Saturday, May 9, 2020

Top 20 Pop Culture YouTube Channels

By: Selina

Photo By: Lucas Pezeta

Times are uncertain and life is pretty abnormal at the moment. We’re all taking comfort in different ways as we try to get by. For me, I’ve always taken my comfort in visual entertainment. I love to read, but reading is something I do when I’m calm and happy. My concentration suffers when I’m down, so I stick to things like movies, video games, and – of course – YouTube.

When life is normal, one of my favorite things to do is go to the movies. I go to my local theater, grab some popcorn and watch whatever new project has hit screens that week. I don’t even worry about whether or not I have someone to go with. With the theaters closed, I’ve had to find other ways to get my pop culture infusions.

That’s where YouTube comes in.

Now, I’m not one for tabloid stuff. I don’t care what celebrity just got pregnant, who cheated on who, or where the tea is. I’m more interested in actual movie/gaming news and trivia. I want to have discussions about Easter Eggs. I want to know the new date that A Quiet Place Part II will be coming out. I’m interested in reviews and lists of pop culture items that will keep me entertained now. So, I’ve collected a substantial number of channels over the years that have satiated my pop culture needs.

I find that those channels are even more useful to me now.

Below I’ve listed 20 of my favorite movie, TV, and other pop culture-related channels. (Let’s Play channels have not been included, but I have plans to write up another article featuring those.)

20 – Alien’s Guide

Creation Year: 2018
Subscribers as of 5/8: 212K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 100
Average Video Length: 6 minutes

Description Blurb: Welcome to ALIEN'S GUIDE, the new home of Wisecrack's EARTHLING CINEMA and all things Garyx Wormuloid. Subscribe to catch new and old episodes of Earthling Cinema, along with Garyx's new Earthling Culture show, diving into topics like MoviePass, Korean BBQ, and something called tennis.

This channel was an acquired taste for me, but once I acquired it, I couldn’t get enough.

My best friend found Alien’s Guide and immediately started pestering me to watch it. He’s a huge fan of all things alien, so this was right up his alley.

Alien’s Guide is a channel where the narrator discusses films from the point of view of an alien trying to understand Earth culture. He discusses the plot of movies and tries to understand them with his alien mindset, often misunderstanding things in a comical way.

You won’t get much in the way of information from this channel, but you will spend a lot of time laughing. So, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for some laughs and you don’t mind a bit of weird woven in, this is the channel for you.

I’m unsure if the mind behind this channel will return. The last post is from 6 months ago. If he was still posting this channel would be higher on the list.

19 – Fallingwithstyle

Creation Year: 2011
Subscribers as of 5/8: 10.6K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 80
Average Video Length: 13 minutes

Description Blurb: I'm what happens when a little kid grows up listening to DVD commentaries.  If you want to hear earnest, passionate discussion about movies and TV, you're in the right place. I'm also the co-director, lead writer, editor, and Fan on the show Inanimate Insanity.

I would love to put this channel higher, but they just don’t post enough.

Looking through his old videos, it’s easy to see that he only just now has started to settle into some kind of schedule and flow. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t watched any of his livestreams yet, but his regular videos are more than worth it. They’re backed by a narrator that knows his shit and makes the subject he’s discussing feel more interesting.

If you’re looking to give a smaller YouTuber a chance, I recommend hitting this guy’s page. He has the talent to get bigger over time if he sticks to this newer format.

18 – Birth. Movies. Death.

Creation Year: 2015
Subscribers as of 5/8: 12K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 99
Average Video Length: 5 minutes

Description Blurb: Springing from the movie-loving culture of Alamo Drafthouse, join us for a trek into the weirdest and craziest corners of pop culture. We've got exclusive interviews, offbeat recaps, and commentaries, and sincerely irreverently jaunts into what you love. If you've seen Alamo Drafthouse's ad-free preshow you probably have an idea what to expect, but if not? Hit subscribe and enjoy Birth.Movies.Death.

In order to discuss this YouTube channel, I need to discuss its theater counterpart.

When I lived in Brooklyn, the Alamo Drafthouse was my theater of choice. I lived nowhere near it, and parking was so impossible that it was often easier to just take the train, but it was still the theater I wanted to see all my favorite films at. Even after my move, I’ve had no problem taking the three-hour trip to downtown Brooklyn just to watch a movie at the Alamo.

