June & July at the Movie Morlocks

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I haven’t been online much the last few months for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I’ve been having some medical problems with my left eye and spending lots of time on my computer reading, watching vids and writing can often be problematic. My eyes get easily irritated and I’m prone to headaches, etc. The other reason is simple net fatigue, particularly on social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter where petty bickering, herd-like behavior and one-upmanship among film fans, critics and journalists can become unbearably tiresome. With that out of the way, I want to apologize to anyone you visits Cinebeats often hoping for new updates (excuses I know… but I seem to be suffering from an extreme case of weltschmerz this year) but you can still find me regularly posting on TCM’s Movie Morlocks blog and I occasionally write articles for TCM’s website. Here are some links to things I’ve written in the last few months:

They Wore It Well: Actors & Mustaches: “Mustaches of all shapes, sizes, widths and weights have long been part our movie history so it’s easy to take them for granted. But a good mustache can have power and presence in the movies and many actors have made great use of their facial hair to seduce costars, entice laughter and menace their enemies.”

Hammer Noir: Terence Fisher’s STOLEN FACE (1952): “While a few of the Fisher’s earlier films, such as SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950), hinted at his penchant for gothic fantasy and costume drama, STOLEN FACE gave the director the opportunity to begin exploring (and exploiting) his apparent fascination with science, philosophy, psychology and medicine that would later permeate his full-color horror films made for Hammer. Amid the noir elements and abundant melodrama that can be found in STOLEN FACE, Fisher spends a noticeable amount of time lingering on strange medical devices while focusing on the doctor’s interactions with patents and colleagues. The doctor also makes a noteworthy trip to a pub where he mingles with some inquisitive locals. This seemingly innocuous event became a staple in Fisher’s horror films…”

Summer Reading Suggestions: “Like many people, I tend to do a lot of reading when the weather warms up and with summer officially about to start on June 21st I thought it would be a good time to share some of the books I’ve been enjoying with my fellow film buffs. My own tastes tend to be somewhat eclectic but I hope readers of all types and stripes will find something that piques their interest when pursuing my list of Summer Reading Suggestions.”

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“I wonder if my brother remembers his brother?” – Remembering Eli Wallach 1915-2014: “Leone famously liked to shoot his actors in extreme close-up or in sweeping wide shots where they were barely visible. But Wallach instinctively knew how to make the most of his screen time and easily navigates between these two very different modes of filmmaking. His eyes speak volumes when Leone’s camera zooms in for a signature close-up but when the director’s camera is out of sight Wallach skillfully used his body language to define his character from a distance. Many actors would get lost in the vast deserts, dilapidated cemeteries and shabby old towns that make up Leone’s film but Wallach seamlessly becomes part of the landscape. We know he’s there even when we can’t see him.”

When Fact Mirrors Fiction: AGATHA (1979): “Redgrave and Hoffman make an unlikely pair and some critics apparently found their height difference distracting but I think the two actors have an incredible chemistry on screen. Redgrave seems to be channeling Garbo while Hoffman displays the kind of arrogant charm that made William Powell so likable. Both performers have rarely been as vulnerable, sympathetic, affable and flat out sexy as they are here, which is partially due to the way they interact and seem to identify with one another’s characters. Their unconventional but utterly convincing on-screen romance is one of the many reasons why I find AGATHA so compelling.”

The Malaise of the Ghetto: LA HAINE (1995): “The broad appeal of Kassovitz’s film can also be traced to another film that mesmerized young audiences in 1955, Nicholas Ray’s timeless classic REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. Both films focus on a troubled threesome who form a makeshift family during the span of 24 hours. The neighborhood fighting might be on a much smaller scale and the suburban hood of 1955 Los Angeles appears much more inviting than the suburban slums of 1995 Paris, but both movies use the threat of gun violence to their credit. Neither Plato (Sal Mineo) nor Vinz (Vincent Cassel) can fully comprehend the lethal power of the weapons they’re carrying and their shared desire for some kind of notoriety or control in the face of an indifferent world is something many young people can unfortunately sympathize with . Does LA HAINE have the staying power of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE? That remains to be seen.”

A Century of Scares: Happy Birthday Bava!: “This week marks the 100th birthday of Mario Bava who was born on July 30th (according to leading Bava researcher Tim Lucas and author of the essential Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark) or 31st (if you want to believe IMDB.com and Wikipedia). The brilliant Italian director, cinematographer, special effects artist and screenwriter died in 1980 but today he’s fondly remembered by horror film enthusiasts as the Maestro of the Macabre. Bava has long been one of my favorite filmmakers so I couldn’t let this important anniversary pass without acknowledging his artistry.”

April & May at The Movie Morlocks

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Highlights from my April & May contributions to TCM’s Movie Morlocks. You can read all the articles by following the links below:

Happy Birthday Doris!
Excerpt: “The legacy of this vivacious movie star, popular vocalist, television personality and animal rights advocate is truly unparalleled. And knowing Doris Day’s is still here with us doing good work that benefits us all is something worth celebrating!”

When Insects Attack: GENOCIDE (1968)
Excerpt: “The unexpected blend of film genres makes GENOCIDE a unique viewing experience that benefits from some impressive psychedelic inspired visuals. Director Kazui Nihonmatsu uses a number of imaginative film techniques including superimposition and slow dissolves to express the fractured state of mind of his tormented cast as well as the apocalyptic nature of their plight. And the relentless close-ups of actual insects munching on human flesh gives this low-budget production an uncomfortable documentary-like ambiance. Fans of Toho’s more atypical outings such as THE H-MAN (1958), THE HUMAN VAPOR (1960) and MATANGO (1965) will appreciate GENOCIDE and if you enjoy a good bug invasion movie as much as I do you should find this interesting little gem worthy of your time.”

Matrimony, Madness and Murder: HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON (1970)
Excerpt: “What sets HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON apart from many other pretty-boy “psycho-thrillers” (a term I’m borrowing from film journalist Kim Newman) that were prevalent in the late sixties and early seventies is its international setting and baroque setpieces. Bava’s film was shot in France, Italy and Spain and used the elegant villa of the infamous Generalissimo Francisco Franco as one of its backdrops. The House of Harrington contains an extravagant bridal salon adorned with mannequins that model beautiful wedding gowns and resemble the lifeless corpses of dead brides. And it is in this enclosed and highly stylized setting that the killer feels most at home as does Bava’s camera which lovingly lingers over every macabre detail allowing us an intimate look into the murderer’s mind.”

