The Black Dog Video Newsletter: “Psst! Wanna Buy a Movie Edition?!”

The Black Dog Video Newsletter: “Psst! Wanna Buy a Movie Edition?!”!”

Hi everybody! I’ve got a bit of exciting news for you movie collector’s out there (no, not a giant amazing sale – sorry) ~ This Friday to Sunday stop into the shop and enjoy a 2 for 1 sale on all of our $5 sale movies! Thousands to choose from! Also 10% off of all box sets for sale! (no holdzies or savezies)

New Releases!


Baba Yaga – Creepy nanny! Russian style! In Russia, Nanny murders you!


Braid – Two women decide to rob a wealthy, by psychotic, friend. Guess how that turns out?


Cut Off – Cool sounding German thriller about a coroner who finds a note in the head of a corpse with one word written on it – the name of his daughter! Freaky-deaky!


Deadwater Fell –David Tennant and the wonderfully named Cush Jumbo investigate a seemingly idyllic community except that an entire family was murdered there.


First Cow – A cook travels west to hang with a bunch of fur trappers in Kelly Reichardt’s (Old Joy, Meek’s Cutoff) subtle, but compelling cow drama.


Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind – Cool doc about the crusty Canadian crooner.


Hope Gap – Older couple visits their son where the dad tells him he’s leaving his mom. Ruh Roh!


Waiting for the Barbarians – Dusty drama about a Magistrate who begins to question his loyalty to the empire while stationed at a distant, sandy outpost. That sand gets in everything!


The Whistlers – Heist thriller with crooked cops, treachery, deception and other nice things.


Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin – Swell doc about the famed sci-fi writer. Dig in!


Yes, God, Yes – Comedy about a Catholic teen who turns to, um, taking care of business (if you know what I mean – wink wink) as she struggles to suppress all that Catholic guilt.


Z – Spooky thriller about a family being terrorized by their 8 year-old’s imaginary friend. Damn creepy kids.

Coming Soon!

The Big White
Killing Eve Season 3
Suzi Q
Hip Hop: Songs that Shock America
Legend of Tomiris
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
Rick and Morty S4
The Silencing

And don’t forget to stop in and check out Video Cat (formerly Black Dog Video on Cambie st.)! Give RJ and the staff there some love!

That’s it for this week, folks! Stay safe, don’t talk moistly to anyone, don’t breathe the air, avoid the moths, what else?

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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Want to Order some Sweet Things?

Hi everybody! I’m going to try to keep this page updated with DVDs and Blu Rays that are being released for you to purchase for your collection! Our prices will be very good and we can even ship them (for a price of course). If you see something you like and want a price, shoot me an email here

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The Black Dog Video Newsletter: “Words Confuse Some Edition!”


The Black Dog Video Newsletter: “Words Confuse Some Edition!”

So there seems to be a bit of confusion on what exactly is happening with the video stores. I thought my previous Newsletter laid it out perfectly clear in my mind but that’s in my mind. Apologies if you misunderstood…

Cambie Shop – Is no longer operating under the Black Dog Video banner. It has been sold to RJ and he will maintain it as a video store under the name Video Cat. I will no longer be working there or have anything to do with the shop (unless RJ needs a bit of help!).

Commercial Shop – Will remain Black Dog Video for the foreseeable future (hopefully forever!). I will be working there pretty much full time.

The weekly newsletter will be focused on the Commercial shop and what’s happening there (we have lots of big ideas on the horizon!). I will also provide links to what Video Cat is up to (, Instagram – Everyone is welcome to still receive this missive but I understand if you Cambie folks are no longer interested.

New Releases!


Beyond the Visible: Hilma of Klint – Doc about Hilma Klint who was the world’s first abstract artist before that term even existed. She blew people’s minds, man.


Bliss – Painter suffering from creator’s block turns to a spiraling hellscape of drugs, sex, and murder for inspiration. Cool.


Coma – Cool-looking sci-fi effort about an architect who wakes up after a nasty accident to find the world has changed into a crazy dystopia. And no, it’s not a documentary.


Outlander Season 5 – Season 5 of a lot of folks favourite show.


Succession Season 2 – Season 2 of my favourite show from last year.


The Tobacconist – Nice-looking German film about a fella who befriends Ziggy Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.


The Trip to Greece – The boys go to Greece. Hilarity ensues.


Shirley – Elizabeth Moss is writer Shirley Jackson (The Lottery, Haunting of Hell House – one of my favourite books and films) in this cool-looking bio-pic of sorts.


Weathering with You – Nice-looking Japanamation tale of a guy who befriends a girl who can control the weather. Make it rain, please.


Wolf Hour – Naomi Watts is a former counter-culture icon who lives in the Bronx in the sweltering, and deadly, summer of 1977.

