#4521  
Old 06-18-2023, 07:25 AM
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FUEGO (1968). I had never heard of Isabel Sarli until reading about Her on the great JR-Sploitation site (which may be gone as not seen it the last month). She was "Miss Argentina" in the 50's, met director Armando Bo and became the constant in his films which featured ample nudity from Isabel and always near water as well. Being no fool, Armando normally cast himself as her love interest, although some later films used his son, which is kind of off putting. One thing for sure, she ws stunning; almost Salma Hayek times 2.

The story focuses on a nymphomaniac who falls in love and marries a rich older man. While her love is true, her hyper sexuality cannot be contained with all sorts of situations; a phone repair man, her rather masculine maid and one shake-head worthy scene where she walks through town propositioning wearing only a fur coat and boots. Is there any hope for her salvation?

Extremely campy and I was not really surprised when I found out John Waters was a big fan of this; in fact, I think He modeled leading performer Divines look based on Bo's film. ***
Sounds like watchlist material. Thanks for the recommendation.
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  #4522  
Old 06-18-2023, 07:36 AM
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The Ghost Train 1941 ★★★½

Ninety percent comedy and ten percent forties horror, which means a lot of description and little action. With the biggest stunt being a train driving off a bridge.

The characters fit together well. Peter Murray-Hill is good as the impatient Winthrop, but it's Arthur Askey who steals the show as comedian Tommy Gander. A chatterbox performance that reminded me of Rodney Dangerfield's cameo on The Simpsons. Or Donkey from the Shrek franchise. Same level of amusing for the viewer, same level of annoying for the other characters.

An enjoyable comedy for fans of this style. And available on YouTube.

Dial M for Murder 1954 ★★★★

On the heels of strangers on a train, this was one of his first thriller masterpieces. Which raises an interesting question: Was SOAT actually his first masterpiece or did something come before that that you would rate just as high?

This movie is brilliant. It takes its time on setting up the main characters and the premise. The story where the main character talks Halliday into killing his wife is an excellent piece of acting and screenwriting. The actual kill scene still holds up with a perfectly laid plan going to waste. And that trial montage... that's some scary shit, man.

Not to mention the great performance of the actor playing the cop. In a very credible way, he shows that he is on to the trick being played and that he will prove it. Showing a type of theatrical tension later perfected in Columbo. Or the writing on how they set a JB Fletcher-like trick to capture Toni. Seeing it spring is cinema at it's finest. Being sucked in, kind of knowing what's coming and still being on the edge of your seat rooting for the heroes.

And your cameo is even more subtle than in your other movies. Hat off to you, mister Hitchcock.
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Old 06-19-2023, 12:19 AM
FryeDwight FryeDwight is offline
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I PASSED FOR WHITE (1960). Extremely off the wall exploitation that is still off beat enough to check out. A very light skinned black woman is tired of being turned down for jobs, being questioned why she's dating a black man and getting static about seeing her darker brother play in a nightclub. She decides to hit the big city, where not knowing anyone, she can make a fresh start. Things go OK for awhile-she has a different backstory of her past-until she falls in love with James Franciscus and meets his family. And then the trouble starts as her future Mother-In -Law is quite nosy, lots of questions involving family/location and having the wherewithal to get the answers. Worth seeing. ***
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Old 06-23-2023, 11:50 PM
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Blood and Black Lace 1964 ★★★★★

Great early giallo with everything you want from a horror movie:

A cool looking killer.

Epic and brutal kills that hold up even over fifty years after its release date.

An awesome reveal at the end I forgot about since my last viewing.

Gorgeous women, stylish men, cool looking cops,...

A groovy score.

And of course, stylish sets and colouring.

Five stars well deserved.

Night of the Living Dead 1968 ★★★★★

Thanks to the local art house theater for organising a screening of this classic.

In a cinema, you feel the dread more than in a living room. The paranoia between the people and how they turn on each other. Timely, with the covid memories still fresh. Ben as the voice of reason and Cooper as the selfish guy who does not help.

Not to mention the kills. I love how Savini realised a step up from the less gory kills from earlier horror (fifties and before). Of course, he was not the first one with brutal kills (Mario Bava, for one, paved the way), but it was certainly one of the first Hollywood classics that went this far with the gore. No coincidence that it was made off the radar of the big studios.

There is also the political dimension. This screening came with an introductory speech by a university professor on film history. She told us amongst others about the political climate in which Romero grew up – the age of the atom bomb – and about how this movie in a way reflected the era. Having that knowledge in the back of your mind, it's easy to think of the barricading of the house on more than one level. Is it to keep out the zombies or to protect you from the bomb? Or the interviews with the scientists and politicians contradicting each other. Again, timely.

Did I mention five star classic?
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Old 06-26-2023, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jarvis View Post
Dial M for Murder 1954 ★★★★

On the heels of strangers on a train, this was one of his first thriller masterpieces. Which raises an interesting question: Was SOAT actually his first masterpiece or did something come before that that you would rate just as high?

This movie is brilliant. It takes its time on setting up the main characters and the premise. The story where the main character talks Halliday into killing his wife is an excellent piece of acting and screenwriting. The actual kill scene still holds up with a perfectly laid plan going to waste. And that trial montage... that's some scary shit, man.

