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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Film Review: "Mansfield 66/67" (2017)

    “Mansfield 66/67” is about the last two years of movie goddess Jayne Mansfield’s life, and the rumors swirling around her untimely death being caused by a curse, after her alleged romantic dalliance with Anton LaVey, head of the Church of Satan.

    While I typically don’t get personal in my reviews, I feel it is necessary in this case. I spent a few years in the 1990s deeply entrenched in the world of Anton LaVey. While not a Satanist by any stretch of the imagination, I read everything ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "Whisky Galore" (2016)

    Set in the Second World War when whisky rationing is in effect, Scottish islanders of the Outer Hebrides try to plunder cases of whisky from a ship that is stranded on rocks just offshore, based loosely on the real events of the 1941 sinking of the SS Politician.

    The production story of this film may be just as interesting as the film itself. Producer Iain Maclean had launched the project as early as 2004 with writer-director Bill Bryden attached. Maclean raised funds through private ...
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  3. Blu-ray Review: "The Old Dark House" (1932)

    Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

    The film is based on the novel "Benighted" (1927) by J. B. Priestley, who saw the "queer inmates" of the house as symbols of post-war pessimism. He was quite reluctant to sell the rights, thinking his characters would not adapt well to the screen. However, in January 1932, he changed his mind when Universal offered him $12,500 (roughly ...
  4. Blu-ray Review: "Land of the Dead" (2005)

    Years after the initial zombie outbreak ("Night of the Living Dead") a group of Pittsburgh survivors (maybe the last people on earth, for all we know) are holed up in the city surrounded by zombies... and on the inside, controlled by a very powerful man (Dennis Hopper) who will do anything to maintain his wealth and status.

    George Romero stresses that this is not a sequel in any strict sense, seeing as no characters return. And indeed, one could skip the first three films ...
  5. Blu-ray Review: "Dawn of the Dead" (2004)

    A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Milwaukee shopping mall.

    Production company Strike Entertainment (who had connections to distributor Universal) pulled out all the stops for this film. Being a fan of the original George A. Romero film, as we all are, I initially had my doubts about this one. As it turns out, however, by avoiding much of the original ...
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