Rough, Raw & Randy: UP THE JUNCTION (1968)
Excerpt: “Peter Collinson’s effective slice-of-life drama UP THE JUNCTION (1968) makes its DVD and Blu-ray debut in the U.S. this week thanks to Olive Films. Today the film is often fondly remembered by fans of sixties cinema for its South London setting, colorful mod fashions, beehive hairdos, boastful bikers and jazzy psychedelic pop score by Manfred Mann. But UP THE JUNCTION has more to offer viewers besides an abundance of great style and an unforgettable soundtrack.”

Bad Movie Mothers We Love to Hate
Excerpt: “TCM is celebrating Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 11th) with a great program of classic films showcasing notable mothers. While looking over Sunday’s line-up I was surprised to spot NOW, VOYAGER (1942), which features Gladys Cooper as the incredibly cold and domineering mother of Bette Davis. Cooper won an Oscar nomination for her memorable performance and went on to play another overbearing mother in SEPARATE TABLES (1958) who torments poor Deborah Kerr. While considering Gladys Cooper’s portrayal of two heartless mothers I started thinking about other horrible movie moms that I’ve enjoyed watching over the years.”

Spy Games: BANG! BANG! YOU’RE DEAD! (1966)
Excerpt: “BANG! BANG! YOU’RE DEAD! Is just one of hundreds (possibly thousands) of spy spoofs that were released in the sixties following the world-wide success of the early James Bond films. Its unwieldy plot and cookie-cutter characters will be familiar to many but thanks to a solid cast, the spectacular North Africa locations and some thrilling action sequences this amusing romp managed to keep me entertained throughout its 92 minute running time.”

Mystery & Melodrama: THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE (2012-2014)
Excerpt: “It’s a shame that so many women who took on incredibly difficult and challenging jobs during WW2, such as flying planes, driving tanks, nursing the wounded, spying for their governments and breaking complicated codes shared by enemy nations, have been overshadowed by their male counterparts. Rosie the Riveter has become a symbol of female ingenuity during wartime but women did much more in WW2 besides working in ammunition factories. THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE shines a welcome light on a group of heroic women that have all too often been forgotten by history and brings them to vivid life.”

“The World’s Most Beautiful Animal!” – Ava Gardner in THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954)
Excerpt: “Ava Gardner makes one of my favorite film entrances of all time in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954), which airs on TCM June 1st. If you want to kick off the new month with a bang I highly recommend making time for this verbose Technicolor-noir that critiques Hollywood excess and the powerful studio system that frequently exploited its stars. Mankiewicz’s film is a heady brew of CITIZEN KANE (1941), LAURA (1944), SUNSET BLVD. (1950) and the director’s own ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) shot with abundant style by master cinematographer Jack Cardiff.”

Comic Book of the Week: Angelique (1978)

Angelique (1978)

Toshie Kihara’s Angelique series was originally published in 1978 by Princess Comics. Angelique is a Japanese manga (comic book) based on the historical novels by Anne and Serge Golon published between 1957 and 1976. These historic novels focus on the romantic adventures of Angelique de Sancé de Monteloup as she braves misfortune and tragedy in 17th century France. The novels were also turned into a series of films in the ’60s starring the lovely Michele Mercier who appeared in some great Italian horror films including Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath (1963) and Antonio Margheriti’s Web of the Spider (1971).

Toshie Kihara is one of my favorite manga artists and Angelique is one of her most popular creations. Kihara took great liberties with Golon’s original novels but her work is exceptional. Her page layouts, bold lines and dramatic framing really bring Golon’s action packed drama to life. I actually prefer early Japanese manga to American comics because the work of my favorite mangakas (comic artists) is so stylized and cinematic. Manga appeals to me for a variety of reasons including the mature nature of the storylines, which were often light years ahead of their American counterparts. Angelique features lots of murder and mayhem as well as witchcraft and romance between straight and gay characters. This talented artist and writer doesn’t shy away from anything and I appreciate her fearless creativity.

Unfortunately none of Toshie Kihara’s manga have been published in English. English speaking readers have had to rely on fan translations of her work, which aren’t easy to come by and the quality can be questionable. Kihara recently celebrated her 63 birthday and many of her manga stories are considered classics but her work is relatively unknown outside of Japan. I thought I’d share some pages from Angelique because if you’ve read the original novels or seen the films you can enjoy Kihara’s manga without a translation. Just remember that unlike American comics, you have to read the pages from right to left. Following the manga pages is a poster and clip from the first Angelique (1964) film featuring Michele Mercier.

Angelique (1978)

Angelique (1978)

Angelique (1978)

Angelique (1978)

Angelique (1964)

The Enchantress and The Hag

The Witch (1966)
Rosanna Schiaffino and Sarah Ferrati in The Witch (1966)

There are few witches as beautiful and beguiling as Rosanna Schiaffino or as sinister and threatening as Sarah Ferrati in Damiano Damiani’s The Witch (or more correctly, The Witch in Love) aka La strega in amore (1966). In this leisurely paced Italian horror film based on a novel by Carlos Fuentes, Rosanna Schiaffino plays Aura, the daughter of an aging widower (Sarah Ferrati). The two women live alone together in a crumbling old house in the heart of Rome and lure unsuspecting men to their doom with the promise of passion and unimaginable pleasures. After a curious historian named Sergio (Richard Johnson) answers an ad in a newspaper requesting someone to “catalogue manuscripts in a private library” he finds himself face to face with these two mysterious women. Their library is in disarray and they need someone to transcribe the private erotic journals of the long dead master of the house. But their dusty, rat infested, library has been neglected for a very long time and Sergio isn’t the only historian who has tried to put it in order. Before he arrived another man (Gian Maria Volonté) was hired to do the job but it’s not easy to work when the lovely Aura and her domineering mother keep distracting you. Poor Sergio soon finds himself forgetting his duties as well and becoming entangled in the deadly web of secrets and lies weaved by the two women who have entrapped him.

