Cathy’s Curse (1977)

The film that puts the “uh??” back in Canuxploitation

Much like the titular character in Cathy’s Curse, the home that begot the film put its very soul at risk. The Canadian government, aiming to jumpstart the country’s fledgling cinema scene in the 1970’s, instituted an enormous tax credit for any production of a feature film in the country. While this paved the way for the likes of David Cronenberg, Ivan Reitman, and Bob Clark, it also opened the floodgates to the seediest of American producers and Hollywood outcasts looking to abuse the tax haven […]

Read Article →

Tease the Dragon – The Big Boss

What was it about Bruce Lee that made him the eternal icon of action cinema?

He wasn’t the first star of the kung fu wave. Shaw Brothers Studio had been steadily churning out heroic martial arts fantasy flicks years before Lee got into the game, and cheaply dubbed versions were already showing up in American grindhouse theaters. He certainly was one of the most talented and innovative martial artists in history, but that alone doesn’t explain it, either.  I break it down to something simpler: Bruce Lee was the coolest son of a bitch ever to walk the Earth. He was so cool that both Steve McQueen and James Coburn were […]

Read Article →

Rise of the Summer Blockbuster: The Birth of Jaws

Some films have such an influence on you it can feel like there was never a time in your life that you hadn’t seen it; you’d been born knowing its nuances and meanings, almost like a parent in the way it helped to form your beliefs.

I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom Jaws was their first experience in true terror. After its release, a whole generation of kids were suddenly petrified of going into the sea […]

Read Article →

Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole: The Exquisite Terror of Argento’s Suspiria

For some, Dario Argento’s first venture into the realms of the supernatural is an exercise in style-over-substance.

For one thing, there is no real plot to speak of, and the action seems peripheral at times, while the makeshift manner in which the film’s music stops and starts seems loose to the extent where you may find yourself questioning the editing. But that is precisely the point. Suspiria’s aim is not to provide us with some kind of familiar narrative; quite the opposite, in fact […]

Read Article →

Blood on the Dance Floor: The Brazen Splendour of Saturday Night Fever

If the 1960’s gave birth to civil rights, then the following decade provided the fallout.

By the time the Vietnam War came to an end in 1975, the counterculture movement had all but dissolved, but American society had changed irrevocably, giving birth to a generation with different beliefs and aspirations. Citizens were unwilling to advocate war based on patriotism alone, and for many the Catholic church would become an outmoded burden […]

Read Article →

The Blackest Eyes: Celebrating the Genius of John Carpenter’s Halloween

John Carpenter’s Halloween was guilty of a great many crimes.

So successful was his low-budget revelation that it spawned an entire decade of sleazy, half-baked imitators, movies so devoid of technical competence that the genre had no other option than to descend into self-parody. Fortunately, for those of us with a taste for the unthinkably inept, lots of those movies have found a special place in our hearts […]

Read Article →

Adventure – Atari VCS 2600

Grandson: Grandpa, what were fantasy-adventure games like back when you were young? Way back in 1979?

Grandpa: Well, sonny, there was this one particular game on the Atari VCS called Adventure that was kind of like your own grandpappy but in video game form. Today we may show our age and may not look too impressive anymore but when we were young we were quite the catch. We also managed to sire a bunch of young ‘uns for better or worse (no offense to you sonny […]

Read Article →