The Time Machine (1960 USA)

This film is truly a gem. There are problems with it when compared to H.G. Wells’s original story, but many of the additions and changes are actually improvements, in my opinion. The movie is fine without being like the original story. As far as the special effects go, they’re good enough for 1960, but really this film is not about how real it looks. Its about the warmth of the characters and their philosophical curiosity about the future. The tone of this version is innocent and subtle, completely unlike the violently harsh FX extravaganzas of today. [Read more…]

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Disclosure (1994 USA)

Plot: A computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover-turned boss which threatens his career and personal life. His marriage. His future. It’s all on the line for DigiCom executive Tom Sanders. He rejects the passionate advance of his new boss, leading to him being charged with sexual harassment. Suddenly, long-time company man Tom must scramble for his corporate life – a scramble that will lead him into the dazzling cyberworld of DigiCom’s new virtual reality corridor…and lay bare a shocking conspiracy among key company personnel. Just show us the pictures do I hear ye cry? (Don’t worry, I will) [Read more…]

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970 USA)

tumblr_nz8ttify5j1sradg3o1_1280What is it about American astronauts? No sooner do they lock into some time warp than they crash their spaceship! NASA seems to have perfected time travel, but even a bumpy landing seems beyond them. Controversy has always centred around the film’s ending more than any other feature of it. Those who criticize it miss the point – this was intended to be the last apes film. Why? Because it was felt that another movie set in a post-apocalyptic Ape-ruled world would just be ”flogging a dead horse.” One of the greatest features of these films, started by the Statue of Liberty sequence in the original, was that they all contained ”shocker” endings, designed to send a shiver down the spine of the audience.  And this one doesn’t disappoint. [Read more…]

Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula (USA/Italy 1978)

zoltanI don’t recommend this but I’m feeling generous to old B pictures that have been mostly forgotten. They need some love too. Title also known as Dracula’s Dog, “Zoltan, Hound Of Dracula” is really something quite unique. Much of it is shot in bright, sunny open countryside, a setting which tends not to lend itself very well to the horror genre, although to be fair most of this picture’s suspense scenes are reserved for the night-time sequences. [Read more…]

The Brotherhood Of Satan (1971 USA)

brotherhoodofs3This classy underrated film is packed with spooky imagery. The occult scenes are presented in a completely matter-of-fact way as to make them unsettling and extremely effective – particularly the opening sequence involving an army tank crushing a car, the rampage of a devil-doll, a surreal dream sequence (set inside the ice chamber where all the victims are kept, since they can’t be buried), a beheading committed by a horse-riding medieval knight and the lengthy ‘black mass’ finale which culminates in ritual mass suicide. [Read more…]

The Cincinnanati Kid (1965 USA)

cincigray-cl1-jktcu“To be the man, you got to beat the man.” You can learn so much from this shameless audience pleaser. Like how to make the wrong move at the right time. Poker can be a fascinating ‘holy’ game, and it therefore makes a strong base for a film. How could this not be great entertainment? Particularly with the big guns Hollywood has on display here: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G Robinson, Rip Torn etc. Plus a soulfully tense theme song belted out by Ray Charles. Its a winning hand. You just gotta know how to hold em & fold em. [Read more…]

The First Great Train Robbery (1979 UK)

first-great-train-robbery-6 During the 1950s, censors in most countries either forbade or strongly discouraged films which glamourized crime, but the relaxation of censorship in the 1960s lead to the emergence of a new genre – the “heist” movie. These were films which told the story of a robbery from the viewpoint of the criminals, and were generally light-hearted in tone. “The Thomas Crown Affair” & “The Italian Job”, both from the late 60s are good examples of this immoral form of story telling. “The First Great Train Robbery” fits into this category, although it was unusual in having a period setting and in being based, albeit loosely, on a real-life event. [Read more…]

The Enforcer (1951 USA)

EnforcerThe Enforcer has often played to packed houses in Paris more than fifty years after its original release. More than one French critic has called the film a gem (un joyau) among film noir classics. Indeed, its popularity in France says lots about pure plot lines and straightforward characterizations which make the film accessible to non-English-speaking audiences. Without Bogart though, this would be barely average. He makes this film watchable. [Read more…]

Eye Of The Cat (1969 USA)

eye LCSan Francisco is a great setting for any film, especially when it was made in the hippie era. This Hitchcockian (written by Joseph “Psycho” Stefano) horror tale is something of a little gem. A hugely enjoyable romp, coming across as sophisticated and hip, featuring some scary and horrific moments, but also blessed with some wickedly funny black humour. [Read more…]

The Camp On Blood Island (1958 United Kingdom)

Camp-on-Blood-Island-hammer-horror-films-830817_501_383Dig the poster above. Back in the days when they were worth looking at. I love this film. Its really sweet in an old-fashioned, British way. By that I also mean to warn any future viewer to not expect to see Japanese actors actually playing the Japanese roles. This was Hammer Studios after all and their budgets barely even allowed for toilet paper on the set. [Read more…]

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