The film is submerged in shadows and light. Surrounded by hazy cityscapes and trapped in a maze of long hallways and twisting corridors. The characters of the film are separated by carefully placed props and bound together by long lingering close-ups. Damiani frames most of the action in windows and doorways so the audience becomes voyeurs as well as observers and the entire production is held together by Luis Bacalov’s brilliant score. Bacalov is one of my favorite composers and I think his soundtrack for The Witch is truly one of his greatest achievements.
The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The entire cast is terrific and also includes Italian horror film favorite Ivan Rassminov in a brief cameo, but the movie is dominated by the alluring Rosanna Schiaffino as the lovely Aura and her oppressive mother Consuelo (Sarah Ferrati). The enchantress and the hag have populated folk tales for centuries and in The Witch this age old fascination with feminine duality takes center stage. I also appreciate how the film explores the human desire to obtain esoteric knowledge by setting the story in an old Italian villa with an ancient library at its worn down center. The library seems to contain the erotic fantasies of the two witches and Aura and Consuelo use an enchantment or some form of “sex magick” to control anyone who dares to enter it. Besides a few brief flashes of bare skin no one gets naked in The Witch but it still manages to be a very sensual film mainly due to Rosanna Schiaffino’s seductive performance.

The adult themes and cerebral scares found The Witch will only appeal to a select group of horror fans but I happen to be one of them. I think the film is a wonderful example of Euro-horror and a truly bewitching movie but it will probably disappoint anyone looking for solid shocks and lots of gore. The film seems more concerned with nurturing an atmosphere of dread than anything else and it succeeds beautifully. The horrific moments that take place in the film are subtle but disquieting and occasionally bring to mind the work of other Italian filmmakers as diverse as Mario Bava, Fellini and even Vittorio De Sica. Damiano Damiani was working with an impressive crew on The Witch that included cinematographer Leonida Barboni (The White Sheik; 1952, Divorce Italian Style; 1961, etc.), art director Luigi Scaccianoce (Oedipus Rex; 1967, Fellini – Satyricon; 1969, etc.) and editor Nino Baragli (Mamma Roma; 1962, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; 1966, Django; 1966, Once Upon a Time in the West; 1968, Teorema; 1968, Salo; 1975, etc.) but it’s Damiani’s creative direction that really brings this thoughtful horror film to life. I’ve long thought that Damiano Damiani (A Bullet for the General; 1966, How To Kill A Judge; 1974, The Devil Is A Woman; 1974, etc.) was an underrated talent and if you’d like to see the director at his creative best The Witch is a wonderful place to start.
The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch (1966)

The Witch available on DVD in the US but the print is very poor as you can probably tell from my screen shots. I’ve seen other screen shots of the film from an Italian DVD that appears to be in widescreen but I haven’t been able to find any information about it. Hopefully a better quality widescreen print of The Witch will find its way onto DVD in the states soon. In the meantime I think it’s easy to see from these few shots that The Witch is a beautiful looking film and if you’d like to see more images from the movie they’re available in my Flickr Gallery for The Witch.

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My Top 20 Favorite Films of 1968

At the Britannica blog Raymond Benson has finished listing off his Top 10 Favorite Films of 1968 so if you’re interested in the final results stop by and give them a look. I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much I dislike making lists of favorite films myself since they’re limited by what I’ve seen and are subject to change at anytime. Roger Ebert recently asked his blog readers to “. . . agree that all lists of movies are nonsense.” I agreed with him wholeheartedly at the time, but in the process of watching Raymond Benson share his list favorite films from 1968 I naturally began thinking of my own favorite films released the same year.

Compiling a list of favorite films restricted by their release date without implying that they’re “the best” (whatever that means) started to seem like a fun exercise. And while reading the complaints and reservations about Raymond Benson’s own selections I even suggested that it would be interesting if all the participants of the Britannica blog “round-table” supplied their own list of Top 10 Favorite Films for 1968 so we could compare them. I figured that if we were going to scrutinize Raymond Benson’s selections we might as well scrutinize each other. I also thought that it would probably enrich the discussion. No one else seemed willing or able to share a list of there own picks, but for the past two weeks I’ve been quietly compiling a list of my own favorite films from 1968.

I wasn’t planing on sharing my own list with anyone, but over the weekend I listened to an interesting discussion between Greencine’s David Hudson, Film Comment‘s Gavin Smith and film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum about the current state of film criticism that got me contemplating my list again. During the discussion Jonathan Rosenbaum smartly pointed out that, “People love lists now because they need to. There’s too much to navigate through.” In my own experience I’ve found this to be very true. Since I started blogging my “Favorite DVDs of the year” lists for 2006 and 2007 have become some of my most popular posts and they’ve generated some lively discussions and lots of email. I think other people appreciate them because they offer a brief look at some films I’ve enjoyed and recommend. And in the words of Jonathan Rosenbaum, the lists are easy to navigate through.

So without further explanation, here’s a list of some of my own favorite films from 1968. I couldn’t manage to narrow all my choices down to a mere Top 10 so I just decided to share my Top 20 list instead. I purposefully left off documentaries so you won’t find any listed and four of the films on my list were also on Raymond Benson’s list. The numerical order doesn’t mean much and naturally my list is subject to change at anytime since I’m continually being exposed to new movies. It also should be noted that after looking at various print and online sources I’ve come across different release dates for some films. As far as I know, the following 20 films were originally released in 1968.

My TOP 20 FAVORITE FILMS OF 1968

ifposter
1. If…. (Lindsay Anderson; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about If…. can be found HERE and HERE.

Black Lizard (1968)
2. Black Lizard aka Kurotokage (Kinji Fukasaku; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Black Lizard can be found HERE.
I’m currently working on a much longer article about the film and its star that I hope to share here soon.

Spirits of the Dead (1968)
3. Spirits of the Dead aka Histoires Extraordinaires
(Federico Fellini, Louis Malle & Roger Vadim; 1968)

Some of my thought about Spirits of the Dead can be found HERE.

