Billy Zane and Gina Gershon star in musky, low-ley adaptation of the Jim Thompson pulp crime novel.

‘This World, Then the Fireworks’ on Amazon Prime

The disturbed world of pulp crime novelist Jim Thompson’s deformed psyches and demented morality comes to life in This World, Then the Fireworks (1997), one of the more unpredictable works in a career defined by the author’s disturbingly treacherous tales. What makes this dreamy adaptation by director Michael Oblowitz and screenwriter Larry Gross work is […]

Mario Bava's classic 'Black Sunday' with Barbara Steele

Halloween Picks: The best of Mario Bava on Amazon Prime and Fandor

Mario Bava essentially created the genre of baroque horror known as “giallo,” a distinctly Italian twist on stalk and kill horror film. Under his direction, Grand Guignol gore is transformed into lush, visually elegant cinematic spectacle, a waking nightmare with the poetic grace of a musical and a demented edge of sexual perversity. After rising […]

Ray Milland stars in Roger Corman's 'Premature Burial' and 'X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes'

Roger Corman’s ‘Premature Burial’ and ‘X-The Man with the X-ray Eyes’ on Amazon Prime

Vincent Price starred in all of Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations but one. Ray Milland took the lead in Premature Burial (1962), playing Guy Carrell, an aristocrat with crippling fear that he will be buried alive due to a family history of catalepsy. Corman brings the fear home in the opening scene: an exhumation of an […]

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Conan the Barbarian on Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the original ‘Conan the Barbarian,’ now on Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the defining action hero of Hollywood from the mid-1980s through the 1990s, yet before he made his breakthrough, he seem the most unlikely American screen icon to lumber his way up the Hollywood ladder. The former Austrian bodybuilder turned Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia (he retired his crown undefeated) seemed destined to […]

Essential Viewing: ‘Dr. Strangelove’ on Amazon Prime

The funniest film ever made about nuclear holocaust, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick’s screwball satire of cold war posturing and mutually assured destruction, didn’t begin as a comedy. The source novel, Peter George’s Red Alert, was a grave contemplation of the cold war gone hot […]