Saturday, June 23, 2018

Book Review: THE SHADOW: THE DEATH SLEEP By Walter B. Gibson ** and 1/2 out of ****

Average tale in The Shadow cannon, which benefits from some entertaining detective work, a few twists, and a satisfying climax. A diverting if forgettable read.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018.

Book Review: THE SHADOW: THE GROVE OF DOOM By Walter B. Gibson *** out of ****

Offbeat, highly atmospheric adventure of The Shadow, with an engulfing sense of foreboding, and a strange, terrifying finale. Its confined setting makes proceedings a bit repetitive towards the end, but the reveal of the villain and the thrilling climax pick things up again.

A fan favorite, probably due to the unique nature of the villains and the marvelous escape sequence in the middle of the story. Highly recommended.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Review: THE SHADOW: THE RED BLOT by Walter B. Gibson ** and 1/2 out of ****

Fast-paced, compelling mystery featuring The Shadow, with an intriguing central premise and nary a wasted moment. Nothing special, but entertaining nonetheless, and a good choice for fans of the pulp hero looking for a quick, fun read.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Book Review: THE SHADOW: THE CRIME ORACLE By Maxwell Grant ** out of ****

A lesser entry in The Shadow cannon, with a confined setting and a slow pace. But the menacing atmosphere, the glimpses into the world of fortune-tellers, and  the titular villain - a truly eerie creation - make this an entertaining, quick read. Non-essential for fans, though.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018.

Friday, February 16, 2018

COLD IN JULY (2014) **&1/2 out of four

Directed by Jim Mickle
Entertaining, quirky thriller, based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale. The twists and turns keep things moving at a breakneck pace, and the characters are intriguing enough. But the whole thing lacks style, and, considering the quality of the story and cast, doesn't pack the punch it should. But it is an enjoyable ride nonetheless, and one worth taking. Recommended.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: THE BENEFACTOR (2015) **&1/2 out of four

Andrew F. Renzi
Uneven and  dramatically unsteady psychological drama. But the elegant visual veneer, Richard Gere's showy but mesmerizing performance, and the lean running time - under 90 minutes - make it work somehow. An intriguing misfire.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Review: THE SHADOW: THE BLACK MASTER By Maxwell Grant **&1/2 out of four

A unique entry in The Shadow series, with a surprisingly dark, downbeat tone. The titular villain is scary and formidable, providing an uncommon challenge to the usually invincible The Shadow. Here, though, The Shadow is shown at his most human and self-sacrificial.

Although the plot itself is messy and overly complex, and the aforementioned dark tone makes this a less fun entry, it is still a page-turning, intense read, and recommended for fans of the character and the genre.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2018.