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Thriller
 

ATM / Brake

Boxy, but good.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Among independents, a recent movement has proven you can do an awful lot with very little — especially when limited to one set, as ATM and Brake nearly do.
 
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some Guy Who Kills People

Some movie that’s better than it sounds.


Thriller

Rod Lott
You hear a title like Some Guy Who Kills People and think, "Is that all the energy and enthusiasm they can muster?" Well, this little thriller is a surprise, all underpromising and overdelivering, mostly due to a deft performance by '90s indie-film mainstay Kevin Corrigan (The Dictator).
 
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Endeavour

‘Endeavour’ is ‘Morse’ code for ‘near-perfect prequel.’


Thriller

Rod Lott
Despite Inspector Morse enjoying a dozen-season run on TV, I’ve never seen an episode of the mystery series spawned from Colin Dexter’s novels. In no way did this detract from my enjoyment of Endeavour, a feature-length prequel, and is indeed enjoyable.
 
Monday, July 16, 2012

Zoom In: Sex Apartments

A nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.


Thriller

Rod Lott
It's both a blessing and a shame that Zoom In: Sex Apartments carries such an exploitative title: a blessing because it may trick some horny guys into watching a better movie than they'd expect, and a shame because, well, Sex Apartments. (Hey, it could be worse: The original subtitle was Rape Apartments.)
 
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seeking Justice

Just in the Nic of time.


Thriller

Rod Lott
With little exception (National Treasure, Kick-Ass, about one minute of Grindhouse), there’s no denying that Nicolas Cage has spent the better part of the past decade in a career slump. Witness such critically lambasted underperformers as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Bangkok Dangerous and, most recently, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
 
Friday, June 15, 2012

D.O.A.

Twenty-four hours to live, in 96 minutes or less.


Thriller

Rod Lott
A guy walks into a police station to report a murder: himself! With that setup, one could make a tight, terrific crime film — and D.O.A. is that movie ... in 1950. The 1988 remake doesn't fare as well, but at least it's been preserved on Blu-ray by Mill Creek Entertainment.
 
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Accident

You used to be a victim / Now you’re not the only one.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Assassins are given a twist in Accident, a unique and superior Hong Kong thriller directed by Soi Cheang and produced by one of the best in the biz, Johnnie To (Mad Detective, Vengeance).
 
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Phantom of Crestwood

She deserved it. Case closed.


Thriller

Rod Lott
From 1932, the mystery The Phantom of Crestwood may be one of Hollywood’s first gimmick flicks. That doesn’t make it any good, however.
 
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Aggression Scale

Home, sweat home.


Thriller

Rod Lott
True to its title, The Aggression Scale begins quite aggressively: A woman just done with her daytime jog enters her home, whereupon a gunshot blasts her back out to her front yard. A hit man emerges and snaps a Polaroid for proof.
 
Friday, May 18, 2012

Dark Crimes

How to kill 3,640 minutes of time wisely.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Mill Creek Entertainment’s budget pack of noir, Dark Crimes, strongly goes against the notion that films in the public domain are there because they aren't any good. That’s nonsense.
 
Friday, May 18, 2012

Death and Cremation

Either beats taxes.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Two outcasts are better than one in Death and Cremation, a better-than-average indie thriller, thanks mainly to mood. Even the smallest of budgets can afford that, yet few think to invest in it.
 
Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flareup

Raquel-a-go-go!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Raquel Welch never quite landed on the A list, but not for a lack of trying. It's just that so many of her projects (Bedazzled, One Million Years B.C., Fathom, Myra Breckinridge, et al.) required little more of her than her assets. At least she shakes those with the best of them as a go-go girl on the go — and on the run — in 1969's Flareup, fresh from the MOD ovens of Warner Archive.
 
Thursday, May 10, 2012

The House Across the Street / Homicide

More noir.


Thriller

Rod Lott
As if Warner Archive hasn’t re-released enough murder mysteries on MOD DVD lately, here’s another helping, pairing 1949’s The House Across the Street and Homicide on one disc overflowing with film noir. I gladly made room for it.
 
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

While the Patient Slept

No catching Zs during this zing-filled mystery.


Thriller

Rod Lott
All the way back from 1935, While the Patient Slept begins with a logo stating it's a Clue Club Picture. Was that a regular picture-show "thing"? The Clue Club? Because if it was, I would've been a faithful follower, just based upon this good-natured mystery, recently released by Warner Archive.
 
Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

What the Dickens? Murder, of course.


Thriller

Rod Lott
It's not often one sees the credit "completed by" in a film or TV series, but not many never-finished novels are even considered worthy of adapting to screen. However, most authors aren't the legendary Charles Dickens.
 
Thursday, April 26, 2012
 
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