Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I don’t usually like to play this game, but if Unhinged isn’t the perfect film to embody the 2020 movie year, I don’t know what. First, there’s what it “is”: a script, by Carl Ellsworth (who was knocking out mediocre thrillers at a nice clip in the late 2000s, and then suddenly went completely dark […]

Let Him Go has benefited to an unusual degree from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic: it’s a film that almost certainly would have vanished without a ripple in any other circumstances other than being one of the handful of movies to get a large-sized theatrical release in the United States in the last four months of […]

The filmmaking duo of Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson has hit upon a very reliable schema – I will not call it a formula, because it’s not really the same thing every time. But in every one of their films, we see a quiet story about the relationship between two people filtered through a mash-up […]

What Became of Jack and Jill? is the forgotten stepchild of the Amicus Productions filmography, the most obscure of all their horror/thriller films, and the only one that’s been basically ignored on home video (pretty much every version you can find these days is sourced from the same faded, full-frame 16mm print). And this goes […]

The soullessly glossy new version of Rebecca, paid for and distributed by the soulless gloss specialists at Netflix, lives in the shadows of ghosts. There is the ghost of Daphne Du Maurier’s beloved 1938 novel, one of the pinnacles of inter-war Gothic fiction, still a widely-read classic. And there is the ghost of the 1940 […]

I would never have thought of this on my own, but now that I’ve been put in mind of it, it makes perfect sense that American International Pictures and Amicus Productions would team up together. You could never say that they occupy the same spot in their respective ecosystems, because the Hollywood and British film […]

One thing that Love and Monsters cannot be accused of is a superfluity of original ideas. The film, written by Brian Duffield (of the bald-faced Alien knock-off Underwater) and Matthew Robinson (of the bald-faced everything knock-off Monster Trucks), is something of a grab bag of sci-fi and post-apocalypse narratives of every sort, especially where those three […]

The Deadly Bees, from 1966, isn’t really a very good movie – it’s fine. It’s got some largely good and charming moments, some dumb moments, and some aggressively bad effects. But it has a longstanding reputation for being terrible beyond words, which comes I think from two different things. First, credited screenwriter Robert Bloch had […]

From 1961 through around 1968-ish, if you were a commercial movie studio and you had literally any presence in the horror/thriller markets, at some point you were going to make your own version of Psycho. There’s simply nothing else to it: Alfred Hitchcock’s grimy little quickie about murder, sexual psychosis, and fucking around with the […]

This October, I’ll be working my way through several of the films made by Amicus Productions, the second-most-beloved British horror film specialists of the 1960s and ’70s. First up, though, is the film that was an Amicus film before Amicus existed. The film industries of the United Kingdom and the United States have always been […]

The winner of the latest round of voting in the poll to select what major 2020 release – such as there have been major 2020 releases – I should watch and review next. Vote in that and the other polls if you want to control my, and the website’s fate If, as is so often […]