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  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★★★

    Happy Birthday to my son, Kaijuman! He requested I review this Brian De Palma favorite for his big day.

    "Murder has a sound all of its own" (film tagline)

    Disillusionment. Dismay. There are a plethora of cinematic offerings I can name that define those terms for me. "Brazil", "Chinatown", the paranoia drenched political thrillers of the 60's and 70's. Stories that pull you into rooting for the underdog, sticking it to the establishment, daring to make a difference, and fighting…

  • The Executioner

    The Executioner

    ★★★★

    Daffy as hell, and filled with strokes of gloriously over the top carnage, this 1974 action/exploitation fave starring Sonny Chiba is entertaining as ****.

    I mean sure, it's tonally splattered...shifting from broad goofiness to fleshly depravity to limb removing mayhem at the drop of a dime. But doesn't that sound like a bucket of fun to you? To put it a different way, this movie smacks the sweet spot of my personal cinematic tastes.

    Chiba strides into the picture as…

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  • Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    ★★★★½

    Quentin Tarantino's love letter to late 60's Hollywood? Sure...

    ....but I'm more floored by his and Brad Pitt's love letter to exploitation film stuntman/actor legend Gary Kent!

    Pitt's performance may be my favorite from him.

  • Son of Frankenstein

    Son of Frankenstein

    ★★★★

    "My father drew that very lightning from heaven, and forced it to his own will, to bring life to a being he created with his own hands!"

    Karloff is mesmerizing (of course) as the monster, Rathbone oozes class as the titular character, and Atwill conjures one of the most bizarre performances of his career...but the curtain call absolutely belongs to Lugosi, whose joyous scenery gnawing as Igor is one for the ages.

    The iconic Hungarian actor has never really netted…

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  • The Deadly Spawn

    The Deadly Spawn

    ★★★★

    What an imaginative, low budget horror gem. Made with passion and ingenuity, Douglas McKeown's 1983 cult favorite is an easy film to root for.

    Shot on 16 mm for a paltry $25,000, and mounted by a swath of first-timers behind and in front of the camera, you can feel the enthusiasm from the cast and crew leaping off the frame. Cribbing from cinematic influences such as “Alien” and “The Blob”, this is simply pure, lean, beastie feature fun. Shot in…

  • Cannonball

    Cannonball

    ★★★★

    David Carradine's tight pants bulge deserved its own steadicam.

    First viewing, and not surprisingly I loved this. What a treasure trove for die-hard fans of Corman's cast of regulars and New World Pictures. This and "The Gumball Rally" came out just over a month of one another in the Summer of '76, and both are easily superior to the more popular and successful film they directly led to..."Cannonball Run". Paul Bartel's entry to the 'large cast, long distance illegal vehicular…