1970’s

[6.5] In this dream-like film from director Juan López Moctezuma, a teenaged girl named Justine goes to live at a convent after the death of her parents. Unfortunately, her nun roommate, Alucarda, turns out to be a satanic lesbian with slightly vampiric tendencies. How the nuns missed the warning signs, we’ll never know. But after Alucarda takes Justine to a devil orgy in the woods …

[3.5] This faux documentary featuring people’s alleged encounters with a sasquatch-like monster in the Louisiana woods made millions at drive-ins across America when it was released. It was a remarkable fete for a G-rated homegrown independent flick featuring non-actors. And that’s the most remarkable thing about The Legend of Boggy Creek — it’s gumption and box office success. While the story is narrated by a …

[8.0] Indie maverick John Cassavetes examines a family under the stress of mental illness in A Woman Under the Influence. Cassavetes regulars Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands (his real-life wife) star as the parents of three children whose family is put to the test when Falk has Rowlands institutionalized for insanity. After six months of therapy and shock treatment, the matriarch returns — but will …

[2.0] During World War II, four fascist leaders round up a group of adolescent boys and girls to torture for one-hundred-twenty days. Just knowing what Salò is about kept me from watching it for decades. But now that I’ve finally seen it, I can safely say I’ll never want to see it again — not because it’s too graphic or upsetting, but because it’s point …

[6.0] After the world saw its first bona-fide blockbuster, 1975’s Jaws, daring Italian movie mogul Dino De Laurentiis decided he needed to go down in history for producing the second one. He settled on a remake of 1933’s King Kong and hired John Guillerman (The Towering Inferno) to direct. The screenplay is faithful to the original film in its broad strokes: A boat seeks passage …

[7.0] Ralph Bakshi’s first animated feature is an X-rated adaptation of Robert Crumb’s Fritz the Cat. Fritz is a college student who likes to have a good time by way of weed and women, but manages to cram a lot of philosophical and existential musings between vices. After an orgy is busted by the pigs (the police are all actual pigs in this world), Fritz …

[7.0] F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most required reading is faithfully script-adapted by Francis Ford Coppola, with Jack Clayton directing a production as lavish as required for the story of the uber-wealthy but mysterious Jay Gatsby. We enter into Gatsby’s opulent world through the eyes of Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway. Robert Redford is superbly cast as the reticent but disarming Gatsby, who ends up roping Carraway …

[4.0] In one of Disney Animation’s weaker efforts, a jealous butler seeks to do away with a mother cat and her three kittens before their owner can bequeath her fortunes to the furry little bastards. I can’t blame him, really. The cats are annoying, snobby little characters with sticks so far up their asses, they are incapable of exuding much charm or engendering much sympathy. …

[5.0] George C. Scott’s charisma is the best thing Patton has going for it. The film is a pastiche of the famous (and infamous) army general’s career through World War II, including his successful invasion of Sicily, media blunders resulting in military reprimand, and his eventual aid in the fall of the Third Reich. The film initially paints Patton as a hard-ass who gets the …

[7.0] A pair of New York city narcotics cops try to bust a big heroin deal being brokered between suspected mobsters and a French connection. But one of the cops, ‘Popeye’ Doyle (Gene Hackman), has a history of recklessness and threatens to lead his partner (Roy Scheider) down another dangerous rabbit hole in his obsessive pursuit of the drug dealers. Based on a true story …

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