The Alamo Drafthouse is not like any other movie theater I’ve ever been to. The love of film bleeds from ever brick of the building. The moment you step into the room, you’re struck by an atmosphere that put you in the mood for cinema. There are tables of books relating to movie trivia, board games and collectibles based on beloved films, and soundtrack records on a shelf by a giant window. There’s a sound of laughter and music from the bar on that first floor where you can look through a morbid museum of wax.

If you get there early and hit the bar first, they make a killer old-fashioned. If you don’t finish your drink, you can bring it upstairs to your movie seat where there’s an entire menu to choose from. None of the food (even the themed stuff) can compare to their fresh popcorn coated in clarified butter – the smell of which permeates the room.

There are posters of obscure foreign B-movies lining the walls that inspire chuckles, and when you get seated to wait for the movie to start, there are unique trailers and interviews that no other theater has. The actual tickets even tend to be cheaper than you can find at other theaters in NYC.

The Alamo Drafthouse, even as a dinner theater, feels more like it’s dedicated to the love of movies than any other building I’ve ever been in. Most theaters feel like snack stands that also happen to be showing films. It’s just a completely different experience for a movie goer.

Birth. Movies. Death. is a channel that brings you the unique pre-show clips that the Alamo Drafthouse shows in the theater. It can span from super weird to incredibly informative – and it gives you everything in between.

Honestly, this channel would be a lot higher if they posted on a regular schedule, or had a higher frequency of posts in general. Still, it’s a great channel to peek at, even with a small catalogue of videos to choose from.

17 – GoodBadFlicks

Creation Year: 2006
Subscribers as of 5/8: 296K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 696
Average Video Length: 14 minutes

Description Blurb: Movies, games, and the occasional editorial. From A-Z list films, video games, and other assorted overlooked goodness.

Recently, the guy behind this channel suffered a terrible loss. As a result, he took a bit of a break. He does post about it on the channel, if you want to know more. Still, even if he is gone for an extended amount of time, there’s a lot of great videos on his site to go through while you wait for new content.

That said, his content is a lot of fun to watch.

GoodBadFlicks mostly explores low-budget movies that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to. I mean, not many people are going to bring up Terrorvision (1986) or Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987) when it’s their turn to choose something for movie night.

In these videos, the narrator goes through the plot of the film and discusses the trivia behind it. He talks about the writers, directors, and actors and explains how they got involved with the project. He explains the work and thought process behind each film and gives the audience a better idea of the soul of the movie.

Granted, low-budget films like these aren’t going to be for everyone – but if it is your thing, GoodBadFlicks is a great channel for you.

16 – ScreenCrush

Creation Year: 2012
Subscribers as of 5/8: 610K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 776
Average Video Length: 8 minutes

Description Blurb: We give you Breakdowns, Analysis, Easter Eggs, and Video Essays about your favorite movies and TV shows. Especially if your favorites including superhero movies and Star Wars.

Although ScreenCrush is popular for its Easter Egg videos, I prefer their theory and explanation videos, like the one above.

Generally, their videos tend to be very well researched and relatable. They are not afraid to take the side of the unpopular opinion, either.

There’s a lot to get from this channel, but you’ll get a lot more from it if you’re a fan of Star Wars and/or Marvel films.

15 – Emergency Awesome

Creation Year: 2012
Subscribers as of 5/8: 3.48M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 4,254
Average Video Length: 10 minutes

Description Blurb: All the best Game Of Thrones, The Mandalorian, Avengers Endgame and Marvel Movies, The Flash, Trailer, Promo, Easter Eggs, and Comic Book and Sci Fi Fantasy Stuff with me, Emergency Awesome Charlie Schneider including: Game of Thrones Season 8, Star Wars The Mandalorian, Avengers Endgame and Future Marvel Movies, Rick and Morty Season 4, Spider Man Far From Home, The Flash Season 6, Deadpool 3, Young Justice Season 4, Titans, Arrow Season 8, Star Wars Episode 9 Rise of Skywalker, Marvel and DC Movies / TV Shows / Comic Books

Clearly, the description for this channel is a little out of date, but it is still one of my go-to channels for Marvel film news.

