It's a Brand New Cinema de Merde!

Site completely rebuilt to fix features and reduce downtime
The Setup: 

It may not look very different, but you are on an entirely-rebuilt Cinema de Merde, with several new features, and lots of changes under the hood which will reduce frustrating site downtime. I’m going to tell you about the new features, and then I have a message for my loyal readers, if you’ve been sticking with me through some shaky times!

New Features:

COMMENTS ARE FIXED. After YEARS, comments are once again working! Short version: I got overwhelmed by spam [literally 50 spam comments per MINUTE] and it eventually crashed the whole system. So please comment and contact me again! I missed hearing from you!

NO MORE DOWNTIME. The entire site has been rebuilt from the ground up to bring it technologically up to date, and also make it harder to hack, both of which should reduce times when the entire site goes down [which, somehow, is inevitably when I’m on vacation].

MORE RANDOM FUN. My developer had the super-fun idea to put four random pics and taglines at the bottom of every page, so there’s always some new crazy movie pic everywhere you turn. What’s more, now EVERY image on the site is thrown into the random mix, whereas before it was just ONE pic per film.

MORE RECENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. Now at the bottom of “Recently Added” and “Random Recommendation” is a link that says “More…” When you click it, you’ll be able to see a) a list of everything that has been added to the site, from newest to oldest, and b) a list of all recommended films.

NEW RESPONSIVE DESIGN. The site is now responsive, meaning that it rearranges itself depending on the size of screen you’re using, making it much more friendly to mobile devices.

SEARCH WORKS AGAIN. So now you can, you know, search!

So there you are, get going and use it!

Hi there! First off, THANK YOU for continuing to read my site over the past few rocky years! I know that updates have become less frequent, and the site has gone down for long periods at a time, so if you’re still checking back, I really appreciate it.

It was a particular priority for me to get comments working again, because I found that a big part of my motivation to continue with the site is hearing from you and knowing that people out there are reading it. Without them, I sort of fell into the feeling that I was writing into a vacuum, that no one was reading my stuff, and that was very demoralizing. Then with the downtime and decreased updates, after a while I began to feel like there must be no one left out there looking at the site at all.

Another big change has been moving to Chicago, which completely upended my whole routine. Basically, when I was in NYC, I had 45 minutes each day on the subway, which became my writing time. And it worked great, to have that time every day with nothing to do but write. When I moved here, I got a job working from home, where I had to schedule my own day, and thus it was up to me to consciously take time out to write reviews. Which just became harder… I have to stop working, or make time in the evening to write, and my output drastically dropped. There began to be more and more films that I felt I had nothing to say about, and thus wouldn’t write anything, whereas before, I had that daily writing time and would usually FIND something to say while writing.

Thirdly, after ten years, I’m just kind of sick of watching movies! I just want to do something else with my evenings. Like read, or go out, or paint. I find I don’t care about bad movies much anymore… I saw a lot of them, and I kind of get it. I obviously still love movies, but I just need to have some more balance. This site has always been a labor of love—I don’t make any money from this site—and I need to find new ways to keep it that way.

So when I talked to my friend the developer [who made the site] and was facing an expense of thousands of dollars to remake the site, I told him I was really thinking maybe it was just time for the site to die. Or letting it stay up but as a kind of historical artifact, without any new updates. He had some moving encouraging words for me, and I do love the site, and the rare group of really intelligent readers it has attracted over the years, and there’s no danger I’m going to stop watching movies altogether… so I decided to re-commit to it, and here we are.

Still, I think we can all expect some changes. I’m not sure what they’ll be [probably fewer updates, more carefully-selected older films, more films in theaters], but my challenge is to find a way to keep this interesting for myself [and for you!] as we go on. My life is in a very different place from when I started this site, with different reasons to keep this site going, and I hope you’ll continue to stay as it evolves to be… whatever it continues to be.

Thanks again—


Should you watch it: 


Hey Scott, longtime reader and occasional commentator, just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the site :) I read your message and it all makes sense, but I will tell you how glad I am that you've decided to keep the site going. I always check your site when I watch a new movie to see if you've got a review of it, your reviews really are very entertaining and insightful and often simply hilarious. A longtime fan here is very happy to have the site back! :)

I'm glad you decided to stay with it-- and I'm glad the site is fixed too. I've enjoyed reading it for a long time and plan to keep enjoying it.

