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Gavin Schmitt

  1. Blu-ray Review: "Vengeance of the Zombies" (1973)

    An Indian mystic (Paul Naschy) uses magical chants to raise women from the dead, then sends them out to perform revenge killings for him.

    As with many (most?) of Naschy's films, he wrote his own script. In other reviews, you might see people complain about the mix of voodoo and Hindu mysticism, which are two very different, unrelated things. And while that may be a fair critique, it distracts from a bigger point: it does not matter, so long as the movie is enjoyable. (When Naschy ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "Human Beasts" (1980)

    A hit man working for the Yakuza double crosses his employers and flees with a cache of diamonds from the latest heist. Injured and hiding in the mountain regions of Spain, with Japanese assassins in hot pursuit, he takes refuge in the home of a local doctor and his two daughters, who nurse him back to health and hide him from his pursuers.

    Mirek Lipinski writes that this film is "one of Naschy's most intimate cries that something was wrong with humanity." Naschy himself ...
  3. Beyond Poe: "Diary of a Madman" (1963)

    Simon Cordier (Vincent Price) is a well-respected magistrate who visits a condemned prisoner, Louis Girot (Harvey Stephens), just before the man's execution... and finds him to be possessed by a demon!

    The film's plot goes in directions one might not expect. The inmate has a very small role, and Price's character is shown to be dead at the beginning -- how far in the future is this? He spends much the time courting a woman and sculpting her bust. None of this is really in any way ...
  4. Stage to Screen: "An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe" (1970)

    What this film is: Vincent Price, alone, on a stage, reciting four Edgar Allen Poe stories: Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, Cask of Amontillado and Pit and the Pendulum. Why "Sphinx" instead of "Black Cat" or "Raven", I do not know, but there it is.

    Why this film exists, I am not really sure. It is an AIP picture, the same company Price had previously worked with to make the Poe films, so that makes sense. But what this amounts to is Price sitting in a room ...
  5. Takashi Miike Returns With "Over Your Dead Body" (2014)

    A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo Ichikawa) cast in the play, even though he's a relatively unknown actor.

    Being a fan is a challenging business. For horror lovers, we like to say we are "John Carpenter fans" or "Wes Craven fans". And these are bold statements, because then you find yourself in a position where you ...
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