Whenever there’s an announcement, a new trailer, or a Marvel movie release – Emergency Awesome is all over it. They’re true fans of comic book movies and it shows in the way they approach news around the subject. They do videos on plenty of other projects, and those videos are very informative, but I subscribe for the Marvel content.

If you want to know what’s going on with the delays and new information around Marvel films, this is the channel for you. Especially if you’re just looking for some quick information without much in the way of content padding.

14 – A Conversation With (and A Conversation With Clips)

Creation Year: 2019
Subscribers as of 5/8: 232K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 26 videos
Average Video Length: 74 minutes

Description Blurb: None

So, this one is a little different than the others. It falls firmly in the pop culture category but it doesn’t really touch on movies or TV shows or anything like that. The A Conversation With channel is about Philip Defranco getting some great YouTubers on the show to talk about stuff. Just a wide variety of stuff.

If you’re interested in YouTube and the personalities that come from the site, then this channel is where you want to be. He’s had people like Liza Koshy, James Charles, Sean Evans, and Dr. Mike on the show.

The channel reaches through all the genres on YouTube and grabs some of the most familiar faces. Each conversation stands on its own and is, usually, intensely funny.

There aren’t a whole lot of videos on the channel right now, and the pandemic may be a factor in how often he will be able to post, but each video is an hour or more and certainly worth watching. If you don’t want to devote that long to a single video, he also has A Conversation With Clips that posts smaller snippets of the interviews. Those videos are much shorter.

13 – Couch T.

Creation Year: 2014
Subscribers as of 5/8: 214K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 408
Average Video Length: 3 minutes

Description Blurb: You can't love a movie for the same reason you hate another...

You’re not going to get much in the way of news or trivia from this channel. Couch T. is fully about the humor.

In these short videos, the narrator describes the plot of two films that either seem very different or very similar. Using nothing but a side-by-side comparison, he then shows you exactly why those perceptions are very wrong.

It’s such a simple concept, but the way he brings it together is outstanding, such as in the video above. There are very few people who could so easily compare movies like The Lost World (1997) and The Incredibles (2004) quite like the narrator from Couch T. can. It’s almost impossible to argue with him by the end of the video.

Depending on the comparisons being made, the videos can be frustratingly accurate or hilarious, either way, they’re always worth watching.

12 – Austin Burke

Creation Year: 2014
Subscribers as of 5/8: 59.5K
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 1,369
Average Video Length: 8 minutes

Description Blurb: What is up Flick Fans?! This channel is all about movies. We talk superheroes, Netflix, television and create lists. But the focus is movies and this channel is all about celebrating filmmaking. So I would love for you to take a look and see what this channel is all about. If you are subscribed then I truly appreciate it. This community means a lot to me and I can't wait to see where it leads. I was able to get my start on Vine where I got around 140 thousand followers before it left us. Thankfully I love YouTube and everything about it. I also hope to be a full-time critic one of these days!

Austin Burke feels like he could be a friend you’re discussing a movie or show with. He never feels like he’s looking down his nose at the project he’s talking about. There’s never a moment when you’re watching his channel that you feel like he’s talking out of his ass. Even when you disagree with what he’s saying.

Simply put, he’s a charismatic geek. Here at Trust the Dice, we love geeks.

This is a review channel that gives you a little more. Aside from his reviews, you get interesting pop culture discussions and news. You even get some trivia or lists. Really, it’s a little of everything you’d want from this kind of channel.

Burke will keep you entertained for hours. He has great movie recommendations and several videos on what to look for on Netflix. His video catalogue is HUGE, too. There’s something for everyone.

11 – Mr. Sunday Movies

Creation Year: 2013
Subscribers as of 5/8: 1.16M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 840
Average Video Length: 16 minutes

Description Blurb: Movie Reviews, Easter Eggs, Trailer Breakdowns. Deleted Scenes...other things!

The description of this channel sounds pretty much like most of the other ones you’ll see. But what makes it great, at least to me, is one of their weekly shows.

A lot of their videos give you information that you’ll find on other channels. Movie and TV news, comic book trivia, etc. Those are still worth watching because the banter between the hosts is funny.

