Shot on a lark by Cinepix, Jim Hanley’s JUNIOR still earns a place as a surprisingly effective Canadian backwoods slasher that heaps on the low-budget sleaze. Dominated by the dumber-than-dirt, chainsaw wielding killer Junior, it’s a film full of Molotov cocktail explosions, corrupt cops, pet murder, crucifix attacks and topless motorboating. It’s also the latest film to get the MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY treatment from Rick Trembles.
The tax shelters and dumb slasher horror go together like stubbies and snowmobiles, but one of the most curious Canadian entries of the fabled ’80s-era boom tried to elevate the trend with post-modern touches and a distinctly adult tone. Rick Trembles‘ MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY is back with the meta-horror entry CURTAINS, a notoriously troubled horror production that features an impressive level of Canadian talent, including Samantha Eggar, John Vernon, Mauiry Chaykin, Lesleh Donaldson, Lynne Griffin, and an exceptionally creepy doll. Rick sez:
With Quebec’s deep Catholic roots, it’s almost impossible to conceive that there wouldn’t be a French-Canadian twist on The Exorcist made in the tax shelter era. True enough, this edition of MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY by Rick Trembles focuses on the Cinepix-produced CATHY’S CURSE (aka CAUCHEMARES), a half-baked France co-production featuring haunted dolls and maggot-infested food directed by the Marseille-born Eddy Matalon, who went on to make the much better BLACKOUT (1978). Rick sez:
Forget those little yellow suppositories, MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY by Rick Trembles is back with a look at the only movie minions worth caring about–the heavy-metal spawned homunculi that crawled up from The Gate (1987). Tibor Takács’ wonderfully weird children’s/horror/fantasy film is a full-on Toronto-shot VHS classic that turns on black magic rituals, dangerous rock bands and coming to terms with the finality of death. Rick sez:
Canadian film fans will want to fire up those Blu-ray players and snag a couple of essential CanCult releases that street today. Not only are these fine films, but Canuxploitation site editor Paul Corupe (that’s me!) appears on both of these discs talking about the lasting importance of these two classics.
Until today, THE MASK (1961) has had a spotty history on home video, with only a gray market DVD from a few years back that looked like it was sourced from the old Rhino VHS release. All that changes with this new remastered and restored version, a joint effort between TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive that restores the film to its former eye-popping glory. Extras include additional 3-D films and a documentary on the life of director Julian Roffman in which I appear.
Although it has been released on disc a few times in the past, BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) is an essential Christmas horror movie that gets a definitive release in Anchor Bay’s new “Season’s Grievings Edition,” featuring a bunch of new extras (along with all the older ones) including great cover art from Canuxploitation logo designer Gary Pullin, a new doc that I’m part of, a 2014 panel that I moderated featuring Art Hindle and John Saxon (among others) and my “from the vaults” interview with Bob Clark for Rue Morgue magazine reproduced in the booklet.