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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Giallo in Venice (1979)

    Giallo in Venice 1979

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Mario Landi. Starring Leonora Fani, Jeff Blynn, Gianni Dei, and Michele Renzullo.

    I have a soft-spot for over-the-top exploitation films. I gave Island of Death a four-star review, praising its “everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach that pushes the film past any genuine scares or mean-spirited umbrage, and firmly into parody.” Giallo a Venezia is no parody. Continue reading...

    Watched on 29 Oct, 2020
  2. A still from Hack-O-Lantern (1988)

    Hack-O-Lantern 1988

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jag Mundhra. Starring Hy Pyke, Gregory Scott Cummins, Katina Garner, and Carla B..

    So-bad-it’s-good schlock sees Hy Pyke masterminding a satanic cult in rural California. He’s out to initiate his incestuous son on Halloween night. ’80s fashions, nice location photography, and Pyke’s grand-camp performance buoy the wooden acting and specious plotting. Not for everyone, but lots of fun.

    Watched on 28 Oct, 2020
  3. A still from Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

    Don't Torture a Duckling 1972

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lucio Fulci. Starring Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian, and Irene Papas.

    In rural Italy, a reporter and socialite struggle to uncover the culprit behind a rash of child murders. Unlike Fulci’s prior thrillers, Don’t Torture a Duckling nudges closer to horror, playing like a werewolf story. Continue reading...

  4. A still from Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

    Ant-Man and the Wasp 2018

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Peyton Reed. Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, and Walton Goggins.

    Opens strong, with creative production backing real emotional stakes via Rudd’s bond with his daughter. Devolves into a series of set pieces where Rudd—once again—proves expendable.

    Watched on 24 Oct, 2020
  5. A still from The Sister of Ursula (1978)

    The Sister of Ursula 1978

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Enzo Milioni. Starring Barbara Magnolfi, Stefania D'Amario, Anna Zinnemann, and Vanni Materassi.

    The Sister of Ursula centers on two sisters, Dagmar and Ursula. As the film opens, they’re checking into a luxury hotel on the Italian coast. Ursula begs Dagmar to leave, claiming visions of a horrible future. With heavy sighs, Dagmar dismisses Ursula’s pleadings. Ursula pouts. Instead of establishing a forbidding atmosphere, the scene left me cold to Ursula’s petulant behavior. Continue reading...

    Watched on 23 Oct, 2020
  6. A still from Island of Death (1976)

    Island of Death 1976

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Nico Mastorakis. Starring Bob Behling, Jane Lyle, Jessica Dublin, and Gerard Gonalons.

    When it cut to Robert Behling’s contorted face as he sodomized the baby goat, I grinned. Few films would dare hurtle so far over the top, and if they dared, they’d build-up to it. Island of Death proffers that scene in the first 15 minutes. Continue reading...

    Watched on 23 Oct, 2020
  7. A still from A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)

    A Lizard in a Woman's Skin 1971

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lucio Fulci. Starring Florinda Bolkan, Stanley Baker, Jean Sorel, and Silvia Monti.

    Fulci’s most formal effort at the time. A stylistic thriller revolving around a politician’s daughter who dreams of murdering her hedonistic neighbor, only to awaken and find herself the center of an actual police investigation. Continue reading...

  8. A still from The Conspiracy of Torture (1969)

    The Conspiracy of Torture 1969

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lucio Fulci. Starring Tomas Milian, Adrienne Larussa, Georges Wilson, and Mavie Bardanzellu.

    A grindhouse historical drama. Fulci takes a tired plot (oppressive patriarch murdered by his family) and livens it up with salacious plotting, sloe-eyed Adrienne Larussa, and Hammeresque gore.

  9. A still from The Sea Bat (1930)

    The Sea Bat 1930

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lionel Barrymore and Wesley Ruggles. Starring Raquel Torres, Charles Bickford, Nils Asther, and George F. Marion.

    Escaped convict Bickford arrives in a small Caribbean village posing as a priest and gets tangled up with local vamp Torres who’s promised herself to any man who can slay the giant Manta-Ray that killed her brother. Great production and Bickford’s entertaining performance can’t overcome Torres’s incessant emoting. Boris Karloff plays a lecherous sailor with a couple of lines in a forgettable part.

  10. A still from Curse of the Demon (1957)

    Curse of the Demon 1957

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jacques Tourneur. Starring Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, and Maurice Denham.

    Curse of the Demon offers the best kind of thriller: one populated by intelligent characters behaving according to their personalities, not the whims of the plot. It avoids cheap jump-scares, preferring shadowy hallways and darkened rooms to keep us on edge. And, for the real horror, there’s Niall MacGinnis. Continue reading...

    Watched on 19 Oct, 2020


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