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Canuxploitation’s Best of 2012

Here we are in 2013, which means that its time to look back at some of our favourite films and releases from 2012. We saw a lot more love for Canadian cult classics on DVD this year, with lots of indie filmmakers scrambling to cook up the next sensation like HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.

Things were happening here at Canuxploitation.com too–we delivered our “Echoes from the Sleep Room” course again at the The Black Museum, began publishing an exclusive Canadian film edition of the Motion Picture Purgatory comic strip and a TV column. We also help rediscover some “lost” Canadian films–the pioneering X-rated SEXCULA and cottage cult classic PSYCHO PIKE, along with some 1980s VHS obscurities during our “Summer of VHS” series. And beyond the site some related events popped up too from the Blood in the Snow Canadian horror film festival and the If They Came From Within speculative art show. All in all, It’s been a good year to be a Canuxploitation fan, so let’s take an entirely unscientific look back at the year that was.

BEST FEATURE OF 2012

ANTIVIRAL

Have we arrived in the post-grindhouse revival period? Probably not, but this year Brandon Cronenberg gave us a glimpse of where Canadian horror might be headed with this surprisingly accomplished sci-fi horror movie that draws on the imagery and mutated biology of his famous father’s films while still carving out a unique feel all its own. More than almost all recent genre films, it feels the most like a real tax shelter throwback with visiting Hollywood guest stars, high concept storytelling and that undeniable, gritty Canuck atmosphere that we love, far exceeding our expectations. Flawed? Perhaps, but its still our pick and for favourite film of the year.

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THE GOLDEN POUTINE — People’s Choice Award

MANBORG

We took to our Twitter and Facebook accounts to ask the fans what their favourite film of the year was, and they decidedly picked Steve Kostanski’s MANBORG. A lo-tech ode to classic ’80s-era sci-fi like ARENA and THE ELIMINATORS, this hour-long feature from the Astron-6 gang made a big splash on the rep circuit, emerging from the shadow of last year’s success, FATHER’S DAY.

Manborg

FAVOURITE INDIE FEATURE of 2012

MON AMI

We love well-done dark comedy, and this bloody brilliant tale of two would-be-kidnappers was certainly the funniest Canadian film we saw this year. We caught Rob Grant’s Vancouver-shot film when it premiered at Fantasia this year and hope it gets in front of more viewers for 2013.

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FAVOURITE SHORT FILM of 2012

BIO-COP
RUNNER-UP: GAME

MON AMI may have been the funniest feature we saw, but Astron-6’s Steve Kostanski’s five-minute short BIO-COP is perhaps even more ingeniously hilarious, a fake trailer concept about a cop who is mutated by toxic waste but, instead of using his new powers to fight crime, only wants to end his miserable life. We also really enjoyed Josh McDonald’s GAME, a slick directorial effort from the writer of last year’s Golden Poutine winner THE CORRIDOR that also plays with genre conventions and audience expectations in a way that’s a lot of fun to watch.

biocop

BEST CANADIAN CULT DVD RELEASE

TERROR TRAIN Blu-Ray (Shout Factory)
RUNNER-UP: DEATH SHIP Blu-Ray (Scorpion Entertainment)

Terror-Train-Blu

This year’s best DVD release comes from those fine folks at Shout Factory who, as part of their Scream Factory line put together an excellent rerelease of this quintessential Canadian slasher. Appearing for the first time on Blu-ray along with a wealth of extras and great new artwork. Also worthy of note is Scorpion’s Blu-ray of the unjustly maligned DEATH SHIP, an unexpected treat from the boutique label that is the film’s first R1 release.

HALL OF FAME, EH?

RITUALS

To round out the awards this year we’re again inducting one classic Canadian film into the Canuxploitation Hall of Fame. This time we’re paying tribute to Peter Carter’s tax shelter terror classic RITUALS, which joins last year’s inductee, Julian Roffman’s 1961 horror THE MASK, as one of the undisputed classics of Canuxploitation. Almost everyone who is Canadian can relate in some way to this camping trip gone horribly wrong, as Carter mounts a harrowing tale of isolation and revenge that was poorly reviewed at the time as a example of tax shelter excess but has outgrown the negative reviews to stand as one of the great rural horror films.

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  1. […] one of our favorite blogs Canuxpoloitation provided coverage on two topics 1) our Runner-Up for Best Short Film 2012 from Canuxploitation, and 2) an interview with Game director Josh […]