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Redesign Countdown: A Graphic History of Canuxploitation.com

Hey, don’t forget that we’re launching Canuxploitation.com’s brand new redesign on July 1, 2011! And really, what better way to enjoy a bright, sunny Canada Day than by locking yourself up in a dark room to read tiny text off a computer screen?

To help celebrate this exciting new phase of Canuxploitation’s development, I thought I’d gather some selected screenshots to consider how the design of our site has changed over the last decade.  Won’t you join me after the jump for much self-congratulatory commentary and a sneak preview of the new site?

1999-2001

 


 

Comments:  This was actually my second attempt at a webpage for Canuxploitation, after I realized that no one could read the first. When it was designed, the brightness of my computer screen was turned up way too high (well, those Doom levels were dark!) and the result on anyone else’s screen was a lot of muddy green and blues. Obviously, the idea here was to replicate the Canadian flag. I’m still not convinced.

Technological innovation: Frames-based fun! There’s a reason nobody makes websites like this nowadays. Awkward and difficult to work with.

New feature: I introduced a “Top 10” list as a kind of guide to help first-timer visitors. As the number of reviews grew (and I saw more and more films I enjoyed), I nixed it.

Film comparison: This is like the ROCK N ROLL NIGHTMARE of my HTML designs. Enough said.


2002-2004

 


Comments: For our fourth redesign, I had so many reviews I was struggling with ways of presenting them properly. Don’t ask about the choice of colour scheme though–I have no idea why I picked it and it doesn’t really work.

Technological innovation: I always liked to toss in little Javascript toys, so I incorporated an expanding menu on the left hand side. When you clicked “Reviews,” a new submenu of subgenres dropped down underneath! What a marvelous age we live in!

New feature: At this point I expanded on doing just features and reviews and conducted my very first interview with a Canadian film insider, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME scribe Peter Jobin.

Film comparison: This is kind of like SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME. Sure, it looked pretty slick at the time, but on closer inspection it’s just a bunch of cardboard boxes duct-taped together with some glitter confetti strewn overtop.


2004-2006

 


 
Comments: Still one of my favourite iterations. This was an attempt to streamline my content in, I believe, my first CSS layout. It’s very table-based and link-heavy, but I think it still looks passable five years later.

Technological innovation: I had random “Canuxploitation” banners appearing at the top based on different themes–a mountie banner, a slasher banner, a softcore banner (from VALERIE, pictured) and probably one or two others–I had lots of fun putting those together.

New feature: For this design I also began posting the latest updates on the homepage, I also started an offsite forum to get readers chatting about Canadian film. I made the first forays into social media and created a MySpace account for the site, but mostly so I could get constant invites to bar band gigs in Lickskillet, Ohio.

Film comparison: Like THE SURROGATE, this design draws you in with sexy promise, but before you know it you’re almost lost in an overload of heavy information and oppressive atmosphere. But it’s still fun to check out once in a while.


2007-2011

 



 

Commentary: My site as it currently stands. I took advantage of falling website and bandwidth costs by making this version as graphically heavy as I could, uploading large posters, snapping stills from my DVDs and VHS tapes, and trying to make everything look a little better. I still liked the tabbed menus at the top, but I think you’ll agree that it all looks a tad dated now. And I hate that logo.

Technological innovation: Lots new “Web 2.0” features were incorporated this time around, including RSS, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. So both readers that used them can totally thank me for that.

New feature: The big feature this time around was a “Download” page featuring wallpaper images and MP3s of songs and dialogue.

Film comparison: A fun, mostly stable creation from someone who has had more than enough time to get it right. Clearly, this is the SCANNERS of my HTML designs.


2011

 


 
Comments: Launching in less than a week, the new design is by far the site’s best–I’m actually really excited to be presenting it to my readers. A new, strong logo (by RUE MORGUE artist Ghoulish Gary Pullin) recalls the classic logos of low budget studios like AIP, all with a Candian twist.

The whole front page has been given over to our latest content updates, with great big images to whet your appetite. I’ve consolidated a number of pages to make things easier to navigate and enlarged all the images. Pages that were long and unwieldly have been snipped into more managable chunks.

Technological innovation: Almost every page now has an integrated Flickr photostream, Twitter updates, and an RSS feed of posts on this blog. Facebook and Twitter buttons are everywhere to make sharing easy. Some of this interactivity is meant to replace the Forums, which have now been shut down.

New feature: A new blog, that you’re reading right now! While I’m not ready to move the whole site to a blog format, this new addition gives me the chance to post self-indulgent ranting. Hey–just like this!

Film comparison: I’m hoping this latest site design will be our FUBAR II — the long awaited return of your favourite hosers, givn’r bigger and badder than ever.

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  1. Looking forward to a new era of Canuxploitation!

  2. […] because of my horrendous frame-based designs, it remained obscure until I purchased the Canuxplolitation.com domain in late 2002. By then, […]

  3. RC says:

    The site’s new redesign is great. Also, I love the new logo, it’s very iconic. Props to you and Ghoulish Gary. This new sight is nice and tight.

    I also think that replacing the forums with a blog is a move in the right direction.

    I’ve been an occasional visitor since discovering your site a couple of years ago but now I will certainly be checking in more often.

    Great job! I hope Canuxploitation (the website, the term and the genre) is around for years to come.

  4. RC says:

    I forgot to add that “Rated C” is a great name for the blog. Can’t beat that.

  5. George White says:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821345/?ref_=rvi_tt Seen this bit of Chinese CANUXPLOITATION starring Miss Canada Anastasia Lin and by David Li/Li Cheng – the Sonic Hedgehog artist not the director of Joshua Tree/Hush/Walkins Welcome with my friend Jon Stein’s friend Chris Green.