More “Bad” News.


Yeah! There’s more Bad Santa on the way! I loved the first one – it’s a great nasty disgusting Christmas movie that stars professional jerk Billy bob Thornton as a terrible thieving mall Santa. Don’t make the mistake I did and watch it with your mother-in-law.,manual


In the Category of “Of course it will be terrible…”


I don’t know how many times I’ve said that Hollywood is pretty much creatively bankrupt. Most of the drivel that comes out these days is in the form of sequels, superheroes or remakes. It gets quite tiresome and very annoying. Most of the time I just role my eyes and move on but every now and then an announcement is made that really cheeses my goat. There are some films that just shouldn’t be even considered for a remake or updating or reboot or whatever the fuck they want to call it. John Carpenter’s cult classic  Big Trouble in Little China definitely falls into that category. I loved this move so hard when it first arrived back in 1986. It had so much going for it – monsters, mysticism, mayhem – all underscored with a playful sense of humour. It was a perfect film for my sensibilities at the time. Sigh. Even Kurt Russell is skeptical. Hollywood: Please Stop This Madness!


Black Dog Video Newsletter October 26th to November 2nd “All Hallows Eve Edition!”

Post Card FRONT SIDE low res

It’s Halloween week! I love Halloween. I love horror movies. I love folks who dress up their houses to the nines, kids with great costumes excited to get a fistful of mediocre candy and just the festive, spooky atmosphere that Halloween brings. And, of course, watching scary movies! There’s some Halloween action going down on Cambie and The Drive this Saturday so if you happen to be out and about pop into the stores as there will be some Halloweening afoot!

And with less then one week to go before the big day, we’re almost done with our 31 Days of Halloween horror flick picks. Check out what we have so far right here!

New Releases


The Editor – Fun Canadian giallo (maybe it’s a spoof?) about a famous editor who suffers a terrible accident leaving him with four wooden fingers (some might think this a bonus). He has to take jobs on shitty movies and the one he’s currently working on folks start dying and he’s fingered as the number one suspect. Fingered, hee-hee. If you like the films of Argento and Bava, you have to get on this one at home in your DVD or Blu Ray player stat!


Last Shift – Pretty good (from what I’m told) horror ditty about a rookie cop left alone on the night shift in a haunted police station. I hate working nights.


The Little Death – “A comedy about sex”, so says the box. Five Australian couples sex it up in this sexy romp as they explore a wide range of sexual proclivities. Some fetishes might include maybe a little toe sucking or maybe some somnophilia or maybe a little Yeti role-playing? Who knows? Oh those sexy dirty Australians.


Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau – Amazing doc about the ill-fated production of The Island of Dr. Moreau – you know the one with Marlon Brando and the weird little freaky guy he hangs around with.Think what Hearts of Darkness is to Apocalypse Now. Except that Apocalypse Now is an excellent movie. If you’re a movie fan, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.


Max – Family friendly dog movie about a dog named Max who was fighting (the dog is a Marine!) in Afghanistan (kids love war in the middle east!) when his handler is killed. Bummed out, Max heads home to hang out with the dead guys brother. Good times for the entire family!


Paper Towns – Teen romance adventure about a guy who goes on a crazy journey to find his love interest who has gone missing and left a bunch of clues to her whereabouts. From the guy who wrote Fault in Our Stars so you have been warned.


Pixels – Eye garbage starring Adam Sandler defending the earth against invading old timey arcade characters. Sounds really really great – hey look, it’s Q-Bert! Hilarious! Why, it’s Ms Pacman, she was great in that game our parents played 30 years ago! Sigh.


Southpaw – Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a boxer who either is left handed or has paws for hands. Now paws for hands might be useful in a fight although it seems to me that it would be hard getting boxing gloves on them. I think it would also be hard to open jars and most packaging. Thespian-challenged Rachel McAdams is Southpaw’s girlfriend and dull-eyed Forest Whitaker takes the Burgess Meredith role as Southpaw’s trainer.


Une Nouvelle Amie – The latest from the great Francois Ozon (Swimming Pool) about a woman who makes some sort of discovery about the husband of her dead best friend. I’m guessing that he’s a Yeti disguised as a French guy. But that’s just a guess. All kidding aside, I’ve heard that this is a very good film.


