Top Sensation

To call a film “explosive” which stars Edwige Fenech is one thing. To call a film “explosive” which stars Rosalba Neri is another. To call a film “explosive” which opens with Neri flinging dynamite around with all the glee and gesticulating of a silent film actor is a bad pun. To call a film “explosive” which stars both Fenech and Neri and features the aforementioned opening is the come-on of the century.

Bullitt

Steve McQueen stars as a San Francisco cop assigned to protect a witness against the Mob. Before the film winds to its thrilling conclusion on the tarmac of San Francisco International, viewers will marvel at McQueen’s casual cool and one of the best car chases in cinema.

The Golden Buddha

Golden Buddha is tremendous fun and a real treat for fans of 1960s spy films despite there being no actual spies in the film. It’s still got plenty of intrigue and sneaking about, and the production is sumptuous. Fans of zany 1960s art direction will be in heaven.

Golden Bat

While the Golden Bat is a lesser known Japanese super hero compared to the likes of Ultraman or Kamen Rider, he is no less a venerable one. The creation of one Takeo Nagamatsu, his origin dates back to the early thirties.

King Kong

Watching King Kong was like witnessing the moment of impact between all of those things that provide me with some of my most profound movie-watching pleasures. Had I known I could be watching films that combined wrestling, men in togas throwing boulders, giant monsters, and Kumkum dancing frenetically to catchy Bollywood music, I probably never would have seen Mother India.

Cruel Gun Story

Cruel Gun Story is based on a book by hardboiled crime novelist Haruhiko Oyabu. It tells the story of Togawa, a con who is sprung from prison early via the machinations of a mysterious underworld kingpin who wants Togawa to carry out a robbery that they’ve planned.

Dark Purpose

Had Dark Purpose been an hour long episode of a TV show, it would have delivered. But forced to come up with, roughly, three half-hour acts, it can’t sustain the momentum and Shirley Jones, while perfectly acceptable, just isn’t dynamic enough to make us forget nothing much is going on.

Gumnaam

Gumnaam isn’t shy about the sort of films that have influenced it. Adopting the sort of jet set internationality of the 1960s, it becomes an amalgamation of old dark house mysteries and pop-art modernism filtered through the lens of Arabesque, Mario Bava, and Charade.

Fantomas

Taken as a trilogy, Hunebelle’s Fantomas films seem to hew closely to the spirit of those early serials that first brought Fantomas to the screen. You could even regard them as three unusually elongated chapters in such a serial. In keeping with that, Hunebelle doesn’t forget to spice Fantomas up with a generous helping of nostalgic, Saturday matinee style thrills.

The Man Who Almost Composed Bond

Towering above all others in the realm of Bond cash-in albums, however, was British composer Roland Shaw, who released a series of James Bond cash-in records that featured arrangements of Bond themes and background music that were often just as good as the originals, and in some cases, perhaps even better.

Deadly Sweet

Deadly Sweet was inspired by Blow Up, but it lacks that film’s disillusionment. Tinto Brass thinks Swinging London is still swinging. Thus he turns in a decidedly less somber film despite a somewhat downbeat conclusion.

Blow-Up

In a sense, Antonioni has made a movie about the movie he is making, and his final conclusion, if it is indeed a conclusion, is a bit sad. Thomas chases the meaning of the photographs he has taken, but he never gets there. In the end, everything he has done vanishes.

High Spy: The Espionage Fiction of Adam Diment

Adam Diment created Philip McAlpine, a reluctant, shaggy-haired, dope-smoking spy in the latest Carnaby Street fashions. Like his creation, Diment was young, handsome, popular with the ladies, and knew how to dress. And then, just like that, he vanished.

Blood and Black Lace

When it came time for Mario Bava to turn in his version of a Hitchcock movie, he picked up on that underlying current of malicious giddiness and ratcheted it up. In Blood and Black Lace, Bava is a peasant let loose to demolish a nobleman’s home.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Nora ventures onto unfamiliar streets and is soon set upon by a purse snatcher and knocked unconscious. When she comes to, she is horrified to see a woman staggering toward her. The woman collapses, revealing a knife in her back.