Teorema (1968)
4. Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Teorema can be found HERE.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick; 1968)

Diabolik (1968)
6. Diabolik aka Danger: Diabolik! (Mario Bava; 1968)
Some of my brief thoughts about Diabolik can be found HERE.

Succubus (1968)
7. Succubus aka Necronomicon – Geträumte Sünden (Jesus Franco; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Succubus can be found HERE.

greatsilenceposter
8. The Great Silence aka Il Grande silenzio (Sergio Corbucci; 1968)
Some of my thought about The Great Silence can be found HERE and HERE.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
9. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski; 1968)

Petulia (1968)
10. Petulia (Richard Lester; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Petulia can be found HERE.

blackmailmylifeposter
11. Blackmail Is My Life aka Kyokatsu koso Waga Jinsei ( Kinji Fukasaku; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Blackmail Is My Life can be found HERE

Boom (1968)
12. Boom! (Joesph Losey; 1968)
My lengthy look at Boom! can be found HERE.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
13. Night of the Living Dead (George Romero; 1968)

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
14. The Thomas Crown Affair (Norman Jewison; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about The Thomas Crown Affair can be found HERE.

Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)
15. Girl on a Motorcycle aka Naked Under Leather (Jack Cardiff; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Alain Delon and Girl on a Motorcycle can be found HERE.

westposter
16. Once Upon a Time in the West aka C’era una volta il West
(Sergio Leone; 1968)

Some of my thoughts about Once Upon a Time in the West can be found HERE.


17. Death Laid an Egg aka La Morte ha fatto l’uovo (Giulio Questi; 1968)
I briefly mentioned my fondness for Death Laid an Egg HERE.

The Devil Rides Out (1968)
18. The Devil Rides Out aka The Devil’s Bride (Terence Fisher; 1968)

thepartyp
19. The Party (Blake Edwards; 1968)

Barbarella (1968)
20. Barbarella (Roger Vadim; 1968)

Honorable mention goes to the wonderful Yokai Monster films that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses (1960)

One of the my favorite vampire films is Roger Vadim’s haunting and surreal Blood and Roses (Et mourir de plaisir, 1960), which recently made my list of “31 films that give me the willies.” Vadim’s impressive horror film is equal to other revered classics made at the same time such as Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960) and Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960), which have both had a lot of ink spilled on their behalves and can easily be found available in high-quality DVD presentations at the moment. Unfortunately, Vadim’s Blood and Roses is often forgotten even though it definitely deserves a wider audience.

Like many of Vadim’s films, Blood and Roses has suffered from unusually harsh reviews over the years, which often seem written by critics who have a personal vendetta against Vadim or they just aren’t capable of appreciating the film’s incredible cinematography, gothic atmosphere and thoughtful script. I personally find Blood and Roses to be one of the most influential and important horror films ever made, and possibly Roger Vadim’s best movie.

Blood and Roses was Vadim’s creative attempt to retell the classic Sheridan Le Fanu vampire tale Carmilla (1871-72). The story had previously been adapted by Carl Dreyer for his film Vampyr – Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932), but Vadim was the first director to attempt to make a somewhat more literal adaptation of the story. The film’s impressive cinematography by Claude Renoir and creative directing by Vadim are years ahead of their time, and have undoubtedly inspired many other filmmakers. While I hesitate to name names, I’ve always had the impression that directors like Mario Bava, Roger Corman, Jean Rollin and even Alain Resnais may have all been influenced by Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses.

Vadim infused Blood and Roses with a high-level of eroticism that had rarely, if ever, been present in previous horror films made earlier and his personal retelling of Le Fanu’s Carmilla would go on to spawn a legion of similar films such as Hammer’s wonderful Karnstein Trilogy, Harry Kümel’s Daughters of Darkness (1971), Jess Franco’s Vampyros Lesbos (1971), José Ramón Larraz’s Vampyres (1974), etc. As much as I love all of the films that followed in the footsteps of Blood and Roses, Vadim’s original movie remains one of my favorites and it’s a film that I love to return to again and again due to the incredibly intoxicating atmosphere and the beautiful imagery conjured up by Roger Vadim and Claude Renoir. The film also benefits from a beautiful score composed by Jean Prodromidès.

Blood and Roses opens with a plane rising into the sky and the audience is offered a birds-eye (or bat’s eye) view of the European countryside as seen from a plane window. A female narrator named Mircalla tells us that she is part of the past and the present. She is a spirit, but she has form. As the story progresses you discover how and why Mircalla is flying in a plane and telling us her story.

The film stars Annette Vadim (or Annette Stroyberg) as the beautiful Carmilla Karnstein, who is obsessed with her family’s history of vampirism and suffering from extreme melancholy after discovering that her beloved cousin Leopoldo (Mel Ferrer) is going to marry another woman named Georgia (Elsa Martinelli). Carmilla is inconsolable, and during an engagement party for the two lovers she wanders off into the family cemetery, while firework explode overhead and light up the night sky with a rainbow of colors in one of the films most visually stunning moments. The fireworks also mange to ignite some explosives left over from the war that are hidden in the graveyard. All this activity seems to wake the sleeping dead and when Carmilla ventures into the family tomb she becomes the victim of the vampire Mircalla (or Millarca).

Afterward Carmilla roams the family estate as Mircalla wearing a beautiful white wedding dress that belonged to her dead relative, while surviving on the innocent blood of servant girls. Carmilla appears extremely ghost-like and her passions now seem somewhat torn between her cousin and the woman he loves. Is Carmilla truly a vampire or just a victim of her own selfish desires and depression? Vadim lets his audience decide.


Top: Annette Vadim, Bottom: Elsa Martinelli

Annette Vadim is a stunning woman, but she’s also a talented actress who is often overlooked due to being Vadim’s second wife between his marriages to the much better-known and celebrated beauties Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda. Before starring in Blood and Roses Annette appeared in Vadim’s Dangerous Liaisons (1960) and Jean Cocteau’s surreal masterpiece The Testament of Orpheus (1960). She brings a vulnerability and sadness to her role of Carmilla that is hard to forget. She also shares a fascinating chemistry with her lovely co-star Elsa Martinelli. Unfortunately Annette Vadim only made a few more films after Blood and Roses before retiring from acting in 1965. Elsa Martinelli on the other hand went on to become a mildly popular international star after appearing in films such as Hatari! (1962), The V.I.P.s (1963), etc. and she later had roles in lots of interesting films including The 10th Victim (1965), Candy (1968) and Perversion Story (1969).

