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Nest of Vipers & Tails, You Lose…

Guest Reviewer Lee Broughton is back, with another Italo Western double bill DVD review. Wild East’s ongoing Spaghetti Western Collection continues to grow and this double bill release is particularly welcome since it features two obscure and wholly idiosyncratic genre entries from 1969. Italian Western directors had found it relatively easy to appropriate key plot points and ideas from Sergio Leone’s Dollars films during the genre’s early years but when Leone’s sprawling, mega-budgeted, meta-Western Once Upon a Time in the West was released in 1968 it was clear that this was one genre entry that local filmmakers would not be able to easily emulate.

With scriptwriters and directors now essentially being forced to come up with their own ideas and generic trends, a new wave of Spaghetti Westerns were produced that effectively took the genre in a multitude of new directions. The two films featured here were part of that wave.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Drive-In Dust Offs: Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

Full disclosure: The Amityville Horror films do not make up my favorite franchise. And it has nothing to do with the central “haunted house” premise, but rather the execution of the series thus far, from the serviceable ground zero template, The Amityville Horror (1979) through the (as yet unseen) upcoming Amityville: The Awakening, with some stops in between at DTVville (not to mention the Ryan Reynolds remake; but I said not to mention, so not mention I shall). The name is so shopworn now that “Amityville” has become synonymous with “poopy”.

But, but, But…let’s rewind to a time when a follow up to the kind-of goofy James Brolin (and his glorious perm) starrer was actually anticipated. That film was a smash success at the box office, and the powers that be wanted to revisit the village of Amityville to see what other demons they could find in the basement.
See full article at DailyDead »

La moglie più bella

"The Most Beautiful Wife"   The 'double standard' between men and women reveals its roots in paternalistic barbarism, as demonstrated by this quality Italo crime picture about a young woman claimed against her will by a Mafia thug. The gorgeous star Ornella Muti makes her debut; the sinister Mafia punk is Alessio Orano. It's strong stuff, but not exploitative. La moglie più bella Blu-ray Twilight Time 1970 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 109 min. / Street Date September 6, 2016 / The Most Beautiful Wife / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store24.95 Starring Ornella Muti, Alessio Orano, Tano Cimarosa, Pierluigi Aprà Cinematography Franco di Giacomo Production Design Umberto Turco Film Editor Antonio Siciliano Original Music Ennio Morricone Written by Damiano Damiani, Sofia Scandurra, Enrico Ribulisi Directed by Damiano Damiani

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

One doesn't expect an Italian crime film to help bring about social change, but this show may be an exception. Frankly, its dark them fits right
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Exclusive Interview: Rutanya Alda on Amityville II, Brian De Palma and the Horrors of Mommie Dearest

Actress Rutanya Alda discusses her new book and her life in cinema. Rutanya Alda is a name long known to genre fans as a fine actress in quality productions. Her work in Brian De Palma’s The Fury, Fred Walton’s When A Stranger Calls, Lewis Jackson’s Christmas Evil, Damiano Damiani’s Amityville II: The Possession, William Lustig’s Vigilante,…

The post Exclusive Interview: Rutanya Alda on Amityville II, Brian De Palma and the Horrors of Mommie Dearest appeared first on Shock Till You Drop.
See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

Looking back at the Amityville Horror franchise

Sarah looks back at the Amityville films, and finds a lot of scary things, not all of which were intentional…

112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island is probably the most famous haunted house in the world. Not that you’ll necessarily recognise the address – it’s far better known as the Amityville Horror house. Back in 1975, George and Kathy Lutz moved their family into the house… and then 28 days later, they moved back out, claiming to have been driven out by supernatural forces. Their story made the news, was turned into a book, and then made into a movie, in 1979.

