CHEAP-AS-HELL CANUXPLOITATION DOUBLE FEATURE!GREAT WHITE DEATH (1981, 88 min.) on ConTV for the first time.With a poster this cool you'd think there'd be more provocative meat to this mondo style shark documentary than 15-20 minutes of money shots. Padded to a dull hour-and-a-half running time with quasi-philosophical arguments pro/against sharks "as told by Glenn Ford" (who never leaves the comfort of the one room he's talking to us from), a lot of "GWD" is wasted with stuff like New Guinea's (topless) locals worshipping the 'Mono Kanaka' myth (boo, hiss!), or South Africa's beach wranglers removing shark carcasses from nets (Zzzzz!). Like clockwork, though, every 10 or so minutes a killer piece of footage (a diver losing his leg, a Great White attacking divers inside a cage, human remains inside a shark's stomach, etc.) appears to justify Pa' Kent's name-calling sharks "Lucifer's helpers," or worse. :-)The version streaming on ConTV is clearly from a rental VHS. You can see the tracking lines and digital noise embedded in the picture, not to mention the audio is a full 1.5 seconds out of synch. Since it's a documentary these issues don't really affect the viewing experience. It's actually cool to relive the 1981 equivalent of "Shark Week" in all its messy analog glory. Recommended if you fast-forward to the cool parts. TO CATCH A YETI (1993, 95 min.) on Amazon Prime for the first time.Like my pick for Heavy Metal day, the deciding factor in selecting this Canadian children's movie was the chance to rewatch it afterwards with a Riffftrax commentary track (YES!!! :-) ). Notorious hunter Big Jake Grizzly (Meat Loaf) is contracted by the rich parents of an a-hole little kid to bring back the Abominable Snowman from the Himalayas. Instead he and bumbling assistant Blubber (Richard Howland) run into a "Gremlins"-sized yeti that can easily outsmart and outrun them both, "Road Runner" style. Like the "Steven Spielberg Presents" 80's movies it's aping (particulrly "Harry and the Hendersons"), a family of nice people adopt "Hank" (their nickname for the yeti) as Big Jake follows them all the way to Toronto-as-New-York-City trying to steal him back. Alleged so-called "hilarious hijinks" (in air quotes) occur, and a few valuable life lessons are learned by all. BARF!"To Catch a Yeti" isn't a so-bad-it's-good movie (hope that Mike, Kevin and Bill prove me wrong) as much as a what-drugs-was-Meat-Loaf-on-when-he-took-this-role inoffensive trainwreck. Everybody but Mr. Loaf (who seems to actually be having a good time) seems embarrassed to just be on camera. Fracking "Mac and Me" looks like "E.T." compared with the outdated, cheap puppets used to make Hank seem alive. A-fucking-void, a waste of time unless you're smarter than me and go straight for the Rifftrax version streaming on Prime right now. :-D
TC 2000 (1993, dir. T.J. Scott)It's the far distant future of 2020. The environment's fucked and most people live in an underground city, while biker gangs roam the surface. A Tracker-Communicator (= a cop) loses his partner and resigns, but begins suspecting the Controller (= chief of police) of corruption and goes rogue. Meanwhile, the dead cop is resurrected as a Tracker-Communicator model 2000 (= a RoboCop) and sent after him.But none of that really matters, the story's just an excuse for staging fight scene after fight scene, usually involving Billy Blanks, Bobbie Phillips, Bolo Yeung and/or Matthias Hues. Pure, unadulterated cheese.
I love this movie. It's never gotten a good US release so I still have my old laserdisc. I may have to break it out tonight.
I don't think there's a good European release either. I just watched it on YouTube. But I enjoyed it so much, I'm definitely buying it if a good release ever comes.
