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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Blu-ray Review: "Spotlight on a Murderer" (1961)

    When he learns his days are numbered, old count Hervé de Kéraudren decides to hide in a secret alcove and to die there, just to annoy his heirs. As a result of his body not being found the latter will have to wait for five years until they can inherit the count's money.

    The actors, for the most part, are not big names and may not be recognizable to American audiences. Star Pierre Brasseur had previously appeared in Georges Franju's "Eyes Without a Face". His co-star, Pascale ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "The Climber" (1975)

    A hungry young buck (Joe Dallesandro) who aspires to be a career criminal starts out working at a warehouse for a gangster, and because of his ruthlessness and dependability he begins to ascend the ladder of organized crime.

    Writer-director Pasquale Squitieri is not one of the better-known Italian directors. But he did come up the right way, being mentored by Vittorio De Sica and then going through a very brief (two film) spaghetti western phase with Klaus Kinski. By the time of "The ...
  3. Blu-ray Review: "Brain Damage" (1988)

    One morning a young man (Rick Hearst) wakes to find a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but in return demands human victims.

    After "Basket Case", Frank Henenlotter wanted to do a project called "Insect City", but that fell through due to funding and other issues... so he instead went for a twist on 1950s science fiction. He posited the idea: what if someone had a parasite, ...
  4. Blu-ray Review: "Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope" (1975)

    Sonny Chiba plays the only survivor of a clan of werewolves who relies on his feral, full-moon-activated superpowers to solve mysterious crimes. One night, a bizarre and bloody death in the Tokyo streets plunges him into a far-reaching conspiracy populated by crooked politicians, naked women, an invisible phantom tiger, and a shadowy organization known as the J-CIA.

    Steve Kopian writes, "If you look up WTF in the dictionary, one of the top five definitions will be this film." ...
  5. Blu-ray Review: "Cops vs Thugs" (1975)

    Acting boss Hirotani (Hiroki Matsukata) of the Ohara gang uses his friendship with corrupt cop Kuno (Bunta Sugawara) to usurp a staged land deal that rival yakuza gang Kawade had arranged through local politicians. Open warfare erupts between the two gangs.

    By 1975, Kinji Fukasaku had made more than 30 films, most if not all of this daunting number in the Toei studio system. Returning to the screen after completing their "Battles Without Honor and Humanity" series together, ...
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