Cultural Gutter: These Lonely, Haunted Places

Ancient sacred sites and secret government installations benefit from remote settings for a number of reasons. Suddenly the ancient English countryside is a patchwork of chain link fences, barbed wire, “No Trespassing” signs, mysterious aerials and satellite dishes and armed guards at checkpoints.

Aloha from Hawaii

Elvis Presley didn’t like his own movies, except maybe Flaming Star and King Creole. He idolized “angry young man” actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean and always hoped that with the right coaching, he might be able to count himself among their ranks. And maybe he could have. King Creole certainly shows impressive flashes.…

Pyasa Shaitan

I had pretty high expectations going into this film — not that it would be good, but that it would hilariously, confoundingly weird. And I was not disappointed. But I discovered that it was also actually pretty good.

Phenomena

Phenomena is often regarded as a turning point in the career of Italian thriller director Dario Argento. Unfortunately for him, the direction it is most often cited as turning is down. After Phenomena, the influential director had one more good film in him – the mean-spirited and sadistic Opera — and then it was all…

Primeval

I think the film was undone for most people by the things I liked most about it: misguided and moronic attempts at social conscience, and a bizarre marketing campaign that framed the movie as a Wolf Creek/Hills Have Eyes new style slasher film while doing everything it could to obscure the fact that this was, in fact, a movie about a giant crocodile.