Latest Columns & Features

HALLOWEEN 2017 COLUMN

Frightfest-MONSTERS-front

FIR’s yearly Halloween Column!

SHOCKING! MILLENNIALS DIG THE CLASSICS!

A recent survey taken among FYE store customers revealed a) that “less than a quarter of Millennials (Customers between the ages of 17 and 30) have watched a film from start to finish that was made in the 1940s or 50s”, and that b) millennials find black and white films “boring”.

THE VAMPIRE BAT

As a classic horror film fan, I found The Film Detective’s and UCLA’s restoration of the previously faded, public domain 1933 chiller THE VAMPIRE BAT a delicious treat.

“A tree is a tree, film it in Griffith Park.” was the battle cry of B-studio producers looking to finish their bargain basement horror western or serial quickly and cheaply. The results often were stagey westerns and horror movies that looked like they were filmed in a toolshed. Produced by Phil Goldstone at the poverty-row Majestic Studios, THE VAMPIRE BAT is quite a handsome looking film for it’s obviously low budget.

FIR’S BEST OF 2016
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What a brilliant cast of characters, and what an extraordinary episodic teleplay. It seems strange to say it: that it was paradoxically possible for a multi-billionaire candidate to be the underdog/whipping boy for the overwhelmingly biased media. But he was. And it made him sympathetic beyond anything critically valid the media had to say. I may not have voted for him, but I was definitely rooting for him. And I relished every near-inexplicable bounce back he exhibited.

WHEELER AND WOOLSEY RKO COMEDY CLASSICS COLLECTION – VOLUME TWO 6 FILM COLLECTION

A recent leading film re-discovery for modern audiences is the 1930’s comedy movie team Wheeler and Woolsey. Bert Wheeler was a sweet-faced young comic – Zeppo Marx and Jerry Lewis combined. Robert Woolsey was the wise-cracking half who reminds one of George Burns. During the Great Depression they were as popular as The Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy. Their humor was racy, blooming with often shocking ethnic and sexual gags.

NETFLIXERS FILMS YOU SHOULD’VE STREAMED ON NETFLIX BUT WERE PROBABLY WATCHING TELEVISION

TOO LATE
written and directed by Dennis Hauck. Starring John Hawkes, and Crystal Reed.

MY NIGHT WITH WIDOW JANE

Deep in the heart of Red Hook, at 218 Conover Street (wasn’t Giles Conover one of Sherlock Holmes’ adversaries?), is an elegant yet unobtrusive-looking warehouse built out of red brick. On close scrutiny one might think it suspiciously well kept-up. But its real value remains hidden.