Byron Haskin – Captain Sindbad (1963)

Captain Sindbad was based on an Arabian Nights story, was filmed in Germany, and starred an American leading man (Guy Williams), a German leading lady (Heidi Bruhl) and a Mexican villain (Pedro Armendariz). How’s that for cultural diversity? Anyway, the story involves Sindbad’s (Williams) efforts to enter the impenetrable castle where the evil El Kerim’s (Armendariz) heart is being kept. So long as his heart is outside his body, El Kerim is invulnerable, enabling him to be as wicked and despotic as he chooses. Sindbad comes to the rescue just seconds before the heroine (Bruhl) is about to be crushed to death by an elephant. Despite the mortality rate on both sides, Captain Sindbad is pure kiddie-matinee stuff, adroitly put together by director/cinematographer Byron (War of the Worlds) Haskin and boasting top-notch special effects. allmovie Read More »

Patrick Tam – Ai sha AKA Love Massacre (1981)

Quote:
Set in a surprisingly minimalist San Francisco, Patrick Tam’s stylish slasher movie manages to evoke both Antonioni and Mario Bava in this tale of a ravishing young co-ed (Brigitte Lin) whose studly boyfriend (Chang Kuo-chu) turns into a demented stalker after the suicide of his sister. Read More »

Bryan Forbes – Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

Plot
When an injured wife murderer takes refuge on a remote Lancashire farm, the owner’s three children mistakenly believe him to be the Second Coming of Christ. Read More »

Valerio Zurlini – Seduto alla sua destra AKA Black Jesus (1968)

Synopsis:
A Congo rebel leader is captured and imprisoned with two white felons in this 81-minute feature containing religious symbolism and condemnation of colonial exploitation. Maurice Lalubi is thrown in jail with a soldier and an Italian thief. The trio endures torture at the hands of their captors, while a newly formed military regime decides the fate of the insurgent. The entire horror of the confrontation is seen through his eyes throughout Lalubi’s interrogation and torture. His imminent demise could turn him into a martyr and spell trouble for the new government dictator in this sometimes violent film. Read More »

Claude Sautet – Un mauvais fils AKA A Bad Son (1980)

The conflict between the generations is a recurring theme in the cinema of Claude Sautet. Often as not, it is peripheral to the main drama, but in Un mauvais fils it is absolutely central, the lightning conductor in a raging emotional thunderstorm. The fraught relationship between a middle-aged father and his estranged son Bruno is mirrored by one of a gentler hue, that between a gay bookshop owner and his attractive employee Catherine, who is his adopted daughter in all but name. Bruno appears to have more in common with Catherine, a perfect stranger, than with his father, and so whilst one relationship withers, another flourishes. Read More »

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Tusk (1980)

An English girl and an Indian elephant, born on the same day, share a common destiny.

Tusk review contributed by Steve Puchalski at Shock Cinema

Even though my print of this ultra-obscure Jodorowsky pic was in French with NO subtitles, you really don’t need a translation in order to get the gist of this self-termed “fable panique.” Set in turn of the century India, Jodorowsky drops most of his crazed mystical/religious/hallucinogenic stylings in order to tell a relatively straightforward story of a little girl, Elise, and a little elephant, Tusk, both of whom are born at the same time, and how their lives interconnect over the years (yawn). It begins on a good note, with Jodorowsky intercutting an elephant and a woman, each giving birth. Read More »

Nelson Yu Lik-wai – Mingri tianya AKA All Tomorrow’s Parties (2003)

Synopsis:
In a future century, after the apocalypse, Gui Dao dynasty controls continental Asia. Zhuai and his younger brother Mian are captured and sent to “Prosperity Camp” for reeducation. They soon discover that the camp’s aim is to brainwash people with propaganda. Five years later, there’s a change in government and they are free again. Zhuai falls in love for the beautiful Xuelan and together they take her to an old industrial city, now deserted. They get themselves a place to live in an abandoned apartment and try to rediscover the little pleasures of life. Read More »