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  • Xenia: Priestess of Night

    Xenia: Priestess of Night

    ★★½

    This film, so lost for many years it doesn't even show up (currently) on IMDb, IS actually available now but thus far only on an episode of Cinema Insomnia, with the marvelously silly host Mr. Lobo eventually filling in some crucial details about the film and its weird history. I am going to withhold my true judgment on Xenia until I can see it in its unadulterated form, but first sight did not produce love, just mild intrigue along with…

  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes

    ★★★½

    It seems simple enough, but this film takes a basic potboiler premise and takes it to a mindbogglingly high level of sublime and artful horror. Phibes isn't just mad with lust for revenge; he is a genius of high order: a doctor, an inventor, a scientist, and a concert musician. Phibes manages to weave all of his various skills and interests into his revenge, and still takes time out of his murderous rampage for a waltz with his stylish assistant,…

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  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    ★★★★½

    Mind you, my 5-star rating applies only to the original version I saw on its original release in 1977. Any Lucas-scrambled version following that one can suck it...

  • Buck Privates

    Buck Privates

    ★★★

    Desperate to get away from cop Nat Pendleton (a favorite of mine), street con artists Bud and Lou accidentally join the U.S. Army. Too bad for them, Pendleton ends up as their sergeant. Buck Privates is merely OK in terms of military hi-jinks and once again, the romantic leads might as well be invisible, but this Oscar-nominated crowd-pleaser is more about building patriotic spirit (though it should be noted that America was still a year out from joining WWII; the…