Great to have you back! I have been reading the cite regularly for many many years. It is on my routine of five sites/blogs I check for updates daily. I will continue to check regularly and hope you will continue to review both good AND bad movies. CDM is a welcome respite from my days teaching and writing about arcane subjects in funny old asian languages; sometimes I just want to re-live the joy of watching Witchboard, even better when it is through a new lens.

Hey Scott, I can understand your sense of futility in the face of such a vacuum, but I'm glad that you are continuing the site, as I continue to look forward to every new entry. I also think it's healthy that you're doing other things as well.Good for you...and us.

Thanks to all the above commenters... it's a big motivation for me to keep at the site just knowing people are out there reading it, and I've always been impressed with the intelligence of the people who come to it... so thanks all again for keeping with me and your kind words. I REALLY missed hearing from readers!

I love your site - It's 1 of only 2 film sites I ALWAYS check up on (the other is Black Hole), and it would have been a terrible shame if you'd abandoned it.

And what is this Black Hole site? I did a quick search, but couldn't find it.

Glad that you are still around, you posted several insightful comments

Hey - I'm so glad the site is going to stay. It's the only movie review site I read regularly (I read it more than I read the site I write for!) and I always enjoy your reviews.

Long time reder here. I love your site, and I'm glad I can finally tell you screen to screen lol . Keep the good stuff coming! Have you seen "Beauty" (Afrikaans: Skoonheid), the 2011 South African film directed by Oliver Hermanus? I'd love to read your take on it.

But thanks, I'll look into it... OH, and now it's #1 on my Netflix queue. It sounds really interesting, thanks, but note that it's going to take a while to make it up on the site...

Oh, take your time, when I saw it I thought, this is Scott's kind of film to review, so I rushed through the archives to see if you had commented the movie. Your reviews manage to be both hilarious and thought-provoking, no matter the subject, with a very balanced approach and a delicious gay angle (I call it "Scott's Color Commentary" aka "The Sam Elliott Effect") I really enjoy.

Well I read about the movie and it sounds really interesting, so I can't wait. Thank you so much for your nice words... it's very gratifying to me to reach a lot of really smart people... a bit of a rarity on the Internet!
DO you mind if I pull out your "Your reviews..." sentence for the "Readers Respond" quote on the home page?
Sigh... if only there were a little Sam Elliott in everything.

I'd be honored to see my humble words on the home page.

Another long time reader here. Almost emailed you to check you were ok during one of the longer site blackouts (eventually decided it was none of my damn business). Very glad you have decided to keep the site going. I have lost track of the number of films I've found off here. Thank you!

Love the new site. CDM has always been my go-to site when I was feeling down or bored or needed a quick fix of the intellectual/off-color/zany to brighten my day. Glad to hear you're still into it and looking forward to more!

Hey, Scott! I'm also a long time fan of yours, going back to the black and green site. I hope you'll do what you have to do to keep posting your hilarious and interesting movie reviews. I really enjoy this site and am happy that you're still putting so much work into it. Thanks!

Thanks for sticking with it. I remember trying to find the name of some obscure horror movie I saw when I was like eight, (it was Demons) and finding your site back when it was all black and neon green I glad I did. Your reviews are fantastic, and your writing style never fails to produce a laugh or a smile, or a thought.

I know there's not a new movie reviewed every day, but I still check every day, because I get excited to see what biting comments you may have for the latest blockbuster nonsense, or what obscure film I would never hear of otherwise is worth seeking out.

Thanks for doing this site to begin with, and however long you continue to update it, I'll enjoy the ride. It's a shame you haven't made money off this site somehow, someway, you've put in a lot of hours on it

I really appreciate your comments, they're very motivating for me, thank you so much for continuing to visit.