"TC 2000" was my pick for 90's Action! last year, and it's every bit as fun as Mikko says. I also watched it on YouTube, then rewatched it again with a video commentary alongside Oliver Harper & friends. Good times x 2. :-)
PIN (1988, Sandor Stern) There was one word that came to my mind after this was over: creepy. Leon and Ursula are siblings with very protective parents. Their father, a doctor, has an anatomical mannequin, named Pin, in his consulting room that “talks” to the children. In one humorous scene Pin discusses the subject of sex with them. As they grow older, though, Pin continues to talk to Leon, and Leon cannot separate himself from Pin. After their parents die, Pin becomes a part of the household the siblings create. Pin’s presence inevitably creates tension between Leon and Ursula. It is a horror film in a certain sense, but it certainly is not a conventional one. The subtlety of the narrative is what makes the film work. David Hewlett, who portrays the grown-up Leon, is excellent. Although a film that is not above a little nitpicking, Pin is unique.
Saw Pin for Scary Movie Month a couple of years ago, and loved it. It's not scary, but it is definitely creepy and unsettling, thanks in large part to David Hewlett's performance.The Projection Booth podcast did a great episode on Pin, worth checking out.
That is how I learned about Pin, Mikko. There is only one film (Never Too Young to Die) introduced to me through the Projection Booth that I disliked when I saw it. My high school pick, Massacre at Central High, was also inspired by a PB episode.
Cannibal Girls (1973):Lost travelers encounter lusty ladies with strange appetites. Fairly dull until the Reverend Alex St. John shows up. That guy is a Scooby-Doo villain.
I was tempted by this! It has Andrea Martin and Eugene Levy very early in their careers, before they found fame on SCTV
Rituals (1977)I remember hearing someone on Shockwaves discussing this film with fair interest. I ended up watching a terrible quality copy on YouTube because it’s apparently completely unavailable right now. This movie was apparently heavily dismissed as “Canadian Deliverance”, but honestly, that’s exactly what it is, but that’s not bad. I enjoyed this film quite a bit considering how much I really had to pay attention to what was happening between the darkness shrouding the film and the dinner plate-sized pixels on the screen. Hal Holbrook and his doctor pals go on a camping trip in Northern Ontario, quickly reignite old feuds, and fall into trouble, being taken out one by one. The title is considerably more metaphorical than I was anticipating since there ends up being no supernatural or cult goings on. Holbrook’s ever optimistic performance is incredible. Easily my favorite scene has Holbrook sitting and working on a bandage or some similar business as he’s just talking on and on about nothing, trying to reassure and calm his remaining cohorts while the camera is slowly pulling back to reveal the absolutely vast expanse of wilderness before them. It’s incredibly bleak and unnerving to see their impending failure, even before they realize it. Hopefully we’ll get a great Blu of this in the near future and we can all check it out how it was meant to look.
I was hoping to see Rituals show up here today. It is a great backwoods thriller. The way the killer plays with the doctors is very unnerving. The copy of it I watched on the Fandor service does not sound much better than the one on Youtube. I had to watch the finale twice to figure out what was going on.
Four years ago I caught a 35mm screening of "Rituals" in NYC. Great flick with good atmosphere, which only fell apart somewhat when the final reveal of who/what the entity chasing after the men doesn't live up to build-up. Still, how many "slashers" starring Hal Holbrook can you think of?
Science Crazed (1989, 1991, dir. Ron Switzer)A mad scientist's creation wrecks havoc in a gym, a swimming pool, and other random locations in this SOV "classic".I feel bad. This movie has been built up so much, but I thought it was just OK. It is definitely weird and goofy and the "fiend" is ridiculous However, it is a slog to watch. Also, after the fifth scene of someone staring gobsmacked at the "fiend" until it attacks them, I kind of was over it. Probably best to watch this with a group, preferably with alcohol.
Love this one so much. My review back in 2014 http://www.fthismovie.net/2014/06/junesploitation-day-6-canuxsploitation.html?showComment=1402089546067#c7654949856741719401
This movie would be a 1000% better if it wasn't for Switzer's(lack of) editing.
