When I sat down to watch the Incredible Shrinking Man I was expecting a typical Roger Corman style B-movie or a Rod Serling style Twilight Zone episode. The novel, The Incredible Shrinking Man, was written by Richard Matheson who wrote for The Twilight Zone, along with The Outer Limits, Amazing Stories, and Night Gallery but Matheson wrote The Incredible Shrinking Man while he and director Jack Arnold were making the actual film. Their collaboration produced something that shared some superficial similarities to all those television programs but was much more ambitious.

The Incredible Shrinking Man Is a combination of Jack…


The film opens with footage of The Whip cracking his trademark weapon on the steps of an Aztec pyramid. As he gives the air around him a good thrashing, thunder and lightning punctuate his every move. His costume is a bit familiar, black boots, black pants, black shirt, black mask, and flat black hat. The film’s title should be A Zorro Impersonator vs Satan, or actually A Zorro Impersonator vs a Bunch of Topless Guys in Yoga Pants. Satan never actually makes an appearance, just his spandex minions. It could also be titled Men Riding Horses which describes about three-quarters…


Love, Thy Name Be Sorrow is based on a Japanese folktale. It is not a hero’s journey but Joseph Campbell would recognize the narrative elements involving mistaken identity, a trickster spirit, and tragic fatalism. The story is rich and engrossing and centers around the Japanese staple conflict between duty and romance, or protocol and passion, but it is not the narrative that makes Love, Thy Name Be Sorrow remarkable, it is its visual style.

It is not the cinematography per-say, but the look and feel of the entire production. Love, Thy Name Be Sorrow belongs to a group of Japanese…


Vibrations was written and directed by Joseph Sarno. During his 40 year career, Sarno directed 125 films, 75 of which he also wrote. In the 1960s he was a pioneer of the sexploitation genre, but his films often had an eye toward serious cinema. He was interested in psychological tension and the ways in which people manipulate each other. His early films have the obligatory titillating titles, but often there was a hint of something more, like Sin in the Suburbs, The Indelicate Balance, and Nude in Charcoal.

Sarno’s early films feel a bit like Trojan horses trying to sneak…


Considering the iconic status Godzilla already had in the 1960s it would have been intimidating for any director to be tasked with making the next film in the series, but when Yoshimitsu Banno was picked for the job he had never even made a feature film before. Godzilla vs. Hedorah was to be his first. Not only that but he would have to show the rough cut to Ishirō Honda, the originator of the Godzilla franchise, for approval.

Many a director might be hesitant and play it safe by creating a pale and tentative imitation of his predecessor’s work, but…


Fed up with giant, money-soaked, CGI cartoons? Bored by Hollywood’s pathetic attempt at feminism? Stupefied by the same old plot? The Philippines has a remedy and her name is Dana! Philipino Komiks created her in the 1950s in an effort to cash in on the success of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman. Darna is a post-colonial, third-world interpretation of a first-world capitalist interpretation of a progressive psychologist’s attempt to bring feminism and BDSM to the world of superheroes. A rich provenance to be sure.

Filmofile

I have an MFA in painting and I’m an art professor but I managed to convince the school to let me teach film. https://twitter.com/Filmofile1

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