Cathode Ray Mission: THE QUIZ HOUR (2013-)

CanTV expert Cameron Archer navigates the often inhospitable landscape of Canadian television for the CATHODE RAY MISSION, our regular blog column that highlights some of Canadian television’s most offbeat offerings.


Late-night television is a crapshoot. Channels of all sizes and budgets will often show whatever cheap films and television reruns they can scrounge up. Sometimes, actual Canuxploitation is shown. The talk show is another late-night fixture; since Canada fares poorly in this genre, the shows often make for great train-wreck viewing. This is the “fun” side of late night television, the stuff that passes through the nostalgia filter. Mention Geoff Peterson, Svengoolie, and/or The Masturbating Bear to people, and at least one person will actually know who they are.

Late night television also contains brokered and/or paid programming, which is rarely as much fun. Night owls know the drill – JR Digs’ latest vanity comedy/talk show hybrid (if you’re watching Global), televangelism, televised poker, infomercials, sex hotline ads, Liquidation Channel, infomercials, psychic hotlines, the odd cooking or car show, infomercials, and – did I mention this one? – infomercials.

One genre of brokered programming stands alone, a genre more heinous than any infomercial – the televised quiz show. THE QUIZ HOUR (CHCH, 2013- ) is Canada’s newest televised quiz show, and it’s…something. It’s not something good, or even watchable, yet THE QUIZ HOUR is already ripe comedy fodder for Cathode Ray Mission.

The Basic Formula
There’s not much to THE QUIZ HOUR. It’s literally one man in front of a camera, for at least an hour. Sometimes, a close-up of “The Money Jar” is seen, through relatively primitive on-screen graphics. Both 900 and mobile numbers are displayed throughout the program, as well as the alleged “prize amount,” and sometimes the names of “winners.”

THE QUIZ HOUR is one big come-on. The games are either basic memory puzzles, or basic word puzzles. One of the games asks callers to find a word with x number of letters (e.g., “hare,” “wolf,” “pudu,” “lion” for four letters), written in a y-letter-row grid. Once a letter is used, it can’t appear again in that column. THE QUIZ HOUR uses a whiteboard to display the word puzzles, while The Money Jar spins on a turntable. High-tech shit!

… Continue Reading


Motion Picture Purgatory: NOT A LOVE STORY (1981)

It’s still Valentine’s Day, but just about nobody’s in the mood for romance in Bonnie Sherr Klein’s anti-porn crusade doc NOT A LOVE STORY, the latest exclusive mini-Motion Picture Purgatory review by Rick Trembles. I only wish we knew Klein’s thoughts on a real homegrown attempt we recently helped unearth, SEXCULA!




Happy Valentine’s Day



Motion Picture Purgatory: TANYA’S ISLAND (1980)

Aroused apes, Prince protégés,  and lost love figure prominently in the latest exclusive mini-Motion Picture Purgatory by Rick Trembles, who this week looks at the tax-shelter curiosity TANYA’S ISLAND.



My Canada Includes Vagrancy: COLOUR CORRECT MY COCK Review

ccmcVagrancy Films, Canada’s filthiest purveyors of cinematic crud have scoured their film vault for their newest release, COLOUR CORRECT MY COCK, a unique trailer compilation that represents one of their most to ambitious releases to date.  James Bialkowski and Jacob Windatt have assembled a wealth of weird trailers, crazy concession ads, snippets of vintage porn, PSAs and other bizarre bits that will delight B-movie fiends. But there’s an extra treat in there for  Canuxploitation fans too, as the Vagrancy guys have made this a truly Canadian release by sprinkling in  some excellent vintage material from the Great White North. It’s all been tossed together  into a (purposely) splicy, scratchy,yellowing presentation meant to replicate the grimy attraction of seeing these clips at a drive-in or hardtop fleapit for the first time.

Maple leaf-waving highlights of COLOUR CORRECT MY COCK include an advertisement for the CBC airing of the 1977 Canadian Film Awards, featuring OUTRAGEOUS!, WHY SHOOT THE TEACHER?, J.A. MARTIN PHOTGRAPHE and WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND that makes it look like most of our films are tedious Prairie dramas. There’s also a fun, lengthy ad/trailer by the National Film Board for its Children’s Film Festival, a feature-length program of shorts “for the whole family” that debuted in 1968 and features clips from TI-JEAN GOES LUMBERING, Norm McLaren’s CHRISTMAS CRACKER, PADDLE-TO-THE-SEA, THE STORY OF CINDERELLA, DIMENSIONS and THE BEAR AND THE MOUSE.

Other nostalgia-provoking Canadian clips include Famous Players gift certificate ads (offered in “gay envelopes”), a Saskatchewan-produced anti-drunk driving spot, and a pre-show Cineplex Odeon promo with “$2.50 Tuesdays” emblazoned above their logo. But perhaps most painfully dry is a 1981 spot from Statistics Canada encouraging people to complete their census forms. Do it today!

While there aren’t any Canadian trailers on the disc, there’s still plenty of fascinating finds for cult film buffs. Heavy on the sex film trailers (including some straight-up hardcore porn–you’ve been warned) and ads for Italian genre films, highlights of the disc include the infamous Swedish sex romp DAGMAR’S HOT PANTS INC (1971), a couple Corbucci classics (DEATH ON THE RUN (1967) and SONNY AND JED (1972)), and the virtually unheard of Italian mafia pic GODMOTHER II (1973). DESTROYER (1988) with a re-animated death row inmate played by Lyle Alzado looks like lots of fun and, as expected, there’s also a trailer for Connie Stevens-starring SCORCHY (1976), a perennial favourite usually screened at Vagrancy’s events.

All in all, COLOUR CORRECT MY COCK (whose odd title is explained in a brief prologue) is a great and greasy little package of B-movie madness that scored some extra points with us because of the cool Canadian content included. But even seasoned trailer disc fans will want to check out Vagrancy’s down ‘n’ dirty presentation and commitment to unseen oddities that puts this particular compilation in a class by itself.

Want a copy? Check it out on DVD and Blu-Ray at Diabolik.

Pages ... 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35