The thing that makes Mr. Sunday Movies great, though, is their Caravan of Garbage series.

Caravan of Garbage is a truly unique weekly series that features the hosts discussing some of the worst projects out there. They go into a full description of the film, or TV show, and break down why exactly it sucks. They have me rolling every week.

They just finished up 4 weeks of Fantastic Four movies and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s hilarious.

10 – Movieclips Trailers

Creation Year: 2011
Subscribers as of 5/8: 14.6M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 8,338
Average Video Length: Either 3 minutes or 30 minutes (two different kinds of videos)

Description Blurb: The Fandango MOVIECLIPS TRAILERS channel delivers hot new trailers, teasers, and sneak peeks for all the best upcoming movies. Subscribe to stay up to date on everything coming to theaters and your favorite streaming platform.

Movieclips Trailers is my personal go-to for trailers, featurettes, and clips. Pretty much everything they put out is built around what’s coming soon. Where I might use the trailers from actual production companies for the Top 20, Movieclips Trailers is where you can find an amalgamation of most of the films expected in theaters (or on streaming) regardless of production company.

This channel is fueled by Fandango and there are a ton of other movie-centric channels that come along with it. If you’re more interested in specific clips, you can follow Movieclips. If you want more information about an upcoming film than a trailer can give you, Movieclips Coming Soon is the channel for you. Maybe mainstream media isn’t your thing. In that case, you should check out Movieclips Indie. Or, maybe, you’re more curious about the trailers of older films. If that seems like what you want, you’re looking for Movieclips Classic Trailers.

Movieclips is just so incredibly versatile, and has such a reputable source, that it’s impossible to not take them into account when you’re looking for movie information on YouTube.

9 – Wisecrack

Creation Year: 2013
Subscribers as of 5/8: 2.84M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 549
Average Video Length: 23

Description Blurb: Wisecrack is a collective of academics, filmmakers, artists, and pop culture junkies who are curious and contemplative about the world around us. Our channel explores big ideas like philosophy and critical thinking through the lens of movies, TV shows, video games, current events, books, and more.

Wisecrack boasts more than one series on the channel. Those are: Wisecrack Edition, Deep or Dumb?, What Went Wrong?, 8-bit Philosophy, and Thug Notes.

In each series, the channel goes into something different. Either you’re getting a deep dive into a show/movie, or you’re being delivered a well-researched debate on whether or not the psychology of a project holds up to the times. In some of the shows you get a narrator offering a lecture, in others, there’s a debate between a show-runner and a guest. Each series offers its own perspective and tackles a new idea about a well-known movie or show.

Wisecrack also touches on games and music at times, as well as other pop culture mediums.

Whether you like your movie discussions with a little ‘original gangster’ flair or with a heartwarming geeky discussion between friends, Wisecrack is sure to give you something you’ll enjoy.

My favorite of their videos is seen above. I adore their take on the way actors portray the Joker and how it seems to be a roadmap of how Hollywood, itself, evolved over the years. I seriously recommend giving it a watch.

6 – Jeremy Jahns

Creation Year: 2007
Subscribers as of 5/8: 1.71M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 1,678
Average Video Length: 6 minutes

Description Blurb: A show of movie reviews and comedy. If I make you laugh, then I've done my job. Subscribe, and spread the word!

This is almost solely a review channel. At the beginning/end of a year, he does a couple of lists based around the movies that came out the previous year and the ones that are coming out soon, but the rest of it is all about reviews.

I’ll admit that I know not many people binge-watch reviews. I do, but I know that I’m in the minority with that. Still, if you were going to binge any reviews (aside from ours) I’d recommend that you look into Jeremy Jahns.

Jahns is so incredibly charismatic and hilarious that it’s hard to look away when he’s talking. Whether it’s about a film or video game, he’s easy to listen to. Not only that, but he’s clearly just a fan. He never has a stick up his ass and you can feel the love of entertainment oozing from every one of his pores.

I always find it a pleasure to listen to someone talk about something they’re passionate about. I think you will too.

