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Motion Picture Purgatory: JULIE DARLING (1982)

If ongoing lockdowns aren’t enough to keep you bummed out, here’s something that’s bound to take any lingering spring optimism down a few levels. One of the gnarliest late tax shelter outings, 1982’s JULIE DARLING is an uncomfortably nihilistic co-production starring exploitation queen Sybil Danning in a tale of forbidden lust and murder. In his latest Motion Picture Purgatory, Rick Trembles takes a look at this debased gem. Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: TICKET TO HEAVEN (1981)

There’s cult movies, and then there’s CULT movies, if you know what I mean. Ralph L. Thomas’ fascinating and often intense peek inside the indoctrination rituals of religious cults was based on the non-fiction book exposé Moonwebs, which was about the San Francisco-based Moonies. Nick Mancuo leads a cast of young Canadians at the very end of the tax shelter era, and puts in perhaps a career-high performance as the susceptible David, a good ol’ Toronto boy who seems unable to escape the cult’s clutches. In his latest Motion Picture Purgatory, Rick Trembles takes a look at this wild “cult” curio. Rick sez:

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Now Streaming: Winnipeg Obscurity SMOKED LIZARD LIPS (1991)

Canxuploitation contributor Patrick Lowe dropped us a line to advise us that you can now screen the once-lost Winnipeg political satire SMOKED LIZARD LIPS (1991):

Heads up! Finally being released after 30 years, SMOKED LIZARD LIPS is Canada’s answer to ISHTAR! Yes, quirky, colourful, but bizarre political comedy from the wild and wacky Winnipeg Film Group, who gave the world John Paizs’s CRIME WAVE and Guy Maddin’s many cult favourites. Written, directed and produced by the infamous “Boke” poet/auteur M.B Duggan, this zany feature follows the madcap exploits of an insane Central American dictator, Sauria, who seeks asylum and relocates to the northern hamlet of Nuscht, Manitoba. Once there, the good citizens bend over backwards to accommodate their newly arrived despot, only to fall prey to his evil schemes to turn the small town into an independent nation. Needless to say, the comic shenanigans take on a dark turn, as the film takes satirical aim at Third World Tyranny and the death of small town Canadiana. Even weirder is Duggan’s own mis-en-scene as he frames and edits even the lightest comic material in an unsettling, avant-garde style, at times suggesting Michael Snow directing an episode of Petticoat Junction. Yet despite this, the film boasts an excellent cast, including Simon Magana as the mad Sauria, and Andree Pelletier (Les Males) as Carmen, the leader’s winsome wife. So while the feature was a flop upon release, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Zellco Entertainment, there may be a new audience eager to exhume this once-buried, Faustian comedy, which still packs a lot of relevant wallop in today’s current age of Uber-corruption. Check it out!

Screen the film here, and check out Patrick’s video introduction, in which he explains more about this no-longer-lost classic.

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Motion Picture Purgatory: POSSESSION (1987)

Żuławski who? The Canadian-lensed Oedipal slasher POSSESSION: UNTIL DEATH DO YOU PART (1987) was part of the tax shelter’s last gasp, a sleazy concoction from frequent collaborators Michael Mazo and Lloyd Simandl. Perhaps better known for their post-apocalyptic EMPIRE OF ASH films, this earlier entry by the duo features an impressive number of shower scenes and an even bigger body count. In his latest Motion Picture Purgatory, Rick Trembles takes a look at this forgotten slasher that’s sure to please fans of (male) strip bars and remote backwoods cabin settings. Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: THE INTRUDER (1981)

Let’s kick off the new year with 1981’s THE INTRUDER, a confusing allegorical regional horror(?) film about magicians and people who glow blue for some reason. In his first Motion Picture Purgatory of 2021, Rick Trembles dives into this uncategorizable Brantford, Ontario-shot tax shelter oddity that is perhaps more interesting for its detailed depiction of Canadian small town life than anything it is struggling to say about humanity. Rick sez:

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