5 items from 2015
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Black Sabbath is playing on Mubi in the Us through November 13, and Bay of Blood is playing on Mubi in the Us October 15 - November 14.Starting as a cinematographer and director of documentaries and shorts, Mario Bava would ultimately explore a variety of genres, from spaghetti westerns and sword-and-sandal adventures, to a modish detective film and even a romping sex comedy. It is his work within the horror genre, however, for which he is most widely, and justly, lauded. Among the Italian filmmakers who rose to prominence on the international horror scene of the 1960s and 70s, few would attain his degree of diverse stylistic virtuosity, nor would they cover the genre in such an expansive fashion. As the years of his career happened to fall, Bava ended up documenting the horror film in the process of profound transition. »
- Jeremy Carr
Filmed during the height of the Euro Western craze of the late 60’s, Robert Hossein’s Cemetery Without Crosses is an obscure gem rejuvenated by Arrow Video. A French production, the title was actor/director Hossein’s first Western, obviously influenced by Sergio Leone, whom the film is dedicated to (Leone was in the midst of production on Once Upon a Time in the West when Hossein was underway with his feature). A simplistic and familiar narrative is enhanced by its inspired set designs and notable production value, featuring a winning score. Existing on the bleak end of the Spaghetti Western spectrum (or perhaps more aptly the ‘Baguette Western,” an Alex Cox coined term Ginette Vincendeau discusses in an included insert essay), it’s an entertaining bit of style over substance, and is an uncommon French entry in otherwise familiar climate. However, as much as Hossein pays homage to Leone, »
- Nicholas Bell
A Spaghetti Western with a French director and star may seem an odd combination, but this is exactly what we get with Cemetery Without Crosses aka The Rope and the Colt. Inspired by the success of the Dollars trilogy and dedicated to Sergio Leone, this is yet another addition to the Arrow Video classic releases.
After a family of Bandits lynches her husband, Maria Caine (Michèle Mercier) turns to old an old friend Manuel (Robert Hossein) to exact her revenge. At first reluctant to help, he finally gives in, donning his black glove and infiltrating the family to force a showdown between them and Caine which may just lead to all of their dooms.
Directed by and starring Robert Hossein, the first thing that makes the Western stand out is the catchy theme song sung by Scott Walker. The lynching this leads into sets up the revenge and leads us to the introduction of Manuel, »
- Paul Metcalf
For the third week of July, genre fans have quite a few Blu-ray and DVD titles to look forward to as we’ve got a great selection of horror and sci-fi films making their home entertainment bow on the 21st. Kino Lorber is keeping themselves busy this Tuesday with a pair of cult classics—Black Sabbath and Madhouse—that are getting an HD overhaul and the fine folks over at Scream Factory are releasing Tibor Takács' I, Madman on Blu as well. The critically-acclaimed horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows also arrives on both formats this week and for those of you kids at heart out there, Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery, is also coming home on DVD and Blu-ray.
What We Do in the Shadows (Paramount, Blu-ray & DVD)
Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane—like paying rent, »
- Heather Wixson
Cemetery Without Crosses (Une corde, une Colt), 1969.
Directed by Robert Hossein.
After her husband is lynched by bandits, a grieving widow seeks revenge and turns to an old friend for help. He is initially reluctant but soon infiltrates her enemies to force a showdown.
This bleak homage to Sergio Leone and the cult of the spaghetti-western is a stylish and atmospheric take on the genre. Bringing a philosophical depth to proceedings, the French/Italian/Spanish production provides enough intriguing ambiguities for a worthy slice of realism. Essentially amoral, it sets out to present the universal truth that people of all kinds are capable of both good and bad.
The stirring central theme (with vocals by Scott Walker) is probably the most typically Western thing about the movie. »
- Robert W Monk
5 items from 2015
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