8 – The Take

Creation Year: 2016
Subscribers as of 5/8: 1M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 421
Average Video Length: 20 minutes

Description Blurb: This is the Take. It's where you come to understand more about your favorite movies, shows and culture. Our video essays make the story worlds you enter richer and deeper. Think: Endings Explained, Character Studies, Hidden Messages and Symbols Revealed, Actor and Director Profiles, and more. We want to share our love of visual culture with the world. So here's our Take.

On this list, the binge-ability starts here.

Every one of The Takes videos is meant to be educational and sincerely entertaining. There are videos about the long shot in 1917 (2019), explanations about plots or endings, and – what drove me to the channel – videos delving into various popular tropes in movies and TV Shows.

I’ve been considering an article series where I go into the best and worst tropes of the cinematic world. If I opt to do it, this YouTube channel will be one of the places I go to conduct research. They go into tropes you may never have even thought about. It’s insanely interesting stuff.

Although the ‘Trope, Explained’ series they have is new, they also have another series that goes into the history of a type of character that acts as a kind of spiritual successor to it.

They also focus on more specific projects, but if you want my opinion, start with the video above. Just remember, sometimes binging stuff like this becomes involuntary.

7 – WatchMojo

Creation Year: 2007
Subscribers as of 5/8: 22.4M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 18,077
Average Video Length: 13 minutes

Description Blurb: Top 10 lists on Music, TV, Film and Video Games. We publish 4 or more Top 10s daily. Subscribe for new top 10 lists every day, and binge watch on Top 10s covering Pop Culture, Celebrity, Movies, Music, TV, Film, Video Games, Politics, News, Comics and Superheroes. WatchMojo’s back catalogue has ten thousand videos on Top 10 lists, Origins, Biographies, Tips, How To’s, Reviews, Commentary and more  Your trusted authority on ranking Pop Culture.

If you don’t know about WatchMojo yet, then I’m just going to assume you haven’t spent more than an hour on YouTube. When people think about channels that do lists, WatchMojo is almost always the top of their list.

Here’s the thing, I LOVE WatchMojo. I binge-watch the hell out of their videos. However, I almost never agree with their lists. For me, that’s part of the fun. I like to yell at the screen when I disagree with them. It’s never a visceral trolly kind of dislike. It’s more like I know I’d really enjoy a hearty debate with pretty much any of the people who make the lists.

WatchMojo covers pretty much everything from movies and TV to songs to tabloid stuff to science and news. Anything you can think of, they probably have a top 10 or top 20 list on it. They also have a ton of sub-channels (

They have a new series where they go through the Best Movies of each genre from A-Z. I really enjoy playing along with those videos, though some of their picks are mind boggling.

5 – WhatCulture

Creation Year: 2011
Subscribers as of 5/8: 2.01M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 2,713
Average Video Length: 13 minutes

Description Blurb: WhatCulture is an online culture magazine, covering Film, Gaming, TV and more! Check back regularly for exclusive Top-10s, previews, reviews and other awesome content!

WhatCulture is one of my favorite YouTube channels in general.

At first glance, it can seem like a very typical Top 10 list channel – not unlike WatchMojo. There’s one very simple difference between WhatCulture and the grandfather of list channels.

Where there’s the occasional narrator that I just don’t connect with on WatchMojo, WhatCulture’s narrators are all such unique characters that it’s difficult to not enjoy listening to all of them. They also don’t seem to redo their lists as much, and their accompanying website is a pleasure to browse for hours at a time.

My favorite part of this channel’s lineup is Ash vs. the Evil Wed. It’s punny and full of the best (or worst) of what horror has to offer. You know how much I love to mix my horror with comedy.

If you like the Top 10 format, I highly recommend you check this channel out. You won’t be disappointed.

3 – The Film Theorists

Creation Year: 2014
Subscribers as of 5/8: 8.54M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 238
Average Video Length: 14 minutes

Description Blurb: Hello Internet! I'm Matpat and welcome to FILM THEORY! Do you ever wonder what secrets could be hiding in your favorite movies and shows? So do we! From figuring out the biology of Attack on Titan's Titans to revealing the dark secrets of Disney movies, we cover it all! Want to take a deep dive into the world of nerdy theories? Join our community of Loyal Theorists today!

