Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I’m going to name a game, and I want you to think for a moment about the person who plays it. Dungeons & Dragons. I guarantee, with 99% confidence, that you’re thinking of a stereotypical nerd. There is literally one reason for you to be thinking of anyone else, which is because you’re a D&D […]

As of this writing, the Wikipedia page for the 1982 giant killer rat picture Deadly Eyes notes only one piece of production trivia: “Dachshunds wearing rat suits were used in the filming of Deadly Eyes to achieve the effect of super-sized rodents”. Dear reader, I would like to assure you with all my heart: you […]

Most people who discuss the 1982 horror film Humongous – already a small and self-selecting lot – typically do not have very admiring things to say about it. Frankly, it’s difficult to say why they should; the film is a pretty standard-issue slasher model film, and in fact much of the criticism that arrives at […]

From among the Video Nasties You tell me how I was supposed to pass this one up: 1982’s Visiting Hours is one of just two wholly Canadian-made films to make the British Department of Public Prosecution’s legendary Video Nasties list,* and the only one of those starring Canada’s favorite son, William Shatner. It’s catnip to […]

The operating theory behind this year’s Summer of Blood is there’s a certain something that Canadian horror films have that their southerly neighbors just can’t match: that pound for pound, the idiotic, disposable junk made by Canucks is just better than the idiotic, disposable junk made by Yanks – more mature, more psychologically astute. Every […]

1981 – I have said before that it was the best year for slasher movies, and I see no reason not to go right ahead and say it again. It was the year of Friday the 13th, Part 2, probably the best entry in that unmatchably important, though confessedly poor franchise; it was the year […]

There is something irreducibly special about slasher films from the year 1980. It is the one totally innocent year of the genre: prior to that, there simply weren’t enough of them for it to register as a distinct genre instead of just a narrative skeleton that a few scattered horror films had employed to largely […]

The operating theory that we’ll be sticking with for the foreseeable future is that Canadian horror films, taken as a whole, demonstrate a certain maturity and honesty about character psychology that’s mostly absent from their U.S. counterparts, taken as a whole. That might not apply to each and every movie made on either side of […]

The Clown Murders of 1976 is not significant on account of being the first Canadian horror film, or even the first Canadian slasher film (at an absolute minimum, Black Christmas has it beat by two years, and even that wasn’t the first). It is, however, the first AND ONLY Canadian horror film to feature John […]

As a whole, the Canadian War Witch is an extremely solid, sobering account of a teenager’s descent to hell during a civil war in an unspecified African nation, made with extremely clear-eyed restraint from harangues, sentiment, message-mongering, or anything else that would cheapen its central character’s suffering and fight. That this still qualifies as a […]

Hey everyone, let’s play a fun game I invented, called “Being Jessica Chastain”. Pretend it’s late 2011, and you are a 34-year-old actress who has gone from complete anonymity to ubiquity in the blink of an eye. You’ve already been in the year’s best-reviewed art film, and you’re one of the most-praised members of the […]

Writer-director Sarah Polley’s Away from Her was one of the very finest feature debuts of the 2000s, the sort of brilliant that makes it virtually impossible not to eagerly await everything she ever does in the future. Even when her follow-up is such a sophomore movie: not that Take This Waltz is at all a […]