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'70s Horror Film Let's Scare Jessica to Death Fools Everyone

Writer-Director John Hancock and co-writer Lee Kalcheim take the gothic heroine from hundreds of penny dreadfuls and allow her to have her agency in the most unusual horror film, Let's Scare Jessica to Death.

Film

John Badham's 'Dracula', the Rock Star

On John Badham's Dracula. Because the director of Saturday Night Fever is the first person you would think of to direct Dracula, right?

Film

'Dead of Night' Haunts Above and Beyond Its Imitators

Film anthology Dead of Night's influence went far beyond what its creators must have imagined.

Film

Pink Bicycles and Folding Chairs: An Interview with Microbudget Movie Maker Joshua Kennedy

Horror movie maker Joshua Kennedy knows how to make imaginative movies with little or no money. He made an homage to '70s airline disaster films without a plane -- but with plenty of folding chairs.

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'The Night Stalker' Crept Through the 1970s Constraints of Made for TV Film

In the '70s there was something sinister sneaking into suburban homes between the sitcom and the 11 o'clock news where the real horrors played out. The made for TV horror film The Night Stalker would be among the best.

Film

'When a Stranger Calls Back' Betters Its Spooky Predecessor

Although not as well known as John Carpenter or Brian DePalma, Fred Walton brilliantly complicates that old mystery -- is the killer in the house? -- with 1993's When a Stranger Calls Back.

Film

Godard's Sci-fi/Noir Alphaville' Is Witty and Subversive

Alphaville's pulpy sci-fi plot acts as a warm coat of familiarity as Godard slyly subverts one genre trope after another.

Film

David Lynch's 'Lost Highway' Loosens Our Grip on What and Whom We Think We Know

We move through life among strangers whom we try to make less strange by identifying repetitive behaviors as identity. At some point, we might even say we "know" a person. Lynch's Lost Highway shows that we don't know anything about each other.

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The Storytelling Technique in Tourneur's Horror Film, 'The Leopard Man', Was Way Ahead of Its Time

Jacques Tourneur's Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie are considered classics today. But The Leopard Man, has always been considered something of a misstep, until now.

Film

'Quatermass and the Pit' Peers into the Dark Nature of Human Evolution

Nigel Kneale's book and screenplay, which Hammer Films made into Quatermass and the Pit, raises many provocative questions regarding the nature of human evolution and the conception of the devil itself.

Film

Faster than Fassbinder! An Interview with Filmmaker Michael Fredianelli

The prolific independent filmmaker Michael Fredianelli doesn't let the microbudget scale of his productions limit his imagination -- or his creations.

Reviews

Dirty Money (Un Flic)

For Jean-Pierre Melville, the classic cops and robbers crime story was simply a vehicle to place his flawed heroes through ritualized situations of life and death.

Reviews

City of Vice

Educated men outraged about crime face situations in which they do not fully comprehend the true moral horror.

Reviews

Dead Man's Bounty

This oddball film's closest progenitors are Fassbinder’s Brecht-influenced and just plain weird Whity, and Cox’s Americanized Spaghetti western, Straight to Hell.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Sleuth

Both dazzlingly brilliant and incredibly irritating, often most irritating when it catches itself being brilliant.

Reviews

Damages: The Complete First Season

A superbly acted, complex serial story, this show is well-suited to the DVD medium as it can followed at your own pace without fear of missing some of the story.

Film

Fireflies and Failureboys

Digital filmmaking has provided independent filmmakers with the tools to produce watchable films, but then there's the matter of enticing people to actually watch them. An interview with indie filmmaker, Peter Marcy.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Zodiac-The Director's Cut

Even though Zodiac attempts to achieve a sort of documentary-like reality, there is an underlying surrealism, a poetic and nightmarish vibe that hangs over the whole film.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Days of Heaven

Malick puts the visual and aural emphasis on a vast, natural world that would be nothing more than a backdrop to the human story for most filmmakers, creating a breathtaking visual experience.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Witchfinder General

Witchfinder General fits less in the genre of horror than in the kind of films that would follow in the ‘70s with tales of torture, survival and revenge like Straw Dogs and Deliverance.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Puzzlehead

A scientist creates an android that becomes more humane than he is. But is he human? Their battle for the affections of young girl raises disturbing questions on the nature of humanity, identity and love.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Honor Among Thieves (Adieu l'ami is)

Charles Bronson's character wears a Chesire grin throughout Honor Among Thieves that makes it seem like he knows everything about everyone; apparently, he's the only one who knows what this film is about, too.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

Hedda Gabler

Is she just pulling the wings off a fly, without care or motive?

Brian Holcomb
Reviews

The Nightcomers

If you’ve never seen Jack Clayton’s film version of the James story, The Innocents or are just a fan of Brando, The Nightcomers will be mildly entertaining.

Brian Holcomb
Reviews
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