Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The latest entry in Summit Entertainment’s multi-year attempt to bore the art of filmmaking to death, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse has been warily described in certain corners as “better” than 2008’s Twilight or last autumn’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Which takes quite a lot of fine parsing, and for what possible reason: At the […]

Every week 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: we’re pretty much used to blockbuster movies such as the current perpetual money machine The Twilight Saga: Eclipse aiming […]

For all the advances made in special effects in the last ten years, werewolves have had a really tough go of it. We’ve had any number of tremendously convincing screen zombies, and marvelous vampires of both the sparkly and non-sparkly varieties, but for some reason, representations of lycanthropes have been miserably wanting. Neil Marshall’s otherwise […]

The sequel to 2008’s Twilight is one of those movies where you’re not exactly sure even what the title is. The ad campaign clearly describes it as The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which is probably the “right” title, despite being clumsy and stupid; the opening of the film merely states New Moon, following the title […]

And so we come to the death rattle of Universal horror. For some reason that will only ever be known to those involved, the studio suits determined that the best way to retire their classic monsters was to mix traditional horror cinema with the comedy duo of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. The first of […]

After the miserable artistic failure of House of Frankenstein, there wasn’t much that the next Universal horror movie had to do besides show up to be an improvement. But House of Dracula does more than just show up. Perhaps because the filmmakers realised on some level that this was to be the final hurrah for […]

I have not been able to determine much information about the box office fortunes of the Universal monster films in the 1940s, so I cannot say if Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and Son of Dracula, the studio’s two franchise entries from 1943, made any particular sum of money worth mentioning. I suspect they must […]

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what desperation looks like. By 1943, the steam was mostly out of the second phase of Universal horror movies, even in their new cheaper, B-picture incarnation, and if the cycle was going to keep on going, something bold and splashy had to be done, for then as now movies made […]

The second phase of Universal horror films that began with 1939’s Son of Frankenstein was even more prolific and successful than the first, although this did not come at a small price. For while the bulk of the horror films produced under the watchful eye of the two Carl Laemmles were high-budget affairs with the […]

It’s hard to say whether Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is more terrible or inessential. Of course, that’s something of a false dichotomy – part of the reason it’s terrible is because it’s so very inessential. Set many hundreds of years prior to the unlikely, undeserving hit movies Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, Rise of the […]