It's been awhile since I've posted one of these. Blame it on the mad rush of the holidays and my incessant re-arranging of my queue at the end of the year to see as many '07 flicks as possible.
1. The Devil- I've yet to see any films from Polish director Andrzej Zulawski, and this one sounds fascinating. From Netlfix, "Banned from director Andrzej Zulawski's native Poland for 15 years, The Devil is part horror fest, part political allegory in its treatment of the tale of an imprisoned 18th-century nobleman who buys his freedom by selling out his co-conspirators. Curious about the stranger who extracted such a payment, the newly released Jakub follows him on a cross-country journey and becomes despondent over the brutality and corruption he witnesses." You may remember that Zulawski directed the weird horror movie called Possession, which starred Isabelle Adjani as a woman who elopes with a fungus which eventually morphs into her husband (Sam Neill). I'm only going off a plot synopsis as the film is on DVD, but I've yet found a website that has one in stock.
2. Pitfall- Criterion recently released 3 films from postwar Japanese new wave filmmaker Hiroshi Teshigahara's and this one of them. "Teshigahara's crime drama mixes murder, the supernatural and postwar commentary into an eerie tale about a Japanese miner (Hisashi Igawa) who's stalked by a ghostly man in white (Kunie Tanaka) with one intent: to imprison the down-and-out laborer in a ghost town. The plot moves deeper into sociopolitical realms as rival union leaders try to solve a mystery surrounding the miner."
3. Woman In the Dunes- Probably the most well-known Teshigahara.
4. A Stranger Among Us- One of the few Lumet films I've yet to see. I'm kinda scared, but I'll give it a shot. This is the one where Melanie Griffith goes undercover in an Amish community (!) to catch a killer. Lumet has made some turkeys, and this very well could be another.
5. The Bridesmaid- French master Claude Chabrol directed this a few years back. I'm sure it'll feature more than a few tips of the hat to Hitchcock.
6. Scene of the Crime- Mid 80's psychological thriller from Andre Techine, a hugely under-appreciated French director.
7. Rikyu- Third and final film from Teshigahara, this one a period piece about the cultural and spiritual differences between a Buddhist monk and a monarch. War erupts. Sounds like a nice Kurosawa imitation.
8. The Killing Kind- 70's exploitation film from director Curtis Harrington about "a man who returns home from prison -- where he was incarcerated after friends forced him to take part in a gang-rape -- and he moves into his mother's boarding home. Soon he's peeping on a pretty tenant (Cindy Williams), and his enemies start dying horrific deaths. Meanwhile, a creepy neighbor (Luana Anders) has an unhealthy fascination with Terry in this classic spine-chiller."
9. On the Silver Globe- Another Zulawski oddity. This time the film is about the following- "When a spaceflight crashes on the moon, the survivors establish a new society. Shortly afterward, all but one of the adults die, leaving the children to create their own civilization. When a visitor from Earth lands in this bizarre place, the children immediately welcome him as a messiah. Filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski labored for years to complete this chilling vision of the future after the original negatives were seized by Polish authorities." Could be total trash or an interesting find.
10. Carved: The Slit Mouth Killer- J-horror film about a murdering ghost.. what else would a j-horror film be about? Another Tartan release, and I give this studio all the kudos in the world.