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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Beyond the Door III (1989)

    Beyond the Door III 1989

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

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

    Not a Beyond the Door sequel, but an original film re-titled. Mary Kohnert plays Beverly, a timid teen traveling to Yugoslavia on a class trip. Bo Svenson channels Sean Bean as the sinister professor Andromolek, who meets the students when they arrive. Andromolek takes them to a remote village where he intends for Beverly to star in a once-a-century satanic ritual. Continue reading...

    Watched on 30 Oct, 2021
  2. A still from The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

    The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by André Øvredal. Starring Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond, and Michael McElhatton.

    I’m noticing a trope in horror films. A hard pause on the overarching threat while the leads engage in interpersonal conflict resolution. I suspect this grew out of Romero’s zombie pictures, which painted humans as the bigger monster. Shows like The Walking Dead have continued this theme. Continue reading...

    Watched on 29 Oct, 2021
  3. A still from Them (2006)

    Them 2006

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Xavier Palud and David Moreau. Starring Olivia Bonamy, Michaël Cohen, Adriana Mocca, and Maria Roman.

    A standard home invasion premise. In a secluded country estate, a couple finds themselves terrorized by unknown assailants. This entry favors suspense over explicit violence and gore. The sprawling estate packs ample creaky floors, shadowy attics, and ominous staircases. I loved the atmosphere, but the protagonists’ lack of agency proved trying despite the brief running time, and the epilogue robbed the film of any resonance.

    Watched on 28 Oct, 2021
  4. A still from Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

    Tetsuo: The Iron Man 1989

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Shin'ya Tsukamoto. Starring Tomorô Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Nobu Kanaoka, and Shin'ya Tsukamoto.

    A bonkers story of a man who begins sprouting metal. It mixes The Fly’s body horror with Eraserhead’s visual esthetic, sprinkles in Clive Barkeresque kink and even packs a tokusatsu-style monster fight. A seventy-minute industrial fever dream.

    Watched on 17 Oct, 2021
  5. A still from The Love Witch (2016)

    The Love Witch 2016

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Anna Biller. Starring Samantha Robinson, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Laura Waddell, and Gian Keys.

    The costumes and dialog evoke Beyond the Valley of the Dolls mod. The shot-choice, saturated colors, and gentle grain ape Eurosleaze thrillers. But the story of a San Francisco witch desperate for love proffers neither mania nor mystery, making for a pleasant but uncompelling watch.

    Watched on 15 Oct, 2021
  6. A still from Angst (1983)

    Angst 1983

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Gerald Kargl. Starring Erwin Leder, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Silvia Ryder, and Karin Springer.

    Angst opens with a young man out-processing from prison. Through voice-over, we learn he’s committed murder and spent more than half his life behind bars. He exits prison, wolfs down a small meal in a diner, botches murdering a cab driver, flees in terror, and stumbles upon a secluded estate. He breaks in and terrorizes the inhabitants. Continue reading...

    Watched on 14 Oct, 2021
  7. A still from Lords of Chaos (2018)

    Lords of Chaos 2018

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer, and Sky Ferreira.

    I’m not a fan of Norwegian Black Metal or even its more accessible forebears. But Lords of Chaos is the Raging Bull of Norwegian Black Metal movies. Continue reading...

    Watched on 13 Oct, 2021
  8. A still from The Virgin Spring (1960)

    The Virgin Spring 1960

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, and Birgitta Pettersson.

    While not the first rape-revenge picture, The Virgin Spring proved a direct influence on Last House on the Left and its countless imitators. But director Ingmar Bergman isn’t interested in the visceral revenge thrill exploited by those remakes. He’s more concerned with the aftermath—of survivor’s guilt and rationalizing brutal violence. And of the never-present God facilitating the perpetual cycle. Continue reading...

    Watched on 10 Oct, 2021
  9. A still from Castle Freak (1995)

    Castle Freak 1995

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Stuart Gordon. Starring Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jonathan Fuller, and Jessica Dollarhide.

    Despite the tenuous connection to H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Outsider,” Castle Freak plays like a typical creature feature. Continue reading...

    Watched on 08 Oct, 2021
  10. A still from The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

    The Slumber Party Massacre 1982

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Amy Holden Jones. Starring Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella, and Debra De Liso.

    I went in knowing this had an all-woman creative team, but it was only after watching that I learned feminist activist Rita Mae Brown wrote the script as a slasher parody, but producer-director Amy Holden Jones shot it as a straight exploitation picture. Continue reading...

    Watched on 08 Oct, 2021


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