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Here’s to a Full-Tilt Summer

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L’art du masque

Behold! This vintage cover art for the the French VHS release of Julian Roffman’s THE MASK may make the film look like a knock-off of THE CRAWLING EYE, but it’s still pretty amazing (sent by Tal, via here).

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CanFilm Five: Rewind This! Director Josh Johnson

“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.

Along with film partners Christopher Palmer and Carolee Mitchell, Josh Johnson is deep in production on  REWIND THIS!, a documentary that will trace the cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape by examining its impact on art and technology and its societal perceptions. The first film of its kind to tackle the subject, REWIND THIS! will document the rise and fall of video cassestte culture via interviews with filmmakers, studios, archivists, rental chain operators, personal collectors and media experts, who each explain the importance of this film format. An expert and devout disciple of the home video revolution, Josh took a break from a packed schedule of interviews to present his five favourite VHS covers from classic Canuxploitation releases.

Josh: In recent years, the VHS boxes of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s have become a fondly remembered and obsessively documented form of pop art. Nostalgia for the video era has seen a resurgence of the VHS cover design aesthetic in a slew of modern design arenas. Because of the uniquely democratic layout of the average Mom ‘n’ Pop video store big studio product and micro-budget SOV scorchers were placed side-by-side with only the video box art to distinguish them from each other. Since most Canadian films lacked the stars or marketing funds of the Hollywood system they were forced to sell a concept rather than a personality.
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CanFilm Five: Severin and Intervision DVD Czar Evan Husney

“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.

One of the faces behind beloved cult labels Severin Films and Intervision Picture Corporation, Evan has been helping to acquire and release many exciting cult and B-movie titles, including the recent DVD release of THINGS. An aficionado and champion of shot-on-video horror trash, outsider movies and other filmic weirdness, Evan serves up his list of five Canuxploitation rarities that you don’t want to miss. 

Evan HusneyEvan: Rather than compiling a list of my absolute favorite Canuxploitation films, which would be just an uninteresting assault of every early Cronenberg work and perhaps the mega-surreal 3-D nightmare THE MASK, I thought I’d spotlight some of Canada’s weirder offbeat curios, which really get to the heart of my recent fixation with forgotten cinema from the North.

After my first exposure to Canadian tax shelter films, I realized there was a whole world of great, virtually unseen English-language films where concept trumps commercial viability. And I hope you like the thrill of the hunt, because all the films presented in my list are unavailable on DVD.

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