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Motion Picture Purgatory: THE TOWER (1985)

Happy new year–or is it? The future can be a scary place as Rick Trembles learns as he kicks off the first Motion Picture Purgatory of 2019 with a look back at the futuristic no-budget ’80s techno-thriller THE TOWER. Look out Siri and Alexa, because here comes “Lola,” a disembodied digital female personality whose job running the complicated systems of an office tower is interrupted by fits of jealousy related to her nerdy Canadian creator! Long considered the best (or at least, most entertaining) of Emmeritus’ Hamilton-shot SOV movies, THE TOWER is a nice ’80s time capsule before this technology became commonplace. Sure, THE TOWER may feature non-Union actors struggling through a Twilight Zone-like script, but it’s still considerably more engaging than many other Emmeritus releases of the time, and director Jim Makichuk of GHOSTKEEPER fame seems to be having some fun with it. Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: BEING DIFFERENT (1981)

Surely the closest thing to a “mondo” movie that Canada ever produced, the exploitive human oddities documentary BEING DIFFERENT, (also just released on Blu-ray!), purports to capture the “soaring human spirit,” but is more convincing as a portrait of the twilight era of sideshow attractions, as the culture moved away from disabled performers to focus on “self-made” freaks and performers, such as sword swallowers, fire eaters and extreme body modification enthusiasts. That doesn’t make the film any less fascinating though, as Rick Trembles uncovers in his latest Motion Picture Purgatory. Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: THE FLY II (1989)

Aside from the upcoming RABID redo, Cronenberg has proven to be relatively immune to remakes. Unnecessary sequels, on the other hand, have been fair game, from SCANNERS III and SCANNER COP to the subject of Rick Trembles‘ latest Motion Picture Purgatory, THE FLY II. Featuring almost entirely different personnel both behind and in front of the camera, this Vancouver-shot follow up didn’t create quite the same buzz as the original (sorry). Rick sez:

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Motion Picture Purgatory: American Nightmare (1983)

Perhaps the sleaziest slasher ever filmed in the grimy Toronto streets, AMERICAN NIGHTMARE is a strange tax shelter film from Don McBrearty, who had clearly come along from his roots at the NFB. Rick Trembles is back with another Motion Picture Purgatory that looks at the film’s endless parade of nudity and depravity, involving switchblades, sex blackmail and seedy stripper joints. Rick sez:

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Canuxploitation on DVD: Summer 2014 Preview

It’s been a slow year but finally another fine slate of offbeat Canadian films is hitting DVDs this season. Remember that clicking through these links helps support our efforts is rediscovering classic Canadian cult film, and that the Amazon links on the sidebar are always updated with the latest new release announcements for your viewing pleasure.

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Scanners DVD/Blu-Ray Combo (Criterion)
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Read Our Review

Louis Del Grande’s exploding head in HD? Please.

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GINGER SNAPS DVD/Blu-Ray Combo (Shout Factory)
Release Date: July 22, 2014
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The classic werewolf film that revitalized Canadian horror for the 21st century has never gotten a fair shake on home video–until now!

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Deadly Eyes DVD/Blu-Ray Combo (Shout Factory)
Release Date: July 15, 2014
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Rats (well, costumed dogs) ravage the streets of Toronto in this totally entertaining B-monster classic from Enter the Dragon director Richard Clouse! A co-production with Golden Harvest that won’t disappoint.

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Curtains Blu-ray and DVD (Synapse)
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Read Our Review

Another one MIA on DVD, the creepy Canadian tax-shelter slasher CURTAINS finally hits the shelves in a release that promises to delve into its troubled production history.

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PORKY’S R2 Blu-Ray (Arrow)
Release Date: May 26, 2014

This is already out in R1 from Fox, but this Steelbook edition from the UK-based film fans at Arrow is a thing of beauty.

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