Recent Reviews

Day of the Outlaw (Blu-ray)

"My tongue's salt dry for whiskey. We took that Army pay wagon. We fought hard...shot our way out. For what? To sit around on our butts like this was Sunday school?"
"Captain, you ain't lettin' nature take its course. Men don't act like you make us act here. We've got this town under our thumb, but we ain't gettin' no pleasure out of it."
"Two more days like this is going to seem like two more years. Maybe not even you can keep us in line, Bruhn."
"I gave my word to the people of this town."
"Why? To make you look big and us little?"
"Maybe you better answer, Bruhn."
"You'll drink, fool around, then kill each other over these women. I'm a-ridin' out of here at daybreak with six men."

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To whatever extent this stark, punishingly cold stretch of land in Wyoming has been tamed, it's owed in large part to the sweat and suffering of cattleman Blaise Starrett (Robert Ryan). And where has it gotten him? Farmers – soft men, in his estimation – like Hal Crane (Alan Marshal) have seized it all from him. They've claimed Bitters for themselves...all of a day or two away from enveloping it in barb wire. More painful still, Crane has taken the woman he loved (Tina Louise). There will be a reckoning, and no doubt remains which of the two men will walk away victorious and which will have his blood spilling out onto the frozen earth below. Helen even offers herself to Blaise, trading her dignity if only he'll spare her husband's life.

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A picture of what follows is, perhaps, forming in the minds of those who haven't yet experienced Andre De Toth's Day of the Outlaw. And indeed, the foundation for a compelling Western has been established: cattleman versus farmer, a love triangle from which Helen cannot extricate herself, and an effectively...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Day of the Outlaw]

Dead of Night (Blu-ray)
None of the guests at this stately country home have ever met Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns), and yet he's spent every night with them for months on end. As he soon informs them, they've all been fixtures in the recurring nightmare that's long been tormenting him. And while names and other similarly personal details elude Walter, he's able to predict certain key moments throughout the day's events that no one could possibly have foreseen – making his premonitions of something truly evil that awaits all the more unnerving. Some of the guests – chief among them psychiatrist Dr. van Straaten (Frederick Valk) – are skeptical, seeking out a more grounded explanation for Walter's plight. Others believe him more than they'd perhaps like to admit. Regardless, they all have stories to tell about their brushes with the supernatural, or at least something close enough to it. And yet the time that passes with each of their stories brings Walter that much closer to the nightmare he dreads so...

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By no means did Ealing Studios invent the horror anthology, but in 1945, they arguably perfected it. Dead of Night established the template that much of Amicus' output, Creepshow, and most any other genre anthology you could name would follow. Several episodes of The Twilight Zone owe a debt to the film, or, at least, the stories that spawned it. Most every creepy motion picture or television episode revolving around a ventriloquist's dummy is either inspired by or outright stealing from Dead of Night's most enduring segment. Nearly seventy five years have passed since the anthology first stormed into British theaters, and its impact remains profound to this day.

Kino Lorber has brought to Blu-ray the original British cut of Dead of Night, restoring two segments ill-advisedly excised from...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Dead of Night]

Attack of the Robots (Blu-ray)

"Be wary of this cigar. Light it only in cases of extreme danger, and throw it away fast. It contains a bomb that spreads a lethal gas when it explodes."
"What about me?"
"Your protection is our utmost priority. This Bic pen is actually a flute. You blow in that little hole. The sound waves break a vial concealed in here. It contains another gas that neutralizes the first gas."
"You watch too many James Bond movies."
"Many more than you think."

But hey, Al Pereira (Eddie Constantine) is gonna need every last one of those exploding umbrellas and mega-wattage electro-gloves if he's going to take down this criminal syndicate. Luminaries the world over are being assassinated by automatons – all with dark skin that fades upon death, all rocking identically stylish glasses, all previously reported missing, and all sharing the same incredibly rare blood type. The suits at Interpol drag Al out of retirement since his veins are pumping with that precious-as-gold Rh-Zero blood. They leave out a couple of pertinent details, seeing as how they hope for Al to be kidnapped by the syndicate and that he'll infiltrate the organization from there. And, yup, Al does indeed wind up in the syndicate's crosshairs, as well as damned near everyone else's.

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Attack of the Robots – or Cartes sur table if you're feeling frisky – isn't the sort of movie where I drone on for twelve paragraphs of single-semester-of-film-studies critical analysis. It's an infectiously fun Eurospy romp, with thrills, giggles, twists, and, as if you'd expect anything less from a Jess Franco film, no shortage of impossibly gorgeous women and T&A. Seemingly critical characters may vanish for a half-hour at time. Gags are setup early on that don't pay off until the final moments of the film. Plot points aren't...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Attack of the Robots]

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Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 8/18: The Spiral Staircase (Blu-ray)
  • 8/18: Avengers: Endgame (Best Buy Steelbook) (Uhd)
  • 8/17: Alice, Sweet Alice (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 8/17: Alice, Sweet Alice (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 8/16: Alice, Sweet Alice (Blu-ray)
  • 8/15: Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (Blu-ray)
  • 8/14: Day of the Outlaw (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 8/13: Day of the Outlaw (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: Zoombies 2 (Blu-ray)
  • 8/9: Upgrade (Hdtv)
  • 8/8: Tobor the Great (Blu-ray)
  • 8/8: Planet of the Vampires (Blu-ray)
  • 8/7: The Fifth Cord (Blu-ray)
  • 8/6: Notorious (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 8/4: Rebecca (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 8/11: The Other Side of Midnight (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Hold Back the Dawn (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Blind Date (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Broken Flowers (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: The Green Inferno (Scream Factory) (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Black Moon Rising (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: The Virgin Soldiers (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: The Whole Town's Talking (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: She-Devils on Wheels (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: L'humanité (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: The Heiress (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Europa Europa (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: La vie de Jésus (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Let the Sunshine In (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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