Coming Soon!

Cut Off
Deadwater Fell
First Cow
Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read my Mind
Hope Gap
Waiting for the Barbarians
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin
Yes, God, Yes!

We’re going to be doing some things of note in the future! Look for The Black Dog Empire to start spreading it’s wings soon!


Sorry for the ultra-long post today. I hope that most of you will continue to receive and enjoy these newsletters and I hope to see you in the Commercial shop soon!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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The Black Dog Newsletter: This is the End: So Long, Farewell and Goodbye.


The Black Dog Newsletter: This is the End: So Long, Farewell and Goodbye.

Well here we are. The last train has pulled out of the station. The lights have been dimmed, the ham chilled. For the past 24 ½ years I’ve steered this video store from it’s humble beginnings (those wild-west days were so much fun: Parties. Friends. Good times.!) across the street on Cambie with its AstroTurf floors, bulky VHS tapes and dog biscuit rental tags (which did not last even a day as they were eaten by the first dog came into the shop!) to the current location in all it’s faded glory.

Continue reading….

New Releases

(all titles Commercial Drive location except Capone)


After Midnight – Horror/Sci-fi/drama about a guy who starts to crack after his girlfriend disappears. Oh and there seems to be some sort of monster in the woods! Blu Ray only.


Before We Vanish – Sci-fi/drama from Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure) about 3 aliens who come to earth to get ready for a massive alien invasion. Don’t the aliens know there’s a plague happening?!


Capone – Tom Hardy is old man Capone as he starts to go nuts after 10 years in the slammer.


Judy & Punch – Puppeteers run afoul of the mob and other things.


The Mover – Latvian drama about a guy trying to save Jews during the Holocaust. A Latvian Schindler’s List if you will.


Mr. Jones – Excellent drama about a Welsh journalist who breaks the news of the horrible famine in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. From director Agnieszka Holland.

Coming Soon!

(later this week)

Trip to Greece
Wolf Hour
Cursed Films
Mr. Mercedes S3
Open 24 Hours
Superman: Man of Tomorrow

That’s it for this week folks. There won’t be a newsletter next week as I’m taking a small break.

Hope to see you in the shops soon!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.


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This is the End: So Long, Farewell and Goodbye….


Well here we are. The last train has pulled out of the station. The lights have been dimmed, the ham chilled. For the past 24 ½ years I’ve steered this video store from it’s humble beginnings (those wild-west days were so much fun: Parties. Friends. Good times.!) across the street on Cambie with its AstroTurf floors, bulky VHS tapes and dog biscuit rental tags (which did not last even a day as they were eaten by the first dog came into the shop!) to the current location in all it’s faded glory.

It seems like a life-time ago (and it has been to any 24 year-old!) since we started. I still remember getting resumes and notes of encouragement slipped under the door as we prepared to open. I knew then that I was onto something good. I’ve met many a great folk along the way, customers and staff alike (there were a couple of duds, but they were few and far between). Many are still good friends to this day. And that was always the best part (well, and all those amazing films) – the people. It really was something special. I couldn’t have done it without all the amazing kids who were with me in the trenches slinging videos over the years;  JR, Patrice, Amanda, Keir-la, Melinda, Danielle, John (R.I.P.), Dane, Aliza, Alex, The Don, Robin, Graham, Bill, Shoby, Gwynne, Jacqui, Bjorn, Patrick, other Amanda, James, William, Angie, Eric, Travis, Becky, Naomi, Kathryn, Vanessa, Ava, Dylan and, of course RJ. Phew! I hope that I haven’t forgotten anyone. Apologies if I have.

It was a wicked ride. So many great times, a few bummers (the great fire, Y2K, dirt bus line, streaming services, plague and, of course, John’s passing) but I have so many great memories (what I can remember anyways), that they far outweigh the bad. I’ve had the pleasure of serving thousands of folks who came in looking for a respite from the tyranny of Blockbuster and then from the lame streaming services. It is still rewarding to me to turn folks onto something great that they weren’t familiar with. And to find things that I didn’t know was out there. I’ve seen babies grow up to be fine young adults and folks get old and shuffle off into the night. But that’s how time works, right? I still find it weird, but cool, to see so many people as they get older but I imagine that they think the same of me. Gone is that bright-eyed 30 year-old with a full head of hair only to be replaced by a 55 year-old grey-bearded fellow with a 15 year-old son!

It’s been quite amazing really. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Sure I may have done a few things differently but, like this broke-ass year, hindsight is 2020. Overall I think we did a pretty good job. We’re the last video shop in town and I like to think that what we do still counts for something.

RJ is taking over the reigns September 1st t to keep the video store dream alive. He’ll do a bang-up job and he’s pretty excited. Give him your love and support.

