Q&A: The Blackcoat’s Daughter with Oz Perkins, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton

Last Thursday, March 23, the new Alamo Drafthouse NYC in Brooklyn hosted a special screening of the well-received first film by Osgood Perkins, The Blackcoat’s DaughterThe Blackcoat’s Daughter is a psychological horror film set in a girls’ boarding school starring Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) as Kat, a troubled student caught at the school during vacation, and co-starring Lucy Boynton and Emma Roberts, which premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Fest but is finally getting a limited theatrical release.  The film opens this Friday, March 31, at the Alamo NYC.

After the screening, Mr. Perkins, who has since released his follow-up picture, the subdued ghost story I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, through Netflix, sat with Shudder’s Sam Zimmerman, along with stars Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton, for the entertainingly candid Q&A presented below (edited for space and clarity).

On Making a “Classy” Horror Film

Osgood Perkins:          When I wrote it, it seems old-fashioned to say this, but the horror genre was sort of in trouble.  Now that’s such a stupid thing to say because the horror genre has never been more of the moment.  Everybody and their mom has a great horror movie.  But at the time it sort of felt like a beleaguered slum. Continue reading

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Review: Phantasm: Ravager (USA 2016)

It breaks my heart to have to give this film a bad review. I love the Phantasm film series. The first one is a freaky trip, and the second one is a campy, action-packed blast – and both do an incredible job of creating a dreamlike atmosphere of hopelessness. Even the third film, while deeply flawed, is still a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Ravager follows in the path of Phantasm IV, an ultra-low budget mix of outtakes and inexpensive new footage with little narrative coherence. Continue reading

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Review: The Black Tavern (Hong Kong 1972)

An obscurity from the Shaw Brothers’ libraries, this film is definitely staffed with the Shaw B-team but still manages to be an energy-filled take on King Hu’s classic Dragon Inn. Continue reading

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Tomas Milian, RIP

I never thought he carried poliziotteschi films as well as Maurizio Merli, but he had some superb spaghetti western roles, particularly in Sergio Corbucci’s Companeros.

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Review: Hacksaw Ridge (USA 2016)

If this steaming pile of garbage could get nominated for Best Picture, I guess that is definitive proof that Mel “Sugar Tits” Gibson has been forgiven by the Hollywood community. Hacksaw Ridge commits the worst sin of war movies – being both schmaltzy and gory. The script is absolutely terrible – full of cheese and hoary clichés – and Andrew Garfield plays the lead as a kind of borderline slow Forrest Gump, while the direction could not be more trite and unsubtle. Continue reading

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Review: Death Race 2050 (USA 2017)

Well, that was more entertaining than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, this remake of the Roger Corman/Paul Bartel 1975 trash classic Death Race 2000 is total garbage, mostly stupid and low budget as hell. But compared to the other recent remake – the bland, gritty prison-set 2008 Death Race starring Jason Statham – Death Race 2050 at least has the courage of its convictions and is in the spirit of its forebear, filling the screen with gore, tits, half-baked political statements, silly cars and sillier outfits. Continue reading

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Review: Royal Flash (UK 1975)

To date, the only film adaptation of George MacDonald Fraser‘s highly entertaining Flashman novels, which follow a Victorian-era British officer’s globetrotting misadventures as he snivels and connives his way to women, wine and safety, while maintaining the appearance of a virtuous hero. Continue reading

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Review: Love and Friendship (UK 2016)

I have had a deep affection for Whit Stillman since his Barcelona helped open my eyes to indie cinema in the 90s, and I also love me some Jane Austen (though generally the books far than the movie adaptations). So being able to see Stillman’s take on Austen was a special treat. Continue reading

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Review: Arrival (USA 2016)

This big budget, somewhat highbrow science-fiction picture ultimately glossed over potentially interesting scientific and technical material in favor of an emotional angle on the material, and also forced me to watch the pile of anti-charisma that is Jeremy Renner. Continue reading

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Review: Suicide Squad (USA 2016)

Based on the critical reaction, I went to this with very low expectations, and the film lived down to every single one. The first third of the film is a series of progressively less interesting introductions, the overarching plot is completely uninteresting, and not one of the characters pops. I love the old John Ostrander-Kim Yale Suicide Squad comics from the 80s and 90s. They took the chicken shit of DC’s goofy pre-Crisis villains and turn them Continue reading

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