If you know Matpat, you likely know him from The Game Theorists channel. It’s much bigger than this one and was made several years earlier. I intend to (hopefully) do a list on gaming channels later on that it will undoubtedly be a part of. For now, I’m more concerned with his Film Theorists channel.

This channel focuses on finding the fan theories (both popular and not) from movies and TV shows. It will then either prove why the theory is right or debate it. Matpat tackles a lot of Pixar and Disney, but that shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. There are a ton of theories surrounding films from those production companies.

His videos tend to be so well thought out that it borders on obsessive. That may mean something big for his therapist, but for viewers it’s just plain entertaining.

4 – CineFix

Creation Year: 2006
Subscribers as of 5/8: 3.62M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 2,011
Average Video Length (Not including watch parties): 11 minutes

Description Blurb: CineFix is the ultimate destination for true movie buffs & filmmakers on YouTube.

The countdown videos at CineFix are next level. WatchMojo and WhatCulture are more about comedy and full-on pop culture. CineFix, however, wants to educate you on cinema. They aren’t concerned with simplicity. Every single thing they post involves a ton of research.

They come at movies like that fun college professor you had that made you want to care about whatever they taught. They don’t drone on and just say a movie is the best because that’s the way it is. They give you real reasons and they break down their choices for you to such an extent that even if you would have disagreed with them at the start of the video, you likely won’t by the end.

They tackle genres, differences between an adaptation and the source material, soundtracks, movie history… everything that is important to the film world. CineFix is the best cinema education you can get without actually going to film school.

The binge-ability where this channel is concerned is incredible. I have fallen down holes that lasted 3 to 4 hours – and I came away from it feeling like I’d truly learned something. Watching this channel – for however long – never feels like wasted time. You will almost always learn something new.

If you love film like I do, this is the channel for you.

2 – CinemaSins

Creation Year: 2012
Subscribers as of 5/8: 8.9M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 835
Average Video Length: 17 minutes

Description Blurb: No movie is without sin. We exist mostly just to remind you of that.
New sins videos every Tuesday & Thursday.

Most people have at least heard of CinemaSins. Whether they love or hate it is another story.

CinemaSins looks at movies from a completely different perspective. There are no lists and they aren’t looking to teach you anything. The goal of this channel is sardonic reference comedy, and they take it to the extreme.

I’ve seen plenty of people scoff at CinemaSins for being too negative. My mom once asked me why they do videos on films if they don’t actually enjoy it. I had to explain to her that she’s looking at it wrong.

If you have a really close group of friends, chances are you rib each other occasionally. You love your buddies, but you will absolutely call them out on their bullshit or make fun of them jokingly. That’s what this channel is for movies.

It calls each film out for its tropes and inconsistencies – but it also just has fun with it, like an old friend. I’ve seen sins given out because the movie made the narrator feel something or because it reminded him of an entirely different film. It’s all just meant to be comedy.

Now, understandably, not everyone enjoys that brand of humor. Some people can’t separate the negative from the funny. Even still, sometimes you can’t watch too much of CinemaSins in a row because you can begin feeling a bit negatively toward films yourself. If that happens, just split up marathons of CinemaSins with my final pick for this list. It’ll keep you balanced.

1 – CinemaWins

Creation Year: 2015
Subscribers as of 5/8: 1.56M
Number of Videos as of 5/8: 201
Average Video Length: 18 minutes

Description Blurb: Because liking things is more fun than not liking things. Sometimes the critics are wrong. Some movies, while full of plot holes, continuity errors, and bad acting have plenty of wins! Every week I’ll do a movie you love, that maybe the world hates. Did you go into a movie with your mind made up? Maybe there's more greatness in it than you thought! And some movies are just so good they deserve the winning treatment. The internet is full of so much hate and negativity, ultimately I hope my videos will brighten your day! I use a similar format as CinemaSins specifically to be their opposite. This is just my spin on films that I think don't get the respect they deserve or are so good they need to be celebrated. Or more often, stupid crap that made me laugh and want to watch it again.

CinemaWins is not as big or well-known as CinemaSins… but I absolutely think it should be.

You hear me talk a lot about the difference between a full-on critic and a fan plenty of times. The difference between CinemaSins and CinemaWins embodies that to an almost parody level. Where as everything on the aforementioned channel is shown in a negative light, everything on this channel is shown from a positive perspective.

