The Black Dog Video Newsletter: It’s the End of the Year as We Know It Edition!


The Black Dog Video Newsletter: It’s the End of the Year as We Know It Edition!

We’ll here we are, the last day of this wretched year. Let’s hope that 2021s New Year’s Baby looks better than 2020s.

I’ll be doing a recap of the ups and downs of 2020 and what to look forward to in 2021 in next week’s newsletter. Included will be the staff’s picks for best (and maybe worst) films of the year. So there’s something to look forward to, right? Until then, don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out, 2020.

We’re open noon until 7pm tonight and noon till 9pm tomorrow for all you bleary-eyed wants and needs (movie-related only).

New Releases!


The Honest Thief – Liam Neeson is a bank robber with a guilty conscience who wants to do the right thing until he’s double crossed by some shady FBI no-good-nicks.


Made in Italy – Liam Neeson is a bank robber with a guilty conscience who wants to sell his home in Italy but is double-crossed by some shady FBI no-good-nicks (may not be actual plot).


Mystery Road S2 – Season 2 of this fine series from the land down under (Australia).


Proxima – Eva Green is bummed to get shot into space and leave her family behind to go spend a year on the space station. Sounds pretty nice to me.


The Wolf of Snow Hollow – Cool-looking comedy horror about werewolves werewolving around a small town.


Yellow Rose – A Filipino teen wants to pursue a career in country music for some reason.

Coming Soon!

The Boys Season 1 and 2
Elizabeth is Missing
American Dream
Minding the Gap
Twilight Zone S2
Words on Bathroom Walls

We have what we’re calling a ‘Dog Track” up on our Podcast channel. The lads and I grabbed some beers and riffed along to Die Hard 2: Die Harder with a Vengeance. Check it out!

That’s it for this year, folks. See you on the other side.

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter: Ringing Your Bells, Stuffing Your Stockings Edition!


The Black Dog Video Newsletter: Ringing Your Bells, Stuffing Your Stockings Edition!

Why does it seem that Christmas manages to sneak up on me every time? Even in this messed up year. Anyways, here we are. And what better way to celebrate than with the Black Dog Video Empire’s latest podcast where we discuss our favourite Christmas movies?! Listen on Anchor and/or on Youtube where you can subscribe (for free!) and enjoy what we do! We’re adding new fun content all the time. Don’t miss out!

If you need any last minute sweet gift ideas to jam into your favourite person’s hosiery, we have what you’re looking for! T-Shirts (including a brand new design!), local hand-made masks, gift certificates and so many movies!


We’ll be open noon to 6pm on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. Open noon till 9pm on Boxing Day!

Purolator has managed to lose a big shipment due last week (they keep telling me it’s fine) but I do have more stuff on the way! Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.


We did get a few copies of Tenet and more are on the way for rental and for purchase.

Also received…


Aviva – Cool-looking romantic drama thing about a couple of folks finding love via the on-line intranet.


Everly – Selma Hayek dips her toes into the action/crime genre as a badass lady fighting off waves of assassins in her apartment for some reason.


The Rental – Dave Franco directs Alison Brie and Dan Stevens in this thriller about vacations, AirBnB (ScareBnB?) and secret secrets.

Arriving soon (fingaz crossed)

Avenue Five S1
The Craft: Legacy
The Nest
War with Grandpa
The Last Shift
Made in Italy
The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Also check out our daily Christmas movie recommendations here! Good times.

That’s it for this week folks. Have a safe, weird Christmas. Eat, drink, be merry, watch some films and wear a mask. Christmas 2020! Heck ya!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter: Better Late Then…ah I give up”


The Black Dog Newsletter: Better Late Then…ah I give up”

I’m so anxious waiting for my late Purolator delivery that I almost tackled a guy who was carrying a pizza by the shop thinking he was Purolator Man. Hoping for good things before the weekend.

Oh! I almost forgot – we got some new T-Shirts! Check these babies out!


Oh! One more thing before we move onto the movies; we’re looking for DVDs and Blu Rays (and even some VHS) for the shop. Donations (we love donations and will take all), sell or trade for in-store credit. Unload your unwanted physical media into our open arms!

New Releases!
(hopefully here soon!)


Avenue Five: Season 1 – Comedy sci-fi show with Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad about a space ship full of upper-snooty space tourists that gets thrown off course. Let the hilarity begin!


The Craft: Legacy – Sequel to the much-loved film from 96 about some high school witches doing their witchy woman things.


Kajillionaire – The wonderful Miranda July’s latest dealy! Crime, parents, strangers and other things can be found in this treasure chest of a movie.


The Nest – Nice-looking drama has Jude Law and Carrie Coon moving into an English country manor where things take a twisted turn. Or something like that.


Tenet – Christopher Nolan’s latest brain buster action espionage thriller weirdo confusing intense drama hits the home video. You know you want to see this.


The War with Grandpa – Kid doesn’t want Robert DeNiro sharing his room (go figure) so he declares war on the old coot.

Coming Soon!

The Rental
The Last Shift
Made in Italy
She Dies Tomorrow
The Wolf of Snow Hollow
Jiu Jitsu
The Honest Thief

We’ve got a new episode of the podcast up on our new platform, Anchor and on Youtube where we’re adding content as fast as we can. Check it out, subscribe (it’s free!) and laugh.

