Favorite films

  • Playground
  • The Sadness
  • The Big Red One
  • Superexpress

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  • House of Bamboo

    ★★★½

  • Cut to Black

    ★★★

  • Adam Chaplin

    ★★★

  • All the Devil's Men

    ★★★

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  • She

    She

    ★★★★

    Avi Nesher fell asleep while watching a Conan/Conquest/Road Warrior marathon and someone transmuted the ensuing dream into celluloid.

    SHE is yet another Pyun-AF kitchen-sink rollercoaster from Nesher (would make a great pairing with Pyun’s Knights): a goofily anarchic post-apocalyptic sword-&-mutants adventure; a genre whirlwind crashing through a Halloween costume shop and garage sale to create a slapdash future-fantasy landscape of football-pad clown marauders, chainsaw-wielding mummies, telekinetic cult king and his monks, Nazi knights, oracle caves and graffitied streets and more,…

  • Revenge

    Revenge

    ★★★★

    Honestly this could probably go toe-to-toe with Harakiri as a furious evisceration of bushido, and not merely because Revenge is also written by Shinobu Hashimoto and shares a similar structure of grim flashbacks interspersed with the present’s fateful revenge duel. In Tadashi Imai's zankoku jidaigeki (aka the “cruel” niche of the genre), a trifling insult about a dirty spear snowballs into an absurdly-unscrupulous clan-threatening quagmire of sacrificial hypocrisy and fatalistic bloodshed.

    Said insult leads to a secret duel between lowly…

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  • House of Bamboo

    House of Bamboo

    ★★★½

    A scrambling ambush of a train, bodies left splayed in the snow. A sudden execution punching bullet holes through victim’s flesh and wooden tub, water draining out in the aftermath. A frenetic running shootout through a crowded fairground, the gunfights making their way from the ground onto the rides. Sam Fuller’s House of Bamboo has no shortage of strikingly composed shots and uniquely-staged sequences. Fuller x Cinemascope are a potent mix in this postwar Tokyo-set noir. Robert Stack versus Robert…

  • Cut to Black

    Cut to Black

    ★★★

    A promising introduction to indie director-writer-lead Dan Eberle. Cut To Black is a diverting neo-noir throwback, telling a low-key crime story of an ex-cop’s favor for a politically-connected old friend. Investigating a stalker harassing the man’s daughter is a task that goes increasingly complicated and dangerous, headed by an above-average performance from Eberle. Moodily shot in black-&-white and confidently directed, a micro-budget homage that embraces cliche to decent effect.

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  • Gunpowder Milkshake

    Gunpowder Milkshake

    ★★

    There’s a section mid-film where Karen Gillan has a gun and knife taped to her paralyzed arms, swinging them around to fight a trio of hobbled goons, all of them awkwardly trying to kill eachother. During those brief minutes of inspired physical comedy, Gunpowder Milkshake threatens to become something inventive, fun, and different.

    No amount of Gillan swagger, Lena Headey murdering guys with gun-knives, or Angela Bassett doing her best Hammer Girl impression could save this movie though. Remember when…

  • In the Mouth of Madness

    In the Mouth of Madness

    ★★★★★

    Been far too long since I last watched In The Mouth of Madness. Lovecraftian meta-perfection, the campy pulp horror mirror to Prince of Darkness’ unnerving diabolical dread. Carpenter the nightmare artist flaunting his eye for imagery and terror.