Sunday, June 29, 2008


Glad tidings for Pride week celebrators in and around Toronto and the world!

Here's a fun and informative chunk of a film from the creative team behind the wonderful Olga films from the 60s. I think it's meant to help inform, educate and generally broaden the scope of understanding as far as issues of human sexuality are concerned. But I could be wrong.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Neglected wonders.

Late last week, I found myself involved in an easy and ongoing email conversation with a dealer of movie posters (big surprise) among other things as we found we had similar interests and especially so when it concerned girls and gorillas. Although I had to envy his 'White Pongo' one sheet, he became even more glorious when, upon discovering my love of women in prison films, he disclosed that he had, in fact, wrote the screenplay for 'The Concrete Jungle'! At first, I couldn't exactly recall this classic (there are so many and they're so similarly plotted up in my brain) but then he mentioned that Jill St. John was the warden and I was quite in awe. I quickly offered that I possessed both styles of one sheet.

But I had to go and read up on it anyway, just to get the full facts straight. It was then that I noticed his credits to 'Parasite' as well. From the same year, in fact! I haven't seen this film (I must!) that is known for being Demi Moore's debut, but who cares about her? In 1982, this gentleman had the pleasure of being directly involved with Jill St. John, Cherie Currie and my personal favourite of favourites, Cheryl Smith. He recalled it with fondness and I was enraptured.

So, I have to take this lazy Sunday opportunity to pay a small and brief tribute to these three ladies who have sorta ruled my thoughts this weekend.

Bond girl and foxy prison warden, Jill.

Singer for the Runaways, Cherie, on the right.

And the tragic Rainbeaux.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

when The Super Cops were in town

Thanks to Eric V for this sampling of what was playing in and around Toronto in April of 1974...

Click to enlarge

Not Quite Hollywood

Thanks to the heads up from the fine folks at Twitch that there is a trailer up on the website for the new doc on Australian exploitation cinema, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shock and Awe

If you are lucky to live near the GTA, be sure to snag a ticket to this event!

2236 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON

"Night long festival showcases lost 35mm schlock paying homage to the Grindhouse movie experience, winding up the next day with Peter Jackson’s (Lord of the Rings) lost splatterfest!"

Oddball Toronto film archivist Dion Conflict returns with one of his most ambitious projects to date. Sponsored by Rue Morgue Magazine and the After Dark Film Festival, "SHOCK AND AWE" is an all night film fest showcasing long lost drive-in schlock at the FOX THEATRE, ending with the Peter Jackson splatter epic "Dead Alive", screened only once before in Canada a decade earlier. With a dossier of 6 films, "SHOCK AND AWE" promises to provide the authentic grindhouse experience, recently revived by the success of the Tarantino/Rodriguez double-feature, "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror".

Before the advent of the VCR, Grindhouse cinemas offered "low rent" fare to its audiences, 3 or 4 exploitation films (action, horror, erotic, comedy) on a continuous loop for a single price.
The cinemas themselves were in downtown areas, or "less desirable" neighbourhoods, with posters plastered on the outside of theatres promising everything but the kitchen sink. Enticed patrons would fish out their hard-earned dollars to see the scratchy, well-loved films inside, sometimes sitting with characters as interesting as the ones on screen.

"SHOCK AND AWE" plays homage to these films and the grindhouse experience, unearthing some of the hardest-to-find 35mm prints of these long lost gems (which themselves more than likely ran in grindhouse theatres or low-rent drive-ins), with some prints being the only known elements left of the films themselves. The titles include the rare Blaxploitation biker flick "The Black Six" (directed by Matt Cimber of "The Candy Tangerine Man" fame, and featuring several former NFL players); the lost burlesque epic/travelogue/Vaudeville comedian flick "Naughty New Orleans" (the only known 35mm print in existence); "Tintorera" (Mexico's answer to JAWS with Susan George and Fiona Lewis); Uli Lommell's art-house horror "The Boogeyman"; and Denmark's English-dubbed eurotrash sex film "Danish Pastries" (which has NOTHING to do with pastries). The event ends with the grizzly Peter Jackson splatter-masterpiece "Dead Alive", screened only once before in Canada at the Toronto International Film Festival.

As much an event as a film screening, "SHOCK AND AWE" will also have tables of merchandise on hand offering obscure exploitation collectables, including Super 8 films, B-movie DVD's, and small press GTA area film publications. Intermissions will also feature themed snack bar offerings at the FOX including breakfast items and local restaurant treats. Curator and host Dion Conflict will also showcase some lost music videos, surprise celebrities, world premiere short films by local directors, and trailers of other obscure grindhouse offerings from his archive (one of Canada's most eclectic private archives).

"We've worked on this event for years," says Conflict. "With the help of the Fox Theatre, we can finally offer a film experience that hasn't been seen in Toronto since the closing of the Yonge Street grindhouse cinema THE RIO back in the early nineties."

Conflict’s previous obscure offerings have included 16mm educational films, commercials, and training films titled "Hunka Junk 6", the latter actually beating the Tarantino/Rodriguez "Grindhouse" collaboration in Finland at the box office.

"SHOCK AND AWE" tickets can be purchased at the FOX THEATRE box office and FILM BUFF video stores (73 Roncesvalles Ave. & 1380 Queen St. East). Wristbands will also be given to patrons for "in and out privileges" during the marathon film screening, the first of its kind in Toronto.

The Fox Theatre's Andy Willick sums it up best, "Sleep is for suckers!"

Monday, June 09, 2008

Kung Fu, Gangsters, etc.

So its official! If you happen to be in Montreal for Fantasia, be sure to check out the exhibit of 50 posters from my collection of Hong Kong movie posters at the Quebec Cinematheque. Choosing 50 from my collection of over 1000 is going to be a difficult task to say the least, but luckily the base theme of the exhibit's title narrows things down. I spent most of Friday taking photos of some of the choice titles in my collection and I have just uploaded a gallery of of 70 images that are the first round of picks. It will only be up for short time, so check it out while it is around!