Exhilarating action in 'F9' – Knox County VillageSoup – Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald

Sign in or Subscribe See Offers

Vid Vues: F9: The Fast Saga; Mare of Easttown; Murdoch Mysteries: Season 14; The Gang/ Three Men to Kill; The Return of Swamp Thing; Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman; The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch. Tom Von Malder of Owls Head has reviewed music since 1972, just after graduation from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He has reviewed videos/DVDs since 1988.
F9: The Fast Saga (Universal, 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray or Blu-ray or DVD, NR/PG-13, 149/142 min.). The latest installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise ups both the action stunts and the family dynamic among the characters. The home video release includes the theatrical version and a 7-minute-longer director’s cut.
The franchise has clearly gone into the Tom Cruise “Mission Impossible” scenario in that every film has to be more spectacular than the previous one. Perhaps the most outrageous example here is when one of the team vehicles, fleeing from local military in the fictional Central American country of Montequinto, drives across a wooden plank bridge that collapses as the car crosses. Then, the car driven by Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) follows across the large gap by triggering a rocket booster attached to the car, which snags a cable and swings across to safety a la Tarzan. At least the car gets damaged, in some nod to reality. Less jaw-dropping, and a lot more fun, is the use of magnets in cars to hurtle vehicles and other objects at the beast of a truck, called the Armadillo, as it plows down streets in Tbilisi, Eastern Georgia, literally destroying dozens of cars in the process.
The film opens with the first of five flashbacks to a monumental event in Dom’s life, one involving his father Jack (J.D. Pardo of TV’s “Mayans M.C.”), a track race car driver. Here, we learn that Dom actually has a brother – Jakob – that no one has mentioned in the previous eight films, a brother who became a family outcast in 1989, but now resurfaces, in the form of John Cena, as the principal bad guy in film nine.
Dom and girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have been living off the grid with Dom’s young son, but their past comes back in the forms of Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmauel), who drive up to say Dom is needed for a job. His former boss (Kurt Russell as Mr. Nobody) had captured Cipher (Charlize Theron), introduced in “The Fate of the Furious,” but the plane had been forced to crash in Montequinto. Dom finally consents to go hunt for Mr. Nobody, but instead of leading to him, the search leads to one half of a device (Project Aries) that has the capability of controlling all the world’s computers, including every nation’s security measures.
Dom quickly learns that Jakob is behind the plane crash and grab of Cipher, and that Jakob is working with a rich Northern European who is hungry for power and wealth, basically to show up his father. That partner is Otto, played by Thue Ersted Rasmussen. In a nod to the James Bond film “Moonraker,” the bad guys need to launch a satellite, which the good guys take out by launching a car into space!
As it has before, the series brings back a character believed dead – one of the extras that gives this surprise away in its title indicates the resurrection may have been due to fan pressure – and it is a welcome return. A trio of supporting characters make their more comedic return and, best yet, Queenie (Helen Mirren) is back, still a sexy, smooth jewel thief at her advanced age, who takes Dom on a high-speed chase in London. There is a mid-closing credits scene that hints at what the 10th film in the series might be about. (Reportedly, the 10th film will be in two parts and will conclude the series.)
Extras include audio commentary by producer/ co-writer/ director Justin Lin (“Star Trek Beyond,” “Fast and Furious” films 3 through 6); a gag reel (3:34); and a 9-part making-of feature (45:23), that shows how the apartment fight was accomplished, Mirren’s return after four years, cameos by Cardi B and others and a look at the cars. Shorter featurettes look at the practical stunts (7:52; very good), Dom’s family (3:59), the returning formerly-deceased character (3:37), a day on the set with Lin (10 min.) and Cena showing off some classic cars (4:36). Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 3 stars
Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it
Mare of Easttown: An HBO Original Limited Series (Warner Bros., 2 DVDs, NR, 417 min.). Nominated for 16 Emmy Awards, this riveting, small-town detective story took home the statues for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited of Anthology Series or Movie (Kate Winslet, who also served as a producer), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Julianne Nicholson), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Evan Peters) and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (production designer Keith P. Cunningham, art director James F. Truesdale, set decorator Edward McLoughlin).
