He puts on a skeleton costume, throws daggers at people, steals from the Queen of England, and makes love to gorgeous Italian women. Truly, Kriminal leads THE LIFE.



If I rack my brain, I can come up with an English language corollary by which to describe Fantomas. But that doesn’t change my perception that there is something irreducibly French about the character. Certainly, Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu is similar, in that he is one of those rare examples of a villain serving as…


Santo and Blue Demon vs. The Monsters

I love Santo y Blue Demon contra los Monstruos. And, judging by the way it struggles so mightily to give me so many of those things that make me the happiest — like cheesy monsters, masked wrestlers, low budget gore, and lots of incoherent but frenetic fight scenes — I have to conclude that it loves me, too.


Iron Claw the Pirate

For myself, I would like to believe that watching Iron Claw the Pirate enriched my life in some imperceptible–if perhaps stupid–way, even though it really just represents another ninety minutes of my life spent watching grown men in masks punching and shooting one another.


Temptress of a Thousand Faces

Thanks to the release over the past decade of a large portion of the Shaw Brothers catalog on DVD, it should no longer be a secret to anyone who cares that the venerable Hong Kong studio was responsible for far more than the martial arts movies that got imported to the U.S. or horror movies…



I’ve got a weird fascination with superhero movies from places other than the USA. Since X-Men (2000) and particularly Spider-Man (2002) demonstrated the possibilities of adapting comic books with a previously unthinkable level of faithfulness to the source material, superheroes have become a staple of Hollywood’s output. And with cash tills ringing in spades for…


Mercury Man

He can use this force to pull himself through the air, almost as if, oh, as if swinging from, let’s say some kind of web. Like a man who possesses some of the characteristics of a spider, perhaps.