The Wolfpack – Amazing looking doc about six brothers who were locked away in an apartment for their entire lives and the only contact they had with the outside world is the tons of movies that they watched which they would reenact. By the looks of the cover they watched Reservoir Dogs a few times. Sounds freakin crazy.


Z for Zachariah – Sci-fi effort finds a good looking young woman who thinks she’s the last human on the planet after surviving a nuclear disaster. But she’s not alone as she meets two handsome fellas – Chiwetel Ejiofor and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine). Do romantic complications ensue or do they turn in cannibalistic hillbillies who try to eat each other?

Coming Next Week

The Gift
Peaky Blinders
Best of Enemies
Black Sails S2
Dark Places
The Final Girls
Inside Out
She’s Funny That Way
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

Recently Viewed and Recommended

The Honorable Woman
The Jinx
The Editor
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
Une Nouvelle Amie
The Wolfpack
It Follows
Black Mirror
Cop Car
Goodnight Mommy
Wrecking Crew
The Leftovers
I Zombie

That’s it for this week folks. Have a fun and safe Halloween. Eat lots of bad candy and watch lots of great scary movies!


Copyright © 2015 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Finally an Answer!

I’ve never seen Nightmare before Christmas as I never knew when to watch it – Halloween or Christmas. Now that I know, I can safely proceed.,manual

Black Dog Newsletter October 20th to 26th “Much Love Edition”


It’s a thing!

Just wanted to toss out a big thanks to all of you lovely folks who made it out to celebrate International Independent Video Store Day on Saturday. It was a roaring success! Much fun was had, deals were enjoyed, prizes were awarded, babies were kissed and mimes were slapped. Good times. Makes me think we’re still relevant in this silly day and age. Much love. Here’s a little essay I wrote for Video Store Day if you’re interested.

Our countdown of our picks for some delicious Halloween movie treats continues here. If you like horror, these are guaranteed to blow your beautiful mind! (no guarantee on said mind blowing)

New Releases


Black Mirror Season 1 and 2 – Wicked wicked things abound in this Twilight Zoneish sci-fi-like series. I’ve only seen the first couple of episodes so far but they were quite amazing. Especially the first one, which might remind you a bit of a certain British PM who had a penchant for dipping his balls in dead pig’s mouths. I can’t believe I just wrote that.


Cop Car – Kevin Bacon plays a bad cop (no irony there) who’s after some feisty kids who stole his cop car. Very good stuff.


Dope – A geeky guy and his friends go on a great adventure in LA after getting an invite to an underground party. Word up.


Goodnight Mommy – Excellent creepy German film about a couple of weird twins (enough said) who get all freaked out when their mom returns home with bandages covering her face. Many questions are provoked: What happened to her? Is it even their mum? Is it all a dream? Why are twins in movies inherently creepy? What’s for dinner?


Hungry Hearts – Scary flick about new parents who become a little over-protective (I think that I’m being kind by saying “a little” here) of their fresh sprog.


Jurassic World – That dim, goofy but loveable guy from Parks and Rec teaches some dinosaurs to do his bidding and eat a bunch of tourists and take over the world in the latest kick at the CGI dinosaur can (will they ever go back to using real dinosaurs?!). Actually I haven’t seen this yet so I have no idea if this is the plot or not.


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Excellent (from what I’m told) comedy/drama that will jerk the tears right your of your eye ducts finds a couple of high school buds, who spend their time making parodies of classic movies, befriending a classmate who has just got the cancer. Bring your tissues (for your tears).


Nurse Jackie Season 7 – Your favourite drug-addled nurse is back for the 7th time.


Old 37 – Horror film about a couple of deranged brothers who intercept 911 calls to beat the ambulance to the accident scene so they can torture and kill whoever has already suffered some trauma. Sounds like a weird thing to do. Did I mention that they were deranged? And brothers?


Strangerland – Good cast, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving (love that name), star in this tale of some kids who go missing in the dusty red outback of Australia. I’ll try to not to throw in any dingo jokes.


Testament of Youth – Memoir based sad tale of life and love and coming of age in Britain during WWI. War is stupid.


Tomorrowland – The Clooney stars in Brad Bird’s (Incredibles) tale of future societies, special effects and the smart kids who tie it all in together. Big ideas, cool-looking retro-future and one handsome man!


Vikings Season 3 – Mawr vikings!


The Wrecking Crew – Great doc about some amazing musicians who formed the back-up bands of many of your favourite musical heroes.

