• The Final Comedown

    The Final Comedown

    Gritty take on the revolutionary struggle against racial oppression in the US. Billy Dee Williams as Johnny Johnson, is a reluctant leader of a small armed revolutionary group. A big generational divide plays out between him and his mother who works as a maid for a white family trying to restrain him into compliance. Listening to their arguments, they seem trite, but they also have their moments of catharsis. The cinematic style really clicks, kind of revolutionary and similar to…

  • Friday the 13th Part 2

    Friday the 13th Part 2

    Jason's revenge for his mom's decapitation features precious memories from the first Ft13th with Betsy Palmer. They resurrect the sweater she wore which is now encrusted in dried blood in Jason's shack in the woods along with her head. Counselors running from Jason and entering his shack are in for some nasty atmospheric vibes. But one of them, a child psych major, actually puts the rancid sweater on and then you see awesome flashbacks of Betsy Palmer trying to sooth…

  • Blood on the Moon

    Blood on the Moon

    ★★★★½

    Robert Mitchum as drifter and hired gun in a western shot in black and white with Robert Preston as his crooked old friend from the past. The struggle between rancher, homesteader, and Native Americans, over resources looks great in the excellent black and white photography. Barbara Bel Geddes plays the moral center that draws Mitchum in but Robert Preston is a cool mix of charm and sleaze and the scenes in the town at night have light and shadows like a film noir. Even though the trajectory Blood on the Moon follows is familiar and reinforces the morality, it’s a really atmospheric capture of the west.

  • Weekend

    Weekend

    Weekend is a critique of bourgeois materialism contrasting western democracies with liberation movements to overthrow colonialism. Sounds pedantic but the film merely references those themes as it captures a mad, mad world about the road to a village where a couple is headed in order to collect an inheritance. They're hardly sympathetic so there's really no one to connect with emotionally though it's brimming with political ideas that we need to keep from disappearing into extinction in this neo-liberal economy…

  • Angel Dust

    Angel Dust

    ★★★★½

    This really puts you in a strange mood. The psychic wavelength of Tokyo has a subdued quality. The population just seems to be caught in an existential daily commute while a mysterious killer injects a lethal chemical into random young women subway passengers. It's not as exciting as it sounds because it's not really that kind of film, but it is quite disturbing. The subdued tone intensifies gradually as we enter a psychological horror centered on the lead investigator, a…

  • The Raid

    The Raid

    ★★★★½

    A well defended building in a slum in Jakarta is the headquarters of an influential criminal organization with political connections. The film is a martial arts masterpiece but it's also a deceptively well written and cyncial af plot about the rot of corruption. Though most of the film is insane fights what increases their dramatic kick to the hamstring and elbow punch to the head is it's so well accompanied by the sheer level of cynicism by everyone.

  • The Tall Men

    The Tall Men

    Colorful adventure about the exploits of three men: Clark Gable, Cameron Mitchell, and Robert Ryan, plus Jane Russell built around the plot of redeeming oneself by taking the chance that's also an opportunity to become someone of wealth and prestige in the West instead of just another outlaw. The idea of Gable and Mitchell being ex-Confederate soldiers while the blue-belly Kansas Jayhawks patrol the cattle trail to extort a share of the cattle business suggests the trope of the Lost…

  • New Year's Evil

    New Year's Evil

    Twisted New Year's Eve punk rock scene with dark familial issues as the minutes tick down to the new year. It looks like it's going to suck but sticks with the story and for good reason because it starts coming together into a night of televised punk rock bands, awesome mosh pits, and slashing as the killer's motive and identity start coming together. He's going to use the USA's time zones for each killing and that includes Hawaii.

  • Basic Instinct

    Basic Instinct

    ★★★★★

    Part giallo and part Hitchcock. Since Vertigo is such a masterpiece, I think I got swept up in the parts that feel like that stone classic a bit more than the parts that feel like giallo,and I love giallo. But the atmosphere created by Jerry Goldsmith's lush score and the daytime driving scenes sweeps you up into the higher plane that's Vertigo, not to detract anything from the awesome ice pick murders that are fucking insane. But I think the…

  • Basic Instinct 2

    Basic Instinct 2

    The sequel is set in London. Sharon Stone’s Catherine Tramell is addicted to risk which manifests itself in the opening scene in which she’s driving recklessly through the night while her drugged out passenger, a famous footballer, is fingering her into an orgasm. It’s sort of the intro into the sequel that’s supposed to establish the idea she’s become even more driven by sex and risky behavior, especially the mix of driving and sex in an unbelievably expensive car. When…

  • Demon Queen

    Demon Queen

    Some films born into insurmountable poverty fail to overcome it while others find a way. Such is Demon Queen, about a woman vampire and her victims somewhere in a cheap part of Miami in the 80s. She kind of lures men into believing they're going to have sex with her. But then the story veers off into the life of a coke dealer and his world as she enters it, so it's really about people who live in a sleazy…

  • The Female Animal

    The Female Animal

    A major Hollywood actress is saved from injury on the set by a handsome extra and then she invites him to be her date for a benefit that night. The famous actress and the unknown extra seems like it's going to reverse the tables and he'll rise to fame while she slips into obscurity but rather than that he meets her adult adopted daughter purely coincidentally plus there's another character who was a child actress but now has a string…