There’s a lot that happens in the opening moments of Before the Fire that immediately feels tense and eerie, given the current situation the world is going through. An unknown disease has made itself present, forcing airlines to cancel flights, businesses to offer curbside pickup on what limited supplies they have, and an uncertainty of what’s going to happen next. People flee certain areas that are now considered hotspots, and try to not come into contact with those who may possibly be infected. But the further we get into the slim, 90-minute thriller, the more it feels like there needs
Results tagged “Thriller”
A movie about surviving a pandemic is fitting right now, but this one doesn’t have much going for it.
German filmmaker Patrick Vollrath makes a promising debut with a flight-hijacking thriller that strives for realism and mostly succeeds.
Unlike other movies based on flight-hijacking - Air Force One, Passenger 57, Operation Thunderbolt, or say Non-stop - in which the rescue efforts comprise the majority of the narrative, here is a film that observes the tension from the viewpoint of pilot, who is usually the first one to die in such films. Moreover, like the protagonist of 7500, Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an American co-pilot on board the flight from Berlin to Paris, we see the proceedings outside the cockpit only through a TV. The story-telling choice, which confines us to the cockpit for 99.2% of the runtime, invigorates the
In his new series, Game of Thrones' Kristofer Hivju gets to play not just one larger-than-life character, but twin brothers who couldn't be more dissimilar - or more at odds with one another.
Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju is probably best-known to most avid television viewers as the ginger-haired, love-lorn Tormund Giantsbane from HBO's Game of Thrones. Hivju made an indelible impression as the Wildling with a huge personality who would defend his BFF Jon Snow to the death against dragons, Lannisters, and whatever else stood in their way. In his new series Twin, Hivju gets to play not just one larger-than-life character, but twin brothers who couldn't be more dissimilar - or more at odds with one another. Adam and Erik (Hivju) haven't spoken to one another for fifteen years. Erik has been
Michael Biehn is a creepy but underdeveloped stalker obsessed Lauren Bacall in '80s New York.
The Fan was made in 1981. It's about a deranged man who kills people. He uses a special weapon to do so...and yet, somehow it is not a cheap, cheesy slasher movie. This is against all odds (and apparently against the film's best efforts). A psychopath obsessed with a woman in the early '80s by all cinematic law should defy laws of physics, find new and interesting ways to kill all his victims, and should be implacable, speak no dialogue, and have a catchy name in case we need The Fan II. Instead, The Fan becomes an often interesting, if
A trippy, but often overlooked thriller of the Ozploitation era.
The Ozploitation era during the early '70s throughout the '80s had unleashed films with modest budgets, horror/comedy/action elements, nudity (mostly female), graphic violence, and cartoonish villians. This was a category of the Australian New Wave that isn't usually discussed nowadays, and that's unfortunate, because there were some really great films from the period, such as Mad Max, Long Weekend, and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. But if there is one that definitely deserves rediscovery, it is director Richard Franklin's 1981 quirky suspenser Road Games. In the obvious vein of Hitchcock, it is a Rear Windowesque road movie starring the always
This very slow moving British thriller takes its time getting to the action but is quite good if you have the patience.
Two British nurses, Jane (Pamela Franklin) and Cathy (Michele Dotrice), take a cycling holiday in rural France. They’ve planned their route out for each day and Jane pushes Cathy to stick to it, which means not stopping very often or spending much time off their bikes. Cathy wants to stop off and eat at the cafes, take in the local scenery and possibly flirt with the cute guy who seems to be following them. They ride for a while but Cathy’s incessant complaining leads to a stop at a little grove of trees. Cathy lays out a blanket and turns
Redemption Films brings Jess Franco's campy cult Eurospy spoof to Blu-ray, including an uncredited aural contribution by yours truly.
Crafted in the wake of Jean-Luc Godard's immortal Alphaville ‒ a deadpan French New Wave satire of contemporary espionage and sci-fi films ‒ Jess Franco's Cartes sur table ‒ better known to English-speaking audiences as Attack of the Robots ‒ is a campy tale of tricks and traps. In fact, Franco's French/Spanish co-production even casts the same lead from Godard's cult classic: the one and only Eddie Constantine (a personal favorite film idol of mine), who sets out to discover just who is turning people with the rare "Rhesus Zero" (presumably a variation of the extremely rare Rhnull blood type)
Scream Factory brings us four classics from the vault starring the legendary talents of Lionel Atwill and George Zucco.
