Friday, January 06, 2006

28. The Gazing Game, Part 5

Matinee Sneak Peeks

Kung Fu Hustle (2004) These are not the fists of fury, but of Screwy Squirrel, kapow! instead of "What's up, Doc?" delivered in whistling firework cartwheels Tex Avery could've lit in some blonde's drawers to make her run cross-country, her dust-trail spelling out "Wow! Whatta dish!" as the sparks fly and the last kung fu movie clamps itself down and pops like paper bags.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) Trapped behind the mod glass walls, he looks as closely as he can as the mystery spills down the stairs like red velvet ropes, the snazzy framing and oblique vistas pure Italo-Hitchcock, with enough backtracks, desperate looks, and bellbottomed innuendo to keep an American abroad just long enough to crack the case like a mirror.

Bride of the Monster (1956) This world is flat enough to draw Lugosi into your living room, the only 3-D minion in Ed's woods, his haggard face absolutely at home in this final refuge of stupor and stammering lurch, his spider fingers curling around the Necronomicon of his last days, his eyes like a Svengali tarantula: "Where," they seem to implore, "are the children of the night, and the sweet music of 1931?"

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