Predestination (2014) – Michael & Peter Spierig

Somehow this little sci-fi, time travel, paradox embracing film never hit my radar when it first came out. It would occasionally pop up in my recommended lists, and I would think yeah, I should check that out, and then promptly forget about it. But the wait was worth it, because when I finally did settle…

The Grudge (2004) – Takashi Shimizu

Takashi Shimizu who wrote and directed the original J-horror version of The Grudge, Ju-On, delivers the North American adaptation that isn’t quite as creepy and unnerving as the source material, as it tries to find a blending of Western and Eastern film styles that doesn’t always work. I remember Ju-On freaked me out the first…

The Prophecy (1995) – Gregory Widen

There are a number of movies that seemed tied inextricably with my memories of working at Jumbo Video in the mid-90s, and The Prophecy is one of them. No one I know saw it in the theatre, but once we received a screener copy for it in the store, it made the rounds, and I…

Phantasm: Ravager (2016) – David Hartman

For the first time, Don Coscarelli lets someone else in the director’s chair for an entry in the Phantasm series (could you imagine a reboot, or a television series rework of this?) though he had his hand in the script as well as producing. Reggie (Reggie Bannister), Michael (A. Michael Baldwin), Jody (Bill Thornbury) and…

The X-Files (1997) – Detour, and The Post-Modern Prometheus

Detour, written by Frank Spotnitz gives us our first monster-of-the-week episode of season five of The X-Files. First airing on 23 November, 1997, the episode sees Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) in Florida on their way to a team-building/communication seminar held by the bureau, when a forest search and rescue holds up their…

Cobra (1986) – George P. Cosmatos

I’ve been enjoying revisting some of the classic 80s action films, and I even remember the first time I saw this one. I wish I could have told myself what I KNOW now, this film is horrible. It’s uneven, and as much as I enjoy an action film from the Stallone oeuvre, this one is…

Ex Machina (2014) – Alex Garland

Alex Garland wrote and directed this stunning film, his first feature, that explores the concepts of Artificial Intelligence and the desire to live and survive. When a young programmer, Caleb (Domhall Gleeson) wins a contest to spend a week at his boss, Nathan’s (Oscar Isaac), remote estate, he loves the idea, when Nathan reveals that…

Deep Rising (1998) – Stephen Sommers

Writer/director Stephen Sommers delivers a fun creature feature romp that, even with some dated VFX, is still a lot of fun. Treat Williams leads a cast that includes Famke Janssen, Wes Studi, Jason Flemyng, Anthony Heald, and Kevin O’Connor. Williams plays Finnegan, a kind of Han Solo of the high seas. He and his crew…

Octaman (1971) – Harry Essex

Harry Essex who wrote the Universal Monster classic, Creature From the Black Lagoon, goes back to the well with this tale that he wrote and directed, and also features some early work by Rick Baker, who had his hand in the design and build of the monster costume. Octaman is the next title up in…

Robot Monster (1953) – Phil Tucker

DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies book, by director John Landis brings me a 50s title that is so bad, it’s come around to good, passed that and slapped it for being out too late and travelled back to bad again. It’s also become iconic, in that the monstrous ape, the chapter I am currently…

Whale Rider (2002) – Niki Caro

The beautifully crafted film, Whale Rider, adapted for the screen and directed by Niki Caro from the book by Witi Ihimaera is the next title up in Ten Bad Dates With De Niro, as I work through a list of titles that will make you cry. Set amongst the Maori people in Whangara, New Zealand,…

The Day of the Dolphin (1973) – Mike Nichols

The next title to be featured on the list of ten films that made me cry from the Ten Bad Dates With De Niro book is this Mike Nichols film from the early seventies. I won’t say that it made me cry by the ending was sad, poignant and necessary. George C. Scott headlines as…