Archive for category New Reviews

Misty, water-coloured and distinctly cartoonish

 

Matthew Broderick trying to out-cute a chimpanzee? Meh. A contemporary updating of 80s sex comedies? No thank you.

William Castle, recycled cartoons and a brain in a jar? I am sooo there!

 

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PROJECT X (1968)

…in which the future of “the West” hangs in the balance while desperate attempts are made to restore a secret agent’s wiped memories: a process which involves a budget-conscious recreation of the 1960s and a little mad science…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

The Invisible Man

THE INVISIBLE MAN

When news of the invisible man spreads across town, Yajima hatches a scheme to capitalize on the warning that another invisible man is out there. He dresses his gang up in the iconic Claude Raines style overcoat and face bandages and has them rob banks and race tracks while claiming to be invisible men themselves. The logic of this ruse is, well, there is no logic to it. Being an invisible man has pretty much one and only one advantage when it comes to pulling a bank job, and that’s being invisible. If you bust in fully clothed and clearly visible, merely shouting that you are an invisible man, it sort of undercuts the edge being invisible would give you during a heist. It’s like yelling that you have the strength of Superman while doing curls with a five pound dumbbell.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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Twists and turns

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SlitherNot the 2006 horror movie of the same name, this particular Slither movie is instead a kooky and charming exercise that could only have come out of the 1970s.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

The Invisible Man Appears

We’re slipping in one more for NO, THE OTHER ONE just under the wire, but before we get to that one, we have to talk about this one.

INVISIBLE MAN APPEARS

By 1949, the Invisible Man had all but vanished. But 1949 is the year in which Japanese director  Nobuo Adachi made Invisible Man Appears (Tômei ningen arawaru) for Daiei Studios. The heyday of the iconic Universal monsters was over, and the studio was pitting it’s classic creatures against Abbot and Costello (they would meet the Invisible Man in 1951). The last legitimate film in the Invisible Man series had been 1944’s The Invisible Man’s Revenge. This Japanese entry into the sweepstakes might not have been an official part of the series, but it certainly holds its own against Universal’s films, and in fact is a sight better than most of the official Invisible Man sequels.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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All the Colors of the Dark

Continuing our tour through the weird world of giallo…

ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK

Martino’s 1972 giallo All the Colors of the Dark works within the confines of the genre (which was still relatively new in 1972 but, given the fecundity of the Italian film market, already contained quite a few films, established tropes, and expectations), but it takes the genre further afield than had previously been explored, resulting in a dizzying psychedelic combination of straight-forward stalker/murder mystery (the giallo’s stock in trade), hallucinogenic psycho-sexual experiment, and occult horror.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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Red-eye special

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So, which of these three films of the same title will I be reviewing—

(A) An Oscar-bait drama about race relations in Los Angles?

(B) A controversy-bait drama about literal autoerotica?

or

(C) A low-budget, Hal Needham-esque, The-Exorcist-meets-The-Amazing-Dobermans horror film about a possessed key-ring?

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Pretty obvious when I put it like that, huh?

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CRASH! (1976)

…in which Charles Band takes his very first baby steps towards a killer doll film…

 

 

 

 

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

Race Revenge: I Spit On Your Grave

This might not be the movie you’re thinking of…

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

Cinematic adaptations of books have a long history of being derided by the source material’s author, but few have as dramatic a claim to this dubious honor as this adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1946 novel J’irai cracher sur vos tombes. Vian had been warring with the production team. He was so dissatisfied with the way his material was being adapted that he demanded his name be removed from the film. Despite railing against the film, he was gracious (or morbidly curious) enough to attend the premiere on June 23, 1959. As the now famous story goes, Vian stood up minutes into the screening to shout out his angry disapproval of what he was seeing. He then, suddenly, dropped dead.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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I’ve got good news and bad news

The Mean SeasonIt’s kind of mystifying that The Mean Season eventually becomes really dumb and weak after starting off extremely smart and strong.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Happy Valentine’s Day: Strip Nude for Your Killer

Nothing says romance quite like the sleaziest giallo of the 1970s:

STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER

Signature murders include the stabbing of a woman who, upon realizing a prowler may be in the house and all her co-workers are getting murdered, investigates while completely nude except for a pair of clunky platform clogs; and then there’s the one where, after charmingly attempting to rape a co-worker before going impotent, we get ample shots of an enormously fat man in his sagging tighty whities and black dress socks, clutching a deflated blow-up doll in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other while he cries uncontrollably. Tasteful!


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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Giallo Prime Time: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

We covered some of the early proto-giallo. Now it’s time to get into the full swing of things.

THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE

Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, is the Goldfinger of giallo. Goldfinger wasn’t the first James Bond movie, but it was the one that synthesized all the elements into what was recognizable as the iconic “James Bond film.” It became and, in fact, remains, the template for subsequent Bond adventures and for what people stereotypically think of when they think of a James Bond film. In much the same way, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is the film in which all of the raw material pioneered during the 1960s was forged into the finished formula that would define giallo throughout the 1970s and beyond.


Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.

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