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  • Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules

    Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules

    ★★

    Even by the standards of Mark Forest peplum films, this one's pretty silly. Maciste, the son of Hercules, faces off against a race of underground dwellers with white skin, white hair, and white glam-rock outfits. Like vampires, sunlight destroys them, so they only come out at night. Despite that sci-fi element, the whole thing has a vaguely jungle vibe to the art direction of the costumes and sets, as if perhaps it's supposed to be set in Africa? It feels…

  • I Am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin

    I Am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin

    ★★★★½

    Also known as Fistful of Lead, this is the third film in the Sartana series, and the only one with George Hilton in the lead role. He is great in the role, bringing his own brand of handsome charm and wry wit to a character that could easily have been just another stoic superhuman gunman. The cast is loaded with other great spaghetti western actors, including Piero Lulli, Nello Pazzafini, and Charles Southwood as a dangerous hired killer who's also…

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  • The Lost World

    The Lost World

    ★★★

    Beyond the basic premise of dinosaurs in South America, the plot of this adaptation bears little resemblance to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original novel, but it does manage to evoke the general atmosphere of the story. Claude Rains captures the blustery arrogance of Professor Challenger, Conan Doyle's sci-fi hero. Performances by the rest of the cast are pretty dismal, except for maybe Fernando Lamas as a creepy, guitar-wielding helicopter pilot.

    Instead of using claymation for the dinosaurs, the special effects…

  • The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcon

    ★★★★½

    Bogart is at his best in this classic proto-noir thriller. For a guy who played so many anti-heroes, his portrayal of Sam Spade may just be his anti-est. It's a joy to watch a movie with so many despicable yet magnetic characters. The rest of the cast is phenomenal as well, and the rapid-fire dialogue is some of the best of its era. If the film has a flaw, it may be that it's TOO talky. Would it have killed…