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Bedevilled

South Korea, you devil.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Forced to take a vacation from her bank job after a series of stressful blow-ups, Hae-won (Seong-won Ji) leaves Seoul for a week's stay on a farming island where her childhood friend, Bok-wan (Yeong-hie Seo, The Chaser), lives with her extended family.
 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?: Anniversary Edition

She's on Blu-ray, for starters.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Considered the granddaddy — er, make that grandmama — of psycho-biddy flicks, 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? pits two old-Hollywood legends against one another, with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as the snarling Hudson sisters.
 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weird-Noir

Something Weird brings you six flicks of hard-boiled hoopla.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Of the six films that compose the double-disc Weird-Noir set, exactly zero may qualify as truly weird. The adjective likely is applied just as a tie to its label, Something Weird Video. Whatever the case, I don't care. The point is, all six films are a blast, and I'm just happy to have them — weird, plain, odd, milquetoast, legitimate, what have you.
 
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Tall Man

Short on suspense.


Thriller

Rod Lott
According to some fun facts that open The Tall Man, some 1,000 children vanish each year who never are found. In the near-dead mining town of Cold Rock, that's because they're taken by the mysterious titular figure who's cloaked in black and darts in and out of the woods.
 
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Victim

Biehn there, dumb that.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Michael Biehn was so inspired by appearing in Grindhouse that he wrote and directed his own grindhouse tribute, The Victim.
 
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bait 3D

Fin and fear.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Even if this weren’t a big month for Jaws, what with a digitally restored re-release and Blu-ray debut, we’d likely still be inundated with shark movies.
 
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Headhunters

Oslo can you go? To the depths of man’s darkest and deadliest desires, per this fun foreign crime thriller.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Compared to the continent of Europe, the rate of death by guns in America is six times higher. You wouldn’t know it based on the current wave of crime films from that half of the globe. Arguably kicked off by the worldwide success of Sweden’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, the movies generally are ballsier and bloodier and, therefore, better.
 
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sweet Kill

Sick, sleazy, sublime.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Tab Hunter can't make it with chicks because ... well, insert your own joke about his private life here, but in 1973's Sweet Kill, aka The Arousers, it's because he has mommy issues that rank right up there with Norman Bates and Oedipus.
 
Friday, August 31, 2012

The Heineken Kidnapping

'Heineken? F**k that s**t! Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!'


Thriller

Rod Lott
Beer brewing can be a risky business. Consider Alfred Heineken: In 1983, the CEO of the Dutch corporation that bears his name was kidnapped and held for a sizable ransom, all of which is dramatized in the near-epic film The Heineken Kidnapping. It's more engrossing than its generic title lets on.
 
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shark Week

It bites. Hard.


Thriller

Rod Lott
What do you get when a prosecutor, a police officer, a journalist, an accountant, a judge, a bodyguard, a paramedic and one unemployed junkie skank are drugged, shackled and forced to play a game of survival involving man-eating sharks? The Asylum Home Entertainment's Shark Week, not to be confused with the Discovery Channel programming people look forward to.
 
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Elevator

Has more ups than downs.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Stop me if this sounds familiar: a handful of people trapped in an elevator, in a life-or-death situation, and one of them is not who he or she seems to be.
 
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Penumbra

Unlike the filmmakers’ previous thriller, you won’t break a ‘Sweat.’


Thriller

Rod Lott
Penumbra is Spanish for "partly in the shadows," which is how we first find the fourth-floor apartment that Margarita Sanchez (Cristina Brondo, Dario Argento's Do You Like Hitchcock?) shows to Jorge Kepler (Berta Muñiz), representative for a prospective renter willing to pay four times the going rate, and for a full year in advance.
 
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kill List

Killing, chilling.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Kill List is not your ordinary, average hit-man thriller — it’s an excellent one. The UK film skirts into areas of horror before plunging in at the end, but maintaining an uncompromising level of excellence throughout. It's a strong candidate for that year-end best list. That said, its subject matter will prove to be too much for most to take.
 
Thursday, August 9, 2012

No Mercy

No, but thanks.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Straight out of South Korea, No Mercy shows exactly that. But too bad it's only for the first act.
 
Friday, July 27, 2012

The Girl from the Naked Eye

I spy something pulpy.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Presented as a story in the nonexistent Dark Mystery pulp mag, The Girl from the Naked Eye respectively refers to a call girl and the club where she worked.
 
Thursday, July 19, 2012
 
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