The phrase "classic Universal horror" is most likely to get a vintage monster movie enthusiast to talk nerd shop about the timeless charm and chills of the iconic studio's best-loved creations. Dracula. The Frankenstein monster. The Mummy. The Invisible Man. The Wolf Man. You know, those guys. But there were many more ghoulish productions filmed on the proverbial backlot than some people may realize. In fact, Universal Studios made nearly twice as many non-canon horror movies compared to their major franchise entries. But it wasn't until Scream Factory unleashed the first volume of the much-needed Universal Horror Collection ‒ a
A terrifically inviting and rather progressive thriller.
If there are any fallacies within the horror genre that people like to bring up, it’s the never-ending set of plot cliches. Ranging from characters making stupid decisions to knowing who will live or die, there are a fair amount of machinations that are constantly subjected to criticism. However, one thing that should be a point of criticism is its poor to near lack of queer representation. Usually, gay horror characters are either portrayed as psychosexual villains or are just completely nonexistent. The latest psychological thriller The Skin of the Teeth proves to be a rare exception, though. In addition,
Kino Lorber places Russell Mulcahy's heist stinker starring Kim Basinger and Val Kilmer on display for you to give or take.
Like Kino Lorber's recent release of 1974's The Midnight Man, 1993's The Real McCoy is another Universal production filmed in the South about an ex-con who finds it isn't easy to change their stripes (so to speak). Of course, comparing The Midnight Man to The Real McCoy is like juxtaposing Highlander with Highlander 2: The Quickening. The subtle film reference joke there being that the latter three titles were all manufactured by a filmmaker one either loves or hates (or both, if they're a Highlander fan): one-time pop music video director Russell Mulcahy. Here, former Vicki Vale Kim Basinger stars
One of Burt Lancaster's most elusive (and intriguing) features finally hits home video in the U.S. thanks to Kino Lorber.
Occasionally referred to by the relatively few who have seen it as a Southern precursor to David Lynch's Twin Peaks, 1974's The Midnight Man is an exceptional neo-noir starring the one and only Burt Lancaster as Jim Slade: an ex-cop from Chicago, who also happens to be an ex-con. Released from stir after serving a stint over a crime of passion (which is, thankfully, only alluded to), Slade accepts a job as a night watchman at a college in a tiny, sleepy-eyed town in the South; an invitation for a new life extended by his old friend, fellow ex-cop Quartz
Barbara Stanwyck's lackluster TV-movie debut is pulled out of the vault by Kino Lorber.
Originally broadcast as an ABC Movie of the Week just four days before Halloween in 1970, The House That Would Not Die was one of umpteen-gazillion TV movies produced by the one and only Aaron Spelling. In this strange little blast from the past, former screen goddess Barbara Stanwyck ‒ one of many Hollywood stars who found much-needed work during the TV-movie heyday (in fact, she makes her debut in one here) ‒ stars as a silver-haired woman who has inherited a Revolutionary War-era home in Pennsylvania's Amish country. Yeah, it sounds positively terrifying already, I know. Moving into the
There is just enough black humor and movie-star style to make watching it fun, even if you walk away at the end long having figured out the multiple twists and wishing it had been better.
