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Canuxploitation’s Best of 2011

2011 was a big year for Canadian film. A resurgence of grindhouse-influenced genre film stuck with filmmakers here a little longer than our southern peers, and we’ve seen production booms in areas not usually noted for their output. There were big changes happening here at Canuxploitation.com too, from the July 1 redesign, our appearance at FanTasia, course at the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, and the launch of this blog to help explore the culture that continues to spring up around these films. So as we clean up the holiday mess and bring in 2012, let’s take an entirely unscientific  look back at the year that was.

 

BEST FEATURE OF 2011

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN

A lot of movies are made in Canada every year but no genre film was as well-made, visible and influential as Jason Eisener’s HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, which caused a sensation in 2011 with its balls-out, gritty homage to 1970s and ’80s trash. From landing the cover of RUE MORGUE to making it on TIFF’s Canadian top 10 list–a feat unheard of for a Canadian exploitation movie–HOBO was everywhere and it’s influence will be felt for years. One has to wonder whether a Genie lies in the film’s future.

THE GOLDEN POUTINE — People’s Choice Award

THE CORRIDOR
RUNNER UP: HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN

We took to our Twitter and Facebook accounts to ask the fans what their favourite film of the year was, and they decidedly picked Evan Kelly’s East-coast psychological horror flick. Admittedly, when the writer and one of the actors started urging people to vote, it kind of tipped the scale–but that’s okay, because THE CORRIDOR (which we will be posting a review of soon) totally deserves it–it’s a well-made, scary film that should find a wide audience when it’s released by IFC Midnight next year.

BEST FX

FATHER’S DAY
RUNNER UP: MONSTER BRAWL

Many exploitation films are made or broken on the strength of their special effects, so this year we wanted to recognize Astron-6’s FATHER’S DAY, a movie that really has it all–injecting drugs into prosthetic penises, claymation demons, cannibalism, people on fire and more–it’s the goriest Canadian film since THE CORPSE EATERS and perhaps ever. Astron-6 really pulled out all the stops and the fact that they did it on such a small budget makes it all the more impressive.

FAVOURITE INDIE FEATURE of 2011

ROLLER TOWN
RUNNER UP: THE LEGEND OF THE PSYCHOTIC FOREST RANGER  

With It’s kind of impossible to pick a best of here. But of the films we’ve seen, Halifax-based comedy troupe Picnicface’s is our favourite. A satire of films like ROLLER BOOGIE and SKATETOWN USA (both 1979), it is described by contributor Lauren Oostveen as “the weirdest movie ever, but endearingly so.” Picnicface crowd-funded their project by composing rap songs, making artwork and performing sketches for fans willing to pony up some cash.

FAVOURITE SHORT FILM of 2011

A RIVER IN THE WOODS

The genre short we enjoyed most this year was Christian Sparkes’ A RIVER IN THE WOODS. This 12-minute short about children who discover a monster while playing by the river features a lush look and a creepy premise.

BEST CANADIAN CULT DVD RELEASE

THINGS  VHS (Mondo/Intervision)
RUNNERS-UP: RITUALS (Code Red),  HUMONGOUS (Scorpion Releasing)

When is this year’s best DVD release not a DVD? Well, when it’s a VHS tape, of course! Replicating the original home video experience, this newly released videotape of Barry J. Gillis and Andrew Jordan’s classic no-budget Super 8 atrocity  was available in a limited run of 250 only. It sold out in a matter of hours, but you may be able to find some on eBay. Or you could just pick up the DVD version. (Full disclosure: I appear in the extras on the new DVD version of THINGS. But I would still rank this here regardless.)

HALL OF FAME, EH?

THE MASK (1961)

To round out the awards this year we’re inducting one classic Canadian film into the Canuxploitation Hall of Fame. We can think of no film more deserving than Julian Roffman’s 1961 horror THE MASK, the very first Canadian horror feature, on its 50th birthday. The film has had a profound effect on the history of our nation’s cinema and remains as entertaining today as it was on release. And for that, we would put THE MASK on now, tomorrow or any other time at all.

 

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  1. Josh MacDonald says:

    Hi Canuxploiters, I’m the writer of that CORRIDOR movie… sorry if we tipped those ‘best of’ cyber-scales in our own favour: we posted on our FB wall, sending people in this direction, if they were interested in voting… Guess it worked. (But my mom really *did* feel THE CORRIDOR was pretty darn good stuff.)

  2. Rob Cotterill says:

    Nova Scotia seems to have taken over the canadian exploitation market eh!

    • Shannon says:

      And you know what… its about time the Maritimes gets some attention in the Canadian film industry! (as an PEIslander, I tip my hat to you and Jason for making an awesome film and happy to be an Maritimer! :D)

  3. Rob Cotterill says:

    PS
    how the fuck do I get to see The Mask!!?

  4. Roo says:

    Amazing! I should wrangle up a Canadian classic for one of our future podcasts 🙂

    I am…tentatively…excited to see Father’s Day now though…the penis thing…saddens me…