Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/16/20 – 1/22/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a couple major Oscar contenders.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Mädchen in Uniform (1931) – A once controversial lesbian drama about a girls’ boarding school in 1930s Germany. Made during the early rise of Nazi fascism and initially banned in the United States, it’s a miracle this film was completed in the first place, much less survived the censorship filters of its era. Screening free to the public (with donations encouraged) Thursday 1/16 via Queer Root Films, hosted at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

Weathering with You Japanese animation wizard Makoto Shinkai follows up his heart-on-sleeve anime melodramas Your Name. & 5 Centimeters per Second with yet another magical-realist high school romance, this time about a teen girl who can control the weather. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing wide.

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution exponentially spreads. Don’t miss your chance to see one of 2019’s universally beloved genre gems big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 1/2/20 – 1/8/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing wide.

Queen & Slim The debut feature of Melina Matsoukas, whose work on the Lemonade-era Beyoncé video “Formation” already establishes her as a director who demands our attention. Pulling from pervious on-the-run epics like Bonnie & Clyde and Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song, this modern tale of accidental cop killers on the lam looks like a stylistically sharp, politically furious punch to the gut. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Uncut Gems The Safdie Brothers revise the sweaty desperation of their traumatizingly anxious thriller Good Time by casting Netflix Doofus Extraordinaire Adam Sandler in the lead role, transforming that throat-hold thriller’s template into a darkly comedic farce without losing any of its feel-bad exploitation discomforts. It’s wonderfully stressful. Playing wide.

Jezebel A dramatic memoir about a woman whose sister roped her into being a camgirl in the early days of online sex work in the late-90s. Thematically it falls somewhere between Cam & The Florida Project, but it’s not as stylistically aggressive as either of those titles. Wryly funny, quietly tense stuff but never in a showy way (especially considering the subject). Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 12/26/19 – 1/1/20

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Little Women Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to Lady Bird is an ambitious literary adaptation that scrambles the timelines & narrative structure of its source material to break free from the expectations set by its cultural familiarity. Major bonus points: yet another featured role for 2019 MVP Florence Pugh, who had a legendary year between this, Midsommar, and Fighting with my Family. Playing wide.

Uncut Gems The Safdie Brothers revise the sweaty desperation of their traumatizingly anxious thriller Good Time by casting Netflix Doofus Extraordinaire Adam Sandler in the lead role, making this a spiritual follow-up to Punch Drunk Love. Looks wonderfully stressful. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project A documentary about the D.I.Y. archivist who diligently recorded thirty years of American TV news on 70,000 VHS tapes only to be ostracized as a crackpot. A vindicating portrait of an absolute fucking genius, and a must-watch for anyone with an archival or librarian sensibility. Probably the best documentary I’ve seen all year. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution exponentially spreads. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at Chalmette Movies.

-Brandon Ledet

Wounds (2019)

Either Wounds is clearly the most underrated film of the year or I’m a filthy alcoholic dipshit from New Orleans who sees too much of himself in this horror gem to acknowledge its most glaring faults. Can it be a little of both? The novella the film was adapted from, The Visible Filth, was written by Nathan Ballingrud – a former bartender at the exact Garden District pub I worked at as a grill cook when I was treading water in the service industry post-college. I didn’t know that extratextual factoid while watching the film (in a late-night stupor after meeting friends at another, much trashier New Orleans bar, appropriately enough). Yet, I felt that personal connection to the material scarily deep in my boozy bones anyway. Wounds thoroughly, genuinely freaked me out by regurgitating an eerily accurate snapshot of my hyper-local, self-destructive past through the most horrifically grotesque lens possible. It’s a wickedly gross, deeply upsetting picture – one I believe deserves much more respect for the ugliness of its ambitions.

Armie Hammer stars as a hunky, arrogant bartender who moved to New Orleans to study at Tulane University, but flamed out early to instead become a charming drunk. Bored & inert, he spends his days passive-aggressively sniping at his fiancée (Dakota Johnson) and his nights seducing his barroom regulars who’d be much better off without his enabling influence (Zazie Beetz, for the time being). This tricky balance is toppled over when a group of underage college student brats drunkenly leave behind a cursed object in his bar, one of my personal favorite horror movie threats: an evil smartphone. The messages, photos, videos, and electronic tones he’s exposed to via this wicked phone have a kind of King in Yellow quality that break down his sense of reality – as mundane & dysfunctional as it already was. The imagery Iranian director Babak Anvari (Under the Shadow) conjures to convey this supernatural evil is spooky as fuck: Satanic rituals, re-animated corpses, tunnels to nowhere, floods of flying cockroaches, etc. Our dumb stud bartender never fully uncovers their meaning or origin, though. They merely unravel his modest, liquor-soaked kingdom until he has nothing left.