It’s hard to imagine now that a family claiming to have encountered the devil in their basement could cause such a massive fuss, but I’m not here to interrogate the truth of their statement. What I am here to do, though, is to watch all of the Amityville Horror movies made to date,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Movie Poster of the Week: “Wild Strawberries” and the Posters of Jerzy Flisak

  • MUBI
Above: 1960 poster by Jerzy Flisak for Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1957)

One of my favorite Polish poster designers, or indeed favorite poster designer from any country, is Jerzy Flisak (1930-2008). Incredibly prolific—I’ve seen maybe 200 Flisak movie posters and he made many more during his 30 year career—Flisak started out as a satirical cartoonist. A cheerful, simple, almost childlike style is evident in much of his work, which tends towards the bright, bold and colorful, often peopled with rosy cheeked buxom ladies. Much of that work is terrific and quite well known—like his posters for The Fireman’s Ball and Paper Moon—but what draws me to Flisak is his work that pulls in the opposite direction: towards the more serious, abstract and monochrome. Before Flisak was a cartoonist he had studied architecture and there is a very strong sense of structure, space and form in his work.
See full article at MUBI »

Top 10 movie adaptations

Books and films have been joined at the hip ever since the earliest days of cinema, and adaptations of novels have regularly provided audiences with the classier end of the film spectrum. Here, the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best

• Top 10 family movies

• Top 10 war movies

• Top 10 teen movies

• Top 10 superhero movies

• Top 10 westerns

• Top 10 documentaries

• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s

10. Planet of the Apes

Although the source novel, La Planète des Singes, was written by Frenchman Pierre Boule and originally reached its futureshock climax in Paris, this enduring sci-fi fantasy is profoundly American, putting Charlton Heston's steel-jawed patriotism to incredible use. It also holds up surprisingly well as a jarring allegory for the population's fears over escalating cold war tensions.

Beginning with a spaceship crash-landing on an unknown planet after years of cryogenic sleep, Franklin J Schaffner's film soon gets into gear as Heston's upstanding
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Top 10 movie adaptations

Books and films have been joined at the hip ever since the earliest days of cinema, and adaptations of novels have regularly provided audiences with the classier end of the film spectrum. Here, the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best

• Top 10 family movies

• Top 10 war movies

• Top 10 teen movies

• Top 10 superhero movies

• Top 10 westerns

• Top 10 documentaries

• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s

10. Planet of the Apes

Although the source novel, La Planète des Singes, was written by Frenchman Pierre Boule and originally reached its futureshock climax in Paris, this enduring sci-fi fantasy is profoundly American, putting Charlton Heston's steel-jawed patriotism to incredible use. It also holds up surprisingly well as a jarring allegory for the population's fears over escalating cold war tensions.

Beginning with a spaceship crash-landing on an unknown planet after years of cryogenic sleep, Franklin J Schaffner's film soon gets into gear as Heston's upstanding
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Vastly Unseen Spaghetti Western ‘The Big Gundown’ is Getting Star Treatment on Blu-Ray & DVD

We previously reported that Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown would be released by the good folks at Grindhouse Releasing. Now, we have the fine details. DVDActive reports that Grindhouse Releasing (by the way, it’s great to have them back after a long hiatus) is releasing The Big Gundown starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian in a 4 disc Blu-Ray & DVD Combo. Read on for the official press release. Can’t wait to see this since it has been a hard film to find.

From DVDActive.com

Sergio Sollima’s Run, Man, Run! has been available on remastered DVD for years, but its superior prequel, The Big Gundown has been missing from the digital home video landscape in the Us…until now. Grindhouse Releasing continues their comeback trail with the first even Us Blu-ray release of this classic film. Alongside Damiano Damiani’s A Bullet for the General, The Big Gundown
See full article at Destroy the Brain »

What to Watch: Oct. 1-7, 2013

Chicago – Another week of Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming options for you to peruse courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com’s “What to Watch.” Every week, we gather a select few of the most recent Blu-ray & DVD releases, toss in at least one On Demand option we’ve seen, and present them in a checklist order for you to knock out through Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, or good, old-fashioned Blu-ray (yes, that sounds funny to me too). This week’s is the strongest yet by far. Everything in here is worth a look, all the way down to #9. This is just the order you should watch ‘em in more than anything else.

The Bling Ring

Photo credit: Lionsgate

The Bling Ring

I argued with a few people who saw Sofia Coppola’s wildly entertaining dissection of celebutante youth culture as too shallow and my counter is that most of those people don’t know
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'This Is the End' and More

  • NextMovie
This week: A party at James Franco's house rages on as the Apocalypse gets it on outside in the outrageous horror comedy "This Is the End," starring Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robertson and featuring cameos from numerous celebrities.

Also new this week is the based-on-a-true-story thriller "The Frozen Ground," "The Amityville Horror" Trilogy on Blu-ray, and "The Wizard of Oz" 75th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray 3D.

