4 items from 2017
Following its premiere at last year’s Fantastic Fest, where we called it “a melancholy, ’70s-set lesbian romance/Gothic horror tale featuring a blond, a brunette, and a mad aunt locked away in her Victorian house,” A.D. Calvo’s atmospheric ghost story Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl is becoming accessible to a wider audience this week with its debut on all-horror streaming service Shudder. We’ve got an exclusive clip from the film, introducing us to innocent young Adele (Erin Wilhelmi) and her equally archetypal counterpart, the mysterious, striking Beth (Quinn Shephard):
Recommended for fans of slow-burn ‘70s horror films like Burnt Offerings and Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl is streaming on Shudder now.
- Katie Rife
A few years ago, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the death of influential film critic Pauline Kael, I wrote the following:
“I think (Kael) did a lot to expose the truth… that directors, writers and actors who often work awfully close to the surface may still have subterranean levels of achievement or purpose or commentary that they themselves may be least qualified to articulate. It’s what’s behind her disdain for Antonioni’s pontificating at the Cannes film festival; it’s what behind the high percentage of uselessness of proliferating DVD commentaries in which we get to hear every dull anecdote, redundant explication of plot development and any other inanity that strikes the director of the latest Jennifer Aniston rom-com to blurt out breathlessly; and it is what’s behind a director like Eli Roth, who tailors the subtext of something like Hostel Part II almost as »
- Dennis Cozzalio
When I think of some of my favorite B films of the 1970s, my mind tends to drift towards the works of the late filmmaker William Girdler. This man made nine movies in six years before his tragic death in ’78 at the age of thirty; chief among them Abby (’74), Grizzly (’76), and Day of the Animals (’77). Now, quantity obviously doesn’t equal quality, and he made a few outright stinkers. But he was exciting to me because he became a better, more confident filmmaker with each film; this is especially evident with his final release, The Manitou (1978), your typical ancient Native American little person demon growing out of the back of a woman’s neck who fights the heroes in space with laser beams kind of flick. You know the type.
Independently produced, The Manitou was released by Avco Embassy in late April, with a June rollout across North America, and worldwide the following year. »
- Scott Drebit
Sometimes it’s hard to put a fresh coat of paint on an old house. The colors can bleed through no matter how many new layers are added, giving the house a look of desperation from a block away. But sometimes the right paint is used, the restoration is done with love and affection, and the new owners actually care about their surroundings. Such is the case with The Night Stalker (1972), the ABC TV movie that took the vampire out of his crumbling castle and transported him to the seedier side of the modern day Las Vegas strip; and in doing so created one of the most endearingly reluctant monster hunters of all time, Carl Kolchak.
Originally airing as the ABC Movie of the Week on Tuesday, January 11th, 1972, The Night Stalker slayed the competition in the ratings, including CBS’s successful Hawaii Five-o/Cannon lineup. And I mean destroyed »
- Scott Drebit
4 items from 2017
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