Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

To the Devil… a Daughter was one of the biggest hits Hammer Film Productions had enjoyed in years at the time of its 1976 release. Paradoxically, it’s also more or less the film that finally killed Hammer off. The studio hung around in a tattered way for a few years before disappearing: it managed to […]

Hammer Film Productions made its reputation on a series of violent (by the standards of the time) horror movies set in the latter half of the 19th Century. And while only a handful of them took place anywhere in the British Isles, they were all suffused with a certain distinctive Englishness. That would all make […]

The film itself isn’t nearly important enough to earn this, but you could do a lot worse than holding up 1970’s The Horror of Frankenstein as a summary of all the things going terribly wrong with Hammer Film Productions at the dawn of the ’70s. The studio’s reign across the anglosphere as the premiere home […]

The Plague of the Zombies certainly isn’t the best horror film made by Hammer Film Productions: the climax features some really dodgy effects work, the sound mix needed another pass, there’s a hellaciously bad day-for-“night” sequence, and frankly only a very young person would have a terribly hard time getting out in front of the […]

As the late 1950s faded into the early 1960s, perhaps the two most interesting things happening anywhere in horror cinema (change “perhaps” to “absolutely” if we limit the conversation to the English-speaking world) were the heavy shift over to Gothic horror pictures made by Britain’s Hammer Film Productions, and the brief but intense and unbelievably […]

Over the course of its horror-film heyday (1957-1974), Hammer Film Productions made four mummy films, seven Frankenstein films, two Jekyll & Hyde adaptations, three movies about evil cults, and a whopping 17 vampire pictures, nine of them involving Count Dracula. That covers most of the classic movie monsters, except for one: the werewolf. And as […]

Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde presents a unique challenge to the filmmaking team that wants to adapt it for the big screen. It’s hugely well-known by the standards of 19th Century (i.e., public domain) genre fiction, so clearly not adapting it is no kind of option; […]

It speaks to how quickly the words “Netflix original” have come to mean “like a direct-to-video film from the ’90s, only somehow even sadder” that a pretty straightforward thriller like Calibre seems like a small masterpiece. I mean, for God’s sake you guys, it’s a Netflix genre film that tells an interesting story with well-defined […]

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 […]

A review requested by Michael Matula, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall was accompanied by one of the most ridiculously complex tour […]

In the latter half of the 2010s, “it’s like an episode of Black Mirror” has replaced “it’s like Philip K. Dick” as the hackiest, laziest way you can describe any work of science fiction. But Anon courts that comparison more vigorously than most. Not just because it’s a satiric treatment of contemporary social ills in […]

A review requested by Erin, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! The first thing likely to kill any modern performance of William Shakespeare’s plays is the line reading. This […]