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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. 08 Jun 2024

    The Man with Nine Lives 1940

    C-: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Nick Grinde. Starring Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers, and Stanley Brown.

    Despite Boris Karloff playing a doctor with a secret underground laboratory where he holds six people hostage as unwilling test subjects, The Man with Nine Lives isn’t a mad scientist picture. It’s a drama centered on an ethical dilemma: Would you risk the deaths of six people to save millions? Continue reading...

  2. 23 May 2024

    Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror 1981

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Andrea Bianchi. Starring Karin Well, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattioli, and Antonella Antinori.

    Teamwork wins. That’s the takeaway from Burial Ground, an Italian zombie horror that packs just enough originality to set itself above the mass of Zombie knock-offs. Continue reading...

  3. 15 May 2024

    Lucifer's Women 1974

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Paul Aratow. Starring Larry Hankin, Jane Brunel-Cohen, Norman Pierce, and Paul Thomas.

    I watched Lucifer’s Women after seeing the trailer during Alamo Drafthouse’s Railway to Hell marathon. The trailer paints it as a satanic shocker, but it proves more of a sleazy riff on the Svengali story. Continue reading...

  4. 27 Apr 2024

    Beyond the Door III 1989

    B-: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jeff Kwitny. Starring Mary Kohnert, Bo Svenson, Victoria Zinny, and Savina Gersak.

    Bonkers in the best way possible. Continue reading...

  5. 27 Apr 2024

    The Midnight Meat Train 2008

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ryûhei Kitamura. Starring Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, and Vinnie Jones.

    Sometimes, frustrating films are worse than bad ones. Such is the case with The Midnight Meat Train. Continue reading...

  6. 27 Apr 2024

    Horror Express 1972

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Eugenio Martín. Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, and Telly Savalas.

    Horror Express may be flawed, but the production, performances, and novelty of genre icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee working as allies make it hard to resist. Continue reading...

  7. 27 Apr 2024

    Night Train to Terror 1985

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by John Carr, Phillip Marshak, Tom McGowan, Jay Schlossberg-Cohen, and Gregg G. Tallas. Starring Barbara Wyler, Jamie Scoggin, Stacey Lyons, and Linda Maderas.

    For an anthology comprising three unrelated low-budget horror features cut to half or a third of their running time and book-ended by God and Satan riding a train to Las Vegas with an 80s teen pop-rock band, Night Train to Terror is better than you’d expect. Continue reading...

  8. 24 Apr 2024

    Human Lanterns 1982

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Chung Sun. Starring Tony Liu, Kuan Tai Chen, Lieh Lo, and Ni Tien.

    Human Lanterns may not be a great martial arts movie or a great horror movie, but it proves an intriguing bridge for Shaw Brothers productions. A transitional piece between the straightforward kung-fu actioners like The Five Deadly Venoms that launched the studio to worldwide recognition, and the more overt horrors like The Boxer’s Omen that saw the studio trying to adjust to changing audience tastes. Continue reading...

  9. 24 Apr 2024

    Ninja in the Dragon's Den 1982

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Corey Yuen. Starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Conan Lee, Jeong-lee Hwang, and Kaname Tsushima.

    The overarching plot of Ninja in the Dragon’s Den concerns a rogue ninja, played Hiroyuki Sanada, who travels to China seeking vengeance, but finds his target protected by a hot-shot young kung-fu master played by Conan Lee. But tight plotting is not the film’s strong suit, it’s bone-crunching stunts and action sequences. Continue reading...

  10. 13 Apr 2024

    Mandy 2018

    A+: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Panos Cosmatos. Starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, and Ned Dennehy.

    Saying Mandy is about a man who exacts revenge on the Manson-like cult that murdered his girlfriend is like saying Kill Bill is about a woman exacting revenge on her boss after he kills her husband. Explaining the plot provides no sense of the viewing experience. Continue reading...

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