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  • Crimson Peak

    Crimson Peak

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    As I've mentioned in previous reviews, Crimson Peak (2015) is absolutely gorgeousβ€”the cinematography, lighting, costumes, and production design are all exquisite. Watching Guillermo del Toro go full gothic is quite pleasing. Peak reminds me a lot of Dracula (1992), though it's nowhere near as good. Still there's solid acting all around and a sumptuous scoreβ€”though the CGI stands out a bit too much for my tastes but doesn't bother me enough to detract too much. Peak is a feast for…

  • Hitch Hike

    Hitch Hike

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Hitch-Hike (aka Autostop Rosso Sangue) (1977) is the Italian answer to Sam Peckinpah, pulling elements from both Straw Dogs (1971) and Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) to present its own nihilistic take on violence, greed, misogyny, masculinity, and marriageβ€”a down and dirty crime/road movie with a fantastic trio of lead actors and a frantic score by maestro Morricone.

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  • Southern Comfort

    Southern Comfort

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    It wasn't really until the last third of Southern Comfort (1981) that it felt to me like more than just a goofier second cousin to Deliverance (1972), another cautionary tale against backwoods fuckery (in this case National Guardsmen vs. Cajuns). That's not to say that the first two-thirds of the movie, where the excellent cast portrays a mixture of machismo, boneheadedness, stone cool, and ineptitudeβ€” whilst delivering Walter Hill's snappy dialogueβ€”aren't fun and engaging, but there's a tonal shift that occurs in the final act that ratchets up the tension and pushes the film into the arena of greatness.

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  • Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key

    Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

    Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key (1972) (easily the best title for a giallo ever) is a quasi-gothic thriller (very) loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat (1843).

    Edwige Fenech is as charming and as impossibly gorgeous as ever, Luigi Pistilli is perfectly despicable, and Anita Strindberg plays unhinged like nobody's business. This is my favorite of Sergio Martino's multiple gialli and his direction is impressive. Bruno Nicolai's at times baroque score…