The overall feel of the series is very much akin to Dennis Lehane’s work (“Mystic River”). Winslet plays central figure Detective Sgt. Mare Sheehan, who seems related to half the town. In high school, she made the championship-clinching basketball shot 25 years previously. Her life has definitely not been happy since, as she still is dealing with the death of her son and is now raising both her high school senior daughter Siobhan (Angourie Rice) and her grandson Drew, whose former junkie mother (Sosie Bacon as Carrie) has begun suing for custody of. Mare’s mother (a fine Jean Smart as Helen Fahey) has moved in to help with the baby, as Mare is now divorced from Frank (David Denman); however, Frank has moved into the house behind Mare’s, along with his girlfriend, whom he intends to marry.
Mare also is under pressure because it is the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of a young woman, Katie Bailey. Katie’s mother, Dawn (Enid Graham), was a classmate and fellow teammate of Mare’s. Then, the worst happens, a young mother (Cailee Spaeny as Erin McMenamin) is murdered, shot to death after a public argument with her ex-boyfriend Dylan Hinchey (Jack Mulhern) and his new girlfriend, who beats her up. Erin has been trying to get Dylan to pay for the baby’s ear surgery. Police Chief Carter (John Douglas Thompson) calls the County to send over a detective to help with Mare’s investigation. She balks, but Det. Colin Zabel (the always wonderful Peters of “American Horror Story”) shows up. The two eventually work well together, with Colin a bit smitten with Mare.
The wide range of complex characters also include Mare’s best friend, former classmate and teammate Lori Ross (Nicholson), whose family includes husband John (Joe Tippett), son Ryan (Cameron Mann), daughter Moira (Kassie Mundhenk) and brother-in-law Billy Ross (Robbie Tann). A new element in Mare’s life is author/ university writing professor Richard Ryan (Guy Pearce), who becomes a love interest. Mare’s cousin is Father Dan Hastings, whose co-worker (James McArdle as Deacon Mark Burton) has a questionable past. Erin’s revenge-seeking father, Kenny, is played by Patrick Murney.
There are even more characters followed, some of whom add a piece to the puzzle. Some of the action is tragically unexpected and there are moments of high suspense. The resolution keeps one guessing until the final reveal. All-in-all this is an excellent show.
The four, mostly promotional, extras are minimal. There is a look at the story and characters (2:21), a look at the setting which mirrors where writer-creator Brad Ingelsby grew up in Pennsylvania (3:19), a “closer look” (2:51) and a mini-making-of in which director Craig Zobel says Winslet often made up Mare’s dialogue and changed and added actions and mannerisms (8:38). Grade: series 4 stars; extras 2 stars
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 14 (Canada, Acorn TV, 3 Blu-rays or 3 DVDs, NR, 484 min.). The highly successful and highly entertaining Toronto-based detective series, set around the turn of the last century, offers up 11 more episodes in Season 14. The series stars Yannick Bisson as Det. William Murdoch, who is a bit of an inventor on the side. Murdoch is married to Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy). Some of the show’s humor comes from looking at characters’ attitudes about things that the viewer knows how will turn out. For example, in the opener, one states that movies will never catch on.
That happens in the very amusing first episode – Bisson directed the first two episodes this season, bringing his total to eight – when a vaudeville comedian either fell or was thrown out a hotel window. Among the performers Murdoch encounters are comedian Charlie Chaplin (Matthew Finlan) and his understudy, Stanley Laurel (Ryan Tapley), both who will become huge movie stars in the coming decades, and Buster Keaton (Alexander Elliot), when he still was a teenager. As Murdoch tries to solve the case, Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris) is sent in Chaplin’s place to meet a suspect, bulked up with Murdoch’s unwieldy safety devices and even having to wear the shoes on the wrong feet. This all sets up the idea of the Tramp character in Chaplin’s mind. Then, there is a house façade that falls on Murdoch but does not hurt him because of the door opening, an idea that Keaton will use later on. The episode also has a lovely black-and-white, speeded-up action segment, as caught by the movie camera.
In the next episode, Bobby (Christopher Jones), the son of Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig), becomes a murder suspect back at his boarding school. Meanwhile, Goldie Huckabee (Jonelle Gunderson) is trying to be very neighborly and friendly with Julie, even though, it seems, Murdoch may have had something to do with the demise of her husband Raymond, whom she always is talking about. Crabtree, meanwhile, is convinced that Dorothy Ernest (Sarah Swire), the new secretary of his girlfriend, defense attorney Effie Newsome (Clare McConnell), is the woman who once kidnapped him.
