Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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: to my great chagrin, I have lived on this globe 36 years and more without ever having seen the […]

A review requested by Brian F, with thanks for donating to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. The first question: how is one to even go about the task of watching The Night of a Thousand Cats? The film was first released in its native Mexico in 1972 (the Spanish title is La […]

A review requested by Salim “STinG” Garami, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. I’ll freely admit that I can’t tell if Class of 1984 is a good movie or not. On the one hand, it’s unmixed, trashy exploitation, portraying a most overheated melodrama that plays on the audience’s […]

If you’re going to make a new version of a ’70s Italian cannibal movie, to be set in the American Old West, the first thing to do is ask yourself why the actual fuck you want to do that. But okay, let’s assume you come up with a satisfying answer, so you go ahead and […]

So you’d have to be such an idiot that there’s not a word for it in English to expect a film titled Nail Gun Massacre to be even a little bit classy. Still, the speed with which it reveals the incorrigible depths to which its not-classiness reveals itself caught me by surprise – it’s not […]

From among the Video Nasties Any honest accounting of the history of American horror filmmaking has to bow in the direction of the enormous influence of The Last House on the Left, the 1972 debut of writer-director Wes Craven and a solid contender for the title of most controversial movie of the last half-century. It […]

Take my hand – or whatever other body part you prefer – and walk with my back to the 1970s, and the Golden Age of Eurosmut. It was a time when the boundary between the glaciated art films developed from the mid-’50s onward and the new world of pornography was as thin and porous as […]

(Part 2 of 2. Be sure to check out the companion review!) The Forbidden Dance made less than half of what the Warner-released Cannon production Lambada made their shared opening weekend; but we are speaking in terms of the purest relativism. Lambada still opened in eighth place and made less than one-fifth of that weekend’s […]

(Part 1 of 2. Be sure to check out the companion review!) My Hollywood Century project has, I confess, been subjected to some mission drift over the last twenty-odd entries. I described it, at the start, as: Sometimes it will be a well-loved consensus classic, and sometimes a lost masterpiece. Sometimes an ill-made but important […]

There’s no shortage of aesthetic and cultural upheavals that rocked the American film industry in the 1970s, but the most important from a sociological standpoint absolutely has to be the sudden discovery made by the studios early in the decade that nonwhite people liked to watch movies, too. A lesson that has been forgotten and […]

My first thought is not a very professional one: holy shit, Diane Ladd used to look exactly like her daughter. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can turn to the matter at hand. And the matter at hand is The Wild Angels, a film without which the subsequent history of cinema […]

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 […]