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15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Film

The Poetry of Murder in Jean Renoir's 'Toni'

Renoir's Toni is a grim piece of work saturated in summer sunshine and tree-speckled shadows.

Film

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Film

Buster Keaton's Last Silent Masterpieces: 'The Cameraman' and 'Spite Marriage'

Buster Keaton was aware that the camera can be a catalyst of violence, especially stereotypical violence, for audience consumption -- and that it could also evoke the shared joy of cathartic laughter.

Film

Decode the Pre-Code: Four Hot Early Talkies Hit Blu-Ray

Sinuous camera moves and stylish direction, endings that surely wouldn't have flown after the Code crackdown: four pre-code talkies from Cecil B. DeMille, Phil Goldstone, Victor Halperin, and Stuart Walker.

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Addicted to Drug Dramas "She Shoulda Said NO!" and "The Devil's Sleep"

Films by Sam Newfield and W. Merle Connell in Kino Lorber's Forbidden Fruit series show how exploitation films are blueprints for mainstream cinema.

Film

Douglas Sirk's Oppressive and Beautiful Worlds

That today's viewers can't easily fall into the fantasy of Rock Hudson as an "Indian" in Taza Son of Cochise -- one of three films discussed here -- provides its own distancing and underlining of the themes that make it Sirkian, the rampant phoniness used as a vehicle for something true.

Film

It's a Helluva of a World in Alain Corneau's 'Série Noire'

Alain Corneau's Série Noire is like a documentary of squalid desperation, albeit a slightly heightened and sardonic one.

Film

Luchino Visconti's L'Innocente Lushly Escalates Emotional Intensity and Moral Quagmire

The wealthy, spoiled, entitled, monstrously egotistical male protagonist in Visconti's L'Innocente spends his time in various states of suffering, often sweating profusely and sometimes with eyes puffy and tear-stained.

Film

Laurel & Hardy's Genius of Everyday Chaos

The opposite of the idealized embodiments of masculinity seen in male cinema heroes Hapless Man-children Laurel & Hardy are creatures of the id.

Film

On Hillbilly Elegy, 'Spring Night Summer Night'

Joseph L. Anderson's film 'Spring Night Summer Night' and its characters are embracing uncertainty and therefore defying conventions and expectations. They're making it up as they go.

Film

Rediscovering Japanese Director Tomu Uchida

A world-class filmmaker of diverse styles, we take a look at Tomu Uchida's very different Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji and The Mad Fox.

Film

Susan Sontag's 'Duet for Cannibals' Delves into the Games People Play

Is Susan Sontag's Duet for Cannibals a study in personal human behavior? Or is it an allegory of the seductions of fascism and power?

Film

Romy Schneider Shimmers, Simmers, "Sautets" and "Zulawskis"

Directors Claude Sautet and Andrzej Zulawski turn the camera's gaze on the glorious Romy Schneider in these four drama, romance, and crime films available from Film Movement and Kino Lorber.

Film

Huxters and Do-Gooders and the "Forbidden Fruit" Film Series

Have a peak behind the censored curtain, if you dare, with Dwain Esper's Marihuana and Narcotic, Crane Wilbur's Tomorrow's Children and Harry J. Revier's Child Bride. These exploitation films are certain to provoke.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Film

Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.

Film

Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.

Film

Films from the Long War: 'Their Finest Hour' Offers Five British WWII Classics

These WWII films from directors Alberto Cavalcanti, Guy Hamilton, Michael Anderson, Leslie Norman and J. Lee Thomson are excellent studies in history, filmmaking, and wartime propaganda.

Film

From the Smoker to 'The Oscar': The Sweet Stink of Success

Russell Rouse's The Oscar is fabulously gaudy and kitschy, with overdone sets and costumes. The film practically hyperventilates in mood, story, and acting. You should see it.

Film

Pudovkin Makes the Revolution Human: The Bolshevik Trilogy

Inspired by D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Vsevolod Pudovkin would leave his chemistry studies for cinema. His films Mother, The End of St. Petersburg, and Storm over Asia are presented in The Bolshevik Trilogy.

Film

Pop-Ups Desirable: The Bizarre Delights of '3-D Rarities II'

After the nymphs wave their diaphanous rags at the camera, the boys parody their terpsichorean poses with a magically appearing ball. These and other delights in Flicker Alley's 3-D Rarities II.

Film

The Road to Murder in Love and War: Three Films from Claude Chabrol

The character's in Claude Chabrol's The Third Lover, Line of Demarcation, and The Champagne Murders are obsessively doubled and mirrored, reflecting and refracting their hunger for sex, love, money, and power.


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