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  • Petey Wheatstraw

    Petey Wheatstraw

    ★★★★★

    Five stars because what else is like this?

    This outrageous satanic fantasy might not be the most obvious introduction one could make to the filmography of Rudy Ray Moore, but I’m glad it was mine. Moore is most famous for his rapping action hero Dolemite, and for a mode of production so homemade that it makes PINK FLAMINGOS look like BEN HUR. To reduce Moore’s kitschy movies to nothing but camp and circumstance is unfair, though--not only because of the…

  • Curse of the Crimson Altar

    Curse of the Crimson Altar

    ★★★½

    I would love to have something elaborate to say about this movie, but the fact is that it’s a pretty simple pleasure. Its uncredited basis is the Lovecraft story “Dreams In the Witch House”, but viewers won’t find it especially horrific in the eldritch sense. The core drama, about a shallow and smarmy young antiques dealer who runs afoul of some sinister occultists, is unlikely to charm anybody, especially when the cast boasts charmers like Micheal Gough, Christopher Lee, an…

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  • Concussion

    Concussion

    ★★★

    This is a good enough movie, but it enters this troublesome territory that I think about a lot. It drives me crazy when you have a character who finds a new, liberating way of expressing themselves--let's say by entering a music subculture or getting into body modification or some other physical discipline, or in the case of CONCUSSION, becoming a sex worker--and the writer just has to restore status quo at the end. Even in the case of a really…

  • The Boxer's Omen

    The Boxer's Omen

    ★★★★★

    I’m a little mad at myself for watching this so close to the beginning of the month, because it can only possibly be downhill from here. BOXER’S OMEN is one of the most beautiful and inventive movies I have ever seen. Celebrated Shaw Brothers stalwart Kuei Chih-Hung went way above and beyond the call of duty with this revenge epic about a boxer who, dutybound to avenge his maimed brother, descends into a world of supernatural trials and tribulations that…