Things to Come (1936)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

I avoided this film for a while, but damn it’s really something special. The story is the unfolding of a century from war and chaos, to utopian innovation. I was already a fan of H.G. Welles adaptations since I was a kid, I’ve read some of his books as an adult, but I never really understood the breadth of his imagination until seeing this movie. Welles wrote The Shape of Things to Come in 1933. If it’s anything like The War of the Worlds, the book is FAR better than the film. In spite of that, to SEE how ‘30s filmmakers applied Welles’ ideas is truly stunning. Things to Come has a far more spectacular look than I would have thought was possible before WW2. In the beginning of the film everything appears like you would expect. As the story moves forward in time, it all becomes more and more wonderfully bizarre, and just keeps getting weirder. The grim war years are particularly something to behold. Bottom line, if you are a science fiction fan, this is essential viewing.

Available on Blu-ray from Criterion Collection.

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Under the Shadow (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

You may have noticed I am not a fan of PG-13 movies. Well, this is an exception. Under the Shadow is a very creepy horror film set in ‘80s Iran during that country’s war with Iraq. Your city being bombed regularly is bad enough, but throw an evil spirit into the mix and you have serious trouble. Sounds like some full-blown Anomalous Cinema right? This is a unique film that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope to see more quality dark horror movies come out of Islamic countries in the near future.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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I Saw the Devil (2010)

Streaming on Hulu and Kanopy | imdb | trailer

This is a very good South Korean horror / crime thriller from the director of the excellent A Bittersweet Life. Many folks love his film The Good the Bad the Weird too. The bad guy is the original Oldboy himself Choi Min-shik. Do I really need to say more? Nah.

Available on Blu-ray from Magnolia.

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Athena (2022)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

This is a solid action / drama with beautiful camera work and an artsy, almost documentary feel. Centered around a low-income housing block, it’s cops vs activists vs gangs vs well-meaning Muslims. They’re all interconnected and it’s a crazy spectacle from start to finish. There has been criticism that Athena is all style and little substance, and it does have a few flaws. However I was thoroughly entertained and thought that the various plot lines were worked out by the end of the film. Yeah, the director could have made a powerful social critique, but he just ended up making a damn good, fast-paced, great looking film.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema, please consider supporting this site by donating any amount (even $1.00 is appreciated) via Venmo @vergeoflight / Cash App $vergeoflight / or Paypal at this secure link. A Paypal account is not required. Thank you.

On the Count of Three (2021)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

Two friends are fed up with the world, enter into a suicide pact, and whacky hijinks ensue. Jerrod Carmichael directs and stars in this entertaining buddy / black comedy. His co-star is the excellent Christopher Abbot (Possessor, Catch-22). This movie is fast paced and as dark as can be, while remaining legitimately funny throughout. You have to be a bit of a creepy weirdo to appreciate On the Count of Three, but that’s what makes it Anomalous.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema, please consider supporting this site by donating any amount (even $1.00 is appreciated) via Venmo @vergeoflight / Cash App $vergeoflight / or Paypal at this secure link. A Paypal account is not required. Thank you.

Clan of the the White Lotus (1980)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

Aka Fists of the the White Lotus. “Deadly Needle Kung Fu Against the Invincible Armor of The White Lotus!” Right out of the gate this Shaw Brothers flick will grab you (with it’s crotch). White Lotus features crazy-complex fight choreography, and a good sense of humor too (not in that goofy Jackie Chan / Sammo Hung way either). If you’re not sold before the opening credits are done, then hit stop and go watch a superhero movie. I gave this film a 9 out of 10 rating on imdb.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema, please consider supporting this site by donating any amount (even $1.00 is appreciated) via Venmo @vergeoflight / Cash App $vergeoflight / or Paypal at this secure link. A Paypal account is not required. Thank you.

Benedetta (2021)

Streaming on Hulu | imdb | trailer

If you would’ve told me back in my cult VHS tape trading days that Paul Verhoeven was going to make a Nunspoitation film in 2021, I would never have believed you. The first movie I saw in the genre was Joe D’Amato’s Images in a Convent. Benedetta is definitely better than that film, but it’s not nearly as good as Flavia the Heretic. My suggestion is to keep your expectations low, and indulge in your go-to psychoactive substance while you watch. Under those conditions, you will likely enjoy this sleazy big budget ride. Well, perhaps enjoy isn’t the right word. Let’s say you might agree with me that Verhoeven is still a crazy bastard, and still making admirably challenging films.

Coming soon on Blu-ray from IFC Films.

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Zana (2019)

Streaming on Amazon Prime (and Kanopy) | imdb | trailer

Zana is an excellent, dark drama from Kosovo. The film reminded me a bit of Tarkovsky’s work, but the pace is a little faster, and it’s only 97 minutes long. The cinematography is fantastic, and all the actors pull off top-notch performances. One word of warning, this movie is very sad. It maintains that tone from start to finish, minus a few moments. If you’re not in the mood for a downer, then maybe pick something perky from the Netflix Top 10 (you wimp).

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema, please consider supporting this site by donating any amount (even $1.00 is appreciated) via Venmo @vergeoflight / Cash App $vergeoflight / or Paypal at this secure link. A Paypal account is not required. Thank you.

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

The mighty Christopher Lee plays a murderous Count, who is back from the dead, and out for revenge. Sounds similar to the plot for Mario Bava’s Black Sunday right? That’s ok, because part of why I enjoyed this movie so much is that it reminded me of Bava’s work, and early Hammer Horror. It also is an extremely loose adaptation of “The Pit and the Pendulum,” so we get additional reminders of Roger Corman’s Poe horrors. All that may sound like this isn’t worth your time. Not true. The film has been lovingly restored and looks absolutely beautiful. The saturated color and deep shadows sold it for me. Torture Chamber… is an old fashioned horror film, and is not particularly smart, but I highly recommended classic horror fans see it. If you enjoyed the young and handsome Christopher Lee acting like a creep, make sure to check out Bava’s The Whip and the Body. This director made an earlier creepy horror movie called The Strangler of Blackmoore Castle, which is also worth watching.

Not available on domestic Blu-ray.

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The Siege of Jadotville (2016)

Streaming on Netflix | imdb | trailer

Here’s a solid, history-based war movie. I had never heard of this battle, so this was all news to me. The film features good performances, a fast-pace, and it gets pretty graphic here and there too. This is the first time I realized that Jamie Dornan was a skilled actor. I despised anything to do with Fifty Shades of Grey, but he is truly talented in spite of being involved in a garbage franchise. I recommend checking out Anthopoid and My Dinner With Herve as well. The Siege of Jadotville is not going to move you like say, The Thin Red Line, but if you want some entertaining battle action, it’s a good pick.

Not available on Blu-ray.

If you are a fan of Anomalous Cinema please consider donating any amount via Paypal using this secure link. A Paypal account is not required. Thank you.