It Follows (2015, Northern Lights Films)
About a sexually-transmitted disease; wherein the victims are followed by a slow-moving zombie who wants to kill you. The zombie can change its appearance and is invisible to others. Film depends on suspense more than horror with minimal special effects. Maika Monroe and Keir Gilchrist are especially good in their leading roles.
Blackbird (2012, A71 Productions)
Goth (played by Connor Jessup) tries to impress girl (Alexia Fast) who is already paired with jock (Craig Arnold.) Threats on the Internet lead to unforeseen events. Modern day story on how misunderstandings and political-correctness can alter people’s lives. Surprisingly effective.
United 93 (2006, Universal)
Based on the true story of the only hijacked plane on 9/11 that did not achieve its target. Director Paul Greengrass films it documentary style and it works. We all know the outcome, yet I defy anyone to watch it and not feel rage. The beginning of the War on Terror, whether people want to admit it or not.
The Misfits (1961, United Artists-7 Arts)
Melancholy farewell to movie greats Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe – their last completed film.
Written by Arthur Miller, directed by John Huston. Co-stars Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach, (who died recently.) Drama set against the Nevada desert, as three men all fall for the same woman – Roslyn (MM.) Depressing, downbeat, not the hit many think it was. Stark black and white cinematography by Russell Metty, evocative score by Alex North.
King Kong (1933, RKO)
The original and still the best. I know the special effects are better today, but the latter versions lack the soul of this ancient, depression-era oldie. Dreamlike, atmospheric, and who can scream better than Fay Wray?
Stop motion photography was the CGI of the 30’s. Directed by M.C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack. Stars Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong. Groundbreaking score by Max Steiner.
A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969, Cinema Center Films)
First and best of the “Peanuts” gang animated films released in the theaters. Born loser Charlie Brown finally find his niche when he wins a series of spelling bees. Will he go on to be the state champion? All the classic elements are here: Oscar nominated Vince Guaraldi score, songs by Rod McKuen. Cartoonist Charles Schulz at his peak.
J.T. (1969, CBS)
Inner-city youth (Kevin Hooks) learns compassion taking care of an abandoned alley-cat. Heartfelt TV drama – the kind they don’t make anymore. Available on YouTube.
Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971, Warner Bros.)
Exciting horror-suspense film by Dario Argento. Stars James Fransiscus, Karl Malden and Catherine Spaak.
Mysterious murders begin occurring around a genetics laboratory. (Does a certain type of chromosome lead to violent behavior?) It’s up to two news reporters (one blind, aided by an orphan girl) to solve it. Recent uncut version is now available on DVD. Ennio Moricone’s soundtrack is also available.
Theatre of Blood (1973, United Artists)
Vincent Price stars as an egocentric stage actor, presumed dead, who seeks a grisly revenge on his critics. Perfect casting for Price.
Co-stars a sexy Diana Rigg as his daughter. Ghoulish, bloody humor not for the faint-hearted.
Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965, Magna Corp.)
Nasty little black & white film about a sexually-obsessed stalker who terrorizes a girl who works in a disco. Surprisingly explicit for its time. Some of the film’s techniques would be used later in “Midnight Cowboy” (1969.) Stars Sal Mineo and Juliet Prowse would both meet unfortunate ends in real life. (Mineo murdered in ’76, Prowse bitten twice by a leopard in ’87, died later from cancer in ’96.) Songwriter Al Kasha had better luck, going on to win two Academy Awards. (“The Morning After” and “We May Never Love like this Again”.)
Text (C) 2015 – EricReportsNews