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  • Four of the Apocalypse

    Four of the Apocalypse

    ★★★★★

    Sad and mournful western, with a relaxed, unhurried pace and a tremendous hippy-ish folk soundtrack. Seems totally content to follow the characters around on their journey, until Chaco shows up, and everything goes to shit for them. But despite all of Chaco’s acts, it never descends into nihilism, with a lyrical section near the end set in an all-male mining town where the promise of new life seems to completely reinvigorate the formerly gruff and hostile townsmen. There’s also a…

  • The Devil's Rain

    The Devil's Rain

    ★★★★

    It may have been a low budget production, but it doesn’t really look it. Atmospherically filmed by Robert Fuest, who was clearly trying to make the best of a pretty bad script. It moves at a super-fast pace too, never getting dull. The whole thing feels creepy and hopeless, with William Shatner as a decoy protagonist whose faith completely fails him, and a last second twist that might not make a lot of sense, but is definitely effective, especially the way it all plays out over the entire ending credits, leaving you with a haunting final image.

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  • Gozu

    Gozu

    ★★★★½

    A work of absolute insane, demented genius. I'm tempted to give it the full five stars, based purely on that incredibly fucked up ending, and the trollish shrug that follows (the very last shot is literally of somebody laughing at you), but the pacing veers a little too much between hypnotically slow and somewhat taxing.

    But even then, it still features the dream of the Cowman in his unflattering tighty-whities, the dry pressed yakuza skins, and Renji Ishibashi's undignified exit.

  • Bloodmoon

    Bloodmoon

    ★★★★

    As far as movies about Kung Fu serial Killers go, it’s not quite Kung Fu Jungle, but Bloodmoon still works for me. The late, great Darren Shahlavi plays a very camp villain who dresses like a Las Vegas stage magician and quotes Van Morrison before he kills Rob van Dam. He has steel fingertips with which he punctures walls, steam pipes and human bodies.

    Frank Gorshin gets a part as the police chief who seems to exist in a state…