Movie Diary 6/21/2020

Border (Ali Abbasi, 2018). A couple of very strange-looking individuals find each other, but you know things are not as they seem, even though things already seem pretty far out. What’s memorable about this film is not just the various revelations that come along, but the palpable connection, or attempted connection, between our heroine (Eva Melander) and the natural world. She also works as a customs guard at a ferry terminal, where her animal talent for sniffing out contraband makes her a prized employee – an ingenious idea for a one-of-a-kind movie.

Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (Riccardo Freda/Mario Bava, 1959). The monster first bothered the Mayans 1300 years ago, and now stirs again. There are definitely some cool shots here, especially in the opening sequence, where you can discern Bava’s eye for grabby design, and the movie overall is pretty spirited. The female leads, Didi Sullivan and Daniela Rocca (from Divorce, Italian Style), are used mostly as decoration, but they would have been more fun in the lead roles than their male counterparts. The creatures are blobby, and can somehow burn the flesh off the bone.

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