The Killing (1956)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I have poked around quite a bit on the three streaming services I focus on, and there is very little film noir available in HD. One that I did find is by none other than Stanley Kubrick. This seems to be his first film to really show his directorial ability. His previous film Killer’s Kiss was damn good, but does not stick in my memory like The Killing. The one element of this movie that really hangs in my brain is the supporting role by Timothy Carey as Nikki Arcane (how great is that character name?). Carey was a very talented actor, and generally creative guy, who also happened to be functionally insane. I once heard Crispin Glover relate an incident where the two actors hung out. Glover said that it became clear that Carey’s behavior was not an attempt to be funny, or just the antics of an eccentric. He was officially bonkers. Anyhow, come to the show for Kubrick and Nikki Arcane, and stay for everything else The Killing has to offer. It’s a true classic.

Blu-ray available from Criterion Collection.

Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This marks Takashi Miike’s 100th film. Crazy. I certainly hope he makes much more of his unique brand of cinema. Here we have an enjoyable samurai action movie that is based on a manga series. It’s comic origins show, as the movie is even less realistic than the director’s 13 Assassins. That’s all right though. Blade of the Immortal is a lot of fun to watch.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

The Stranger (1946)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I am a big fan of Film Noir and this is an excellent example. Orson Welles has something to hide and Edward G. Robinson is on to him. Sounds too simple but damn this is a great film. It’s a pity that all the best movies of this type are only available via Criterion Collection. I’ll dig around to find some more to share. If The Stranger gives you the Noir Bug you may just want to sign up for The Criterion Channel or the new Kino Lorber streaming service.

NOTE: The version on Netflix is better quality than than the one on Amazon Prime.

Available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

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Heathers (1988)

Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This may be the last great 80’s movie. Heathers is a one-of-a-kind, highly stylized dark comedy starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. So dark that if you’ve been even remotely effected by any of the horrible violence around High Schools since 1999 you better skip this one. On the other hand if you’re a Stranger Things fan and haven’t seen this you’re doing yourself a major disservice. I love that the screenwriter wrote his own slang terms to parody and outdo what was coming out of the mouths of teenagers at the time. My favorite involves a chainsaw.

FYI – There was a TV series reboot of Heathers in 2018 but it didn’t work out, and sounds like it wasn’t very good anyway.

Available on Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.

The Handmaiden (2016)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I tend to check out anything Chan-Wook Park directs since he hooked me with Oldboy. This is not as good as “The Vengeance Trilogy” but it’s definitely worthy of your time if you like Park’s work. I’d call it a thriller with that weird South Korean special sauce. I avoided watching this for ages as it’s a long one and not much in the action department. Big Mistake. I should have watched much sooner. The Handmaiden is a beautiful film. Damn near perfect.

Available on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider supporting the site over on Patreon. You’ll get exclusive content every week, and help in the creation of a book version very similar to what you see here.