The most baffling criticism of this film is that its scattershot haunted house imagery is spooky without purpose, framing Wounds as a jump-scare delivery system with nothing especially coherent to say. My personal, geographical proximity to the material might be clouding my judgement, but I believe the film has a lot more going on thematically than it’s getting credit for. Wounds is a grotesque tale of a “functioning” alcoholic losing what little control he pretends to have over his life until all that is left is rot. When we start the film, our dumb hunk is a bitter shell of a person who drinks to distract himself from the disappointments of a go-nowhere life and a festering relationship. Externally, he appears to be doing pretty great: living in a beautiful shotgun apartment and paving over his grotesque personality with his winking, handsome charm. His Lovecraftian run-in with a haunted smartphone is only a heightened exaggeration of his internal “functional” alcoholism crisis spiraling out of control until he has nothing left: no job, no friends, no home, barely a couch to sleep on. Not all of the imagery that accompanies the phone’s curse clearly correlates to this plight, but there’s a reason that cockroaches are a major part of it. He’s gross, and soon enough so is the boozy world he occupies.

Not to get too gross myself, but the low-50s aggregated ratings of this horror gem on Rotten Tomatoes & Metacritic can eat the roaches directly out of my ass. Wounds is an unpredictable creep-out overflowing with genuinely disturbing nightmare imagery and a lived-experience familiarity with what it means to be a charming drunk who works the graveyard shift at the neighborhood bar. Its tale of emotional & spiritual rot for a hunky, barely-functioning alcoholic on the New Orleans bar scene is so true to life that I have an exact bartender in mind who the story could be based on (although he’s a dead ringer for Lee Pace, not Armie Hammer). I guess I should message him to beware any abandoned smartphones he might find lying around the bar, but I get the sense that he’s already doomed no matter what.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 12/19/19 – 12/25/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including some appropriate Holiday Season programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Black ChristmasSophia Takal and April Wolfe team up to overhaul the seminal proto-slasher Black Christmas into a modern feminist action-horror that rails against the pervasive evils of college campus sexual assault. It’s already making Men mad online just by the trailers alone, so you know it’s doing something right. Playing wide.

Cats The horniest feline atrocity to grace the big screen since Paul Schrader reimagined Cat People as softcore incest porn. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project A documentary about the D.I.Y. archivist who diligently recorded thirty years of American TV news on 70,000 VHS tapes only to be ostracized as a crackpot. A vindicating portrait of an absolute fucking genius, and a must-watch for anyone with an archival or librarian sensibility. Probably the best documentary I’ve seen all year. Playing only at Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for months as its distribution exponentially spreads. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 12/12/19 – 12/18/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a few heavy-hitter auteurs and some appropriate Holiday Season programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Black Christmas – Sophia Takal and April Wolfe team up to overhaul the seminal proto-slasher Black Christmas into a modern feminist action horror that rails against the pervasive evils of college campus sexual assault. It’s already making Men mad online just by the trailers alone, so you know it’s doing something right. Playing wide.

Honey Boy Shia LaBeouf plays his own alcoholic, abusive father in an autobiographical self-examination of his early yeas as an overworked child actor. Given how grim the premise is, I like to imagine he pulled the title from the Xiu Xiu track “Fabulous Muscles” but I’ve yet to get confirmation on that. Playing wide.

Waves Trey Edward Schults continues his hot streak of highly divisive, emotionally rattling A24 productions with a years-spanning melodrama about one black family’s lives in suburban America. Looks to be much more narratively & tonally well-behaved than Krisha or It Comes at Night, but those movies had deceptively conventional trailers too, so who knows. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

Parasite The latest from Bong Joon-ho (director of Okja and Swampflix’s favorite movie of 2014, Snowpiercer) is a twisty, crowd-pleasing thriller about class resentment that’s been selling out screenings & earning ecstatic critical praise for weeks as its distribution exponentially spreads. Guaranteed to be in discussions of the best movies of the year, so don’t miss your chance to see it big, loud, and with an enraptured crowd. Playing only at The Broad.

