The Hit (1984 UK)

It’s hard to put my finger on just what it is, exactly, that makes this film so impressive. One can hardly point to substantial character development, because the characters (with one exception) never really become true flesh and blood to us. The director knew how to combine simple, pure elements–strong, bold colours, bright sunlight, stark images, and exactly the right sounds–in ways that seem to speak of things larger than themselves. So what is it? Certainly the locations and the music, the general ambiance, add a lot to The Hit. [Read more…]

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Chase A Crooked Shadow (1958 UK)

chase-a-crooked-shadow-03This one’s main strength is its plot, which spins a fairly gripping early variation on the are-they aren’t-they mad? scenario which proved such a fruitful ground for British suspense films of that era. An isolated victim in peril from immediate family; lingering doubts of the identity of those closest to her; suggestions of beckoning insanity, overtones of incestuousness, obligatory last minute revelations, and so on. This is memorable for its haunting guitar theme and superb Spanish locations looking cool in black & white. [Read more…]

Black Sails (USA) 2014/15/16

black-sails-season-2I’ve watched the first two seasons and have seen no drop off in terms of episode quality; if anything the script, character development, and pacing have gotten stronger with each show. There are thrills, spills and wenching (even a brothel) on display. This series has captured my eye and drawn me into its world. It must be commended for not trying to do too much in terms of the budget. The sets, costumes, and especially the ships transform the screen into a window of 18th century Caribbean life, and the realism is a big plus for the show. [Read more…]

The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961 United Kingdom)

cursewerewolf By the early 60s director Terence Fisher was still regarded as Hammer’s best director, and his remarkable work here is definitely on par with the previous classics he had made at that point. Fisher puts to great use the lavishly built sets and makes this one of his most beautiful looking films despite the budget constrains, he creates a Gothic atmosphere of impeding doom that suits perfectly Anthony Hinds’ story. [Read more…]

The Hanging Woman (1973 Spain)

hanging-woman-3Inspired by Italian Gothic horror and Hammer movies, the film mostly benefits from its ultra-creepy set pieces and scenery: like abandoned cemeteries, sinister vaults and secret passageways in old Victorian houses. These Euro-horror trademarks in combination with a couple of provocatively depraved undertones, makes this an interesting little gem. [Read more…]

El Cid (1961 United States/Spain)

elcidAn epic in every sense of the word, `El Cid’, boasts everything one would expect to find in a film of its kind: huge crowd scenes, massive battle sequences, and a strong, controlled presence at its core. It achieves the latter in the form of Charlton Heston, who has carried as many epics on his back as has any actor in Hollywood history. [Read more…]

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