A Traitor’s Self-Indulgence – My work for Cinema Sentries in 2016

cat-traitorIt’s no secret to the no readers we have here that I, Kent The Kent Conrad have not been omnipresent on the Goat of late. It’s not because I hate the old bird – she’s about 18 years old now, though you’d never know it from the amount of content.

But it is true that I’ve been dipping my quill into another ink bottle, as it were. For the last few years I’ve been writing at Cinema Sentries, and I decided that here is as good a place as any to index my work for that fine site for 2016 (and my media computer died, so I couldn’t watch NHK to write reviews of that. Grr. Argh.)

David Bowie: Outside

My short column on recollections of my first DB album.

Nikkatsu Diamond Guys vol. 1

One of my early explorations into Nikkatsu’s line of films, released by the cinema slums’ Criterion, Arrow.

The Art and Making of Hannibal

Book with some fine art from the TV series Hannibal, whose first season is one of my favorite bits of TV of all time. Second season faltered (though it had one of my favorite TV monsters of all time, the dude in the bear suit) and the third season… the first half was the most disappointing thing I’d ever scene. The second half, an adaptation of Red Dragon, had moments of laziness and moments of sublime horror.

Let There Be Light: John Huston’s War Documentaries

Four movies that demonstrate a striking shift in tone from the glib “Let’s kick Jerry’s ass!” early films to the harrowing plight of PTSD soldiers in the title film.

Evangelion 3.33: You Can Not Re-Do

Evangelion is divisive, but it’s a seminal anime work for the reason many divisive and even destructive works of art are: it’s friggin’ good. Well paced, a good head for comedy as well as drama, and so what if it blows up its end? Eva Rebirth movies are a re-do of the material, but they might not be a re-boot so much as a continuation into a timeline that folds back on and replays itself. Beautiful, too.

Outlaw Gangster VIP

6 movies of Outlaw Gangsterism, of great Japanese material from the 60s (rife with bloody violence, almost nudity that sometimes succumbs to full boobage, and a hero who, however awful he can be, has a code of honor.) Like most of these series, continuity is an after-thought.

Barcelona: The Criterion Collection

Whit Stillman is a movie maker after my own heart. He doesn’t have the same prejudices of other art filmmakers: in particular, he understands that rich people are people, too, and that people who in other people’s movies would be blowhards are his sympathetic protagonists. Also, this review got retweeted by the director himself. Um, squee? No, I’m too reserved to squee. More of a… squi.

The Zero Boys

Uh… a cult… classic? Nico M, the director, also made Death Street USA (on Rifftrax as Nightmare at Noon, another movie that had a female lead with giant cans who never showed them off). This is the sort of commentary I don’t do at the classier Cinema Sentries.

The Assassin

One of the bonding moments I had with one of my brothers this year is when I mentioned this movie to him, and we both talked about how much we hated it. Beautiful cinematography, though. Great tracts of land.

Nikkatsu Diamond Guys vol. 2

The comedic counterpart to the more serious early collection. I love all these old Japanese pulpy movies, because they had the content of America B-movies, but they were all shot by big studios who had world-class crews at their disposal.

Blood and Black Lace

Maybe Bava’s masterpiece, beautifully appointed, and a rare reminder of the power Cameron Mitchell could have on screen. When he wasn’t ridiculous.

Ray Harryhausen doc

A good doc about a guy who was obsessive about his craft.

Person of Interest Fifth Season

Person of Interest was one of my favorite shows, probably the last network show I watched when it aired. Trenchant, intelligent, unconverged, and (especially in the early years) nicely violent. Reese, the Caviezel Special Forces guy was much more murderous in the better early seasons, but it still had the best gunplay of any network show. And the sci-finess of its latter seasons were brainfood. It also had one of the only examples of benevelonet hyper-intelligent AIs in visual media. I personally believe that AIs will not despise humanity, but rather find us rather cute – like puppies who walk upright.

The Invitation

Above average bottle movie. It could have better plotting (but I think Indie movies are all plot allergic) but has good reveals and some terrific performances.

Female Prisoner Scorpion

These are great Japanese woman’s prison movies. Only the first one is rife with scurrilous nudity (the women have to enter the prison stripped and walking on a bizarre contraption that lets a lucky guard have a close look at their nethers) but the first one also is the only one that Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood herself) gets her shirt ripped off, and a few times. She’s a great murderer for no proper reason, and a killer lesbian to boot. Great crazy movies.

Woman in the Dunes

This movie clocks in at about 2 and a half hours, and feels like it goes by in half that time. Mesmerizing, beautiful, the reason I love cinema.

Dark Water

I reviewed this at this very site 14 years ago, but this is a completely new review without consideration of my early thoughts. Terrifying movie, and the new review has the benefit of not completely misunderstanding a plot point like I did in my first review.

Private Property

Great early 60s noir thriller with Warren Oates and an even better Corey Allen.

The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast

This… let me tell you, friends, if you ever tell your editor you want to review a 14 movie box set of a man known for making schlock, kick yourself in the head. This about ruined my November.


I do not like CHUD. And I’m informed there’s an interesting story about its production, but nothing about it was illuminated on this blu-ray. Grar.

To Pixar and Beyond

Less a movie book than a business book, but a good business book about how Steve Jobs became a billionaire.

Blair Witch

New Blair Witch movie. Short review: meh. Longer review: the movie doc and commentary on this disc are really great, especially because the commentary was recorded after the movie landed with a damn thud on the American box office.

There you go. On other sites, I’m apparently a content machine. Exploded Goat fans will probably consider me a:


***Art stolen from random Google Images searches. Hey, at least I host my own images!

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com