Dreaming of a Red Christmas

Ah, Christmas, a wondrous season of love, peace, and harmony. A celebration of joy and kindness.  Why then, cinematically speaking, are we so fascinated by yuletide carnage?

With the exception of Halloween, no other holiday has racked up such a body count. And I’m not only talking about horror movies here. If we add in the death toll from all the action movies set during Christmas […]

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This Month in . . .1985 (December)

The first week of December would see a limited theatrical release for Golan-Globus thriller Runaway Train. Based on a screenplay by innovative Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, the movie is also notable for the debuts of Heat’s Danny Trejo and Tommy “Tiny” Lister, who would become a professional wrestler for a brief time in the late 1980’s after starring alongside Hulk Hogan in infamous WWF stinker No Holds Barred (1989). So badly received was the World Wrestling Federation’s first foray into the movie business that CEO Vince McMahon . . .

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What if they Made . . . Lethal Weapon 5

Some sequels were just never meant to be, and probably for good reason. Still, it doesn’t stop us from wondering what might have been if producers had taken that extra punt, resuscitating long-dead characters with the aim of squeezing an extra few million, and as a consequence plunging their once-cherished creations deeper into the realms of ignominy […]

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This Month in . . .1987 (November)

The Cannon Group releases its fourth instalment of the Charles Bronson-led Death Wish series. Titled Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, the movie would lose original trilogy director Michael Winner along with a chunk of its usual budget, resulting in a much more limited release. Winner would refuse to return for the sequel after clashing with Bronson during the filming of Death Wish 3. Cannon had also begun belt-tightening thanks to […]

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The Best of Horror Movie Box Art 1

You’re a child of the 80s and your parents take you for a trip to the veritable cave of wonders that is your local VHS Store. They’re probably in a hurry to get somewhere, and as a result set about influencing your decision, suggesting family-friendly titles such as The Karate Kid, E.T. or The Goonies.

Those movies are all well and good, in fact they’re all brilliant […]

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The Good, the Bad and the So Bad it’s Good 2

If the grind-house laid their claim back in the 70s, Cannon Films had theirs in the mid-80s with the VHS era.

Not so much a film company at that point, but rather a genre unto themselves. Aerobic-instructor ninjas, Vietnamese prison camps, inner-city gangs, vigilantes, breakdance battles, arm wrestling, excessive rape, Chuck Norris, 357 Magnums,and Superman questing for peace, these are just a few of the things that come to mind when the name Cannon Films pops up. They spit out classics faster than the bullets from a Charles Bronson hand cannon […]

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Franchise Your Way

1992 was the year of my greatest existential crisis.

This crisis was not brought about by such trivial concerns as mortality, the nature of evil, or humanity’s place in the universe. No, the source of my angst was far more pressing. It was Alien 3.

Let me elaborate. James Cameron’s Aliens was, and still is, my favorite movie. The film is very important to me for both personal and artistic reasons. The ending left me feeling as warm and hopeful as little Newt tucked into her hypersleep cocoon. After such a satisfying conclusion, how could I resist another chance to see Ripley […]

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The Good, the Bad, and the So Bad it’s Good

If the grind-house laid their claim back in the 70s, Cannon Films had theirs in the mid-80s with the VHS era.

Not so much a film company at that point, but rather a genre unto themselves. Aerobic-instructor ninjas, Vietnamese prison camps, inner-city gangs, vigilantes, breakdance battles, arm wrestling, excessive rape, Chuck Norris, 357 Magnums,and Superman questing for peace, these are just a few of the things that come to mind when the name Cannon Films pops up. They spit out classics faster than the bullets from a Charles Bronson hand cannon […]

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