Thriller

Teruo Ishii – Hîchirimen bâkuto – Nôbarydu takahadâ AKA The Tattooed Swordswoman AKA Black Cat’s Revenge AKA The Blind Woman’s Curse (1970)

Synopsis:
Akemi and the man of her clan confront their opponents; Akemi delivers a sword thrust to kill the opponents’ leader, and Aiko, his daughter, tries to interpose herself, suffering a glancing blow to her eyes, thus cutting her badly, and blinding her. Amid the ensuing fight, no one notices that a black cat laps the young woman’s wound. Years later, revenge between the two clans continue, plus added dissension amongst Akemi’s people, leading to more deaths. A new member comes to help them, but she is a strange woman – and blind. The curse of the blind woman is about to fell on the dragon-lady. Read More »

John Huston & Vincent Sherman – Across the Pacific (1942)

Synopsis:
Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. But has Leland really been booted out, or is there some other motive for his getting close to fellow passenger Doctor Lorenz? Any motive for getting close to attractive traveler Alberta Marlow would however seem pretty obvious. Read More »

Lucas Belvaux – Cavale AKA On the Run [Trilogy No. 1] (2002)

In The Trilogy, three different but parallel stories unfold revealing the lives of a husband and wife, a policeman and his drug-addicted wife, and a prison escapee and his friends. The characters wander in and out of three films where we see them switch from leading men and women to supporting actors. The three films, all of different genres (the first is a thriller, the second a comedy and the third a melodrama), provide the same action from different angles and perspectives. Each film can be appreciated on its own, but together they form a cohesive whole allowing the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of the characters. Although it is reminiscent of Kurosawa’s Rashomon and Balzac’s novels, Lucas Belvaux’s project is unprecedented. Read More »

Ann Hui – Ji dao zhui zong AKA Zodiac Killers (1991)

PLOT SUMMARY
A group of idealistic Chinese students move into Toyko’s Shinjuku district to attend school in a more relaxed, less competitive setting. However, they soon find themselves inextricably embroiled in the Yakuza underworld with little hope of survival. Read More »

Paul Chilsen – Stricken (1997)

In their final semester of school, a group of six college friends get together to pull the ultimate prank on a fellow classmate. The joke goes awry, resulting in a series of tragic events. Can they explain their way out of this one? Read More »

Dick Powell – The Enemy Below (1957)

Synopsis:
During World War II, the USS Haynes, an American destroyer escort discovers a German U-boat in the South Atlantic. A deadly duel between the two ships ensues, and Captain Murrell must draw upon all his experience to defeat the equally experienced German commander.
Set during the Battle of Atlantic during the Second World War, “The Enemy Below” tells the story of the cat and mouse Destroyer escort/U-Boat hunt. For the Americans, a former Merchant Mariner who saw his wife killed when his freighter was torpedoed by the Germans. For the Germans, a veteran U-Boat commander who sees no honor in the German aims of the war. Both of these highly experienced men must now battle each other, knowing that only one will survive. Read More »

William Keighley – Bullets or Ballots (1936)

Synopsis:
Two-fisted New York police detective Edward G. Robinson is so volatile that he manages to get himself thrown off the force in disgrace. The local gangsters are delighted, in that Robinson had been breathing down their necks. When Robinson goes to crime boss Barton MacLaine insisting that he’s through with law enforcement and wants to switch to the other side, MacLaine’s chief henchmen Humphrey Bogart doesn’t buy the story, but has to go along since he doesn’t want to incur the wrath of MacLaine. Read More »