The usual year-end round-up – not necessarily the best movies or disks, but some of the ones I most enjoyed, from high art to entertaining trash. The sheer range of what’s available should lay to rest any lingering rumours about the demise of physical media.
More recent viewing, heavy on the sci-fi, fantasy and horror – the latter including an ambitious Netflix series and a grim documentary about violence in America.
Recent Blu-rays from Indicator serve up a feast of British exploitation horror with Bloody Terror, a lavish box set of five features (1976-87) by Norman J. Warren. plus Richard Marquand’s first feature, The Legacy (1978).
This week, I revisited several classic horror and sci-fi movies, plus a few more recent exploitation movies.
Another eclectic week – Italian gore from Joe D’Amato, regional American exploitation, a pair of Amicus horrors from director Roy Ward Baker, a documentary about Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis, and a glorious restoration of the Russian folk-horror Viy.
Some more brief comments on recent viewing: classic horror, Italian crime action from Umberto Lenzi, gender-bending art from France and exploitation from Australia, the U.S. and the Philippines.
Recent viewing features stylized violence, classic martial arts, western noir and political Ozploitation on more disks from England
More Italian genre movies from the 1970s – horror, giallo and poliziotteschi – along with a gritty American exploitation movie which owes something to the giallo.
A pair of recent Blu-rays from Shout! Factory bookend ’70s horror with John Hayes’ Grave of the Vampire (1972), a too-little-known cheap exploitation feature which revitalizes vampire mythology and William Girdler’s The Manitou (1978), a low-budget studio movie with a better-than-average cast which plays a variation on demonic possession but fails to find an effective tone.
Recently viewed Blu-rays from Severin films include a range of Italian horrors featuring zombies, necrophilia and Lovecraftian gods, a revisionist vampire tale from the golden age of Ozploitation, and an unsettling experimental adaptation of a Lovecraft story from Sweden.