Sex and Naps: Lessons from the Wicker Man

On the surface, The Wicker Man is the story of how one police constable’s attempt to scrooge up a town’s May Day revelries fails miserably when the community comes together to celebrate the reason for the season. But The Wicker Man is a film with complex depth, and delving into those murky waters is aided considerably by a few of the key texts that went into crafting the film’s story.

Revolver

Testi plays Milo, a small-time hood who, when the film opens is lugging his wounded buddy through a field after a heist that has apparently gone rather poorly. His friend dies, and Testi buries him in the field before getting arrested and ending up in a jail run by Oliver Reed’s Vito Cipriani.

Cultural Gutter: Children of the Stones

Over on The Cultural Gutter, In This Green and Pleasant Land examines Children of the Stones, regarded to this day as one of the smartest, weirdest, scariest slices of children’s television programming ever produced.

Cultural Gutter: An Alternate Galaxy Far, Far Away

A long time ago, George Lucas hired Alan Dean Foster to write a sequel to Star Wars, operating under the assumption that Star Wars might not make much money, that the sequel would need to be really low budget, and that Harrison Ford would refuse to reprise his role as Han Solo. On the Cultural…

Welcome to Cairowood: A Guide to Egyptian Cinema’s Golden Age

Examples of Egyptian filmmaking date back to the beginning of the 20th century, with Cairo becoming a hub of commercial filmmaking in the Arab world with the introduction of sound. It was there that the country’s first “Hollywood-style” film studio, the well-funded Studio Msr was established in 1936.

The Hourglass Sanatorium

Polish director Wojciech Has harbored no desire to make a political film. But in Poland under Soviet rule, where film promoting social realism was the mandate, not being political was the most political thing he could do.

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

A fairytale about a young girl attempting to navigate the many predators surrounding her becomes an allegory for the challenges of womanhood and the trials faced by then Czechoslovakia in the face of Soviet aggression.

Cultural Gutter: Whatever Happened to Saturday Night

I’m celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The world doesn’t need another review of the movie, so Whatever Happened to Saturday Night? is instead a mini-memoir about my first time seeing the movie, at Louisville’s Vogue Theater in 1987

Trashy Trio: The Blood-Spattered Bride

I hate the Spanish horror movie The Blood-Spattered Bride, but I still managed to involve myself in nearly two hours of talking about it on an episode of The Trashy Trio Podcast. OK, maybe 40 minutes was about The Blood-Spattered Bride.

Space 1999: Aliens Are Jerks

The short-lived television program Space: 1999 taught us many things about our depressing universe. Chief among its concerns: reminding us every week that our fellow inhabitants of the galaxy are at least as awful as we are, only with magic powers. Space: 1999 taught me two valuable lessons. The first is that space is depressing…

Battles without Honor and Humanity II

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of an adequate way to describe exactly what it is that Sonny Chiba does and wears in this second film in Kinji Fukasaku’s highly enjoyable, highly influential Battles without Honor and Humanity series of films that delve into the world of organized crime and the role it played…

Murders in the Rue Morgue

Director Gordon Hessler is back for another AIP Poe adaptation, this one mildly clever in the way it incorporates the Poe elements into the film. As we saw with The Oblong Box and many others, it was common to take the title of a Poe short story or poem, apply it to the film, then…