Blood Hunger: The Films of Jose Larraz

Underappreciated Spanish director José Larraz made his first five films in Britain, and his best-known and most reputable, the psychological mystery Symptoms, even represented the UK at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974. The isolated mansion of Symptoms, where obsessive passions dangerously brew, the surrounding damp, leaf-littered woods and the murky river hiding buried secrets,... Continue Reading →

A Sting in the Tale: Female Convict Scorpion

Mixing exploitation with politics and formal experimentation, the Female Prisoner Scorpion series created a mythical female avenger that fired off the imagination of 1970s Japanese audiences. It sparked numerous sequels, although none ever came close to the original three films, directed by Shunya Itô and starring Meiko Kaji. Adapted from T­ôru Shinohara’s violent manga, it... Continue Reading →

Holy Torture: Desire, Cruelty, Power and Religion in 1960s-70s Cinema

The 1960s-70s saw copious amounts of on-screen self-flagellation, brutal witch-hunting, delirious possessions and sadistic exorcisms, culminating into the so-called ‘nunsploitation’ genre. Beyond the desire to shock and titillate, many of these films, most notably Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971), were part of the time’s questioning of all power structures, pitching repressive, corrupt and hypocritical religious... Continue Reading →

The Battle of the Sexes: Sado-Masochism in 1960s-70s Cinema

In the 1960s-70s, the relaxation of censorship, together with women’s greater social assertiveness, led to the appearance of a substantial number of art and/or exploitative films that explored male/female relationships through sexual power games. A large sub-section, including Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body (1963), Luis Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1967), Sergio Martino’s The... Continue Reading →

The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology

I commissioned and edited a collection of essays looking at the theme of 'the end' in cinema, in words and images, and from an extensive range of angles, the unfinished, the decaying, the apocalyptic, the undead, the historical, the end as fate and the end as denouement. From the gutter to the avant garde, The... Continue Reading →

WordPress.com.

Up ↑