• Barbarian

    Barbarian

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Spoilers

    There’s a movie that is hinted at in Zach Cregger’s Barbarian that I desperately wish to see. Cregger splits his film into four sections that wrap-around one another to tell the story of a monster living in a hidden underground area of a Detroit B&B. The third of these sections is an origin and follows Frank (Richard Brake) at the beginning of the Reagan administration in a flashback sequence. He lives out in the suburbs, but everybody is in…

  • The Pit and the Pendulum

    The Pit and the Pendulum

    This was the first of the Corman/Poe films that I ever saw, and I did so for an early middle school english class. I have no idea how my teacher cleared it with the school considering the tone of the film, and what the pendulum scene implies, not to mention the reveal of Barbara Steele's corpse, but I respect the hell out of her gusto in getting us to watch this as preteens. It turned me into a Vincent Price fan and I saw the other Corman/Poe films not long after. They've been favorites of mine ever since.

  • Viy

    Viy

    I SUMMON THE VAMPIRES
    I SUMMON THE WEREWOLVES

  • Rocktober Blood

    Rocktober Blood

    The end credits are better than the film itself featuring such wonderful names as "Sherry Flowers" and "Joe Gutt". This one goes out to the lovelies out there with incredible names working on average straight to video horror movies.

  • Breathless

    Breathless

    When I woke up this morning to the news that Godard had passed away with the help of an assisted suicide I didn’t immediately feel grief. When someone lives well into old age and had a life of great creative riches it is not a sombre occasion, but a celebratory one. We should all be so lucky. As the morning passed the sheer influence of his work on my life started to drift into my memories. I began thinking of…

  • M. Butterfly

    M. Butterfly

    Trans viewers and critics have been put in the very awkward position of analyzing an unbalanced system of representation and participation in the film arts. It is difficult to look past the egregious nature of how trans characters were usually positioned in mainstream filmmaking, and address the film objectively. It is equally unfair that there is an unconscious belief among those in the critical sphere and in the arts that trans people will pick apart anything. We are merely reacting…

  • The Last Seduction

    The Last Seduction

    When every man in the world is Peter Berg and Bill Pullman women have no choice but to be Linda Florentino.

  • Eyes of Fire

    Eyes of Fire

    The wind will blow them across the ocean
    thousands of them in giant boats
    swarming like larva
    out of a crushed ant hill
    -Leslie Marmon Silko, from “Storyteller”, 1981

    “America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil. Before the settlers, before the Indians… the evil was there… waiting.”
    -William S. Burroughs

    Cursed land has always been a preoccupation of the American cinema, and this has been especially true for horror films set in colonial periods.…

  • a.k.a. Cassius Clay

    a.k.a. Cassius Clay

    Worthwhile if only for the scenes of Ali watching tape of old fighters and talking shit.

  • Orphan: First Kill

    Orphan: First Kill

    "Orphan: First Kill is no grand artistic achievement, but it is great in its own manner of bad taste, and a way forward for a genre in need of a little more sin and depravity."

    I had a blast with this one. Read the full essay here

  • How to Make an American Quilt

    How to Make an American Quilt

    This would be significantly better if it were not about marriage, and were television instead of a truncated 2 hour movie with numerous flashbacks juggling a half dozen characters. That being said, I have such a soft spot for this sort of movie where older women talk to a younger woman about their own life experiences and attempt to pass along wisdom and traditions. It's the gender inverse of the TNT Sunday Afternoon movie aesthetic of the 90s where a…

  • Only Yesterday

    Only Yesterday

    I love the animated disparity in the past and the present. The choice to present the past as frames that are losing their definition on the edges, and look borderline unfinished is a deliberate choice to echo the ways memories fade or transform with time. This also gives the animators an opportunity to work in more expressive elements-like a shimmering sunset overwhelming the image with the admission of a commonality among 10 year olds with a crush-that also feels evocative…