In Fabric Peter Strickland’s florid horror comedy about a cursed department store & a killer dress is decidedly not for everyone (someone shushed me for laughing along with its exquisite absurdity at our screening, mistaking it for a dead-serious drama), but it was our favorite film we caught at this year’s Overlook Film Festival. I also suspect it will be one of our collective favorite movies of 2019, given our weakness for over-the-top genre fare. Playing only at the Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Knives Out Rian Johnson cashes in his Last Jedi money to make an old-fashioned Agatha Christie throwback whodunnit with a massive cast of celebrity faces. He’s clearly having a ton of fun with the genre, and the best part is that the joke at the expense of the Nazi dweebs and Middle America fascists who hounded him for supposedly making TLJ too SJW. Playing wide.

-Brandon Ledet

#NOFF2019 Ranked & Reviewed

Here we are almost two full months since the 30th annual New Orleans Film Festival concluded and I’m finally gathering all of titles I caught at the fest in one spot. CC & I already recorded a more fleshed-out recap of our festival experience on Episode #95 of the podcast, in case you’re interested in hearing about the goings-on at the handful of downtown theaters where the festival was held and the various short films that preceded some of those screenings. This list is a more bare-bones kind of recap: a ranking from the best to the . . . least best of the features we managed to catch at this year’s festival.

This year we focused entirely on boosting the profile of micro-budget indies that are unlikely to get wide theatrical distribution, skipping the New Orleans premieres for bigger titles like Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, and Harriet. Each title includes a link to a corresponding review. Enjoy!

1. Swallow Appearing like a scared child in June Cleaver housewife drag, Bennett conveys a horrific lack of confidence & self-determination in every gesture. Her fragility & despondence under the control of her wealthy, emotionally abusive family make you want to celebrate her newfound, deeply personal path to fulfillment, even though it very well might kill her. As she snacks on fistfuls of garden soil while watching trash TV instead of obeying her family’s orders all I could think was “Good for her!”‘

2. Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project As Stokes’s D.I.Y. archive is an extensive cultural record of American society over the past thirty years, the list of trends & topics that could be explored in their own full-length documentaries are only as limited as an editor’s imagination. This film is an excellent primer on the cultural wealth archived in those VHS tapes, as it both explores larger ideas of how media reflects society back to itself and does full justice to the rogue political activist who did dozens & dozens of people’s work by assembling it.”

3. Gracefully “Smart to never allow the flashiness of its craft to overpower the inherent fasciation of its subject. When it does get noticeably artful in its framing & imagery, it’s only ever in service of its subject’s dancing—often showing him performing in pitch-black voids as if his D.I.Y. glamor was the only thing in the world that matters.”

4. Jezebel “Perrier doesn’t shy away from the exploitation or desperation that fueled her online sex work as a cash-strapped, near-homeless teen, but she’s equally honest about the joy, power, and self-discovery that line of work opened up to her at the time, making for a strikingly complex picture of an authentic, lived experience.”

5. A Great Lamp “Feels akin to the aimless slacker comedies of yesteryear – the kind of deliberately apathetic, glibly existential art that put names like Jarmusch & Linklater on the map back when Independent Filmmaking was first becoming a viable industry. It’s got the handheld, high-contrast black & white look of a zine in motion (and I’m sure many a Clerks knockoff from festivals past), evoking a bountiful history of D.I.Y. no-budget art. However, in both tone & sentiment there’s no way the film could have bene made by previous generations of artful slackers, as its heart is clearly rooted in a 2010s sensibility.”

6. Hunting for Hedonia “Most valuable for its ability to explain the full scope of Deep Brain Stimulation’s history in concise layman’s terms. It covers the horrific past of its abuse, the promising present of its success in the therapy field, and the terrifying future of its rapid, unavoidable escalation in a modern capitalist paradigm.”

7. The World is Full of Secrets “Plays like Are You Afraid of the Dark? reimagined as a traumatizing stage play or audio book – with long takes of sub-professional teen actors struggling to conquer unnecessarily complex monologues. What’s amazing about this set-up is that the film not only finds room to establish a genuinely creepy mood, but it’s often prankishly hilarious and light on its feet despite its potential for academic pretention.”

8. Pier Kids “Its personal, intimate documentation of a new, specific crop of homeless queer kids is just as essential as any past works – if not only as confirmation that the epidemic is still ongoing. These children are still out there taking care of themselves & each other with no end or solution to this cycle in sight. I do hope there will be a day when these documentaries are no longer such a regular routine, but only in the sense that I hope for a future where they’re no longer necessary. We’re not there yet.”