I now know I should take the recommendations of the man that discovered "Hawkeye" seriously. :-P That said, between Chaybee's review and Shannon Briggs' I don't know whether I should seek "Science Crazed" out or run away from it. If it was an "MST3K" show this flick sounds like the second coming of the infamous "Monster a-Go-Go." :-O
DECOYS (2004) The hottest girls on a college campus are secretly space aliens here to seduce and kill human males. The filmmakers are attempting a horror-comedy-action hybrid, like cult faves EVIL DEAD 2 or NIGHT OF THE CREEPS or THE MONSTER SQUAD. The problem is, those movies started as hybrids only to get even crazier. This one is amusing enough, but lacks that mind-blowing “goes crazy” moment. DECOYS: THE SECOND SEDUCTION (2007) As the title suggests, the sequel emphasizes the scenes where the sexy aliens seduce and kill the college dudes, which I guess the filmmakers decided is this series’ calling card. Like the first movie, it’s amusing, but never goes over-the-top like you want it to.
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987) Dir: Bruce PittmanSinful Mary Lou is accidentally burned alive at her prom. 30 years later her vengeful spirit returns to get the Prom Queen crown she's owed. Many shenanigans ensue.Hello Mary Lou seems like it's had a reevaluation in the last few years and I can see why. A sequel in name only to the original Prom Night, Hello Mary Lou is an absolute blast. Often hilarious, and intentionally so, with so pretty great kills, it's a totally worthwhile watch and a bit of an undiscovered gem. It's more in line with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil than the Halloween knock-off original. This one is going in my regular scary movie month rotation.
Strange Brew (1983)I admit at first I thought this was going to be one joke repeated ad nauseum, and while the “eh”s and “hoser”s were as plentiful as I feared, it still turned out to be a pretty fun movie with a few solid laughs scattered along the way. There’s a plot of some sort as Bob & Doug McKenzie (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, reprising their SCTV characters) try to get free beer from the Elsinore brewery and stumble onto a conspiracy led by sinister Max Von Sydow, but like most movies based on sketch characters it’s more a loose collection of gags than it is an actual movie.Wayne’s World (a movie I still really like, but I totally agree with Patrick about how obnoxious it is that it spends so much time holding for laughs) owes a tremendous debt to this movie, more than I ever realized before. While I do feel like WW is the more successful movie (maybe because I identify better with a couple of suburbanite metalhead goofballs than I do with a couple of beer-swilling Canadian hoseheads) this one definitely has its charms and I’m glad I finally had a chance to catch up with it. If nothing else, it’s a good reminder of a universal truth: Rick Moranis should come out of retirement, the world needs him.
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987, dir. Bruce Pittman)Yep, the movie is crazy. You have to give the filmmakers credit for how incredibly creative the film is. Some say it's just a Carrie/Exorcist knock off, but that's short sighted. There's some really cool scare sequences, almost Elm Street style stuff. The horse scene in particular sticks out in my mind. That being said, I can't deny the bad version streaming on amazon prime hurt my enjoyment a bit. I'd love to see this on a good blu ray, or better theatrically. I look forward to that!
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen more of Lisa Schrage as Mary Lou Maloney because she seems to be having a ton of fun whenever she's on-screen. Doesn't look like she went on to too much of a career after that (her last role was in '99 in a movie with Hulk Hogan, Carl Weathers, and Shannon Tweed)Rolling Vengeance (1987)A few people watched this at the start of the month and really enjoyed it so I made sure to add it to my list. Damn, this movie starts off pretty dark. They really do a good job getting you to want to see the bad guys get crushed because those guys are real assholes. This would make a good double feature with Tank (which would have to be the second movie in order to lighten things up a bit).
Lisa Schrage was also my favorite part of the film. She's crazy fun in the movie, and unbelievably beautiful.
The Gate (1986)Stephen Dorff stars in this great Canadian demon horror. By accident Glen and Al starts a ritual to open the doors to an evil domain with demons and old gods. Glen fights to save his sister, her friends and Al from the demons who tries to open the gate.I love that its heavy metal that saves them and gives them the ritual to close the gate. The practical effects are really good, and convincing unfortunately some of the CGI is really bad. I like that it’s not a downer horror, but actually ends on a high note.
I love that in the '80s a kids horror film could exist where they open a portal to hell and let in demons. Not so today!