Episode three starts with the interception of a coded message, leading to an international expedition to a secret island research facility near Niagara Falls. James Pendrick (Peter Stebbings) needs help, as he has discovered a rabies cure that penetrates the blood-brain barrier, but bad guys want to use it as a weapon. This is one of several episodes with flashbacks, this time to a Karnaki microwave death weapon.
Other episodes deal with a part-time university student who is electrocuted and has a connection to two new university professors known for unusual experiments; Murdoch having to solve a series of murders at a country inn while on vacation; and the Murdochs, Crabtree and Brackenreid all lured into and then trapped in a series of escape rooms. The final two episodes concern the murder of a woman from Murdoch’s past – Anna Fulford. The series is based on the novels of Maureen Jennings. Grade: season 3.5 stars
The Gang/ Three Men to Kill (France, 1977/1980, Cohen Film Collection Blu-ray, NR, 104/97 min.). Both films star Alain Delon (“Le Samurai,” “Purple Noon,” “Rocco and His Brothers,” “La Piscine” aka “The Swimming Pool”), who also produced both films and co-wrote “Three Men to Kill.” Both films were directed by Jacques Deray, who made nine films with Delon, including “Borsalino” (1970), “Borsolino and Co.” (1974) and the recently reviewed “La Piscine” (1968). Both films here have been newly restored.
In “The Gang,” Delon appears to be having a lot of fun playing Robert, the head of a gang of five thieves in Paris right after World War II. The story is first told in flashback from the viewpoint of Robert’s girlfriend of a year, Marinette (Nicole Calfan). The pair met at the Tango Bar, where she was a coat-check girl, after Robert and a couple of friends get into a fight with some American soldiers. The two quickly become a couple.
Next up is a day-long robbing spree, starting with a bank, an attempted robbery at a factory, the heist of money from an armored truck and then back to the factory, this time pretending to be policemen investigating the earlier burglary attempt. Throughout, Robert does not even bother to wear a mask to hide his face. The other gang members are Raymond (Roland Bertin), pub owner Lucien (Maurice Barrier), Jo (Xavier Depraz) and Manu (Adalberto Maria Merli). The stay-at-home guy is Cornelius (Raymond Bussieres), who runs a restaurant and inn, where the gang hangs out. When not robbing, Robert lives an idyllic life in the country with his “foster mom” Felicia (Laura Betti).
A central action sequence is the robbery of a train station, with Robert left behind and chased all over the place, including up on the roof. While he escapes from the robbery, he is picked up during a police round-up of undocumented Arabs. (This is a bit of social commentary folded into the film.) The film also has a “Godfather”-like baptism party, which dozens of police interrupt. Robert, who had left for a while, manages to get the different police units to shoot at each other.
In “Three Men to Kill,” Delon plays Michel Gerfaut, a professional gambler who, while driving to a game one night, is passed by a speeding car. Catching up to the car, which has crashed into a tree, Gerfaut stops to help the man, driving him to a hospital, but leaves before finding out the man had been shot in the stomach and has died. Thereafter, Gerfaut becomes the unwitting target of men with guns, as those behind the murder believe Gerfault was in league with the dead man. Then two more assistants of missile manufacturer Emmerich (Pierre Dux) are killed.
Gerfaut takes his girlfriend Bea (Dalila Di Lazzaro) to visit his mother in Trouville, but two men try to drown him while he is swimming. He flees to Paris to see his police intelligence officer friend Liethard (Christian Barbier), who helps him figure out what is going on. At one point, there is a fairly wild car chase, which leads to a gunfight at a gas station. Eventually Gerfaut gets an offer he should not refuse, making the ending inevitable. Grade: The Gang 3.5 stars; Three Men to Kill 3 stars
The Return of Swamp Thing (1989, Lightyear/MVD Visual, DVD, PG-13, 87 min.). This is a new digital restoration of the 30th anniversary special collector’s edition of Jim Wynorski’s follow-up to Wes Craven’s more serious “Swamp Thing,” both based on the DC Comics series. Wynorski’s approach has a very light touch, more akin to the “Batman” TV series. One of the producers is Michael E. Uslan, who went on to be executive producer of “The Dark Knight Trilogy” of Batman films and “Joker.” Director-co-writer Wynorski also made “Chopping Mall” and “Not of This Earth.”
