Criterion Year week 60: The Devil’s Backbone

The Criterion Collection, the last vestige of truly collectible DVD and Blu-Ray movies in existence. These are well produced, fancy pants editions of important and interesting films for the discerning film lover.

We continue our journey through Jim's collection of movies with...

The Devil's Backbone

Spine Number: 666

Director: Guillermo Del Toro

Genre: Horror

"“If there isn’t a monster on the call sheet, I don’t show up for work.”

-Guillermo Del Toro

There are few directors who have a love of film and filmmaking that is evident in every frame of their work. I'm not talking about care or dedication to the art, I'm talking about the kind of love that most of us lose when we grow up. That unadultered, childlike joy and wonder that adults normally don't hold on to, for whatever reason.

Guillermo Del Toro is one of those directors. His absolute love of what he does permeates every image. His stories, no matter how grounded in real life, all have a fantastical element that you cannot create without giving your heart over to the process.

Even a movie as dead serious, and... let's be honest, as much of a downer as "The Devil's Backbone," could only be made by someone who loves what they do.


The subject matter is a bit... well, it's about a boy coming to an orphanage during the final days of the Spanish Civil War and uncovering disturbing secrets. Oh, and there is a ghost.

This movie isn't so much scary as it is creepy, and creepy is way worse. The way movies use scary these days is just cheap, quick jump scares that have no build up and no follow through that leave you just as quickly as they arrived.

But creepy... creepy builds and gnaws at you. It in the room the entire time. Creepy... that's the way to do it. 

Creepy also takes time. The kind of time you can only dedicate if you love doing it. And, Del Toro LOVES doing it.

This is an absolute stand out of a movie. It's a simple, effective story, that utilizes everything from performance to lighting to setting flawlessly to create an amazing experience.

Check it out with us, won't you?


Next week,  

 Spine number 691: Thief

 Also, check this out.

The Life Masters is now it's own show with its own site and own dedicated feed. That's right, we have two completely different shows! 

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Looks like Summer Movie League has officially become Fantasy Movie League.

It looks quite fun. Here's how it works.

You have an 8 screen theater.

Every week you pick movies and have a budget/salary cap you have to stay under.

Then you compete against other theaters in your league.

It's fantasy football for movie people.

Our league is Film Thugs 2015 and the password is Porterhouse.

And remember, you can be a part of the show any time you wild like. How's that? All you have to do is call or e-mail us. If you live in the US, or any place that makes calling the US easy, just dial 512-666-RANT and leave us a voicemail. We will read the Google Voice transcript and play your message. It's both funny AND informative.

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Also, be sure to check back often for our new endeavor The Life Masters, where we answer questions to other advice columnists.

Thanks for listening, and until next week...

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