Author Archives: Deckard Croix

Film Review: Diabolique (1955)

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SYNOPSIS: The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed, his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women. REVIEW: “She’ll bury us all. Won’t you, my little ruin?” Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1955 film, The Devils, is a pioneering example of early psychological noir cinema told in that claustrophobically paranoiac way often characterized by Alfred Hitchcock (in fact, legend has it, Clouzot seized … Continue reading

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Film Review: Psycho II (1983)

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SYNOPSIS: After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude… but the specters of his crimes — and his mother — continue to haunt him. REVIEW: “Goodnight, Mary.” The original film (directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960) was essentially the first slasher film and, in turn, initiated a new avenue of horror that has, by now, become passĂ© (though, nonetheless, commercially successful). The manipulative nature of Hitchcock’s first … Continue reading

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Film Review: Patrick (1978)

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SYNOPSIS: A comatose hospital patient harasses and kills though his powers of telekinesis to claim his private nurse as his own. REVIEW: “One thing’s for certain: Patrick never does anything on purpose.” The 1978 thriller, Patrick, was a milestone in Richard Franklin’s cinematic career. Its success allowed for such cult classics as Road Games and Psycho 2, though Franklin never had a celebrated career like Peter Weir or such contemporaries. This film is highly-lauded in … Continue reading

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Film Review: Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

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SYNOPSIS: Jonathan and Lucy live in Wismar and the Count wants a house there. Varna is a port on the Black Sea, close to Dracula’s castle. REVIEW:  “Time is an abyss… profound as a thousand nights… Centuries come and go… To be unable to grow old is terrible… Death is not the worst… Can you imagine enduring centuries, experiencing each day, the same futilities…” Most often, remakes are a mistake: either from being overbearingly loyal … Continue reading

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Film Review: Touch of Evil (1958)

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SYNOPSIS: A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. REVIEW: “This isn’t the real Mexico. You know that. All border towns bring out the worst in a country.” A quintessential entry in the classic film noir genre, Orson Welles’ misanthropic thriller is not only one of his most polished films but one of the most influential and uncompromising pictures of the 20th century. Very loosely based on the … Continue reading

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Film Review: Dead Ringers (1988)

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SYNOPSIS: Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman. REVIEW: “I’ve often thought that there should be beauty contests for the insides of bodies.” Cronenberg’s 1988 film is a harrowing character study involving not a single protagonist but two. Specifically, twins Stewart and Cyril Marcus who were found dead in their apartment of barbiturate withdrawal on July 19th, 1975. They … Continue reading

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Film Review: Hausu (House) (1977)

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SYNOPSIS: Seven girls on their summer trip pay a visit to a possessed house which plans to eat them in extremely bizzare and surreal ways.

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Film Review: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

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SYNOPSIS: An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. REVIEW: “This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I’m talkin’ to whoever’s listenin’ out there.” Sandwiched between the sweet science fiction of Starman and the dark, quantum horror of Prince of Darkness, Carpenter’s 1986 film presents a happy medium blending more genres than most filmmakers cover in their entire careers. Poorly received by critics at the time of its … Continue reading

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Film Review: Hour of the Wolf (1968)

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SYNOPSIS: While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has a emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires. REVIEW: “Now you are yourself, but not yourself; an ideal state for a meeting between lovers.” Often touted as Ingmar Bergman’s only “horror” film, Hour of the Wolf actually doesn’t stray from Bergman’s characteristic themes of madness, creative isolation, and paranoia. Explained in the film’s tagline, “The hour of the wolf … Continue reading

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Film Review: Blood Simple (1984)

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SYNOPSIS: A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple. REVIEW: “If I don’t get away soon I’ll be going blood-simple like the natives.” Garnering a title from Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled detective novel, Red Harvest (quote above), this Coen-directed debut film is equal parts horror and farce. It is also a fine representation of neo-noir with a touch … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Thing (1982) Review 2

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SYNOPSIS: Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills. REVIEW: “Now I’ll show you what I already know.” John Carpenter’s most indispensable film, The Thing, is based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s Who Goes There?, a novella dealing with paranoia and the fear of assimilation by an alien life form. Carpenter, a fan of the first cinematic incarnation of the story, The Thing … Continue reading

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Fim Review: Visitor Q (2001)

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SYNOPSIS: A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures. REVIEW: “The sea’s so endless. You can’t see anything.” Prolific filmmaker, Takashi Miike, often delights in putting off the audience with controversial subject matter and this film is no different.  Modeled loosely after Pasolini’s Theorum, the life of the archetypal nuclear family is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a … Continue reading

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Film Review: Throne of Blood (1957)

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SYNOPSIS: A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider’s Web Castle. REVIEW: “The devil’s path will always lead to doom.” Akira Kurosawa’s brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Macbeth, is certainly one of the greatest representatives of its cinematic form. Portrayed by the great Toshiro Mifune, Washizu is the proverbial Macbeth, a highly regarded tactician amongst his peers and his close friend, … Continue reading

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