The Oblong Box (1969 United Kingdom)

Owing virtually nothing to Edgar Allan Poe other than the title, American International Pictures (AIP) did like to insult the public’s intelligence. The critics of the time did not have much enthusiasm for this flick, which is often surprisingly nasty for that era, but I think this has enough entertainment value for at least one viewing. The director, Gordon Hessler, who replaced Michael Reeves after his untimely death, does a good job of making the film into a reasonably compelling narrative, even if he is a little too fond of extreme close-ups.
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Death Wish (1974 USA)

Few motion pictures have the notoriety of Death Wish: short sharp slabs of repulsive, sadistic violence that linger in the memory along with a theme–if you like the film then you must be an advocate of fascist exploitation cinema, or if you don’t like it then you are a bleeding heart liberal. Critics of the time hated the picture, calling it irresponsible for advocating vigilantism. What the critics of the time failed to see, as the film became a huge commercial success, was that they had the luxury to sit in their comfy secure high rise apartments as the people of the streets lived in fear of stepping outside their homes. At least in large cities like New York. [Read more…]

A Warning To The Curious (1972 Britain)

A Warning to the Curious (1972) - 1Similar in essence to Whistle and I’ll Come to You in having a disturbed ancient artifact trigger a supernatural visitation. Genuinely unsettling in places, with director Lawrence Gordon Clarke’s ghost having a more physical presence than M R James’, including a fantastic torchlight scene which lingers long in the memory. In just 50 minutes of viewing you will experience real 10 out of 10 fear. Just what the heck is lurking in those trees behind us? [Read more…]

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