Category Archives: Neglected Cinema

Movies you haven’t watched but should. Retro reviews of overlooked films.

The End is a dark comedy, Burt Reynolds style

After the success of Smokey and The Bandit, Burt Reynolds was on top of the world. He was HOT. He had his choice of films, and every studio wanted to be in the Burt Reynolds business. He also wanted to direct. So he…

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Theatre of Blood showcases Vincent Price at his hammy best

I meant to get around to rewatching Theatre of Blood before Halloween, but business travel and other priorities got in the way of that revisit. A recent international trip gave me ample opportunity to catch up on some things, and this was on…

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Psych-Out features Jack Nicholson, Susan Strasburg & Dean Stockwell on a really bad trip

Ah, 1968. The year where every movie studio decided they simply must put out a movie about peace, love, drugs and the counter-culture. Some, like Skidoo, are confusing and completely wrong-headed. Others, like Easy Rider, are acclaimed as classics (it was filmed in 68, released in…

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Son of Dracula has great Nilsson songs, bad Nilsson acting

Some obscure films need to remain obscure. I’m a huge Harry Nilsson fan. HUGE. And when I found out many years ago that he starred in a movie called Son of Dracula, with Ringo Starr… well, I had to see it. The problem…

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Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a fantastic funny film

Thank you, Mark Frost. Mark Frost, the co-creator of Twin Peaks, introduced me to the world of Steve Coogan’s Alan Patrtridge character a little more than three years ago. I had seen some clips before that conversation, but when Mark gave the show…

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Pretty Maids All in A Row goes where Gene Roddenberry often went before

As a Star Trek fan, I have read a lot of articles and books about Gene Roddenberry. Roddenberry, who (as most know)created the show, is often portrayed as a saintly figure… a visionary and brilliant storyteller with great optimism and hope about the…

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Xanadu is an underrated delight, disco skating and all

“Oh, for a muse of fire… to ascend the brightest heavens… of invention.” I’ve been chasing a muse for years. And I blame Olivia Newton John. When I was 11 years old, I saw Xanadu. And it was a revelation, as much as…

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The documentary Who is Harry Nilsson pulls on all my heartstrings

I love Harry Nilsson. If you are thinking, “Who?” then I feel sorry for you. Harry Nilsson was a singer songwriter in the 1960s and 70s who wrote and/or sang a lot of great songs: “Without You”, “Coconut”, “One”, “Everybody’s Talkin’” and more.…

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The documentary Milius showcases the underrated writer/director

John Milius is a force of nature. He wrote Apocalypse Now, Quint’s Indianapolis speech in Jaws, and Conan the Barbarian – and that’s just SOME of what he’s done in Hollywood. He directed and wrote Red Dawn, “punched up” dozens of movie’s screenplays…

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Human Highway is a bizarre cult film from Neil Young and DEVO

When I heard about Bob Casale’s death this week, I started researching the history of the band DEVO. I’ve always been a fan – even met them once – but I was never a SUPER fan, so some of the stuff I uncovered…

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Salinger paints an interesting portrait of an enigmatic man

“Writing Holden was a mistake.” J.D. Salinger Recently watched the documentary Salinger, about the famed reclusive writer of Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger. while it has received mixed reviews with critics, I found it to be an interesting work… especially when it…

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Bubba Ho Tep showcases an “Elvis” we’ve never seen

You had me at “Bruce Campbell plays Elvis in a retirement home.” Based on the short story by Joe Lansdale, Bubba Ho Tep stars Campbell as Elvis… or is he a senile Elvis Impersonator who just THINKS he’s the King? Campbell is absolutely…

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Where the Buffalo Roams is Hunter S. Thompson as cartoon character

I love Hunter S. Thompson. And I know I shouldn’t. He was a dysfunctional drug addict, a man who destroyed both his body and his mind. He was cruel to many. He smoked, he drank, he cursed like a sailor addicted to mescaline,…

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Skidoo is a cult film… and a mess

I’m a reasonably smart person. I graduated college, I have a job that requires decision making and creative thought. I have, as Liam Neeson famously said, a particular set of skills. And yet… I have no idea what is going on in the…

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Creator gave Peter O’Toole yet another chance to shine

“Words can be wonderful things.” The death of Peter O’Toole this month is still something I haven’t been able to fully process. Peter O’Toole was so ALIVE in his performances… The idea of such a vibrant presence being gone from the earth just…

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Marnie is a dark reflection of how Hitchcock viewed women

Marnie is one of Hitchcock’s “neglected” films… it has gotten some critical attention but not nearly as much as more popular films such as Psycho or North by Northwest. That’s why I revisited it for this column, and as I watched it the…

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