Victor has written 71 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • It's a Bikini World

    It's a Bikini World

    ★★½

    Aside from its glimpses of the workaday feminism Stephanie Rothman would engage more directly in her later movies, quirky musical numbers, and lush, loving portrayal of midcentury Los Angeles’s sleepy suburban idyll, this listless AIP knockoff gets by largely on Tommy Kirk’s sublimely detached performance as an ambulatory STD vector (or “ladies man,” if you prefer) who sets off alarm bells with every dead-eyed leer. Seriously, Patrick Bateman’s got nothing on this guy. Deborah Walley, rocking the titular swimwear like she invented it, ghosts him accordingly. Highly skippable yet strangely compelling.

  • Aloha, Bobby and Rose

    Aloha, Bobby and Rose

    ★★½

    Scrub all the poetry out of Badlands and it’d probably play something like this: grotty, enervated, not very convincing. Like a wide swath of L.A., I guess, or just real life. As much of a sucker as I am for movies that ride an avalanche of shitty luck and even shittier decisions, this one’s too sputtering and aimless to satisfy; my interest waned less than halfway in, and took a fair portion of my good will toward Elton John with it. I’d still probably go out drinking with Leigh French and Tim McIntire, though.

  • Another Son of Sam

    Another Son of Sam

    ★★½

    Interesting without being very good, with flashes of visual style that are eventually smothered by a convoluted, hyper-repetitive plot that all but invites you to jump ship. Some next-level law-enforcement incompetence almost makes it worth sticking with, though — I howled when the chief checked his watch for a couple of beats too long before saying, “Well, it’s morning now.” Solid work there, Sherlock.

  • Night of Fear

    Night of Fear

    ★★½

    If most ’70s rural stalk-and-slash sexploitation movies strike you as overly long and too talky, this is for you.

  • The Sidehackers

    The Sidehackers

    ★★½

    I opted for the “SCREENING PURPOSES ONLY” rip on YouTube over the MST3K version, but yeah — the jokes pretty much write themselves. I may have seen it before, though, otherwise how else would I have developed an association of Michael Pataki with something you wipe off your shoe?

    Easily earned a place on this list.

    P.S. The title card spells it Side Hackers. I’m a nerd.

    P.P.S. Silly as the sport looks (looked? do people still do this?), those…

  • Nymphomania

    Nymphomania

    ★★½

    A playful, lean and mean rendering of nature’s intrinsic duality, with a disarming feminist tilt and fun throwbacks to early movies. Also — as with the other Cinema of Transgression stuff I’ve seen — hastily cheap and driven by a tittering, ain’t-we-naughty aesthetic that reads more laughably juvenile than taboo-smashing. Holly Adams’s blinding beauty makes up for practically every failing.

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Ford v Ferrari

    ★★½

    Henry Ford Jr.’s absurd crying jag is this movie’s distilled essence: A hysterical, self-pitying wail for sensations unexperienced smack in the middle of a stunted simulacrum thereof that’s more suited to a commercial for off-brand tequila or one of those hipster shaving-supply outfits that somehow still litter the Internet. Male tears for corporate psychopaths — that’s where we are now?

  • Hitch Hike to Hell

    Hitch Hike to Hell

    ★★½

    Cheap, ugly, cruel, and unaccountably involving. Russell Johnson runs the full spectrum of humorless befuddlement as the lead cop, whose approach to police work is unsullied by proactive field investigation (it’s practically a jump scare when he finally appears upright halfway through), while Robert Gribbin handily earns his place in the cinematic pantheon of charmless, whinging Norman Bates knockoffs. The least credible thing in the movie is that he drives an ugly-ass Ford van that’s still somehow a babe magnet.

  • The Nightingale

    The Nightingale

    ★★½

    As with The Babadook, Kent lost me with her thudding disregard for details. Unlike The Babadook, her larger themes here are at least as sloppy and ill-conceived, and finally off-putting in the most predictable way possible. The two leads do outstanding work regardless, and any movie that so relentlessly forces us to identify with people brutally stripped of their agency deserves some kind of credit. But in the end it’s just patchy as hell — scolding, prurient, and anti-cinematic, stirring only in the mode of a well-worn lecture by a long-tenured academic. A major disappointment.

  • Toys Are Not for Children

    Toys Are Not for Children

    ★★½

    I acknowledge that some of the ’70s sexploitation cheapies I watch can bring out the hand-wringing prude in me, but, man — this one really crosses a line. Unclean!

  • Body Count

    Body Count

    ★★½

    Mimsy Farming #2

    If I were in a coma and somebody with faulty short-term memory whispered the plot points of a couple of teen slasher movies to me, I like to think this is close to what I’d make after waking up, learning how to make movies, and getting other, more important stuff done for a few years.

    Later: Ms. Farmer’s talents are wholly wasted here, to the surprise of no one.

  • Vice

    Vice

    ★★½

    Far from the full-on disaster I was anticipating, but loudly mansplainy and irritatingly opaque all the same. And somebody needs to tell McKay he’s not as funny as he thinks he is — setting up a Shakespeare joke with a jokey dismissal of Shakespeare jokes might be a riot when you’re passing around a bong in the dorm, but here it just set my teeth on edge. Jesus.