Archive for category New Reviews

Oh, hell… Is THAT jerk back again?

Unsurprisingly after all this time, we’ve got some catching up to do.  First, what’s actually new:

 

Annihilation (2018), in which something out of space renders Florida even more screwed up…

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), in which the preferred way to rip off Star Wars is once again to rip off The Seven Samurai even more…

The Beguiled (1970), in which Clint Eastwood has a complicated convalescence

The Dragon Lives Again (1977), in which the afterlife needs heroes, too…

Five Element Ninjas (1981), in which only a ninja can destroy a ninja, even in China…

The Shape of Water (2017), or La Cuve de Noces

Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness (1986), in which you never realize how much time people in cheap movies spend driving around until some sick bastard gives that activity its own theme song…

and…

What We Do in the Shadows (2014), in which the only thing more aggravating than having three roommates is having three roommates who live forever.

 

And now here’s a bunch of other stuff that I was unable to announce here due to technical difficulties:

 

The Blood Waters of Dr. Z (1971), in which the first step on the road to World Domination is obviously to turn yourself into a catfish…

Centurion (2010), or The Hills Wear Woad

The Crazies (1973), in which the Proper Authorities enforce Murphy’s Law with an iron fist…

Deranged (1974), in which you just know all the neighbors will tell the folks from the TV news that he always seemed like such a nice, quiet fellow who kept to himself a lot…

Eaten Alive (1976), in which the neighbors are going to get bleeped when the TV news airs their remarks about the culprit…

Future Hunters (1986), in which Sirio Santiago rips off the whole 1980’s in one fell swoop…

The Horror of Party Beach (1964), in which Del Tenney runs with a ball that AIP uncharacteristically dropped…

It (2017), in which a pretty crappy horror movie keeps getting in the way of a pretty great coming-of-age drama…

Lisztomania (1975), after which you’ll never hear anything by Richard Wagner quite the same way again…

She Demons (1958), in which Richard Cunha rips off damn near the whole 1950’s in one fell swoop…

Swamp Thing (1982), in case you forgot how crummy comic book movies used to be…

Wolfguy: Enraged Lycanthrope (1975), in which the wolf-man never turns into a wolf, but somehow that’s kind of okay…

and…

Wonder Women (1973), which I promise you is none of the movies you’re imagining as you read that title.

 
 
 

El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.

Spy vs. self

The AssignmentBarely released to theaters, The Assignment didn’t deserve its shabby treatment, being an effective action thriller that should be much better known.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Fairly awful

All's FairAlthough All’s Fair has an interesting cast of B movie stars, there is nothing else to make the movie particularly worth watching.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

No dog, this pretty good horror movie

Big Bad WolfThere are enough offbeat touches in Big Bad Wolf to make this particular werewolf movie stand out from the rest of the pack.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Limping Back Into Production

Not that you need the inside scoop, but I’ve been writing a lot for the day job, and that means writing less for Mezzanotte. And of course, when I do get around to writing a new review, I waste the effort on…

SLAUGHTER HOTEL

In 1972, Fernando Di Leo wrote and directed Caliber 9, rightfully considered one of the best crime films of the 1970s. He followed up with The Italian Connection that same year, then The Boss in 1973. Like Caliber 9, they are considered high water marks in global crime cinema. But in 1971, he still had to pay some dues, and Slaughter Hotel extracts a high fee indeed. It is is a deeply, satisfyingly absurd film on almost level that reflects both the burgeoning popularity of the stylish giallo film and the relaxing of censorship laws across Europe and the United States. One of those two things was much more important to Slaughter Hotel than the other.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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Not about Joe Isuzu’s backside

Liar's MoonOne of the strangest chapters in the history of drive-in movie distributor Crown International Pictures was when they distributed Liar’s Moon, a serious drama unlike most of their other releases.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

The Forgotten Dawn of Mexican Horror

The Forgotten Dawn of Horror: A B-Masters' Roundtable

So… if your country’s film industry has just retooled itself for sound, and you find yourself wanting to make a brand new horror movie, what better subject than a local legend about a ghost that wails? I’m sure it sounded like a good idea at the time. But La Llorona (1933), the first Mexican horror film, gets in its own way a few too many times to really succeed. An uneasy combination of local folklore and Hollywood cliché, it’s certainly noteworthy for its place in history… but judged on its own merits, it’s entertaining but undistinguished.


Only a year later, though, Mexico put out its second horror film (previously reviewed by me here), which was far, far better; and the writer of that film, Juan Bustillo Oro, went on to make what could be considered the third Mexican horror film, and one of the very finest: Dos Monjes (1934). Unusual for its time, its country, and its director, Dos Monjes may or may not fit everyone’s definition of a “horror movie”. But it’s certainly a forgotten classic, without which an understanding of the development of Mexican horror cinema is incomplete.

(I’m currently at work on a couple more entries on early Mexican horror for this Roundtable. Unfortunately, I seem to have run out of February! Keep watching this space…)

Will Laughlin is the Braineater.

Some people are a real pain in the neck…

 
Another personalised banner! – I feel so spoilt.

 

 

 

SUPERNATURAL (1933)

…in which an executed serial killer has some unfinished business.

 

In her only horror movie, Carole Lombard gives an impressive performance as a society girl possessed by the spirit of an insane killer. While the film itself is finally less than the sum of its parts, each of those individual parts is very interesting.

 

 

I have also copied over and slightly revised Dracula’s Daughter.

 

 

Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

De film du ninja, bork bork bork

The Ninja MissionYou probably never thought that a ninja movie would come out of the Swedish film industry, but The Ninja Mission proves that anything is possible.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

It don’t matter if you’re black and white

West Of ZanzibarWhen the horror film genre started to be defined and established in the silent film era, West Of Zanzibar came out, a lurid tale that still has some potent rawness ninety years later.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.