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csdietrich

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40 reviews in total 
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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Hitchcock Meets Dracula, 29 December 2002

Indeed this is a vampiric version of SHADOW OF A DOUBT. Nonetheless it is a fun romp and a tremendous performance by Francis Lederer as Count Dracula who has assumed the identity of Belloq Gordal, a Hungarian visiting his Southern California family. There is a wonderful "Dies Irae" score by Gerald Fried and excellent performances and atmosphere throughout. There is a color insert shot of the staking of a vampire woman that is also fun. This film is another in the Fifties canon of cult horror which deserves classic status of sorts. One can almost imagine Joseph Cotten in the titular role, though. The comparison between this film and SHADOW will be obvious, but who cares?

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A Gem of Style, 16 June 2002

I had the distinct good fortune to see L'ARMATA BRANCALEONE at the UCLA Film Archive many years ago, back in the Eighties. Barbara Steele is breathlessly at her best form in the Gassman/S & M fantasy sequences where the two go about lashing each other with whips. "Frustami" was a word used many times. Her costumes were sensational and it's worth a look just for this segment alone. Sexy! Steele! Don't miss an opportunity to see this: it is rare as dragon's teeth. Another feather in the cap of all the UCLA film people and its Italian Department!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Valentine to Arkoff, Nicholson & AIP, 18 May 2002
8/10

This documentary evokes the finest memories of the Second Golden Age of Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film of the Fifties & Sixties. Along with Hammer Films of the UK and various efforts (mainly in Italy) AIP were churning out little miracles which kept many Baby Boomers scared half out of our wits with delicious little nightmares. There is one problem with the documentary: it is too short and the omission of Vincent Price and the Roger Corman cycle of Poe films is criminal negligence. All of the personalities interviewed are splendid: David Del Valle ushers in the psychedelic direction of AIP in the late Sixties and other film scholars and the surviving actors and actresses are right there giving their added insights. A must anyway! Kudos to all who did this, but an extra 30 minutes devoted to the Poe cycle and perhaps a bit more about Mario Bava or a few comments by Italo horror queen Barbara Steele would have been stellar. Exceptional, entertaining, insightful documentary thanks to the people at Planet Grande!

Road House (1948)
10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Noir at its Best!, 22 April 2002
10/10

Currently I'm taking a Film Noir class in college and I must say this is one fine piece of work. Ida Lupino is so overwhelming there are no words to express it but Richard Widmark is surely the finest actor in Noir! He was soooooooo creepy - a real human monster. The fight scene in the bar was hysterically funny though. It looked like it had been lifted out of a Western. Cornel Wilde was also sensational and I wish I'd seen this before meeting him years ago.

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Fetish Fun! Italofantascienza Rules!, 8 March 2002
8/10

GIANT OF METROPOLIS is pure unadulterated camp fun! Seconding the motion & comments by The Vid of Colorado Springs, this sword and sandal Italian import from the Sixties has just been released on DVD at long last. This was one of my childhood faves and showcases blond hunk Gordon Mitchell, sets by Bava protege Giorgio Giovannini, wild Sodomite dancing, feathered dancers, magnetic death rays, costumes right out of PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, and this is a must-see for all lovers of Italian sci-fi! Pure guilty pleasure at its best!

Near Dark (1987)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Triumphant Vampire Opus of the Eighties, 28 December 2001
10/10

Simply stated this tale of vampirism set in Texas is forever enthroned in gothic glory forever! Adrian Pasdar is beyond compare as the breathtaking hero pitted against the full-throttle forces of Darkness to which he succumbs. REQUIRED VIEWING FOR ALL LOVERS OF VAMPIRE CINEMA. Original material, splendid direction by Bigelow, incomparable ensemble acting, exhilarating and best of all, fun. Classic, classic, classic.

The Cure (1917)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Prepare to Giggle!, 26 December 2001
10/10

Very simply the most hysterical of all his Mutuals! Charlie is not only inebriated throughout his stay in rehab but makes sure everyone in the place gets crocked too! A masterpiece! A riot! You'll laugh until you wet your pants!

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Mark Forest at His Best, 15 October 2001
5/10

LION OF THEBES is the story of Aryan (Mark Forest), a bodyguard who has saved the life of Helen of Troy (a delicious portrayal by the ever-beautiful Yvonne Furneaux) as the Greeks sack the fabled city. Their flight leads them to the deserts of Egypt and finally to Thebes. There Pharoah Ramses goes mad for Helen and decides his intended bride (the wonderful Rosalba Neri) is no longer good enough for him. There is much court intrigue, an assassination, which naturally culminates in Helen being blamed for the whole mess. The true guilty parties attempt to put her to death but Aryan saves the day. This film could have used several hundred more extras but everything considered is not a bad peplum at all. Mark Forest considered this his best film and he certainly is good. The color is dazzling as are the lighting schemes and cinematography. These Italian sword and sandal epics are in serious need of re-evaluation because they certainly do not deserve the critical beatings they took in the Sixties. Worthy of a viewing by anyone who enjoys this genre.

Reptilicus (1961)
The Greatest Dane in Sci-Fi History!, 13 April 2001
6/10

REPTILICUS (1961) was a nifty idea back in the Sixties. In northernmost Scandinavia the tail of a prehistoric lizard is discovered and brought back to Copenhagen for study. Through a series of events, the tail regenerates into a full-sized dragon/dinosaur/reptilian lifeform. The creature is given the name "Reptilicus." The serpentine saurian goes on a spree destroying the Danish capital and spewing glowing gobs of yellow-green vomit all over the place. Not bad sci-fi from an unlikely country. Kids and young adults may love Reptilicus (no fearsome monster here but I think he looks better than all this computer-generated crap on the big screen now) and the story is perfectly middle-of-the-road fare. Nice color, good photography, not bad all the way around. REPTILICUS hardly deserves the critical bashing it generally gets and in this critic's estimation, it's a little above average in entertainment.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Paul Blaisdell's Triumph in Monster-Making!, 13 April 2001
5/10

THE SHE-CREATURE (1956) is certainly one of the more interesting monsterific creations of Paul Blaisdell but the film suffers from a pace slower than death itself and characters as cardboard as a Hallmark card. The idea is perhaps lifted from the Bridey Murphy story wherein a woman is placed under a major hypnotic trance and made to revert to former lives. In this one, the heroine goes all the way back to her prehistoric past and becomes the title creature, complete with scales, Stone Age hooters, a tail and back with Godzilla-like plates. THE SHE-CREATURE must be seen to be believed. This is American-International Pictures, which cranked out a lot of great matinee fun but this monster just about tops them all. A hopelessly inept Chester Morris is terrible as the hypnotist and the cast proceeds at a funereal pace. See it for the monster, it's the only reason to bother!


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