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House of Evil aka Dance of Death  (1968)  -  4/10

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Another of the Mexican horror films featuring Boris Karloff. Here he plays an old piano-playing toymaker in 19th century Europe. He invites members of his extended family to his mansion in order to inform them all that they may be suffering from a genetic brain-shrinking disease that makes them homicidal. As if that wasn't enough, Karloff's toys begin to kill the attendees. Also featuring Julissa, Andres Garcia, Angel Espinoza, Beatriz Baz, Quintin Bulnes, and Manuel Alvarado. This was the last bit of footage Jack Hill shot of Karloff, so this is his final film, although the completed movie was released before the other three Mexican films, as well as a Spanish film (Cauldron of Blood), some of which weren't on screens for another three years. This particular movie isn't as outrageous as Fear Chamber, and the production values are small bit improved. But it's still pretty darn terrible.

Source: VCI DVD

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The Kiss of Her Flesh  (1968)  -  4/10

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Third and (thankfully) final entry in the exploitation film series from Michael & Roberta Findlay. Michael once again writes, directs and stars (under the names Julian Marsh and Robert West), while Roberta writes and produces (using the name Anna Riva). Findlay plays Richard Jennings, a psychotic serial murderer of women. He lost an eye at the beginning of the first film and wore an eyepatch throughout the rest of it and the entire second film, but his eye miraculously returns in this one. This one is the most graphic in its sexual depictions, with moments that would still earn it an X (or NC-17) today. There's also a bit more dialogue, so instead of the usual 5 minutes worth, there's 8 minutes worth. The male co-star in this one is Earl Hindman, later best known as the never-fully-seen neighbor Wilson on the TV series Home Improvement.

Source: Something Weird DVD

 

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Sonny and Jed (aka La banda J. & S. - Cronaca criminale del Far West (original title)) (1972) 6-7/10

Stars Tomas Milian, Susan George, and Telly Savalas along with the usual Spaghetti Western regulars.

La banda J. & S. - Cronaca criminale del Far West (1972)

OK I actually found this on line and in a pretty good print. Never seen it before and was pleasantly surprised, Corbucci actually restrained himself and didn't go overboard. It's a sort of a reluctant Bonnie & Clyde story set along the Mexican Border in the early 20th century. It was sufficiently entertaining. As with most Spaghetti Westerns the cinematography  by Luis Cuadrado was gorgeous. It has a Morricone score similar to Cheyenne's Theme from Once Upon A Time In The West and the soundtrack for Companeros.

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Kuroneko aka The Black Cat  (1968)  -  8/10

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Japanese period piece supernatural horror directed by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba), based on a traditional folktale. During a time of widespread warfare, a woman (Nobuko Otowa) lives in an isolated farmhouse with her daughter-in-law Shige (Kiwako Taichi). The woman's son, and Shige's husband, Gintoki (Kichiemon Nakamura) has been conscripted in the war, so the ladies are alone when a band of samurai pass by and decide to raid the house for food, only to assault and kill both women while they're at it. Several years later, many of those samurai have risen to positions of importance, only a pair of ghostly women have begun killing them one by one. Gintoki, unaware of the fates of his wife and mother, is ordered to investigate the killings. Also featuring Kei Sato, Rokko Toura, and Taiji Tonoyama. Like Shindo's earlier Onibaba, this features terrific B&W cinematography and very effective atmosphere. The acting by the three leads is also very good. This would make a great triple bill with Onibaba and Kwaidan.

Source: Criterion DVD

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53 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Kuroneko aka The Black Cat  (1968)  -  8/10

Several years later, many of those samurai have risen to positions of importance, only a pair of ghostly women have begun killing them one by one. Gintoki, unaware of the fates of his wife and mother, is ordered to investigate the killings.

Loosely based on an ancient tragedy about the love triangle between a priest, a princess, and the ghost/demon he's been sent to exorcise, and later develops feelings for.

A well-known story that was later updated/parodied into the better-known "Tenchi Universe" anime series.

tenchi-muyo-movie-review-1-1.png

It was explained in the interview in the DVD set extras with Charlotte Rae and Hank Garrett the only two surviving cast members. Joe E. Ross's (Toody's) "Ooo-ooh" is what he said when he forgot his lines, much like Curly Howard used "Nuck, nuck, nuck" for the same thing.

Or Jackie Gleason patting his stomach on The Honeymooners.

TBH, I was unaware exactly what Nipsey Russell HAD done in his early years before Match Game.  😮

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WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (2018) *Score: 5/10*

Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Sebastian Stan, Crispin Glover. 

A somewhat loose adaptation (yes, you heard right... "loose") of the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name. For those who are unfamiliar, let me sum it up for you: 18 year old Mary Katherine (Merricat, for short) Blackwood lives with her older sister Constance

Image result for we have always lived in the castle 2018

and their Uncle Julian in their family home that has been emptied of about half of its residents due to a homicide several years prior to the film's events. The murders have left Constance somewhat agoraphobic and Uncle Julian somewhat deranged (although his few moments of clarity help to conveniently push the plot forward). The rest of the town despised the Blackwood patriarch, and now that hatred has fallen onto his two daughters. The trio is almost completely ostracized from the rest of the townsfolk; partially due to next to no one wanting to visit, and mostly due to the girls remaining as much as possible on their property. 

