• Affliction

    Affliction

    ★★★★★

    Rediscovering this film in the year 2020 feels like a sign from God. This is some film. I could go on about Schrader having twelve more masterpieces lying in wait and how the system you have to go through to make them is a meat grinder, an unforgiving dream crusher. Or how "snow crime" movies in the wake of Fargo saw a sonic boom of creativity in the late-90s. Or how this film breathes winter-cold neo-noir air but underneath is…

  • The Secret of My Success

    The Secret of My Success

    ★★★½

    Working Boy

    This film is running around acting like it's discovered the big city rat race of high rise corporate America and it's going to reveal to you this novel lifestyle no one's ever seen portrayed before. Every scene is, "Can you believe small town Michael J. is in the big time? Look at how glamorous it is."

    But I'll tell you something. I've always had a soft spot for high rise offices in movies, particularly high rise office windows…

  • Eyes of Fire

    Eyes of Fire

    ★★★★

    What if The Witch fucked The Shining? I don't mean that to sound like over-hype but Eyes of Fire is some kind of deformed love child. Talk about a film SCREAMING for a proper restoration. If this film got the 4K treatment, it would open itself to a whole new audience that didn't even know it existed. Seek this film out, preferably after midnight. It has its flaws, but some of the images and overall dreadful tone occupy a special…

  • Willard

    Willard

    ★★★

    I initially started this to include it in my ongoing horror marathon but after an hour I thought, "This can't possibly be a horror film." The style of it is so dry, even shy. It's shy-dry. A little offbeat, but shot very plainly. And the rats, which the poster would indicate as scary, couldn't possibly have been shot as more cute if you tried. I wanted to take Ben home with me and hang out with him. There is no…

  • Exorcist: The Beginning

    Exorcist: The Beginning

    The question that no one was asking: What if The Exorcist, but on steroids? I'd be willing to pay $800 to sit in a room with Billy Friedkin and watch this film. It would have to be a small screen and a quiet sound system. I need to hear Billy and keep the film's presence tempered. It's enough of a chore to sit through. I don't need a 30 foot screen assaulting me.

  • The Exorcist

    The Exorcist

    ★★★★★

    "Do you know what she did? Your c****** daughter?"

    And then Chris's scream echoes into the sharp cut to Father Karras walking into frame to meet her for the first time. That scream echo is just world class editing. The film is an editing clinic.

    And it's one of the all time movie houses. I'm speaking of the interiors more than the exterior. It's just a lovely place to look at. All the weird trinkets on the shelves. From the attic to the basement, it's a very lived-in home. Give me lived-in homes and you're on the right track.

  • Mystic Pizza

    Mystic Pizza

    ★★★

    As a born and raised Connecticuter, and a lifelong consumer of pizza, this film hit some mild sweet spots for me. We Connecticuters don't get many films, so we take what we can get. Also, Vincent D'Onofrio says, "All you love is my dick" to Lili Taylor in a moment of stunning clarity.

  • Quintet

    Quintet

    ★★

    It's rare enough to find someone who has even seen Quintet, let alone seen it twice. I have now seen it twice and I still, to my dismay, have little to no clue what was really happening in it. I am simultaneously desperately squinting and focusing on the screen, and also finding my mind drift like Wilson floating away from Chuck Noland in the ocean. It took me three separate sittings to finish the film. Twenty minutes here, forty minutes…

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★★★

    and Yaphet Kotto as Parker

    I'm always curious how a certain actor attains the "and" credit but even curiouser is the "character name credit." I simultaneously love this weird tradition but I'm also thinking, "Why is it important that I know his name is Parker?"

    Also, if you grew up seeing this before a feature presentation, then we are automatically buds.

  • Vincent & Theo

    Vincent & Theo

    ★★★★

    For such a prolific career, it is easy to overlook Altman making a Van Gogh film staring Tim Roth. It is definitely one his most overlooked films, judging by how many people have logged it on LB. I was watching an old interview where Bob was promoting Vincent & Theo. He was asked what the most surprising thing he learned about van Gogh was. He described the stillborn brother that died before Vincent was born and how Vincent was born on…

  • Conquest

    Conquest

    ★★★

    Fulci watched Excalibur and Conan and thought it was time to put this genre through his meat grinder. The best way I can describe the Fulci touch is going through a meat grinder. His films are a messy, bloody grind of meat churned into pulp. Conquest in particular is borderline a silent film. The dialogue is irrelevant. Just give me dog men wielding spears in a fog-soaked frame and a soundtrack laced with acid and you basically win.

  • The New York Ripper

    The New York Ripper

    ★★★★

    Nasty and gnarly and 100 proof unfiltered New York City sleaze. A time where society's boogeymen roamed freely. The quacking adds sarcastic punctuation to a city under siege, ruled by crime and decay. Good god does the quacking bring it home.