Category Archives: Features

Escape Velocity: The Films of Leos Carax

This weekend, TIFF is running a retrospective of the films of Leos Carax called Modern Love. L’amour fou is what the French call it, crazy love, and a jumbled madcap romanticism is at the heart of all Carax’s films. From the kinetic debut of 1984’s Boy Meets Girl to 2012’s confounding critical sensation Holy Motors, Carax has made deeply personal, idiosyncratic cinema, narratively challenged but always visually compelling. In that thirty-eight-year span, Carax has made only five features, and TIFF is presenting them all. Carax himself will be present for three of the screenings. It’s almost impossible to tie his films down to any one thing, but I’ll lob a few into the air for you, after the jump.

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My Favourite Horror Film: JW Ward on The Exorcist

It’s been a wild month here at Biff Bam Pop!, slowly working our way towards the greatest and most fun of all the dates on the calendar:  Hallowe’en.

We’ve explored the dark realms of H.P. Lovecraft and the twisted recesses of Stephen King’s imagination.  We’ve celebrated the greatest villains and now, each of BBP‘s contributors are picking their favourite horror films of all time.

My choice might be predictable.  It’s one of the few instances where I’ll side with the masses, but it’s for a reason:

It’s that damn good.

Year after year, this film is at the top of every list of scariest horror films of all time.

If you’ve seen it, you know why.

If not, it’s time to find out what you’ve been missing.

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Villains & Monsters Week: J.W. Ward has 5 reasons why Freddy Krueger is the greatest horror movie villain ever

When it comes to horror, there’s one guy that’s tops in my book.

Sure, he’s ugly.  He’s a killer.  He’s got bad taste in gloves and a worse taste in sweaters.  He lives in your dreams and thrives in your nightmares.

But he’s just so much damn fun.

Since his debut in Wes Craven’s 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street and over the course of nine films in 27 years, Freddy Krueger has become the greatest of the supernatural slashers.

Yes, I mean he’s better than Jason.  More mighty than Michael Myers.  More evil than Ghostface and more crafty than Jigsaw.

Don’t believe me?  Here are five reasons why Freddy Krueger is the greatest horror movie villain of all: Read the rest of this entry

Stephen King Week: J.W. Ward on Stephen King’s 5 best & 5 worst adaptations to film & TV

Horror author Stephen King is, without a doubt, one of the most prolific authors of the last 50 years.

He’s released forty-nine novels, nine collections of short stories, five non-fiction books and sold over 350 million copies, if Wikipedia is to be believed.

On the silver screen and on television, King’s success is equally notable.  With over forty movies and numerous TV miniseries, Stephen King has become one of the biggest names in not just horror, but entertainment.

Like any creator, some of the work is great.

Other work, not so much.

As we at Biff Bam Pop! continue to celebrate the legacy of Stephen King this week, here’s a list of the five best and worst film and TV adaptations. Read the rest of this entry

H.P. Lovecraft Week: JW Ward on the Lovecraft film you need to see

You want to know why it’s so hard to adapt H.P. Lovecraft stories to film?

It’s simple: the concepts of Lovecraft’s stories are too big for most people to see and believe.

If you read a story like “The Call of Cthulu” and create in your own mind a vision of R’lyeh (where dead Cthulu waits dreaming), that vision is likely to be far more terrifying than anything that Hollywood could give form to.  Buildings and hallways with impossible angles in a slime-covered city risen from the bottom of the ocean tend to be hard to bring to life on a budget, even with CGI.

There is one film, however, that did Lovecraft right.  If not literally, then certainly in keeping with the spirit of the material.

It’s a film that deserves your attention, and a space in your collection.

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H.P. Lovecraft Week – David Ward Wrestles with Madness

From the outset, I wish to claim, with no small significance, that this piece is less a review, bound in reflective passages of indiscriminatory minutiae and personal indulgences, then it is a paen of prose for that scribbler of things bizarre, mutable, and altogether otherworldly, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Here you will find not the voice of the balanced, or dare I claim, sane, writer, but rather the utmost praise and . . .

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H.P. Lovecraft Week: This Is Not Reality – Andy Burns on In The Mouth of Madness

I’m going to let you in on something. One of my biggest fears is that one day I’ll come across something supernatural. A zombie, a vampire, a werewolf, ghost. Whatever. One day I’m going to come across one of these spooky things that are only supposed to exist on the page or the screen or in our nightmares and I’ll tell you and you won’t believe me. I’ll tell you that somebody I met didn’t cast a reflection or that I saw something walking the halls of my house, only to see it dissolve and you won’t buy it. You’ll say I’m seeing things or accuse me of playing a bad joke. Or you’ll think something worse. You’ll think I’ve gone mad, lost touch with reality.

But what happens if my reality and yours don’t match up.

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H.P. Lovecraft Week: Ian Rogers on The Real Ghostbusters — The Collect Call of Cathulhu

My first exposure to H.P. Lovecraft didn’t come from his stories, but rather a cartoon that aired back in the 1980s called The Real Ghostbusters. This was, of course, an animated series based on the popular film about a band of ghost-hunters-for-hire operating out of an old firehall in New York City.

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There Are More Things Unknown Than Known−H.P. Lovecraft Week Starts Here!

There’s nothing quite like the overwhelmingly frightening realization that there are more things unknown in our universe than there are things known. There’s nothing as affecting as the times where we sit alone, quietly in the dark, and begin to wonder about all the irrational, nameless, strange and ancient forces that must surely influence our short-lived existence. And, of course, there’s no better time to shed light on those dark truths than now, this first week of October.

Let the investigation begin, then, with the horror, fantasy and science fiction writer, H.P. Lovecraft. But first, let me set the stage for you.

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