Bon Cop, Bad Cop (2006), dir. Eric CanuelSo I just typed ‘Canada’ into Netflix and this was the top choice. Buddy cop movie, can’t really go wrong. It’s fine.
Good ol' Netflix, coming through for our FTM Junesploitation! needs... NOT!!! :-(
A lot of the jokes are centered around stereotypes that Ontarian's and Quebecer's have of each other (I'm not sure where you're from, and whether you'd appreciate this aspect). I liked that it was bilingual, which is exactly what you'd get with a couple cops from Ottawa and Montreal teaming up together.
Originally from Central America, then Upstate NY. But yeah, I used to hear the good old "They Came From the North" podcast (Mac MacEntire's old stumping grounds) on DVD Verdict. I can appreciate a good within-borders Canadian regional jabs even if I don't get all the references. :-)
No Contest (1995) Dir: Paul LynchOne of the things, among the man, that makes Die Hard so great is the plot. It's so easily transferable that even the worst Die Hard rip-offs still manage to be entertaining. No Contest is a Canuxploitation Die Hard riff, taking place at a Miss Universe-style beauty contest. And you know what? It's pretty goddamn entertaining.Shannon Tweed plays a former action star who has stooped to hosting the contest. When terrorists led by Andrew Dice Clay take all of the contestants hostage she has to fight her way through and save everyone. Dice is having a full on blast as the villain, Robert Davi shows up as a bodygaurd who has to help Tweed from the outside. Oh, and Rowdy roddy Piper is one of the terrorists. This isn't revolutionary cinema but it's damn fun.Does Shannon Tweed say the movie's title as a kiss off line? Yes she does. What more could you want?
The Pit (1981, dir. Lew Lehman, First Time Viewing) A weird kid finds a pit in the woods full of carniverous monsters. He and his talking teddy bear decide to lure people out to it. Mayhem ensues. I'm not normally a fan of the killer kid sub-genre. I just don't find them realistically threatening. This kid however really wigged me out. I don't know if it was his voice, his sentient teddy bear buddy, or his immaculate helmet of hair. Seriously that haircut.... Highly Recommended.
Man, the kid in this movie is so memorably creepy, especially when he's eyeing his babysitter. The cool premise and the Tales from the Crypt style ending also stick out in my mind.
Turbo Kid (2015)I couldn’t let Junesploitation pass without watching Turbo Kid again. I love this movie so any excuse to watch it is a good one. It’s got a great 80s nostalgia feel to it Including BMX chases, synth soundtrack and other little throw backs. It feels like an 80’s kids movie with gore galore. Never get tired of watching it.
WolfCop (2014) - first viewing I think this was recommended by Melissa (name?) who used to write for the site. It was filmed in her neck of the woods.The movie? Part man. Part wolf. All Cop! Perfectly sums it up. It had a little bit of everything you would want in it: The alcoholic cop, the supernatural element, the dick transformation, throw in some twist and turns, and maybe a shaftshifter, why not, adding in his alcoholism was actually fueling his werewolf cop powers! Considering the budget, I though it effects were good, and the movie was pretty fun!
Strange Brew (1983, dir. Thomas and Moranis)I really wasn’t sure what to watch today, so I ended up putting it off until 3 am and watching Strange Brew for the first time. As a Canadian, I think I never watched it because I didn’t think I’d find it funny and it doesn’t deserve that from me, and, yeah, wasn’t that into it. Ah well, at least I have street cred again
Heavenly Bodies (1984, dir. Lawrence Dane)I’ve wanted to revisit this since hearing it come up on PC few weeks ago. It’s like a Canadian take on Flashdance mixed with Girls Just Want to Have Fun (which wasn’t out for another year, so they weren’t ripping it off). It’s an upbeat movie that just wants to entertain, and there’s a lot of music and dancing. It’s fun. There are so few arerobics movies that I feel like we should embrace the ones we did get.
Hard Core Logo... Is all i need to say! Watched it yesterday.For Canada Day!Eh!Long time listener, first time caller!Eric