The film stars Heather Locklear (TV’s “Melrose Place”) as somewhat ditsy flower shop worker Abigail Arcane. She holds conversations with her plants. One day, Abagail decides to track down her absent stepfather, Dr. Anton Arcane, played by Louis Jourdan (“Swamp Thing,” “Gigi,” “Octopussy”). (Humorously, Wynorski got the difficult-to-work-with Jourdan to sing a bit of “Gigi” in the film.)
What Abigail does not know is that her stepdad has been resurrected and is seeking a formula to extend the life of his body, no matter how many mutants his research produces. Assisting Dr. Arcane is his lover and fellow scientist Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sarah Douglas of “Superman II,” “Conan the Destroyer”). One might think Abagail would wonder why her stepfather has an armed militia guarding his mansion and property. The low-buttoned, hairy-chested (think Simon Cowell) security head is Gunn (Joey Sagal of “Elvis & Nixon,” “Nightmares and Dreamscapes,” he plays Elvis in both). One clever bit was a wall-mounted portrait of Dr. Arcane change to a skull when lightning flashes, a bit like “The Portrait of Dorian Gray.”
Meanwhile, in the opening sequence, a group of revenuers, trying to track down the guilty parties at night, are attacked in the swamp by Leechman (Chris Doyle). Swamp Thing (a returning Dick Durock) saves one of them. Then the opening credits roll, appropriately set to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Born on the Bayou.”
Much of the film is played for laughs, especially the two young kids who set out to get a photograph of Swamp Thing to sell to a grocery store rag. They were Wynorski’s big contribution to the script. Most of Dr. Arcane’s guards seem to be one-punch-and-out guys as Swamp Thing comes to the rescue of Abigail. Improbably, the two had fallen in love during a brief meeting in the swamp.
Extras are plentiful, including a 2018 audio commentary by Wynorski, composer Chuck Cirino and editor Leslie Rosenthal; a 2003 audio commentary by Wynorski; a photo gallery; a 1989 promo reel (5:18); and a behind-the-scenes look (2:22). There also are four 2018 interviews, with Wynorski (17:39), editor Rosenthal (9:25; she cut up original comics numbers 1 and 2 to make up the title credits graphics), Lightyear Entertainment executive Arnie Holland (5:20) and composer Cirino (6:47). Grade: film 3 stars; extras 3.5 stars
Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman limited edition (1955-57, Arrow Video, 4 Blu-rays, NR, 293 min.). Produced by Katzman, three of the films touch on the theme that atomics or atom power is dangerous. The four films are: “Creature with the Atom Brain” (1955, 69 min.), a zombie film; “The Werewolf” (1956, 79 min.), with the cause being injection rather than bite; “Zombies of Mora Tau” (1957, 89 min.), with the zombies being more restless, vengeful spirits; and “The Giant Claw” (1957, 74 min.), an alien invasion film that features a silly-looking puppet. All four films have new introductions by Kim Newman.
“Creature with the Atom Brain” has a script by novelist Curt Siodmak (“Donovan’s Brain,” “The Beast with Five Fingers,” the script for “The Wolf Man,” creating the tropes of being marked by a pentagram, being practically immortal apart from being struck or shot by silver implements/ bullets; and the famed verse: “Even a man who is pure in heart/ And says his prayers by night/ May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms/ And the autumn moon is bright”). The director is Edward L. Cahn, who also directed “Zombies of Mora Tau.”
The film opens with club owner Jim Hennessey being killed and robbed by a man, who is not stopped by bullets. A switch of view shows the action being watched on a monitor by two men, one of whom has a microphone and seems to be talking though the killer. That man turns out to be ex-con Frank Buchanan (Michael Granger), looking for revenge against all those who helped put him away. With him is Dr. Wilhelm Steigg (Gregory Gaye), with a name and accent that makes him out to be a Nazi, while Buchanan is from Italy, another WWII Axis partner. Steigg’s research was so the reanimated recently dead could be used to perform dangerous tasks, thus preserving life, but Buchanan has perverted his research for revenge.
Richard Denning (“Creature from the Black Lagoon,” “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” TV’s “Mr. and Mrs. North”) plays police medical examiner Dr. Chet Walker, who notes that the attacker’s fingerprints and footprints are luminous, a sign they are radioactive. When the killer is identified, they learn he died 24 days earlier. The use of low-flying planes and army vehicles to search for traces of the radioactive element leads Buchanan to issue a warning that he will release more killers if the activity does not stop. This leads to a montage of rampaging “zombies,” blowing up and otherwise destroying obvious miniatures. The final showdown features a battle with a dozen or so walking dead.
Extras include audio commentary by pop culture historian Russell Dyball; Newman’s introduction on how the film combines zombies with a mad scientist and true crime (8:33); a new look at Katzman’s career by historian/critic Stephen R. Bissette, including the many films he made with Bela Lugosi, as well as a Batman and two Superman serials (73 min.); an image gallery; and a condensed Super 8 version of the film (19:27). Grade: film 2.5 stars; extras 4 stars
“The Werewolf” is the best of the four films, with some real pathos as the werewolf victim is a married man with a son, both of whom join the search for him in the woods. The man (Steven Ritch as Duncan Marsh), who is initially amnesiac, had been involved in an automobile accident and, while being treated by Doctors Morgan Chambers (George Lynn) and Emery Forrest (S. John Launer), has been injected with a serum that causes the change to a werewolf when angered or under stress. We see him kill a man who tired to rob him outside of a bar. Chambers, we are told, believes most of mankind will be wiped out by radioactivity, so he plans to use small doses to build up a resistance in a small segment of the population that will survive.
Running the police in the town of Mountaincrest are Sheriff Jack Haines (Dan Megowan of “The Creation of the Humanoids”) and Deputy Sheriff Ben Clovey (Harry Lauter of TV’s “Tales of the Texas Rangers” and many other shows). Haines’ girlfriend Amy Standish (Joyce Holden of “The Milkman”) works for the local doctor, Jonas Gilcrist (Ken Christy), to whom Haines brings Marsh, when nobody still knew who he was.
The film features a couple of cool transformations. Newman’s introduction discusses director Fred F. Sears (he also directed “The Giant Claw”) and filming on location (13:55). There is new audio commentary by critic Lee Gambin; a new visual essay by author-critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the role of women in Katzman’s films (23:35); an image gallery; and a Super 8 condensed version (7:33). Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 3 stars
The 1957 film “Zombies of Mora Tau” may be the first use of the phrase “walking dead” as the crew of a sunken ship from 60 years ago still rise from the dead – they literally sleep in coffins – when expeditions come to their African island to try and recover the diamonds that went down with the ship. The film follows Jan Peters (Autumn Russell) as she returns to her grandmother’s house after 10 years away. On the road to the house, her cabdriver runs over a body, merely saying it is “just one of them.” That would be the zombies from the shipwreck, the captain of whom had been her grandmother’s husband (Frank Hagney). Marjorie Eaton (“Mary Poppins”) plays Grandmother Peters.
A new group has arrived, looking for the $1 million worth of diamonds, and Grandmother Peters hopes they find them and then scatter them so her husband’s spirit can be at rest. The new adventurers are financier George Harrison (Joel Ashley), his wife Mona (Allison Hayes of “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,” “The Crawling Hand”), researcher Dr. Jonathan Eggert (Morris Ankrum of “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers,” based on a story by Curt Siodmak, “Rocketship X-M,” “The Giant Claw”) and diver Jeff Clark (Gregg Palmer of “Big Jake,” “Magnificent Obsession”). Mona openly flirts with Jeff, while standing next to her husband.
A highlight is when Grandmother Peters leads the new group past the graves of the previous expeditions: a British group in 1906; a German group in 1914; another British group in 1923; a Portuguese group in 1928; an American group in 1938; and newly-dug graves for her new visitors. Of course, Mona has to fall into one of the open graves and start screaming. While the film’s ending is nonsensical, the film does introduce underwater zombies.
Extras include Newman’s introduction (7:35); new audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger; a new visual essay, “Atomic Terror: Genre in Transformation,” by critic Jack Hurtado on the intersection of mythical horror creatures and the rational world of science in Katzman’s films (19:48); and an image gallery. Grade: film 2.5 stars; extras 3 stars
The final film, “The Giant Claw,” saw Katzman make a break, probably to save money, with stop-motion animation great Ray Harryhausen. The result is a large puppet monster, a turkey-like bird with bulging eyes that the viewer cannot really take seriously. The film opens with a description of the DEW Line, the then Distant Early Warning detection line to prevent unexpected missile strike from Russia. However, the radio picks up nothing when a plane is knocked out of the sky. Pilot Mitch MacAfee (Jeff Morrow of “This Island Earth,” TV’s “Union Pacific”) also sees a mysterious creature that does not show up on radar.
Involved in the search for the mysterious creature is mathematician Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday of “Tarantula” and small roles in Clint Eastwood’s “The Rookie,” “The Gauntlet,” “Sudden Impact”). Together, Mitch and Sally visit Pierre Broussard (Louis Merrill), who talks about the French-Canadian legend of “La Carcagne” and whoever sees it will die.
The, sorry, laughable creature is finally seen 27 minutes in, and a lot of the steam goes out of the picture. It is a mean creature, though; it even eats the men parachuting from the planes it destroys. The beast’s science is a bit wonkier, with the speculation being it is from an antimatter universe and has a coating of antimatter that protects it from bullets, rockets and everything else. There is talk about mu mesons and mesic atoms – they apparently are real, being an atom in which one electron is replaced by a negative muon or a negative pion (pi meson). The film is fleshed out with lots of stock disaster and running crowd footage.
Extras include Newman’s introduction (12:27); a new audio commentary by critics Emma Westwood and Cerise Howard; a new visual essay by critic Mike White on the theme of Cold War paranoia, the creature even eats apart the U.N. building in New York City (12:51); an image gallery; and a condensed Super 8 version (6:29). Grade: film2 stars; extras 3 stars
The Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch (Japan, 1968, Arrow Video, Blu-ray, NR, 81 min.). Director Noriaki Yuasa (10 “Gamera” films, 3 of which preceded this) adapted two works of horror manga pioneer Kazuo Umezu (“The Drifting Classroom”) for this tokusatsu terror film. If it really was made for children, it certainly would traumatize them. This is the film’s worldwide Blu-ray debut and its first home video premiere outside of Japan.
Sayuri (Yachi Matsui in her only film), a child raised at the Megumi Children’s Home, is sent to live with the Nanjo family, who actually are her real birth parents. The father soon departs on a business trip to Africa – he studies rare venomous snakes — and is not seen again; meanwhile, housekeeper Shige Kito (Sachiko Meguro) and her mother, who hurt her head and memory in an automobile accident six months earlier, welcome Sayuri to the household. Mother thinks Sayuri is Tamami (Mayumi Takahashi, also in her only film role), her other daughter who actually is secretly hidden in the attic, without her husband’s knowledge.
Sayuri tries to make nice with her sullen sister, but soon it is clear there is more wrong with her than just attitude. In fact, her body has hidden snake-like attributes. Sayuri is threatened by a snake-like creature in her dreams. There are three dreams, each rather creepy. In one dream, Sayuri can fly with her now-alive doll, but they see Tamami, who attacks the doll, along with snakes. She awakes to see the doll all torn apart, lying amidst snake scales. One horrible scene has Tamami rip a toad in half and throw it in Sayuri’s face. Later, the Silver-Haired Witch shows up and tries to kill Sayuri, even following Sayuri back to the orphanage, where she kills the nun in charge.
The ending is terrific – I am sure Stephen King would approve – and both of the child actors are very good. Extras include new audio commentary by film historian David Kalat; a new filmed interview with manga and folklore scholar Zack Davisson, who discusses the source material and the snake girl mythos in Japanese culture (27:40); and an image gallery. The first pressing comes with an illustrated, collector’s book with new writing by Raffael Coronelli. Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 3 stars
Send questions/comments to the editors.

window.googletag = window.googletag || {cmd: []};
googletag.cmd.push(function() {
googletag.defineSlot(‘/1029804/VS_Promo_Spot_Knox’, [300, 250], ‘div-gpt-ad-1630610074289-0’).addService(googletag.pubads());
googletag.pubads().enableSingleRequest();
googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs();
googletag.enableServices();
});

source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *