On the first level, Daughters of Darkness is a film about a newly married couple who encounter an intriguing, if overly familiar and insistent, traveling royal on the Continent, who tries to seduce them into her strange and ultimately deadly web. The husband and wife are tempted, spied upon, and ultimately driven to desperation. But they might have already been desperate before the Countess Bathory crossed their path. Stefan and Valerie, played John Karlen and Danielle Ouimet, respectively, begin their story on a train, where they make passionate (and fairly graphic) love. Afterwards, she asks him if he loves her,
Recently in 4K UHD
A mysterious and sumptuously produced film about a newlywed woman finding monsters on her honeymoon, supernatural and otherwise.
Whether it's too camp or in the proper comic spirit, Flash Gordon's elaborately colorful production bursts onto 4K.
George Lucas's inspirations for Star Wars were many. He was a voracious reader of golden age science fiction, and picked elements he liked from several different stories: lightsabers were borrowed from Lensman, Tatooine's moisture farming and the spice mines of Kessel were liberated from Dune. But the form of the story, and the real heart of Lucas' ambition was to recreate the thrills of Flash Gordon: the long running comic strip, and the Buster G. Crabbe starring serials that were adapted from it. But the license for Flash Gordon was expensive, and mid-1970s George Lucas was not a billionaire. He
The first film in what became a sci-fi trilogy is a fun throwback action thriller, now in 4K UHD.
Pitch Black was released in 2000, and it feels very much like the last science fiction action film of the '90s. This was a time when digital effects weren't cheap enough to make the generic movies that clogged the schedule at SyFy, back when it used to show science fiction movies. It comes from a time before the massive cultural influence of The Matrix was fully absorbed. Pitch Black began shooting a couple of weeks before The Matrix was released, but in style and tone it feels like the older film. The setting is distant future movie space opera -
Four of the Master of Suspense's most popular films make the leap onto 4K UHD.
Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense, but that's too limited a title for him. Where his talents primarily lie as a storyteller is in the manipulation of audiences. He liked to say, "I enjoy playing the audience like a piano" and he does so with masterful skill, using subtle tricks to shift the audience's sympathies, sometimes from scene to scene from one character to the next. In this way his films, while always intended as popular entertainments and always aimed for box office success (and usually achieving it), have layers of complexity that one rarely finds in
A beautiful, terrible slasher film is a document of early '80s New York and its director's grotesque, murderous obsessions.
The New York Ripper is sleazy. It contains sleaze. It is about sleaze. In its semi-coherent narrative, it indulges in the ugliness that its story decries. This is an ugly, gross film. It's also a weirdly beautiful document of late 20th century New York. The New York Ripper was directed by Lucio Fulci, who made many interesting, intriguing horror films, though I would be hard pressed to say he ever actually made a good one, a movie that could be enjoyed without reservations. He has a knack for crafting devious scenes, that start out relatively benign then become uncomfortable, and
Lucio Fulci's atmospheric, if baffling horror film arrives in a premium, beautiful 4k video release.
It's probably not accurate to say Lucio Fulci is an acquired taste. It's more accurate to say, of all the directors of weird Italian horror movie genre, save perhaps Dario Argento, Fulci was the one most likely to create something you might remember after watching. His films have generally simplistic, and barely coherent plots - in fact, The House by the Cemetery with its bare thread of coherent narrative is one of his more complex stories. The power of Fulci's cinema is not in the overall effect but in the moment to moment. The House by The Cemetery has plenty