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Posts posted by LawrenceA

  1. 18 minutes ago, fxreyman said:

    You could be right.

    Just reading various accounts from different sources. Maybe he won't run for president and MAYBE that is a good thing for the rest of us.

    No, I think you're right, De Santis will likely run. I know he's been polling among likely Republican voters at a higher rating than any possible candidate other than Trump. Or he may end up being Trump's VP pick, with eyes on 2028.

    However, De Santis's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer recently, and health and family issues may change his circumstances.

  2. 19 minutes ago, fxreyman said:

    My guess is that Governor Ron DeSantis could be the savior of the Republican party in 2024. Of all of the potential candidates, he seems to have shown that he can govern in Florida 

    As a lifelong Florida resident, I can tell you that DeSantis is widely regarded as the worst governor in our state's history. A complete bumbling fool who never fails to disappoint, inept at every aspect of governance, and a churlish buffoon to boot.

    So I guess I can see why the Republican party has so much respect for him.

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    Hypnosis  (1962)  West Germany/Dir: Eugenio Martin  -  After a stage hypnotist is killed, the chief suspect (Jean Sorel) is tormented by the victim's ventriloquist dummy. Also with Eleanora Rossi Drago, Gotz George, Heinz Drache, Margot Trooger, and Werner Peters. Slightly-below-standard European b-movie fare.   (5/10)

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    The World of the Vampires  (1961)  Mexico/Dir: Alfonso Corona Blake  -  Hungarian vampire Count Subotai (Guillermo Murray) rules over an army of vampire bat-men and beautiful vampire women, all of whom live in a giant cave system beneath the count's Mexican castle. The Count has sworn vengeance against the family line of the man who killed him centuries earlier, thus turning him into a vampire. He is down to just three descendants to kill, but a pianist (Mauricio Garces) stands in his way. Also featuring Silvia Fournier, Erna Martha Bauman, Jose Baviera, and Alfredo Wally Barron as the hunchback servant.

    This is another bizarre one, with rubber-faced bat-men, lots of (very fake-looking) bats, and vampire women all sporting the same make-up, including enhanced eyebrows. The count, who looks sort of like George Hamilton with Bert Convy's hair, likes to play a large pipe organ made out of human bones and skulls. Very, very silly, and very entertaining.  (6/10)


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    The Ship of Monsters  (1960)  Mexico/Dir: Rogelio A. Gonzalez  -  Here's an incredible oddity that could only come from Mexico. Two alien women (former Miss Mexico's Ana Bertha Lepe and Lorena Velzaquez) are sent by the Queen of Venus (Consuelo Frank) to look for suitable males to help repopulate their planet after an atomic war. After collecting a menagerie of alien creatures, the ladies crash on Earth, where they meet a singing cowboy (Eulalio Gonzalez). Soon the other alien males escape their captivity and the cowboy must save the day. This is even more ridiculous than it sounds, but it moves quickly and is never dull. The monsters are truly a sight to behold.   (6/10)


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    The New Invisible Man  (1958)  Mexico/Dir: Alfredo B. Crevenna  -  An unacknowledged remake/rip-off of The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944), the story concerns a man (Arturo de Cordova) who is unjustly accused of murder. His brother smuggles an invisibility potion to him in prison, and he uses it to seek revenge. Also with Ana Luisa Peluffo, Raul Meraz, Augusto Benedico, and Nestor de Barbosa. Some of the effects are fun, and a guy getting beaten up by the invisible man was amusing to watch, but the end results were too uninspired to recommend.   (5/10)

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    Mysteries of Black Magic  (1958)  Mexico/Dir: Miguel M. Delgado  -  Supernatural horror about female stage magician (Nadia Haro Oliva) who actually practices black magic capable of causing harm to others. A professor figures out her tricks and plans to stop her, while she sets her sights on seducing a young man that resembles a former lover. There's some nice, cheesy atmosphere, and I enjoyed the witch's rat-like minion (Carlos Ancira).   (6/10)


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    Lake of the Dead  (1958)  Norway/Dir: Kare Bergstrom  -  Psychological thriller about a group of middle-aged friends going on a trip to cabin in the woods. They learn of a local folktale about a cursed lake, which leads to eerie parallels of their current situations. I'm not sure if this is the first cabin-in-the-woods horror film, but it has to be one of the earliest. The atmosphere is good, the acting largely top-notch, and the widescreen cinematography is excellent. However, the abundance of pop-psych analysis gets tedious, and the ending wasn't quite what I was hoping for.   (6/10)


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    Black Cat Mansion  (1958)  Japan/Dir: Nobuo Nakagawa  -  A man and his sickly sister move to an isolated country house that's said to be cursed by the locals. When they look into the tale's origin, things flash back to the feudal era and the cruel samurai who lived in the house at that time. Nakagawa's artistic style has grown just since his previous feature, and here he uses B&W film for the modern day stuff, and bright color film for the period piece flashback. Things get a little silly late in the proceedings, but never awful.   (6/10)

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    The Ghosts of Kasane Swamp  (1957)  Japan/Dir: Nobuo Nakagawa  -  A blind masseuse is murdered and his body is dumped into the title locale, setting off a chain of events that leave tragedy and more death in its wake. One of director Nakagawa's earlier forays into supernatural horror, this has some good atmosphere, but not much to its story. Future star Tetsuro Tanba has a supporting role as a malicious samurai. Also released as The Ghost of Kasane and The Depths.   (6/10)

  11. Debunking the Myth of Small Business Job Creation

    Small businesses are not the engine of job growth, but that hasn't stopped small-is-beautiful advocates from continually making the claim.



