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CanFilm Five: Bad Monster Films Programmer Tyler Baptist

CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

A Saskatoon-based film aficionado, filmmaker, reviewer, and film programmer, Tyler Baptist has curated Bad Monster Films’ monthly midnight screenings for the last four years. Described as “The Little Grindhouse on the Prairie,” Bad Monster Films brings revival cinema to the Broadway Theatre, Saskatoon’s only community owned and operated events centre, showcasing the very best and worst in cult/horror/exploitation cinema — including such Canadian classics as SCANNERS, THE BROOD, and CURTAINS  always in 35mm, the way they were meant to be seen.

For this CanFilm Five, Tyler offers up his five “baddest monsters” that roam the chilly corridors of Canuxplotation cinema.

Tyler: First off, I must confess that, if I didn’t obey to the rules of the CanFilm Five, “The Fiend” from SCIENCE CRAZED would take up this entire list. It is the ultimate “baddest monster” in Canadian film history, in every sense of the word “bad.” For that very reason (and since the movie itself is the most amazing experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing), it would only be fair to exclude it from this list. But do seek SCIENCE CRAZED out any way you can! However, I still plan on breaking the rules a bit and instead I am presenting my CanFilm 5 “baddest monster” types and their film counterparts. Their baddassery ranges from pure awesome and frightening to unbelievably hokey. (Please note: A few spoilers below.)

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CanFilm Five: B-Movie Critic Allan Mott

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

Allan Mott is the Edmonton-based writer responsible for such books as URBAN LEGENDS, GOTHIC GHOST STORIES and HAUNTING FIRESIDE STORIES. His least embarrassing literary achievement is his 2005 book, SCARY MOVIES, which documented the creation of six of his favourite horror movies—including David Cronenberg’s THE FLY. His reviews appear weekly on the B-movie blog FLICKATTACK.COM, and he attempts to update his own blog, THE HOUSE OF GLIB (now in its second—less content filled—incarnation), as often as inspiration allows.

For this CanFilm Five, Allan catalogues the five best (and worst!) performances by American actors caught slumming it in Canuxplotation cinema.  … Continue Reading

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CanFilm Five: Horror Film Columnist Lauren Oostveen

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

An professional history geek with an special interest in her province’s past, Halifax-based Lauren Oostveen writes “Smash Cut,” a biweekly film column focusing on cult and horror titles for the Chronicle Herald that often has an East Coast bent. When she’s not busy to digitizing and preserving some of Canada’s oldest films, Lauren blogs for Spacing Atlantic and her own site, Zombies Ate Lauren!. For this CanFilm Five, Lauren offers her five favourite Canadian low-budget masterpieces.

Lauren: I have a lot of love for this great country of ours. And despite all of the Tim Horton’s donuts I can eat and free healthcare to counter the donut situation, there’s nothing I love more about Canada than its films. I respect and enjoy Canadian films, even the cheesy, silly ones, because people here put just a little bit more effort into their work. A little more love. A lot more gore.

Choosing a top five is very hard, but I certainly do have a handful of films that I go to when people ask me for my Canadian favourites. I’ve already written about David Cronenberg, Bruce McDonald, Jason Eisener, and the PROM NIGHT series for my column, so this time I’m taking a step away from the usual suspects. I’ve selected five lesser-known movies that are weird, endearing and made for far less money than their American counterparts. … Continue Reading

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CanFilm Five: Rewind This! Director Josh Johnson

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

Along with film partners Christopher Palmer and Carolee Mitchell, Josh Johnson is deep in production on  REWIND THIS!, a documentary that will trace the cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape by examining its impact on art and technology and its societal perceptions. The first film of its kind to tackle the subject, REWIND THIS! will document the rise and fall of video cassestte culture via interviews with filmmakers, studios, archivists, rental chain operators, personal collectors and media experts, who each explain the importance of this film format. An expert and devout disciple of the home video revolution, Josh took a break from a packed schedule of interviews to present his five favourite VHS covers from classic Canuxploitation releases.

Josh: In recent years, the VHS boxes of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s have become a fondly remembered and obsessively documented form of pop art. Nostalgia for the video era has seen a resurgence of the VHS cover design aesthetic in a slew of modern design arenas. Because of the uniquely democratic layout of the average Mom ‘n’ Pop video store big studio product and micro-budget SOV scorchers were placed side-by-side with only the video box art to distinguish them from each other. Since most Canadian films lacked the stars or marketing funds of the Hollywood system they were forced to sell a concept rather than a personality.
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CanFilm Five: Severin and Intervision DVD Czar Evan Husney

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

One of the faces behind beloved cult labels Severin Films and Intervision Picture Corporation, Evan has been helping to acquire and release many exciting cult and B-movie titles, including the recent DVD release of THINGS. An aficionado and champion of shot-on-video horror trash, outsider movies and other filmic weirdness, Evan serves up his list of five Canuxploitation rarities that you don’t want to miss. 

Evan HusneyEvan: Rather than compiling a list of my absolute favorite Canuxploitation films, which would be just an uninteresting assault of every early Cronenberg work and perhaps the mega-surreal 3-D nightmare THE MASK, I thought I’d spotlight some of Canada’s weirder offbeat curios, which really get to the heart of my recent fixation with forgotten cinema from the North.

After my first exposure to Canadian tax shelter films, I realized there was a whole world of great, virtually unseen English-language films where concept trumps commercial viability. And I hope you like the thrill of the hunt, because all the films presented in my list are unavailable on DVD.

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