I have been following your site for years. In fact, Your reviews are the only ones I take an interest it. I used to read Roger Ebert as well, and that was it. It's like I can never identify with what others are saying. But even when we have very different perspectives on the same movie, your opinion always opens my eyes to an insight that wouldn't have ocurred to me. I do wonder where you find the time, but I'm very thankful that you do!

I was getting nervous that the site might slowly vanish, and I really appreciate that you're giving it another go. Before I started reading your reviews in...was it 2007? I don't even remember...but anyway, I had NEVER read a movie review before. I had always thought they were pointless. Who cares what some pretentious dumbass thinks about this movie (at the time I thought all movie reviewers would be pretentious dumbasses)? Why should I taint my expectations or responses to movies with other people's opinions? But then I stumbled upon your site (can't remember how). For some reason I had never thought movie reviews would cover movies I like (B, gay, horror), nor that they could be insightful AND cause me to laugh out loud and nearly spit tea all over my monitor. And of the sorts of movies I don't generally enjoy, well, turns out reading your reviews of those ones is waaaaay more entertaining than actually watching the movies themselves! Thank you Scott.

Wow, thank you so much for your comment... I'm quite chuffed by what you say, and I really appreciate it! It's very motivating for me to continue knowing that people out there are reading and enjoying, so I very much appreciate your kind words.
Do you mind if I edit your comments into a quote for the "Readers Respond" section on the home page?

Have to join in with the praise. This site wises me up to films and analysis I should pay attention to, and makes even the movies I've seen repeatedly fresh again. It's always a joy to read - why aren't more writers perceptive and funny? Grateful that you're continuing, and looking forward to whatever evolutions come.

So glad you're still with us! I was going to send you an email asking you to come back to the site, but thankfully, you're still here!

Glad you're not going anywhere. Even after years of reading, I still get amused by some of your quips. One of my favorites is your remark in the WHERE THE WILD THINGS are about it becoming a mess in the wrong hands and having a theme song sung by Ashley Tisdale. I stumbled upon your site way back when, after googling Leigh Bowery. It's all been said: funny, perceptive, smart, and on and on... Thanks Scott.

Hi Scott, let me express my gratitude for this labour of love. Been coming since many years ago and love your queer perspective. (That is queer as in British English...)
Your writing is very witty and has a great flow to it. I have a certain image of you in my head that of course is fictional but it is fun to read your reviews in that fantasy voice I attributed to you...
So keep fighting the good/cheesy fight!
By the way, just watched Peggy Sue got married and loved it. I am about that age now so it struck a chord.

Thanks for your kind words and for reading the site.
You can see if the image in your head is close because I'm right there in any of my videos... the most recent is for Pirahana II...

Joining my drops of thanks to the wave that hits the comment shores. You are the only reviewer I still read and I am very happy you will be soldiering on! Thanks!!!

Thank you for all your hard work and investment (emotional, temporal and financial) into Cinema De Merde!
Your site is consistently one of my favourite places on the web, and that's thanks to your writing and thoughtful analysis of such a wide swathe of films.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how you develop and evolve the site. Have fun with it - Your obvious enjoyment of the subject is one of the things I really appreciate and I'd bet other people do too!


I can't remember how I came across your site, but I have been following it for a couple years now. I definitely get excited when my RSS reader says there's a new post from you. Keep it up! Glad you're still going to kick!


Almost everything I wanted to tell you has already been said by everyone else, so I'll just add that I'm glad you came back! Maintaining a site for personal pleasure and keeping it updated can be tough and tiresome even if it's about a subject you love, I know that from experience (I write a blog basically on LGTB themes and feminism in pop culture, in a great part inspired by you and your reviews and essays - sadly it's in Spanish), but I'm sure you have built a faithful enough fanbase to keep following you even if you write new reviews less frequently than before, so don't worry about that :) I'll tell you a personal anecdote: it was your hilarious and spot on review of Mariah Carey's Glitter that hooked me in. And the CdM manifesto had a big influence on how I see fiction and art now.

Thanks so much to all the above commenters... as I can't say enough, knowing people are still out there is incredibly motivating for me. I am very grateful that you all stuck with my through downtime and slow updates...
Jen--So glad you're still around!
Hugo--Wow, it's great to hear that you started a blog and that my site has had a positive influence, thank you and best of luck with that...