The girls are living a quiet, if not lonesome life, until their cousin Charles shows up out of the blue, wanting to help them get on with their lives. Constance shows a liking towards him from the very start, while Merricat hates him and wants him to leave, since she takes his showing up as interfering with the delicate balance she and her sister and uncle have achieved in their house atop the hill. 

Image result for we have always lived in the castle 2018

One major grievance I have with this film, was the fact that Constance's characterization was completely different from that of the book. In the movie, she is seen as a simpering, smiling child who, seemingly, had no clue what was going on. In the book, she is very much aware of what's happening, and seems to have an almost sarcastic sense of humor, all while being too fragile to leave their property and relying on a routine in a vain attempt to forget the past. There just seemed to be nothing going on upstairs with her, which got old very quickly. Alexandra Daddario is very pretty to look at; it just wasn't enough for me. The acting was great; the four main characters really stood out to me. The wardrobe was nice... Like Daddario and Stan, it was all very pretty to look at, but didn't delve deep enough for my liking. 

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A Lovely Way to Die  (1968)  -  5/10

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Kirk Douglas stars as Jim Schuyler, a former policeman who gets hired to bodyguard rich widow Rena Westabrook (Sylva Koscina) after her husband is murdered. Much of the public believe that Rena was responsible, but Jim soon learns that she's a target, too. Also featuring Eli Wallach as a high-profile attorney, Kenneth Haigh, Sharon Farrell, Ruth White, Philip Bosco, Ralph Waite, David Huddleston, Richard Castellano, Dana Elcar, Dolph Sweet, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Conrad Bain, Doris Roberts, John P. Ryan, and Ali MacGraw in her debut. This can't decide if it wants to be a serious murder mystery, a playful romp (the score is geared toward such), or what. The direction by David Lowell Rich is also listless and unfocused. 

Source: Universal DVD, part of Kirk Douglas: The Centennial Collection

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18 hours ago, rayban said:

This is an important scene in the film - and, yet, its' presentation seems so casual -

baker-and-york.jpg

We are being led down a very dark path.

Three men are in love with the same young woman.

And she seems to be "up for grabs".

Is the female deadlier than the male?

;)

I don't think York's in love with the YOUNG WOMAN!  :D

Sepiatone

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8 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (2018) *Score: 5/10*

Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Sebastian Stan, Crispin Glover. 

A somewhat loose adaptation (yes, you heard right... "loose") of the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name. For those who are unfamiliar, let me sum it up for you: 18 year old Mary Katherine (Merricat, for short) Blackwood lives with her older sister Constance

Image result for we have always lived in the castle 2018

and their Uncle Julian in their family home that has been emptied of about half of its residents due to a homicide several years prior to the film's events. The murders have left Constance somewhat agoraphobic and Uncle Julian somewhat deranged (although his few moments of clarity help to conveniently push the plot forward). The rest of the town despised the Blackwood patriarch, and now that hatred has fallen onto his two daughters. The trio is almost completely ostracized from the rest of the townsfolk; partially due to next to no one wanting to visit, and mostly due to the girls remaining as much as possible on their property. 

The girls are living a quiet, if not lonesome life, until their cousin Charles shows up out of the blue, wanting to help them get on with their lives. Constance shows a liking towards him from the very start, while Merricat hates him and wants him to leave, since she takes his showing up as interfering with the delicate balance she and her sister and uncle have achieved in their house atop the hill. 

Image result for we have always lived in the castle 2018

One major grievance I have with this film, was the fact that Constance's characterization was completely different from that of the book. In the movie, she is seen as a simpering, smiling child who, seemingly, had no clue what was going on. In the book, she is very much aware of what's happening, and seems to have an almost sarcastic sense of humor, all while being too fragile to leave their property and relying on a routine in a vain attempt to forget the past. There just seemed to be nothing going on upstairs with her, which got old very quickly. Alexandra Daddario is very pretty to look at; it just wasn't enough for me. The acting was great; the four main characters really stood out to me. The wardrobe was nice... Like Daddario and Stan, it was all very pretty to look at, but didn't delve deep enough for my liking. 

The stage adaptation was a major castastrophe on Broadway.

It starred Shirley Knight.

 

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Thank you for the review, NickAndNora.  "We Have Always Lived In the Castle"  is one of my all time favorite books, read many times when I was a teen.  Like one of Shirley Jackson's others,  "The Haunting of Hill House," it's atmosphere grabbed me and kept me inside for the duration.  I still may have to see this for myself but at Least I'll be warned not to expect too much.

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On 7/21/2019 at 12:06 PM, rayban said:

It's a highly unusual film.

