The Black Dog Newsletter: “Pop-Ups Galore Edition!”


So it seems that many folks still are interested in grabbing some films from us as they make their way through these plague riddled times. I can help you with that. After doing a few “pop-up” openings at the stores in the last couple of weeks I’ve decided to do some more! I figure we can do twice at week at each location. Wednesday and Saturday at Commercial and Thursday and Sunday at Cambie. Noon until 3pm. As before, send me your orders – – and I’ll do my best to have them ready for pick up. You can e-transfer me your dough, call in with a credit card or pay in-store. And as usual, the rules of conduct apply (see below).

Oh, and I should mention that our deals are still in effect – rent 2 of the New Releases and get a 3rd FREE. We have all the current ones – The Star War, Little Women, Doolittle, the final season of Mr. Robot, or torture yourself with Cats! And there’s more on the way!

Or pick up 5 beautiful (or ugly) catalogue titles (non-new releases) for $10.

Black Dog Rules Of Conduct

no more than 3-4 humans in the store at one time
no browsing. If you need help finding things, just ask
do not lurch up to and lean in and on the desk. Please respect the tape on the floor as it is not purely decorative.
be respectful of everyone in the store and stay a safe distance. No touching, licking, making out or taking your shoes off in the store.

One fun thing that I’m doing with my sprog is a little film appreciation class. If you’re interested in checking out what we’re watching and chiming in with thoughts or suggestions go here or on Facebook here!

Let’s hope that we can all get through this intact. I’m still hoping for some serious rent help from the government so we can weather this thing. Like, come on banks, maybe look at the $30 Billion dollars you make a year in profit and see fit to suspend our landlord’s, all small business’s landlord’s, mortgages for the time being. It really shouldn’t fall on the little folks, like us, whose margins are slim at the best of times. Time to step up.

Sorry for the minor rant. Carry on and be safe.

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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!

Mrch 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, Greestreet, 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.

Black Dog Newsletter: VanCovid-19 Edition


So tomorrow (Saturday the 27th) I’ll be at the Commercial Shop from Noon until 3pm. And on Sunday at Cambie from 1pm-3pm. If you need some things (and I bet that you do) send me your orders here – – and I’ll have them ready. If you want to pay ahead of time (preferred) you can e-transfer me your $$$ to the same email (or call in with your credit card) and I’ll bring them outside for you. Bring a bag. Specify DVD or Blu Ray. And which store. I’ll get your order together (depends what is in stock) and email you the total.

If you do come into the shop, please follow these rules of conduct as we want everyone (including myself) to be as safe as possible:

  • no more than 3-4 humans in the store at one time
  • please, don’t handle the actual movie boxes, just tell me what you want
  • no browsing. If you need help finding things, just ask
  • do not lurch up to and lean in and on the desk. Please respect the tape on the floor as it is not purely decorative.
  • be respectful of everyone in the store and stay a safe distance. No high-fiving, chest bumping, twerking or secret handshakes.

All of our fabulous deals will be in play – rent 2 new releases and get a 3rd FREE or rent 5 old, non-new releases, for $10. And don’t sweat the return times.

New Releases!

Available tomorrow at Commercial and Sunday at Cambie


Cats – Boy howdy, look at this. Might be one of the worst, most nonsensical cinematic disasters that these tired old eyes have witnessed! I loved it! (but I saw it in the a raucous theatre with a few beers). Not too sure if we get the version with the kitty buttholes. Fingers crossed.


Dolittle – Iron Man talks to the animals. Says some things. Walks around.


Escape from Pretoria – Harry Potter and another white guy escape from a prison in apartheid era South Africa. True story, it is, mate!


Little Women – Greta Gerwig directs this lovely adaptation of the famous book about some small women.


Mr. Robot S4 – Jeez, I didn’t even know this show was still on.


Standing Up, Falling Down – A failing stand-up comedian hangs out with his dermatologist.


Star Wars: Too Many Skywalkers – Last and least of the latest trilogy for the Star War.

Coming Soon!

Just Mercy
Righteous Gemstones
Bad Boys for Life
The Gentlemen
Like a Boss
The Turning
IP Man 4: The Final IP

So with all the craziness surrounding our lives right now, it’s hard to predict what we will be doing regarding the shops. I will (hopefully) continue to do these little pop-ups so you can snarf up some films to get you through these dark uncertain days. Check our website as I am updating things on a daily basis.

One thing that I’m going to do starting Monday is a film appreciation class with my 15 year-old! We’re going to jump around the 20th Century and look at, and discuss, films that one should watch. If anyone is interested I’ll be keeping a blog with films we’ve watched and films we are going to watch. It’ll be on the website and I may create a Facebook Page for it as well.

I hope that everyone is taking care of themselves and looking out for others as well. Hopefully we’ll get through this mess with as little horror as possible. See you when we see you.

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter: “Where We’re At and Where We’re Going Edition”


So as some of you may know we are in the midst of a huge deadly pandemic! Many shops are closed and many are wondering what to do. We’re playing it day to day. We’ve been taking measures to help ensure everyone’s good health – disinfecting all movie cases, wiping down the counters, debit machines, door handles, Dylan. We will remain open for as long as we can but at reduced hours – noon until 8pm at both locations (Cambie today, Commercial tomorrow) but this may change in the near future. Check the website for daily updates.

We will continue to offer our swell deals while this crisis lingers:

5 catalogue titles for $10 for a week (if you need more time, let us know)
3 New Releases for the price of 2
Buy 2 of our $5 movies and get a third for free

Also, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the stores, call or email or monkey courier in your requests and we’ll have them ready for you to pick up. And when you’re in the shop try to practice what is being called “social distancing”. Don’t stand so close to me the Police once said.

If there’s any folks at risk – seniors, babies, Bigfoots – we can probably arrange to have some films delivered to you if you live close enough to the stores. We don’t have any Black Dog mobile vehicles but I’m sure we can figure something out.

We’re all in this together so lets be kind and help each other out.

Onto the Movies!

New Releases!


1917 – Fine WWI film about fighting in the trenches with the running and shooting and hey hey. Excellent cinematography (I think it’s all done in 3 or 4 for long takes) elevates this into the class of classic war films. Recommended.


Black Christmas – Another kick at the old Black Christmas can. Nothing they do will ever touch the greatness of the original. Still, I’ll watch this.


Come to Daddy – Fun and twisted tale of a guy (Frodo) who travels to Tofino to meet up with his estranged dad. Things don’t go very well. Check this one out. I loved it!


Jumanji: The Next One – The Rock, Black Jack and others (possibly a horse? Maybe a talking horse?) are back for more Jumaji style hijinks!


Richard Jewel – Drama from old man Eastwood about that guy who saved thousands of folks from a bomb at the 1996 Olympics only to find himself branded a terrorist! People are jerks. (DVDS will be at Cambie tomorrow)

Coming Soon!

Little Joe
Ray & Liz
Star Wars: Something Something
Mr Robot S4
Fleabag S2

So that’s about it. Hit up one of our many fine lists of recommendations if it pleases you. Stay safe, wash your hands, shower weekly (at least), don’t touch your face or anyone else’s and let’s hope this ends soon!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Black Dog Video End of the World Update!


Hello and thanks for tuning in for this special report brought to you by the fine folks at Black Dog Video. We just wanted to let you know that it is business as usual at both locations, so no need to freak out yet. Regular hours will continue for the foreseeable future. But here’s a few things we’d like you to know:

We’ve put together some sweet quarantine deals!

5 catalogue films for $10!

Rent 2 New Releases and get a 3rd for FREE.

Also if you’re in a buying mood, our $5 DVDs and Blu Rays for sale can be snarfed up for a nice “buy 2 and get a 3rd for FREE” extravaganza.

These deals will be in effect everyday until we decide that they are not.

Also, according to The WHO (not the famous rock band), no more than 50 people will be allowed in the store at any given time.

Please resist coughing or sneezing or whatever you may think of doing, on our movies. Think of the children.

That is all. Stay safe. Wash your hands and other body parts. We’ll see you soon.


March 17/20

To keep up with the ever changing situation we are adjusting the store hours (again, sorry). At Cambie we’re going to be open noon until 8pm (maybe later on the weekends or if the store is busy at 8). Commercial will remain the same – noon til 10 – for now, but that may change as well.

And sorry if there was any confusion about the deals we have going on (I forgot to inform one of my employees) but this is what we have for you everyday until this thing is over:

5 catalogue films for $10! They rent for a week (if you need some things longer, let us know)

Rent 2 New Releases and get a 3rd for FREE.

Also if you’re in a buying mood, our $5 DVDs and Blu Rays for sale can be snarfed up for a nice “buy 2 and get a 3rd for FREE” extravaganza.

These deals will be in effect everyday until we decide that they are not.

March 16/20

We are open today as we are an essential service (!). We don’t know what the future holds but if you need some movies and such for your social isolation distancing, hit us up. 2 for 1 on all rentals today! Buy 2 of our $5 films and get a 3rd for FREE.

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter March 10-16 “We’re All Gonna Die Edition!”


So what’s up with this Corona Virus, eh? Am I right? Is this what’s gonna wipe us all out? Well, we had a good run. Might as well rent some films, say maybe Contagion, Outbreak, 28 Days Later, Ebola Syndrome, Andromeda Strain, Omega Man, Blindness, World War Z or The Seventh Seal? Oh and don’t forget to stock up on toilet paper. Fight for your right to wipe!

New Releases!


Bombshell – Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie all work for Fox News (for some reason) and decide to take on ultra-sleazeball Roger Ailes and the toxic work atmosphere he created.


Charlie’s Angels – Yet another reboot of the famed TV show from 60 years ago or so. This one at least stars K-Stew (Kristen Stewart).


Ne Zha – Cool-looking animation about a young fella who’s recruited to fight some bad-news demons.


Spies in Disguise – Animated fare about a spy who’s turned into a pigeon, or something like that. Based on a true story.

Coming Soon!

Black Christmas
Come to Daddy
The Grudge
Jumanji: Next Level
Richard Jewel
The Song of Names
Superman: Red Son

Oh, and we lost one of the best actors ever this week. R.I.P. Max Von Sydow, The Exorcist, Seventh Seal, Strange Brew, Conan the Barbarian, Minority Report, Flash Gordon, The Emigrants, Hour of the Wolf and tons more.

Take care, wash your hands, stay healthy and keep watching…


Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter March 4-10, “You Say It’s Our Birthday Edition!”


March 5, 1996. A day that will live in infamy! It was the day we first swung open our doors on Cambie Street to an eager and frothing public. I still remember that fateful day in that small cramped store. It was pretty magical. And here we are 24 years later! What a ride it’s been. Good times. Bad times. Some great friends made. Births, deaths and everything in between. And so many films! What does the future hold for your favourite video store? Hard to say. But what I can tell you is that you should drop into the shops this Saturday to celebrate and enjoy some special deals on rentals and sales! We’ll be open at noon at both Black Dogs to make your day better. Hope to see you then.

New Releases!


The Affair: Final Season – Man, this affair has gone on a long time. Can you even call it an affair at this point? Maybe this season is set in space or something?


Dark Waters – Tough drama about lawyers (one being the Hulk) and such going up against the evil DuPont corporation who seems bent on killing us all. (also Dylan’s favourite movie of 2019)


Chained for Life – Well regarded odd-ball of a film about an actress who has a hard time dealing with her disfigured co-star on the set of a movie. And other things.


Harpoon – Rivalries, sexual tension and hurt feelings bubble up to the surface as 3 friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean in this cool-looking horror/comedy. At Commercial, soon to Cambie..


Jamestown: Complete Series – BBC dealie (or PBS or both or one) drama about “settlers” settling in America in 1617. I hope that there’s witches! At Commercial only, for now.


Queen and Slim – A black couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when they get pulled over by the heat. You can probably guess what that “turn” might be.


The Sonata – Horror number about a musician who discovers her dead dad’s compositions and when played, unleashes some devilry scares.


Tammy and The T-Rex – Vinegar Syndrome release of this weirdo cult oddity from the 90’s about a guy who’s brain gets implanted in a T-Rex who then goes on a murderous rampage. Originally released in a heavily edited PG-13 version, but here’s the fully uncut, gore-laden craziness! DVD and Blu Ray. Commercial store!


Vienna Blood – Crime drama about a psychology student who helps the coppers solve crimes in turn of the century (1900) Vienna. I keep wanting to say “sausage” every-time I see this title.


We – Eight bored teens from Belgium decide to relieve their boredom with increasingly risky and potentially dangerous sexcapades! Zoinks!

Coming Soon!

Charlie’s Angels
Ne Zha
Spies in Disguise
Fleabag Season 2

A couple of other things to tell you about to make your lives more pleasurable: There’s a new episode of our podcast up and ready to massage hilarity into your ears! And check out this lovely short film about the one of the last, and oldest, video stores still going! Might just bring a tear to your eye. Or it might not.

Talk at you soon!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.