• The News-Benders

    The News-Benders

    ★★★★

    A fascinating short film with two great actors. Donald Pleasence plays a shadowy government operator who provides the media with phony news stories to manipulate the population. Every government has a secret department that is part of the overall ploy. The moon landing was created with models, the h-bomb was a failure so it was made to look real in the media. Its explained that TV is the ultimate tool of mass persuasion, though print has its useful role. Do…

  • Attack

    Attack

    Clearly based on a stage play visible from the multitude of single room scenes. Director Robert Aldrich enlivens the visuals with some explosive exteriors and battle ravaged settings but the real meat of the film is the dialogue and performances. Fortunately the cast is able to handle the lengthy dialogue driven scenes with Jack Palance giving a chilling and awe inspiring performance that shadows all the others.

  • Adultery Italian Style

    Adultery Italian Style

    Fairly dopy slapstick comedy with its only real redeeming aspects are seeing Rome in the mid 60s with its fashion, cars and people. One of those people is the beautiful Catherine Spaak who is quite good at comedy and since this is 1966 stays in her clothing but manages to have a wardrobe change every few minutes.

  • The Witch

    The Witch

    ★★★★

    Overtly stylish and atmospheric, director Damiano Damiani, with a keen cinematic eye, takes a simple story and elevates it with some startlingly beautiful camerawork and lighting. At times the images recall the best attempts by Mario Bava, but with a subversive and psychedelic aspect. Damiani, with this film, shows he is more than simply a political obsessive but an artist.

    The setting is thick with palpable age and mystery. The cast is perfect, save for Richard Johnson who is out…

  • Zita

    Zita

    A film formulated to launch the carrier of its star Joanna Shimkus - as we spend the entirely of the film with her. When photographed just right Joanna, is quite beautiful. Her acting abilities are often called into question, though here, her performance is naturalistic and real.

    Spending a night with her in and around the streets of Paris in 1968 is not an entirely bad place to be - the cars, the fashion, music and the people are all a fascinating time-capsule.

    This being a French film; melancholy is never far removed even in the somewhat fluky moments of the film.

  • Illustrious Corpses

    Illustrious Corpses

    Even with some of the best Italian actors working at the time included in the cast the film is a bit of a slog due to its political aspirations. Thankfully its photography is well done and Lino Ventura's screen presence helps move the film, that actually is quite bereft of dialogue, along.

    Luigi Pistilli is given a nice role to display his abilities, rather then jut look sinister, which is the norm for him.

    Perhaps its a film of its time and place, though the lure of Communism among the easily manipulated youth is an eternal story.

  • The Caper of the Golden Bulls

    The Caper of the Golden Bulls

    ★★★★

    A great cast, excellent use of locations and fun script with an exciting heist makes a completely enjoyable film. Stephen Boyd is the standout here with his stunning good looks and physique - he is perfectly cast as the roguish hoodlum. He would have made a perfect Matt Helm if the books were adapted as written rather than as a joke. Gorgeous Yvette Mimieux is in her prime here never looking better. Sadly her role is quite small.

  • Diary of a Telephone Operator

    Diary of a Telephone Operator

    ★★★★

    Much more of a film than its English language version would have you believe. Beautifully photographed and well directed, this film is a romantic comedy with a big heart and plenty of sympathy. The cast is excellent with the two gorgeous leads: Claudia Cardinale and Catherine Spaak giving multilayered performances. Spaak is a true revelation and one wonders why her name is not as well known as Cardinale.

    Rather than devolve into silliness, this tale presents a modern perspective on romance and heartbreak. Watch this for the cast in its prime, be entranced by the finely crafted story.

  • Date for a Murder

    Date for a Murder

    A extremely stylized, boarding on avant-garde film with some fantastic cinematography, a great cast and some exciting chase sequences, by foot and via auto. The only problem is any semblance of a story or plot is given short shrift in order to experiment with the visuals.

    Thankfully the visuals are quite stunning at times, so even without knowing what is going on its fun to watch.

    The HD widescreen color presentation is very nice. The dubbing is not great. The voice work is good but seems to have been recorded in an echoey room - not good for exterior shots.

  • Some Girls Do

    Some Girls Do

    A fantastic looking film full of vivid color, acton and beautiful women is unfortunately let down by a dopy plot and some bad comedy.

    By the final act, the film has run out of gas and things get even more stupid. It's a real shame since the cast is great and the special effects are, at times, quite remarkable.

  • The Blood Rose

    The Blood Rose

    ★★★★

    Beautifully photographed in cinematic locations this film plays out more like an artful romantic drama than a sex-horror film as the terrible US release movie poster would have you believe.

    This film has many elements that elevate it above a typical gothic horror and bring it closer to a Jean Rolin styled production with a better story than most of Rolin's films. Inspired by "Eyes Without a Face" this film strips away the horror elements in exchange for a tragic…

  • Django the Bastard

    Django the Bastard

    The initial concept of the ghost gunfighter seeking revenge is good. Good enough for others to emulate. Unfortunately thats pretty much all this film has going for it. Star Anthony Steffen has a good look but he's very thin and almost sickly looking (perhaps side effect from death). Luciano Rossi is perfect as the weirdo that he made a career of.

    The film is good looking in its 2:35 widescreen and some nice shots. Overall the film moves way too…