It did receive the BAFTA Award for Best Motion Picture of 1967.

It is definitley not for everyone. 

That's for sure. 2 hrs of my life I'll never get back. What a snoozefest. I had hopes for this as Dirk Bogarde was in it, but I found it tedious, I managed to stick it out till the end, but I should've bailed.  Maybe it would've helped if the actress playing the student had any charisma, but I doubt it the way it was written.

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On 7/21/2019 at 12:21 PM, rayban said:

This is an important scene in the film - and, yet, its' presentation seems so casual -

baker-and-york.jpg

We are being led down a very dark path.

Three men are in love with the same young woman.

And she seems to be "up for grabs".

Is the female deadlier than the male?

What anyone saw in her is a mystery to me!

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Mad Doctor of Blood Island  (1968)  -  4/10

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Another lurid horror thriller from the Philippines, with John Ashley as a doctor sent to investigate reports of a villager with green blood on the supposedly-cursed Blood Island. He brings along his girlfriend Angelique Pettyjohn, since that's what all good doctors do in potential bio-hazard situations, and they get menaced by a hairy, green slimy guy. Also featuring Ronald Remy, Alicia Alonzo, Ronaldo Valdez, Tony Edmunds, and Tita Munoz. This one ladles on more gore than Brides of Blood, including some real animal killings as villagers butcher some pigs. For much of the film, whenever the monster shows up, the cameraman zooms out and in rapidly over and over again, in an attempt to make the viewer think something interesting is happening. There isn't.

Source: Alpha Video DVD

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Project X  (1968)  -  5/10

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Science fiction from producer-director William Castle. Christopher George stars as an agent for the US government circa 2118. He's injured during a mission in the Far East, and is placed in suspended animation. However, he knows something about an imminent attack, so a group of scientists, led by Henry Jones, construct an elaborate virtual reality scenario set in the 1960's, inside of which they hope to prompt George's subconscious into revealing the necessary details. Also featuring Greta Baldwin, Monte Markham, Phillip Pine, Harold Gould, Lee Delano, and Keye Luke.  The plot is overly complicated, the acting is largely perfunctory if not terrible, the direction lacks suspense or momentum, and the production design is terribly dated. However, the special effects scenes using animation courtesy of Hanna-Barbera are interesting, and the plot features aspects later used in films such as The Matrix and Inception. The "future doors" all sound like those on Star Trek.

Source: Olive/Paramount DVD

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14 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (2018) *Score: 5/10*

Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Sebastian Stan, Crispin Glover. 

A somewhat loose adaptation (yes, you heard right... "loose") of the Shirley Jackson novel ...

Has a movie been made of "The Lottery"? It might not fly, even today. The short story was originally published in 1948 and the New Yorker lost a third of their subscribers due to sheer outrage.

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57 minutes ago, laffite said:

Has a movie been made of "The Lottery"? It might not fly, even today. The short story was originally published in 1948 and the New Yorker lost a third of their subscribers due to sheer outrage.

An 90's NBC TV-movie, where they basically played up the standard "New folks move to sinister small-town with a secret" plot with Jackson's twist, and the big message of our heroes trying to stop it.

...Well, you did ask.

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Run, Man, Run  (1968)  -  7/10

Tomas-Milian-as-Cuchillo-in-Run-Man-Run-

Spaghetti western from writer-director Sergio Sollima, the last part in his political western trilogy, preceded by The Big Gundown (1966) and Face to Face (1967). Tomas Milian stars as Cuchillo (the same character that he played in the first film), a Mexican petty crook who's good with a knife. When helps a revolutionary poet escape from prison, Cuchillo finds himself the target of bandits, pro-government forces, pro-revolution forces, and a mean gunfighter (Donald O'Brien), who are all looking for a cache of gold hidden by the poet. Also featuring Linda Veras, Marco Guglielmi, Jose Torres, Luciano Rossi, Nello Pazzafini, Federico Boido, Chelo Alonso, and John Ireland. I wasn't aware that "Zapata westerns" were their own recognized sub-genre, but this is one them. They all feature the Mexican revolution as some aspect of the story or setting. Milian is good as usual, even singing the opening theme song, while O'Brien makes for a weak substitute in what should have been a role played by Lee Van Cleef or Jack Palance. There's a lot of interesting imagery (a man is "crucified" on a windmill, others are dragged between two horses in an unusual fashion), and the score, by an uncredited Ennio Morricone, is excellent.

Source: Blue Underground DVD

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

Has a movie been made of "The Lottery"? It might not fly, even today. The short story was originally published in 1948 and the New Yorker lost a third of their subscribers due to sheer outrage.

I, for one, would enjoy seeing an adaptation of that. One of the few short stories that has remained with me all these years after reading it for the first time in junior high... 

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8 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I, for one, would enjoy seeing an adaptation of that. One of the few short stories that has remained with me all these years after reading it for the first time in junior high... 

I checked the Wiki page and apparently have been a couple. Well sorta, "loosely based" etc. Check out the article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery

//

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