Fists in the Pocket / Pugni in tasca, I (1965)

“This little brain of mine — that you didn’t trust an inch! — planned the whole thing.” Synopsis: An epilectic (Lou Castel) decides to relieve his older brother (Marino Mase) of their dysfunctional family by gradually killing everyone — including himself — off. Genres: Character Studies Incest and Incestuous Undertones Italian Films Plot to Murder […]

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1976)

“See you next week, then.” Synopsis: A single mother (Delphine Seyrig) supports her teenage son (Jan Decorte) by working part-time as a prostitute. Genres: Character Studies Experimental Films Feminism Prostitutes Review: I’ve heard it said that it’s impossible to make a film about war — no matter how gruesome, violent, pointed, or macabre — without […]

Shack Out on 101 (1955)

“The apes have taken over — while we were busy watching television and filling our freezers, they’ve come out of the jungle and moved in!” Synopsis: A waitress (Terry Moore) at an isolated seaside cafe discovers that her physicist boyfriend (Frank Lovejoy) and the cafe’s violent cook, “Slob” (Lee Marvin), are smuggling nuclear secrets out […]

Homicidal (1961)

“It’s only when hate is dammed up that it breaks out in murder!” Synopsis: An attractive blonde (Jean Arless) with deadly motives murders a justice of the peace (James Westerfield) under an assumed name, then returns home to wreak additional havoc. Genres: Jealousy Psychopaths Siblings William Castle Films Review: William Castle’s notoriously popular B-grade follow-up […]

Foxes (1980)

“Now, listen: if you’re going with the guy, you can use the diaphragm — ’cause ya got an idea of when you’re doin’ it. But, uh … on your own, better stick to the pill. ‘Cause ya never know what ya don’t know, y’know?” Synopsis: A group of teenage friends (Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Marilyn […]

General Della Rovere (1960)

“I don’t trust priests; they’re all spies.” Synopsis An apolitical con-artist (Vittorio De Sica) impersonates a recently killed Resistance leader (“General Della Rovere”) in order to save his own life. Genres: Character Arc Con-Artists Folk Heroes Italian Films Mistaken or Hidden Identities Political Awakening Resistance Fighters Rossellini Films World War II Response to Peary’s Review: […]

Rise of Louis XIV, The (1966)

“Even my seemingly loyal subjects are as much to be feared as the most rebellious.” Synopsis: Young Louis XIV (Jean-Marie Patte) ensures dominance over France during the first twenty years of his reign. Genres: Historical Drama French Films Rossellini Films Royalty and Nobility Response to Peary’s Review: Originally made for Italian T.V. (then released cinematically), […]

Cocaine Fiends, The (1936)

“It’s too late for me — girls can’t come back–” Synopsis: A small-town girl (Lois January) who has become hooked on cocaine tries to prevent her brother (Dean Benton) from following in her path. Genres: Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Siblings Response to Peary’s Review: Best known as a companion piece to the infamously campy Reefer […]

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1972)

“Get out of the grave, Alan. Get out of the grave and let an artist show you how to call a curse down on Satan!”

Charly (1968)

“My name is Charly Gordon, and I live in a room, and I got no sister and no dog, and I am stupid!” Synopsis: Charly (Cliff Robertson), a mentally retarded bakery worker, undergoes an experiment in “intelligence enhancement”, and quickly becomes a genius — but the results are temporary– Genres: Character Arc Claire Bloom Films […]