Anatomy of a Right-Wing Fable: La casa lobo

|MH Rowe| La casa lobo (2018, released in English as The Wolf House) is one of those films based on or inspired by fact that sends you scurrying to the internet to read aghast secret histories you never knew. In this case the history turns out to be a sickening account of...

Arica, mi Amor: Cine Chileno y La casa lobo

|Finn Odum| I. Gringos en Arica. The first of my three weeks in Arica, a city on the Chilean-Peruvian border, was spent in a beachside hotel. We had free breakfast in the mornings, a pool overlooking the ocean, and most importantly, a bar just a five-minute walk away. Many of us were...

A Phenomenology of the East Coast: Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict

|MH Rowe| As quiet and downbeat as it is—as suspicious of institutional authority as it is—The Verdict (1982) is not quite the post-Watergate courtroom drama it appears to be. It traffics instead in a variety of chastened heroism, the kind that comes from finding out that...
Anatomy of a Right-Wing Fable: La casa lobo

Anatomy of a Right-Wing Fable: La casa lobo

|MH Rowe| La casa lobo (2018, released in English as The Wolf House) is one of those films based on or inspired by fact that sends you scurrying to the internet to read aghast secret histories you never knew. In this case the history turns out to be a sickening account of...
Arica, mi Amor: Cine Chileno y La casa lobo

Arica, mi Amor: Cine Chileno y La casa lobo

|Finn Odum| I. Gringos en Arica. The first of my three weeks in Arica, a city on the Chilean-Peruvian border, was spent in a beachside hotel. We had free breakfast in the mornings, a pool overlooking the ocean, and most importantly, a bar just a five-minute walk away. Many of us were...
A Phenomenology of the East Coast: Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict

A Phenomenology of the East Coast: Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict

|MH Rowe| As quiet and downbeat as it is—as suspicious of institutional authority as it is—The Verdict (1982) is not quite the post-Watergate courtroom drama it appears to be. It traffics instead in a variety of chastened heroism, the kind that comes from finding out that...
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: The Batwoman and Camp Feminism

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: The Batwoman and Camp Feminism

|Courtney Kowalke| When I was 13, I was obsessed with the Disney Channel cartoon Kim Possible. The title character was a high school student extracurricular enthusiast with a particular penchant for cheerleading who also flew around the world to fight crime. I was in...
Four “Fuckin A!” Moments in Action Movie Music

Four “Fuckin A!” Moments in Action Movie Music

| Matthew Tchepikova-Treon | Beyond the hardbody brass hits, kettle drums, soaring guitars, and motoric basslines (that nowadays punctuate every last over-edited theatrical trailer to death), action movie music comes in many forms. In the 1970s, performers like J.J. Johnson (Across 110th Street), Johnny Pate...
I Have Seen the Future, and It Doesn’t Work: The Off-Kilter, Semi-Genius of Zardoz

I Have Seen the Future, and It Doesn’t Work: The Off-Kilter, Semi-Genius of Zardoz

|Michael Popham| When people see the movie Zardoz for the first time, they usually walk out of the theater with a lot of questions. Chief among them is, “What the fuck was that all about?” I’ll admit this isn’t a movie for everyone. But hear me out: Zardoz is not just a perfect example of 1970s...
Down the Yellow Brick Road and Through the Looking Glass: How Zardoz Was Colored by its Era and Reflects Back on Today

Down the Yellow Brick Road and Through the Looking Glass: How Zardoz Was Colored by its Era and Reflects Back on Today

|Zach Staads| So, the civilization we know today is coming to an end and the enlightened intelligentsia want to use the end of the world as a playground for their own disaffected experiments and whims as they figure out immortality and aren't sure what to do with the cruder...
Comfort Movies and Show Stealers: The Goodbye Girl

Comfort Movies and Show Stealers: The Goodbye Girl

|Penny Folger| The Goodbye Girl played on daytime television with some regularity while I was growing up. Either that or I just caught it the one time and it left an enduring impression. It’s hard to say which it was when scanning back through my memories of childhood, but I remember Richard Dreyfuss playing guitar, trying to soothe 10-year-old...
This Just In: Evil is STILL Banal

This Just In: Evil is STILL Banal

|Veda Lawrence| For someone whose exposure to Holocaust literature has come mostly from the diary of Anne Frank, or the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, or even Life is Beautiful, a film like The Night Porter stands as a stark and offensive antithesis to the almost sanitized narratives that...
Pain, Pleasure, and Depiction of Manipulation in The Night Porter

Pain, Pleasure, and Depiction of Manipulation in The Night Porter

|Matt Lambert| Too often in criticism, there is a lens from the future looking back at the past in judgement. To be clear, I'm struggling with that urge in reviewing The Night Porter. The 1974 film directed by Liliana Cavani examines the sadomasochistic relationship...
The Life Fantastic: My Lifelong Love Affair with Walt Disney’s Cosmic, Abstract, Terrifying, Horny, and Awe-Inspiring Snuff Film for Children

The Life Fantastic: My Lifelong Love Affair with Walt Disney’s Cosmic, Abstract, Terrifying, Horny, and Awe-Inspiring Snuff Film for Children

|Ryan Sanderson| If you grew up in the eighties or nineties, particularly in the American Midwest, there’s a strong chance you discovered your cinephilia via a VHS rerelease from the Disney vault. The Fantasia fiftieth anniversary edition, for instance, tore across American theaters in 1990...
Animation Past, Present, and Future: The Scope of Fantasia