Not to mention the great performance of the actor playing the cop. In a very credible way, he shows that he is on to the trick being played and that he will prove it. Showing a type of theatrical tension later perfected in Columbo. Or the writing on how they set a JB Fletcher-like trick to capture Toni. Seeing it spring is cinema at it's finest. Being sucked in, kind of knowing what's coming and still being on the edge of your seat rooting for the heroes.

And your cameo is even more subtle than in your other movies. Hat off to you, mister Hitchcock.
Good question. I don't like presenting the word masterpiece; makes me really uncomfortable. lol

Dial M was my favorite Hitch. I don't really put any above it. Were any better before Dial M? You know, my second Hitch fav is a film I'd rather rewatch than Dial M, which is Rope (1948). I'd put Rope on the top shelf with Dial M.

Some might argue for The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), maybe Suspicion (1941) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943). I suppose Rebecca (1940) is not a thriller, but some might say his first masterpiece, won Oscar for best picture.

I asked a buddy of mine, and he thinks 39 steps is full step better than Dial M, no pun intended.
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Old 06-26-2023, 01:19 PM
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The Thing from Another World 1951 ★★★½

I love fifties horror. Across the decade, you can tell how movies are coming into their own. But the influences of theatre and stageplays still simmer through. Wether it's in the positioning of the actors or their lines or delivery. Sometimes, it still leans a tad more to reciting or orating rather than to casually speaking.

I love the build up the film uses. As other reviews mentioned, it lays out alot of the tropes imitated by other horror films in later years. Slowly letting the danger sink in. Introducing it bit by bit. The scientist losing his mind because of their advanced status. And yet for some reason, the alien goes down in a way equally silly as when Will Smith makes the alien crash.

To cap things off, I must compliment the stunt people. I know, most of the effects are offscreen. But that stunt with the alien on fire? Are you kidding me? And that in 1951? For that long? Holy moly, Batman.
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Old 06-26-2023, 01:33 PM
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Good question. I don't like presenting the word masterpiece; makes me really uncomfortable. lol

Dial M was my favorite Hitch. I don't really put any above it. Were any better before Dial M? You know, my second Hitch fav is a film I'd rather rewatch than Dial M, which is Rope (1948). I'd put Rope on the top shelf with Dial M.

Some might argue for The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), maybe Suspicion (1941) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943). I suppose Rebecca (1940) is not a thriller, but some might say his first masterpiece, won Oscar for best picture.

I asked a buddy of mine, and he thinks 39 steps is full step better than Dial M, no pun intended.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll check those out.
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Old 06-27-2023, 06:49 AM
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The Thing from Another World 1951 ★★★½

I love fifties horror. Across the decade, you can tell how movies are coming into their own. But the influences of theatre and stageplays still simmer through. Wether it's in the positioning of the actors or their lines or delivery. Sometimes, it still leans a tad more to reciting or orating rather than to casually speaking.

I love the build up the film uses. As other reviews mentioned, it lays out alot of the tropes imitated by other horror films in later years. Slowly letting the danger sink in. Introducing it bit by bit. The scientist losing his mind because of their advanced status. And yet for some reason, the alien goes down in a way equally silly as when Will Smith makes the alien crash.

To cap things off, I must compliment the stunt people. I know, most of the effects are offscreen. But that stunt with the alien on fire? Are you kidding me? And that in 1951? For that long? Holy moly, Batman.
Oh yeah, that pyrotechnics stunt in the film is over the top! The first time you see it you're like whoah, this is getting out of hand, bring in the fire extinguishers!

It's an engrossing thriller without many flaws. I would have liked to see them expand on the scientist's experiments and the conflict therein, but overall it's tight with a good pace.
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Old 06-27-2023, 12:21 PM
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Oh yeah, that pyrotechnics stunt in the film is over the top! The first time you see it you're like whoah, this is getting out of hand, bring in the fire extinguishers!

It's an engrossing thriller without many flaws. I would have liked to see them expand on the scientist's experiments and the conflict therein, but overall it's tight with a good pace.
And John Carpenter still managed to up the ante.
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Old 06-27-2023, 12:47 PM
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Mark of the Witch 1970 ★★★½

Mark of the witch is one of those fun little gems you can discover on YT.

We immediately get introduced to our main witch. At her hanging no less. All the less reason to worry about wether she actually did something, I guess.

Cut forward a good 300 years to a college party with ditsy blondes and at least one irrepriessible horndog, where they call up witches for fun. As you do. This, however, does bring up the score. A quite interesting mix of synth sounds and what sounded like theremin experiments that has a jaws-y way of getting you into the vibe of the scene. Especially effective during the witchey scenes.

Once possessing poor young Jill, the titular witch wastes no time in getting to work. Waking up Satan, killing people and what not. You know, the usually witchypoo stuff. Kind of funny how calling up Satan gets her sexually aroused. Guess this is not the devil from South Park.

Also, the makers make a nice little distinction in the character's speech. While Jill speaks the common lingo of the time, the witch gets a completely different tone and vocabulary. The result being a funny where her boyfriend Alan drops her off at home.

Alan forms the investigative duo who tries to stop the witch together with the more stuffy/stylish Mac, who we seem mouthing along to the original chant. They eventually come up with a solution and the witch's plans are thwarted. Though it does come at a price.

The atmosphere is well established and the execution of the kills is okay too. I like the paralysis effect on the first victim, creating a nice bit of eeriness. Even the sacrifice at the end is a nice touch. Making sure it is not simply a clichéd old “all's well that ends well”-ending.

Recommended if you want to find something on YT.
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