The narrator here is all about what makes films good – even films that are notoriously bad. He’ll admit when he doesn’t think a movie is good, but he’ll also point out the things in it that make it suck just a little less.

If you need a shot of positivity, or just want to believe that anything can be good for a little while, this is absolutely the channel for you.

Right now, with the world seeming to get more and more fucked up every single day, I think CinemaWins is one of the best channels to binge watch in any YouTube category.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Satanic Panic (2019)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Satanic Panic (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Aperture Entertainment, Fangoria, Media Finance Capital, CINESTATE, RLJE Films, Double Dutch International
Director: Chelsea Stardust
Writer: Grady Hendrix, Ted Geoghegan
Actors: Rebecca Romijn, Arden Myrin, Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, AJ Bowen, Jordan Ladd, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jerry O’Connell, Hannah Stocking, Whitney Moore, Michael Polish, Skeeta Jenkins, Maya Perkins, Mike E. Winfield, Jonas Lerway, Ranger Lerway, Clarke Wolfe, Gina Marie Hughes, Aaron N. Martin

Blurb from IMDb: A pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life - and her tips - when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was a high-quality B-horror film.

There are some recognizable names involved and the overall quality of filming was relatively high… but it was just as cheesy and over-the-top as you would want your B-horrors to be.

As much as I tend to enjoy comedy horror, there’s a balance that needs to be met. Satanic Panic just didn’t get there. A lot of the scenes that were supposed to be funny, were problematic at best. I’m not very sensitive to comedy – some really dark shit makes me laugh – but even I feel like this movie crossed a few lines. I wasn’t offended, but I also didn’t find it funny.

Simply put: there were better ways to frame the off-color comedy scenes that would have made the movie much funnier and easier to watch.

Other than that, Satanic Panic had some good parts. I enjoyed the concept and the cheesy acting. I also thought a few of the scenes were pretty memorable.

I still didn’t like it.

Between the issues I had with the unnecessarily uncomfortable scenes in the beginning and the unimaginative ending, I just can’t bring myself to want to recommend this movie. It’s just not worth the watch.

That said, it WAS the first full-length feature film for the director, and I see a lot in Satanic Panic that suggests she will get better with experience.

Cat’s Point of View:
Horror-comedy is my jam. I would still say sci-fi/fantasy and action are at the top of my list, but this sub-genre is a close third. For that reason, I absolutely had to have Satanic Panic in my Top 20 from September 2019; albeit, it was #19.

I’m on the fence about this one.

Mostly, I found that the best funny bits were all in the trailer. 

I was expecting a comedic romp poking fun at cultists and highlighting an up-and-coming female lead. What I got was a film drowning in occult detail and ritual babble, with not enough laughs. I’d almost say that the movie was taking itself seriously; as more of a full-fledged horror without the comedy. It was like the marketing felt wrong.

I almost feel I have to discount that aspect of the movie entirely in order to give it a chance.

If I pretend I wasn’t supposed to be laughing, I’d say that this was a decent horror film. The characters found themselves in what seemed like near-impossible situations. There was blood and disgusting horror elements everywhere. There was even a twist I didn’t see coming. I appreciated how the foreshadowing early in the movie tied in for the final ‘aha’ moment.

All told, however, I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this one again. I wouldn’t try to steer anyone specifically away from it, however. There are just better horror-comedies out there if that’s what you’re in the mood for. If the laughs aren’t what you’re hunting, then it’s fine as a basic horror on its own.