Much like Le Fanu’s original tale, Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses is slow-moving and it contains very little blood. Most of the action takes place off-screen and is only suggested. The film has often been criticized for this, which I personally find rather absurd. If you’re familiar with the original story as well as other classic gothic literature, you’re well aware that the original stories were often very suggestive and that left many of the events they portrayed open to interpretation. Writers expected their readers to use their imaginations and become a part of the story instead of just passive readers. Oddly enough, Blood and Roses has also been criticized for being too “exploitive,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Vadim smartly hints at the erotic lesbian undercurrent running throughout Le Fanu’s Carmilla, but there is nothing exploitive in the subtle nudity and romanticized eroticism found within his film.

My favorite moment in Blood and Roses is the amazing dream sequence that’s reminiscent of Jean Cocteau’s best work. As I mentioned above, Vadim’s wife Annette had worked with Cocteau earlier on his film The Testament of Orpheus and I’m sure that Vadim and cinematographer Claude Renoir probably found inspiration within Cocteau’s films while making Blood and Roses. This memorable sequence begins when Carmilla (as Mircalla) seduces Georgia while she slumbers, and both women are suddenly plunged into the dark dream world of Georgia’s unconscious that is inhabited by ghosts, shadows and untapped desires. Vadim’s directorial skills are on full display here and have rarely, if ever, been surpassed. The director shows a clear mastery of the fantastique in Blood and Roses that always manages to impress me.

Vadim’s horror masterpiece Blood and Roses is currently only available on video in a lackluster presentation from Paramount. The film’s original running time is supposedly 87 minutes, but the Paramount video is only 74 minutes long and dubbed. I really hope that some DVD company like Criterion, Blue Underground or Mondo Macabro will get their hands on the rights to this film and restore it to its original Technicolor splendor. If there is one neglected horror film that really deserves a nice widescreen, subtitled DVD release, Blood and Roses is it.

Right: Roger Vadim and Annette Vadim

31 Films That Give Me the Willies


Top: House with Laughing Windows (1976), Deep Red (1975)
Middle: The Seventh Victim (1942)
Bottom: Black Sabbath (1963), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

I wasn’t going to participate in Ed Hardy’s 31 Flicks That Give You the Willies List due to suffering massive list-making burnout following the recent Favorite Foreign Language Film poll (which I still want to write about in more detail), but at the last minute I decided to send him a list of nominees. As I’ve mentioned before, horror is far and away my favorite film genre so I had an incredibly hard time narrowing down my list of favorite films to a mere 31.

I will confess that I cheated a bit since I deliberately left off any film that I knew had already gotten 3 votes and wouldn’t need mine to make the final list of nominees. Some of those films included Suspiria (1977), Martin (1977), The Wicker Man (1973), Dellamorte Dellamore aka Cemetery Man (1994), The Shining (1980), The Exorcist (1973), Psycho (1960), Alien (1979) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). With that confession out of the way, here are the . . .

31 FILMS THAT GIVE ME THE WILLIES (Listed by release date)

1. Frankenstein (1931; James Whale)
2. The Seventh Victim (1942; Mark Robson)
3. The Uninvited (1944; Lewis Allen)
4. Night of the Demon (1957; Jacques Tourner)
5. Blood and Roses (1960; Roger Vadim)
6. The Brides of Dracula (1960; Terence Fisher)
7. The Innocents (1961; Jack Clayton)
8. Night Tide (1961; Curtis Harrington)
9. Carnival of Souls (1962; Herk Harvey)
10. The Haunted Palace (1963; Roger Corman)
11. Black Sabbath (1963; Mario Bava)
12. The Haunting (1963; Robert Wise)
13. Castle of Blood (1964; Antonio Margheriti)
14. Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971; Piers Haggard)
15. Daughters of Darkness (1971; Harry Kumel)
16. Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971; Lucio Fulci)
17. Short Night of the Glass Dolls (1971; Aldo Lado)
18. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971; Armando de Ossorio)
19. All the Colors of the Dark (1972; Sergio Martino)
20. Don’t Look Now (1973; Nicolas Roeg)
21. Deep Red (1975; Dario Argento)
22. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975; Peter Weir)
23. The Tenant (1976; Roman Polanski)
24. House with Laughing Windows (1976; Pupi Avati)
25. Full Circle (aka The Haunting of Julia, 1977; Richard Loncraine)
26. The Brood (1979; David Cronenberg)
27. Possession (1981; Andrzej Zulawski)
28. Zeder (1983; Pupi Avati)
29. The Reflecting Skin (1990; Philip Ridley)
30. Cure (1997; Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
31. Audition (1999; Takashi Miike)

After sending Ed my list I was surprised and annoyed with myself because I managed to forget to include films like Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960) as well as my favorite horror anthology, Spirits of the Dead (1968) and lots of early Japanese and Spanish horror films that I love. I also neglected to include any films with Peter Lorre, Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski who all appeared in some of my favorite thrillers. Where did my head go? I have no idea.

Some conclusions I came to after making my list:

1. Sexually repressed women, ghosts, the supernatural, vampires and devil worshipers/cults give me the willies. Since I’m not a religious person, I find it extremely amusing that so many satanic horror films made my list but I think it’s more about the esoteric elements of these films and the constant mystery of the unknown than the actual “devil” that gives these types of movies their edge. I’m also just plain frightened by cults or large masses of of people with a ‘group think’ mentality that causes them to harm others.

2. Only four American directors made my list. British and Italian directors dominate it. This isn’t a surprise since I really don’t care for American horror films all that much.

3. 1960 and 1971 were two of the most amazing years for horror cinema. At some point during the list making process I had six or eight films from each of those years on my list.

4. The only director that has more than one film on my list is the greatly under-appreciated Italian director Pupi Avati who makes some of the most fascinating and chilling films I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately I’m clearly in the minority when it comes to my affection for Avati since none of his movies made it on the final list of 180 Nominees. And as far as I know I’m the only person who even bothered to nominate any of his films for inclusion.

