Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The cumulative directorial career of New Zealand-born Tony Williams consists, near as I can tell, of one short film, seven made-for-TV documentary shorts, two narrative features, and (thirty years later than the rest), three documentary features. Of that entire list, the second feature, 1982’s Next of Kin, is the only thing that is even remotely […]

Upon its release in the summer of 1981, Roadgames, the second (and final) collaboration of director Richard Franklin and writer Everette De Roche after 1978’s Patrick, became the most expensive Australian film ever made up to that point (a title it would hold only for a few weeks, until the opening of Gallipoli). That is, […]

The Ozploitation cycle of the ’70s and ’80s was one of several exploitation film booms during that period, and like most of them, it was focused on genre films that could be made quickly and cheaply. This is, indeed, baked into the idea of “exploitation cinema”, which is all about identifying profitable trends and hungry […]

We come now to an exciting moment: the first appearance on this site (but by no means the last) of two of the most significant names in Australian horror around the end of the ’70s and the beginning of the ’80s, director Richard Franklin and screenwriter Everett De Roche, whose names are attached to some […]

Given the way I’m framing this summer’s marathon of horror movies, it’s hard to resist the temptation to speculate about the “Australianness” of these films, how their peculiarities reveal something about the cultural character of that continent and its film production. The fact that I don’t really know all that much about Australian culture puts […]

Regrettably, this is not the space for a condensed history of the entire Australian film industry prior to 1970. Suffice it to say that the country was a major producer of films through about 1913, including The Story of the Kelly Gang in 1906, generally agreed to be the first feature-length film. After this point, […]

From among the Video Nasties If you were to know only the title of the film Tenebrae, you might think- actually, you would probably have no clue. Before I saw it the first time, I think I had some vague sense that it might have something to do with the spinal column, because of -brae. […]

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. […]

From among the Video Nasties It is honestly incomprehensible to me that Dead & Buried isn’t better-known among horror fans. Its original release in 1981 was accompanied by a poster claiming “The creators of Alien… bring a new terror to Earth”, and that feels like it should be enough all by itself, even if the […]

From among the Video Nasties In 1963, indie producer-director and godfather of gore and direct marketing Herschell Gordon Lewis made Blood Feast, a movie typically identified as the very first gore picture (that is, a movie with no intrinsic merits and no hook to its marketing campaign other than “there is blood, lots of it). […]

From among the Video Nasties I’m not sure whether what is most impressive about Night of the Bloody Apes is a positive (there’s so much wacky bullshit going on here that it saves the film from that meanest of fates, being boring) or a negative (it’s so boring that I lost interest halfway through even […]

A film called Amityville Exorcism was just about inevitable, and the only surprise is that it took until January 2017 for somebody to release it. Time alone will tell how long we have to wait for Amityville Halloween and The Amityville Chainsaw Massacre – the heaving glut of microbudget Amitvyilles has slowed down at the […]