Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

I have on three different occasions now described Only Lovers Left Alive as Vampires Who Write for Pitchfork: The Movie, and I still don’t have the damnedest idea if I mean that in a disparaging or highly complimentary way. It’s that kind of movie, where the singular weirdness of it more than trumps judgments that […]

Part of the Italian Horror Blogathon at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies I don’t imagine that Black Sunday – to give the film its standard English title, though strictly speaking that name only appears on the version released by American International Pictures in the 1960s, now thoroughly superseded – needs any help from me in getting […]

October’s such a busy month: here I am, looking to pack away the Chicago International Film Festival and get to work on Kevin Olson’s Italian Horror Blogathon, and wouldn’t you know it, but I was given an absolutely perfect, gift-wrapped transition from one to the other in the form of Dracula 3D, the latest film […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/11 & 10/16World premiere: 7 July, 2013, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival Short version: heterosexual sex turns a lesbian into a leprous vampire. I have no idea in which direction the over-the-top alarmism faces in writer-director Eric England’s Contracted, but it’s hilarious either way, and that’s even without the incredibly shallow attempt […]

For the first beat of his first theatrical feature, Tony Scott made no little choices. When the little brother of Blade Runner and Alien mastermind Ridley Scott made the leap from television commercials to cinema with 1983’s The Hunger, he opened that film with one of the most in-your-face gestures of uncut style to be […]

The found footage horror movie, birthed by 1999’s The Blair Witch Project and thrust into the big time by 2008’s Cloverfield, burned itself out rather quickly, as will happen to a genre so cheap that you need neither a good idea nor talent to whip together something which enough damn fools will trudge out to […]

Our long national nightmare is over: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 has come out, and brought an end to the beloved teen paranormal love triangle franchise that began four achingly long years ago with Twilight, in which an insipid young woman falls in love with a shiny vampire who embodies all of […]

Though Isle of the Dead was the second horror film released by Val Lewton’s RKO production unit in 1945, it was the first one started; it was beset by backstage difficulties, and The Body Snatcher was made during a gap in production as Isle‘s cast was impossible to gather back together. It was also the […]

At the very least, Hotel Transylvania, the years-in-Development-Hell cartoon about classic movie monsters all gathered together in a remote castle built by Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) to shelter them from the probing eyes and torch-wielding fists of humans, has pretty fun character design. This I take to be characteristic of director Genndy Tartakovsky’s work, consisting […]

Calling Dark Shadows a return to form for director Tim Burton would be a damnable lie. It is, however, the first Tim Burton film in ages and ages that suggest that a return to form might even be possible. If I were looking for a pithy one-liner to describe the film, it would end up […]

Every Sunday this summer – and between the Year of Blood and a nightmarish stretch of shaky internet, I wasn’t able to get this in on Sunday, but let’s make believe – we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor […]

Sometimes, we compare movies to fast food: usually McDonald’s and usually in the context, “Some entertainment is like McDonald’s – no damn good, but it’s comforting to know what you’re getting”. This is a lazy comparison, but it has the benefit of being a really poppy image that anybody who’s ever eaten at a McDonald’s, […]