Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Convention tells us that The Seventh Victim, the third of four films produced by Val Lewton’s B-picture unit at RKO in their peak year of 1943, is a horror film; but even by the standards that Lewton had already established, whereby “horror” gets tweaked in some thoroughly unexpected and unrecognisable way, this one doesn’t look […]

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: as happens so often, the summer movie season wraps up with a dodgy horror picture, The Possession, a rare […]

It can’t really have been five years since we didn’t care about Ghost Rider, can it? Aye, and the sequel that nobody wanted has taken every bit of that long to come out and promptly be ignored by virtually the whole world: and yet here I am, reviewing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance anyway, because […]

If the stupid people are right and 2012 ends up being the last year of human existence, it could hardly have gotten off to a more appropriate start than The Devil Inside, which suggests at least this much: the race for Worst Film of the Year is going to be extremely competitive. Here is how […]

Every Sunday 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: X-Men: First Class may or may not be the most ill-advised of the summer’s superhero movies, but it’s hard […]

Every Sunday 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: X-Men: First Class may or may not be the most ill-advised of the summer’s superhero movies, but it’s hard […]

Drive Angry is above all else a shockingly fetishistic motion picture. It fetishises acts of brutal violence; it fetishises gorgeously preserved early-70s muscle cars; in an extremely distant third place, it manages, just barely, to fetishise naked women. But mostly violence and cars: the former presented by director Patrick Lussier with lingering, worshipful slow-motion, the […]

It’s lazy to attack a genre film for being a genre film. That is to say, there’s no point in complaining that a movie hews too closely to well-worn tropes when it’s those tropes that make us want to see a film in the first place. “That Western has too much gorgeous landscape photography!” “That […]

It is not a surprise that the first new movie of 2011 should be a bad one – good movies do not premiere in January unless it is by accident – nor a surprise that the particular movie to hold that honor, Season of the Witch, should specifically be bad, whenever it was released (as […]

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: movies with “Exorcism” in the title tend to be barrel-scraping exercises indeed, and how nice of The Last Exorcism […]

Oh yes; Hammer Film Productions was dead, it was just a matter of everybody finally agreeing to stop humping the corpse (after 1974, a grand total of two films were released by the company: To the Devil… a Daughter in 1976, and a remake of The Lady Vanishes in 1979). I can think of no […]

The release of Hammer’s seventh film in their increasingly-discontinuous Dracula series was preceded by two big pieces of news, one of them exciting. That was the announcement that for the first time in fourteen years, Christopher Lee’s Count Dracula would be set against his greatest opponent of all, Peter Cushing’s Professor Van Helsing. The other […]