The Black Dog Video Newsletter: Ensconcing Your Lovely Flesh Edition!


A fresh new desirable line of T-Shirts just washed up on the shores of your favourite video shop (Black Dog Video)! Only $19.99 and you could be the envy of all your friends and enemies. We’ve also just received another batch of the amazing “Dogtropolis” shirts designed by the lovely and talented Vanessa! Get ‘em before you can’t!


New Releases!


Abe – Nice little comedy/drama about a 12-year old dude named Abe, who loves cooking so much he whips up a big dinner for his half Israeli and half Palestinian family. What could possibly go wrong?


Arkansas – Crime drama about crime going wrong for characters named Frog, Bright, Swin and Kyle. Pretty good cast.


The Etruscan Smile – Sweet film with an unwieldy title finds the always great Brian Cox as a gruff old Scotsman who reluctantly travels to San Fran to get medical treatment. There he ends up staying at his estranged son’s place. Life lessons, I presume, ensue.


Extra Ordinary – An Irish driving-instructor with supernatural abilities is asked to help prevent a washed-up rock star from signing a pact with the devil for a return to fame. Not a documentary but a funny comedy ghost horror comedy.


One Cut of the Dead – Awesome Japanese comedy horror zombie comedy horror movie about some kids making a low-budget zombie movie when an actual zombie outbreak breaks out. Yes please!


When Lambs Become Lions – Intense, excellent documentary that looks at the Kenyan ivory trade from both the poacher’s and the ranger’s perspectives.


Young Ahmed – New film from the always amazing Dardenne brothers (The Son, The Child, Two Days, One Night) finds a Belgian teenager hatching a plot to murder his teacher after he embraces an extreme interpretation of the Quaran. Ruh-Roh!

Coming Soon!

The Banishment
Beecham House
Corpus Christi
Force of Nature
Last Moment of Clarity
Promise at Dawn
Turin Horse
Wicked Wicked
Winter Hunt

That’s it for this week, folks. If you need some recommendations on what to check out, check out our various recommendations pages (goes well with our 5 catalogue titles for $15 deal or 3 New Releases for the price of 2!). All kinds of nice things can be found there!

Make sure that you tune into next week’s episode of the newsletter as we will have a major announcement to announce! Till then, take care 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!

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!

The Black Dog Newsletter: Don’t Stand So Close to Me Edition!


Well, we’re half-way through this crazy messed-up year and already we’ve dealt with Australia burning to the ground, the plague ravaging the land, world-wide demonstrations against brutal racism and oppression, millions of folks out of work, the imminent collapse of the American empire as it’s steered off the cliff by a short-fingered orange madman and murder hornets terrorizing, well, no one really. What a first 6 months! What happens next?

Over here at Black Dog Video we’re doing our best to make your lives a little more pleasant! We’re open noon till 7 everyday, we’ve got movie deals ~ 5 old titles for $15, Rent 2 New Releases get a 3rd film for free, and our New Releases are now good for 3 nights! So don’t panic, it can only get better. Right?

New Releases!

(In addition to the titles mentioned last week)


Creepshow Season 1 – Creepy anthology series! Creepers gonna creep! (Commercial only)


Good Morning – From Japanese master Ozu comes the Criterion release of his 1959 tale of kids who go on a strike at home until their parents but them a TV. (Commercial only – soon to Cambie)


Harley Quinn Season 1 – Animated series (heard good things) about a lady named Harley Quinn and the fun times that she has. (Commercial only)


The Lodge – Tense little number about a woman snowed in with her fiance’s kids. I imagine things don’t go to well. From the nice folks who brought you Goodnight Mommy.


Grantchester Season 4 – Season 4 of Grantchester.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Excellent film about a woman on an isolated island who’s commissioned to paint a portrait of a lady (who may or may not be on fire). Criterion DVD on the shelves, Blu Ray coming soon.