Last but not least…

I hope to write about some of the lessor seen films mentioned above that didn’t make the Official Nominee List in the future.

10 Questions with Tim Lucas

Over at Cinedelica we’re starting a new feature today called “10 Questions” and my first interviewee is film critic and author Tim Lucas.

I’ve been reading Tim’s film criticism since first coming across it in magazines like Fangoria and Gorezone in the ’80s when I was a teenager. There are few critics that have inspired and influenced my own writing more then Tim, so I was really happy to get the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his new book Mario Bava – All the Colors of the Dark. Tim’s enthusiastic support of Bava’s films over the years has definitely colored my own view of them, as well as my love for Italian genre films in general.

Some of the information in our brief exchange might be familiar to regular readers of his Bava Book Blog and anyone who owns the book, but if you’re curious about Mario Bava – All the Colors of the Dark and the films of Mario Bava in general, you might find my brief Q & A with Tim Lucas an interesting read.

10 Questions with Tim Lucas

DVD of the Week: From Beyond the Grave

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Peter Cushing in From Beyond the Grave (1973)

It’s hard to keep track of all the great horror films finding their way onto on DVD lately and this week is no exception. My DVD pick of the week is the great Amicus horror anthology From Beyond the Grave (1973) from Warner Home Video which was released on Tuesday. This is the first time From Beyond the Grave has been made available on DVD and it’s part of Warner’s new Twisted Terror Collection.

From Beyond the Grave features a terrific cast of British actors that includes Peter Cushing, Donald Pleasence, Ian Bannen, David Warner, Lesley-Anne Down, Ian Carmichael, Diana Dors, Ian Ogilvy, Margaret Leighton and Donald Pleasence’s daughter Angela Pleasence. It’s definitely one of the more solid Amicus horror anthologies and all of the stories flow together rather well. It was directed by Kevin Connor who’s responsible for some entertaining and often under-appreciated fantasy and horror films such as The Land That Time Forgot (1975), At the Earth’s Core (1976), The People That Time Forgot (1977) and Motel Hell (1980). From Beyond the Grave was Conner’s first feature film and he clearly shows that he has the ability to create tension and atmosphere here. He also got some good performances out of his actors, who were obviously working with a rather thin script.

In From Beyond the Grave, Peter Cushing plays a mysterious shopkeeper who sells cursed antiques to unknowing buyers. The first two episodes in this anthology are called The Gate Crasher and An Act of Kindness, and they’re my favorites of the bunch, but all the episodes are worth a look. The Gate Crasher features a young and rather groovy looking David Warner who buys an old mirror for his apartment and ends up being haunted by a Jack the Ripper-like specter. Soon Warner is cruising local nightspots looking for cute girls to take home to his shag pad for some late night “fun.” The Gate Crasher is undoubtedly one of the most gory and violent episodes from any Amicus anthology and it’s sure to surprise a few viewers. David Warner is a great actor and a personal favorite, and in some ways his performance in From Beyond the Grave foreshadows his future performance as Jack the Ripper in Nicholas Meyer’s terrific science fiction thriller Time After Time (1979).

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Top: David Warner in The Gate Crasher
Bottom: David and Angela Pleasence in An Act of Kindness

In the second episode called An Act of Kindness, the talented Ian Bannen plays a depressed and cowardly working-class man who’s stuck in a miserable marriage to the nagging Diana Dors. When he comes across an old solider (Donald Pleasence) who’s selling matches and shoelaces on a street corner, he sympathizes with him and buys some of his goods. The two men strike up a conversation and Donald Pleasence mistakes Ian Bannen for a fellow solider who must have been decorated for his heroic deeds during the war. This makes Bannen very uncomfortable, but he’s clearly looking for friendship so he doesn’t correct Pleasence’s assumptions and even goes so far as to visit Peter Cushing’s antique shop to purchase a Medal of Service so he can pass it off as his own. When Cushing tells Bannen that he won’t sell him the medal unless he can prove that he’s actually been a recipient of it, Bannen steals it, which sets off a series of strange events. Donald Pleasence ends up inviting Ian Bannen to his home where he meets Pleasence’s daughter Angela (played by his real-life daughter) and the two unusual characters develop a friendship with the sad and lonely Bannen. Donald Pleasence has always been one of my favorite horror actors and he’s terrific here with his daughter Angela. The pair are both appropriately creepy in From Beyond the Grave and it’s really enjoyable to watch them working together. Ian Bannen also delivers an incredibly sympathetic performance here and Diana Dorrs is fun to watch as his shrill wife.

The two other episodes in the anthology are The Elemental and The Door. The Elemental takes a more humorous approach to its subject matter, but it is really entertaining and The Door features some of the anthologies best cinematography and set designs. The Door, as well as The Gate Crasher, both contain elements which seem somewhat inspired by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava’s gothic color films like I Tre volti della paura (Black Sabbath, 1963) and Operazione paura (Kill, Baby… Kill!, 1966).

The release of From Beyond the Grave follows the release of two other good Amicus horror anthologies, Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror, from MGM’s Midnight Movies series. I wrote about Tales From the Crypt earlier this year after the death of its director Freddie Francis, and it’s wonderful to see that so many of these Amicus productions are finding their way onto DVD lately. Unfortunately the MGM DVDs contain edited and censored prints of Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror so it’s hard for me to to recommend them, which is a shame. Hopefully MGM will release full-uncut DVDs of these films in the future. In the meantime, Warner should be applauded for making From Beyond the Grave available to horror fans uncut.

The new Warner DVD of From Beyond the Grave doesn’t contain any extras except the original theatrical trailer, but the film is presented in widescreen and the new print really looks terrific. As far as I know this is the first time that From the Grave has been made availed uncut in the U.S. so this new DVD is a welcome release if you enjoy Amicus horror productions as much as I do. The new DVD is currently available from Amazon and it should be available for rent from online sources like Netflix and Greencine.

