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.
This month’s MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY by Rick Trembles is another foray into the brief “maple syrup porn” boom that warmed up the frozen north in the 1970s. Montreal-based Cinepix pretty much dominated the scene at the time and while their 1970 flick SEX ISN’T SIN (AKA LOVE IN A 4 LETTER WORLD) (1970) doesn’t emphasize comedy as much as the trend’s most popular efforts, this tale of a sexual awakening of an entire family still delivers the goods. Rick sez:
Essential Canuxploitation 3-D classic THE MASK (1961) rarely gets pulled out the vault for a theatrical screening, but lucky Torontonians will get the chance to “put their masks on now” once again this Halloween during a run of screenings starting October 23, 2015 (tickets available here). Even better, TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive have given the film a much-needed digital restoration, and this is one of the first opportunities audiences will have to experience Canada’s earliest genre success the way it was meant to be seen on the big screen.
Julian Roffman’s THE MASK is the tale of a psychiatrist who becomes obsessed with an ancient tribal mask that, when worn, sends him to a nightmare world of snakes, fireballs and ritualistic sacrifices. What’s worse, the mask starts to drive the good doctor insane who starts to violently attack people in the real world. Canuxplotiation highly recommends that you catch THE MASK’s eye-popping 3-D effects in a theatrical setting before the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release coming in November.
The Montreal-led “maple syrup porn” trend of the 1970s is one of the most curious sexploitation offshoots of Canadian film history, and its biggest hit was Claude Fournier’s TWO WOMEN IN GOLD (1970), a film about horny housewives and their cheatin’ husbands reportedly viewed by more than two million Canadian during its theatrical run. Rick Trembles looks at the film’s celebration of the then-dwindling sexual revolution for this month’s MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY. Rick sez:
David Cronenberg had little, if anything, to do with SCANNERS II: THE NEW ORDER (1991), the latest film tackled by Rick Trembles for this month’s MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY. This Montreal-shot direct-to-video sequel, featuring the offspring of characters in Dave’s original film, tries to create a whole new playing field in the city’s not-so-far off quasi-cyberpunk future, where exploding heads are a curiously more common experience than you might expect. Rick sez: