Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

A third review requested by K. Rice, with thanks for contributing three times to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Of the many pop culture heavy-hitters in the 1980s, two of the heaviest were the Andrew Lloyd Webber & Charles Stilgoe stage musical The Phantom of the Opera, which premiered in the West […]

At a certain point fairly early in Urban Legend, the character Damon Brooks (Joshua Jackson) turns on the radio, and a couple of bars of the 1997 Paula Cole single “I Don’t Want to Wait” play, at which he becomes overly flustered and scrambles to turn it off. The younger of you among my readers, […]

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 […]

Look at that poster and despair! Every aspect of it – the purple, the lighting, the woman’s pose, the woman’s deeply inefficient clothing, and every last piece of text – promises a sultry erotic drama. The only thing, and even then it’s questionable, that tips us off that it’s anything even near to the vicinity […]

As this final Summer of Blood arrives at the slasher boom of the 1980s, it feels like a homecoming. For this is where we belong, truly: in the gutter trash world of miserably formulaic thrillers, propped up only by their most exploitative element and frequently by nothing at all. And while it’s surprisingly willing to […]

All due respect to the recent spate of high-profile horror movies to be critically fêted on account of being actually good, but one of the things that The Babadook and It Follows have in common is that they’re both immensely well-made versions of something that’s already been done. Now, quite unexpectedly, we have the opposite, […]

In my head, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a beloved consensus highlight of 2000s meta-horror that is well understood to be an essential work for genre fans. And maybe that’s how it works in the real world, since every review I read about it seems to contain the sentiment “this is […]

You know how in slasher movies, sexually active teenagers are killed? Congratulations, you have all the information you need in order to have written Student Bodies, a slasher movie parody from 1981, the earliest year in which “slasher parody” is something we could even conceivably talk about (added bonus points for being released by Paramount, […]

Those of you who’ve been around for a while have undoubtedly picked up on my certain disdain for movies that play the “we know we’re making a bad movie, so it’s actually funny that our movie is bad” card. And oh my Lord, does the 1997 direct-to-video Jack Frost lean on that conceit as unrelentingly […]

1982’s The New York Ripper is a very, very, very special motion picture: it represents the exact moment at which the great Italian horror master Lucio Fulci transformed into the hacky Italian schlockmeister Lucio Fulci. The transition was achieved very cleanly: outside of two scenes which could stand along any giallo of the ’70s for […]

It has been more than three decades since Hell Night premiered in the summer of 1981, and it has only slowly developed a cult following over those years. Truth be told, I don’t know if even now it has a reputation as generally being a crap slasher film from an era when crap slasher films […]

If it had done nothing else to distinguish itself, 1982’s The Slumber Party Massacre would stand out in the crowded glut of early ’80s slasher films by virtue of being written by a feminist. Not, please understand, the kind of everyday feminist that anybody could be who believes in equality between the sexes and calls […]