The 300 Spartans (1962)

If you were around in 2007, you might remember a colossal film called 300. It was pretty popular. 300, directed by Zack Snyder, popularized the Battle of Thermopylae to a new generation of moviegoers as well as giving other films creative license to overuse CGI in their action. If you were not aware of the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, which basically covered the same narrative, do not fret as the older film has been relegated to the dusty shelves of history. Whether overshadowed by Ben Hur released 3 years…

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DUNGEONMASTER (1984)

This article starts my relapse into the world of 80’s fantasy films. Though I seemed to have covered a broad range of classics like Fire and Ice, Conan The Barbarian, and Highlander, there exists a wider landscape of movies that all are either terrible or wonderful or both. Whether nostalgic for some or completely new to others, these films come equipped with some of the greatest taglines in history: “A demonic wizard challenges a modern-day computer programmer to a battle of technology vs. sorcery, with the programmer’s girlfriend as the…

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HÄXAN (1922)

Holy shit guys and girls. So recently I have found myself drawn to early fantasy, science fiction, and horror of the silent film era. In the last review, we took a trip to the goddamn sun with George Meleieis Impossible Voyage. I enjoyed the films of the early 20th century for their brevity where 20 minutes was adequate time to digest wondrous travel. Now we have a film which is not only 2 hours in length but is probably one of the more dense subjects tackled in early film making….

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THE IMPOSSIBLE VOYAGE (1904)

A few years ago, for the months of Autumn, I ran through the highlights and gems of early Horror beginning at the Phantom of the Opera in 1925 all the way to the early 60’s Hammer films and the revitalization of classic monsters. It was during this point that I found myself drawn to early cinema as a bold frontier in film-making, as many aspects that have become commonplace in cinema were still being toyed with and experimented. Take this and add the theme of fantastic storylines and one has…

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THE CROWN AND THE DRAGON (2013)

Jesus, I really do not want to be negative but these current fantasy films are sort of making me this way. I am always timid when it comes to criticizing music albums, but find myself more desensitized toward films. although just as much hard work goes into a film as an album, the blame for bad cinema can be spread over a larger party including director, writers, actors, editing, and just about everyone involved. This may be the case for The Crown and the Dragon. I will even track down…

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film review: THE HOBBIT – BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

I feel the Hobbit series has become more of a point of contention for me, specifically directed at the rest of the world who seems to be dismissive of the entire series. One of the largest arguments I have made for the past three years is that Peter Jackson’s followup to Lord of the Rings, while not to the same caliber as it, is a decent enough fantasy film series that not only fulfills its role as an adaptation but works its way into setting the tone and stage for…

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film review: EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014)

Editors Note: That cant be the real fucking poster can it. No. that is a joke mock up for the real poster. Come on. Exodus: Gods and Kings came out during a special year in which I had already spent a considerable amount of time reviewing newer sword and sandal films such as 300: Rise of an Empire, Pompeii, and both Hercules films. 2014 seemed to be a ripe time not only for a mild resurgence of overstuffed sand fantasy films but also possibly the return of the large budget…

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THE MUMMY (1959)

The Mummy 1959

I love when things come in series. This especially holds true for a series which sustains it’s quality throughout. Having an entity grouped together makes the whole much easier to process, compare, and contrast with other entities. Of course, history does not usually allow for such symmetry but when it does happen, it is marvelous. Take for example, the revitalization of the classic universal monsters with three films made from modest budgets in the span of three years. The Curse of Frankenstein, The Horror of Dracula, and The Mummy all…

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HORROR OF DRACULA (1958)

Horror of Dracula 1958

Many things I mentioned in a previous review of The Curse of Frankenstein can be applied the (Horror of) Dracula. Both films were early installments in the Hammer era of horror films, directed by Terrence Fisher, starred Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and were vehicles which unearthed classic monsters in new vivid color. Additionally the Hammer film’s gothic style, modest budget, and limited set locations has lead to a distinguishable feel to these films. (Horror Of) Dracula was the second film to reanimate characters that had laid long buried. Though…

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HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945)

House of Dracula

When traveling through classic horror, it is entertaining to categorize the movies by theme and decade. This helps in processing any trends and eras which might assist in framing multiple films. If the 1920’s for classic horror was the primordial inception and the 1930’s was the genesis of all of the soon to be renowned characters, then the 1940’s was the era of sequels, crossovers, and continuations of the characters into the ground. It is also enlightening to take into account what else was happening in the world at the…

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HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1944)

House of Frankenstein

In my previous reviews of classic horror films, I had a difficult time containing my excitement for the eventual crossovers and rally films. Beginning with Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, the rally films saw various individual horror icons mashed together despite whether or not the idea made any sense. Way before crossovers would become a staple in comics, these rally and mash films gave audiences a chance to see their favorite villain fight against their other favorite villain. This was a time when studios kept throwing everything in the fire to…

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THE MUMMY’S CURSE (1944)

The Mummy's Curse

It is important to note that I reached into a metaphorical bag of Mummy themed movies and pulled out The Mummy’s Curse with seemingly random chance. This film is the last of a four part reboot of the original Mummy character, Imhotep, originally played by Boris Karloff. The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost, and the Mummy’s Curse were all released within 4 years of each other and, aside from the first film, all star Lon Chaney as Kharis the lumbering goon. The Mummy’s Curse ends a cycle…

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SON OF DRACULA (1943)

Son of Dracula

I feel that I could spend a year just watching old horror and still not get through the entire collection. Son of Dracula is the third installment in the eponymous series of Dracula-centric films. Before this was Dracula’s Daughter, an odd film that has since gained notoriety for its lesbian undertones. The original Dracula became famous for its lead star Bela Lugosi and his eventual casting in every horror film of the 40’s. Son of Dracula is interesting because it continues the work of Lon Chaney Jr., who was seen…

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FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman

For all of the time I spend with classic horror, I never truly reviewed a monster film. Previous films watched ranged from interesting adaptations of literary horror to latent cultural fears inscribed upon film. All of these were at least original or reasonable sequels to a growing franchise. While Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy were certainly films with monsters in them, it was not until Frankenstein meets the Wolfman that the genre of the monster film moved away from classic horror. It was this 1943 film in which the institutions…

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