Recommended Links:
A fan site devoted to director Kevin Connor
Neil at The Bleeding Tree reviews the new MGM Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror DVDs

12 Favorite Foreign Language Films

I didn’t want to just list the 12 films I sent in for inclusion that didn’t make the final list of nominees for the Foreign Language Films List without writing a bit about them and why I love them so much. My entire list is filled to the brim with Japanese, Italian and French films and that’s not just because they’re easily available. It means that I really love Japanese, Italian and French cinema. In all honesty, I didn’t expect a lot of the following films to make the final list because they’re personal favorites and some are not easily available on DVD, but that wasn’t one of the requirements. We were asked to list favorites and that’s what I did. If someone wanted me to teach a class on world cinema using my list I would have probably selected some different films.

I think the best part about creating these lists is discovering stuff out about yourself. While creating my list it I learned the following:

The sixties is far and away my favorite film decade.
I love Japanese crime films and the more surreal the better. At least five films in a similar vein made my list.
I love horror/science fiction films with a Frankenstein theme. At least three films with variations of this theme made my list.
I love films with great opening sequences. If a movie can make my jaw hit the floor within the first 10-15 minutes, it gains my instant affection. Many of the films on my list contain amazing opening sequences that grab you by the throat and never let go.
Alain Delon is still my favorite actor. I could watch him stare out a window for 4 hours and never get bored.

So without further delay – Here is a list of 12 of my Favorite Foreign Language Films that didn’t make the final list of nominees. They’re listed in alphabetical order:

The 10th Victim a.k.a. La Decima Vittima (1965, Elio Petri)
Italian director Elio Petri won the Golden Palm at Cannes in 1971 for his film The Working Class Goes to Heaven and a Jury Prize in 1970 for his film Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, which was also nominated for an Oscar. Sadly, none of Petri’s films made the nominee list but I hoped that his stylish sixties science fiction film the The 10th Victim would. Part social satire, part dark sex comedy and all style, The 10th Victim is truly one of the sixties greatest looking films. It stars the lovely Ursula Andress and handsome Marcello Mastroianni in two of their most unforgettable roles as hunter and victim playing a televised survival game. It undoubtedly inspired many other lesser films such as The Running Man (1987) and Fukasaku’s Battle Royal (2000), but The 10th Victim is far and away one of the smartest and most adult science fiction films ever made. The fantastic cinematography by Gianni Di Venanzo and fabulous score by Piero Piccioni are tops.

Clip from The 10th Victim

Black Lizard a.k.a. Kurotokage (1968, Kinji Fukasaku)
Kinji Fukasaku made a lot of great movies in Japan before his untimely death in 2003, but this truly surreal 1968 crime thriller is a personal favorite. It combines the best elements found in sixties era James Bond films and Film Noir with an erotic mystery that is guaranteed to leave first time viewers stunned. The film’s avant-garde “pop art” sensibility and dark humor really appeal to me. The lovely female lead is played by the reigning queen of Japanese drag performers, Akihiro Miwa, and his real-life lover (famed Japanese author Yukio Mishima who helped write the screenplay) even makes an appearance in the film. I hope to write a more in-depth review of Black Lizard very soon, but I will add that I’ve rarely had a better time at the movies than when I first saw this film back in the early 1990s.

Blood & Black Lace a.k.a. Sei Donne per l’assassino (1964, Mario Bava)
Selecting one Mario Bava film for my list was nearly impossible since he’s one of my favorite filmmakers, but I finally decided to include his original giallo film that managed to forge an entire genre, Blood and Black Lace. This amazing looking film really showcases everything that I love about Bava’s filmmaking and giallo films in general. It features some of Bava’s best and most brilliant color photography and impressive special effects that still make my eyes pop. Blood and Black Lace has inspired countless imitators, but this truly original piece of work remains bold and exciting some 40 years after it was first made.

German language trailer for Blood and Black Lace

The Diabolical Doctor Z a.k.a. Miss Muerte (1966, Jess Franco)
I love a lot of Jess Franco films, but I also have my favorites and The Diabolical Doctor Z was the first film that made me a Franco fan for life. This incredible looking Spanish/French production features a terrific international cast and boasts some of Franco’s most impressive directing. It was the film that really cemented Franco’s name in the world of international cinema and it contains many of the director’s favorite themes that are perfectly executed here (it’s also co-written by Bunuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carriere). The film finds inspiration in Georges Franju’s classic Eyes Without a Face as well as old Universal monster films, but somehow Franco still manages to give the film a very original and modern feel that is all his own.

Bad American trailer for The Diabolical Doctor Z

The Face of Another a.k.a. Tanin no Kao (1966, Hiroshi Teshigahara)
I’ve already written about Teshigahara’s film in great detail so I won’t bother saying much more, but you can find my previous thoughts about this amazing film here.

Japanese trailer for The Face of Another

Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion: Beast Stable (1973, Shunya Ito)
I’ve loved the Japanese Female Prisoner Scorpion films since I first discovered them being released on DVD in the states in 2002. They’re on unusual blend of two genres (Pinky Violence and Women in Prison films) that somehow manage to take what could be considered very trashy and exploitive themes and turn them into truly great avant-garde filmmaking. Beast Stable is the third and last film in the series directed by Shunya Ito and he brings everything I love about his earlier films into this last movie in the series and turns it up to volume 10. He also manages to define his previous ideas and develop his directing style in ways that really impress me and that’s why this film is my favorite in the series. I wrote another tiny blurb about Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable earlier this year, which you can find here.

