Hnetflix

Film by Shane “Death By Pogo Stick” Hnetka

Genre film critics and podcasters Christopher Lombardo and Jeff Kirschner have a new book called Death by Umbrella! The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons. If the title doesn’t catch your attention (hard to imagine), perhaps the fact that the 2010 horror film Super Hybrid — which was shot in Saskatchewan — is mentioned in the book will. Death By Umbrella looks at unconventional movie murder implements including toilet plungers (Homicycle), coffee makers (Leprechaun 2), flying unicorn statues (The Abominable Doctor Phibes), breasts (Killer Rack) and mounted deer antlers (Silent Night, Deadly Night). As for Super Hybrid’s lethal weapon? Shape-shifting car, of course.

Death By Umbrella is available on Amazon.

It’s All Relative

Relativity Media has produced and distributed about 150 movies since 2006. You may have seen some — the production company’s credits include Zombieland, The World’s End, Bridesmaids and several Fast and Furious movies. Last year Relativity filed for bankruptcy and, as a result, several finished movies are on hold until stuff gets settled. It’s been a pain for me as a guy who writes movie listings, because Relativity’s films have had inaccurate release dates posted online for the last year.

Fortunately (for me anyway) most of the legal dust has settled and Relativity’s shelved movies now have actual theatrical release dates. Some of these flicks will hopefully make some money for the embattled company.

As long as Netflix doesn’t get their way, that is.

Streaming Mad

When Netflix was starting out it needed content, so the company signed a deal with Relativity. The agreement: Netflix flings huge piles of cash at the studio — $283 million since 2010 — and in turn it gets content. Part of Relativity’s bankruptcy recovery deal depends on Netflix continuing the agreement.

Here’s where things went off the rails; in January, Netflix tried to get the deal voided but the judge ruled against them. More recently, Netflix tried to force Relativity to let them stream the unreleased movies — including Kate Beckinsale’s The Disappointments Room and Kristen Wiig’s Masterminds — before any theatrical release. That was also shot down by the judge, because Relativity needs box office profits to climb out of bankruptcy.

Apparently Relativity has had enough. The company says it’s suing Netflix for $1 billion in damages for trying to weasel out of its contract. I guess that’s one way to get your bankrupt film company back up and running.

You know, when I heard Netflix wanted to stream Relativity’s unreleased films it seemed like a dick move to me. But a billion bucks in damages? That seems excessive. I’m really not sure who the dick is anymore.

Perhaps both companies are equal partners in dickdom.

Shane Hnetka is Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.