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  • Graveyard of Honor

    Graveyard of Honor

    ★★★½

    usually I find the idea that a protagonist must be “likeable” trite, but Rikio is so unpleasant and emotionally detached from those around him that the film initially suffers for it. not because of the fact that he isn’t likeable, but because he is unable to form relationships with anybody and does not seem to care about it, and the film follows suit in its disregard for its characters. Then, slowly but surely, Fukasaku begins to do something strange. Rikio…

  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes

    ★★½

    stripping Vincent Price of his voice detracts from a lot of his appeal, and the kills are often much more interesting in theory than in execution. the exception is the frog mask kill, which is shot in harrowing cuts to POV and nicely, comically undercut by the babbling of the posh victim (“Crikey, this mask is jolly tight!”). Not a patch on Theatre of Blood but has a certain appeal, mostly due to the lavish set that Phibes lives in, the gothic-grisly make-up and, despite his near-muteness, the inimitable presence of Price

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  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    Tetsuo: The Iron Man

    ★★★★★

    surrealism works best when it’s operating on some kind of buried truth, whether it be our capacity for childlike surprise (Yellow Submarine), a hushed truth that society operates on (Center Jenny) or a primal fear. Tetsuo works in the primal fear mode, fusing together the lo-fi half-remembered cursed video of The Ring and creepypastas with Cronenberg’s body horror. the result is somehow both minimalist and maximalist - an overwhelming maelstrom of horrible, skin-crawling noise and perversity and mutation, captured on scummy tape. I have never seen anything quite like this, but I get the horrible feeling that I’ve seen these things before

  • Othello

    Othello

    ★★★★

    welles folds the film around Othello without ever being thuddingly obvious. Othello's confrontation with Iago is cut like a fight, though only violent ideas are being planted into his mind. when the deed is done, all shadows and lingering long shots, as the players come to realise the sordid parts that they have played. form follows content, and Shakespeare is made into something thrilling and alive, full of actual characters who interact, rather than a stage for Prestige Actors to…