Back with more movie finds, this time the best of February:
RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975), suspenseful and relentlessly scary nightmare RV trip with Warren Oates, Peter Fonda and Loretta Swit. Their “self-contained” little haven is wrecked and chaos unescapable once they witness an occult ritual.
REVOLVER (1973), weary Oliver Reed teamed with gorgeous Fabio Testi in the gritty story of a prison warden’s kidnapped wife and his descent into the underworld and corruption on both sides of the law. Already calling this as one of my fave finds of 2018. Great Ennio Morricone score.
WHITE LINE FEVER (1975), as trucker epics go I like CONVOY better but this is up there when it comes to fun, country music, a working-man-crusade story and wild road action.
…had an Enzo Castellari double feature with KEOMA (1976), bleak and surreal with Franco Nero fighting his corrupt half-brothers, and KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE (1968) colourful crew on a heist mission. Chuck Connors has the perfect big charming presence for this.
MESSIAH OF EVIL (1973), unnerving indie classic, scenes like the gas station heebie-jeebies, the cinema slowly filling up behind the unwitting victim, and the supermarket chowdown ranking up there in disturbing cinema
THE RITUAL (2017), folk horror with a slow buildup to a really original scary monster. Not often you see a reveal that pays off this well.
BONE TOMAHAWK (2015) another thrilling buildup to some of the goriest horrors I’ve ever seen, good cast gets a lot to do, especially Matthew Fox who seems made to play a cowboy. I love a western-horror mashup and this one works well
DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1963). I’m told there is a better BBC version and this is on the slow side but I was gripped by the tale of plants gone mad. Good cast–Howard Keel makes a convincing an action hero–and I always love to spot ideas and visuals in moves across eras, some from TRIFFIDS were used in 28 DAYS LATER, SIGNS and THE HAPPENING.
Mill Creek set mining:
I picked up a bunch of Mill Creek 100-200 movie sets with my Christmas gift cards because I can’t pass up a bargain that adds so many weird culty movies to the collection in one go. On Karen’s suggestion I’ll try to make this a regular little section of my viewing notes. Right off the bat I saw two unique ones: the Everglades swamp-sploitation snakehandler pic STANLEY (1972) with Chris Robinson as an Indian Vietnam vet, and THE MISTRESS OF ATLANTIS (1932), an atmospheric and stylish pre-Code, G.W. Pabst’s desert fantasy adventure with Brigitte Helm as a mysterious SHE-like goddess in a hidden desert kingdom who lures and mummifies men.
Because I’ve watched a lot of Richard Dix movies recently: I wish everyone into classic suspense would check him out in THE WHISTLER mystery/thriller anthology series (1944-1948). It’s where I first saw him, playing all kinds of characters in noirish tales
Because DUNKIRK and Saoirse Ronan have crossed paths long before this year’s Oscars: the excellent, heartbreaking ATONEMENT (2007), memorable for so much more than its incredible Dunkirk sequence
Because I was discussing Jaume Collet-Serra’s and “transportation” thrillers recently: RED EYE (2005), suspense on a plane by the great Wes Craven, with Rachel McAdams
Always love to hear your recommendations