Motion Picture Purgatory: THE PLAGUE (1979)

Grab yourself a 6″ assorted and some Humpty Dumpty chips while you check out our latest Motion Picture Purgatory This time out Rick Trembles checks out the germ-laced sci-fi thriller THE PLAGUE, one of the more obscure films by tax shelter transplant Ed Hunt, who took a break from his UFO obsession at the time (though his documentary UFO’S ARE REAL was released the same year). For this film, American import Kate Reid plays a scientist matched up with Daniel Pilon trying to contain the spread of a disease via endless shots of laboratories, science equipment and delicious sandwiches. Rick sez:


Motion Picture Purgatory: LOVING & LAUGHING (1971)

Although Montreal distribution company Cinepix started off with French-language sex comedies when they moved into production it the late 1960s, the popularity of these films–dubbed “maple syrup porn” in a Variety article–soon led them to move into the Anglophone market as well. This month, Rick Trembles’ Motion Picture Purgatory looks at one of Cinepix’s best efforts of the era, the hippie-fied LOVING & LAUGHING, which attempts to bridge Canada’ cultural barrier with an even more universal language–nudity and sexual hijinks. Rick sez:


Motion Picture Purgatory: THE HAUNTING OF JULIA (1977)

Canadian horror took a turn for the more respectable in the late 1970s, before the slashers dragged everything back down into the gutter. Films like THE CHANGELING, THE DISAPPEARANCE and the 1977 UK/Canadian co-production THE HAUNTING OF JULIA–also known as FULL CIRCLE–tried to put a more adult face on the genre with well-known stars, stories exploring grief and loss, and ghostly happenings in tweedy, upper-class settings. Featuring a star turn from Mia Farrow, THE HAUNTING OF JULIA remains one of the better Canadian terrors of the tax shelter era, as Rick Trembles discovers in this month’s edition of Motion Picture Purgatory. Rick sez:


Motion Picture Purgatory: BULLIES (1986)

Canada has a long history of revenge thrillers, in which well-meaning city folks arrive in backwater towns only to be terrorized by the toothless locals. It’s a Canadian cinema tradition that goes all the way back to the heart of the tax shelter era, which means it was fairly well established by the time Paul Lynch decided to tackle one in the mid-1980s. Despite its late appearance, BULLIES is a notable entry in the subgenre, thanks in part to a romance subplot that complicates the relationship between the two feudin’ families. Rick Trembles also found the film to have a notable nasty streak, as he outlines in this month’s edition of Motion Picture Purgatory. Rick sez:



Motion Picture Purgatory: THE TOWER (1985)

Happy new year–or is it? The future can be a scary place as Rick Trembles learns as he kicks off the first Motion Picture Purgatory of 2019 with a look back at the futuristic no-budget ’80s techno-thriller THE TOWER. Look out Siri and Alexa, because here comes “Lola,” a disembodied digital female personality whose job running the complicated systems of an office tower is interrupted by fits of jealousy related to her nerdy Canadian creator! Long considered the best (or at least, most entertaining) of Emmeritus’ Hamilton-shot SOV movies, THE TOWER is a nice ’80s time capsule before this technology became commonplace. Sure, THE TOWER may feature non-Union actors struggling through a Twilight Zone-like script, but it’s still considerably more engaging than many other Emmeritus releases of the time, and director Jim Makichuk of GHOSTKEEPER fame seems to be having some fun with it. Rick sez:

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