Movie: Shock Waves (1977)

Zombie Nazis on a ghost ship attack a 70s version of the Gilligan’s Island passengers and crew.  If that sounds promising, then you’ll likely have a good time watching 1977’s Shock Waves. As Peter Cushing will eventually explain, these zombies are super-soldiers developed by the Nazis.  Cushing commanded this unit of the undead and captained […]

Movie: Red Road (2006)

It must be difficult to make a movie about heavier subjects without lapsing into melodrama, given how many films fall on the wrong side of that fence.  2006’s Red Road is one of the pictures that immediately stands out in my mind as being a solemn drama that not once lapses into mawkish sentiment. Kate […]

Movie: The Public Enemy (1931)

We are in a city and it is late at night.  There is no traffic, car or pedestrian.  A hard rain is coming down.  Bundled against the rain, a figure in coat and hat is closing in on a darkened storefront.  That rain has to be cold, yet we can almost feel waves of hate […]

Movie: Because Of You (1952)

Some people know they have reached rock bottom when they wake up in bed with the wrong person, or they suddenly find themselves digging for food in a dumpster.  Few people expect their path their life takes to end up at “magician’s assistant”, but that is where Loretta Young finds herself after doing a stint […]

Movie: Them (1954)

 I’m watching a movie that starts with police officers looking into devastation at two different desert locales.  At a destroyed trailer, they take note there is a box of sugar cubes on the counter.  Later, at a general store, they note sugar seemed to be focus of some bizarre heist. Already, I couldn’t stop thinking […]

Movie: Tower Heist (2011)

It has been roughly 15 years since Bernie Madoff was convicted of operating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, and it is shame there has been so much high-profile white-collar crime since then that many may struggle to remember who Madoff was and what he did. 2011’s Tower Heist was made when that conviction was […]

Movie: The Trap (1959)

As a general rule, film noir should take place in urban environments and be filmed in black and white.  Yet there are a few canonical noir films that are in color.  Curiously, those movies usually also take place in the desert. Such is the case with 1959’s The Trap, where Richard Widmark tries to prevent […]

Movie: The Wailing (2016)

Some may think it is strange watching folk horror from Asian cultures but, let’s face it, their old spirits are a hell of a lot older than the UK or Europe’s gods. South Korea’s The Wailing centers on a rural policeman (played by Kwak Do-won) investigating a bizarre series of murders committed by otherwise unremarkable […]

Movie: The Bronze (2015)

Andrew Dice Clay once made a movie, Dice Rules, that had the rare distinction of not only being one of the few films ever to receive a NC-17 but, shockingly, to do so only for foul language.  I have never seen that Andrew Dice Clay concert film, nor do I ever intend to, but I […]

Movie: Tower of Evil (1972)

What happens when you make an early 80’s type of slasher film full of nudity and gore, but make it using the production values of an early 60’s low-to-mid budget set-bound movie?  Why, you split the difference and get 1972’s Tower of Evil. This isn’t just a bad movie, but a rather uniquely bad one.  […]

Movie: The Turning Point (1952)

There’s an odd recurring trope in noir movies where a reporter takes the initiative to do the kind of investigations it seems police should be handling.  In 1952’s The Turning Point, William Holden plays a newspaper reporter who, for whatever reason, keeps doing what should be his friend’s job, namely that of special prosecutor. That […]

Movie: Say Amen, Somebody (1982)

I am not religious.  I am not Black.  And yet I feel a strong attraction to gospel music. Admittedly, the kind of gospel I prefer is gritty, lo-fi and from the 60’s and early 70’s—much like the majority of the garage rock I like.  I don’t believe I enjoy this music in a patronizing way, […]