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Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It (2014)

Trailer Park Boys Don't Legalize It (2014)“PLEASE RETURN TO LOBBY”

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To know me you might not believe how big a Trailer Park Boys fan I am. Unfortunately, with their recent entry, Don’t Legalize It, my against-the-odds affection for their antics has been somewhat tested.

It reminded me at several points of watching Red Green’s Duct Tape Forever, a meaner-spirited feature version of a series anchored by its relationships, as if a theatrical experience demanded more conflict. (Ironically both employed pun-based tag lines specifically referencing friendship: “Friends Stick Together” and “Best Buds”.)

Certainly I understand the need to offer something different, to raise the stakes, but why at the cost of enjoyment?

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Don’t Legalize It (2014)

don't_legalize_it_2014“That’s instant karla there, fuckie.”

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I grew up around swearing. Lots and lots of swearing. F-bombs, s-bombs and other creative, lovingly-handcrafted strings of expletives. Like the flattened packs of Player’s cigarettes that I drew on, and the velvety purple Crown Royal bags that held my colouring pencils, swears were a big part of my childhood.

Yet, after my recent viewing of Don’t Legalize It, my brain felt a little singed? burned? BBQ’ed? by the raging brush fire of swearing that was this particular movie. There were also frank depictions of drooling alcoholic downward spirals, underwear sniffing and rampant pantlessness.

I like the Trailer Park Boys, I have even evangelized them in mixed company. I really, really do consider myself a fan.

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WolfCop (2014)

WolfCop (2014)“What was that, thank you Willy for helping me?”

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I don’t remember the movie now, but we saw it in the theatre, and before it came the trailer for WolfCop.

We looked at each other immediately  – as we usually do – silently gauging each other’s level of interest. There was no mistaking we were very, very interested in WolfCop.

I’ve been stung by such hope before, as I was about Hobo with a Shotgun. All the same, we were cautiously optimistic that this time might be different.

The promotional poster at Silver Snail Comics taunted me every week. We waited, month after month, and somehow missed its theatrical release. I’m unclear when it comes out on disc, as it seems locked in “tour mode” now. Fair enough, I suppose, then at least it can still be seen.

But selfishly I can’t wait to make it my own. I’ve finally seen it, and it’s better than I dared to hope.

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Santo vs Frankenstein’s Daughter (1971)

image“Don’t be so certain of your triumph, ma’am.”

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This film is without a doubt the best Lucha Libre superstar wrestler versus a daughter of Dr. Frankenstein movie I have ever seen in my life.

Okay, it was the only one I’ve ever seen …but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t solid.

Santo vs Frankenstein’s Daughter was how Mr. Renders and I spent most of this past Halloween. I bought the movie in an Ottawa head shop last Christmas. I suppose it was more for the awesome cover than anything else. I mean look at it –>

Completely wonderful.

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Billy Bishop Goes to War (2010)

Billy Bishop Goes to War (2011)“I remain…”

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Until his death about a decade ago, I’d occasionally visit an elderly veteran. He’d speak at length about life during wartime, show off his old photos, and serve me the strongest tea I’ve ever tasted. He was fascinating and, as such, I never exactly understood that widely held notion of senior citizens boring young visitors.

Those experiences were brought vividly back at the TIFF Lightbox in July, when we caught a screening of Billy Bishop Goes to War. This piece reflects on the exploits of the legendary Canadian pilot, as seen through the prism of Bishop in his later years. It revisits the past, connects generations, and explores several issues of war, neither pro nor con, but respectful and unsentimental.

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Five More Horrific Canadian Picks

I love the autumn like no other season in the year.

Maybe it’s a holdover from my years as a student, a sense of getting back to normal, a return to structure and consistency, the comfort of a familiar routine.

Maybe it’s the sight of earthtones everywhere, unusual colours in the trees, the feeling of summer’s heat dropping away, a returning to the coziness of home.

Maybe it’s because in our family, nearly everyone’s birthday falls around these months, punctuated by other familiar holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and several more . . .

. . . like Halloween, of course, a time when we spend the month before ramping up with decorations, big meals, spooky music, and movie nights.

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Monster Brawl (2011)

Monster Brawl (2011)

“It’s the ultimate fight of the living dead.”

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As a grade school student, I once received a book at a fall fair. It was called The Dynamite Monster Hall of Fame. Though I’d likely already heard of mummies, vampires, werewolves, and so on, it’s my most certain early memory of being aware of the Universal monsters.

Yes, every kid wonders who would win in a fight: Sean Connery or Roger Moore? Well, that was probably just me, but I imagine everyone else was pitting invisible men against phantoms of the opera.

Not every kid grows up, however, to commit those fights to the big screen. Which is exactly what writer, producer, editor, and director Jesse Thomas Cook has done with Monster Brawl, a feature which unfortunately works better as a “What if?” pitch than as sustained entertainment.

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