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Motion Picture Purgatory: UPS & DOWNS (1981)

After the success of Bob Clark’s PORKY’s, Canadian-born director Paul Almond tried his own more CanCon-approved spin on teen hijinks movies with his 1981 prep school effort UPS & DOWNS. But whereas Clark used social issue to spice up the sex comedy, Almond’s effort generally comes off like a particularly limp episode of DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH with an annoying New Wave ’80s soundtrack. Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: ETERNAL EVIL (1985)

After creating the quintessential Canadian slasher My Bloody Valentine, director George Mihalka turned his attention from the depths of the mine to the depths of the mind. His 1985 horror follow-up Eternal Evil, also released on VHS as The Blue Man, is Mihalka’s strange tale of astral projection with a bigger-than-life performance from genre mainstay Karen Black and a light sprinkling of Cronenberg-isms tossed in for good measure. Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: EMPIRE OF ASH (1988)

Mad Max eh? Lloyd Simand’s Empire of Ash, perhaps the only movie misleadingly re-released as a sequel to itself, goes under the microscope for
Rick Trembles‘ latest Motion Picture Purgatory. A jumbled mess of bloodsucking, explosions, hair metal and sweet post-apocalyptic rides, it’s one of the few post-apocalyptic Canadian films to ever see a video store shelf (plus I’d still take it over Last Night any day of the week). Rick sez:

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Our New Christmas Horror Book Covers Canadian Classics

Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television is the latest book from Canadian micro-publisher Spectacular Optical, a publishing company I’m involved with along with House of Psychotic Women author Kier-La Janisse. We’re currently accepting pre-orders for this unique and comprehensive anthology which covers the fascinating history of the darkside of holiday entertainment from Scrooge to killer Santas to Krampus. These are published only in limited quantities, and are available at Indiegogo.

Canada has always had their hand in bleak Christmas movies, and our forthcoming book prominently features several titles that Canadian film fans will appreciate. With approximately 20 chapters by established and upcoming writers as well as more than 200 capsule reviews, the book including pieces on Black Christmas (by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower–you can read an excerpt here), as well as featured writing on The Brain, Silent Night, Petit Pow! Pow! Noël, The Silent Partner, and A Christmas Horror Story.

Along with familiar contributing authors like Thrower, Kim Newman and Michael Gingold, the book also includes other writers who have helped with Canuxploitation over the years, including Motion Picture Purgatory reviewer Rick Trembles, Ralph Elawani and Caelum Vatnsdal (also of They Came From Within: A History Of Canadian Horror Cinema fame).

We’ve got lots of pre-order perks available, including copies of our previous books Kid Power! and Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema Of Jean Rollin, plus Blu-rays from Vinegar Syndrome, stuff from Mondo and Death Waltz, Xmas cards designed by Gary Pullin and Rick Trembles among others and also this unique item perfect for the Canuxploitation buff:

There’s only a week or so left to get a copy, so reserve yours to ensure a very unhappy holiday!

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Motion Picture Purgatory: LITTLE DEVILS: THE BIRTH (1993)

Move over Munchies, take a hike Critters, and get lost Ghoulies! Canada entered the mini-monster sweepstakes with its own late addition to the 1980s mini-fad with LITTLE DEVILS: THE BIRTH, a UK co-production about gooey gargoyles on a killing spree in Toronto. Rick Trembles‘ latest Motion Picture Purgatory delves into the sordid, low budget story that was shot by visiting Rawhead Rex auteur George Pavlou. (Psst! You can grab your own copy of the mostly forgotten film from Shivers Entertainment). Also, don’t forget to check out Rick’s latest animated project, Building 108! Rick sez:

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