Christmas movie picks!

Holiday hours are as follows:

Christmas Eve (24th) – Noon till 6pm
Christmas Day (25th) – Closed
Boxing Day (26th) – Noon till 9pm

That’s it for this week, folks. Stay safe, stay sane and keep watching!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter! Weather Delay Edition!

The Black Dog Newsletter! Weather Delay Edition!


Being at the whims of the transport couriers can be a bit of a headache. Case in point – I’ve been waiting for this week’s shipment to arrive since Monday. Weather Delay is what they tell me. I checked the weather across Canada (they are shipped from Ontario) and I can’t find any reason for this Weather Delay. My guess is that they are either too busy, have been attacked by pirates (possibly form space) or they have run into a plague of flying poison monkeys. Whatever the reason, they are late. Hopefully for the weekend!

If they do arrive expect to see these on the shelves!


The Beach House – That’s a nice beach house to spend some time at. But what’s with the creepy fog and weird goings ons?


The Call – A phone call connects two people – one living in the past and the other in the present. What’s that all about?


Echo Boomers – Michael Shannon and his buds steal from the rich and give to, well, themselves. Love us some Shannon!


Infidel – Dude gets himself all kidnapped in Cairo. His State Department wife tries her darndest to get him free. You won’t believe what happens next!


Flesh and Blood – British mini-series featuring families, betrayal and, of course, a murder! A murder most foul!


Possessor – Brandon Cronenberg’s (yes) latest violent mind-bender has nasty assassins inhabiting other folks bodies to do their dirty work. Can. Not. Wait. (we have 1-2 DVDs at the moment, waiting on the rest)


Smiley Face Killers – Is Handsome Jake being followed by a crazy band of serial killers or is he slowly going nuts? You decide!

Coming Soon (Fingers Crossed!)

Avenue Five Season 1
The Craft: Legacy
The Nest
The War with Grandpa
Joan Jett- Bad Reputation
Body at Brighton Rock
The Velocipastor

In the meantime, please enjoy:

Our podcast – New Episode up and ready and willing to infect your ears! And subscribe to our Youtube Channel! It’s FREE!
Our 24 Days of Christmas movie recommendations!
Shopping local (at, say, Black Dog Video)
Each other (from a safe distance, of course)

Talk at you soon!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter: Tis the Season or Something Edition!


The Black Dog Video Newsletter: Tis the Season or Something Edition!

What are the holidays going to look like this year? Will we all be sipping rum-infested nog watching a fake fire on the TV alone in our skivvies? Will we be kissing our cats under the mistletoe? Who knows? What I do know is that we have some nice things to cram into people’s stockings to make this, the strangest Christmas, somewhat tolerable! T-Shirts! Masks! Gift Certificates! Movies! So many movies. Hit us up!

New Releases!


The 12th Man – Excellent Norwegian WWII survival true story adventure thriller.


Bushwick – Dave Bautista and a plucky teen must fight some soldiers who invaded their neighborhood for some reason.


The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleonne – New cut of the last, and most un-loved, of the Godfather films. Blu Ray only.


The Invisibles – True story telling the story of over 1,700 Jews who managed to survive living in Berlin during WWII.


Perry Mason Season 1 – Cool as beans TV show about a gumshoe solving crimes in 1932 LA.


Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin – Herzog (Yay!) takes his dying friend’s, Bruce Chatwin, rucksack and sets out on a journey inspired by his passion for the nomadic life.


Relic – Very good and creepy haunted house film from Australia. It might live in the same neighborhood as Hereditary (although not as good). Maybe even in a cul-de-sac!


The Secrets We Keep – Noomi Repace kidnaps her neighbor and tortures him either because she thinks he was a brutal Nazi during the war or he stole her garden gnome.


Stiv – Noice doc about Dead Boys front man Stiv Bators.


Target Number One aka Most Wanted aka Movie with Bland Title – Canadian Journalist Josh Hartnett investigates a dude tossed in a Thai jail for heroin related misdeeds.

Coming Soon!

The Boys Season 1 and 2
The Beach House
Echo Boomers
Flesh and Blood
Smiley Face Killers

Couple other quick mentions – we have a YouTube channel! We have a bunch of our podcasts up there now and will be adding more content asap. Word has it that a new episode will be dropping today!

If you want to find out what’s going on at our sister store, Video Cat, you can subscribe to RJ’s new newsletter here – ! Give them some love!

If you like Christmas movies, we’re doing a recommendation a day! Play along at home here!

If anyone wants to pre-order some cool things coming in January let us know. Here’s a little selection of what’s being unleashed.

That’s it for this week my lovelies. Be safe, be good to each other, wear a mask and keep watching!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Black Dog Video’s 24 Days of Christmas Movies!

Tis the season and so forth so here we are recommending Christmas movies you may or may not or may enjoy. We’ll do one a day up until the 24th of December and then you’re on your own.


The Ref (Ted Demme 1994) – Dennis Leary breaks into a bickering couple’s (the wonderful Judy Davis and, er, um Kevin Spacey) house and, for some reason, is forced to spend Christmas with them. Hilarity ensues. Boy does it ever. Good if you like to laugh.

