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Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)

21 Nov

You know what? The most disturbing thing in this image is poor Otto's criminally bad wig. At least, I hope it's a wig.

I cannot, in good conscience, say that “Flesh for Frankenstein” is a good film. It is, in fact, a bad film. But it’s a really good bad film. Following me? Some moviegoers love a good bad movie every now and again while others just can’t stand them, period. I’m of the former camp, and this odd re-imagining of the classic Frankenstein tale is ripe with welcome weirdness for those inclined to enjoy this type of film. Continue reading

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Sisters (1973)

9 Nov

Common sense should dictate that an open flame shouldn't be that close to super styled hair, but Phillip is a boundary pusher like that.

So “Sisters” is a bit of a cheat. Though Criterion lumps it under its “Scary Films” header, it’s more straight-out thriller than horror. The difference is subtle; for me, a horror movie makes me feel immediate “danger.” The film seems to threaten me, personally, and so evokes that fear response. In a thriller, all the danger is for someone else. A thriller may intrigue and shock, but it never steps beyond whatever the boundary is that makes a horror movie frightening. Which is not to say “Sisters” isn’t a great film; it’s just not a horror movie. Continue reading

Girly (1970)

31 Oct

It's like "Mary Poppins" on meth, really.

Girly,” originally released with the overwrought title of “Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly,” tanked when it was first released. No surprise there. It’s a very British exercise in silliness and dark humor, and it’s difficult to categorize. It’s not a straight-out comedy, but it’s too light to be horror. There’s a heavy touch of satire, but a heaping helping of madness as well. Whatever it is, “Girly” does have a distinct sort of charm. Continue reading

Eraserhead (1976)

28 Oct

I was wholly unprepared for the sheer beauty of "Eraserhead." Even at its most horrific, it's jaw-dropping.

In which I attempt to describe my experience of seeing “Eraserhead” for the first time with the full knowledge that very few people will agree with my opinions and might, in fact, believe me crazy after seeing this film for themselves unless they have already seen it, in which case they will either understand what I mean or will definitely think I’m crazy. Continue reading

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977)

27 Oct

Rather than demanding an old priest and a young priest, Death Bed settles for a middle-aged priest.

In my research for movie reviews, I generally check out the cast and crew listings on IMDB to see if the names seem familiar. I try to keep track of the credits when I see them, but sometimes I forget, so bless the Internet. For “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats,” an unusually high amount of names appear in no other listings, but this is by far not the most shocking information on IMDB. No, the most shocking information is the fact that out of 10 stars, IMDB users have bestowed five upon this film, and that, my friends, is five stars too many. Continue reading

Don’t Look Now (1973)

26 Oct

This shot is the climax of the amazing opening sequence. It's beautifully filmed, extremely atmospheric and a masterpiece from an editing standpoint.

Don’t Look Now” may be the most adult horror film I’ve ever seen. By that, I don’t mean it’s a film full of nudity (although there is some) or cursing (what foul language there is is quite mild) or over-the-top violence. Rather, it’s a horror film that creates its scares through emotions uncommon to most young people — true grief, despair, the hope of an end to such emotions. It isn’t the most heart-pounding horror film I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly the most heart-breaking. Continue reading

It’s Alive (1974)

14 Oct

 

It's almost cruel how happy and calm they seem, isn't it?

 

The blurb for “It’s Alive” promised a blend of gore and giggles. Instead, I found it to be a blend of gore, social commentary and tragedy — even a bit like an after-school special in places — which is about as far from gore and giggles as you can get. Continue reading

The Dunwich Horror (1970)

7 Oct

 

There is a lot of this business with the rings in "The Dunwich Horror." Also a lot of Sandra Dee's outer thighs.

 

I’ll admit it: I’ve got a soft spot for any bit of visual media involving those Lovecraftian Old Ones. It’s almost like since I know these movies, video games and what-have-you are sort of doomed to failure from the beginning, I don’t sweat the small stuff and just enjoy the ride. Roger Corman was one of the producers behind this particular adaptation of “The Dunwich Horror,” and it’s full of the same type of charm (or “charm” depending on how you feel about Corman) as his other features. Continue reading

Elvis on Tour (1972)

21 Sep

Yes, he's starting to go to seed a little at this point, but The King is as riveting as ever.

More concert film than documentary, “Elvis on Tour” is light on offering real insight into Elvis’ life. And, I suspect for most people, the music is not what you typically think of as Elvis music; these concerts feature him performing a lot of covers, a handful of new songs and a scant few of his classic hits. What’s surprising is how little any of this matters. Elvis Presley is perhaps unparalleled as a performer, and this film illustrates that beautifully. Continue reading

Cabaret (1972)

16 Sep

It's about decadence ... and Nazis. But mostly decadence.

It’s always kind of difficult for me when I watch a movie that I know is a beloved classic and then I don’t love it. I start thinking “What’s wrong with me? What am I not getting about this movie?” In the case of “Cabaret,” I believe it hasn’t aged well, but I’m somewhat at a loss for why, exactly, the pieces just don’t come together for me. Continue reading