• Bullet Ballet

    Bullet Ballet

    Unlike Tokyo Fist, a movie I want to love but which seems less focused every time I watch it, this is where Tsukamoto truly comes into his own. A minor classic.

  • Lady in a Cage

    Lady in a Cage

    Sleazy stealth transgression, like an egg roll fried in Vitalis.

  • Toad Road

    Toad Road

    A mesmerizing, emotionally and aesthetically agile quasi-horror film that's also profoundly exploitative. This takes specific form in some early scenes (which are cheaply shocking even if they're effective and on-theme), but becomes broadly general when you learn what happened after production. I won't go into spoilery details, except to say that it casts a pall over the entire viewing experience. (It did for me, anyway.) But not many indie genre movies linger like this one, so if you're as stuck on the hedonic treadmill as I am you won't want to miss it — even with the bad taste it leaves.

  • Loft

    Loft

    Very underrated Kurosawa, and a full-on mummy movie.

  • Something Evil

    Something Evil

    This caused me some mild childhood trauma back when it first aired. On re-watch it barely makes sense, but I'm still fond.

  • Evidence

    Evidence

    This is absolutely bugfuck. Even if you don’t give a rip about found-footage movies, and/or the sketchy “young filmmakers blah-de-blah camping trip la-la-la video camera” synopsis turns you right off, you owe it to yourself to watch Evidence regardless. It’s narrative film as psychotic break, and worth seeking out.

  • Night Key

    Night Key

    A fun little potboiler with an uncharacteristically gentle performance by Karloff. A favorite ever since it ran in the Friday-night horror movie slot on my local TV station (one of three) back when I was a sprog.

  • Black Pit of Dr. M

    Black Pit of Dr. M

    Mid-century Mexican horror and sci-fi movies were a television staple in suburban L.A. when I was a kid, and my brother and I were superfans. Despite (or maybe because of) their cheapness and slavishness to Eurogothic trash by way of Eisenstein, there was something raw, even borderline transgressive about them — a compelling devotion to moral and physical rot that American monster flicks were typically too timid to acknowledge. Shit gave us nightmares, but we wouldn't miss them for anything.…

  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

    Underrated, or at least overhated. Give it a chance.

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture

    Bloated and talky for sure, but also refreshingly distant — cold, even — and way, way weirder than it needs to be. I love Khan the way I love the series, but I find myself thinking back on scenes from this movie a lot more often.

  • Li'l Quinquin

    Li'l Quinquin

    Watched as television episodes, which turned out to be a mercy: I almost didn't make it past the first hour. I'm glad I gave it a break and pushed on, though — Dumont's anti-TV TV show is funny, moving, often excruciatingly uncomfortable, and in the end at least as rewarding as its Australian cousin Top of the Lake. Like all great shows it has a haunting theme song, too.

  • Eyes of Fire

    Eyes of Fire

    As clunky and overreaching as this is overall, it contains scenes that are as original and disorienting as anything from David Lynch or Kenneth Anger. Nightmare material in the best possible way.