Category Archives: film criticism

The Runt of Hammer’s “Mummy” Franchise

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” John Gilling’s “The Mummy Shroud” has both a cursed shroud and a cursed mummy–damned by fans as “ratty-looking” with an unfortunate zipper showing in the back of the costume (reminding one friend of Ned Glass’ futile attempt … Continue reading

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Sad Story

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” William Wiard’s “Tom Horn” (1980) couldn’t help but be elegiac. It was Steve McQueen’s next-to-last film, and his last western–the genre in which he won his initial fame, first on T.V. with the series “Wanted: Dead or … Continue reading

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Hammer and Science-Fiction

Although Hammer is usually thought of in conjunction with the Gothic tradition in the horror and fantasy genre, it’s also worth remembering their contribution to British science-fiction films. To begin with, Hammer was making science-fiction films before they even thought … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on film noir

Noir is tricky in that that it sub-divides into films that use a set of noir stylistics–talking the talk as it were, without really walking the walk–and films that embrace a noir world-view, sometimes disregarding or down-playing the stylistics n … Continue reading

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Like Bugs Bunny–Only Better!

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” I’ve always been surprised that James Cagney so disliked the script to “Jimmy the Gent” that he shaved the sides of his head thus giving his character James Corrigan, seeker of lost heirs, a distinctly Prussian look … Continue reading

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Heat-Haze Review

I’ve just finished watching Seijun Suzuki’s “Taisho Trilogy” and I still feel like some its characters–befuddled, bewildered and enchanted. These three films, all of them set in Japan during the short-lived Taisho period–a period roughly corresponding in spirit, though not … Continue reading

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What’s the Buzz?

Much as I try to like Roger Corman’s work, every so often he hits a note so flat it gives me an ear-ache. Case in point: “The Wasp Woman.” This trim 63-minute 1959¬†entry from Corman’s own Filmgroup organization, is a … Continue reading

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