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Alicia (1994)
Filmmaker(s): Jaume Balagueró

After her first menstruation, Alicia is kidnapped and led by fly-men into a surreal and dirty underworld ruled by a disgusting being.

Stillborn This is purely personal, but I have a few wickets through which a film must pass for me to willingly splice it into my imagination. I’m only talking here about films that present themselves as art. — It has to be competent, which for...
Published May 21, 2023
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The Barber (2002)
Darkness can do strange things to a man
Filmmaker(s): Michael Bafaro

In the small town of Revelstoke, Alaska, local barber Dexter is surprised to learn that the body of Lucy Waters has been discovered. Having killed this woman, days ago, he hoped her body wouldn't be found until spring. Through the eyes of a serial killer, we discover the chilling layer of a weary town whose only concern is another long, dark winter.

Hair, Cut “Fargo” without the go, “Albino Alligator” without the wrinkles, “The Gardener” without Angie, “Invisible Man” made visible, “Insomnia” without the light and most of all, “Twin Peaks” with only one peak. McDowell has built a career of his role in “Clockwork Orange:” a...
Published May 17, 2023
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Barbed Wire Dolls (1976)
Welcome to prison, Ladies!
Filmmaker(s): Jesús Franco

Maria, an unfortunate young woman, kills her rapist father in self-defense, and is later tried, sentenced, and shipped off to a woman's penitentiary where she and her fellow inmates are subjected to psychological and sexual abuse at the hands of a psychotic lesbian warden.

Captured I’ve been involved in a dangerous business, diving into the catacombs of film, digging around in trash pits and seeing grand things. Part of this endeavour comes from my appreciation for the vitality of film today which in large part is anchored by Spanish...
Published May 16, 2023
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Bad Taste (1987)
Watch out Aliens... here comes Derek!
Filmmaker(s): Peter Jackson

A team from the intergalactic fast food chain Crumb's Crunchy Delights descends on Earth, planning to make human flesh the newest taste sensation. After they wipe out the New Zealand town Kaihoro, the country’s Astro-Investigation and Defense Service (AIaDS) is called in to deal with the problem. Things are complicated due to Giles, an aid worker who comes to Kaihoro the same day to collect change from the residents. He is captured by the aliens, and AIaDS stages a rescue mission that quickly becomes an all-out assault on the aliens’ headquarters.

The World as Hamburger Sometimes, if we are lucky, a film plants itself deep in our souls and thrives there. Other times, a film is something different: an invitation to a party in the world of the filmmaker. In that case, it cannot touch you...
Published May 16, 2023
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Atom Age Vampire (1960)
You'll gasp with Horror...
Filmmaker(s): Anton Giulio Majano

When a singer is horribly disfigured in a car accident, a scientist develops a treatment which can restore her beauty by injecting her with a special serum. While performing the procedure, however, he falls in love with her. As the treatment begins to fail, he determines to save her appearance, regardless of how many women he must kill for her sake.

Unexpected Assembly I don’t suppose many people have the time for watching bad movies in the hope of transcendent insights. If you are one of these, let me save you some time. This might be on your list. Yes, I know it is yet another...
Published May 16, 2023
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Assault Girls (2009)
Let the game begin.
Filmmaker(s): Mamoru Oshii

Three women and one man - with an assortment of weaponry - wage war against giant mutant sandwhales in a barren digital landscape, all to achieve points within the virtual reality video game called Avalon.

Long Form Loop I study long form film to see how it works. Some times what I end up seeing doesn’t work. That is the case here; only the costumes matter, and one episode has resonance. Does that one episode qualify this as long form?...
Published May 16, 2023
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April Fools Day (1986)
Guess who's going to be the life of the party?
Filmmaker(s): Fred Walton

As soon as Muffy St. John and her college friends arrive on her parents' secluded island, someone starts trimming the guest list... one murder at a time.

The Opening By now you probably know that the meat of this is quite ordinary. It has an “it is all a joke“ sort of Scooby-doo ending. And this casts the whole thing retrospectively as a spoof of the genre. Not particularly interesting on that...
Published May 1, 2023
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Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)
The hunters will become the hunted.
Filmmaker(s): Dwight H. Little

The blood orchid - a rare flower that could hold the secret of eternal life and be worth a fortune to the company that finds it first. Led by a pharmaceutical research team, a scientific expedition sets out to go and explore deep into the jungles of Borneo to locate and bring back samples of the legendary plant. Battling through rainstorms to make their way upriver, the group encounters poisonous insects and a ferocious crocodile, only to discover they're being stalked by an even greater danger: a gathering of giant anacondas. Heat-sensing, fifty-foot-long flesh eaters that will go after anyone that crosses in their path.

Balled Up You know, you just can’t have it two ways. Either you make a movie deliberately campy, or you make one straight-on creepy. Either way, it is a hard thing to do and seemingly impossible for studios to handle, That’s because they want as...
Published April 2, 2023
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The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
The gates of hell are unlocked.
Filmmaker(s): John Frankenheimer

A shipwrecked sailor stumbles upon a mysterious island and is shocked to discover that a brilliant scientist and his lab assistant have found a way to combine human and animal DNA—with horrific results.

Inside the Insides Marlon Brando can do little wrong in my book. Most people see a few giant performances followed by a period of excess and laziness, the only arguments being in when the shift occurred. But I see a genius who long ago exhausted...
Published March 27, 2023
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Island of Lost Souls (1932)
TERROR! Stalked the Brush-Choked Island...Where Men Who Were Animals Sought the Girl Who Was All-Human!
Filmmaker(s): Erle C. Kenton

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

The Soul of the Movie Sometimes a movie enters you while you watch it. These days a movie often enters you well before you pay to see it, the soul of the thing having been conveyed to you by too-long trailers and saturation advertising. But...
Published March 24, 2023
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