'This Is the End'

Box Office: $101 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 84% Fresh

Storyline: This end-of-the-world comedy follows six celebrities — James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson — as they're trapped in Franco's house in the Hollywood Hills at the beginning of the Apocalypse. After cabin fever sits in, they are eventually forced to leave the house and face their fate ... and discover the true meaning of friendship.

Extras!: Both the DVD
See full article at NextMovie »

Film Review: ‘The Investigator’

Film Review: ‘The Investigator’
The investigation at the center of “The Investigator” is a classroom inquiry into the “homicide” of Jesus Christ as conducted by a former NYC cop turned high school teacher. But this odd duck of a Christian evangelical production, written by Rich Romano (brother of Ray) and drawn from events in his own life is also, by turns, an underdog sports pic, a “Dangerous Minds”-style classroom drama, and a sledgehammer (but not unaffecting) tragedy about one man’s loss and gradual rekindling of faith. Playing on 11 screens since Sept. 13, the self-distributed indie has grossed a respectable $100,000 and should continue to play well to its target demo as it expands.

The past two decades have been boom times for the evangelical film biz, bolstered by the hefty grosses of breakout titles like “The Omega Code” and the Kirk Cameron-fronted “Fireproof,” which benefited from better production values and more filmmaking savoir-faire
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Amityville Horror Trilogy Blu-ray Release Details

Scream Factory will release The Amityville Horror Trilogy Blu-ray set this October and they’ve provided us with the final list of bonus features:

“Holidays arrive early this year for horror fans and pop culture enthusiasts. Prepare to bring home one of the most iconic haunted house movie collections! For the first time ever, experience three original classic Amityville horror films collected together on 3D Blu-ray! On October 1, Scream Factory is proud to present The Amityville Horror Trilogy Deluxe Collector’S Edition Three-Disc Blu-ray™ Pack. Featuring perfect high-definition picture visuals and purest digital sound available, this essential collection brings together The Amityville Horror (starring James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Oscar(R)-winner Rod Steiger), Amityville II: The Possession (starring James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Andrew Prine, Jack Magner, Diane Franklin) and Amityville 3D (starring Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Candy Clark). Each movie from this collection is packed with extensive bonus features and more!
See full article at DailyDead »

Venice 2013. Lineup

  • MUBI
The Venice International Film Festival has announced the lineup for its 70th edition.

Official Competition

Es-Stouh (Merzak Allouache, Algeria/France)

L'Intrepido (Gianna Amelio, Italy)

Miss Violence (Alexandros Avranas, Greece)

Via Castellana Bandiera (Emma Dante, Italy/Switzerland/France)

Tom à la ferme (Xavier Dolan, Canada/France)

Child of God (James Franco, USA)

Philomena (Stephen Frears, UK)

La Jalousie (Philippe Garrel, France)

The Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam, UK/USA)

Ana Arabia (Amos Gitai, Israel/France)

Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, UK/USA)

Joe (David Gordon Green, USA)

The Police Officer's Wife (Philip Gröning, Germany)

Parkland (Peter Landesman, USA)

The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan)

The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld (Errol Morris, USA)

Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt, USA)

Sacro Gra (Gianfranco Rosi, Italy)

Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang, Chinese Taipei/France)

Out Of Competition

Space Pirate Captain Harlock (Shinji Aramaki, Japan)

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, USA)

Summer '82 — When Zappa Came to Siciliy (Salvo Cuccia,
See full article at MUBI »

Venice reveals ‘restored’ selection

  • ScreenDaily
Venice reveals ‘restored’ selection
Italian actress Claudia Cardinale to be guest host for the section at the 70th Venice International Film Festival where William Friedkin will receive a lifetime achievement honour.

Claudia Cardinale, best known for roles in Once Upon a Time in the West and Fellini’s 8 ½, is to be the guest host of Venezia Classici, the section devoted to restored films and to documentaries about cinema of the 70th Venice International Film Festival (August 28 – September 7.

The section, introduced last year, features a selection of classic film restorations completed over the past year by film libraries, cultural institutions or production companies around the world.

