Favorite films

  • Night Has a Thousand Desires
  • Alice, Sweet Alice
  • Rusty Knife
  • Knife of Ice

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  • Employees' Entrance

    ★★★★

  • So Sweet... So Perverse

    ★★★½

  • Man From Nowhere

    ★★½

  • No Way Out

    ★★½

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  • The Postman Always Rings Twice

    The Postman Always Rings Twice

    ★★★½

    “We took a chance, we didn’t make it.”

    Director Bob Rafelson asking himself: what if we filled in all those gaps from the original Postman where we assume they are having wild sex with a film that actually shows that sex, but in the most dirty, depressed way possible? What if that sexual relationship was based on hatred, danger, and sometimes pain? It’s not an entirely unbelievable leap in logic to assume that Frank Chambers, a Depression-era drifter, would be…

  • Cruising

    Cruising

    ★★★★★

    “They’re all scumbags.”
    “Who?”
    “All of ‘em.”

    Needs more disco. Messy, but I kind of love it. At the very least, you can’t say it doesn’t get its fists dirty. William Friedkin is shooting in real locations with real leather daddies. He talked to the right people. He did his research. But just outside the shot there were so many screaming protestors that the film had to be redubbed in post. No group is a monolith, but it’s fascinating to…

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  • Employees' Entrance

    Employees' Entrance

    ★★★★

    "These are the times that try men’s souls."

    Rouge your heels, ladies, Warren William is being a bad boy again. William plays department store manager Mr. Anderson, not above ruthlessly firing septuagenarians who have been with the company for 30 years, getting young women plastered on champagne and doing unmentionable things to them behind closed doors, or negging his favorite sales boy to divorce his wife so that they can spend more time together.

    It’s the Depression, and working in…

  • So Sweet... So Perverse

    So Sweet... So Perverse

    ★★★½

    “You’re not jealous. You’re just bitchy.”

    Lots of great telephone receivers in this film. Maybe Gastaldi’s most obvious riff on Les Diaboliques, but he still manages to include a few extra twists to keep it original (and he was quite proud of the ambiguous ending). I appreciate how Lenzi dispatches with most of the overtly countercultural tropes of Paranoia (LSD, kaleidoscopic vision, James Dean bedroom posters), for a much more restrained, chic film that mostly takes place around a flight…

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  • The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive

    The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive

    ★★★

    “You know, for a while, I thought you were the murderer.”

    A murdered priest whodunit solved by marbles. A black cat. Self-flaggelating nuns. Death by air injection. A combination pizza hut and bordello. A movie that ends on a stupid dentures joke. A fascinating, if messy, boom-era giallo from one-off director Francesco Mazzei. Both he and Fuci were apparently breathing the same rural air when they came up with their respective 1972 entries in the filone. Tortured ducklings aside, this…

  • Paranoia

    Paranoia

    ★★★½

    “Is there anything more tragic in giallo cinema, I ask you, than an empty J&B bottle?”

    Watched the Italian cut with audio commentary from film critic, author & academic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas.

    “She had a truly beautiful ass.”
    — Umberto Lenzi on Carroll Baker