Coming Next Week

The Editor
Paper Towns
The Gift
Nouvelle Amie
Z for Zachariah

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Cop Car
Black Mirror
Goodnight Mommy
Wayward Pines
Mad Men Final Season
The Leftovers
I Zombie
Going Clear: Scientology…
It Follows

If you need more suggestions and mini-reviews please indulge yourself here.
Have a fine week my lovelies!

Copyright © 2015 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Editing as Puntcutation

Pretty interesting video. Some amazing techniques that most folks (myself included) wouldn’t even notice.



Why a video store?


There isn’t a day goes by when I’m working at Black Dog and I hear a passerby on the street remark that they’re surprised to see that there is still a video store open. Some laugh, even chortle if you will, at the fact that we’re still here, like we shouldn’t be. I don’t really get it – it hasn’t been that long since the damn internet cleared the landscape of most of the worlds video stores. It’s not like we are a phone book company or telegram office. But as much as this saddens and sometimes angers me it always gets me to thinking, why am I still doing this? Why a video store?

When I started this company back in the spring of 1996, video stores dotted the landscape like some beautiful field of movie joy. There was nary a neighbourhood that didn’t have a video shop, even if it was just a shitty Blockbuster or Rogers or whatever chain. That’s what we had in our hood when I moved here. They were terrible stores – insanely huge with a very poor selection of movies and bad lighting – so I took it upon myself to open Black Dog and stock the shelves with, what I thought, great films. I don’t know how many times I went into a Megamovies or whatever and left empty handed and depressed. I vowed to weed out all the Dunston Checks In and Children of the Corn IVs and instead went for quality and obscure.


I think the Blockbuster down the road has 37 copies of this.

I thought that I knew plenty about movies but opening the store was a learning experience for me as well as I was introduced to many films and filmmakers that I wasn’t too familiar with – Tarkovsky, Haneke, Herzog and Argento among a plethora of others. We put a request book on the desk and that helped us, along with what we already had going, to build an amazing collection. Films like Bad Boy Bubby, Withnail and I, Re-Animator, Dead Alive, Harold and Maude and so many others came to represent what Black Dog was all about.

It was a great time for the video store and Black Dog took off almost overnight (I remember getting notes under the door when we were renovating saying “Please hurry and open!”). We ended up moving to a larger location across the street after only 3 years at out first 800 foot store (complete with astroturf flooring). They were quite fun and exciting times and we’d spend a big effort to find anything and everything we could – many a bootleg movie showed up – to fill up the shelves with great, hard to find movies. I even bought a terrible copy of Cocksucker Blues, the Rolling Stones documentary, out of the back of a van in New York city. Things were humming along.


I think it said “VHS Tapes Cheap!” on the other side.

Then in the fall of 2004 disaster struck. Just after my wife and I bought our first house (back when folks like me could afford to buy a first house) we found out that we were going to have a baby. That’s not the disaster part. Really it’s not. One early October Sunday morning a fire broke out in a secret grow-op that was, apparently (the secret part), above the store. The resulting smoke and water damage destroyed all of my tapes and put us out of business. It was terrible. I stood in the middle of the wet, acrid smelling store looked around and wept. It was terrible. But as they say every cloud has a silver lining and as we slowly rebuilt the store I was able to use the insurance money to restock the shelves with DVDs which were fast replacing the old clunky VHS tapes. There wasn’t even a question that I would re-open. I loved this business and I felt that we were an important part of the community and besides, what else was I going to do? This feeling was confirmed when Choices grocery mart down the block threw a big fundraiser to help our employees. The show of support was amazing – folks turned out in droves in the pouring rain to help us out. We felt quite loved and that folks would miss us dearly if we were gone. It still warms these old heart cockles just thinking about it.

So we rebuilt and the next year we bought out the Celluloid Drug Store (video store) on Commercial Drive and turned it into a Black Dog. We’ve been there for 10 years now.

We’ve had such a great ride and there’s so many stories I could tell – I could go on about the great all-night debauched parties we had at the store, the Saturday nights when we’d sneak beer down the alley from the Kino Cafe, the time some kid pooped in between the racks, the crazy person who accused me of being racist because of our name and wrote me a 6 page tirade that ended up with me being thrown into a volcano, the time a small but vocal group of very intense kids protested our “Nast Nazi” selection at the Commercial store, the run-ins with the ridiculous film board. I could go on about all of the great people I’ve had work for me over the years, how much it saddened us with John’s passing last year, all of the amazing folks we’ve made friends with, some becoming more than just friends, people getting married in the store and just the wonderful sense of being part of a cool vibrant neighbourhood. Maybe I’ll write a book.

