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ABCs of Canadian Horror

Ever since the Canuxploitation blog kicked off last July, we’ve always wanted to put together one of those fun alphabetical lists that occasionally make the rounds–in fact, seeing everyone have fun with that meme last year was part of the reason this blog was born.

Well, kudos to the NFB’s crackerjack Community Manager Kate Ruscito, who first came up with the idea for an alphabetical listing of Canadian horror and then assembled this incredible little tribute to Canadian horror film for us. Not only has she put our Photoshop skills to shame, she’s selected some suitably NSFW stills that really give a flavour for the diversity and transgressive quality of much of our horror cinema. Enjoy!

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Canuxploitation on DVD: Spring 2012 Preview

Delays, delays and more delays! What was shaping up to be a great year for Canadian cult DVDs has turned into a mere trickle of new releases. Though several releases are still planned, it appears that most companies have pushed their Canadian titles to the Fall, where we expect a good half dozen or so new discs to gorge on. Note that list of upcoming and recent DVDs on the sidebar is always maintained and updated with the latest announcements throughout the year.

GHOSTKEEPER (Code Red)
Release Date: Late April 2012
Read Our Review

Nice to see Jim Makichuk’s spooky 1986 film get a release, even if the film is a good four years off of it’s actual 30th anniversary(!). A wendigo’s on the loose here taking out snowmobilers, but the movie works better in building an isolated, snowy creepiness. Definitely worth a look and has a good shot at being the best Canadian B-film release of the season. But at this point, copies are only available directly from Code Red. If you want one, Paypal $21 (for US residents), $24 (for Canadian residents) or $25 (for overseas residents) to codereddvd@yahoo.com.

MEATBALLS (Lionsgate)
Release Date: June 12
Repeat after me: “It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter.” Reitman’s classic comedy finally debuts on Blu for a nice price.

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Upcoming Screenings: April 2012

While many of us discovered Canuxploitation films through late night TV screenings and VHS rentals, there’s still something special about catching a locally produced B-movie classic in the theatre alongside other Canadian film fans. Here’s our monthly update featuring upcoming classic Canadian cinema screenings.

WINTER KEPT US WARM — 16mm
April 28, 8pm
Blue Sunshine, Montreal
The first English-language Canadian film ever to be invited to Cannes, David Secter’s rarely seen 1965 debut is an early gay cinema love story that will be presented here by Concordia film professors Matthew Hays and Thomas Waugh. More info here.

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The Power of Sperm Part II — THE UNDRAWN Superteaser

We recently intervewed Brett Butler, one half of Toronto’s prolific Butler Brothers who are in pre-production on superhero satire THE UNDRAWN. As their funding drive kicks into high gear for the final week they’ve released their final teaser trailer:

The Butlers have a history of smart and funny indie films, so I urge you to throw a couple bucks their way.

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CanFilm Five: MONSTER BRAWL Director Jesse Thomas Cook

“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.

Jesse Thomas Cook is a Collingwood, Ontario-based writer, director and producer of independent horror films, including SCARCE, MONSTER BRAWL and EXIT HUMANITY. For this instalment of CanFilm Five, Jesse offers up his top five Canuxploitation films shot in the Georgian Bay region:

I live in Collingwood, Ontario – formerly a sleepy manufacturing hamlet that has now transformed into a bustling sea and ski resort town of 20,000 people. It is a Great Lakes community situated on the shores of Georgian Bay and shadowed by Blue Mountain and the Niagara Escarpment. And ever since Renny Harlin and Geena Davis stormed into town in 1996 to shoot scenes from their follow-up to CUTTHROAT ISLAND, a deplorable Hollywood action film called A LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (that would even make Canadian trash cinema blush), I was hooked on making movies in the local area. Nearly half the town was cast as extras in a Santa Claus parade scene, in what amounted to millions senselessly spent for just under 30 seconds of footage that made the final cut. Needless to say Mr. Harlin showed us firsthand the virtues of going ultra-low budget for genre filmmaking.

Our history of shooting in the area began with a slasher short called FORLORN (2005) and has since spanned three features with three more on the way. A little research into local film lore and we find that Georgian Bay and the towns and wilderness that dot its coastline have been used as locations for several piles of Canadiana film trash, including our very own 2007 abominable cannibal-torture porn effort SCARCE (shameless plug).

From Hollywood genre tripe like SKINWALKERS, which turned the nearby brew-town of Creemore, Ontario into the site of a werewolf turf-war, to Disney holiday dud ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS, which showcased Meaford, Ontario as the stomping ground for the creepiest angel ever (Harry Dean Stanton, who haunts kids in their bedrooms wearing a cowboy hat and a big ’80s duster), to more epic regional portrayals like the use of the Bruce Peninsula for scenes from the Oscar-winning film QUEST FOR FIRE, Georgian Bay and its surrounding terrain have been featured in a variety of films, but mostly Canadian schlock.

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