December 2nd


Christmas Evil aka You Better Watch Out. (Lewis Jackson 1980) – Let me just start off by saying that this is not a good movie. Very low budget, dodgy acting and direction, it makes no sense. But why am I recommending it you ask? Because it’s weird and strange and fun! John Water’s favourite Christmas film is about a guy, scarred as child after seeing Santa caressing his mom’s thigh, who grows up to be a crazy, good/bad child enthusiast with homicidal rage tendencies. I laughed a good number of times. For those of you who are into this type of thing.

December 3rd


The Night Before (Jonathan Levine 2015) – Fun cast, hilarious drug sequences (no-one does baked better then Seth Rogan) makes this a good time holiday party movie that’s even a bit sweet. Not the best thing out there but you could do worse.

December 4th


Rare Exports (Jalmari Helander 2010) – Fun Finnish film finds Santa buried deep in a mountain. What happens when he’s excavated? What happened to all the kids in the town? What’s with the creepy old man elves wandering about? Dig into this terrific slice of Christmas cake.

December 5th


Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff 2003) – Mean, cynical, hilarious, rude, charming, gross. One of these words does not describe this holiday classic. Billy Bob Thorton is at his best (or worst) as a terrible mall Santa with crimes and sex on his wasted mind. Don’t watch this with your mother-in-law like I did.

December 6th


The Lodge (Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala 2019) – Soon-to-be stepmom Riley Keough is stranded in a remote cabin with her boyfriend’s two kids over the Christmas holidays. Things start to get weird in this creepy Christmas thriller-chiller!

December 7th


A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas  (Todd Strauss-Schulson 2011) – Stoners Harold and Kumar are back, getting stoned and ruining Danny Trejo’s Christmas tree. And Neil Patrick Harris is along for the goofy, some might say, hilarious ride. *note – I watched this last night and it is quite dated and terrible and embarrassing. I cannot, with good conscience, recommended this movie. *

December 8th


Bell, Book and Candle (Richard Quine 1958) – Finally saw this charming little number after so many years. Pyewacket the cat stole the show (as cats are apt to do) as Kim Novak’s lonely witch character’s familiar. A nice romp but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why either of these two lovely women would be interested in stodgy old James Stewart.

December 9th


Better Watch Out (Chris Peckover 2016) – Pretty fun “babysitter must defend her charges against a home invasion on Christmas” film! But this isn’t your average “babysitter must defend her charges against a home invasion on Christmas” film! Or is it? Nope it’s not. You decide!

December 10th


Scrooged (Richard Donner 1988) – While it’s not the best version of this oft-told tale – it’s not a particularly well-made movie and it’s tonally all over the place, this version has Bill Murray as Scrooge and a great supporting cast highlighted by Carol Kane’s violent Ghost of Christmas Present. You could do worse than this film. You could also do better.

December 11


It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra 1946) – Ya, ya, I know, it’s THE Christmas movie of all time but I just recently discovered this film after years of avoiding it because I thought it was all schmaltz and lame. But for a movie about Christmas suicide, it’s pretty warm and uplifting (maybe a tad too sentimental), but then again, the older I get the more I can dig these kind of sentiments. To a point. Enjoy.

December 12th


Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas ( Jim Henson 1977) – I have never actually seen this (nor heard of it until recently) but Dylan loves this thing and made me bring it into the shop. Seems it’s about some hick country otters who enter a talent contest (jugs may or may not be involved) to win some much needed cash. Christmas spirit, I presume, flows mightily from these jugs.

December 13th


The Silent Partner (Daryl Duke 1978) – Excellent Canadian thriller has Elliot Gould as a bank teller who thwarts a robbery by funneling the money into his own account. Christopher Plummer’s crook ain’t none too happy about this. Oscar Peterson jazzes up the score and cold-ass Toronto has rarely looked better. Bonus points for having a young John Candy in it! Dig into this forgotten gem.

December 14th


Gremlins (Joe Dante 1984) – Everybody loves Gremlins, right? We sure do. Holiday mayhem ensues as these nasty little creatures are let loose during the holidays to tear up the town and get all up to no good! A classic!

December 15th


Trading Places (John Landis 1983) – There’s been a little debate about this film if it actually holds up or not (the 80’s seem like a decade from another planet). I haven’t seen it in a long time but I remember liking it quite a bit back in the day (hence the recommendation). Must watch soon! What do you folks say?

December 16th


The Long Kiss Goodnight (Renny Harlin 1996) – Geena Davis kicks a ton of ass as an assassin with some memory loss as she teams up with classic Samuel L. Jackson to solve the mystery and kick some more ass. One of the few good and fun Shane Black written films out there that, for some reason, all take place at Christmas. We did this one for the podcast last year and had a blast with it.

December 17th


Krampus (Michael Dougherty 2015) – Adam Scott and Toni Collette head this fun family style Christmas film about a kid, who thinks he’s having a bad Christmas, accidentally summoning a malevolent Christmas monster thing. Evil clowns and nasty ginger bread folks add to the fun!

December 18th


Christmas in Connecticut (Peter Godfrey 1945) – Delightful screw-ball comedy has Barbara Stanwyck as a food writer who has lied in her columns about being a great cook. Of course she’s invited to her boss’ country estate for the holidays to cook for them. Madcap hi-jinks ensue!

December 19th


Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick 1999) – Nothing says Christmas more than Tom Cruise traipsing around New York during the holidays looking for weirdo orgies and danger! Kubrick’s last film is lovely and strange and coldly sexy.

December 20th


Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick 1993) – Full disclosure: I’ve never seen this film. But it’s not all about me, right? From most accounts, this is some wonderful stop-motion animated fare about a skeleton Halloween man who discovers a Christmas town and things happen after that. Sounds intriguing!

December 21st


Black Christmas (Bob Clark 1974) – My second favourite Christmas film (number 1 will be revealed on the 24th) is an awesome Canadian slasher from the early seventies. It’s creepy, it’s weird, it’s terrifying and it’s sometimes funny. Great cast featuring John Saxon, Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin and Art Hindle, who never met a fur coat he didn’t like. Outstanding!

December 22nd


The Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke 1934) – A Black Dog favourite! Nick and Nora Charles look to solve a murder at Christmas time and enjoy a few cocktails along the way. Everything about this film is brilliant – cast, script, dog. Sit back with your favourite beverage and enjoy!

December 23rd


Tokyo Godfathers (Satoshi Kon 2003) – Lovely animated fare from Japan finds three homeless folks who find a baby in the trash on Christmas Eve. They then set out to find the garbage baby’s parents. Adventures and hilarity and other things ensue.

December 24th


Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) – (Brian Desmond-Hurst 1951) The most faithful and the best version of this way-to-often told tale (looking at you WKRP and Family Ties!). Sure it’s earnest, sure it’s corny, but it is done with such heart and conviction, the black and white cinematography is outstanding and featuring one of movies greatest performances in Alastair Sim as Scrooge, this Christmas Carol cannot be beat. His transformation after the ghost visits will leave you with a huge smile on your face and if you don’t tear up a few times, especially where Tiny Tim in involved, then your heart is 3 sizes too small. I’ve watched this film almost every Christmas Eve since 1988. Much love and I hope that you all have a very fine Christmas indeed!

Father and Son (and sometimes wife) Film Appreciation Class


Since we’re all cooped up in our abodes while the plague ravishes the land I thought we’d put together a film appreciation class! Everyday my 14.5 year-old, we’ll call him Swanson, and I (and sometimes his mother, my wife) will take in, what I consider anyways, a classic of cinema. We’ll run the gamut from silent films to a few current selections. I’m going to try to keep it fun so he won’t get bored. It will be non-linear, as in we’ll pop around the 20th Century and explore theme’s, history, where we’re at and how did we get here. Feel free to play along and chime in with thoughts and suggestions!

March 30/2020


The General (Buster Keaton – 1926) – Made on a rather large budge for the time – $750 K – and making only $475K – it was a big flop and almost ruined Keaton’s career. He later said it was the film he was most proud of. This action/comedy set during the beginning of the Civil War is known for it’s elaborate and crazy dangerous stunts. Watch for the scene when he rides on the cow catcher and tosses railroad ties to clear the way. Incredible.

Post – it was a fun film to watch again. I hadn’t seen it in ages. Cool score by the Alloy Orchestra. Swanson really liked it as well. When asked what he liked about it he replied, “It was funny, well-shot and I like that Buster Keaton guy. He’s short, has a big head and looks weird.” There ya have it.

March 31/20


Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly 1952) – Since we just watched a silent film and since Swanson loves musicals, I thought this would be the perfect film for tonight as it deals with the struggle of a film company as the adjust going from silent movies to “talkies” or, I guess, “singies” back in the day. Famous for Kelly’s wet rain number but don’t forget Donald, um, Sutherland…nope…Pleasence…nope…Duck….um nope…O’Connor! That’s it, and, of course, Debbie Reynolds. All are amazing.

Post – All enjoyed the fun dancey film. Lots of tap. Maybe too much? Naw. Swanson says, “put it on my staff picks!” He also commented that Gene Kelly looked like Spongebob Squarepants in during one particular number.

April 1/20


Casablanca (Michael Curtiz – 1942) Look at that cast – Bogey, Bergman, Lorre, Reins, Greenstreet, others! Although Casablanca was an A-list film with big stars and first-rate writers, no one involved with its production expected it to be anything other than one of the hundreds of ordinary pictures produced by Hollywood studio system which churned out films at an alarming rate. Who’s laughing now?

Post – I loved it. As did my wife. Swanson, not so much. He liked it but found it a little confusing. I guess one needs to know a little of the history of the time to put the film in context. Still, he admired Bogie’s enormous head.

April 3rd


Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock 1954) – Swanson’s seen the Simpsons version so now it’s time for the real thing.

April 5th


The Third Man (Carol Reed 1949) – Nice to revisit the dank dark streets of post-war Vienna and get reacquainted with the friends of Harry Lime. Swanson liked it but of all the films we’ve watched for this club so far, it was his least liked. I’ll get him an American noir in his eyes soon enough.

April 6th


Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron – 2006) – I thought I’d treat Swanson to something a little more current – not just when the film was made (14 years ago!) but timely in it’s subject matter – pandemic, blame the immigrants etc. Told him to focus on the details – so much going on in the background and the intense single shot takes. Still holds up beautifully although it wasn’t his favourite film we’ve watched so far. I loved it.

April 7th


The Haunting (Robert Wise 1963) – The Haunting (original – forget the lame remake) has been one of my favourite horror films (haunted house category) for such a long time. It was our first horror film for this class and I was quite excited to show Swanson this one. I told him to look for the use of sound, art direction, editing, camera angles and shadows and the fine black and white cinematography (instead of showing you ghosts and things) to create the unsettling atmosphere and give you the chills and the scares. And to my delight (and maybe a little surprise) he loved it! The odd angles and creepy statues were highlights for him. It goes on his staff pick shelf! That’s 4 out of 7. Not too shabby.

April 9th


A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood 1935) – The first Marx Brothers movie and any of us had seen! And what a delight. Swanson and Wife really were head over heels for it while I enjoyed it but could have done with less opera singing and harp playing. Made us want to watch more and it goes on his staff picks! What are your favourite Marx Brothers movies?

April 12/20


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman 1978) – I thought it might be appropriate given the times we’re slogging through. I mentioned to watch for the hand-held camera, quick cuts, camera angles and use of background noises to heighten the feeling of paranoia. And to look for cameos from the director and star of the original (which we watched last year and it’s the version that I prefer although I like this version’s ending better). It was great to watch again although Swanson felt there was too much running.

April 14/20


The Bank Dick (Edward Cline 1940) – Another first – none of us had seen a W.C. Fields film before. This is a weird movie. Swanson really enjoyed it (more than I did) as it has a nice light comedic tone with a sprinkling of good laughs and ends with a crazy car chase. I enjoyed the child abuse and his strange relationship with his hateful family. Bonus points for having a character named Filthy McNasty.

April 16/20


Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder 1944) Walter Neff looks at the glass of iced tea he’s been handed. “A little rum would get this on it’s feet”. A great line in a film filled with great lines. My favourite noir and now Swanson’s as well. A pleasure to watch again. On the staff pick wall it goes.

April 18/20

A surreal double bill!


Un Chien Andalou (Luis Buñuel 1929) Thought I’d blow Swanson’s mind with 21 minutes of bizarre surreal imagery (as it blew my mind when I first saw it all those years ago). I still can’t believe this made in the 1920s. The eye slicing scene made him bury his head in a blanket. After that his comment was, “I don’t trust this film anymore”. Might be the best comment I’ve ever heard.



Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly 2001) – I’ve seen this film four times now (once the director’s cut – not recommended) and it’s still up for debate about what it’s all about and what actually happens (at least in my mind). Swanson loved it and we discussed the possibilities of what transpired for some time. but came up with no concrete answers. A great cult classic that still holds up incredibly well despite being almost 20 years old (!).

April 21/20


Duck Soup (Leo McCarey 1933) – Yes, another Marx Brothers film (watched upon recommendations made after viewing Night at the Opera). Pretty funny with a nice short run time. I think I enjoyed Night at Opera better, but this still has some inspired moments (the peanut vendor gags are gold). Swanson requested this one and he was quite enthralled with it. And I can see why Zeppo is the Shemp of the bunch. Not too sure why it was called duck soup – no ducks, no soup.

April 25/20


Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz 1986) – This was a Swanson pick. He’s a big fan of the stage production and soundtrack so what can I say? He enjoyed it (liked the play much more). I thought it was particularly dreadful – lame songs, flat direction, vaguely racist talking plant. I liked Steve Martin until I didn’t. I know it’s beloved by many but I cannot recommend this one at all.

April 26/20


What’s Up Doc? (Peter Bogdanovich 1972) – As this was one of my favourite comedies growing up, I was a tad apprehensive about watching it again in case it didn’t age well. Boy was I wrong. This is still one of the funniest, silliest, most wonderful of comedies. A young, sexy and totally charming Barbara Streisand leads a hilarious cast through a series of misunderstandings and mix-ups climaxing in one of the most hysterical and thrilling car chases ever. Swanson loved it as well. He said it’s probably his favourite of all the films we’ve watched so far! I was pleased as punch!

April 28/20


An American Werewolf in London (John Landis 1981) I thought I’d introduce Swanson to one of the earliest (that I remember anyways) examples of the horror/comedy genres combining for a tasty movie stew. For the most part it holds up – effects are still cool – but I forgot the “climax” starts in a porn theatre (not particularly necessary and vaguely uncomfortable to watch with a 14 year-old, “Did those places actually exist?” he asked) and all the ridiculous gory mayhem – people flying through windshields, heads crushed, decapitations, bodies strewn about during the monster’s final rampage! It was still fun but of the time for sure.

April 30/20


In a Lonely Place (Nicolas Ray 1950) – I’d been told by several people to watch this, so I did. Wow. What a great film. Bogart at his best – might be my favourite role he’s played. He’s sad, angry and pathetic. You’re still rooting for him even as he spirals out of control. A great mash-up of noir and 50’s melodrama. Swanson loved it as well. I’m constantly impressed by how much he enjoys these older films.

May 1/20


Robocop (Paul Verhoeven 1987) Some fun Friday night viewing! Still a great funny, violent satire. I love Verhoeven and now Swanson does as well. We especially laughed at the Ed-209 audition, the toxic waste fella and Ronny Cox’s long arms as he falls to his death. Good times.



Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock 1960) Hard to believe this came out in 1960. It’s still great and chilling! The boy loved it as well. Rediscovering Hitch all over again myself! I want to live in that house!

May 8/20


The Road Warrior aka Mad Max 2 (George Miller 1981) – Still my all-time favourite action film. Melted my young brain when I accidentally stumbled across it in the theatres all those years ago. Sure Fury Road is glossier with a bigger budget, but pound for pound, gimme The Road Warrior any day. Oh, and the boy and wife both enjoyed the hell out it!

May 12/20


North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock 1959) Digested another Hitchcock film. Lots of fun, maybe a bit too long (I can think of a few scenes some scissors would have been appreciated) but top notch anyway. I was never a big Hitch fan but re-watching these past few has changed that opinion. Can’t wait for Vertigo! The boy is digging the old man as well.

May 15/20


Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson 1986) – “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake!”, “I’ve had but a few ales”, “I want the finest wines know to humanity!” “Cool your boots, man” So many fine lines in this cult classic. I was worried that the boy wouldn’t be down with this funny and sad tale of down-on -their-luck actors who hightail to the country-side to rejuvenate with disastrous results. But he quite liked it (he like that fact the other guy is just called “I”). Nice to see these guys again.

May 19/20


Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville 1970) – Look up “cool film” in the dictionary and you’ll find this wonderful French slice of crime life. Cool, not just in feeling and stature, but in the colour palette, the acting, the settings, just so cool. Wow. The boy quite enjoyed it but thought it was a bit too long (and there are no female characters in it at all). But I loved the pace and how it took it’s time to introduce the 4 main characters and how they all came together. Never boring, always cool.

May 23/20


Carrie (Brian De Palma 1976) – One of my favourite horror films growing up, this one still packs a punch. From the very uncomfortable opening shower scene to the amazing prom scene to the crucifixion scene to the great, weird last scene, Carrie still delivers the goods. And, especially, just after watching a few Hitchcock films it was fun to point out the influences on De Palma’s film. The boy loved it and that final shot scared the bejeezus out of him. Good times.

May 28/20


Safety Last! (Fred Neymeyer 1923) The forgotten (by some) contemporary of Chaplin and Keaton, Harold Lloyd is no slouch in the physical comedy department. Just watch and marvel at the 20 (or so) minute climax where he scales a building. Hold your breath laughs! Simply amazing. We all loved it (first time viewing for everyone!). A must watch for fans of this type of thing.

May 30/20


It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Stanley Kramer 1963) I remember seeing this when I was a kid and thinking it was the funniest thing ever. Looking back I wonder what I was thinking at all! Check out this cast of funny dudes (Sorry, women, I guess there wasn’t any funny ladies back then!)! Then why isn’t this film hilarious? We really enjoyed it – even at it’s 2 hour and 40 minute run-time (there’s a 3 hour and 25 minute cut out there somewhere) – the car chases and stunts are great but with all these folks involved it should have been a laugh riot. The boy totally enjoyed it and says, “put it on my picks!”.

June 3/20


City Lights (Charles Chaplin 1931) What a charmer! I’d never seen this Chaplin film before. It’s funny, sad and lovely. I like how all three of the big “silent fellas” – Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd – make their protagonist heroes poor and struggling to make it in the world. The end scene in City Lights pushed it over the cliff for me and made me tear up a bit. I don’t think that’s ever happened in a silent film (made 5 years after the introduction of sound!) before. Loved it.

June 5/20


Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Terry Jones 1979) Of the three Python movies I’ve always found this one to be the least funny. And that remains true after last night’s viewing. That said, Life of Brian is still quite a hilarious and fun ride. So many good lines. I’m forever saying “I’m not!” in various conversations. And the aliens! Nice touch. The boy liked it but the Holy Grail is still his jam. We haven’t checked out Meaning of Life as of yet though…

June 7/20


Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock 1958) Our fourth Hitch film for the class is a wonder of lighting, mood and intensity. That said, it’s also my least favourite of the 4 we’ve watched so far. But that said, it’s still great: Jimmy Stewart and his blistering blue eyes, the lovely Kim Novak in a dual role, that crazy red restaurant, Midge. The amazing first 2/3ds are undone (for me anyways) a bit by the obsession of Scottie to get Judy done up to look like Madeline. But that’s just me. Still a great film!

June 12/20


The Exorcist (William Friedkin 1973) Time to freak the boy out! I saw this when I was around 13 or so and it’s stayed with me all these years. Arguably the scariest movie ever made. I still find it terrifying (and I’m an atheist!) and it still has the power to shock (can’t imagine what it was like to see this at Christmas time in 1973!). The boy wasn’t as freaked out as I’d hoped – he laughed at a few parts before becoming horrified – but he still enjoyed it. On the staff pick wall it goes!

June 16/20


To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan 1962) Still packs a punch to this day and as is still as relevant as when it premiered over 50 years ago. Great acting (Oscars, hello!), writing and cinematography add to the atmosphere of racial oppression, mischievous childhood antics and mysterious neighbors. Actually I had never seen this before (none of us had) and we were all riveted, especially the last 3rd. Recommended for the whole family (older kids) and is a good conversation starter.

June 20/20


The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! (Norman Jewison 1966) We continue our journey down the classic screwball comedy lane (What’s Up Doc and It’s a Mad Mad Mad World) with this fun, madcap tale of a Russian submarine washing up on the shores of a tiny US island on the eastern seaboard during the height of the Cold War. Alan Arkin is amazing as the leader of the Russian crew trying to fix the problem but the show is stolen by Jonathan Winters and his amazing enormous face. A lot of fun and beautifully shot but it rolls in at number 3 of these films for me.

June 26/20


The Odd Couple (Gene Saks 1968) Classic buddy comedy provides some fine laughs due to great chemistry provided by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (my wife says, “wow Walter Matthau was pretty handsome back in the day”. Made us all laugh – to me he’s always looked old). It’s a bit dated for sure – check out the sexual harassment of the waitress scene – but with some witty one-liners from everyone in the cast, it made for a pleasant night at the movies.

June 27/20


Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky 1979) I had a feeling that this one would be a hard sell. The boy lost interest before we even started. “What, you don’t want to watch a 2 hour and 41 minute slow-moving epic Russian film?” I asked. The wife slept through some of it. I thought it was brilliant at parts and tedious at others. Beautiful to look at and even at that unwieldy running time, it did not seem that long. I’m still pondering what I watched the next day (not too sure what even happened) but I’m liking it the more I think about it.

June 29/20


M. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati 1953) I’d never seen a Jacques Tati film before (none of us had) so I thought we’d start with, arguably, his most famous creation. What a strange little French film! The boy really liked the wacky characters and the absurd situations and the repetitive music and the slapstick humour and the odd way Hulot walked and such but it didn’t really work for me. Maybe I’m missing something but so many folks love this guy. Anyways, I’m glad I watched it but I don’t feel compelled to go back for more.

July 30/20


Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder 1959) Wow! It’s been a month since our last class! Life got busy I guess. Anyhoo, here’s a Billy Wilder film I’ve been putting off seeing for a very long time (my fear of Jack Lemon is the root cause). And while this was a fun, farcey sexy romp – just watch Marilyn Munroe practically devour Tony Curtis in one of the best make-out scene’s ever, there was still a bit too much zesty Lemon for my liking. The boy really liked it though!

August 7th


Hairspray (John Waters 1988) – Only the wife had seen this fun bouncy film filled with great dancing and big hair. I wanted to introduce the boy to Mr. Waters and thought this would be a good introduction rather then, say, Pink Flamingos. A big ball of good times boasts a nutty cast and it also delivers a (still) pertinent message about inclusiveness and the ridiculousness of racism. A winner!

August 9th


The Blues Brothers (John Landis 1980) I hadn’t seen this film since the mid-80s so I reckon it was time to slap it on for some cocaine-fuelled (the cast and filmmakers, not me and the boy) mayhem. We watched the extended cut on the Blu Ray which, for some reason, is shorter then the theatrical cut. I’d forgotten what a blast this film is. Great musical performances, many quotable lines (“You’re going to look pretty funny eating corn on the cob with no fucking teeth!”) and a few wrecked cars made for one of the most enjoyable times we’ve had in film class. And yes, the boy loved it!

August 20/20


This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner 1984) – Not quite as funny as I remember it. But that may be because I’ve seen it close to 30 times and knew all the jokes. Still has some priceless bits – the Stonehenge performance being the shining standout. The boy thought it was pretty good but not growing up with that type of music may have dampened his spirits a bit.

November 28/20


Hereditary (Ari Aster 2018) Wow, it’s been a while since I posted anything! We kinda tailed off a bit it seems when school emerged from the Covid depths. Anyhoo, we watched Hereditary. It’s one of the better horror films to come out in the last few years. It’s still a bit clunky in parts but it is also still damn scary. Both the wife and the boy quite enjoyed the thrills and the chills. I think that Midsommar is a better movie but not quite as frightening. Looking forward to more from this cat. It goes on the staff picks!
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The Black Dog Newsletter: Cool With the Kids Edition!

The Black Dog Newsletter: Cool With the Kids Edition!

So as mentioned a few weeks prior, Black Dog Video now has a Youtube channel! It’s where all the cool kids hang out, right? The Black Dog Video Empire! Subscribe and drop in every now and then to see what we’ve posted. We have some of our podcasts up there at the moment, our Friday the 13th marathon (all 13 hours!) plus more to come! Good times.

New Releases!


Blood Immortal – (aka Love Immortal) – Three generations of lady vampires suck their way through society and all of it’s ills.


Broken Hearts Gallery – Romantic hoo-haw finds a young woman starting a gallery for broken hearts after a she goes through a breakup.


Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine – I remember reading this awesome mag back in the day. Here’s a doc about it!


Dinner with Friends – (aka Friendsgiving, blech) – American Thanksgiving with lots of goofy guests. Not this year. Well, not supposed to be anyways. Stay home, America!


Fatman – America’s 2nd favourite racist is back to tickle your yuletide funny and action bones.


The Irishman – (Blu Ray only – DVD coming next week!) – Scorsese’s latest gangster masterpiece might be a little long for some and the de-aging of the old fellas might seem weird but it’s a pretty great film.


Momma’s Man – Dude accidentally moves back in with his parents in this low budget indie effort. Nightmare fuel.


Tommaso – Willam Dafoe (Black Dog favourite!) is an artist living in Rome with his family in this little dramatic effort from Abel Ferrera.