As International Video Store Day approaches I look back at this amazing journey with much fondness and more than a little sadness. I know that we won’t be here forever. And that makes me a bit despondent, not just because this used to be a big part of my livelihood (or all of it) but it makes me sad for all of the movie lovers who will not have access to the amazing collection of films that we’ve managed to put together over the last two decades. How is anyone going to know that they should rent Bubba Ho-Tep or The Tenant without having us to help them along? The internet? Not bloody likely. You can have all the Netflixs and illegal downloading sites you want (nobody steals movies do they??) and all that convenience but you can’t replace the video store. Not just for the selection and access and the low cost, but for the people and the experience. I think that many of these great films will just disappear into the ether as the next generation won’t even know of their existence. It makes me sad to think that one day we will all be gone and I think as a society we will be lesser for it.


Support your local video store!

Hitchcock/Kubrick Delight!

Wow. What a cool mashup of Kubrick and Hitch. NSFW (Not Safe for Work) but I imagine that depends on what kind of work you do. But check this out.

Stop motion Goldblum.

We here at Black Dog love Wes Anderson. And we really love Fantastic Mr. Fox (it made our 100 favourite films list!). So this is some good news. Some good news yes sir!

Black Dog Video Newsletter October 13th to 19th “International Video Store Day Edition. Oh and Get Out and Vote Edition!”


I hope that everyone had a swell Thanksgiving weekend. Much feasting and merriment was enjoyed in these parts (maybe a little too much). And of course giving thanks. Apart from the usual being thankful for the health and happiness of my family and friends, I’m very thankful for the fact that we are still here. This coming Saturday marks the 5th annual International Video Store Day. While many of you might think, “Is that really a thing?” I can assure that it is. As much as International Record Store Day, International Cheeseburger Day or Christmas. It’s a day to celebrate…read more

On a completely different note, I’m sure that you’re all aware of the impending election. If you are interested you can check out my take on the whole shebang here. Vote early and vote often!

Oh and one more thing – check out our 31 Days of Halloween horror film recommendations here. If you dare! Mwah-hah-hah!

New Releases


Ascension – Sci-fi miniseries about the quest to populate a new world and how a woman’s murder figures into the mix. Looks interesting (and serious) with everyone looking sternly into the future!


The Gallows – Yet another found footage horror film that finds some students ill-advised plans to resurrect a play 20 years after a tragic accident befell it. It doesn’t go well. Fools, what did you think was going to happen?


Mad Men: Final Season Part 2 – The last episodes in this amazing series – one of the best ever me thinks – finds Don Draper and the rest of the crew moving around and talking and being awesome. Spoiler alert – I didn’t expect there to be aliens involved. And what was with that Sasquatch? That was weird.


San Andreas – The Rock shows up to destroy Los Angles with his bare hands for some reason. Either that our he saves Los Angles after a particularly nasty earthquake. Don’t know as I haven’t seen it yet. More apocalypse porn for your hungry eyes.


Wayward Pines Season 1 – Cool, locally shot, Twin Peaksish mystery show finds agent Matt Dillon (and occasional Black Dog video customer) investigating the disappearance of two agents in the weird little town of Wayward Pines. Good stuff!


We Are Still Here – Nice looking little horror number about an ancient evil that resides in a scary house and demands a sacrifice every 30 years. I wonder how that effects the property value?

Coming Next Week

Strangerland (supposed to be this week but it’s late)
Tomorrowland (supposed to be this week but it’s late)
Vikings Season 3 (supposed to be this week but it’s late)
Hungry Hearts
Jurassic World
Last Shift
Nurse Jackie Season 7
Paper Towns
Testament of Youth
The Vatican Tapes
The Wolfpack

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Mad Men Final Season
Wayward Pines
I Zombie Season 1
The Knick Season 1
It Follows
Dark Star: HR Giger’s World
Duke of Burgundy
Going Clear: Scientology…
The Leftovers Season 1

That’s it for this week folks. Hope to see you out this Saturday! Until then get some Black Dog and chill…

Copyright © 2015 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC