by Patrick Bromley
A lot of thrillers this week. Hope you like being thrilled.
(2018, dir. Coralie Fargeat) I saw this at a festival earlier this year and raved about it
on the site, naming it one of my favorite movies of the year (a spot I'm pretty sure it still holds). After a limited theatrical/VOD run, it arrives exclusively on Shudder and is the movie you should watch this weekend. It's an amazing debut, brilliantly directed and pointed in its message. It's also the bloodiest movie this year, so be warned if you have a low tolerance for that sort of thing. Trust me, it's worth it (Watch on Shudder
(1994, dir. Nicholas Kazan) I'm so on the fence about recommending this one, because I find it to be a really captivating and interesting first half of a movie that gets less involving as it goes on before devolving into some real ugliness. James Spader plays someone who is almost normal (as normal as James Spader can be) and falls in love with Madchen Amick, who gives really good femme fatale here. Like a lot of mysteries, this one becomes less involving as it starts answering questions. I still think there's enough good here to make it worth watching. There's an unrated cut that exists and includes more sexy time; the version streaming on TubiTV is the regular R-rated cut. (Watch free on TubiTV
The Debt Collector
(2018, dir. Jesse V. Johnson) Whenever a new Scott Adkins movie shows up on Netflix, there's a good chance I'm going to recommend it here. This is actually one of my favorite things he's done in a while: he plays a guy (and actually gets to use his own accent) who takes a job as an enforcer for a gangster, teamed up with Louis Mandylor has his burned out partner. This feels like two movies fighting each other: the first half is incredibly fun, with Adkins and Mandylor just driving around and getting in fights. Once Tony Todd shows up in the second half and a "plot" kicks in, the movie starts taking itself way more seriously. That stuff is still good, just not as
good. As much as I love watching Scott Adkins beat people up, it's Louis Mandylor who I hope gets a lot more jobs based on his work here. He's really good. (Watch on Netflix
Dressed to Kill
(1980, dir. Brian De Palma
) I love a lot of Brian De Palma movies, and I love this one more than most. His riff on Psycho
stars Nancy Allen as a woman who witnesses a murder and Keith Gordon as the teenage boy helping her solve the case. I recently wrote a piece arguing that Dressed to Kill
is the best American giallo movie ever made, an argument I still stand by. There are set pieces here that are as good as anything De Palma has ever done. I don't know how you can love movies and not love this one. That's not to say that not liking it means you don't like movies (I'm not so big an asshole that I would make such a proclamation), just that Dressed to Kill
is super cinematic and indulges in all the things we love about movies that other art forms just can't do. This make sense in my head. (Watch on Amazon Prime Video
Dream Lover available somewhere yesss!! Been looking to watch this for a long time since you and Adam talked about it on a podcast earlier this year, I think. Couldn’t even buy it anywhere. So pumped love Spader thanks!ReplyDelete
I bought Debt Collector the day it came out and really enjoyed it. Much like Patrick, my love of Scott Adkins knows no bounds, and this one is above average. It falls apart in the last third but there's more than enough to make it a good watch.ReplyDelete
All excellent choices.ReplyDelete
I'm sure The Debt Collector is good, but man oh man I hate DTV action movie posters. When I recently worked at a video store I had to look at them all the time. Can they not try just a little?ReplyDelete
Dressed to Kill is one of my top 5 De Palma films, a true masterpiece of misdirection. Patrick, can you give a link to the piece you wrote about it? I’d love to read it.ReplyDelete
Great article! I must confess, when I first saw this film as a teenager, it was not for pure reasons. Still, it didn’t take long to appreciate the directorial pyrotechnics on display. And the cinematography makes every shot look like it came from a glossy fashion magazine.Delete
More recently, I’ve come to appreciate the film’s thematic richness. Ultimately it is a story about a nightmare born of sexual repression, and how that nightmare is passed from one woman to another. The first shot of the film (after Kate’s dream) is a crane shot in her bedroom. De Palma repeats this shot in reverse at the end, with Liz in Kate’s bed (and I think wearing the same nightgown, but I’m not sure about that).
I know this post is about streaming films, but I have to mention the magnificent Criterion Blu Ray of the film. Their edition of Sisters can’t come soon enough.