X (2022)

Director Ti West has always been a master of building up his films and then diving in to a massive explosion. It can still be seen with his first film “The Roost,” his bang up cult gem “House of the Devil,” and he continues that tradition with “X.” Much of “X” was shrouded in mystery upon its release, and while it’s definitely wearing its obvious influences on its sleeve, make no mistake: everything you see here, everything that unfolds, all of it is definitely from Ti West.

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The Vampire Lovers (1970): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

A replacement disc program is currently available for this disc. FOLLOW THIS LINK to request one. The cut of the film featured on the first pressing has an alternate edit of the iconic moment of Ingrid Pitt rising from the bathtub.

Filmmakers, writers, and artists alike have always been enamored with the legend of the vampire Carmilla. She’s a mystifying vampire and seductress who bewitches literally every woman she comes across, and “The Vampire Lovers” sets her front and center. While Ingrid Pitt as Carmillla is arguably the central character, she’s hardly what you would define as a heroine. She exists to feast on men and indulge in other women.

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“I Know What You Did Last Summer” Is a Failure on Every Level [Digital]

After whatever that MTV reboot of “Scream” was, networks and companies seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from it. Rather than breathe new life in to a once solid slasher series, Amazon has botched it from out the gates. Instead of a tense, white knuckle slasher/murder mystery, Lois Duncan’s novel is adapted in to an erotic teen drama thriller. Think less “Slasher” and more “Riverdale.” It’s a glacially paced glorified drama with a horror tint that downplays the horror and slasher aspects of the aforementioned movie series in favor of gratuitous sex, pointless nudity, and droning dialogue.

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Viva (2007)

Will screen on August 27th at the Los Feliz 3 theater in Los Angeles, California as part of the American Cinematheque’s new ETHERIA screening series. More information about the screening can be found on the American Cinematheque’s official website.

Your mileage with “Viva” may vary depending on how much you’re willing to play along with the film’s very subtle satire. About twenty minutes in to the movie is when I finally caught on to the gag, as “Viva” is as much a satire of sixties sexual dynamics as it is a tribute to the aesthetic of the sixties and seventies. “Viva” is a film in the tradition of Andy Warhol, and Russ Meyer, and exploitation gems like “Maid in Sweden” and “Score” where people open up (literally and figuratively) to sex and sexual exploration.

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Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020)

Danny Wolf’s newest documentary is notable mostly for being a movie that’s produced by Jim McBride. McBride is famous, of course, for being “Mr. Skin,” the founder of one of the biggest, and first, websites about nudity in film. Aptly titled “Skin,” the documentary about the history of nudity in Hollywood and filmmaking and how it shook the landscape of pop culture, wants to desperately be taken as a bold mix of educational and entertainment, but beyond fleeting insight and fascinating looks at pre-code film, it’s mostly just another nudie reel.

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Five More Gems Still Not on DVD, Blu-Ray, or 4K UHD

While Studios are once again repackaging John Hughes movies in to yet another compilation Blu-Ray, and re-releasing “Grease” for the umpteenth time, there are still a laundry list of movies that have only ever been released on VHS and Laserdisc. Continuing from the last list, here are five more movies that deserve a Deluxe Physical release for collectors.

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BloodSisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasocism (1995)

It’s incredibly how only twenty five years ago, the idea of the sub-culture of S&M and fetishes like bondage and roleplaying were still so hush and barely spoken of. In modern society we’ve somewhat turned a corner and managed to embrace kink and sexuality a lot more, but the people we get to meet in “BloodSisters” are clearly individuals that have been suppressed by a society that just doesn’t understand them.

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Morgana (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2020]

Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess’s “Morgana” is a documentary begging to be turned in to a feature film. It’s a wonderful and heartbreaking account of sexual repression, forced domesticity and using pornography as a means of re-claiming individuality. “Morgana” is short, but it’s an engaging journey in to the life of Morgana Muses, who suddenly found herself without the demands of a marriage that offered zero fullfilment. When she’s finally free she has no idea what to do with herself. That is until she realizes sex is a big part of what kept her from blossoming as a woman and adult.

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