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    “SATURDAY MORNING MYSTERY” (Movie Review)

    SATURDAY MORNING MYSTERY offers a tantalizing concept previously untouched by the genre: a grown-up, live-action, horror-movie take on SCOOBY-DOO. Spunky heroine Nancy (Ashley Spillers)—essentially a flesh-and-blood version of Velma—and her three pals Gwen (Josephine Decker), Chad (Adam Tate) and Floyd (Jonny Mars), who happen to bear a number of similarities to Daphne, Fred and Shaggy respectively, are paranormal investigators who cruise around solving mysteries with their dog Hamlet via an orange Volkswagen bus.

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    “YOU’RE NEXT” (Movie Review)

    It’s understandable if, as a viewer, you initially experience difficulty being eloquent when it comes to navigating and expressing thoughts on YOU’RE NEXT. If so, it’s because the literal buzzing you’re feeling upon its end leaves you with essentially one word: great.

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    “ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD” (Short Film Review)

    Plenty of short films are made every minute and many of them find their way to our mailbox.  Some are unwatchable, some are passable, some—the rare jewels—are fantastic. Navin Ramaswaran’s crackerjack micro-thriller ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD careens wildly into the fantastic arena, smashing against the world, destroying and bursting into a superlative display of bloody 4th of July fireworks. Yes indeed… this little flick is one of the good ones.

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    Mario Bava’s “KIDNAPPED”: Confined in the Open Country (Blu-ray Review)

    Kino’s ongoing transfer of the work of Mario Bava to Blu-ray presents not only a celebration of the Italian master’s filmography, but a way to gorge and gain perspective on a filmmaker that’s gone on to influence so much. I did as such last year, upon release of BLACK SUNDAY, HATCHET FOR THE HONEYMOON and LISA & THE DEVIL. Viewing all three, spread throughout Bava’s career, in a vaccum (with Tim Lucas’ informed commentary accompanying) shone light on the more personal flourishes in Bava films. Namely, that his homebody nature and reticence to leave Italy became a theme of confinement to history, legacy, supernatural fate or psychological trauma. So, what happened when Bava got out?

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    “APARTMENT 1303″ (Movie Review)

    For all save the tiniest minority of urban dwellers, compromises when it comes to securing decent living space are a fact of life; an intricate calculus weighing variables of location, price, relative state of decay, and security to see how close one can sneak up on the ideal.

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    “THE WORLD’S END” (Movie Review)

    Simply put: They’ve done it again. Just as they did with zombies in SHAUN OF THE DEAD and police action in HOT FUZZ, the Brit Pack of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost find lots of big laughs in the otherworldly invasion/apocalypse subgenre, while infusing THE WORLD’S END with brains and heart that help the humor stick.

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    “MARA” (DVD Review)

    There’s iciness to Scandinavian cinema that is hard to pin down, a certain class of emotional detachment that fascinates. This is especially true of the Swedes who, from Bergman on up, have long hooked us with silences and atmosphere rather than explicit shocks or attention-baiting sensory overload.

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    “DISCOPATH” (Fantasia Movie Review)

    Amidst a sea of films attempting to recapture the glories of bygone exploitation fare, DISCOPATH (a world premiere at the current Fantasia festival) gets it right—a swift, satisfying salute to the slasher cinema of the ’70s and early ’80s, with a premise it’s hard to believe no one employed back in the day.

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