• Bye Bye Birdie

    Bye Bye Birdie

    ★★★★

    An effervescent musical about a rock and roll star named Conrad Birdie who is about to be drafted and the publicity campaign to find the last girl he'll kiss before he goes into the army and then put the kiss on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ann Margaret plays the lucky teenage girl and is the main source of the aforementioned effervescence along with Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, and the inimitable Paul Lynde. The girls all adore Conrad while the…

  • Shock Corridor

    Shock Corridor

    ★★★★½

    A reporter fakes his way into an insane asylum to investigate the murder of a patient and then, after he's released, he'll write the story that will win him a Pulitzer Prize. Once committed, however, the place kind of sucks him into its vortex of madness. One scene in which he somehow opens a door that closes behind him, traps him in a room in the nymphomaniac section as women slowly move closer and then just sort of start feeding.…

  • Out of the Fog

    Out of the Fog

    ★★★★

    Ida Lupino as phone company operator and the daughter of Thomas Mitchell and girlfriend of Eddie Albert is wishing and waiting for a more eventful existence when small time hood John Garfield starts hanging around the waterfront extorting fishermen by threatening to burn their boats. The police officer on patrol of the waterfront suspects him all along but Garfield is so fast on his feet he still works his way into the wallets of Thomas Mitchell and his fishing partner…

  • Cannon for Cordoba

    Cannon for Cordoba

    ★★★

    Not as gritty or biting as other films from the era that take place along the Texas-Mexico border as the Revolution is taking place. The characters are there but they just don't have the opportunities to make this into a heavier film than it is. The cannons are actually pretty impressive pieces of artillery though that the Mexican revolutionary general Cordoba covets and it's pretty cool when they fire them. The story is a mission into war-torn Mexico led by George Peppard who's perfectly ok but, like I already said, it didn't seem like the script held up to the action enough.

  • Dark of the Sun

    Dark of the Sun

    ★★★★½

    Set in the Congo as colonialism is fading away and political instability is turning into violence. As a ruthless anti-colonial backlash is unfolding that'll hack to death any European it catches, a mercenary force led by Rod Taylor heads into the heart of darkness by train to retrieve whatever Europeans they can and also fifty million dollars in uncut diamonds. Strafed by a British Spitfire as its heading north, the train includes a heavy drinking doctor played by Kenneth More…

  • Reflections in a Golden Eye

    Reflections in a Golden Eye

    ★★★★

    Repressed yearnings of a homosexual major in the US army on a base in the South where they keep horses. Played by Marlon Brando, his portrayal of brittle stoicism about to snap is pretty intense. Elizabeth Taylor as his wife disgusts him. She strips naked in front of him and then strolls up the stairs like she could care less. The relationship between the two characters is kind of reminiscent of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with adventurous mid 60s…

  • Sisters

    Sisters

    ★★★★★

    Within the framework of a plot of a psychotic personality shared by conjoined twins, Sisters has strong Hitchcock influences which you feel all the way through. Margot Kidder's character doesn't need to put on the dress and wig of her dead sister to become Norman Bates but sex definitely triggers mayhem only with shinier cutlery. The neighbor in the apartment across the way who witnesses the nasty murder through the window in her apartment is another woman which adds significance…

  • The Big Heat

    The Big Heat

    ★★★★★

    The Big Heat hits pretty hard. Each character has a certain quality that the film brings out so by the time the table is set you're surrounded by people from the best early 1950s black and white film noir just about ever made. No one, even Larry the sadistic killer, is a cutout, and each of them just seems to belong in this story with each role crucial to the trajectory. And what's more interesting is that the five women…

  • Horror Castle

    Horror Castle

    ★★★½

    The urge to see another moody gothic Italian horror film from the early 60s can be pretty intense. This almost satisfies it. Set in a medieval German castle, the wife of its owner discovers a torture chamber with an iron maiden that has a little cup at the bottom to collect blood that drips from inside. The old methods of torture are the best according to the Punisher, a deformed killer who wears a black hood to cover his face.…

  • Zombie 3

    Zombie 3

    ★★★★

    After the stupid decision is made by a military commander to incinerate the body of a man infected with a deadly virus, the body's toxic ashes float in the air and cause an outbreak of flesh-eating zombies. Apparently the director Lucio Fulci left the production and the producers brought in Bruno Mattei and Claudio Fragasso to finish the movie, giving Zombi 3 a kind of split personality. The good thing about that is that adding the parts together kind of…

  • The Legend of Lizzie Borden

    The Legend of Lizzie Borden

    ★★★½

    This was pretty out there for a made-for-television movie. It concerns the real life hatchet murder of Lizzie Borden's father and step-mother in Massachusetts in the early 1890s and her arrest, trial, and acquittal. The director Paul Wendkos was good at making scenes with dark undertones beneath the surface. The domestic scenes of her life with her father and step-mother are full of disturbing vibes suggesting all kinds of twisted family relations. The weirdest thing is when her father demands…

  • Ænigma

    Ænigma

    ★★★½

    Any way you cut it, I think it's pretty clear that this was a pretty hit and miss effort for Lucio Fulci. That's because Aenigma takes place in this world without the portals connecting to the other world that looks like the gloom of a nightmare. However, the story develops in unexpected ways, portraying a love affair turning into jealous rage manipulated by the psychic waves of a comatose patient transmitted from a distance. The college for wealthy young women…