Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Intermittently throughout the 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 a major new release. This week: Netflix has commissioned a new zombie movie, Army of the Dead, from slow-motion enthusiast Zack Snyder. There could be no better […]

I would certainly not want The Dead Don’t Die to be anybody’s first exposure to director Jim Jarmusch, but since it has an unusually wide release for that director, and an unusually friendly genre for that director (it’s a comic zombie movie), and a seemingly endless list of famous people in the cast, it seems […]

From among the Video Nasties I could say “a movie from around the turn of the ’80s with the word ‘Don’t’ in the title, that caught the attention of Britain’s Director of Public Prosecution”. I could even throw in the detail that in addition to all of the above, the film is also about cannibals. […]

When they write the histories of the cannibal film, many years from now, they’ll have to save a whole chapter for Raw. It’s a right marvel all the way around: it has the unapologetic, unblinking gore of the all the most sordid examples of Italian cannibal films from the late ’70s and early ’80s,* but […]

There’s nothing in and of itself excessively shocking about The Silence of the Lambs. It’s a gory, grotty thriller that just enough of a literary sheen to it – it was based on a best-selling crime novel that could at least pretend to be somewhere in the wheelhouse of classy fiction, thanks to author Thomas […]

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 […]

From among the Video Nasties When I hit upon the idea of a Video Nasties retrospective, I had little in the way of a planned schedule, but one thing was always clear, from the first instant: it had to end with Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust. Almost certainly the most widely-banned film in history, and notorious […]

From among the Video Nasties The first thing to do is to simply identify the movie I’m about to review, which isn’t easily done. It’s one of those Italian exploitation pictures with such a daunting number of titles that the full list runs well into the teens; but an English-speaker only needs to know that […]

From among the Video Nasties “But at least it wasn’t directed by Joe D’Amato.” With those words I ended my most recent Video Nasties review, of the heinous Nazisploitation picture SS Hell Camp AKA The Beast in Heat AKA La bestia in calore. I did not do this accidentally, for even then did I know […]

As it commonly happens in regards to the Italian horror industry, history is confused on exactly how the fourth “official” Zombi film came to be. The facts are these: Claudio Fragasso had somehow convinced the good folks at Flora Film to put him in charge of a zombie picture right around the same time that […]

From among the Video Nasties In the fall of 1978, even before it opened in its native United States, George A. Romero’s horror-satire masterpiece Dawn of the Dead was substantially re-edited by Dario Argento for the Italian market, and retitled Zombi; because hey, that’s a good title for a zombie picture, and there hadn’t been […]

Also check out my review of the American cut As most everyone with even a passing interest in horror or indie movies knows, in 1968, young George A. Romero made Night of the Living Dead with the thinnest of budgets and an ungodly amount of creativity, and triggered a seismic event in the genre’s history; […]