Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (2019)

This documentary about Z-grade horror director Al Adamson is equal parts a loving tribute to a well-liked man and prolific horror director, as well as a true crime drama that unfolds almost in reel time, thanks to director David Gregory’s knack with tone. In archival footage, Adamson comes off as a likable guy, but it’s really the testaments from his loved ones and former contributors that paint such an endearing, flattering picture of him, which makes the movie’s inevitable conclusion all the sadder and, frankly, perplexing: By the time we arrive to the resolution of the title’s mystery, we’ve covered everything from shady characters to UFO conspiracy theories, so it quietly becomes one of those ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ narratives that would make a terrific scripted miniseries on its own, because it really is just so fascinating and packed with wild developments that you can’t help but want to know more about the context around each turn. So, if you’re a fan of movies about indie moviemaking in the 1960s and 1970s, or if you’re a true-crime buff looking for something a little different that’s also wildly entertaining, you should probably give this one a shot; you won’t be sorry.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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