This site is an offshoot from trashcity.org, where I’ve been writing reviews and other stuff since September 1997. After close to 19 years of hand-coding HTML, I decided it was time to move in the 21st century and switch to something which a) looked a bit more professional, and b) much more importantly, took less effort. All the old reviews can be found in the archive. They may eventually be brought into the same format as new ones, but since there’s over 3,000 of them, I wouldn’t hold your breath for that.
Personal stuff: I was born in the North of Scotland, and moved to the SE of England after graduating college. There I discovered the late, lamented Scala Cinema in King’s Cross, which was largely responsible for turning an interest in B-movies into a lifelong obsession. I started my own fanzine, Trash City, in 1989, and that ran for 20 physical issues up until it became purely online, when I emigrated to Arizona in 2000. I’ve been here ever since, but am still not used to the heat. I live with my wife, Chris, whose name may crop up in reviews occasionally, and when not watching films can be found cheering on the local baseball team, or playing with our cat. Or sleeping. That works too.
Goddamn, that sounds pretentious as fuck. But some context for these review will probably help. The great thing about being an amateur film-reviewer, is you only have to watch the films you want. I’m doing this for entertainment, not to pay the bills, and that’s inevitably reflected in my output. Therefore, the worst sin any movie can commit in my eyes, is to be boring. There’s never any excuse for that. Give me an interesting story, solidly told, and I could care less about your budget. A good script does not cost $100 million.
Beyond that, I’ll watch just about anything that catches my interest. Particular favorites include horror, action and SF, and we do watch a lot of foreign-language films. Almost regardless of content, stuff just seems cooler when it’s happening with subtitles. We’re quite happy with sex ‘n’ violence – and I speak for both Chris and I there – I knew she was a keeper when a present of Bloodsucking Freaks on VHS was warmly received. There’s a reason my fanzine was called Trash City. I’ve an abiding fondness for many films few admit to love: I can and will mount a sterling and straight-faced defense of Barb Wire. There’s no real logic to my tastes, but I will defend them to my death.
Ratings are on an A+ to F scale. Both will be very rare: from September 1997-June 2016, in over three thousand reviews, I’ve given eleven A+ grades and nine F’s, so less than 1% in total have been at the two extremes. Since I tend to watch films I want to see, C+ is likely about average. The great majority will be within the range of B- to D+, because I’m old and jaded, so it takes a lot to make an impression on me, good or bad. Since you’re wondering, here are the A+ and F films:
- Aileen Wuornos
- Blade Runner
- Cat People 
- Die Hard
- Monsters Inc.
- My Neighbour Totoro
- The Railway Children (Jeffries)
- Shaun of the Dead
- Children of the Living Dead
- Cthulhu Mansion
- John Tucker Must Die
- Model From Hell
- Queen of Lost Island
- Ride Sweet, Die Slow
- Der Todesengel
Feel free to email me at [email protected] Unless you were offended by something here, in which case the address is [email protected] Seriously. I have zero time for any kind of PC whining. If you mistake sarcasm, hyperbole and the deliberate exercise of bad taste as sexism/racism/whatever-ism, just close the browser window and walk away. It’ll be best for everyone concerned.
Otherwise, feel free. I reserve the right to publish all correspondence received, if I see fit. Emailing me confirms acceptance of this. Of course, if asked politely not to print something, I probably won’t. I’m not a dick. We’re happy to review your movies too: send a screener link or whatever. Can’t promise it’ll be utterly glowing, but it’ll be honest, and as long as it’s not boring, I’ll likely find something nice to say. Even if something like, “The film was largely in focus, and the dialogue mostly audible,”