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Thriller
 

The Red House

Come and knock on our door. We've been waiting for you.


Thriller

Rod Lott
When Meg (Allene Roberts, Union Station), the adopted daughter of wooden-legged farmer Morgan (the legendary Edward G. Robinson), convinces him to hire her platonic pal, Nath (Lon McAllister, The Story of Seabiscuit), at the staggering rate of 50 cents an hour, things look like a win-win for all parties.
 
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dark Tide

Just when you thought it was safe to watch a Halle Berry movie.


Thriller

Rod Lott
I'm glad that Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez found love on the set, because that makes Dark Tide not a total loss. Otherwise, this big-budget, theater-skipping adventure is perhaps the most toothless shark movie ever made, and remember, I've sat through Dinoshark and Sharktopus.
 
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Case of the Black Parrot

Polly wanna murder mystery?


Thriller

Rod Lott
Warner Archive's packaging pegs 1941's The Case of the Black Parrot as a “classic crime thriller,” but for such a lofty status, I've never heard it uttered in the same breath as, say, The Bat or And Then There Were None. In fact, I'd never heard of it, period. No matter; the fix was easy.
 
Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Divide

Fails to conquer.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Xavier Gens' The Divide begins with a bang — a nuclear incident, to be precise — but goes out with a whimper. For a film with one of the strongest trailers in recent memory, it disappoints just as heavily. Divide, it will.
 
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bewitched

Scissor me timbers!


Thriller

Rod Lott
New from Warner Archive, Bewitched is an obscure, 65-minute slice of noir starring Phyllis Thaxter (Ma Kent of 1978's Superman) as Joan, a well-coiffed, well-behaved virgin next door with loving parents and a fiancé named Bob (Henry H. Daniels Jr., Meet Me in St. Louis), who loves to picnic with her at the zoo, where they kiss and eat apples and swap tiger facts.
 
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grand Central Murder

Choo on this old-fashioned murder mystery.


Thriller

Rod Lott
As a showgirl, Mida King (Patricia Dane, Rio Rita) is likely used to lecherous comments and unwanted advances, but death threats are another story — this story, in fact.
 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Hidden Face

Too bad the marketing doesn’t also hide the surprise.


Thriller

Rod Lott
When Adrián (Quim Gutiérrez) left Spain for a one-year conducting gig with the Bogotá Philharmonic, he took his adoring girlfriend, Belen, with him. But one day, he comes home to a video message of her announcing she's leaving him, and not to come looking for her. It's as enigmatic as it is out of left field.
 
Monday, April 9, 2012

Outrage: Way of the Yakuza

Renaissance man Takeshi Kitano peruses Japan’s mean streets.


Thriller

Rod Lott
A pact is worthless when it exists between two criminal families. Piss one off, and war breaks out. In his 15th directorial outing, Outrage: Way of the Yakuza, Takeshi Kitano examines one such flare-up and its ever-brutal consequences. The gangster world marks material he's delved into before, but so has Martin Scorsese, and Kitano is arguably Japan's equivalent.
 
Monday, April 2, 2012

The Spiral Staircase

Too many missteps to be truly gripping.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Based on a novel by The Lady Vanishes author Ethel Lina White, The Spiral Staircase bears a terrific concept for a psychological thriller, which must account for it being turned into a movie three times. Warner Archives' new manufactured-on-demand disc is the 1975 feature, which falls in the middle of that trilogy, in the sense of both quality and chronology.
 
Monday, April 2, 2012

Enter Nowhere

And that’s just where it goes.


Thriller

Rod Lott
I haven't yet seen Cabin in the Woods, next month's much-buzzed-about horror-thriller from producer/co-writer Joss Whedon, but judging from its trailer, the initial scenes of Enter Nowhere ring of visual similarity. That’s likely where all comparisons will end.
 
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Die

Roll 'em!


Thriller

Rod Lott
From our friends up north — Canada, not Kansas — comes Die, a nearly gore-free take on the rules of Saw. Three decades after his father forces him to roll a die and then fatally shoots himself in the head, a madman named Jacob (John Pyper-Ferguson, Tekken) goes on a mission to teach six clinically depressed people the value of life.
 
Monday, March 19, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Think ink, American style.


Thriller

Rod Lott
As not-so-boldly predicted, director David Fincher (The Social Network) delivers a superior remake of Sweden’s global hit The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s phenomenon of a novel.
 
Monday, March 19, 2012

A Lonely Place to Die

George vs. gorge.


Thriller

Rod Lott
With A Lonely Place to Die — which is not to be confused with A Horrible Way to Die, which I did for the better part of last year because those titles are just too damn similar — we have an excellent example of why I neither climb mountains nor go hiking.
 
Monday, March 12, 2012

Strip Nude for Your Killer

Sit down and Strip — we won’t tell.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Containing one of film history's all-time best titles, 1975's Strip Nude for Your Killer is one kinky kicker of a giallo, which is evident from its first shot.
 
Monday, March 12, 2012

Thirteen Women

And one of them is mean ol’ Myrna Loy.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Not to be confused with the subject of a teenager’s wet dream, 1932’s Thirteen Women is a David O. Selznick production that plays like a precursor to Sorority Row. In it, the evil-eyebrowed Ursula Georgi (Myrna Loy) works a secretary for the New York-based Swami Yogadachi (C. Henry Gordon, 1932’s Scarface) and — this is a stretch — alters the horoscopes he sends to her dozen former sorority sisters so that convinces them of impending death, either of someone close or their own.
 
Thursday, March 8, 2012
 
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