Cardinale will attend the screening of Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa, Luchino Visconti’s 1965 film in which she starred that won the Golden Lion at the 30th Viff and has been restored by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

It is is one of the four classics restored this year that has been conserved at the Historic Archives of the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Damiano Damiani obituary

Italian director whose 1966 film A Bullet for the General, set in revolutionary Mexico, began a wave of 'tortilla westerns'

Damiano Damiani, who has died aged 90, was a director of Italian popular films and television. He was best known for La Piovra (The Octopus, 1984), an internationally successful TV series about the mafia, and made several mafia-themed films and TV movies, but his range was much wider.

Born in Pordenone, north-east Italy, he began his career in the 1940s, working in the art department and directing documentaries. As popular Italian cinema boomed in the 1960s, he began to make personal pictures, westerns, comedies, political thrillers and horror films. If you have only seen Amityville II: The Possession (1982), his one American movie, you have seen Damiani at his least inspired. In that film, the camera followed potential victims around a haunted house in a style made tedious four years earlier by John Carpenter's Halloween.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Damiano Damiani obituary

Italian director whose 1966 film A Bullet for the General, set in revolutionary Mexico, began a wave of 'tortilla westerns'

Damiano Damiani, who has died aged 90, was a director of Italian popular films and television. He was best known for La Piovra (The Octopus, 1984), an internationally successful TV series about the mafia, and made several mafia-themed films and TV movies, but his range was much wider.

Born in Pordenone, north-east Italy, he began his career in the 1940s, working in the art department and directing documentaries. As popular Italian cinema boomed in the 1960s, he began to make personal pictures, westerns, comedies, political thrillers and horror films. If you have only seen Amityville II: The Possession (1982), his one American movie, you have seen Damiani at his least inspired. In that film, the camera followed potential victims around a haunted house in a style made tedious four years earlier by John Carpenter's Halloween.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

31 Days of Horror: ‘Amityville II The Possession’, a cheesy horror movie that sets everything on fire around it

Amityville II

Directed by Damiano Damiani

Written by Tommy Lee Wallace

1982, USA

If Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap directed a movie, it would be Amityville II, because everything in this film is turned up to 11.

It has all the subtlety and grace of a jackhammer hitting a gas line and exploding into a fireball of sex, gore, incest, asshole fathers, holy-roller mothers, snarky demons, and homicidal kids. And this is meant in the most endearing way possible.

Despite its flash and bang, there are some subtly effective scenes , and every frame is awash with a dirty mood and tension. This is helped by a very creepy incestual storyline, and a father, played with a snarl by Burt Young, who is completely unhinged at all times.

Director Damiano Damiani brings his Italian sensibilities to a film that completely separates itself from the more restrained and typical haunted house film of its predecessor.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Carlo Rambaldi obituary

Special effects artist known for Et and the monster in Alien

If one asked filmgoers what they immediately visualise at the mention of Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and Steven Spielberg's Et: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), the majority would most likely name the creatures in the title roles – disgustingly malevolent in the former, and ugly but cuddly in the latter. The special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi, who has died aged 86, was almost entirely credited with creating the character of Et, not only conceptually but also physically, and with actualising Hr Giger's designs for the murderous alien loose on a space ship. Rambaldi's work on these two blockbusters was recognised with Academy Awards (shared) for visual effects. For King Kong (1976), he shared a special achievement Oscar.

On the surface, these lauded, large-scale Hollywood movies seemed a world away from Rambaldi's beginnings as a designer, model maker and special effects man on
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Carlo Rambaldi 1925-2012

Carlo Rambaldi 1925-2012
One of the great pioneers of movie special effects, Carlo Rambaldi has died at his home in Italy after a long illness. He was 86.Rambaldi had recently been living in the southern Italian city of Lemezia Terme, but was born in the north, in the village of Vigarano Mainarda, in Emilia-Romagna. He attended Bologna's Academy of Fine Arts as a teenager, and had intentions of becoming a painter. But an offer from Italian director Giacomo Gentilomo to create a dragon for the film Sigfredo proved life-changing.Rambaldi's work immediately became a staple of Italian horror and fantasy cinema. He worked with the maverick likes of Mario Bava (Planet Of The Vampires, Twitch Of The Death Nerve) and Damiano Damiani (The Witch In Love), and had the dubious honour of having to legally prove that his work was pure artifice, when some unpleasantness with a dog in Lucio Fulci's
See full article at EmpireOnline »
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