Motion Picture Purgatory: 984 Prisoner of the Future (1982)

Another strange sci-fi collaboration between director Tibor Takacs and screenwriter Stephen Zoller, who had previously collaborated on the offbeat musical METAL MESSIAH, 984: PRISONER OF THE FUTURE is a much more straight-forward dystopian tale about an anti-government group fighting against a totalitarian society.

Drawing some inspiration from classic British series THE PRISONER, albeit on a far lower budget, the film went unreleased for several years, only to land on CBC in the summer of 1982. Regardless of the pedigree, the film went on to become a mainstay of Canadian video rental stores (and later, public domain DVD sets). While obviously made for well-read sci-fi fans, its dour and bleak approach continues to confuse viewers to this day.


Motion Picture Purgatory: HOSTILE TAKEOVER (1988)

Another perk of working at home during the pandemic? No opportunity to be held hostage by your co-workers! That’s the situation in George Mihalka’s HOSTILE TAKEOVER (aka OFFICE PARTY), a minimalist thriller in which a disgruntled accountant takes three fellow white-collar workers hostage for vague reasons. Largely taking place on one boring office set over the course of one evening, the film is a sleazy character piece of sorts in which relationships are formed and destroyed–just like in a real office! Rick Trembles takes a look at this forgotten Canadian entry as part of his ongoing Motion Picture Purgatory series. Rick sez:


Motion Picture Purgatory: FUN (1994)

Though best known for his Canadian sex comedies like SCREWBALLS, RECRUITS and STATE PARK, director Rafal Zielinski started to move on from raunchier fare as the 1990s dawned. One of the most interesting Canuck films he made from this period is the rarely screened FUN, a teen lesbian killer thriller that oozes with 1990s excess. Rick Trembles takes a look as part of his ongoing Motion Picture Purgatory series:


Motion Picture Purgatory: JULIE DARLING (1982)

If ongoing lockdowns aren’t enough to keep you bummed out, here’s something that’s bound to take any lingering spring optimism down a few levels. One of the gnarliest late tax shelter outings, 1982’s JULIE DARLING is an uncomfortably nihilistic co-production starring exploitation queen Sybil Danning in a tale of forbidden lust and murder. In his latest Motion Picture Purgatory, Rick Trembles takes a look at this debased gem. Rick sez:


Motion Picture Purgatory: TICKET TO HEAVEN (1981)

There’s cult movies, and then there’s CULT movies, if you know what I mean. Ralph L. Thomas’ fascinating and often intense peek inside the indoctrination rituals of religious cults was based on the non-fiction book expos├ę Moonwebs, which was about the San Francisco-based Moonies. Nick Mancuo leads a cast of young Canadians at the very end of the tax shelter era, and puts in perhaps a career-high performance as the susceptible David, a good ol’ Toronto boy who seems unable to escape the cult’s clutches. In his latest Motion Picture Purgatory, Rick Trembles takes a look at this wild “cult” curio. Rick sez:

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