Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The Deadly Bees, from 1966, isn’t really a very good movie – it’s fine. It’s got some largely good and charming moments, some dumb moments, and some aggressively bad effects. But it has a longstanding reputation for being terrible beyond words, which comes I think from two different things. First, credited screenwriter Robert Bloch had […]

From 1961 through around 1968-ish, if you were a commercial movie studio and you had literally any presence in the horror/thriller markets, at some point you were going to make your own version of Psycho. There’s simply nothing else to it: Alfred Hitchcock’s grimy little quickie about murder, sexual psychosis, and fucking around with the […]

It of course doesn’t describe every one of the studio’s 28 features, not even most of them, but I think there’s a fairly clear platonic ideal of an Amicus Productions film: a horror anthology, directed by Freddie Francis, with a script adapted from the work of author Robert Bloch, starring Peter Cushing. 1965’s The Skull, […]

Amicus Productions was only around a short time, from 1962 to 1977, and it produced a fairly small number of features, 28 in total (one of which it sold off rather than distribute under its own name). Despite this, it has one of the strongest reputations in the history of British genre film production. Of […]

This October, I’ll be working my way through several of the films made by Amicus Productions, the second-most-beloved British horror film specialists of the 1960s and ’70s. First up, though, is the film that was an Amicus film before Amicus existed. The film industries of the United Kingdom and the United States have always been […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: the trope that dinosaurs must always live on the slopes of a volcano about ready to pop is much […]

Now, here’s a real summertime treat, especially for a fucked-up little misanthrope like myself: an honest-to-God exploitation flick from the director of >one of the only Lovecraft movies you really need, a black-hearted ripped-from-the-headlines number that looks and feels, except for its modern film stock, like it could have walked out a ’70s grind house […]