Director Paul Feig's (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) A Simple Favor doesn't know what it wants to be. Murder mystery? Psychological thriller? Black comedy? Twisted romance? All of the above? Unfortunately it doesn't tip in any one direction long enough to embrace any genre, so it falls short in all of them. But there is just enough black humor and movie star style to make watching A Simple Favor fun, even if you walk away at the end long having figured out the multiple twists and wishing it had been better. Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, an overachieving single Mommy-vlogger who is swept up
Young Nick Adams highlights this entertainingly cheapo Republic Pictures crime flick, now available from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
While the cliffhanger serial formula Republic Pictures would be so well remembered for had already been extinct by the time they cranked out the aptly-titled ‒ and noticeably cheap ‒ A Strange Adventure in 1956, I think it's safe to say the spirit of the ol' chapterplay was still alive and kickin' in this production. Helmed by ace serial director William Witney (The Adventures of Captain Marvel), this lukewarm hard-boiled thriller from writer Houston Branch (Mr. Wong, Detective) opens with Ben Cooper (as one very grown-up teenager) getting hooked on Marla English (The She-Creature). Alas, Marla is one of them
Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas go toe-to-toe for the very first time in this classic crime drama from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
The first of what would ultimately tally up to be seven feature films starring the talents of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas ‒ a collaboration that would span nearly four decades, concluding with Tough Guys in 1986 ‒ I Walk Alone takes us back to when the two iconic performers were still essentially strangers to one another. In the case of this fine, slow-burning film noir from first-time (solo) director Byron Haskin (Robinson Crusoe on Mars, September Storm), the separation between the two leads only helps to add fuel to the fire. Here, Mr. Lancaster plays Frankie Madison, a one-time
Christopher George, Tippi Hedren, Charo, and a lot of wood paneling star in this odd little thriller from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
Outwardly, there isn't much for the average contemporary moviegoer to get excited about over R.G. Springsteen's Tiger by the Tail. But before you go wandering off in search of something else to view, consider what this fairly tepid, tiny thriller has to offer internally. Shot in the late '60s, this, the final film from one of the most prolific B-western directors ever, centers on a slightly disgraced Vietnam veteran who gets caught up in a thoroughly predictable web of conspiracy after his racetrack-owner brother is murdered during a hold-up coordinated by one (or more) of his corrupt colleagues amid the
The Warner Archive Collection raises an early Sound Era seafaring thriller featuring Kay Johnson and Louis Wolheim.
Were you to examine the wake of just about every cinematic maritime thriller pitting a random assortment of passengers against an onboard maniac, the trail will more than likely trace back to 1930's The Ship from Shanghai. As the title may indicate, the story opens in Shanghai. Well, it's technically an assortment of stock footage from the Orient and a Hollywood nightclub set ‒ complete with an all-too lively gweilo playing the drums in yellowface while an otherwise Asian band plays "Singin' in the Rain" in Chinese. Fear not, though, for the film shifts into an entirely different gear soon
Twilight Time proudly unleashes the intense, unofficial sequel to "The French Connection". And it's nothing short of awesome.
Off the record, there were two sequels to William Friedkin's 1971 action-packed Oscar-winning cop thriller The French Connection. Officially, only John Frankenheimer's 1975 follow-up French Connection II ‒ a film which has always failed to live up to its predecessor in my opinion ‒ falls into that category. From a decidedly less official point of view, however, Philip D'Antoni's 1973 action classic The Seven-Ups is a motion picture that many feel is entirely more deserving of the honor. Though neither film shares the same director, the late Mr. D'Antoni was nevertheless one of the most significant denominators (or, "connections", if
The Warner Archive Collection pairs two different versions of the same story ‒ with Basil Rathbone and Maurice Evans taking turns playing the bad guy ‒ on one disc.
In today's world of cinema, a remake, reboot, preboot, prequel, or sequel is about as easy to find as a pregnant lady in a maternity ward. Ultimately, it's all about branding: a title (or character) studios can mercilessly milk the money of consumers out of until even the most die-hard Transformers fans say "Enough already!", less the studios lose their limited rights to the property in question. And, while it may come as something of a surprise to younger generations, Hollywood has never been terribly shy about remaking a movie in order to keep up with the times. Or at
Twilight Time releases the odd real-time film noir cult classic starring Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe, and Anne Bancroft.
Though modest in budget and undoubtedly filmed in a relatively short period of time, 20th Century Fox's Don't Bother to Knock from 1952 is the sort of movie which just about any variety of film aficionado should take a look at. Based on Mischief from the previous year by mystery novelist Charlotte Armstrong, this cult film noir piece from Julian Blaustein (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Khartoum), Don't Bother to Knock features many significant firsts in the fabulous history of film. The first American movie by famed British director Roy Ward Baker (A Night to Remember), the production also