Be careful when you search for this, however, if you have your Shudder service connected to Amazon Prime Video. There is another movie by the same name, from and earlier year, available on Prime. I almost watched that one by accident due to my voice remote finding it in error.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 61%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 48%
Metascore – 51/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.6/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Trust the Dice Parental Advisory Rating: R 

Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Blazing Griffin, Parkhouse Pictures, Creative Scotland, Black Camel Pictures, Icon Film Distribution, Odeon, Orion Pictures, Pony Canyon, Shaw Organisation, Splendid Film, VVS Films, Vertigo Releasing, Alambique Destilaria de Ideias, Cinedigm, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Second Sight Films
Director: John McPhail
Writer: Alan McDonald, Ryan McHenry
Actors: Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Marli Siu, Ben Wiggins, Mark Benton, Paul Kaye, Sean Connor, John Winchester, Euan Bennet, Ella Jarvis, Myfanwy Morgan, John McGeachie, Janet Lawson, Ruth McGhie, Kirsty Strain, Michael Annis

Blurb from IMDb: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I heard about this horror musical, I knew that it had the ability to be something amazing. Horror musicals like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) become legendary among their cult members. It’s such an interesting combination of genres, though, that all of them tend to be weighed against each other regardless of the content.

That means that Anna and the Apocalypse had some really high expectations to meet.

The first thing I noticed was that these kind of apocalypse movies just hit differently now. I’ve said it before and this probably won’t be the last time. It’s surreal. This film opens up on the main character in a car with her friend and father. The radio starts talking about how the flu-like pandemic has been underestimated and is now much more fatal than expected.

That doesn’t sound familiar at all, does it?

Sorry, but I’m just never going to get used to relating to viral and zombie-related apocalypse films. Not going to happen.

However, I found that I was still able to lose myself in this flick without being overburdened by the emotional similarities. The musical aspect remained a welcome escapism.

Do I think it could stand up to the greats in the musical horror genre? Yeah, actually. I do.

Anna and the Apocalypse is what you get when you cross Shaun of the Dead (2004) and High School Musical (2006). Both of which are extremely successful in their respective genres. That feeling carries over.

The music was all toe-tappingly good. I think there was one song that didn’t really work for me, but the rest of it was absolutely perfect. Paired up with that was all the violent gore you expect from a zombie horror. The two aspects balanced each other out perfectly.

I also have to give a nod of recognition to the fact that Anna and the Apocalypse completely subverted almost all my expectations. There were one or two tropes followed – but the rest of it went in a different direction.

The entire thing was just incredibly well done. I’d say that you should give it a shot even if musicals aren’t usually your thing.

Cat’s Point of View:
I remember watching the trailer for this movie as I was preparing my list for the Top 20 Movies Coming Out in November of 2018. This film landed squarely at #10. As I put then, musicals rock my socks. 

When you blend that with a zombie horror movie? I figured it either had to be gold – or a real disaster. Thankfully, this wasn’t a handful of pyrite. It’s the genuine article.

Of course, musicals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. You do have to approach a film like that (especially live-action) with a grain of salt where your suspension of disbelief is concerned. Once you get past the part where everyone breaks into song randomly, you’re good to go.

This production might be a little easier to take due to the fact that this is also a horror-comedy.

I really enjoyed the musical numbers and how they shifted from ‘fitting in’ with their respective scenes to starkly contrasting with what is going on in the background and then back again. All on purpose.

One of my favorite funny spots happens during one of these contrasting numbers. It had me laughing while saying ‘what the hell?’ Some of the songs got stuck in my head. I have found myself humming one even as I’m writing.

This was an indie project, so I wasn’t surprised that the cast didn’t seem all that familiar to me. Most of the young cast members playing students were fresh faces of up-and-comers.

Some, such as the title character’s Ella Hunt (Intruders, Robot Overlords, Cold Feet), Ben Wiggins (Mary Queen of Scots, Pennyworth, The Witcher) and Paul Kaye (Dracula Untold, The Ghoul, Game of Thrones) might be more recognizable for those in the States – though, it is a bit hard with Kaye’s character, Savage, due to the makeup for his role. I kept wondering why the teacher with the beard was vaguely familiar. I digress…

As expected, there is a bit of blood and gore involved here – it’s a zombie movie, after all. It’s not gratuitous or over-the-top of what would be expected. I’ve seen more graphic zombie kills on The Walking Dead (2010-). It remains a solid R rating nonetheless.

Anna and the Apocalypse was an unexpected breath of fresh air. It both followed the standard genre recipe and danced around it at the same time. I will likely revisit this one when next Christmas season rolls around.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 61%
Metascore – 63/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.0/10
IMDB Score – 6.0/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

P.S.: There are three different cuts floating out there. We saw the USA cut; but there are two longer versions out there.

Movie Trailer: