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Mansion of the Ghost Cat review

An atmospheric and well-executed genre piece from Nobou Nakagawa, Japan’s equivalent to Terence Fisher.
If Japanese director Nobou Nakagawa is known at all in the U.S., it is because of Jigoku (1960), an art-house perennial and the recipient of a Criterion Collection release on DVD and streaming services. This might lead western audiences to view Nakagawa as a [...]

Tales of Terror: A CFQ 50th Anniversary Spotlight Podcast - 3:10

Tales of Terror: A CFQ 50th Anniversary Spotlight Podcast – 3:10

With no new horror, fantasy, or science fiction films opening this weekend, Cinefantastique stalwarts Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski keep their Sense of Wonder alive by turning the clock back five decades for a retrospective celebration of TALES OF TERROR (1962), producer-director Roger Corman’s fourth film inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe. With [...]

The Black Cat (2005) - DVD Review

The Black Cat (2005) – DVD Review

This no-budget piece of worthless shot-on-video drek seems to exist only to prove one depressing proposition: no matter how much you think you have plumbed the bottom of the barrel, the barrel goes yet deeper still. Writer-producer-editor Serge Rodnunskytakes the basic outline of Edgar Allan Poe’s story and turns it into what at first looks [...]

Black Cat, The (1934)

Black Cat, The (1934)

No monsters but lots of atmosphere, this is a classic of the genre.
Eschewing many standard genre elements of its era, THE BLACK CAT is barely a horror film in the traditional sense, and it has even less to do with Poe than 1932’s MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (which had also starred Lugosi). Nevertheless, this [...]

Cat with Jade Eyes (1977) – Film & DVD Review

This is a misleadingly titled giallo thriller in the tradition of Dario Argento’s THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, and CAT O’NINE TAILS. Director Antonio Bido also borrows several stylistic tropes from Argento, particularly from DEEP RED: harsh violence; point-of-view shots; a repetitive, insistent main theme performed with a pop music arrangement [...]

Corpse Grinders (1972) – Film & DVD Review

This ’70s exploitation sleaze has a single virtue, but it is one not to be underestimated: it is so ridiculous that one cannot take it seriously. Whether intentional or not (director Ted V. Mikels claims he intended a spoof of horror films), the result is that all of the myriad faults of THE CORPSE GRINDERS [...]

Scaredy Cats: The Grudge (2004)

Cats are the perfect international horror movie stars. Like the genre itself, they make their impact with visuals, not dialogue, which is why horror travels well from country to country. A unique example of this is THE GRUDGE, an American remake of the 2003 Japanese production JU-ON: THE GRUDGE. Remaking a Japanese horror film had [...]

The Man and the Monster (1958) – Film & DVD Review

Fine technical craftsmanship and solid performances fight a losing battle with rampant stupidity in this entertaining Mexican horror film, which is alternately atmospheric and silly. The story follows a reporter named Ricardo (played by the film’s producer, Abel Salazar) who comes to a small town seeking an interview from Samuel (Enrique Rambal), a world-famous pianist who [...]

Catwoman (2004) – DVD Review

This semi-sequel of sorts to BATMAN RETURNS spins the popular Catwoman character off into her own film – the would-be beginning of a franchise that failed to materialize, thanks to dismal box office returns. An almost unmitigated disaster, this major studio production with a major star in the lead (the Oscar-winning Halle Berry) comes across [...]

Cat Girl (1957) - A Retrospective Review

Cat Girl (1957) – A Retrospective Review

The little, low-budget opus belatedly attempts to cash in on CAT PEOPLE, but it has little of the subtlety and none of the style of the 1942 Val Lewton production. In a strange way, CAT GIRL seems more old-fashioned than its model: the limited production values, melodramatic tone, and outdated attempts at spooky atmosphere suggest a [...]