Coming Soon!

The 12th Man
Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin
The Secrets We Keep
Stiv: No Compromise No Regrets
Godfather Coda, The Death of Michael Corleonne
Perry Mason Season 1
Target Number One

And don’t forget that there’s a Christmas coming up sooner than you might expect. We can help! Gift Certificates, masks, T-shirts and lots of movies will be in stock this holiday season. Stuff someone’s stockings! Stuff them good!

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Till next week!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter (Part Deux): Back to the Business Edition!


The Black Dog Newsletter (Part Deux): Back to the Business Edition!

As promised (or threatened – you decide!) here’s part two of this week’s newsletter!

New Releases!


Better Call Saul S5 – Good old Saul is back for more hi-jinks in this top notch television program.


Blackbird – Terminally ill mom brings her family together one last time. Sounds like fun!


Buoyancy – Grim, unflinching tale of a 14-year kid sold into slavery aboard a Thai fishing boat. But, but cheap shrimp!


Donut King – Cambodian refugee builds a nice business and community in this charming doc. And it has donuts!


Fleabag S2 – Wonderful. Sexy priest!


Harry Chapin: When in Doubt Do Something – Lovely doc about Chapin. The Cat’s no longer in the Cradle.


The GoodTimesKid – Nice little indie effort in the vein of early Jaramuch and Alex Cox. Or so I’m told.


Monstrum – Korean monster movie. Need I say more?


The New Mutants – Like we needed more mutants.


Rainy Day in New York – Latest Woody Allen thing finds a good-looking young couple arriving in NY and there’s some bad weather and other things.


Shadow of Violence – (aka Calm with Horses) – Tough guy works for a tough family. Tough situations, I presume, ensue.


Shock of the Future – Electronic music in France in the 1970s!


Train to Busan: Peninsula – More Korean zombie mayhem.


Unhinged – Russell Crowe is road raged.


Westworld S3 – More sexy murderous robots!


What We Do in the Shadows S2 – Such a wonderful show. Best vampire comedy TV series ever.


The Woman Who Left – 30 years of wrongful imprisonment means some good revenging.

Coming Soon!

Blood Immortal
Broken Hearts Gallery
Cream: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine
Dinner with Friends
The Irishman
Momma’s man

Phew! Thanks for indulging me on this wet afternoon. I hope that there’s something here for you. Cheers!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter: It’s for Ch-Ch-Charity Edition!


The Black Dog Video Newsletter: It’s for Ch-Ch-Charity Edition!

In two days!

So here we are! Here’s where you can donate to the Food Bank for our Friday the 13th Marathon.

It’s easy! Click the “donate” button above and that will take you to the Food Bank donation page. Any donation of $13 or more will not only get you one free rental at Black Dog Video but will also enter you in one of our draws for fabulous prizes donated by wonderful local businesses! We will be doing one draw at the end of every Friday the 13th movie we watch and then a grand prize draw after we’re all done (assuming that we survive the ordeal).

After you’ve donated, send us an email with your name, donation amount and contact information to and we’ll toss you into our in-store ballot box. We will be doing this on the honour system so please be honourable. You can also phone the shop (after 12 noon) at 604-251-3305 with the above information. You can also drop into the shop where you can donate and fill out your ballot there as well (masks on, of course). Prizes are in-store pick-up only.

We will be live streaming the event on our Youtube channel and the Facebook event page so you can let us know all of the above information there as well. In addition send us comments, praise, scorn and watch along at home if you can!

Updates and details can be found here.

Many local businesses have been very generous with their donations. Prizes include lovely things from the following places:

Jefferson’s Barbershop
Container Brewing
The Downlow Chicken Shack
Highlife Records
Audiopile Records
Bandidas Restaurant
The Charlatan
Vera’s Burgers
Womyn’s Wear
The Jean Queen
Drive Coffee Bar
The Rio Theatre
Memphis BBQ
Juniors Bar and Grill

Windfall Cider

Zsuzsi Gartner (local author who’s donating a signed copy of her new book, The Beguiled!)

(we’re hoping for a few more as well)

It’s going to epic. Hope that you can join in!

New Releases!


The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco – The Bletchley ladies take their show on the road to solve a murder in San Fran.


Death of Me – A nice couple on vacation finds a mysterious video that shows one of them killing the other. Waaa? What kind of Club Med is this?


The Deeper You Dig – An accident leaves lives shattered and ghosts ghosting. Heard this is pretty good! Blu Ray only.


Desert One – Barbara Kopple is back behind the camera in this great doc about the secret mission to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1979.


Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai (Criterion Blu Ray) – Sweet Jim Jaramuch film gets the Criterion treatment!


Mulan – Live action hoo-haw of the much told tale.


Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken – Morgan Spurlock (remember that guy?) opens his own restaurant! Hi-jinks, I presume, ensue.


The Trouble with Maggie Cole – Another swell comedy/drama show from across the pond!

Coming Soon!

Fleabag S2
Better Call Saul S5
A Rainy Day in New York
What If
What We Do in the Shadows S2
The Woman who Left
The Donut King
Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something
The New Mutants
Train to Busan: Peninsula
Westworld S3

We hope that you can tune in on the intranets or drop in the shop and watch us go slowly insane! See you Friday (if not sooner)

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.