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Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
See it on the big screen if you can
Just saw this on the big screen. I had rented it many years ago, and the small screen does not do it justice. Here are some observations, maybe redundant, I haven't read all the other reviews: 1) remarkable for a 1950s film in that African-Americans are actually given substantive parts; 2) this movie is just about utterly cynical- there isn't a "good guy" in it, or even someone with a "gruff exterior/heart of gold"; every character seems to be rotten in one way or another; 3) I love the irony that the character who seems the weakest and the neediest is the one who ends up with the thing that everyone is chasing after (and pays the price for it). Every scene seems to contain a wealth of detail, the narrative zooms by, and the images are stunning. An awesome movie experience.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Still carrying the scary
How do I even review this movie? I first saw it late at night when I was a child and is frightened the snot out of me. It's effect on me has gone beyond being a "good" or "bad" movie. (it didn't help that my older brother told me it was based on a true story)Outside of that, I think one of the reasons it holds up so well is that the filming approach is almost documentary in its style, so that even though the premise seems ridiculous, you still get the uneasy feeling that for the characters, this night of horror is very, very real. One other observation that probably is not very original is that the conflicts between the characters in the house ratchets up the tension; it's not just the monsters outside that will get them- they might very well end up destroying each other.