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Canuxploitation on DVD: Summer 2014 Preview

It’s been a slow year but finally another fine slate of offbeat Canadian films is hitting DVDs this season. Remember that clicking through these links helps support our efforts is rediscovering classic Canadian cult film, and that the Amazon links on the sidebar are always updated with the latest new release announcements for your viewing pleasure.

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Scanners DVD/Blu-Ray Combo (Criterion)
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Read Our Review

Louis Del Grande’s exploding head in HD? Please.

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GINGER SNAPS DVD/Blu-Ray Combo (Shout Factory)
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Read Our Review

The classic werewolf film that revitalized Canadian horror for the 21st century has never gotten a fair shake on home video–until now!

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Deadly Eyes DVD/Blu-Ray Combo (Shout Factory)
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Read Our Review

Rats (well, costumed dogs) ravage the streets of Toronto in this totally entertaining B-monster classic from Enter the Dragon director Richard Clouse! A co-production with Golden Harvest that won’t disappoint.

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Curtains Blu-ray and DVD (Synapse)
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Read Our Review

Another one MIA on DVD, the creepy Canadian tax-shelter slasher CURTAINS finally hits the shelves in a release that promises to delve into its troubled production history.

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PORKY’S R2 Blu-Ray (Arrow)
Release Date: May 26, 2014

This is already out in R1 from Fox, but this Steelbook edition from the UK-based film fans at Arrow is a thing of beauty.

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Retrontario’s Cable TV Throwback: April 1986

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We’re pleased to present another look back at Canadian movies on TV by our friends at Retrontario.

Canada’s canary into the Pay TV coal mine was a riveting pop culture jolt when it arrived in early 1983. Competing services FIRST CHOICE and SUPERCHANNEL were forced to combine resources just over one year later as FIRST CHOICE*SUPERCHANNEL, now fondly remembered as the era’s primary delivery system for big ticket Hollywood titles, rare-as-hen’s teeth Can-con, and boobies. Here’s a taste of some of the more exciting moments this $15 per month service offered to content starved ‘80s eyeballs.

APRIL 1986

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In its heyday FIRST CHOICE*SUPERCHANNEL broadcast a raft of cool Canadian flicks that have shamefully passed into the ether over the last 30 years. Even the gluttonous content orgy in which we now exist thanks to the Internet cannot abide, and many of these films have simply vanished. Had they not been fully or in part recorded on VHS tapes back in the day, there would be no trace of them at all beyond error-ridden, tumbleweed infested IMDB listings.

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One such title is surely LISTEN TO THE CITY (1984), a bizarre Toronto-based soft sci-fi/musical scored by Gordon Deppe of The Spoons (the amazing LP soundtrack also featured the debut appearance on an album of the band’s massive singles “Romantic Traffic” and “Tell No Lies”). To date, the film remains the sole fiction film by local documentary maven Ron Mann, his legacy buttressed by the likes of GRASS, TWIST and COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL rather than this oddball curio. The film starred HALLOWEEN’s P.J Soles as a crusading reporter, but also features “smiling” Jack Layton in a cameo as a hospital patient (you can see him in the above clip). In spite of continued interest in The Spoons, this title seems likely to remain exiled in home video limbo.

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Win THE KILLING GAMES on Blu-ray!

NEWEST POSTER CALGARYCanuxploitation favourite Barry J. Gillis dropped us a line recently to let us know that his most recent exercise in brutality, THE KILLING GAMES, will be released on April 22, 2014! Though Gillis is busy in pre-production on his upcoming film, HOUSE OF MANY SORROWS (which will film this summer), he was excited to let us know that fans across the world will be able to grab THE KILLING GAMES, on Apple iTunes, Google Play and other outlets next week. Featuring a character named Dirty Jesus, organized crime, rape, murder and infedelity, we called the film “a condemnation of the worst of human impulse and a tribute to its undefeatable spirit” and “as full of contradictions and wild inspiration as the man who made it.” THE KILLING GAMES can be pre-ordered right now on Apple iTunes.

Contest time!
Streaming is great, but wanna grab yourself a copy of Barry’s latest–for free? Describe your favourite scene from THINGS or WICKED WORLD and send it, along with your mailing address to: contest@canuxploitation.com. First three responses get a Blu-ray copy of THE KILLING GAMES. It’s just that easy.  Update: All gone, thanks for the entries! Congrats to David, Mark and Trevor!

Check out our full review and the trailer:

Fine print: This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the United States only. The decision of the judge is final. By sending in your description you give permission for us to post it on this blog if we choose. Any collected personal information will only be used to reward the winner — no third parties involved.

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Retrontario’s Cable TV Throwback: March 1983

TV_throwback

We’re pleased to present another look back at Canadian movies on TV by our friends at Retrontario.

Canada’s canary into the Pay TV coal mine was a riveting pop culture jolt when it arrived in early 1983. Competing services FIRST CHOICE and SUPERCHANNEL were forced to combine resources just over one year later as FIRST CHOICE*SUPERCHANNEL , now fondly remembered as the era’s primary delivery system for big ticket Hollywood titles, rare-as-hen’s teeth Can-con, and boobies. Here’s a taste of some of the more exciting moments this $15 per month service offered to content starved ‘80s eyeballs.

MARCH 1983

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By March 1983, Pay TV in Canada was barely one month old, but from a layman’s perspective it was the competitive service FIRST CHOICE’s game to lose. With a decent stable of modern Hollywood hits, sport and music events, and a salacious late night PLAYBOY block, FIRST CHOICE was clearly the most attractive package, although it was slightly more expensive than the more family friendly SUPERCHANNEL service (forever and erroneously remembered as the “poor man’s FIRST CHOICE”).

In addition to big guns like SUPERMAN II, CANNONBALL RUN and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, the March 1983 line-up on FIRST CHOICE included a healthy slate of prime home grown Canuxploitation, including a pair of films usually identified as our country’s first forays into the genre of horror. Bless.

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1971’s THE REINCARNATE resembles a chamber drama more than what we’ve since come to associate with a horror movie, but it remains somewhat of a curate’s egg. Starring our own mad media prophet Dr. Brian Oblivion himself (the gravelly voiced Jack Creley), THE REINCARNATE concerns itself with a wealthy lawyer who discovers he is dying and must find a replacement for his re-incarnated memories during a ceremony that must conclude with virgin sacrifice (hubba hubba). Aside from being considered the first major Canadian “horror” picture, this shot-in-Toronto cheapie most memorably features a scene in which THE FOREST RANGERS alum and POLKA DOT DOOR host Rex Hagon is mauled to death by a cat after fondling a stand-in for Trudy Young’s breasts.

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Upcoming Screenings: February 2014

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. Want your screening listed? Contact us.

SEXCULA
February 8, 2014, 10:45pm
Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa

That sexy succubus from Canada’s west coast is set to hit the big screen again. The big Canadian film discovery of 2013 heads back to Ottawa, screening not far from where a 16mm print of ther XXX curio was hidden away for more than three decades. More info here.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE
February 14, 2014, 11:30pm
Royal Theatre, Toronto

Cuddle up with someone you love for George Mihalka’s gleefully gory East coast Canadian slasher flick. Special Valentine’s Day screening!

SHIVERS
February 25, 2014, 9:30pm
Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa

The Canadian Cult Revue is back with TIFF’s remaster of David Cronenberg’s nightmarish 1975 classic of body horror paranoia. More info here.

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