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:
Following last month’s look at Ed Hunt sci-fi flop STARSHIP INVASIONS, Rick Trembles is back with another Hunt headscratcher for this month’s MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY! Perhaps Hunt’s trashiest film ever, ALIEN WARRIOR (aka KING OF THE STREETS) features a naked alien who teaches kids about the joys of reading and helps gang members get on the right side of the law. Rick sez:
The late great Christopher Lee made a brief stopover in Canada during the tax shelter era to star in a couple of weird genre efforts–1976′s THE KEEPER and the Ed Hunt UFO epic STARSHIP INVASIONS, the latter of which is the subject of this month’s MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY mini-comic by Rick Trembles. Hunt, a true believer in UFOlogy, directed a handful of films on the topic including the psuedo-doc UFO’S ARE REAL (1979), but this one–released the same year as STAR WARS–dips into full-on camp, even though Lee looks like he’s having fun. Rick sez: