Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

This review is dedicated to Father Chris J., whose dogged persistence in wanting me to review this movie has been incredible – and entirely justified, as I have finally learned. Beyond the Black Rainbow is the sort of film that makes one badly want to start listing out all its apparent influences and the other […]

So, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, the 2002 DTV sequel to the hardcore conservative Christian classic Left Behind. If the only thing you tell me about that film is its title, and the fact that it involves a small group of True Believers facing off against the Antichrist during the Tribulation (which is, in the […]

At the risk of seeming indelicate or bigoted: fundamentalist evangelical Christian genre movies are weird. As I am not remotely the first to point out, they represent a miserable kind of paradox about them: they palpably want to be exciting cinema like wot the heathens all get to watch with their guns and their scantily […]

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 most outlandish movie yet made by the Marvel film factory, Guardians of the Galaxy, at least wins points […]

The Canadian indie horror film American Mary is good enough that I wish it were better. That’s a weird way of phrasing what’s meant to be a statement of praise; but American Mary is a weird movie. It’s the second feature by filmmaking twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, following the 2009 Dead Hooker in a […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/13 & 10/15 & 10/21World premiere: 13 October, 2013, Chicago International Film Festival There is more than one kind of Muslim-majority country, and more than one form of Islam that could be practiced by the Muslims of a country whether they dominate its cultural life or not, so nothing applies to every […]

There’s much to say about Cube, a 1997 sci-fi horror film and philosophically-laden mindfuck by director Vincenzo Natali, but before I get into any of that, a word of praise. Because this, this is how you do a low-budget movie. Only enough resources to build one cube-shaped room? Then build that cube-shaped room as best […]

This is nitpicky, but I have to get it off my chest: 1992’s Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil is not about prom (which annoys me), but it does take place on prom night, and the main characters are making a specific choice not to be at prom, so it can rightly be considered […]

The horror genre was at, perhaps, its all-time low in the early 1990s, and in Canada just as in the U.S. that means it was time for direct-to-video shlock to muscle its way in. Thus we arrive at Prom Night III: The Last Kiss, which is as cheap and as horrendously acted as you’d ever […]

I didn’t build my Canadian Summer of Blood schedule along regional lines – an oversight that I now regret – so any evidence I have is strictly anecdotal, but it’s beginning to seem to me that, despite the rich history of Canadian horror cinema, those French-Canadians didn’t really get into it very much. Indeed, following […]

Indisputably, Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is more batshit insane than Prom Night, though whether this inevitably means that it is “better” than Prom Night, or even more fun to watch than Prom Night, is a matter for the learnΓ©d to discuss (for the record, though it is way more fun to watch). That […]

The byword of the Canadian Summer of Blood has been that there’s Just Something Special about Canadian horror filmmakers: even when their films are no “better” than the analogous United States productions, there’s some kind of increased sense of maturity and intelligence. That is, they are frequently shitty-ass slashers and all, but they are shitty-ass […]