Project Blue Book Season 2 – Season 2 of this fun X-Files type show about some dudes investigating UFO sightings and whatnot. (Commercial only)

Coming Soon!

Corpus Christi
The Etruscan Smile
Extra Ordinary
Once Were Bothers Blu Ray
One Cut of the Dead
When Lambs Become Lions
Young Ahmed

That’s it for this week folks. Stay safe and we’ll get through this! In the meantime rent or buy some nice movies and we’ll talk at you next week!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Video Newsletter “Ch-Changes Edition!”


Hello! We have some swell news for y’all! Starting today (Monday June 8th) we’re increasing our rental period for New Releases to 3 nights! Mind blown. And starting this Friday (June 12th) we will be extending our hours to 7pm! Both shops. Good times! On a bit of a bummer note – our debit machine went up in flames at the Commercial shop and is currently pooched. We should have a new one tomorrow (Tuesday) but for now it’s either cash only or we can add the charge to your account to be paid at a later date, a tab if you will.

New Releases

(whenever Canpar decides to deliver them! Hopefully soon! They’ve now moved ahead of Purolator as most frustrating courier company to deal with! Good job!)


Beanpole – Heavy Russian war drama about two women trying to survive and rebuild their lives after the siege of Leningrad in 1945. And there’s folks out there angry because they couldn’t get a haircut.


The Current War – Benny Cumberbatch and Mike Shannon are Edison and Westinghouse dueling it out to see who gets to be Mr. Electricity for the world.


The Death of Dick Long – Dick died last night (spoiler alert!) but his buddies don’t want anyone finding out how he died in this comedy/crime dealy. From the guy who made the under-appreciated Swiss Army Man!


Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band – Music doc about the amazing Robbie Robertson and his great band, The Band.


Recorder – Marion Stokes Project – Doc about Marion Stokes – a woman who, for some reason, recorded 30 years worth of Television on over 70,000 VHS tapes. This looks pretty cool.


Uncut Gems (on the shelves now) – Pretty good and intense thriller finds a shrill Adam Sandler being hounded but debt collector’s and other unsavory characters as he tries for one more big score!

Coming Soon!

Corpus Christi
The Lodge
Creepshow S1
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Last Moment of Clarity
Sorry we Missed You

For those of you who may be interested, we’ve been doing a little family film class during this current apocalypse. Check out the great films we’ve seen. Might give you some inspiration to delve back into some amazing classics!

Till next week, be safe, be strong, fight the power!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter : “What is Even Happening Anymore Edition?!”


As we witness the fall of the American empire, the plague ravishing the land and murder hornets having their way with our bees, a bit of good news casts a ray of light into the darkness. Black Dog Video, and many other business, are back in action! We’re open everyday noon till 6pm at both shops. These hours will be adjusted in the coming weeks to suit your needs. And we’ve taken precautions to make your visit to our shops as safe and enjoyable as possible:

– Plexiglas barriers have been installed
– We’ve had both shops entirely disinfected courtesy of the good folks at Zeroblast
– We’re limiting the number of people in the stores to 5-6 at a time.
– Please don’t stay too long – browsing is OK but only for renters and speedy buyers
– We wipe down all incoming DVD cases with our special bleach solution
– Please give each other room to roam in the shops. Get spaced out!

We received the shipment of New Releases mentioned in the previous newsletter!

The Hunt
I Wish I Knew
Never Really Sometimes Often
Watchmen Season 1

And we should (hopefully) have a few more titles by the end of this week. They might include:

The Current War
The Death of Dick Long
Once Were Brothers
Recorder- The Marion Stokes Project

And hopefully in the next couple of weeks:

Creepshow Season 1
Extra Ordinary
Harley Quinn Season 1
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Corpus Christi

Also, I just wanted to mention before I bid adieu, our sweet deals remain in place everyday:
5 beautiful old titles for $15 and 3 shiny New Releases for the price of 2!

And…if you haven’t already, get your late returns back as soon as you can please.

Be safe, be happy, it’s good to be back.

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.