Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

As an inveterate lover of making grand historical movements out of molehills, it pleases me to know end that it’s possible to pinpoint the exact year that American genre films switched from the classical to the modern age: 1968. In that year, both science fiction and horror made an immense, revolutionary leap forward, with a […]

A review requested by Eric “Sssonic” Mason, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. There is a certain kind of film that has existed ever since the first generation of film school students began to direct features, and which came to its fullest prominence beginning in the 1990s, in […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/16 & 10/18 World premiere: 10 May, 2013, India You tell me if this sounds appealing or hopelessly stupid: modern stoner comedy classic Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle meets infamously terrible video game adaptation House of the Dead. I can’t actually say what it sounds like to me at this […]

If only by a small margin, Hot Fuzz probably has the stronger reputation; The World’s End is more sophisticated in all sorts of storytelling and filmmaking ways. But from where I stand, the very first feature made by director Edgar Wright, with stars Simon Pegg (who co-wrote with Wright) and Nick Frost, after the three […]

The first thing to admit is that World War Z is better than I assumed it would have any reason to be, if only because the very phrase “PG-13 zombie movie” is enough to make any True Genre Fan start dry-heaving. On the other hand, World War Z also fails to be as good as […]

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 […]

By all means, The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness are grand movies: one terrifying, one wacky, and both a crazy amount of fun. But 1987’s Evil Dead II, the middle film in Sam Raimi’s best trilogy… it’s just well and truly special, a real once in a lifetime sort of movie. Astonishingly, a quarter […]

From among the Video Nasties The making and production of The Evil Dead has become a legendary campfire story in its own right: writer-director Sam Raimi, looking to make his first feature, creating a demo short and forcing it upon potential investors; borderline-inhumane working conditions for most of the cash-strapped location shoot; a rapturous, career-making […]

How much easier life would be – or at least, the composition of this essay – if Evil Dead was as consistently bad as it has every reason to be. It is, after all the remake of a truly iconic original, Sam Raimi’s 1981 debut feature, and horror remakes as a class are not terribly […]

One of the important rules, if we are to play fair and maintain our intellectual integrity when dealing with a new movie, is that you should always spot a movie its concept. By which I mean, if you walk into a movie already having issues with the basic idea behind it, that’s just not really […]

If we’re going to make any sense of the RKO B-picture unit headed by producer Val Lewton in the 1940s, we’re going to have to get one fact straight, right now. For all his considerable freedom in making the movies he wanted to make, with very little (though often very critical) oversight from the studio, […]

Author’s note, January 2017: I used to have you might call a bug up my butt about this franchise. Let’s say that although I stand by this review, I don’t actually agree with it. Typically, we do not want bad movies to have sequels; we want bad movies to go far away and stop ruining […]