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Colossus and the Amazon Queen

People unfamiliar with genre films sometimes have this weird idea that the movies all carry themselves with an air of complete seriousness, that a particular type of film can’t possibly be aware of its own cliches and pitfalls until some smarmy mainstream director steps in and makes a spoof. That spy movies, even James Bond,…

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Cultural Gutter: A Long Time Ago…

Over on the Cultural Gutter, I’m ringing in Yule, midwinter, and whatever other Pagan festivities we can dig up with A Long Time Ago…, the first of a two-part article celebrating the oddball pulpy adventures that served as the basis for the Star Wars Expanded Universe. This round, it’s Han Solo and Chewbacca in three nutty adventures from 1979.

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Legend of Suram Fortress

Based on a retelling by author Daniel Chonkadze of a Georgian folktale, the simple plot at the core of the movie is about Georgia in a tumultuous time, caught in the middle of a war between Muslims and Christians. Although its borders are largely secure thanks to a network of fortresses, one of these strongholds is a weak link owing to the fact that no matter what manner of architectural and engineering know-how is applied to it, the walls inevitably crumble after a short while.

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Redline

Redline possessed the same frantic energy, the same boundless enthusiasm, and the same eye-popping obsession with background detail as the best the medium had to offer in the decade of excess that made anime fandom so huge in the United States.

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Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka

Satan’s midwinter rascalry was combatted by various traditional characters. In The Ukraine, which these days is more concerned with contesting the antics of Vladimir the Bare-Chested Yuletide Goblin, the efforts of Ol’ Nick were foiled by a peasant in a big furry cap.

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Mulholland Drive

David Lynch’s tale of an aspiring actress becomes a surreal nightmare, a puzzle box of a film about the dark side of Hollywood played out against the sunny Los Angeles landscape.