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  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    Cheapjack horror thriller adapted from real events which also inspired PSYCHO. Nothing but shocks and gore, but the beginning of the wave of such deplorable movies which flooded the world's screens towards the end of the decade.

  • Thief

    Thief

    A slick but empty melodrama.

  • Night of the Living Dead

    Night of the Living Dead

    Gruesome horror comic with effective moments; the director was still doing the same shtick ten years later.

  • To Live and Die in L.A.

    To Live and Die in L.A.

    High-gloss, loud-mouthed, hysterical crime melo, a kind of west coast FRENCH CONNECTION.

  • Apocalypse Now

    Apocalypse Now

    ★★

    Pretentious war movie, made even more hollow-sounding by the incomprehensible performance of Brando as the mad martinet. Some vivid scenes along the way and some interesting parallels with Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" but these hardly atone for the director’s delusion that prodigal expenditure of time and money will result in great art.

  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★

    Deliberately scarifying and highly commercial shocker with little but its art direction to commend it to connoisseurs.

  • Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★

    In the exploitation-hungry seventies this movie took more money than any other. In itself, despite genuinely suspenseful and frightening sequences, it is a slackly narrated and sometimes flatly handled thriller with an over-abundance of dialogue and, when it finally appears, a pretty unconvincing monster.

  • 1941

    1941

    Absurdly over-budgeted manic farce which substitutes noise for wit and slapstick for comedy; it fails on every level.

  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    Ugly, boring travesty of a well-respected detective novel, the apparent intention being to reverse the author’s attitudes completely and to substitute dullness and incomprehensibility.

  • Frankenstein

    Frankenstein

    ★★★★

    Whole books have been written about this film and its sequels. Apart from being a fascinating if primitive cinematic work in its own right, it set its director and star on interesting paths and established a Hollywood attitude towards horror (mostly borrowed from German silents such as The Golem). A seminal film indeed, which at each repeated viewing belies its age.

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★

    A film which has much to answer for. It started its star and its studio off on horror careers, and it launched innumerable sequels. In itself, after two eerie reels, it becomes a pedantic and slow transcription of a stage adaptation, and its climax takes place offscreen; but for all kinds of reasons it remains full of interest.

  • Hannah and Her Sisters

    Hannah and Her Sisters

    ★★★

    Even though it has nowhere in particular to go, and certain scenes are over the top, this is a brilliantly assembled and thoroughly enjoyable mélange of fine acting and New Yorkish one-liners, with particularly sharp editing and a nostalgic music score.