9. Reži “Even if the film is overall too frustrating to merit a hearty recommendation, the combatively prankish attitude it performs in every frame is too infectious to fully ignore – like so many festering stab wounds.”

10. Singular Whatever faults this might have as an overly reserved document of a wild, punches-throwing artist, it does have plenty of net benefits in pushing Cecile McLorin Salvant in front of an even wider audience. I imagine if you’ve never heard of her before this doc could play as a revelation that a Nina Simone-level genius is alive & working in plain sight, waiting for your eyes & ears. The contrast between her work & the doc’s reserved nature might even unintentionally emphasize her art’s subversive playfulness, which seeps through the concert footage despite the buttoned-up style of the interviews.”

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 12/5/19 – 12/11/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including a full slate of heavy-hitter auteurs and some appropriate Holiday Season programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Varda by Agnès Legendary French New Wave auteur Agnès Varda was one of this year’s greatest losses, but she did leave behind an impressive catalog of cheeky cinematic masterworks. See her final feature—a self-examining documentary along the lines of previous triumphs like Faces Places, The Gleaners & I, and The Beaches of Agnès—only at the Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Waves Trey Edward Schults continues his hot streak of highly divisive, emotionally rattling A24 productions with a years-spanning melodrama about one black family’s lives in suburban America. Looks to be much more narratively & tonally well-behaved than Krisha or It Comes at Night, but those movies had deceptively conventional trailers too, so who knows. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

In Fabric Peter Strickland’s florid horror comedy about a cursed department store & a killer dress is decidedly not for everyone (someone shushed me for laughing along with its exquisite absurdity at our screening, mistaking it for a dead-serious drama), but it was our favorite film we caught at this year’s Overlook Film Festival. I also suspect it will be one of our collective favorite movies of 2019, given our weakness for over-the-top genre fare. Playing only at the Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Carol (2015) – Todd Haynes’s Christmastime lesbian melodrama is even more tonally reserved than his other queered-up Douglas Sirk homage, Far From Heaven. Those handsome, controlled tales of forbidden romance in the Conservative hell of the 1950s may not be as flashy or as idiosyncratic as his more sprawling works like Velvet Goldmine, Poison, or Wonderstruck, but they’re still astonishingly assured, emotionally rich works form one of America’s foremost gay auteurs. Screening free to the public (with donations encouraged) Thursday 12/5 via Queer Root Films, hosted at the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans.

-Brandon Ledet

Movies to See in New Orleans This Week 11/28/19 – 12/4/19

Here are the movies we’re most excited about that are playing in New Orleans this week, including some early Holiday Season programming.

Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)

Varda by Agnès Legendary French New Wave auteur Agnès Varda was one of this year’s greatest losses, but she did leave behind an impressive catalog of cheeky cinematic masterworks. See her final feature—a self-examining documentary along the lines of previous triumphs like Faces Places, The Gleaners & I, and The Beaches of Agnès—only at The Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge.

Queen & Slim The debut feature of Melina Matsoukas, whose work on the Lemonade-era Beyoncé video “Formation” already establishes her as a director who demands our attention. Pulling from pervious on-the-run epics like Bonnie & Clyde and Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song, this modern tale of accidental cop killers on the lam looks like a stylistically sharp, politically furious punch to the gut. Playing wide.

Knives Out Rian Johnson cashes in his Last Jedi money to make an old-fashioned Agatha Christie throwback whodunnit with a massive cast of celebrity faces. Looks to be more sincere than post-modern send-ups like Clue or Murder By Death, but it still clearly has a devious sense of humor all of its own. Playing wide.

Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed

The Lighthouse – When this deliberately divisive, sparsely attended arthouse prank opened alongside the consistently sold-out Parasite a full month ago, I never would have guessed it would outlast the list-topping crowed-pleaser, which just ended its New Orleans run. Marvel at its unfathomable longevity at The Zeitgeist Theatre & Lounge, in what’s sure to be its final week on the big screen.

When Harry Met Sally (1989) – This Nora Ephron-penned musing on the nature of heterosexual friendship & romance is one of the more enduringly beloved classics in the romcom canon (and a much-needed reminder that Rob Reiner used to direct decent pictures once upon a time). Screening for its 30th Anniversary on Sunday 12/1 and Tuesday 12/3 via Fathom Events.

