Recommended Streaming — THE RAINBOW BOYS (1973) are Back!

Canadian film fans, rejoice! Gerald Potterton’s early B.C.-shot comedy THE RAINBOW BOYS has finally resurfaced in a handsome 2K print. The long MIA film, restored and re-released by Winnipeg’s Zellco Entertainment (stream it here), is an entertaining early classic of Canuck cinema starring Donald Pleasance as Ralph, an aging prospector looking to reclaim his father’s gold stash from a Fraser Valley mine. With a rough ‘n’ tumble comedic tone, the film follows Ralph as he makes his way across the vast British Columbia expanse with his wife Gladys (Kate Reid) and Mazella (Don Calfa), a U.S. hippie (complete with Mickey Mouse T-shirt) convinced he can strike it rich. Trucking along in Mazella’s three-wheel motorcycle, this pleasantly laidback road movie succeeds on the presence of its three stars as they bicker and banter along the long twisted trail to the Little Lemon mine–especially Pleasance, whose natural charisma shines through his tall tales and physical bluster. Will they get the gold and make it back home, or is just another empty promise?

Unavailable for many years, we recommend taking this opportunity to check out a forgotten slice Canadian cinema, with its gorgeous cinematography of the B.C. countryside. Directed at the dawn of the tax shelter age by animation heavyweight Gerald Potterton (HEAVY METAL), it feels in many ways like a spiritual successor to his earlier NFB classic THE RAILRODDER (1965) with Buster Keaton.

The film is available to stream here: https://zellcoentertainment.com/movies/the-rainbow-boys/


Motion Picture Purgatory: PUMP UP THE VOLUME (1990)

Montreal director Allan Moyle started his career in low budget local thrillers, but unlike many of his peers moved on to bigger Hollywood productions. Perhaps his best known film, 1990’s PUMP UP THE VOLUME is a pirate radio drama (remember that?) which combines many of the preoccupations that grew out of his earlier work–teen rebellion, punk rock and an undercurrent of sexuality. Rick Trembles takes a look at Moyle’s most popular effort as part of his ongoing Motion Picture Purgatory series. Rick sez:


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:

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