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  • Snake Woman's Curse

    Snake Woman's Curse

    ★★½

    I very much enjoy Nobuo Nakagawa's horror films from the 1950's in such outings as The Ghost of Yotsuya, Black Cat Mansion, The Woman Vampire and The Ghost of Kasane. I have yet to see his most acclaimed film and the one that many years after he directed it introduced him to a Western audience when it was released on DVD - Jigoku from 1960. For these films and others not so easily accessed he was given the title as…

  • Blood of Revenge

    Blood of Revenge

    ★★★½

    No matter how many of these chivalrous Yakuza films (ninkyo eiga) from the 1960's that I watch, I get totally sucked into them. They are very formulaic with the stoic honorable yakuza, the woman who loves him, the villains who have no respect for the code and a theme song that plays as he inevitably walks alone to the final showdown. They all play out like High Noon and Gary Cooper. Except the body count tends to be a lot…

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  • Get on Up

    Get on Up

    ★★★½

    One of my favorite scenes in the film is when James Brown and the Famous Flames are recording the song Please, Please, Please and the older white owner of the label yells at his white assistant, what the fuck kind of song is this. All he is singing is please, please, please. Please what? Please pay his rent. The assistant tells him just listen, its not the song. It's how it feels. And that was to some degree the music…

  • Vice Raid

    Vice Raid

    ★★½

    When I was about 10 years old in 1963 living in a suburb of Washington DC I knew nothing about sex, breasts and women. Some might say that was still true 55 years later. It was a working class suburb that was slowly changing into a more affluent neighborhood with government workers moving in and building new bigger residences or renovating the old houses that were prevalent. It was a good place to grow up with enough empty lots still…