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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Curse Of The Insect Woman (2011)

Starring Joshua Kennedy, Andrea Negrete, Alex Villarreal, Joshua Palacios, Marco Adriel Munoz
Directed by Joshua Kennedy
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

After attending a class reunion, young people find themselves being stalked and murdered by a legendary half-human creature.

Young filmmaker Joshua Kennedy delivers another of his tribute films to classics of the past, this time focusing on the horror films of Universal Pictures and Hammer Films, if I'm not mistaken.  Lensed in black and white like his debut picture, Attack Of The Octopus People, the movie makes good use of swirling fog, dark shadows, and an effective creature costume to build its chills.

We know this is a bunch of teenagers performing in their homes and school, but they're earnest and believable, and those returning from Kennedy's original picture are more accomplished actors than they were the first time around, particularly Negrete and Palacios.  Kennedy stars, but as one of a more cohesive ensemble this time around, including his father Gus as a saddened and vengeful parent, and the memorably mustached Jairus Esparza as the local sheriff.  A special role is saved for Kennedy's sister Kat, who delights as the aged Madame Ouspenskaya, named in tribute to The Wolf Man's wise gypsy, offering the customary grim warnings that are heeded too late.  Josh's dialogue for his characters must have been fun to deliver with many a memorable line well spoken by his cast.

Kennedy's technical effects are a bit more seamless than in his first movie, with even a car crash involving footage of a matchbox size toy coming off well.  I'm not familiar with the music sources used on the soundtrack but they capably underscore the action, and add to the creepy atmosphere.  Although still a teenager when this was filmed, Josh's editing and integration of close ups with medium and long shots display more skill than I've seen from some adult filmmakers.

For an amateur production with no budget to speak of, this is an entertaining film which should stand the test of time for any with an appreciation for classic horror, especially those films that aimed to bring fun to the audience along with their frights.

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