Animation Past, Present, and Future: The Scope of Fantasia

|Daniel McCabe| Imagine, if you will, that the art of animation disappeared. You had to choose one film to reconstruct the entire art form, from the silliest children’s YouTube video to the most profound Studio Ghibli opus. You get to choose one film to base this reconstruction upon.
When I’m Bad, I’m Better: Legend and Tim Curry’s Legacy of Villainy

When I’m Bad, I’m Better: Legend and Tim Curry’s Legacy of Villainy

|Courtney Kowalke| What is the first movie you remember seeing Tim Curry in? It is a question of when you first saw him in something, not if you have ever seen him in something. The British actor has been an inescapable presence on the silver screen since 1975. Incidentally,
Before Lift Off: Tom Cruise in Legend

Before Lift Off: Tom Cruise in Legend

|John Blair| It has been over 30 years since I first saw Legend as a child. I retained strong memories of certain images: the magical light of the opening scenes, the oversized horns of the Lord of Darkness, the fact that there was definitely a unicorn in the movie. I knew it starred Tom Cruise,
Cinematic Sorcery: The Legacy of Vermithax Pejorative

Cinematic Sorcery: The Legacy of Vermithax Pejorative

|Malcolm Cooke| In the misty and magical realm of Urland lurks a dark and evil creature: The last dragon, one thousand years old. It holds the surrounding land in the violent grip of fear. The king is forced to sacrifice virgins, chosen from a lottery twice a year, to sate the dragon’s sadistic...
The Abandoned and Forsaken: Prop Departments of Old Hollywood

The Abandoned and Forsaken: Prop Departments of Old Hollywood

|Zach Staads| Before I sat down to watch Notorious, before I knew it was a Hitchcock film, before I’d seen a single frame, still, or trailer, I saw the Criterion cover. It was a very simple picture: Two people embracing, one facing away, and the other, Ingrid Bergman, facing out...
Hey, Beastmaster’s On: Epic Fantasy Gets Its Revenge

Hey, Beastmaster’s On: Epic Fantasy Gets Its Revenge

|Michael Popham| George Fucking Lucas. I was 12 years old when I first saw Star Wars at the Mann Theater on Hennepin Avenue. It was the summer of 1977 and the movie hit me like a gravel truck. I had never seen anything like it before, and my friends and I agreed that there...
Street Fighting Man: Samurai Reincarnation Star Sonny Chiba Was a Kinji Fukasaku Favorite

Street Fighting Man: Samurai Reincarnation Star Sonny Chiba Was a Kinji Fukasaku Favorite

|Hannah Baxter| Kinji Fukasaku and Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, who stars in Samurai Reincarnation (1981), collaborated regularly throughout Fukasaku’s 40-year, genre-straddling directorial career. Chiba appeared in nearly a third of Fukasaku’s output, including the first four movies...
Shadow of a Doubt: Ennui’s Disappearance in the Face of Disaster

Shadow of a Doubt: Ennui’s Disappearance in the Face of Disaster

|Dylan Hawthorn| Spoiler alert for Shadow of a Doubt. About ten minutes into Shadow of a Doubt, Charlotte “Charlie” Newton (Teresa Wright) lies in her bed, hands behind her head, staring at the ceiling. The camera had been relishing in the domestic bliss of her hometown...
“Without Guilt or Remorse”: A Deep Dive into the Life of Hitchcock Star Farley Granger

“Without Guilt or Remorse”: A Deep Dive into the Life of Hitchcock Star Farley Granger

|Dylan Hawthron| Before we actually start the movie, though, we see the Warner Bros. logo, followed by a screen announcing the lead actors: Farley Granger Mr. Granger appears by arrangement with Samuel Goldwyn Ruth Roman Robert Walker The fine print sticks out in an otherwise...
From the Darkness: The Influence of German Expressionism on Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train

From the Darkness: The Influence of German Expressionism on Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train

|Daniel McCabe| Strangers on a Train (1951) comes from the darkness, and not only because Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) shot the film in black and white. It draws influences from the German Expressionist films of the 1920s to create a foreboding mood while using the conventions...
Saturday Evening Noir: Shadow of a Doubt

Saturday Evening Noir: Shadow of a Doubt

|Matthew Christensen| A lot of what’s been written about Alfred Hitchock’s Shadow of a Doubt has to do with the use of doubles. As with Strangers on a Train (1951), these dichotomies invite us to look at the muddied line between good and evil, and in doing so expose “what lurks underneath...
Fathers True and False in Conan the Barbarian

Fathers True and False in Conan the Barbarian

|Chris Ryba-Tures| "My fear is that my sons will never understand me," says the Khitan General, his war council babbling all around him while the stone-faced barbarian, Conan, sits cross-legged on a table centered in their yurt. It feels like a throwaway line at first, a bit of conversational...
Conan the Chad and Tolkien the Virgin

Conan the Chad and Tolkien the Virgin

|Timothy Zila| I never saw Conan the Barbarian growing up, nor did I read any of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. But I thought I knew what to expect based on my impression of the vibrant covers depicting a burly, muscle-bursting man in a loincloth next to a busty woman wearing...