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  1. A Softer Pam Grier: "Sheba, Baby" (1975)

    A Chicago private detective (Pam Grier) returns back home to Louisville, Kentucky, to help her father fight mobsters.

    This film was the pet project of director William Girdler, who had already made "Three on a Meathook" (1972) but had yet to make his better known films, "Grizzly" (1976), "Day of the Animals" (1977) and "The Manitou" (1978). During filming, Girdler was only 28... and he would end up dying in a helicopter crash at age 30. (One ...
  2. A Hidden Gem Finally Unearthed: "Voice Without a Shadow" (1958)

    Ishikawa, a newspaper journalist, unexpectedly meets Asako, a woman who used to work for his company some time ago as a phone operator. Three years ago, she accidentally heard the voice of a suspect who committed a still-unresolved homicide. Since then, the suspect's voice has remained lodged in her mind as a terrifying memory.

    What might strike you about the plot is how it seems to have the same setup as the Italian giallo: someone sees, hears or smells something just for an instant ...
  3. Faux Poe: "Cry of the Banshee"

    The film is set in Elizabethan England and revolves around a wicked magistrate who tries to kill all the members of a coven of witches. This makes the leader of the coven, Oona, sworn enemies of the lord and his family. To get revenge Oona calls up a magical servant, a "sidhe", to destroy the lord's family. The titular "cry of the banshee" is the signal that someone will die.

    The script went through a few revisions. Tim Kelly's script had witches who were all old ...
  4. Oscar Preview #14: The Hateful Eight

    In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) and his prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

    Part of the fun of watching a Quentin Tarantino film is trying to determine all the references he makes to other films. Whether you consider them homages or theft, he is known for an endless amount of small tips of the hat. In "Hateful Eight", we get nods to "Stagecoach", "3:10 ...
  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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