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  • One Cut of the Dead

    One Cut of the Dead

    ★★★★

    That's one way to get a crane shot. POM!!

    This is basically Noises Off with lots of blood, and I can't believe that microbudget filmmakers hadn't really thought of that before. So syrupy sweet by the end I damn near cried. A very pleasant surprise.

  • Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

    Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

    ★★½

    SHOCKTOBER 2019 - LIGHTNING ROUND!

    The first in Amicus’ portmanteau flicks is pretty dry and boring. The stories are perfunctory takes on horror tropes with practically no surprises, lacking most of the basic elements that made the B-movies they’re ripping off interesting. The stories don’t liven up at all until the vampire segment, and even that’s a corny twist. As with Torture Garden, the best part is the framing story, with Peter Cushing eating it up as Dr. Schreck. You can see the ending coming, but it still handles itself nicely.

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  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

    ★★★★★

    This is one filthy movie. I know I'm far from the first person to notice this, but, boy, is it ever obvious today.

    An opening scene of planes copulating. Then we meet General Erection post-coitus. Ripper explains he is afraid of his fluids being taken from his body...and, we later learn, new ones entering it. Then we go to a War Room of sexual repression: An emasculated president twice named after references to female genitalia; a general still thinking of…

  • Looper

    Looper

    ★★★★

    A heady, steadily paced flick with traces of X-Men, Equilibrium and every decent time travel movie, Rian Johnson's (the overrated Brick, the underrated The Brothers Bloom) Looper is easily the smartest sci-fi since Moon. Yes, even better than the similarly time-travel themed Source Code. It's not particularly complex but clever where it counts - its time-travel premise is deceptively simple but fleshed out with neat elements like Gordon-Levitt and Willis' shared and evolving memories, the inventive and somberly human use…