Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

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 […]

If there was ever a time when the notorious genre of the slasher film wasn’t in its rotten, decadent phase, that time was at any rate not 1988. By this point, all the good ideas had been used up, all the mediocre knock-off ideas had been used up, the audience was all used up, and […]

The Child’s Play franchise fascinates me: not because it is especially consistent or good (thought it has a great batting average compared to something like Friday the 13th or even A Nightmare on Elm Street), but because it has been able to reinvent itself so many times, with such success. After three increasingly ludicrous paranormal […]

Nearly two years of hype since the film’s 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has promised that You’re Next was a brilliant dark horror-comedy. I will allow the possibility that I’m dumb as fuck, but not one single moment came across to me as comic. The best case scenario is that director Adam Wingard and writer […]

This is nitpicky, but I have to get it off my chest: 1992’s Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil is not about prom (which annoys me), but it does take place on prom night, and the main characters are making a specific choice not to be at prom, so it can rightly be considered […]

I didn’t build my Canadian Summer of Blood schedule along regional lines – an oversight that I now regret – so any evidence I have is strictly anecdotal, but it’s beginning to seem to me that, despite the rich history of Canadian horror cinema, those French-Canadians didn’t really get into it very much. Indeed, following […]

Indisputably, Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is more batshit insane than Prom Night, though whether this inevitably means that it is “better” than Prom Night, or even more fun to watch than Prom Night, is a matter for the learnéd to discuss (for the record, though it is way more fun to watch). That […]

The byword of the Canadian Summer of Blood has been that there’s Just Something Special about Canadian horror filmmakers: even when their films are no “better” than the analogous United States productions, there’s some kind of increased sense of maturity and intelligence. That is, they are frequently shitty-ass slashers and all, but they are shitty-ass […]

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 […]

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 […]