara, Rokurô Nishigaki Written by Ei Ogawa, Hiroshi Nagano Directed by Michio Yamamoto Hell-raising vampires invade the normally serene confines of  Japanese cinema in three elegant 70’s shockers…

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Article

Dracula A.D. 1972

by Glenn Erickson

Dracula and Van Helsing seem more than a little confused, fighting the good fight of virtue against evil in a modern setting dominated by painful Mod fashions and flaky pop rock ‘n’ roll. Hammer’s desperation bid to make itself ‘relevant’ at least gives us Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, who keep the show on the…

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Article

The Satanic Rites of Dracula

by Glenn Erickson

Hammer’s Dracula goes out with a whimper in this final Chris Lee-Peter Cushing vampire opus, which posits the Prince of Darkness as a super-mogul super-villain (with insufficient infrastructure). He’s battling Scotland Yard, MI5 and his old nemesis Van Helsing, while still arranging ritual sacrifices. And don’t forget the quartet of vampire babes he keeps in…

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Article

The Return of the Vampire

by Gary Teetzel

CineSavant contributor and advisor Gary Teetzel revisits a film he reviewed for us seventeen years ago. Instead of continuing to play his greatest role for Universal, Bela Lugosi ‘returns’ as a generic vampire in a very Dracula-like tale for Columbia. He’s still the best fiend for the role. The show introduces a novel demise for…

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