Elf (2003) – I’m not really a Christmas dork in general, but a lot of people seem to like this goofball comedy an awful lot. If nothing else, it’s a perfect vehicle for Will Ferrell’s boundless energy, and I at least appreciate that The Prytania waited until after Thanksgiving to screen it. Playing Saturday 11/30 at The Prytania.

-Brandon Ledet

New Orleans Uncensored (1955)

The Prytania has been running an unofficial William Castle retrospective over the past few months as part of their ongoing Classic Movies series. That programming choice made a lot of sense around October, when Castle’s iconically kitschy team-ups with Vincent Price – The Tingler, The House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts, etc. – where a perfect celebratory lead-up to Halloween. One Castle title just before that run stood out like a sore thumb, though, as it predated his infamous theatrical horror gimmicks and instead fell into a genre Castle isn’t often associated with. New Orleans Uncensored is a cheap-o, locally shot noir about corrupt shipping dock workers, much more in tune with films like Panic in the Streets than anything resembling the Percepto! or Emergo! horror gimmickry that later made Castle a legend. The director does find stray chances to exhibit his eye for striking, attention-grabbing imagery throughout the film, but for the most part his presence is overpowered by New Orleans itself, making the film more of a worthwhile curio for locals than it is for Castle fanatics.

Originally titled Riot on Pier 6, this film mostly concerns the organized crime rackets that had quietly, gradually overtaken hold of the second largest port in the U.S. Amazingly, it frames the suggestion that New Orleans government & business might be susceptible to corruption as a total shock; sixty years later it’s as obvious of a fact as the sky being blue. The docks themselves are portrayed as gruff working-class playpens where fistfights often break out en mass to the point where workers are recruited for professional boxing careers and assigned nicknames like “Scrappy.” This wild, bully-overrun schoolyard is controlled from behind the scenes by a few Dick Tracy-level mobster archetypes who tend to fire bullets instead of throwing punches, the cowards. We watch a naïve outsider who hopes to start his own legit shipping business at the docks get seduced by the power & convenience the existing mafia structure offers him instead; he then eventually helps the fine folks at the NOPD take those criminals down once he realizes the full scope of their corruption & violence. It’s all very surface-level, familiar noir territory.

The one distinguishing element of New Orleans Uncensored is the visual spectacle of its locale – a 1950s New Orleans backdrop that looks almost exactly the same half a century later. Whereas Panic in the Streets was a document of local faces & personalities, Castle’s film is actively interested in documenting the physical locations of the city like an excited sight-seeing tourist. Panic in the Streets was mostly contained at the shipping docks and backrooms that concerned its plot, while New Orleans Uncensored goes out of its way to capture as many of the city’s cultural hotspots as possible: Pontchartain Beach, The Court of Two Sisters, Jackson Square, French Quarter nightclubs, Canal Street float parades, etc. In one particularly egregious indulgence in sight-seeing, a couple shares a nightcap beignet at Café du Monde, claiming the ritual is “a traditional New Orleans way of saying goodnight.” It’s practically a tourism board television ad. Of course, as the title suggest, the appeal of this local sightseeing to outsiders is the city’s national reputation for sin & debauchery. The film’s plot about corrupt shipping dock companies getting their due punishment for their transgressions against social order is mostly an excuse for displaying as much sex, drunkenness, and Cajun-flavored merriment as the Hays Code would allow. That becomes a major problem in the snooze of third act when the tourism is sidelined to resolve the much less engaging mafia plot, but it’s fun while the good times last.

There isn’t much room for William Castle to show off this unique touch for attention-grabbing gimmickry & cheap-o surrealism while ogling “The Mistress of The Mississippi.” Outside an opening credits graphic where a disembodied hand stamps the word “UNCENSORED” on a map of the city and a drunken montage depicting an all-nighter of a couple partying until dawn in French Quarter nightclubs, Castle is fairly well behaved in his visual stylings. The closest the film comes to touching on his iconic gimmickry is the way the movie is presented as if it were a documentary instead of a fictional drama – bolstered by stock footage & news reel voiceover. However, that choice often reads as an Ed Woodian means of cutting financial corners more than some deliberate artistic vision. If anything, the movie does function as a genuine documentary, as its sightseeing record of a 1950s New Orleans is far more valuable & purposeful than its criminal conspiracy drama or its William Castle visual play. The history & personality of the city is far more pronounced than Castle’s here, and if the movie maintains any value as a cinematic artifact it’s in that local tourism.

-Brandon Ledet