films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Out of the Past

1947 / 97m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Out of the Past poster

Another very typical film noir. I've seen quite a few these past couple of months, and they pretty much all pan out the same way. Out of the Past has a few things going for it, but ultimately the film falls prey to the usual pitfalls of the genre and ends with a whimper. I'm not a big noir fan I'm afraid.

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Bailey, a former private detective, switches jobs and opens a garage. He can't escape his criminal past though and not long after his former boss (Sterling) summons him. He was robbed by his girlfriend, who immediately bailed. Bailey has to trace the money and get Sterling's girlfriend back.

As always, the first part is promising, but then the endless conversations start and things slow down to a crawl. Performances are mediocre, the plot is far from interesting and some meager twists and turns can't turn things around. The stark black and white cinematography is a plus, but it's not enough to make a big difference.

I Walked with a Zombie

1943 / 69m - USA
Fantasy, Horror
I Walked with a Zombie poster

So old the film even had to explain the word "zombie" to the audience. If you know Tourneur, you know you shouldn't expect a full-blown horror film. It gets a bit more atmospheric during the second half, but in the end it's a pretty dull and lifeless (pardon the pun) experience. It's a decent curiosity, nothing more.

The Leopard Man

1943 / 66m - USA
The Leopard Man poster

A typical Tourneur film, meaning most of the horror is found in the poster. The premise has the potential for horror, but the film itself is a rather dialogue-heavy thriller with few scares, let alone any gore. The film's main redeeming quality is its length, which is kept well short. Then again, there's hardly any plot to go through.

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To brighten up her act, Kiki is given a leopard to take with her on stage. A jealous rival messes things up for her and manages to scare the animal away. In the following days, women keep getting attacked at night, but some people suspect it's not the animal that is wreaking havoc.

The animal encounters aren't that exciting, the dialogues feel endless and the performances are inconsequential. There are some moodier scenes, with some decent black and white cinematography, but it's not enough to lift this film above the swamp of forgettable classics. Not a film I'll remember fondly.

Cat People

1942 / 73m - USA
Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
Cat People poster