Saturday, May 8, 2021

Movie Reviews

Reviews of primarily American movies featuring actors and actresses of Black / African-American descent in the horror-movie, slasher, gore, supernatural and related spooky film genres.

Rod Serling in Night Gallery movie poster
The highlight of this feature-length anthology pilot for Rod Serling's TV series Night Gallery is the opening story, "The Cemetery," a delicious cat-and-mouse game between iconic actors Ossie Davis and Roddy McDowall. Davis plays Portifoy, long-time butler to a rich old white geezer. He thinks he's in line to...
Pooka (Into the Dark) horror movie
If you’ve seen Nacho Vigalondo films like Colossal, Extraterrestrial, Timecrimes and Open Windows, you know he’s not one for conventional genre storytelling. His movies tend toward the unpredictable, either in content or structure -- or both -- and his latest, Pooka!, is no exception. That said, perhaps the most surprising...
The Shining horror movie poster
As a kid, The Shining made an impression on me not so much because it was a creepy, nightmare-inducing trip (which it was), but because Scatman Crothers ended up with an axe in the chest. It was an early prototype for the now-cliched black character death in modern horror...
The Invitation movie poster
The Invitation is a delightfully demented thriller that plays on the awkward social dynamics of dinner parties, from meeting new people and trying to discern what makes them tick to reuniting with estranged friends and trying to get past what pulled you apart. Of course, this treatment takes things...
Ganja and Hess horror movie poster
Ganja & Hess is an acquired taste (pun intended), but for those who acquire it, it's a vivid, stylish, introspective trip. It's also utterly weird and confusing in that art-house, experimental '60s/'70s sort of way. The story revolves around Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones of Night of the Living...
Frankenstein horror movie poster
Like Freaks, both Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein have no overt racial messages, but one could conceivably read into them a deeper racial connotation (and indeed, some film scholars have done so). Certainly, the lynch mob scenes, particularly in Bride, are intense even to this day, and the scenes...
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator movie poster
In this sci fi-action-horror classic, not only are there two black members (Carl Weathers and the perpetually sweaty Bill Duke) in Arnold Schwarzenegger's team sent to the Central American jungle to die -- er, I mean to rescue some kidnapped airmen -- but the alien Predator who wipes them...
Ma movie poster
Ma is two movies in one, and which one you experience may depend on whether you’re black or you’re white. Think of it as a racial Rorschach test. On the surface, its plot doesn’t have much to do with race. It’s basically an intergenerational take on the “psycho stalker thriller”...
Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow horror movie poster
As much as I love Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow, it's one of those films that revolves around an issue in a black community (in this case, voodoo and political turmoil in Haiti), but examines it through the eyes of a white protagonist. This is a sub-genre I...
Zombie Zombi 2 horror movie poster
I don't expect Italian horror movies to have too many black people, but when they revolve around zombies on a Caribbean island, as Zombi 2 does (Zombi being the name Dawn of the Dead was released under in Italy), I'd expect more than a few. I should learn to...