I'm so glad you're going to keep going. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to do other things - I have a young son and now have no time to watch films, so your reviews help me to a) not have to bother watching many and b) sort the wheat from the chaff. I think I have also emailed you to tell you before but can't remember, but some of your comments (especially the essays) are so academic I teach them as film theory (e.g. Straightening of the Spartans, the Con Air has to have a cross dresser to negate the audience drooling over the men feeling gay), so somewhere in a small corner of Leicester, Telek's theories on gay representations live on!

Hi Scott,

Last we corresponded you asked me to read a review you did of "In the Cut" -- I think. My God, I'm not even sure. And I watched the movie and read your review and had interesting things to say and then something happened in my life -- oh yeah, the law firm I worked at went bankrupt. But I cannot tell you how often I check your site. The first thing I do after I see a movie is to go to your site to see if you've written a review about it. As I told you way back when, you are my Pauline Kael. I just had an email exchange with an old, old friend of mine about "Double Indemnity" and I sent him the link to your essay about that movie, which is absolutely brilliant by the way.

I know how it may feel like you are putting all this work into some big void in the Universe, but you are not. You have a great gift and you have made a lot of people like myself laugh and think and enjoy movies more than we would have if you did not write about them.

Keep up the great work. Oh, and are all your old reviews going to make it onto the Site some day? I had to do some fancy web searching to find your Towering Inferno review, which is awesome by the way.

Oh and welcome to Chicago. I just did some recruiting for our Chicago office (I'm now working at another big huge law firm), and thought of you. One candidate said her ambition is to "get out of the suburbs" of Naperville and get a job in downtown Chicago. She was sweet.


Nice to hear from you again... so sorry your law firm went bankrupt. To be honest... I thought all these years that you were SO APPALLED by my review of "In The Cut" that you NEVER wanted to hear from me again! You'll notice that I never published it... SO funny to think I was wrong all these years. Thank you so much for your kind words and for continuing to read the site!

I just wrote this long ass comment about how great you are and how much your reviews mean to me and I hit Save but I don't know where it saved it or if it saved it. But anyway, you are the best movie critic around and even if seems like you are sending these reviews out into a void, you are not. Thank you. Patty

Love the new design tweaks! I've been here the whole time, and it's great to be able to comment again!
I'm still watching lots of fun bad movies, but I also saw a classic that I'd never seen before, Klute with Jane Fonda. Have you seen it? You should review it! It's like a giallo plus a bit of romance plus a wonderful character study of a liberated woman who just so happens to be a prostitute. Excellent! Not bad at all. Keep up the good work, Scott!

Great to hear from you again and so glad you're still reading... I saw Klute BEFORE starting the site, but it's a great suggestion for a revisit! Thanks!

So glad to hear from you again, thank you so much for staying with me and the site... I hope all is well with you...

Wow, it was hard to keep invested and committed to the site without being able to comment. So glad it's fixed!

Thanks for coming a longtime movie collector in my sixties I find your comments and insights always interesting. Been reading this site regulary almost from the beginning and really appreciate your work. You have a small but loyal following here in Finland, top of the world...personally I enjoy most the rewiews of obscure or "bad" movies that (almost) nobody else touches. You have us "silent readers" all over the world ! Keep up the good work !!

Thanks so much... nice to think of my work being read in Finland! I appreciate your loyalty and that you keep reading! Best wishes, Scott

I'm so glad you haven't given up on this site (or on movies). I've been a faithful reader of CDM for over 5 years, back when the site was just a black background. Your witty, funny, and insightful reviews are watch kept me coming back time after time. Now that the comments have been fixed, I'm looking forward to seeing what other people have to say and joining in on the fun. Thank you so much!

As a longtime reader, your reviews really helped guide me when I was starting to get into movies as a teen and have always provided some great reading material over the years. I was super bummed when you stopped updating the site so it's great to see that you're back at it!. I look forward to reading more reviews from you!

I really appreciate your sticking with me and continuing to read the site... thank you!

I love your site so much. Thank you for all the great reviews! This site has so many more fun and strange films than most others.