I just want to say thank-you to everyone who has come through the Black Dog’s doors over the past 24 years and grabbed something wonderful to take home (and then bring it back late). Your support and loyalty has meant a great deal to me. It’s sad, yet it’s a relief, to leave the old shop behind. I’ll still be behind the counter over at the Commercial Black Dog but drop into the Cambie shop and say hi this week as I’ll be working my last two official shifts Wednesday and Thursday 2-8pm.

Melinda summed it up nicely in a message to me – “I have seen a lot of (things): A marriage. A funeral. A knife. A giant cheese-ball. Fake blood. Real blood. Tears. Beers. Community. Friends. Freaks. Fires. Films. Lots of films. And dogs…”

Again, thank-you from the bottom of my cold dusty heart. You’ve made this old man feel pretty damn lucky.

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The Black Dog Newsletter “Rise of the Empire Edition!”


The Black Dog Newsletter “Rise of the Empire Edition!”

So we here at Black Dog Video we are taking steps to boldly enter the 21st Century! Coming soon…”The Black Dog Video Empire” will be spreading it’s tentacles into the far reaches of Youtube! We will be launching a fun and lovely project to entertain and delight in the next few weeks! Also stay tuned for a very special event happening on November 13th, 2020. Many details to follow!

New Releases!


AVA – Jessica Chastain is an international assassin. That’s about all you need to know.


The British Invasion: Beatles, Stones and The Who – Wonderful-looking (and long) documentary about your parent’s favourite bands. (At Commercial)


The Burnt Orange Heresy – Fun-looking art-heist movie. Stars Claes Bang. That’s about all you need to know.


Capital in the Twenty-First Century – Follow the money. Great doc on the history of wealth and money and (probably) terrible people. (At Commercial)


Deep Blue Sea 3 – Hey humans, stop making genetically modified sharks! You keep getting the same results!


Guest of Honour – Atom Egoyan’s latest drama centres on possible abuse and food inspection.


The King of Staten Island – Judd Apatow’s latest centres on a weed smoking wanna-be tattoo artist who must confront the realities of reality.


Town Bloody Hall – Great doc about a debate between Norman Mailer and Germaine Greer and other outspoken women in 1971.


Washington – Mini-series about George Washington, his likes and dislikes, his turn-ons and turn-offs. I heard he likes long walks in the rain on the beach while eating Chinese food. (At Commercial)

Coming Soon!

After Midnight
Before We Vanish
Judy & Punch
The Mover
Mr. Jones
The Tobacconist
The Trip to Greece
A White White Day

Also, if you’re interested in ordering any sweet boxes sets or movies, let us know. We can usually beat the Scamazon price and you’d be supporting a local business rather than giving the richest dork in the world more money. I doubt he needs a new space yacht.

That’s it for this week (recommendations on what to watch can be found here). Stay safe, stay hydrated and support your local businesses. They need your help more now than ever!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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The Black Dog Newsletter “Now’s the Time Edition!”


The Black Dog Newsletter “Now’s the Time Edition!”

So many things to tell you! I’ll do my best to keep it brief. There’s a great promotion from Vancity on until tomorrow. You can buy gift certificates for some local businesses and they’ll cover half! Buy a $50 GC for many shops (ours included) and only pay $25 (Vancity will cover the rest). It’s a great way to help out your favourite haunts, many of which are struggling during the plague, and save some money yourself! Offer expires on the 12th. Get on it!

There’s a new edition of the famed Black Dog After Dark podcast ready and willing to infect your brains!

Last thing – there’s a lovely new Blu Ray box set of all the Friday the 13th films coming out. Pre-order from us and save s few bucks (cheaper than Amazon and as a bonus you don’t have to buy from Amazon!) and we’ll probably get it to you sooner then that terrible company.


New Releases!


The Assistant – Intense drama that follows the assistant (see title) to a powerful executive over the course of one day. (At Commercial)


Dead Dicks – Wicked-looking comedy horror sci-fi dealie from friend of the shop, Chris Bavota, about suicide, siblings and well, I’m not going to mention anything more. Just watch it!


A Dog’s Courage – Nice animated fare about abandoned dogs finding their place in the world. (Today at Commercial, tomorrow at Cambie)


Gold Digger – An older woman is groovin’ on some young stud but is everything as it appears? Hope not, that’d be boring. (Today at Commercial, tomorrow at Cambie)


Swallow – Newly pregnant Hunter finds herself compelled to consume increasingly dangerous items. Zoinks! Here that this little number is squirm-inducingly great!


