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  • Dream Demon

    Dream Demon

    ★★★½

    I don’t know much Eighties horror from the United Kingdom. This was the incentive to watch DREAM DEMON from 1988, which centers on the marital fears of Diana, an innocent bride-to-be, in the form of horrific dreams. Her engagement to a national hero who fought in the Falklands War also brings intrusive attention by two reporters from a tabloid. Their sleazy interest in her sex habits intersects with her own sexuality anxieties, be it about her fiancé’s desires or her…

  • On the Silver Globe

    On the Silver Globe

    ★★★½

    Żuławski's Dune.

  • Deadly Manor

    Deadly Manor

    ★★½

    Not the banger you'd hope from the guy who gave us SYMPTOMS, VAMPYRES, and EDGE OF THE AXE, but for his final outing Jose Larraz lengthens the connective tissue to the thematic interests of his past, which had been absent to an extent during his "hackwork" from the 1980s.

    Like EDGE OF THE AXE, it is setup as another rural American slasher for a youngish audience expecting a body count. It takes a regal turn toward the psycho thriller, as…

  • The Exterminator

    The Exterminator

    ★★★½

    I've never seen a hot dog get cooked like that.

  • Wacko

    Wacko

    Do you want to laugh four times at a recycled punchline about dad creeping on his daughters when they sleep and shower?

  • Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana

    Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana

    ★★★★

    More proof that Florida is a garbage state.

    Prosecutor Stuart Baggish and state attorney Christopher Marone should be on the American Wall of Shame. Send 'em to a gulag.

  • Private Parts

    Private Parts

    ★★★½

    Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things a Year Later

    By 1972, I suppose studios were willing to cash in on the endlessly reusable form of PSYCHO—and the common correlate of pathological photography—with the sexual quirks and indie-spiritedness of something like THE TELEPHONE BOOK. PRIVATE PARTS has this genre familiarity to it. It's mostly successful with its formula. Production value gives it a pretty boost.

    The ending is mired in clunky trope mixing, rather than adding something new or, at least, making…

  • Dial: Help

    Dial: Help

    ★★★

    Don't hang up! This is one of the more tolerable silly Italian horror features from the commercialized late '80s. Flimsy connections, loose ends, startlingly sightless behavior, and a lame duck ending are over come by piecemeal set pieces, enjoyable absurdities, the lustrous appearance of actress Charlotte Lewis, and the usual style as substance of Italo Horror. I especially like the dynamic of rustic rooftops and old architecture with urban vogue. Logic may be on hold indefinitely, but that might add to the entertainment.

    Include it in a conference call with other telephone terrors, like PARTY LINE and MURDER BY PHONE.

  • Razorback

    Razorback

    ★★★★

    Iconic Australian films can't help but flex their Oz-ness. It's that outback: the formidable expanse, a harsh terrain dominated by the wild, yet populated by greasy blue collars whose equipment and fashion always appear prepared for life after the apocalypse.

    RAZORBACK leverages the land like a narrative series of incredible imagery; a wide shot revealing the distance from a truck to a hilltop, a wet pit full of soaked refuse, rust upon everything, the vivid greenery of civilized territory, a…

  • Obsession

    Obsession

    ★★★

    Thriller filler made by distinctive talents.

  • Survey Map of a Paradise Lost

    Survey Map of a Paradise Lost

    ★★★★

    Leave it to Hisayasu Satô to make extreme itchiness look sexy.

    I love this line: "You killed him because you don't like doing the same thing twice?"

    And that sequence where the camera's perspective and angle set up expectations that are met with surprise—very clever.

    Lots of little things make this an interesting entry in Satô's pink filmography. It's very watchable compared to his nastier films.

    Could be a great place to start.

  • Patty Hearst

    Patty Hearst

    ★★★½

    I streamed this on the Criterion Channel recently. Not bad. I have some selective thoughts about it…

    It's a bit different than director Paul Schrader's MISHIMA: A LIFE IN FOUR CHAPTERS, but I thought about it while watching HEARST. Both deal with historical political figures and events and explore the extremes of ideology. MISHIMA is an art film through-and-through, HEARST is an aggressive, politicized crime thriller/biopic. Yet HEARST gets artsy too: it features constructed sets, designed to represent Patty's state…