Japanese trailer for Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable

Gonin a.k.a. Five (1995, Takashi Ishi)
The 1990s was an amazing decade for Japanese cinema and I wanted to include films made by many great directors from this period on my list such as Takeshi Kitano, Takeshi Miike, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hirokazu Koreeda, but after I started slowly chipping away at my long list of Favorite Foreign Language films to select a mere 25 for inclusion on my list, Gonin was the one film from the decade that remained (I also assumed those other directors would make the list without my vote). Takashi Ishi has only made a few worthwhile films and Gonin is far and away his greatest achievement, but its influence on modern Japanese cinema shouldn’t be underestimated. This incredible crime film involves a gang of misfits who come together and try to rob the local yakuza, but things don’t exactly go as planned and as the film unfolds in a thunderous wave of unparalleled violence and mind-blowing action, it also takes on a dark, surreal and horrific tone that raises it far above most typical Asian crime films. Underneath Gonin’s slick and stylish exterior you’ll find the first film – in my moving going experience – that dared to openly exploit the gay subtext found in thousands of buddy action movies made in previous decades. It also contains some terrific performances by great Japanese actors such as the amazing Takeshi Kitano who is guaranteed to impress and give you nightmares as a bloodthirsty one-eyed hitman. I first saw Gonin when it debuted in the US in San Francisco and half the audience left before the film finished. The rest of us that remained sat in stunned silence until the very end. We all watched the credits roll until the darkened theater turned on the house lights and then we all looked at each other – half of us with tears in our eyes and the other half with our jaws still on the ground – fully aware that we had just experienced a stunning and groundbreaking film. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

The original Gonin trailer

Jean De Florette / Manon of the Spring (1986, Claude Berri)
It’s hard to explain why we enjoy some films more than others, but ever since I first sat through the entire 4-hour sweeping epic that is Claude Berri’s Jean De Florette and Manon of the Spring back in the late 1980s when I was in college studying film, I’ve been in love with these two movies. Together they make up a powerful drama of great beauty that manages to invoke the magic of cinema classics while telling a timeless story that can still deeply affect modern audiences. Has the French countryside ever looked so beautiful? These are films that I’ve come back to again and again when the world doesn’t seem right and I need a “pick me up” as well as a confirmation of humanity in all it’s loveliness and ugliness. The great French actor Yves Montand also delivers an incredibly moving performance in these films that always leaves me impressed.

American trailer for Manon of the Spring

Pale Flower a.k.a. Kawaita Hana (1964, Masahiro Shinoda)
If you haven’t noticed by now, I really love Japanese crime films and many of my favorites ended up making my list because I couldn’t bare to leave them off. Shinoda’s brilliant Pale Flower manages to be both an erotic and highly subversive bit of filmmaking that perfectly represents the Japanese New Wave while keeping one foot firmly planted in the violent underworld of Japanese crime cinema. Shinoda takes what could be a simple yakuza tale and love story and turns it into cinematic art. This gorgeous film showcases why he’s one of Japan’s greatest modern filmmakers. I naively assumed Shinoda’s amazing film Double Suicide would make the final list of nominees so I voted for Pale Flower instead, but I love both films a lot. In the end though, Pale Flower is the Shinoda film that I like to return to again and again. It’s complex themes and incredible aesthetic appeal to me in many ways.

Santa Sangre (1989, Alejandro Jodorowsky)
With the recent release of the Jodorowsky DVD Box set in America this year I assumed that at least one of his films would make it onto the list of nominees. Obviously I assumed wrong. I expect that Jodorowsky’s brand of surrealism is still just a bit too extreme for most film audiences. That’s really a shame, because he’s made some fascinating films and my favorite Jodorowsky film is Santa Sangre. Santa Sangre is probably Jodorwsky’s darkest effort and it’s also his most fully realized film in my opinion. It’s brimming with unforgettable imagery and startling storytelling techniques that recall an earlier time in European horror cinema. Like many of the films on my list, Santa Sangre is not easy viewing. It demands a lot from potential viewers, but it’s a film that constantly comes to mind when I think about foreign language films that have deeply affected me. It changed the way that I view cinema and shaped my appreciation of the art form.

Clip from Santa Sangre

Teorema (1968, Pier Paolo Pasolini)
I’m not really sure that Pasolini’s Teorema counts 100% as a foreign language film, but I included it in my list anyway. Teorema is a film that seems to divide audiences and many critics find it incomprehensible or just plain trashy. I think it’s a bit of both and that’s why I love it so much. It also features some of Pasolini’s most impressive imagery and manages to mix eroticism with political and social issues in an extremely creative way. Terence Stamp is unforgettable here as the mysterious sexy stranger who enters into the life of a bourgeois family and changes their lives forever. It’s the film that introduced to me to Passolini’s work and it remains a favorite since I first saw it some 18 years ago.

Clip from Teorema

Youth of the Beast – Criterion Collection a.k.a. Yaju no Seishun (1963, Seijun Suzuki)
Sejiun Suzuki’s Youth of the Beast is the final film on my list of favorites and it’s undoubtedly one of the best looking films of the bunch. I was astonished that none of Suzuki’s films made the list of final nominees because his work has been available on DVD for many years and is supported by Criterion but the Criterion crowd often dismisses Suzuki. His films are still widely unseen and under-appreciated which is a terrible shame. He’s one of Japan’s greatest living directors, hell, he’s one of the world’s greatest living directors, and he makes some of the most entertaining, provocative and beautiful films that I’ve ever seen. I had an extremely hard time trying to decide which Suzuki film I would select for inclusion on my list. He is the only director that I almost broke my own rule for because I couldn’t pick between the dark WWII drama Gate of Flesh (which I raved about here) and this mind-blowing crime film. Youth of the Beast was the first film that gained Suzuki a reputation in Japan for making unbelievably stylish and over-the-top crime films that left audiences reeling and confused his critics. It was also the first film that brought Suzuki and his longtime star Jo Shishido together, and the two men truly make movie magic on screen that has to be seen to be believed. Youth of the Beast was made only a year after the first James Bond film and yet in many ways it’s light years ahead of any adult action films shot during that decade and it was made on a minuscule budget. Besides mind-blowing action sequences, jaw-dropping photography and an amazingly effective score, the film is also infused with Suzuki’s own brand of erotic violence and showcases his incredibly modern storytelling abilities that have inspired countless imitators. If you rent Suzuki’s Youth of the Beast you are guaranteed a knockout night at the movies that you’ll never forget so if you’re unfamiliar with the director’s work, do yourself a favor and discover it NOW.

Clips from Youth of the Beast

While I was compiling this list of 25 favorites I came up with over 100 films that I wanted to add to make mention of so maybe someday I’ll share my entire list since I regret not including many films – in particular horror films. Lists are tricky things and limited by what we have seen. I don’t like sharing them since my list of favorites could change at any given day depending on my mood and whatever new films I’m exposed to, but I can honestly say that all 25 films on this list will always be personal favorites.

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