    Small Business or Big Business: Which Really Creates the Most Jobs?



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    The Ghost Cat of Ouma Crossing  (1954)  Japan/Dir: Bin Kato  -  A jealous woman (Chieko Murata) and her cohorts scheme to destroy a popular kabuki actress (Takako Irie), bringing down the wrath of the stage star's otherworldly cat. This has a lot of backstage melodrama before segueing into ghostly revenge. The highlight for me was seeing 24-year-old Shintaro Katsu, later of Zatoichi fame, in his second film role, playing a concerned young samurai.   (6/10)


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    Ghost Cat of Nabeshima  (1949)  Japan/Dir: Kunio Watanabe  -  Supernatural period piece about an ornate Go board that's said to be cursed. There's also rumor of a "monster cat" roaming the grounds of the ruler's castle. Routine stuff modestly produced and artlessly directed.   (5/10)

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    Hyoroku's Dream Tale  (1943)  Japan/Dir: Nobuo Aoyagi  -  Odd fantasy, aimed at young boys, about a would-be warrior named Hyoroku (Kenichi Enomoto) who keeps failing in his training. He decides to enter a haunted forest to prove his worth. Like most films made during the war years, this film is overly militaristic, with a message about young men giving their all to defend the nation, whatever the cost. The supernatural elements are few and far between, but the highlight is a confrontation with a three-eyed giant.   (5/10)

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    The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen  (1938)  Japan/Dir: Kiyohiko Ushihara  -  Sumiko Suzuki stars as a jealous, scheming woman who has set her sights on a talented young shamisen player. When he falls for another, Suzuki connives to drive the other woman away. 

    Suzuki, who has been referred to as Japan's first "scream queen", is good at being evil. There also appears to be a tradition of ghost-cat stories in Japan, as they even have their own sub-genre name, bakeneko. The supernatural parts of the tale well done, with some interesting camerawork, but the plot meanders a bit, and I'm not certain if there may have been some scenes missing in the print I watched.   (6/10)


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    The Hound of the Baskervilles  (1937)  Germany/Dir: Karel Lamac  -  Another German take on the Arthur Conan Doyle tale, with Bruno Guttner as Sherlock Holmes and Fritz Odemar as Dr. Watson. Also with Peter Voss, Alice Brandt, Friedrich Kayssler, and Fritz Rasp. Rasp was also in the 1929 silent German version, although here he plays the Baskerville's butler. This was a very pedestrian take on the story, and a bit too talky, although I enjoyed the unusual intro that featured a flashback to the centuries-old incident that created the Baskerville curse.   (5/10)


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    El Superloco  (1937)  Mexico/Dir: Juan Jose Segura  -  Minor horror comedy starring Leopoldo "Chato" Ortin as Sostenes, a drunken goofball who lives off the generosity of his doctor friend Alberto (Ramon Armengod). Alberto is investigating a mysterious local scientist named Dr. Dienys (Carlos Villarias) who seems to never age and who keeps a weird beast-man chained up in his basement. Also featuring Aurora Campuzano, Consuelo Frank, and Emilio Fernandez.

    This is more of showcase for the "comedic" stylings of Ortin than a horror film. I didn't find him very funny. The highlight for me, such as it is, was seeing Villarias, best known for starring in the Spanish-language version of Dracula (1931), in something else, and he gives off Lugosi vibes here, too. I was also delighted to Emilio Fernandez as the mad doctor's scary assistant. Fernandez would go on to be a respected film director and character actor, and he's arguably best remembered in the US for playing the bandit leader in The Wild Bunch  (1969). The print of this on YT is very poor quality. Also known as The Super Madman and The Crazy Monster.   (4/10)

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    The Student of Prague  (1935)  Germany/Dir: Arthur Robison  -  The title student (Anton Walbrook, credited under his real name of Adolf Wohlbruck) falls in love with an opera singer (Dorothea Wieck) but doesn't have the money or status to impress her. A mysterious mystic (Theodor Loos) offers to help the student improve his station, but the cost of doing so may be more than the student expects.

    This is the fourth or fifth version of this story that I've seen. Like in most, the "student" seems a bit too old (Walbrook was nearly 40 when this was made), but he gives a good performance. This version features several songs, some performed in a barroom, others during stage performances, but I wouldn't go so far as to call this a musical.   (7/10)

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