Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In November of the year of our Lord 1983, the holy trinity was completed. That was when the third of the “Part 3-D” movies was released, an increasingly degraded attempt to cash in on the short-lived 3-D fad of the early 1980s before it reached its inevitable end, by slopping some cheap 3-D effects onto […]

Amityville II: The Possession is coated in sleaze, filled with hokey bargain basement haunting effects, and it telegraphs its lack of inspiration on any level other than cashing in on a fad or two for a quick buck so intently, it feels almost like it must be proud of itself. It therefore should come as […]

Popular history records the 1976 remake of King Kong as a terrible failure, but this is not in fact the case. The film cost a shocking amount of money, much of it wasted on a terrible-looking and dysfunctional live-sized robot Kong, but it also brought in a pretty healthy box office return, emerging as one […]

The 1976 King Kong really is quite magnificent in its badness. It’s not that it’s a unjustified remake of an all-time classic film, those are are all over the damn place, that’s not worthy of attention. Even if this one is especially unjustified (after Psycho and Seven Samurai, I’d be inclined to call the 1933 […]

As was true for a great many people born at the end of the 1970s or beginning of the 1980s, I suspect, Army of Darkness was the first film in the Evil Dead trilogy that I saw, by a margin of several years. For this exact reason, there’s always going to be a slightly abashed […]

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, that producer Dino De Laurentiis and director Roger Vadim should have collaborated on a film. Their careers were too complementary for there to have been any possibility of them both bopping around Europe at the same time without colliding. Indeed, the fact that 1968’s Barbarella was […]

At last, the Year of Blood takes us to the scariest night of the year, when witches and ghouls and ghosts and all manner of terrifying things take to ground, listening to their heavy metal music. Or, um, something. P.S. No, it’s not Halloween anymore, but on Halloween itself, my internet was trying to die. […]

In addition to their classier, better-known status as the most mature decade in the history of mainstream American cinema, the 1970s could also be rightfully called the Decade of the Rip-Off; not since the onset of World War II taught the world a healthy sense of shame had such a robust culture of knock-offs and […]

Technically, 1985’s Red Sonja, one of the key films in the disintegration of the sword & sorcery genre, is not at all a Conan the Barbarian film. And technically, it isn’t based on the writing of Robert E. Howard, Conan’s creator. The character of Red Sonja in fact made her debut in 1973, in the […]

Two important facts: one is that Conan the Barbarian made a whole lot of money in 1982, and kicked off a new subgenre, the sword & sorcery film, that was for a few years the genre film of choice in English-speaking parts; the other is that Conan the Barbarian was produced under the aegis of […]

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: the remake of Conan the Barbarian introduces a new generation to the pop hero of Weird Tales, one of […]

And now we come to an important moment indeed in the development of Michael Mann’s directorial personality: his first experiment with film vocabulary. In this latter part of his career, he’s become famous – infamous, in some circles – for being an arch-stylist, which is a simpler way of saying that he likes to bend […]