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  • The Unseen

    The Unseen

    ★★★

    This...is...a weird experience. A quick peek at the logline will reveal how well-trod the sleazy plot is. Even in the face of a few particularly distasteful details, the most surprising element of the script is that it takes place in Solvang! But in spite of this, there are a few exceptionally committed performances that make the movie unusually compelling (Barbara Bach even does a serviceable Marilyn Burns impression in the last act). So while I can't exactly say that I loved this movie - or even that I recommend it - I couldn't look away...

  • Daughter of Dr. Jekyll

    Daughter of Dr. Jekyll

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    QUESTION: Was the spate of evil hypnotist movies produced in America at the end of the 1950s just a response to anxieties about Communist infiltration...or were there really some sinister-seeming hypnotists making the pop cultural rounds at that time?

    Off the top of my head...
    THE SHE-CREATURE (1956)
    THE UNDEAD (1957)
    BLOOD OF DRACULA (1957)
    DAUGHTER OF DR. JEKYLL (1957)
    THE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960)
    ...and I'm sure there are many others.

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  • Blood Fest

    Blood Fest

    ★★

    A dear friend of mine gets really hot under the collar about THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. He feels like the filmmakers are taking a standpoint of creative superiority over the movies they reference, all while not contributing much new material of their own to the genre they're "lampooning." Now, I don't personally feel that way about CABIN, but I did find myself becoming irritated at BLOOD FEST for similar reasons. If horror movies are all so rote, so pathetic,…

  • Knife + Heart

    Knife + Heart

    ★★★★★

    Goddamnit. It's been over 24 hours since I saw this movie and I'm still choking up just thinking about it. Not necessarily because of the emotional content either; I would liken it to the experience of a loved one giving you a message or a gift that so thoroughly demonstrates their profound understanding of who you are and what you want that it moves you to tears.

    The candy-colors and the novelty of the film's premise act as a Trojan…