(One of These Stinkers a Day Should be More Than Enough)

Cultural Reviews


Dom Salemi

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) AP (Amazon Prime) - One of the most entertaining and amusing "bad films" ever made.  The film with which to begin if you, like most intelligent viewers, harbor doubts about the value of "trash."  Just remember, to have "bad taste," you must first have "very very good taste."

The Old Dark House (1932) TCM (Turner Classic Movies) - Director James Whale - Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein - highly underrated Gothic.  By turns creepy, humorous and romantic, this stars a host of terrific character actors including Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Melvyn Douglas, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart and Ernest Thesiger, who manages to effortlessly steal almost every scene in which he appears.

Eyes Without A Face (1959) TCM -  Is it possible to fashion poetry out of a story about a murderous surgeon and his attempts to graft the faces of his victims onto that of his horribly disfigured daughter.  Fans and the majority of film critics think so.  YOU BE THE JUDGE!

The Seventh Victim (1943) TCM - Creepy horror film noir from the folks that gave you The Cat People.  Haunting and lyrical despite being somewhat incoherent, watch for the film's strong homoerotic subtext running throughout. And remember, this was 1943 so the critics reviewing the flick couldn't even talk about the obvious.  But the filmmakers don't try to hide anything, which is probably the reason the reviewers at the time kept scratching their heads while attempting to unravel the flick's "baffling subtleties."

Door to Door Maniac (1961) AP - This Grade Z cheapie, also known as 5 Minutes To Live is a must see for Johnny Cash's crazed performance as a psychopathic killer.   Our Man In Black is surprisingly and disturbingly effective.  Insiders tell us said performance was not too far removed from his real life persona at the time.

The Church (1990) AP - Thanks to Dario Argento taking on the role of producer - he also co-wrote the screenplay - this sumptuously mounted Italian Gothic horror film got quite the push stateside.  Ignore the confusing story and just enjoy the outstanding visuals, inventive mise en scene, and the mind-blowing soundtrack by Goblin, Keith Emerson and Philip Glass.

Carnival of Souls (1962) AP - Surreal little chiller helmed by a maker of industrial films starring a cast of nobodies.  It has since gone on to cult status and inspired almost every horror director picking up a camera.  There isn't a wasted scene in this thing, and every scene in and of itself, stays with you, long after the film is over.

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