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.
International hit men, a widescreen travelogue, Asian action, World War Two, sex with an immortal monster, the zombie apocalypse, necrophilia and interstellar space travel … another mixed bag of recent viewing.
Horror, westerns science fiction, crime, magic, demons, vampires, zombies, witches, a one-legged detective, people trapped in a deadly house, a damsel in distress and a film editor driven mad by cheap exploitation movies …
Criterion’s new Blu-ray of Michael Radford’s 1984 (1984) offers an impressive 4K restoration of this grim and gritty dystopian fantasy faithfully adapted from George Orwell’s novel.
Yet more recent random viewing: Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s movie-biz tragedy The Barefoot Contessa (1954); Lucio Fulci’s first and (almost) last gialli, One on Top of the Other aka Perversion Story (1969) anf The New York Ripper (1982); Ivan Nagy’s oddly poetic serial killer movie Skinner (1993); and some cheap bargains from the local drugstore.
A random selection of recent viewing, from Nazi propaganda to British Angry Young Men, from classic sci-fi to the 1960s revival of a French criminal mastermind as slapstick pastiche.
Produced by George Pal and directed by Byron Haskin, The Power (1968) is a low-key sci-fi thriller with a strong cast and a no-nonsense style, which was barely noticed when it was released in the same year as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes.
The late Peter Fonda briefly interrupted his acting career in the 1970s by directing three features, only the first of which is recognized now as a classic: The Hired Hand (1971). But the second, a no-budget science fiction movie called Idaho Transfer (1973), deserves to be rediscovered both for its sparely poetic treatment of time travel and its prescient vision of imminent ecological catastrophe. Unfortunately, it can now only be viewed as a lo-res, open-matte YouTube video.
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).
Two modest documentaries delve into the compulsion to create and the fraught relationship between creator and creation.