Category Archives: General

Blue on Black: Cry-Baby (1990)

Only John Waters could take the 1990 versions of Johnny Depp, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Willem Dafoe, and Traci Lords, throw them into a musical that pokes fun at the innocent ignorance of 1950s film, and make it work. No, that’s not quite right. Only John Waters could do those things and make it kick all kinds of cinematic ass.

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Andy Burns On…the Mad Max Legacy

Was it not the great Tom Petty who once said that “the waiting is the hardest part?”

Of course it was. I think most, if not all of us are familiar with that sage piece of wisdom from one of Gainsville, Florida’s favourite sons. So imagine then, if you will, waiting for a brand new Mad Max film.

Imagine waiting thirty damn years.

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Biff Bam Pop Interview: Ron McKenzie talks to SPRING’s Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Horror Cinema has been experiencing a rennaisance as of late, with indies such as THE BABADOOK and IT FOLLOWS being prime examples of this “new blood” transfusion. Now, we can add SPRING to the list of genre trailblazers.

The sophomore effort by writer/director duo, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2012 debut, RESOLUTION ), SPRING details the whirlwind romance between Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Louise (Nadia Hilker). Evan is an American ex-pat, dealing with grief and a personal emotional tailspin. Louise is a genetics student dealing with … well, secrets of her own. Deep, dark monstrous secrets. With brilliant practical special FX by Masters FX, bolstered by the solid performances and red-hot chemistry between Pucci and Hilker as well as the sumptuous and eerie beauty of Italy, SPRING is a rare beast  in every sense of the word. Weaving horror, sci-fi and romance into a cohesive and fascinating whole that’s been described as “Before Sunrise, as re-imagined by Clive Barker.” A good-enough description for a film that defies comparisons. There’s been a lot of hype for SPRING. I’m happy to report that it’s completely warranted.

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I had the chance to sit down with Benson and Moorhead in advance of last Friday’s premiere screening, to talk about SPRING’s genesis, the search for their film’s young lovers, mythology and monsters. Read the rest of this entry

Blue on Black: Man with the Screaming Brain (2005)

It’s no secret that I love ‘bad’ movies. So many of my favourite films have at some point or another been referred to as “the worst movie ever,” and Man with the Screaming Brain is no exception. This happens so often to me that I can’t tell anymore if there is something (an appreciation deficiency?) wrong with the majority of people on this planet or if I just have poor taste after all. Maybe it’s both. Either way, Man with the Screaming Brain is everything this b(for bad)-movie junkie craves.

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CMW 2015: Rashid St. James

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Rashid St. James, the energetic and quotable rapper from downtown Toronto, performed for Canadian Music Week at Studio Bar on Dundas Street West Wednesday night. St. James’ performance was yet another example of the city’s rising homegrown talent.

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Trailer Time: Lucifer

The trailer for FOX’s Lucifer, based on the Vertigo series is here and it is excellent. Take a look and let us know if you agree.

Blue on Black: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

I’ve had the same friends for a long time. Most of my closest friends I’ve known since the eighth grade, so our friendships developed through those awkward teen years of being idiots and finding ourselves. This includes finding our senses of humour I think, but I have two theories about that: One, the people with whom you learn to laugh will laugh with you (and you with them) no matter what you think is funny or not, forever, because it’s now just part of the dynamic of that friendship. Two, you and this person discovered your senses of humour together at the same time and therefore developed similar ones and will always find the same things funny. Two nights ago, one of my oldest pals came over to watch What We Do in the Shadows, and I can’t tell you if we laughed ourselves to tears because the film was in fact that hilarious, or if we are just that used to laughing together. I think it’s a bit of both.

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Blue on Black: Hello, Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, My Old Friend

2006 was a big year for me – I turned 20, got married, got pregnant, and had my daughter. It’s a year that stands out on my life’s timeline. It just so happens it was that same year that I read Preacher for the first time and got into the then-strange and nerdy world of comics that I’ve since come to know and love. That spring, only a few weeks after finding out I was going to be a Mama, I went down to Calgary for some kind of comic convention I’d heard about. Little did I know that every spring (and one summer) after that, I would take that same drive down for that show, with so many different people and with so many other adventures along the way. This year was my tenth year at the Calgary Expo, and not only has the show grown to something incredible, but it seems I’ve grown right along with it.

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Put your back into it: Avengers The Vibranium Collection reviewed

Sometimes bigger is better. And sometimes it’s really, really better. That’s the idea behind the massive, oversized collection Marvel has been releasing the last few years. Roughly the height of of IDW’s Artist Edition collections and the width of a slightly smaller Marvel Omnibus, we’ve seen Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection, X-Men: The Adamantium Collection and Marvels: The Platinum Edition Collection. I’m the proud owner of that last one, it being the fourth time I purchased the seminal Kurt Busiek/Alex Ross story (after a softcover version, a signed hardcover, and then the 10th anniversary reissue). This is literally a tome, expensive yet well worth the money.

The latest large-sizedc collection to hit well-inforced store shelves is Avengers: The Vibranium Collection, itself perfectly timed to coincide with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Read the rest of this entry

Hot Docs 2015: Deprogrammed

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 Mia Donovan’s cerebral Deprogrammed, is a film about empathy. She shows the viewer what can happen when interpersonal understanding fails. This Hot Docs 2015 documentary shows the audience that what you don’t know is sometimes more important than what you do. Most importantly, we are asked where to “draw the line between personal expression and undue influence.”

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