The Terror: Infamy – Loved the first season of this show. Hoping that this one, set in a Japanese internment camp during WWII, is just as good! (At Commercial)


Valley of the Gods – John Malkovich is an eccentric trillionaire(!) who pals around with his biographer, Josh Hartnett, while embracing Navajo lore in this odd duck of a movie. (Today at Commercial, tomorrow at Cambie)


You Don’t Nomi – Doc about the film Showgirls and how it went from disaster when it was released to the pinnacle of cult status. (I personally love this crazy film) (At Commercial)

Coming Soon!

Burnt Orange Heresy
Deep Blue Sea 3
Guest of Honor
The King of Staten Island
Town Bloody Hall

That’s it for this week folks. Thanks for reading. See you in the shops!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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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.

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The Black Dog Newsletter: “Home Stretch Edition!”


The Black Dog Newsletter: “Home Stretch Edition!”

So we ease on into August, the sun is out, the beer is cold and this is the last month of my reign at Black Dog Cambie! It’s weird and sad and exciting all at once. More on that to come. RJ is working tirelessly to get his paddle in the water and steer the shop boldly into the future. Wish him luck, extend a hand and support if you can. Should be cool!

New Releases!


Belgravia Season 1 – The Brits (and many others) love their upper class that has dark family secrets that are threatened to be exposed period pieces, don’t they? Rather!


The High Note – Big time singer and her overworked assistant must face a decision that could alter their lives and such!


His Dark Materials Season 1 – Excellent fantasy show that has to do with magic and animal spirits and bad guys and heroines and all that jazz.


The Gene: An Intimate History – Ken Burns gets inside you (literally almost) with this well-received doc about what make you tick.


Grantchester Season 5 – So many wrongdoings in the small town of Grantchester!


The Postcard Killings – Jeffrey Dean Morgan travels to London to find out what happened to his daughter! I imagine postcards figure into this somehow.


Primal – What would be a month without a Nic Cage film? Here he’s on a ship with a bunch of exotic animals and an international assassin who lets all the animals out of their “cages”! Excitement, I presume, ensues.

Coming Soon!

The Assistant
Dead Dicks
Dog’s Courage
Gold Digger Season 1
Valley of the Gods
You Don’t Nomi

Hey I’ve ordered a couple of these for the shop (Commercial). If you want one let me know!


Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the original Friday the 13th film (1980), this Collector’s set includes all 12 films in the franchise plus new and existing extras! • The definitive Blu-ray release of one of THE most popular and iconic horror franchises ever created!

Also here’s some suggestions of what you may like to cool down in the evening with!

Have a lovely week, stay safe, stay hydrated and remember, keep watching!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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The Black Dog Newsletter: “I Want You to Want Me Edition!”


The Black Dog Newsletter: “I Want You to Want Me Edition!”

So as you’ve probably heard, we’re in the middle (hopefully near the end) of a global pandemic! On a smaller scale that means that we won’t be getting much in the line of new Hollywood movies for a while. But RJ and myself have put our noggins together and have been scouring the film world for cool, interesting films to fill that void. Recently we’ve acquired new films from:

Werner Herzog
Terrence Malick
The Dardenne Brothers (2 films!)
Errol Morris
Ken Loach
Michael Winterbottom
Donnie Yen
Takeshi Miike
Quentin Dupieux

And more are on the way! Every week (or so). So do yourself (and us) a favour and pop in and try some of these on for size! You just might be pleasantly surprised.

New Releases!


American Dharma – Latest Errol Morris doc as he turns his critical lens on political scumbag, Steve Bannon.


Bacurau – Strange, but amazing sounding film set in a small town in Brazil where strange things are happening. RJ assures me that I will love this film. I hope you do as well. Has Udo Kier in it so I’m sold.


In the Fog – Intense, slow burning and haunting are words that can be used to describe this WWII film from Russia. Sign me up!


Unknown Girl – Latest intense film from the Dardenne Brothers (The Son, The Child) finds a teenager dying after being ignored at a doctor’s office. (at Commercial, soon to Cambie)


Zombi Child – Cool looking French film finds a girl telling a family secret about…well my guess it may involve zombies! (at Commercial, soon to Cambie)

Coming Soon!

(today and tomorrow!)

Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
Come and See – Blu Ray
Postcard Killings
Ride Your Wave
Survive the Night
Jack Ryan Season 2
Dead Dicks
His Dark Materials
Postcard Killings

And we lost a couple of screen legends over the weekend, Olivia de Havilland (she was 104! And in Gone with the Wind!) and a Black Dog favourite, John Saxon (Enter the Dragon, Black Christmas). Here’s a photo of me with John Saxon and Kier-la (former Black Dogger and creator of Cinemuerte Film Fest) from way back in 2003. He was a very nice gentleman.


That’s it for this week, folks. Stay out of the punishing sun, drink plenty of fluids, have fun and keep watching!

Copyright © 2020 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

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