Monday, November 15, 2010

Bonus CineFiles: Psycho sculptors, loony looking-glasses and free love all around!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.

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CRUCIBLE OF TERROR (Not Rated)
Severin Films

Legendary UK eccentric Mike Raven was a true renaissance man: underground pirate radio DJ, notable practitioner of the occult sciences, world-renowned sculpture and, in this case, b-movie horror film superstar, appearing in such movies as Lust for a Vampire, I Monster and this one, the macabre Crucible of Terror. With his piercing mad eyes and pointy billy-goat beard, Raven delivers a truly creepy performance as an insane sculptor, maniacally obsessed with finding and preserving the perfect female form, which he manages to often do in red-hot liquid metal. A moody, defiantly British take on the Vincent Price classic House of Wax, Crucible was long-available on badly duped VHS, but Severin's uncut 35mm print, the only known one in existence, is gorgeous and was apparently lent to them by a coven in Cornwall. Knowing this only makes the thing extra spooky.

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MIRRORS 2: UNRATED (Blu-Ray)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The original Mirrors, a remake of an Asian horror movie starring Kiefer Sutherland, was total dreck, a hard-to-see, hard-to-watch waste of time. I think it was about haunted mirrors or something — I've tried to block it out. On the other hand, the straight-to-DVD sequel Mirrors 2 is quite a bit better, going for less of a pseudo-moody ripoff of that patented J-horror style the original attempted, instead just going the total B-movie route, filling the thing with gore and boobs. Good for them! Nick Stahl takes the reins as the nightwatchmen beleaguered by images of death flashing in the warehouse mirrors that surround him in various gruesome ways. Like I said, it's not great but it's definitely worth a buck at Redbox and, as a double-feature, also contains the original Korean movie Into the Mirror as a bonus. It's all right, too.

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RADLEY METZGER'S SCORE (Not Rated)
Cult Epics

Cult director Radley Metzger was one of the kings of the early '70s “porno chic” fad, a filmmaker who wasn't afraid to put raw bi-sexuality, both female and male, on the screen in Euro-lensed erotic fables that, by today's standards, are quite tame and innocent and extremely cable-ready. Think Russ Meyer without the misogynistic chip on the shoulder. Regarded as one of his classics, Score is a very silly, wide-eyed, free love-inspired romp about an very-bi swinging couple who keep score with one another in a game of sexual conquests (which, in retrospect, is actually quite creepy). The couple seduces a young, dissatisfied, newly-married couple, tempting them to explore their most taboo desires with pot, dress-up games and inane conversations. Obviously an idealistic hippie fever dream, Score is a simplistic, goofy, relic of the times that is worth a look. Just don't let your parents catch you.

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