Review: ZOMBI 2 (1979)

The dead are living and fighting sharks in Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBI 2, an Italian zombie movie with a screenplay by Dardano Sacchetti. The film was designed as a sequel to DAWN OF THE DEAD, but there’s little-to-no connective tissue apart from what passes as food in the zombie kingdom. Fulci’s flick is of the shoestring […]

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Review: THE BEYOND (1981)

Another gate to hell is opened wide in Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND, an Italian horror film that seems at least obliquely related to his CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. There are those who consider THE BEYOND the midpoint of a trilogy involving the 1980 outing and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, with rich thematic links […]

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Review: THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1983)

Mark Rosman’s THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW is a slasher that is more style than substance. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, as cinematographer Tim Suhrstedt does well to capture Rosman’s sensibilities by lining up some rather inventive shots and establishing some evocative motifs. The plot is boilerplate and the cast isn’t distinct, but the sumptuous […]

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Review: CRY OF THE BANSHEE (1970)

Gordon Hessler helms CRY OF THE BANSHEE, an uncanny but convoluted horror flick from American International Pictures. This 1970 outing does have several things going for it, including an incredible opening credit sequence by Terry Gilliam and a lead performance by Vincent Price that is terrifically vicious. Unfortunately, the screenplay by Tim Kelly and Christopher […]

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Review: HOLLYWOOD MAN (1976)

Jack Starrett’s HOLLYWOOD MAN is an exploitation film about making an exploitation film. It’s also a grubby crime picture that features a terrific villain and an ending to die for. This 1976 flick is definitely of the shoestring variety and it features a screenplay by-committee, with cinematography by Robert C. Jessup and a recurring title […]

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Review: JACKSON COUNTY JAIL (1976)

A grimy road movie laced with blatant insinuations, JACKSON COUNTY JAIL has the distinction of featuring a very young Tommy Lee Jones in one of his earliest roles. It’s directed by Michael Miller with a screenplay by Donald E. Stewart. On its face, JACKSON COUNTY JAIL is unadulterated exploitation and all the better for it. […]

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Review: ASSASSIN’S CREED (2016)

Justin Kurzel’s ASSASSIN’S CREED is a frustrating film. The adaptation of the video game franchise of the same name boasts an awe-inspiring cast and some intriguing visual concepts, plus it brushes past some interesting philosophical and political ideas along the way. But the action is buried in clouds of dust and smoke and the flip-flopping […]

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Review: SPLIT (2016)

Much has been made about the 2016 thriller SPLIT and how it’s a “return to form” for director M. Night Shyamalan, who also wrote the screenplay. And maybe there’s enough to this picture to gloss over some of the filmmaker’s past sins, however overstated they may have become in cinematic lore. Notwithstanding any such context, […]

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Review: JASON BOURNE (2016)

JASON BOURNE is an action movie without the smirking eagerness of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise and an espionage movie without the jolting charm of the Bond pictures. It is well-crafted from a technical standpoint, with director Paul Greengrass and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd keeping things in a constant state of motion. And it doesn’t […]

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Review: STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

Justin Lin’s STAR TREK BEYOND is a breeze, a fixture of popcorn entertainment that actually delivers. This is the third flick in the STAR TREK reboot series that began in 2009 and the 13th outing in the film franchise overall. It’s often so lightweight that it feels like it could float. The screenplay by Simon […]

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Review: THE CONJURING 2 (2016)

James Wan directs THE CONJURING 2, a sequel to 2013’s THE CONJURING. This 2016 horror outing features a by-committee screenplay and is based on the so-called Enfield poltergeist, a paranormal case from Britain in the late 1970s. Wan does well to generate the flavour of the era, although some of the cues are a little […]

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Review: HEADSHOT (2016)

Iko Uwais continues his ass-kicking ways in the frantic HEADSHOT, a 2016 Indonesian actioner directed by Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto. This picture, which was written by Tjahjanto, is fluid, organic and cruel in all the best ways. It carries a familiar plot, but there are surprising layers as the protagonist kicks, punches, stabs, shoots, […]

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Review: BEFORE I WAKE (2016)

Mike Flanagan continues to strand his interest in family horror with BEFORE I WAKE, a picture that has some good ideas but labours under cumbersome execution. The screenplay is by Flanagan and Jeff Howard, who collaborated on 2016’s OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL and 2013’s OCULUS. As with those pictures, BEFORE I WAKE contends with a […]

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